RIM set to release next generation BlackBerry

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Get the picture and specs Here RIM set to release next generation BlackBerry Robert Thompson National Post http://www.nationalpost.com/tech/story.html?f=/stories/20020304/226029.html Research In Motion Ltd. will announce today the commercial launch of its new BlackBerry pager that allows users to send and receive both phone calls and e-mail. The original BlackBerry was capable of sending and receiving e-mail. The new BlackBerry 5810 will add voice capabilities, and will be available in the U.S. on networks provided by AT&T Wireless Services Inc. and VoiceStream Wireless Corp. RIM, based in Waterloo, Ont., announced in January it would develop a voice-and-data BlackBerry for AT&T, but said it would not reach consumers until late April or May. The company will announce today that VoiceStream and AT&T will start taking orders immediately, with delivery expected by the end of this month, according to Mark Guibert, RIM’s vice-president, brand management. As of Nov. 30, 2001, RIM had 289,000 customers using their BlackBerry pager. The new BlackBerry will be one of the central themes of a speech at Comdex in Chicago by RIM co-chief executive Jim Balsillie tomorrow. The new product will operate on the general packet radio service network (GPRS), a standard that allows for data to be sent more quickly and effectively than previous wireless networks. Such companies as VoiceStream, AT&T in the U.S. and Rogers AT&T Wireless in Canada, have spent millions of dollars developing the faster GPRS networks. “These companies are quite excited about the 5810 because they’ve invested heavily in their GPRS networks and this product allows them to take advantage of that,” Mr. Guibert said. VoiceStream will be offering the 5810 at US$499, and the combined voice and data network time is expected to start at about US$60 per month. AT&T has not yet set its pricing. A Canadian release date has not been set; Mr. Guibert said it should follow in a few months. The new BlackBerry will also be the first product from RIM to fully integrate the Java programming language. Specifically, the BlackBerry 5810 will use Java 2 micro edition operating system, which will allow the devices to more effectively integrate with software used in corporate environments. There are currently three million software developers creating applications for Java, and RIM is counting on that, Mr. Guibert said. Though RIM’s user base is much smaller than such competitors as Palm Inc. and Handspring, it has managed to gain a foothold in the corporate market, considered more difficult to penetrate. Get the picture and specs Here

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