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RIM launches first BlackBerry flip phone

Another push by RIM to broaden its audience

By Jeremy Kirk
September 10, 2008 12:00 PM ET

IDG News Service - Research In Motion Ltd. diversified its BlackBerry line today by introducing a "flip" or clamshell model, of the popular mobile phones.

The BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 will be available later this year through operator T-Mobile USA Inc. RIM didn't provide a price.

The Pearl Flip represents another move by RIM to widen its prospective customer pool beyond business users, with smaller and more stylish models aimed at consumers yet still retaining the core BlackBerry features.

It has an external LCD used to preview e-mails, text messages and phone calls. When flipped open, the phone reveals a larger screen and a QWERTY keyboard, one of the characteristic features of RIM's larger devices.

BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220
Research In Motion launched its first clamshell smartphone, the Pearl Flip 8220. (Photo courtesy of Research In Motion)
The quad-band phone will operate on GSM networks in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and can connect to EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) data networks, RIM said.

The Pearl Flip ships with stereo headphones and, like other recent BlackBerry models, includes media player software for videos and music. It stores tunes on removable MicroSD memory cards, and will work with cards up to 16GB in capacity when they become available. Music tracks without digital rights management can be synchronized with Apple's iTunes music jukebox software through a new software add-on, RIM said.

The phone's integrated 2-megapixel camera with flash can shoot still pictures and also record video.

The device is loaded with the DataViz Documents to Go software suite, which lets users edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. It has a Bluetooth short-range wireless interface for connecting to headsets and GPS receivers, and Wi-Fi 802.11b/g.

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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