Chilean operator Movistar, and T-Mobile in Germany and Austria, have become the first mobile operators to launch Research In Motion’s (RIM) much-anticipated Blackberry ‘Bold’ HSPA device. Movistar Chile – the Chilean arm of Spain’s Telefonica – claims on its website it is the first operator in the world to offer the device, surprising many industry-watchers who had assumed RIM would first launch the product in either the US or Canada. Movistar said it would sell the device for CLP299,990 (US$588) on a two-year contract. Meanwhile, Electronista reports that T-Mobile Germany will sell the device for as little as €40 on its most expensive monthly contract, rising to €130 on cheaper contracts. In Austria, T-Mobile will sell the device for €250 on a two-year contract.

The report adds that the Bold will launch in Australia via Optus on August 20 with launches in the US (AT&T) and Canada (Rogers) in either late August or September. RIM first unveiled the device in May and denied subsequent reports that its launch had been delayed. It is seen by many as a competitor to Apple’s iPhone 3G. According to a Mobile News International report, T-Mobile will also be the first UK network to offer the Bold when it is released in the country in September.