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RIM Throws Consumers A Curve Ball

Research in Motion unveiled its latest prosumer smartphone today, the BlackBerry 8300 Curve. The Curve is RIM's second stab at providing consumers with a tricked-out smartphone that combines the best of business and pleasure. This larger version of the Pearl includes a full QWERTY keyboard, improved media player, and a 2-megapixel ca
Research in Motion unveiled its latest prosumer smartphone today, the BlackBerry 8300 Curve. The Curve is RIM's second stab at providing consumers with a tricked-out smartphone that combines the best of business and pleasure. This larger version of the Pearl includes a full QWERTY keyboard, improved media player, and a 2-megapixel camera. But still no 3G.I don't understand why RIM can make EV-DO equipped 3G smartphones for Verizon and Sprint, but can't manage to stuff a UMTS/HSDPA radio into smartphones for AT&T (Cingular). BlackBerry devices on Verizon's network have had EV-DO for 18 months, but RIM has yet to produce a 3G variant for GSM networks. What gives?

Lack of 3G aside, the rest of the specs for the Curve are enough to convert more people to CrackBerry addiction. It boasts a thin, curvy design that is appealing to both the eye and the ears. Not only does it improve upon the Pearl's 1.3 megapixel camera by upping the ante to 2 megapixels, it sports a 3.5-mm headphone jack -- that means it works with regular headphones -- and stereo Bluetooth. The new media player improves upon the limited controls found on the Pearl and allows for better playlist management, which was nonexistent on the Pearl.

The underlying software of the Curve has some other enhancements. The Curve will accept higher-capacity microSD cards (up to 4 Gbytes), and has included Roxio's Photosuite application, which allows users to manipulate and edit their photos. Lastly, RIM has improved the Web browser and optimized it for mobile browsing.

Of course, it supports the same, easy-to-use wireless e-mail as on other BlackBerry's. It will be available later this spring through AT&T.