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January 16, 2007

T-Mobile and RIM Launch White BlackBerry Pearl

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

For those of you who cannot live without your BlackBerry (News - Alert), you have another option when selecting your next handset. T-Mobile USA and Research In Motion (RIM) have launched the new white BlackBerry Pearl. This new color BlackBerry is now available in the US exclusively from T-Mobile.

The BlackBerry has proven to be a wildly popular product. In addition to this new color, the new BlackBerry Pearl offers an easy-to-use phone, personal e-mail and Web browsing, combined with T-Mobile’s affordable $19.99 per month unlimited data plan. The BlackBerry Pearl makes sending an e-mail or chatting through instant messaging as simple as placing a phone call.

“The BlackBerry Pearl has set the bar for combining the functionality of a full-featured BlackBerry phone and the ultimate in style, all at an affordable price,” said Mike Butler, chief marketing officer, T-Mobile USA, in a statement on Tuesday. “Now, the white BlackBerry Pearl provides our customers with another effortless, yet stylish, option to stay connected with loved ones.”

The BlackBerry Pear also offers myFaves, which allows customers to have quick, one-touch access to their favorite five friends and family. In addition to calling, instant messaging and texting, consumers can send an e-mail to one of their five myFaves contacts with just a tap.

According to Mark Guibert, vice president, corporate marketing, RIM, the BlackBerry Pearl has proven that it is possible to provide a full-featured handset at an attractive price point with an uncompromising user experience combined with an extremely light and stylish design.

The BlackBerry Pearl offers the following key features:

--BlackBerry Internet Service to allow access to up to 10 supported personal and corporate e-mail accounts, including most popular ISP e-mail accounts.
--Popular instant messaging clients such as AOL (News - Alert), Yahoo! MSN and ICQ.
--1.3 megapixel camera with 3 zoom levels and built-in flash.
--Multimedia player with stereo headset jack with support for MP3 and AAC music files in addition to MPEG4 and H.263 video formats.
--High-performance HYML browser.
--Quick and easy e-mail typing with newly enhanced version of RIM’s SureType™ keyboard technology.
--Intuitive user interface featuring easy-to-use trackball, dedicated ‘menu’ and ‘escape’ keys, and context-sensitive menus to facilitate instinctive and fast navigation.
--Smart dialing, conference calling, speed dialing and call forwarding.
--Speaker Independent Voice Recognition (SIVR) for Voice Activated Dialing (VAD), dedicated ‘send’, ‘end’ and ‘mute’ keys, speakerphone and Bluetooth® support.
--Quad-band GSM/GPRS and EDGE network support for international roaming.
BlackBerry Maps
--Polyphonic, mp3 and MIDI ring tone support.
--Large, ultra-bright 240x260 color display.
--Light-sensing technology to automatically optimize the screen, trackball and keyboard lighting for indoor, outdoor and dark environments.
--64MB built-in expandable flash memory.
--BlackBerry Enterprise Server support.

The purchase of the BlackBerry Pearl also includes a complement of white accessories, such as the stereo headset, travel charger and USB cable. Additional accessories, including premium leather holsters and totes, an automotive charger and Bluetooth headset are available online or through T-Mobile retail outlets.

As more of us are becoming mobile and demanding communication capabilities on the go, the market opportunity for BlackBerry products keeps expanding. Adding a new color to the mix will enable the product to appeal to those who desire the functionality and happen to be picky about the color. T-Mobile will also see adopters in those that just want the latest product and don’t have as many functionality requirements as others.

By offering this product exclusively, T-Mobile will have some leverage in competing with other giants in this space. Cingular’s (News - Alert) Blackjack has garnered much attention and has been extremely successful for the wireless provider. The white BlackBerry Pearl is not necessarily designed to appeal to the same niche market, but instead can have a broader appeal that can result in increased service plans and revenues for T-Mobile.

Once considered a myth, wireless Ethernet has changed society in the way we work, play and live. And while WiFi is increasingly penetrating our everyday lives, it still remains nascent in the communications space. See what the future holds for WiFi (News - Alert) Telephony at the only workshop dedicated to help you find answers to today’s most vexing questions. The WiFi Telephony Workshop takes place at INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO EAST, January 23–26, 2007. See you in sunny Ft. Lauderdale!


Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.


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