You can tell the Apple iPhone launch is imminent: we’re starting to see handset availability announcements nearly every day. Earlier in the week it was RIM’s BlackBerry 8830 for Verizon; today it’s their small and light BlackBerry 8300 for AT&T, aka: The Curve.
Starting tomorrow you can find the 3.9-ounce phone measuring in at 4.2” x 2.4” x 0.6" at your local AT&T retail store. The $199 (with two-year agreement) BlackBerry Curve offers two firsts: a 2-Megapixel camera and an automatic spell-checker. Full specs are in the press release that follows.
BlackBerry Curve Moves AT&T Customers Ahead of the Curve
Smallest and Lightest Full QWERTY BlackBerry Handset FeaturesEnhanced Multimedia Capabilities With AT&T’s Industry-LeadingCoverage for Wireless Data Services
Atlanta and Waterloo, ON – AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) andResearch In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced theintroduction of the BlackBerry® Curve™, the smallest andlightest full QWERTY BlackBerry handset. AT&T will be the firstwireless carrier in North America to offer the BlackBerry Curve inwireless retail and business channels beginning tomorrow, Thursday, May31.
Available in the U.S. exclusively from AT&T, theBlackBerry Curve can be used by AT&T customers within the broadestdomestic and international coverage area for wireless data services ofany U.S. carrier. The BlackBerry Curve measures just 4.2” x 2.4” x0.6”, weighs approximately 3.9 oz. and builds on the proven and popularBlackBerry handset experience to offer innovative features and enhancedmultimedia capabilities while maintaining exceptional battery life. TheBlackBerry Curve is the first BlackBerry handset to offer a 2 megapixelcamera and spell checker for e-mail. It gives AT&T customers thepersonal productivity and flexibility they want and keeps themconnected to the important people and content in their lives withmessaging, music and other capabilities.
Fashioned in a liquidsilver finish with chrome highlights, smooth edges and soft curves, theBlackBerry Curve strikes a unique balance of features, usability anddesign. It combines the renowned BlackBerry e-mail and messagingcapabilities, premium phone features, comprehensive organizer and fastInternet browser with a new 2 megapixel camera with zoom, enhancedmedia player and new desktop media manager, microSD expandable memoryslot and RIM’s intuitive trackball navigation system. The BlackBerryCurve from AT&T also includes AT&T Music™ subscriptionservices, TeleNav® Maps™ to provide users with maps and driving directions and integrated Push to Talk (PTT) for enhanced communications.
“TheBlackBerry Curve has all of the qualities of a winner that willresonate with a broad segment of AT&T customers,” said Kent Mathy,president of AT&T’s Business Markets Group. “Business professionalsand consumers alike will gravitate to its iconic look, industry-leadingcoverage both here in the U.S. and abroad, robust e-mail and Webbrowsing capabilities, and powerful entertainment offerings.”
“Wecontinue to make BlackBerry handsets smaller, thinner, lighter and morepowerful while staying focused on delivering a quality userexperience,” said Mike Lazaridis, president and Co-CEO of Research InMotion. “The BlackBerry Curve, with its full QWERTY keyboard and sleeknew design, is a perfect choice for people who want enhanced multimediafeatures together with an uncompromising communications experience.”
TheBlackBerry Curve represents another first for AT&T, which is theleading provider of BlackBerry services worldwide. AT&T was thefirst carrier* in the world to introduce the BlackBerry wirelesssolution in 1999 and has since continued to lead the way with theintroduction of groundbreaking BlackBerry handsets, including theBlackBerry® 8700c, BlackBerry® 8800 and the red BlackBerry® Pearl™.
TheBlackBerry Curve is powered by AT&T’s nationwide** EDGE network,the largest high-speed national wireless data network in the U.S. withavailability in more than 13,000 cities and towns and along some 40,000miles of major highways. The quadband BlackBerry Curve from AT&Tkeeps users who are abroad connected with wireless data services inmore countries — more than 130 — than any other U.S. carrier. The newBlackBerry Curve from AT&T also features:
- A large,ultrabright 320-by-240 display that supports more than 65,000 colors,complete with light-sensing technology that automatically adjustsbacklighting for indoor, outdoor and dark environments.
