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Alltel Grabs BlackBerry Pearl Flip

The Alltel version will get boosted mobile Internet speeds to help subscribers stay connected on the go.

BlackBerry Pearl Flip
(click image for larger view)
BlackBerry Pearl Flip

Alltel customers will get another way to keep in touch as the carrier will get the clamshell BlackBerry Pearl Flip early next month.

The smartphone is the first flip phone to come from Research In Motion, and it packs all the messaging functionality BlackBerry handsets are known for. Like the BlackBerry Pearl, the Flip has a SureType keyboard for composing messages, and it can receive wireless push e-mail, calendar, and contact information from Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus, Novell GroupWise, and Web-based e-mail providers like Gmail and Yahoo Mail.

The Alltel version will get a big wireless boost, too, as it will have 3G connectivity along with Wi-Fi. The original BlackBerry Flip was released for T-Mobile and could only use EDGE and Wi-Fi for mobile data. The handset also has a GPS chip, as well as Bluetooth 2.0 and a 2-megapixel camera with flash and zoom.

"Alltel is committed to offering customers stylish and innovative phones, and the BlackBerry Pearl Flip gives customers the best of both worlds -- a small, stylish smartphones rich in multimedia coupled with the industry's leading mobile e-mail and messaging capabilities," said Angela Rittgers, director of product management for Alltel, in a statement.

For multimedia, the Flip works with the BlackBerry Media Sync application to let users sync their iTunes music with the handset. The smartphone can also play multiple audio and video codecs, and users can expand the memory up to 16 GB of storage via the microSD slot.

Verizon Wireless spent more than $28 billion to acquire the majority of Alltel to become the country's largest wireless carrier, but Alltel still has about 2.2 million customers in 22 states. These Alltel customers will soon be able to get the Flip for $79.99 with a new two-year contract.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on the use of business software on smartphones. Download the report here (registration required).

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