informa
/
Commentary

T-Mobile Launching BlackBerry Curve 3G September 8

T-Mobile on Monday announced that it will offer the BlackBerry Curve 9300 for just $80 starting on September 8.
T-Mobile has beaten AT&T to market with the 9300. It goes on sale after the Labor Day holiday for a mere $80. That's an extremely low price for this BlackBerry, though it has to be, as T-Mobile also sells the more advanced Bold 9700 for $100.

AT&T has not said that it will carry the 9300 at all, let alone announce a specific launch date or price.

The Curve 9300 is nearly identical to the current 85xx series Curve devices from AT&T and T-Mobile. It has a 2 megapixel camera, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 2.1, and support for microSD cards up to 32GB. It is smallish, uses an optical trackpad for on-screen navigation, and is the entry-level BlackBerry.

The first key feature of the new 9300 is that it supports 3G for the first time on GSM-based networks. The 85xx series Curves were stuck on 2.5G EDGE for wireless data. The 9300 comes in two 3G radio configurations, 800/850/1900/2100MHz for AT&T and 900/1700/2100MHz for T-Mobile.

The other key feature about the 9300 is that it can be upgraded to BlackBerry 6, RIM's new operating system announced on August 3. RIM announced that BlackBerry 6 will also be available to the current BlackBerry Bold 9700, Bold 9650 and Pearl 3G handsets within the next few months.

BlackBerry 6 includes a "fresh but familiar" redesign that has a heavily revised home screen, offers better social networking integration, improved alerts, fewer menus, and a more finger-friendly touch user interface.

T-Mobile hasn't said if or when it will cease offering the budget-friendly 8520 Curve, which is available for $30.