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BlackBerry Embarks On World 'Tour'

CRN Staff

According to BlackBerry, the 3G Tour is for CDMA networks in North America and UMTS/HSPA networks abroad. It's expected to hit the networks of Verizon Wireless and Sprint later summer.

"BlackBerry continues to be the top-selling smartphone brand in North America, and we are proud to add this powerful new 3G world phone to our successful product portfolio," RIM President and Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said in a statement. "With its striking design and exceptional performance, the new BlackBerry Tour will offer a compelling choice for the growing number of wireless customers looking to upgrade their existing cell phone to a smartphone."

The BlackBerry Tour takes design queues from two popular BlackBerry models, the Curve and the Bold. It is aimed at high-end BlackBerry users, featuring a black finish with chrome highlights in a sleek 112mm x 62mm x 14.2mm frame and weighing 130 grams. The Tour features a full QWERTY keyboard with chrome frets and sculpted keys and a 2.44 inch 480 x 360 resolution display.

BlackBerry said the Tour lets users stay connected anywhere they roam, supporting 3G EV-DO Rev A. networks in North America and the 3G UMTS/HSPA and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks abroad.

The latest BlackBerry smartphone also further blurs the lines between consumer and corporate devices, offering access to e-mail and messaging, like IM, SMS, MMS, along with social networking tools, built-in GPS and a host of multimedia capabilities.

Additional features include a 3.2-megapixel camera with flash, variable zoom, image stabilization, autofocus and video recording; a full HTML Web browser with support for streaming audio and video; an advanced media player for videos, pictures and music; and a 3.5mm stereo headset jack and Bluetooth Stereo Audio Profile support.

The BlackBerry Tour also packs in 256 MB of Flash memory and offers expandable memory via a hot-swappable microSD/SDHC memory card slot to support up to 16 GB now and 32 GB cards in the future. It houses a removable and rechargeable 1400 mAhr battery offering five hours of talk time and 14 days of standby time.

BlackBerry added that the built-in GPS in the Tour will support geotagging, BlackBerry Maps and other location-based applications and services, while BlackBerry Media Sync will let users sync music from iTunes and Windows Media Player with their smartphones.

Other features include voice-activated dialing, enhanced background noise cancellation, low-distortion speakerphone and Bluetooth 2.0 support; preloaded DataViz Documents to Go, which lets users view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on the handset; and mobile access to Facebook, MySpace and Flickr, along with instant messaging services like BlackBerry Messenger, Yahoo IM, AIM, Google Talk and Windows Live Messenger. Support for BlackBerry Internet Service also lets users access up to 10 supported personal or corporate e-mail accounts, including most popular consumer accounts.

The new BlackBerry Tour also supports BlackBerry's application store, BlackBerry App World, where users can download third-party mobile applications.

The Tour also integrates with BlackBerry Enterprise Server for security and IT administration features within IBM Lotus Domino, Microsoft Exchange and Novell GroupWise.

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