Once again Spain gets the goods. The BlackBerry Professional Software that was announced back in November is now available in Spain through Orange. The package is geared towards smaller businesses running on Exchange or Lotus Domino servers and dealing with fewer than 30 devices, and allows two-way synchronization of address books and calendars. If you want to try it out, RIM’s got BlackBerry Professional Express available for single users, which can then be expanded as you get more BlackBerrys to manage.
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Yep, it’s all good and official now, shortly after the invitations to Vodafone’s Italian launch party were sent out. In order to accent the maiden voyage of the GPS-enabled Pearl, Vodafone’s giving out a free year of its navigation software and unlimited plans for 25€/month on a BES and 15€/month for BIS users. The release only mentions a black case, so those other colours are probably Italian exclusives. Tough break, Spain. Regardless, this is the first new BlackBerry of 2008 and knocks off one of the four or five that we can look forward to. What’s next? The 8110 will be packing a 89 € pricetag, or $US 130, for anyone looking to grab one.
Josep just posted on the Spanish release of the BlackBerry 8320 with Wi-Fi. The specs are pretty much the same as the original Curve, save for the Wi-Fi and an upgraded 2 megapixel camera. The 3.5 mm headphone jack, stereo Bluetooth, and microSDHC support are all there, cementing them as standard features for new BlackBerrys. The 8320 will be filling out Orange’s Wi-Fi BlackBerry lineup next to the previously-released BlackBerry 8820, which has been on shelves since August. No word on price yet… Any Spanish-speakers able to dig one out of the site?
RIM just announced some pretty interesting new PC software called BlackBerry Unite! which will be available for free starting November. BlackBerry Unite! will allow small groups of up to 5 BlackBerry users to share contact lists, calendars, remotely access media on your PC, media sharing, and remote security options (such as password setting, memory wiping, back-up, and enforcing IT policies). Sounds great, right? The downside is this is only coming out on Telefonica in Spain for now. We can only hope that we’ll be seeing this kind of bundled functionality on this side of the pond soon – for smaller operations which don’t need (or can’t afford) a full-blown 3rd. party software package, integrated functions like this would make BlackBerry the clear device of choice. Not that it isn’t already.
There might be rumors of seeing the new Wi-Fi enabled BlackBerry 8820 on North American shores in another week or so, but the European release has been officially confirmed on Orange, and will be out in Spain by mid-August. The new device will be packing both data transfer and GAN voice handoff when in Wi-Fi range. Outside of that, it’s looking more or less just like an 8800, complete with GPS, with the added bonus of being RIM’s slimmest device to date, as well as supporting high-capacity microSD cards. Spain’s been a bit of a hotbed lately, what with their Pearl 2 launch announcement yesterday.
BG’s Spanish connection at MiBlackBerry is suggesting a September release on Vodafone for the new BlackBerry Pearl. It looks like it’s just on the Spanish site, but hints at a widescale release. AT&T is slated for the same timeframe, with other carriers undoubtedly nipping at it’s heels. If you’re looking to Verizon, their leaked release roadmap doesn’t seem to have a BlackBerry in sight until at least October, unless of course the “Coupe” is referring to a rumored BlackBerry 8300 variant coming down the pipes.
In any case, Vodafone’s release in time with AT&T signals quick European spread of the new toy. Irked that we aren’t getting the same treatment this side of the pond? Check out our Weekly Contest, “Why Europe First?” and share your beef.