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Sprint customers seeking the benefits of industry-leading push-to-talk services and the power of BlackBerry smartphones ... CTIA Wireless IT & Ent. 2008 forum

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    hayden's Avatar
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    CTIA: RIM & Sprint today announced plans to deliver BlackBerry Curve 8350i

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    Sprint customers seeking the benefits of industry-leading push-to-talk services and the power of BlackBerry smartphones will have a new version of the coveted combo available later this year. Sprint and Research In Motion (RIM) today announced plans to deliver the BlackBerry Curve 8350i - the newest Nextel Direct Connect-capable BlackBerry smartphone - by the end of 2008.

    The BlackBerry Curve 8350i will be the latest BlackBerry smartphone to utilize iDEN technology and feature Nextel Direct Connect, the only national push-to-talk service in the industry to offer sub-second call setup and connection to the world's largest push-to-talk community with millions of users and integrated business solutions, including one of the largest selections of GPS-enabled solutions. With Nationwide and International Direct Connect, Sprint customers will be able to instantly connect within the US and to users in other eligible countries including Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru. The BlackBerry Curve 8350i will also be the first BlackBerry smartphone from Sprint to offer Group Connect, allowing customers to instantly set up group conversations with up to 20 other participants.

    "Smart phones in general, and BlackBerry products in particular, have become more important to both business people and consumers lately," said David Chamberlain, Principal Analyst with analyst firm In-Stat. "The BlackBerry Curve 8350i with PTT capability rounds out Sprint's options to fill communications needs of many industries particularly those in the blue-collar segment of construction, field services, transportation and manufacturing."

    "Sprint is the undisputed leader in push-to-talk services, and with the launch of the new BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone, we are keeping our promise of expanding the Nextel Direct Connect capabilities and options for our customers," said Danny Bowman, president of Nextel Direct Connect. "The BlackBerry Curve 8350i will be very attractive for business customers who need instant, convenient push-to-talk services to communicate now with employees, customers and suppliers but also want the capabilities of a high-end smartphone."

    In addition to delivering the unmatched push email and messaging capabilities of the BlackBerry solution, the BlackBerry Curve 8350i will provide rich multimedia, organizer and Internet browsing capabilities, as well as access to thousands of other mobile applications. The smartphone will also include built-in Wi-Fi(R) capabilities, allowing customers to browse the Internet and download email attachments quickly and easily. When connected to a Wi-Fi network, customers will also be able to send and receive emails or surf the Internet while talking on the phone.

    Other key features include:
    - Integrated GPS - Built-in capabilities for assisted autonomous GPS capabilities

    - 2 Megapixel Digital Camera - with 5x digital zoom, flash and video recording

    - DataViz Documents to Go - preloaded software makes it easy to edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents directly on the smartphone

    - Internal Antenna - improves design appeal and durability

    - Speakerphone - optimized for exceptional sound quality with Direct Connect

    - Advanced Media Player - great for listening to music, watching videos and showing pictures

    - Removable/Rechargeable 1400 mAH Battery - provides exceptional battery life

    - Expandable Memory - microSD memory card slot allows plenty of storage for pictures, videos, music and documents

    - Bluetooth - version 2.0 with support for (A2DP) stereo Bluetooth and more

    - Additional Messaging Capabilities - support for instant messaging and multimedia messaging including audio, pictures and text to email addresses and capable phones

    "The BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone will offer customers an exceptional communications and multimedia experience together with the power and convenience of the popular Nextel Direct Connect service," said Mark Guibert, vice president of corporate marketing at RIM. "We are pleased to build on our successful relationship with Sprint to bring this powerful new smartphone to Sprint's customers."

    Customers can find more information on the BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone and sign up to be notified of commercial availability from Sprint at www.sprint.com/instantconnectbb. Pricing, service plan details and an exact availability date will be announced at a later date.

    Nationally, the Nextel National Network continues to operate at best-ever performance levels based on internal metrics. Internal performance metrics show double-digit percent improvement year-over-year (i.e., March 2007 to March 2008) for drops (i.e., where a customer's voice connection fails or drops during a call) and blocks (i.e., where a customer is unable to make a voice connection) for the Nextel National Network. Customer issues related to dropped and blocked calls, and voice quality combined, have decreased more than 60 percent year-over-year (i.e., March 2007 to March 2008). This level of improvement translates to a more reliable calling experience for our customers. Customer calls on the Nextel National Network are successfully connected and maintained better than 99 out of 100 times.

    For more information about Nextel Direct connect, please visit www.sprint.com/nextel.

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    MWPatterson's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info.

    Big question will it use Sprint's CDMA network for data and voice?

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    j llama's Avatar
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    The press release says iDEN, no mention of CDMA...

    The BlackBerry Curve 8350i will be the latest BlackBerry smartphone to utilize iDEN technology and feature Nextel Direct Connect, the only national push-to-talk service in the industry to offer sub-second call setup and connection to the world's largest push-to-talk community with millions of users and integrated business solutions, including one of the largest selections of GPS-enabled solutions.
    BlackBerry® Certified Support Specialist

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    Yeah I think it's only iDEN, but wifi kinda makes up for it. Time to replace some 7520's and 7100i's finally.

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~

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    HeavyComponent's Avatar
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    Loving the color.
    T-Mobile HTC Touch Pro2 & I'm not coming back! :D

    --HeavyC.

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    I really really really can't fathom why RIM made the 8350 the Nextel curve- that iDEN service is practically a an exctinction waiting to happen- better off saving the whales !

    Many moons ago- I used to tote the 7520 and thank the good Lord, I evolved into a Pearl- if that hadn't happened I would probably be totally exuberant


    Now-

    At the risk of sounding elitist, condescending, and down right like a mean SOB- the only people that I personally know in NYC that still use this dying thing known as Nextel/Boost mobile are drug dealers and construction workers and even they are being seduced by Verizon's new push-to-talk service (as the cool commercials indicate)

    What they should have done with all that time spent on the 8350i is focus on the Thunder and the Bold and we would have all been a little happier right now.

    My two cents
    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~

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    There is still a decent market for iDEN devices. Granted, it the market isn't as good as it used to be however. I am glad RIM decided to upgrade there old Nextel BlackBerrys. At least iDEN users can rock out a trackball now as well.

    As of 9/5/08
    Sprint Not Giving Up On iDEN Network
    http://www.brighthand.com/default.asp?newsID=14353

    "After Sprint merged with Nextel--the largest US iDEN provider--in 2005, mounting subscriber losses and problems on the Nextel side of the company began to drag down the stock value. By February of 2008, Sprint Nextel had lost more than $30 billion in market cap, greater than the original worth of Nextel, leading to widespread speculation that Sprint would try sell off the iDEN system as part of a plan to salvage the company and return to core businesses."
    BlackBerry® Certified Support Specialist

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    I think they are making a big mistake if this curve is IDen only. The most logical is CDMA/IDen. They have done it with many of their phones why not this one. I currently have a Sprint Curve 8330 but I would get this curve in a heartbeat if it were CDMA/IDen. I have many co-workers who still use IDen PTT and it really is awesome and I would love to have it back. But I have also been spoiled with recently getting REVa in our area and won't go back to IDEn only. Data blows on IDen that is part of the reason I left/switched to Sprint.

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