It’s Tuesday and that can only mean it’s time for our weekly feature, the BlackBerry Buzz. Verizon (s vz) has sold quite a few BlackBerry handsets due to the BOGO (buy one, get one) promotion, but there is a cheaper alternative for those wanting into the BlackBerry world in the U. S. AT&T has an older Curve 8310 that is only $9.99 with a 2-year contract. That’s a whopping $340 discount from the unsubsidized price, so it’s worth a look. The 8310 has pretty much everything but Wi-Fi and that price is definitely a good one. A $30/ month data plan is required.
It’s worth pointing out again that Boost Mobile is offering a contract-free BlackBerry, for those who hate signing those things. You’ll have to shell out $60/ month for the right to use the ‘Berry, but that includes pretty much unlimited everything. And without that pesky 2-year contract. Of course, there’s a new rumor that Verizon will be offering a no-contract BlackBerry plan soon.
RIM (s rimm) will be updating the Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) to version 3.0 before too long. BIS is the way most consumers use their BlackBerry, as the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) is more typically a corporate solution. A rumor has it that BIS 3.0 will bring support for some file formats that will make most users quite happy, OpenOffice docs and WMA files. OpenOffice is the free open source office suite by Sun, and WMA is of course Windows Media Audio files. Those BlackBerries will do even more out of the box with support for all of these new formats. BIS 3.0 will also work with email providers like Gmail better than the earlier version.