- Thefirst BlackBerry handset to offer a built-in spell checker withuser-customizable dictionary to help ensure the accuracy of e-mail andother text entries.
- Premium phone features, includingnoise-cancellation technology to offset background noise, SpeakerIndependent Voice Recognition (SIVR) for Voice Activated Dialing (VAD),dedicated Send, End, and Mute keys, low-distortion speakerphone, andBluetooth® (2.0) support for hands-free use with headsets, car kits and Bluetooth peripherals.
- AT&TPush to Talk (PTT), running on the largest PTT network in the U.S, socustomers can use the service to stay connected with individualcolleagues, friends or family or to set up groups for broadercommunication.
- A 2 megapixel camera with 5x digital zoom,built-in flash, self-portrait mirror and a full screen viewfinder. Thecamera can capture images in up to three picture quality and sizeresolutions that can be quickly shared by e-mail, MMS, BlackBerryMessenger or Bluetooth. Photos can also be set as a unique caller ID orhome screen image.
- A powerful new media manager application, which is included as part of the BlackBerry Desktop software. The Roxio® Media Manager for BlackBerry, which was developed with Sonic® and based on the award-winning Roxio Easy Media Creator®9, introduces a new level of simplicity, allowing users to easilysearch for media files on their computer, view and organize them;create MP3 music files from CDs; add audio tags; create playlists; andautomatically copy or convert pictures, music and videos for optimalplayback on the BlackBerry Curve.
- A 3.5 mm stereo headset jack, support for Bluetooth stereo audio profile (A2DP/AVRCP) and dedicated volume controls.
- AT&TMusic, an integrated, on-the-go music experience that delivers “yourmusic, your way” by providing simple access to a robust collection ofmusic content, including access to online subscription music contentfrom eMusic, XM Satellite Radio and more.
- TeleNav Maps™, afree mapping application that can help users find addresses and providestep-by-step directions with the ability to upgrade to TeleNav GPSNavigator™. TeleNav GPS Navigator can be used with a Bluetooth–enabledGPS accessory to provide audible turn-by-turn driving directions, localpoints of interest or the latest traffic information — all for a lowmonthly subscription.
- Support for polyphonic, MP3 and MIDI ringtones.
- BlackBerryInternet Service support that allows access to up to 10 personal andcorporate e-mail accounts, including most popular ISP e-mail accounts.
- BlackBerryEnterprise Server support for enterprise deployments, integrating withIBM Lotus® Domino®, Microsoft® Exchange and Novell® GroupWise®environments and features a new set of IT policy controls for managingthe handset’s features and usage.
- A variety of in-the-boxaccessories, including stereo headset, travel charger and USB cable.Additional accessories for BlackBerry handsets, including premiumleather holsters and totes, an automotive charger, and Bluetoothheadsets are available online and through retail outlets.
Pricing and Availability
TheBlackBerry Curve will be available for as low as $199.99 with atwo-year contract and mail-in rebate beginning May 31 in AT&T(formerly Cingular Wireless) retail stores, online at www.cingular.com,through select national retailers and various AT&T businesschannels. Customers who want personal e-mail access and Web browsingwith BlackBerry Internet Service can choose the BlackBerry PersonalUnlimited plan for as low as $29.99 a month with a qualified voicecontract. Unlimited corporate e-mail access via BlackBerry EnterpriseServer is as low as $44.99 a month when a qualified voice plan is alsochosen or when customers who travel overseas can have unlimited e-mailaccess internationally for as low as $64.99 a month with a qualifiedvoice plan. Unlimited Cingular Push to Talk service is available for anadditional monthly charge of $9.99 per device and $19.99 for Push toTalk Family. AT&T Push to Talk also features a pay-per-use optionof $.15 a minute. TeleNav GPS Navigator monthly service is availablefor $5.99 for 10 trips or $9.99 for unlimited trips. As features withinAT&T Music, XM Satellite Radio and MusicID require monthlysubscription fees of $8.99 and $3.99, respectively.