Only a country as great as Belgium could handle the sheer awesomeness of not only chocolate and waffles, but also the GPS-enabled BlackBerry 8310, with a side-order of BlackBerry 8100. GSM carrier Proximus will be sporting the AZERTY-keypad-clad devices, with the Pearl running € 299, and the new Curve going for € 449. Proximus is also packing the BlackBerry 8820 for any Belgians looking to get some Wi-Fi action. We love hearing about BlackBerry news from around the globe, so if something is going on in your corner of the planet, feel free to drop us a line at info at blackberry cool dot com.
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AT&T’s BlackBerry 8820 has been officially announced today, packing both GPS and Wi-Fi under the hood and hitting store shelves tomorrow. The 8820 will also be coming bundled with AT&T’s Mobile Music, which gives access to XM Satellite Radio, among other music services. You’ll have to fork over $299.99 on a two-year contract for this beauty. This wasn’t exactly the soft launch we were thinking of, but quietly getting the devices into stores for a nearly day-of announcement is a pretty good way of building up hype. After all, which announcement gets you more excited: “It’s coming next week”, or “It’s coming tomorrow”?
The superspy Boy Genius has gone off and acquired secret documents again, this time pertaining to new BlackBerry 8310 colours and a launch date for AT&T. We’ve already seen what the titanium looks like on an 8300 frame, but the GPS-toting 8310 will be getting one colour we haven’t seen on a Curve yet: red. The 8300 line is shaping up to follow the Pearl’s multicoloured precedent, to the jubilation of mobile fashionistas everywhere. Red’s a surprise, but it’s better than gold. We’ve also got a release date set for October 4th., but as ever, rumors are rumors. The doc also confirms earlier speculation that the BlackBerry 8310 will be phasing out the original Curve, just as the 8820 will be doing for the 8800.
You might remember that hint earlier about picking up the BlackBerry 8820 from Amazon before it was fully unloaded on AT&T stores. Well, it looks like the device is nary to be found on Amazon’s catalog anymore. Did anyone manage to get their hands on one before it was pulled down? And what would prompt the retraction? Simply a stock issue? It couldn’t have been pressure from AT&T, considering they were getting a pretty sweet deal out of it all, unless of course AT&T is trying to capitalize on their own launch. Has anyone actually seen a BlackBerry 8820 in an AT&T store yet?
If you don’t feel like waiting for AT&T’s soft launch of the BlackBerry 8820 to catch up to your store, Amazon is offering the Wi-Fi BlackBerry to US customers for $199.99. That sounds alright if you’re in a rush to get some Wi-Fi action going, but Amazon has some conditions you have to meet for 3 months in order to enjoy their subsidized cost. For one, you’ve got to pay your monthly bills. We’re presuming you were going to do that anyway, but if you miss just one, you’re liable to be forking over another $250 to Amazon. Second, you can’t disconnect from AT&T and switch over, since AT&T presumably has an exclusive on the device. Third, you can’t switch to another AT&T line of service, or drop down to a lower data plan, and finally you can’t replace your existing account with this one. Yeesh. Might as well just wait for it to hit the stores.
UPDATE: The 8820′s been taken off of Amazon’s catalogue. Mysterious, no?
The BlackBerry 8820′s been making the European rounds by now, and the BlackBerry 8310 will be spreading its GPS love to the consumer market soon enough. GPS is still a far cry from being widespread in handhelds, and it will be some time before it’s as common as camera and music in phones. But for conversation’s sake, let’s say that by the end of 2008 Wi-Fi and GPS will become a common feature in any BlackBerry that comes out. For this week’s Weekly Contest, we ask you dear reader: what’s after Wi-Fi and GPS? Is it simply a matter of expanding their capabilities? Is 3G the next big feature to drop? How about near-field technology? A recent ABI report seems to think so. Maybe WiBree? Whoever can best tap their inner techno-voodoo and see into the future will win 3 games from Bplay.