RIM officially announces the 8800

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It’s official, everybody. The press release has been rolled out. In a statement that will unfortunately contradict everything I said in a recent interview with TheStreet.com, RIM let the world know about the BlackBerry 8800 at the 3GSM Conference in Barcelona.

The BlackBerry 8800 smartphone offers another winning combination of superior hardware, software and service embodied by an extremely elegant industrial design,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “We spent a tremendous amount of effort refining the BlackBerry 8800, inside and out, and that effort will be evident to customers. From the premium finish to the vivid screen to the exceptional sound quality and the unmatched usability, the BlackBerry 8800 is a standout choice for mobile professionals.”

Through its built-in GPS, the BlackBerry 8800 can pinpoint its location and provide “out-of-the-box” support for a wide variety of location based applications and services, including BlackBerry Maps. BlackBerry Maps provides driving directions — with the ability to track the route via GPS — and integrates with other BlackBerry applications, so users can generate a map from an address in their BlackBerry Address Book and send maps via email from their BlackBerry 8800.

The official release notes that a bunch of carriers will be handing out the device in February, but no official date is there. I think we’re still looking at a Feb. 20 roll-out, but I’m sure more’ll come to the surface in the morning.

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