updated 08:20 am EDT, Wed April 25, 2007
(Updated for Sprint info) Research in Motion today unveiled the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition, the company's first true hybrid smartphone. The device will officially go on sale for CDMA-based cell networks from Sprint and Verizon, and has full support for EVDO mobile Internet as well as serving as a dial-up modem; a GSM radio and a SIM card, however, let the new BlackBerry roam in Europe and other areas where Verizon's coverage isn't an option. The switchover is seamless and also allows for basic GPRS Internet access, RIM says.
The 8830 keeps many of the same features as the GSM-only 8800, including the distinctive trackball controller, support for GPS, and media playback with a microSD card slot. Its battery life is rated at 3.6 hours of active talk time and 9 days on standby.
Verizon should begin carrying the phone in earnest for online and other direct sources on May 14th, with retail stores receiving the phone two weeks later on May 28th. The handset will cost $300 with a two-year contract and takes advantage of its BlackBerry-specific features with a $65 monthly unlimited e-mail plan.
Sprint customers will be able to pre-order the 8830 beginning tomorrow with an expected release in July, with pricing unknown but likely close to the Verizon offering.