Vodafone uncovers BlackBerry Pearl

Enterprise technology becoming mainstream

Enterprise mobility vendor Research In Motion (RIM) has teamed with Vodafone to drive its BlackBerry device into the mass market in the form of the Pearl smartphone.

The BlackBerry Pearl has push e-mail and voice functionality, but also features more consumer-oriented technologies like a 1.3 megapixel camera and a media player supporting music and video file formats like MP3, ACC, and H.263.

Vodafone Australia's general manager of business markets, Edward Goff, said more mobile phone users are enjoying the benefits of being able to access both voice and data services through one device.

"The BlackBerry Pearl offers users the balance of functionality, convenience and style for both their personal and professional lives and is the ideal tool for those who like to get the most from their network while on the move," Goff said.

The BlackBerry Pearl is a quad-band mobile phone featuring 64MB of flash memory which is expandable via a microSD card expansion slot.

RIM's Asia Pacific vice president, Norm Lo, said the BlackBerry Pearl is a small, stylish and "full-featured" smartphone that delivers the BlackBerry experience with new "personal" features that will appeal to a broader market.

Other features include voice activated dialling, smart dialling, conference calling, speakerphone, and Bluetooth 2.0.

The BlackBerry Pearl is supported on BlackBerry Internet Service for individuals and small businesses, and the BlackBerry Enterprise Server for enterprises.

The BlackBerry Pearl is now available through Vodafone for $699.00. Vodafone's "Heavy" mobile e-mail plan allows unlimited e-mail for $49.95 per month.

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Rodney Gedda

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