RIM has produced a new Blackberry, the 8700c, which combines its push e-mail with an integrated Intel processor and fast wireless networks.
It is the first BlackBerry to work on Cingular's EDGE network - an upgrade to GSM/GPRS. EDGE networks are common in the US as a stepping stone to UMTS networks. They allow carriers to offer an upgrade to GPRS data services, but at a lower cost than rolling out UMTS networks.
The new phone supports quad-band GSM/GPRS networks, allowing worldwide coverage - something that is especially important since the BlackBerry devices are popular with traveling businessmen. Its software allows corporate and personal e-mail to be wirelessly delivered to the devices, and an integrated QWERTY keyboard allows users to reply to those messages on the go.
The 8700c has 64MB of Flash memory, 16MB of SRAM and Intel's long-awaited Hermon processor, formally known as the PXA901 processor.
Intel has been trying to develop a chip that combines an applications processor for mobile phones with the communications technology for connecting to wireless networks. Its first attempt at this market was panned by the mobile phone community, but mmO2 committed to a revamped version of that first product earlier this year. RIM is the first major device manufacturer to adopt Hermon.
The 8700c can be found in Cingular stores from the end of the month. It will cost $299 with a two-year contract.