It’s a phone, it’s a PDA, no wait, it’s also a high-speed modem.
The latest BlackBerry handset released this week is all of the above,
thanks to an agreement between Research In Motion (RIM)
. RIM’s BlackBerry 7130e is the company’s
first handset to use Verizon’s BroadBand Access service, which is based on the carrier’s
Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) network.
The 7130e can also be used as a high-speed modem to connect the device to
a notebook computer and tap into the BroadBand Access service. Verizon says
it offers average connection speeds of 400 to 700 kbps, with coverage of some 140
million Americans in 171 metropolitan areas.
In addition to advanced phone functionality, the 7130e has the same
features as the popular BlackBerry handheld, including support for
“push-based” wireless e-mail, Web browsing, text messaging, personal
organizer and other corporate data applications.
“BroadbandAccess Connect on the new BlackBerry 7130e introduces another
option for customers who view office mobility and speed as a competitive
advantage in their business,” Bill Stone, vice-president of marketing for
Verizon Wireless, said in a statement.
The 7130e handset features a bright, high-resolution LCD screen that RIM says
has been optimized for indoor and outdoor viewing, Bluetooth support,
64MB of flash memory, and dedicated “send” and “end” phone keys. Also
included is RIM’s SureType keyboard technology, which effectively combines a
phone keypad and a QWERTY
a traditional wireless phone form factor.
Meanwhile, users of BlackBerry competitor Palm’s Treo device now also
have access to push e-mail services. Everyone.net announced EmailTreo this
week. EmailTreo is a service that gives Treo users instant access to their e-mail and lets them remain continuously synchronized with their Web mail and Outlook e-mail
San Jose, Calif.-based Everyone.net is a hosted e-mail services provider
with more than a million paid mailboxes. Designed for individuals and small
businesses, Everyone.net says an EmailTreo account can be set up in as
little as a minute’s time, without software plug-ins.
An EmailTreo account is configured directly from the Treo handset and is
provided free for six months, and for $1.75 per month thereafter.
“Real-time e-mail on the Treo is no longer limited to companies with IT
staffs or extensive budgets,” said Josh Mailman vice president of marketing
at Everyone.net, in a statement.
“With an EmailTreo account, users get an extremely powerful push e-mail
solution at a monthly cost that’s less than a cup of coffee,” Mailman said. “Users will
always be up to date with their messages because e-mails will appear on their
Treo devices the same way they do on their desktop: instantly and
Along with competitive pressures, RIM is fighting off patent infringement
claims by NTP that could effectively force it to curtail its
wireless e-mail service in the United States, which is by far the Canadian
company’s biggest market.
But London-based Visiongain said in a report last month that the
BlackBerry handheld “remains the device to beat,” despite its current legal
“Beginning with a prescient logic that defined an enterprise need before
it materialized, RIM has successfully and consistently adapted both hardware
and software ahead of market-shaping forces,” said Visiongain report
author Pam Duffey in a statement. “We think there are new uses for
BlackBerry in customized — and converged — applications.”
Visiongain says that after several years of false hope, wireless email
is finally set for more significant market traction, and its potential
remains largely untapped, bringing new RIM competitors to the fore.