BlackBerry Hits Europe in Full Color

Faced with a potentially crippling judgement that could block the sale of BlackBerry devices in the U.S., Reasearch in Motion on Wednesday introduced a new tri-band device for enterprise users in Europe with support for international roaming on GSM/GPRS networks.

The Canada-based wireless device maker announced the new BlackBerry 7730 has been fitted with a large, bright color screen to deliver e-mail, phone, short-messaging system (SMS) and Web browsing capabilities to mobile professionals in Europe.

The launch of the new high-powered e-mail pager comes at a crucial time for RIM. Earlier this year, the company lost a patent infringement case filed by NTP and was ordered to pay $53 million in damages. The ruling also included an injunction barring RIM for selling Blackberry devices in the United States.

RIM has won a stay of the injunction and has pursued an appeal of the ruling.

The legal uncertainty has raised fears among analysts that RIM could lose traction in the enterprise market but the company’s latest push into Europe is seen as an attempt to cover all bases.

The launch of the Java-based BlackBerry 7730 will kick off in the U.K. as part of a partnership with British mobile communications services provider O2. RIM said the new device would be marketed heavily to enterprise customers looking for a large screen color pager capable of accessing corporate applications while on the move.

British Telecom is among the first big-name companies in the U.K. testing the new device. BT’s chief information officer Adam Olinver said the company is prepaying to deploy 2,500 BlackBerry devices to its mobile workforce.

The BlackBerry 7730 handheld also offers cradle-free wireless e-mail synchronization,
integrated e-mail attachment viewing, support for international roaming (on 900/1800/1900 MHz GSM/GPRS networks), a push-based wireless architecture and a wireless extension to existing e-mail accounts including Microsoft Exchange or IBM Lotus Domino accounts.

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