updated 10:20 am EDT, Fri March 21, 2008
BB Curve 8330 for Sprint
RIM is prepping an upgrade to the BlackBerry Curve tailored for at least two CDMA networks, according to separate discussions at Pinstack. The previously GSM-only Curve will reportedly switch to the networks of Sprint and Telus and will follow the same upgrade pattern set out by the Pearl 8130, which added native GPS to the original design. However, the new version may also receive a storage upgrade along with its network change, boosting the phone to 80MB and improving its ability to store third-party apps without resorting to a microSD card.
Besides its mapping features, the Curve will also bring a 2-megapixel camera; on Sprint, the phone will also have a minor cosmetic change to introduce black navigation buttons. The phone is expected to stand in as the first home-oriented BlackBerry ever on both Sprint and Telus to offer a QWERTY keyboard and will have a price that splits the difference between the Pearl and the business-focused 8830; while Sprint pricing is unavailable, Telus hopes to sell the phone for as little as $200 with a three-year plan or $480 without a contract.
An announcement is expected soon and may happen as early as the CTIA phone expo in early April.