Color BlackBerry Debuts in U.S.

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T-Mobile will begin offering the first BlackBerry wireless handheld with a color screen today. It is the first wireless carrier in the U.S. to have this device.

BlackBerry 7230 Research In Motion (RIM) took the wraps off the Blackberry 7230 in June and it has been available from T-Mobile in parts of Europe since it was first announced.

This handheld supports worldwide international roaming on GSM/GPRS networks and delivers email, voice, SMS, browser, and organizer applications. Users can read and forward email attachments, including Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

The 7230 has 16 MB flash memory plus 2 MB SRAM, a rechargeable and swappable lithium battery, and USB connectivity. Both the screen and keyboard are backlit for easy reading and typing during day or night. It is 4.5 inches long, 2.9 inches wide, and 0.83 inches thick (11.4 by 7.4 by 2.1 cm). It weighs about 4.8 ounces (136 g).

T-Mobile will sell the device for $400. T-Mobile offers a Data-Only plan for $30 with an additional 20 cents per minute for voice. Or people can sign up for any T-Mobile voice plan and get unlimited data for an additional $20 a month.

There is also a version of this device that has a monochrome screen that T-Mobile offers for $300. Other wireless handhelds offered by T-Mobile include the color Sidekick, the Handspring Treo 270, and the O2 xda.

RIM’s recent legal troubles are not expected to affect sales of the 7230. RIM is involved in a bitter patent-infringement lawsuit, and last week a judge issued an injunction that blocks RIM from selling the Blackberry in the U.S. However, the judge also ruled that this not go into effect until after RIM has had a chance to appeal the decision, which is expected to take years.

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