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Vodafone UK takes a shine to RIM's Pearl

Carrier starts pre-order round

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Vodafone has quietly begun offering Research in Motion's BlackBerry Pearl email phone to new customers. The carrier is currently taking pre-orders for the handset on its UK website.

Pearl is RIM's first device to offer media playback features and to focus more on consumers than executives. It's got a 1.3 megapixel camera, quad-band GSM/GPRS reception, Bluetooth and the company's push email offering. The QWERTY keyboard uses RIM's SureType prediction system, and there's a trackball control in place of the usual BlackBerry jogwheel.

vodafone blackberry pearl 8100

Vodafone's version of the BlackBerry 8100 - as Pearl is officially called - will cost anywhere from nothing at all to £250 inc. VAT, depending on which airtime package buyers choose and the length of their contract period. The carrier didn't say when it expects the Pearl to ship. ®

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