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Thursday, May 31, 2007
AT&T will begin offering the BlackBerry Curve today.

RIM formally announced this cellular-wireless handheld earlier this month, but AT&T will be the first carrier worldwide to sell it.

Like the popular BlackBerry Pearl, the Curve will sport multimedia capabilities, including playing music and video. But the Curve will be larger than its sister model, and include a full QWERTY keyboard.

AT&T will be the only U.S. carrier to offer the Curve, which will be priced at $200 with a two-year contract and mail-in rebate.

It will be available starting May 31 in AT&T (formerly Cingular Wireless) retail stores and this carrier's web site.

An Overview of the BlackBerry Curve (8300)

The curve will be very similar to the BlackBerry 8800, which RIM launched earlier this year. This means it will have a built-in QWERTY keyboard and a 320-by-240-pixel (QVGA) display.

This device will also have a microSD card slot for additional storage, especially of multimedia files. It will support the 2 GB cards that are available now, and will be able to use the 4 GB cards that will go on sale later this year. RIM didn't explicitly say so, but this device almost certainly will be one of the first with SDHC support.

Unlike its predecessor, the upcoming model will have a built-in 2 megapixel camera and lack the 8800's GPS receiver.

In addition, the Curve will offer Bluetooth 2.0 and a trackball in place of a scrollwheel or D-pad.

It will be a quad-band GSM phone with GPRS and EDGE. It will not have 3G support.

Emphasis on Multimedia

RIM is positioning the Curve as a device for consumers, and so it playing up its multimedia capabilities.

Users will have the option of listening to music through the built-in speaker, headphones connected to the 3.5 mm stereo jack, or Bluetooth stereo headphones.

The Curve will ship with Roxio Media Manager for BlackBerry, which will allow users to search for media files on their computer, view and organize them, create MP3 music files from CDs, add audio tags, create playlists, and automatically copy or convert pictures, music, and videos for optimal playback on the smartphone.

This BlackBerry's 2 megapixel camera will have a 5x digital zoom and a built-in flash.

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