BlackBerry Pearl grows up

Following on from the success of the Pearl device, Canadian vendor Research In Motion (RIM) introduced the BlackBerry 8800 at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona this week.

While the Pearl was targeted at the prosumer space, new territory for the Canadian vendor, the 8800 brings RIM firmly back to the enterprise market.

Borrowing many of the design features of the Pearl, the 8800 looks like a grown up version of the previous device. The unit, RIM’s thinnest BlackBerry to date, boasts a full QWERTY keyboard and trackball navigation system.

New additions in terms of features include a microSD expandable memory card slot and built in GPS, which uses BlackBerry Maps for navigation and location based services.

Speaking to, James Hart, managing director for RIM EMEA, said that the 8800 will soon be joined by five new Windows Mobile devices from Taiwanese vendor HTC.

Under the company’s BlackBerry Connect programme, which sees the licensing of software for other devices, HTC will make the BlackBerry email application available on five devices including the HTC S710, also launched at 3GSM.

Florian Seiche, vice president of HTC Europe, said “BlackBerry Connect is a great example of our continual drive to add more value for our customers. We have experienced strong demand for BlackBerry Connect from some of our key operator clients and therefore consider it important that our devices support the popular BlackBerry service.”


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