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Enterprise customers to get T-Mobile BlackBerry Curve 8900 January 19th?

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Although T-Mobile stated in their press announcement that the general populace can purchase the BlackBerry Curve 8900 in February (with the blogosphere split between February 11th and the 18th as the launch date), it appears as though enterprise customers will get an early jump on the device.

The image on the left indicates that employees of companies with a T-Mobile corporate account can get the BlackBerry Curve 8900 on January 19th. This is similar to what Rogers did with their BlackBerry Curve 8900 launch, but on a time line of weeks, not days. If you’re not a corporate customer, post a comment and let us know if the Curve 8900 is worth the wait.

|via BerryReporter|

Breaking down the Obama BlackBerry (ObamaBerry?)

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Now that President-Elect Barack Obama has declared that he will fight to keep his BlackBerry, the question of how exactly the U.S. government is going to make that happen. Starting from the premise that the Commander in Chief could not simply use an off-the-shelf consumer model, CrunchGear has composed a list of must-have features for a custom-made Obama BlackBerry (henceforth known as the ObamaBerry).

While most of what CrunchGear recommends is both insightful and cool — my favorite recommendations include voice recognition and remote detonation capability — the ObamaBerry collapses under its own expectations of security and performance. By creating a device that performs all the functions a President’s BlackBerry should (although does any President really need military grade GPS and the ability to start nuclear war from their BlackBerry?), CrunchGear has has destroyed the one thing that Obama wants from his BlackBerry: to not be isolated from the American public like previous Presidents.

Regardless, pulling out the ObamaBerry would be a great icebreaker while on diplomatic missions (“Did you know this thing can shoot lasers? Yes it can!”)

UPDATE: Gizmodo is reporting that Obama may end up using a giant brick running Windows Mobile 6.1. Sigh.

|via CrunchGear|

Motorola to cut 50% of handset operation?

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If even a year ago you had told me that in early 2009 Palm would be resurgent and Motorola would inching ever closer to the deadpool, I would have slapped you like a young Cary Grant and sent you to the looney bin. Well, make room for me too, because it seems like the whole world has gone looney tunes.

Our friends at Phone Scoop are reporting that Motorola’s handset division is expecting a large round of layoffs as soon as this week. While Moto’s set top box, networking equipment and enterprise device businesses will not be affected, up to 50% of the entire handset operation may be gone. Phone Scoop is also reporting that Motorola will not have a booth at CTIA in Vegas this April, and is looking to launch only a dozen handsets per year, all based on Google’s Android OS.

Sad times for a company that used to define cellphone cool with the RAZR, and had a decent BlackBerry competitor in the Moto Q. Here’s hoping that putting all their eggs in the Android basket will save the company.

|via PhoneScoop|

Obama fighting to keep his BlackBerry

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We haven’t really posted about this before, mostly because we never thought he’d actually be able to keep it, but it’s time to talk about Barack Obama and his BlackBerry. In response to questions of whether or not he’ll follow the lead of previous administrations and limit access to documented communications, Obama vowed to fight to keep his BlackBerry.

“They’re going to pry it out of my hands,” he told CBNC about his BlackBerry, a cellphone made by Research In Motion Ltd that handles e-mail and has become an essential accessory for on-the-go movers and shakers.

Beyond being pretty damn cool (Barack, hit me on BBM), this decision will have serious ramifications on the Obama administration. By choosing to have access to and communicate via email, all of Obama’s BlackBerry secrets must be recorded and archived for posterity. I for one cannot wait to read those emails.

|via Reuters|

T-Mobile officially announces the BlackBerry Curve 8900, coming in February

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This morning, T-Mobile and RIM put official word to what BlackBerry Cool readers have known for awhile. The T-Mobile BlackBerry Curve 8900 will launch this February, at an undetermined date (although we have two good ideas for you). While there’s no word on pricing yet, we do know that T-Mobile is including a 256MB MicroSD card in the Curve 8900, which is so small as to be practically useless. You can find a link to the BlackBerry Curve 8900′s specs (PDF) and RIM’s Curve 8900 page below, as well as the full press release after the jump.

BlackBerry Curve 8900 device specs
RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 page

BlackBerry Curve 8900 Press Release

Verizon/Alltel deal to close on January 9th

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Verizon WirelessVerizon and AT&T have been neck and neck for the right to call themselves America’s largest carrier, but on January 9th there will be one clear leader. Verizon has announced that their purchase of Alltel, the fifth largest telecom in the United States, will close on January 9th. The merger will bring Verizon’s total share of the market to a whopping 85.2 million wireless subscribers.

The deal includes paying $5.9 billion for Alltel’s privately held equity, as well as assuming $22.2 billion in debt. To finance this massive purchase Verizon Wireless has received commitments from eight financial institutions to provide $17 billion of cold, hard liquidity. It looks like the Verizon ‘can you hear me now’ guy will be working overtime to check up on all his new customers.

|via IntoMobile|