New BlackBerry gets Wi-Fi
RIM, manufacturer of the ubiquitous BlackBerry smartphone has announced that the new model will finally be equipped with Wi-Fi.
The dual-mode BlackBerry 8820, as the device is known, will be launched by AT&T in the US later this summer, the company said. No details have yet been released on when it will hit the UK, however.
“The BlackBerry 8820 complements our carrier partners’ cellular networks with the added ability to stay connected via Wi-Fi at home, through hotspots and corporate campuses,” RIM co-Chief Executive Mike Lazaridis said in a statement.
The new BlackBerry, like other recent RIM models, also comes with “latest media player enhancements,” the company said.
RIM is trying to broaden the market for its smartphones by loading them with consumer-aimed multimedia features like video and music players, and cameras.
Although the BlackBerry has become a staple of executives, politicians, lawyers and other professionals, it has yet to penetrate the retail market to the same extent.
The recent launch of Apple’s iPhone has prompted some analysts to worry about a competitive threat to RIM’s BlackBerry.
Despite this, RIM forecast a rosy outlook for its future last month, apparently unfazed by the iPhone launch. And Jim Balsillie, RIM’s other co-CEO, has repeatedly said the company isn’t worried about the iPhone denting its sales.