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RIM unveils Intel-based Blackberry

8700c to ship in three weeks' time

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Research In Motion will ship its Intel-based Blackberry 8700c in three weeks' time, the company said today.

The device, which utilises and updates the classic Blackberry hardware form-factor, sports a 320 x 240, 65,536-colour LCD, 16MB of SRAM and 64MB of Flash storage in addition to the XScale PXA901 processor supplied by Intel. It has a quad-band GSM radio for worldwide voice-calls.

The 8700c will initially be offered in the US on Cingular's EDGE-enabled GSM/GPRS network. However, the carrier's 'exclusive' will only last for a "period of months" RIM joint CEO Jim Balsillie told the Reuters newsagency today.

"You can expect to see other launches around the world in the not-too-distant future," he said.

Cingular confirmed that the device will cost punters $300 if they sign a two-year airtime contract and get a rebate from a bundled mail-in coupon. On top of that, buyers will pay $35-65 per month to RIM for access to its email-forwarding service. The price depends on the volume of data transferred each month.

RIM announced in September it had selected an Intel processor for its next device, though the announcement had been anticipated to take place in August at Intel's Developer Forum.

During Q3, RIM shipped almost as many mobile devices as Palm, a company with which it recently said it would offer its Blackberry Connect software for the Treo 650 and its successors. ®

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