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Blackberry 8800 debuts

The net is buzzing this morning with the announcement of RIM’s stylish new Blackberry 8800.  The business companion to the Pearl, this new device sports a full QWERTY keyboard, as well as onboard GPS, and the Pearls’ trackball (which is a huge improvement over the trackwheel!) but otherwise no other significant changes excepting the removal of the camera. That’s a significant loss.  The camera is a useful and fun feature. 

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.  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.  Blackberry afficionados are no doubt already drooling.

Various sites are painting the 8800 as RIM’s response to the Apple iPhone.  They’re either misguided, or trying to make a story from a controversy that doesn’t exist.  iPhone is a consumer play.  The 8800 is a business persons tool, which Jim Balsillie understands all too well. 

RIM employees have been known to occasionally carry a new device, prior to launch, and I had the opportunity to play with one of these about a month ago for a few moments.  It’s a little heavier than the Pearl, with a keyboard that’s similar in size to the 8700.  Slim, and pretty to look at too.  I definitely want one.  Now. 

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Martin Dufort February 13, 2007, 11:54 am

    Can't wait to see what type of GPS interface will be available on these guys (NMEA 0183?). GPS in phones is becoming mainstream now. The Nokia N95 is another unit that has such along with a bunch of smart PDA like the Eten glofiish M700.

    I'll get one as soon as I can so we can support it on our side and then I wil be able to use Talk-Now as well.
    L8er – Martin

  • Jim Courtney February 13, 2007, 3:00 pm

    The one downside on the 8800 is lack of support for 3G networks; only does GPRS/EDGE. A bit of a surprise, given that Rogers will be rolling out HSDPA over the spring/summer.

  • Alec February 13, 2007, 6:37 pm

    True! That's a big downside, Jim.

  • Jason Yeung February 13, 2007, 6:38 pm

    It might be a good thing 😉 – you won't run up your data bill as fast!

    – Jason

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