Cingular Wireless Brings to Market the Feature-Rich BlackBerry Pearl with Push to Talk, GPS-based Navigation Services
The new BlackBerry Pearl from Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM) (TSX: RIM) will arrive on the shelves of select Cingular Wireless stores beginning tomorrow – just in time for the holiday shopping season – with an exclusive look and new features, including Cingular-exclusive Push to Talk (PTT) capabilities and a GPS-based wireless navigation(1) service. Customers can now enjoy the benefits of these new features for the BlackBerry Pearl together with easy-to-use phone, email, organizer and browser applications – all in an incredibly small, light and stylish handset.
The BlackBerry Pearl from Cingular operates on the nation’s largest digital voice network – with the fewest dropped calls of any national wireless carrier – and Cingular’s nationwide(2) EDGE network, the largest national high-speed wireless data network in the U.S.
The BlackBerry Pearl is the first BlackBerry handset to come with a digital camera, multi-media capabilities and an expandable memory slot, while continuing to provide the full BlackBerry experience that is widely popular throughout the world. Beneath its sleek and stylish exterior, which measures just 4.2″ x 1.97″ x .57″ and weighs only 3.1 ounces, the BlackBerry Pearl from Cingular is a quad-band GSM/GPRS and EDGE-enabled mobile application powerhouse delivering the fast performance of the latest generation BlackBerry handset platform. The built-in 64MB flash memory is now expandable with a microSD card, giving users plenty more storage for music, pictures and videos.
“The BlackBerry Pearl from Cingular provides a winning combination of business and entertainment-related applications that make it a great device both for work-time and leisure-time use,” said Jeff Bradley, vice president, business data services, for Cingular Wireless. “The iconic yet highly functional design, popular BlackBerry service, and rich music and video features coupled with our Cingular-exclusive capabilities make this a powerful offering that will play well equally in the enterprise and consumer spaces.”
“The BlackBerry Pearl is a breakthrough handset that looks as great as it performs. We believe this amazing new phone will attract an even broader range of mobile customers toward BlackBerry and we are delighted to be launching the BlackBerry Pearl with Cingular today,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co- CEO at Research In Motion. “The BlackBerry Pearl is truly changing the mobile communications landscape by delivering the unparalleled BlackBerry experience that has become so popular around the world together with new multimedia features and Cingular’s powerful Push to Talk service – all in an exceptionally small, sleek and stylish design.”
Unique features of the BlackBerry Pearl from Cingular include Cingular’s Push to Talk service and the availability of TeleNav GPS Navigator™ for turn-by-turn driving directions.
Cingular boasts the largest Push to Talk network in America and its PTT service includes several differentiating features, including “availability” icons, quick group calling and the ability to easily switch a PTT session to a regular wireless voice call. BlackBerry Pearl customers can use the Cingular Push to Talk service to stay connected with individual colleagues or friends, or set up groups for broader communication. The PTT button on the left side of the BlackBerry Pearl easily facilitates each PTT call. In addition, the Cingular service offers standard PTT features such as call waiting, contact alerts, and voice messaging to anyone in their contact list.
Cingular customers can receive GPS turn-by-turn voice and on-screen driving directions on the BlackBerry Pearl with TeleNav GPS Navigator™ (Bluetooth GPS Receiver accessory required). TeleNav GPS Navigator can be used in vehicles or while walking and offers colorful 3D moving maps. Just like an in-car navigation system, the 3D maps turn, move and stop as the vehicle does the same, while also displaying a realistic image of the streets the vehicle is approaching and streets they are passing. Users can also pan and zoom the map to view surrounding streets. Other features include Biz Finder, allowing users to look up a business or place of interest, and Fuel Finder, providing nearby locations with the lowest gas prices.
The BlackBerry Pearl from Cingular is also the first wireless device in the U.S. to include TeleNav Maps™, a free application providing access to non-GPS static maps and step-by-step written driving directions.
Exceptional Phone Quality
The BlackBerry Pearl delivers exceptional phone quality with premium, easy-to-use phone features including Speaker Independent Voice Recognition for Voice Activated Dialing (VAD), support for polyphonic, mp3 and MIDI ring tones, and intuitive call management features such as smart dialing, conference calling, speed dialing and call forwarding. It also features a speakerphone and Bluetooth 2.0 for use with hands-free headsets and car kits. BlackBerry Desktop Manager synchronization via Bluetooth is also supported.
The unique “push-based” BlackBerry service features a helpful Setup Wizard and gives users synchronized access to both personal and corporate email accounts with attachment viewing and the ability to manage multiple accounts while on the go. The BlackBerry Pearl also comes with an enhanced version of RIM’s SureType™ QWERTY keypad technology that makes typing messages and dialing phone numbers quick and easy. The handset is supported on BlackBerry Internet Service as well as BlackBerry Enterprise Server, with a new set of IT policy controls on the latter to allow IT departments to manage camera and expansion memory usage per their corporate policies.
Images appear incredibly vivid and crisp on the BlackBerry Pearl’s large, ultra-bright, high resolution (240 x 260) display. Built-in light-sensing technology automatically adjusts the screen and keypad brightness for optimum viewing in outdoor, indoor or dark environments. Along with an intuitive Cingular-exclusive user interface, the BlackBerry Pearl also features a supple, responsive trackball that makes vertical and lateral scrolling fast and easy. Dedicated “menu” and “escape” keys on either side of the trackball, along with context sensitive menus, make navigation instinctive, smooth and true to the BlackBerry experience.
Camera, Music, Video
Featuring a 1.3 megapixel camera with built-in flash and 5x digital zoom, users can snap a picture and instantly share it with friends and family by email(3), MMS or BlackBerry Messenger. Photos can also be set as caller ID images, and can be easily transferred between the handset and a computer using the included USB cable.
The BlackBerry Pearl comes with a media player and includes a stereo headset jack, so users can enjoy their favorite music and videos on the go. Music and video clips are delivered with rich sound and vivid color and can be easily loaded onto the handset via a new version of the BlackBerry Desktop Manager that is included on a CD in the box. MP3 and ACC music files and MPEG4 and H.263 video files are supported.
With the BlackBerry Pearl from Cingular, users can wirelessly access their email and other data, and browse the Web in more than 13,000 cities and towns, and along some 40,000 miles of major highways throughout the U.S. They can also take their BlackBerry Pearl with them when traveling abroad to make phone calls in more than 190 countries and access data in over 115 countries worldwide(4).
Pricing and Availability
The BlackBerry Pearl from Cingular is available for as low as $199.99 with a two-year commitment and after rebates, beginning tomorrow in select Cingular retail stores, on http://www.cingular.com and through Cingular’s B2B sales organization, and in most Cingular stores nationwide by Monday, December 4. Unlimited corporate email access via BlackBerry is as low as $44.99 a month with a voice contract, or customers who simply need personal email access and web browsing with BlackBerry Internet Service can choose the BlackBerry Personal plan for as low as $29.99 per month with voice. Unlimited Cingular Push to Talk service is available for an additional monthly charge of $9.99 per device and $19.99 for Push to Talk Family. TeleNav GPS Navigator is available for additional monthly charges of $5.99 for 10 trips and $9.99 for unlimited trips.