RIM announced the BlackBerry 8820 smartphone. Featuring RIM's thinnest smartphone design with a full and highly tactile QWERTY keyboard, large and bright display (320 x 240), user-friendly trackball navigation system and best-in-class voice and data functionality, the BlackBerry 8820 also includes built-in GPS (Global Positioning System), RIM's latest media player enhancements, and a microSD / microSDHC (microSD High Capacity) expandable memory slot that can support current and future generations of microSD memory cards up to 32GB. The BlackBerry 8820 is the first dual-mode BlackBerry handset, combining EDGE/GPRS/GSM cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity for data access and voice support through UMA (unlicensed mobile access) for fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) service offerings from various wireless carriers around the world.
The BlackBerry 8820 smartphone supports the 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi standards to enable data access over Wi-Fi connections in the enterprise, as well as through public hotspots and wireless home networks. The smartphone works in conjunction with both BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Internet Service and can seamlessly switch between cellular networks and a Wi-Fi network to allow users to access email, Instant Messaging, organizer, web browsing and other mobile data applications.
To meet various security requirements, the BlackBerry 8820 is compliant with Wi-Fi security protocols including WEP (Wireless Equivalency Protocol), WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) and WPA2, as well as Cisco Compatible Extensions for simple, secure connectivity with Cisco wireless solutions. For enterprises that require Wi-Fi users to access the corporate network through a VPN (Virtual Private Network), the BlackBerry 8820 includes IPSec-based software that supports the most commonly deployed VPN gateways from vendors including Cisco, Check Point and others.
The BlackBerry 8820 also supports UMA, enabling wireless carriers to offer a fixed-mobile convergence service for both business and home use. With a UMA solution in place, the BlackBerry 8820 can also seamlessly switch voice calls between a wireless carrier's cellular network and a Wi-Fi network.
The BlackBerry 8820 is a quad-band GSM/GPRS and EDGE-enabled smartphone that provides global wireless voice and data capabilities with best-in-class performance. The BlackBerry 8820 features include:
*World Class Phone - The BlackBerry 8820 is a world-class mobile phone with advanced noise cancellation for enhanced audio performance and easy-to-use phone features including Speaker Independent Voice Recognition for Voice Activated Dialing (VAD), smart dialing, conference calling, speed dialing and call forwarding, as well as dedicated "send", "end" and "mute" keys. It features a high quality, low-distortion speakerphone and Bluetooth 2.0 for use with hands-free headsets, car kits and other Bluetooth peripherals. Support for polyphonic, mp3 and MIDI ringtones is also included.
* Built-in GPS - Through its built-in GPS, the BlackBerry 8820 can pinpoint its location and provide "out-of-the-box" support for a wide variety of location-based applications and services, including BlackBerry Maps.
* microSD / microSDHC Expansion Memory - The BlackBerry 8820 includes a microSD expansion memory slot that can support both microSD (up to 2GB) and microSDHC (4GB to 32GB) memory cards. 4GB memory cards are available today, and 8GB cards are expected to be available later this year.
* BlackBerry Services - The BlackBerry 8820 can operate with BlackBerry Internet Service, giving users the ability to manage up to 10 supported personal and corporate email accounts, as well as BlackBerry Enterprise Server, enabling advanced security and IT administration features within IBM Lotus Domino, Microsoft Exchange and Novell GroupWise environments.
* Application Support - The BlackBerry wireless platform gives customers the capability to deploy a variety of applications. Thousands of applications and business solutions from third party software providers can further extend the BlackBerry platform to support business needs such as CRM, sales force automation, field services, business intelligence, supply chain management and continuity of operations, as well as a broad range of industry-specific applications for sectors including health care, law enforcement, government, financial services, insurance, pharmaceutical, professional services, real estate, manufacturing, wholesale and retail.
* Multimedia - The BlackBerry 8820 supports the Bluetooth stereo audio profile (A2DP/AVRCP) and comes with the most recent BlackBerry media player refinements, allowing users to play music and search by simply typing the title, genre, artist or album name. Videos can also be played in full screen mode. The BlackBerry 8820 comes with a new and powerful desktop media manager - the Roxio Media Manager for BlackBerry - which was developed with Sonic and based on the award-winning Roxio Easy Media Creator 9. The desktop media manager software introduces a new level of simplicity by allowing users to easily 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.
* Removable Battery - The BlackBerry 8820 comes with an ultra-thin, high-capacity, removable battery that further extends the exceptional battery life for which BlackBerry handsets are known.
* Accessories - The BlackBerry 8820 comes with a complement of accessories in the box, including a headset, travel charger, USB cable and holster. Additional Authentic BlackBerry Accessories, including premium leather holsters and totes, desktop and automotive chargers, Bluetooth headsets and other peripherals, are available online at www.shopblackberry.com.
The BlackBerry 8820 will be available from select wireless carriers around the world in the coming weeks. AT&T is scheduled to launch the BlackBerry 8820 in the U.S. later this summer.