Sprint and Verizon have announced plans to offer the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition, a smartphone that will allow its users to roam internationally.
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These carriers use the CDMA cellular-wireless networking standard, while much of the world uses GSM. This means Sprint and Verizon customers generally can't use their phones when they are out of the country.
The 8830, however, will offer both CDMA and GSM, so users will be able to make voice calls and get their email outside of the United States. It will even include a slot for a SIM card.
Part of the BlackBerry 8800 Series
As its name suggests, the 8830 will be a version of the BlackBerry 8800, a GSM-only device now being offered by a few carriers.
This means the 8830 will have a full QWERTY keyboard and a built-in GPS receiver.
It will also be one of RIM's first models to include significant support for multimedia, including playing video and MP3 files.
It will sport Bluetooth 2.0, a microSD card slot, and a trackball in place of the traditional jog dial.
Verizon Pricing and Availability
Verizon Wireless will begin selling this BlackBerry next month.
The base price will be $300, but signing up for a two year contract for a qualifying voice and data plan will bring the cost down to $100.
Sprint Pricing and Availability
Sprint said today that it will begin offering the 8830 in July. It has not yet said what it will charge.
Not surprisingly, this smartphone will be offered primarily through this carrier's business channels, but it will also be available to consumers at Sprint.com.
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