The net is buzzing this morning with the announcement of RIM’s stylish new Blackberry 8800.Â The business companion to the Pearl, this new device sports a full QWERTYÂ keyboard, as well as onboard GPS, and the Pearls’ trackball (which is a huge improvement over the trackwheel!) but otherwise no other significant changesÂ excepting the removal of the camera.Â That’s a significant loss.Â The camera is a useful and fun feature.Â
RIM already has the full feature set posted on their Discover Blackberry site, along with some dazzling photographs, but availability information is hard to come by.Â It seems, however, that the first carriers to have the 8800 will be Rogers and Cingular, here in North America, and Vodaphone in Europe… apparently later this month.Â Blackberry afficionados are no doubt already drooling.
Various sites are painting the 8800 as RIM’s response to the Apple iPhone.Â They’re either misguided, or trying to make a story from a controversy that doesn’t exist.Â iPhone is a consumer play.Â The 8800 is a business persons tool, which Jim Balsillie understands all too well.Â
RIM employees have been known to occasionally carry a new device, prior to launch, andÂ I had the opportunity to play with one of these about a month ago for a few moments.Â It’s a little heavier than the Pearl, with a keyboard that’s similar in size to the 8700.Â Slim, and pretty to look at too.Â I definitely want one.Â Now.Â