Updated from 7:28 a.m. EDT

It's too bad we had to wait this long for the BlackBerry Bold. It's a winner.

I was privileged to have Research In Motion's ( RIMM) President and Co-Chief Executive Mike Lazaridis visit TheStreet.com months ago to show me an early version of this terrific new phone. And then -- nothing.

RIM and its minions went into stealth mode. The Bold was on its way, but no one was sure when we'd actually see it. The phone was then released in Canada and other locations around the world, but not in the U.S.

Bloggers and other reviewers were getting their hands on Bolds from other places, but RIM was tight-lipped about a true U.S. version. Two weeks ago, Orange UK announced it had stopped all sales of the Bold until a "3G problem" could be fixed. I decided to wait until the new BlackBerry was officially released to review a final U.S. version despite the fact that we at TheStreet.com have been a content partner helping with the development of a new program (Mobi4Biz) designed especially for this phone, so we've had a beta Bold floating around for a number of months.

I'm not sure why AT&T ( T) delayed the release for so many months. One might speculate that the company was busy with Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone 3G and wanted to devote its full resources to the Bold.

Maybe AT&T's 3G wireless network would have been further overloaded if the Bold was released too close to the iPhone. Or maybe Apple put its foot down. All of that no longer matters. The Bold is now a reality. Actually, its official name is the BlackBerry Bold 9000.

Let me tell you about the phone itself. The Bold is the first BlackBerry world phone to take advantage of HSDPA, high-speed, 3G data networks. That means you should expect really fast download speeds. Add to that a super-beefy CPU -- running at 624 MHz -- and you have a lot of fast computing power in your hand. This is a BlackBerry for business professionals and power users.

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