RIM has announced a credit crunch-friendly BlackBerry Curve smartphone that should cost around £25 per month on contract.
Available in black, silver or purple, the BlackBerry Curve 8520 offers email, Wi-Fi, web browsing, instant messaging and multimedia messaging. It has a 2Mp camera with zoom and direct access to MySpace, Facebook and other social networking sites for sharing and browsing photos and video clips.
A full Qwerty keyboard plus dedicated buttons to access multimedia playback options are part of the setup. The device will accept SDHC media cards up to 16GB capacity and RIM expects 32GB cards to work with it when they become available. A 2GB card is supplied with the handset.
In line with most other BlackBerry smartphones, the Curve 8520 will work with the BlackBerry App World store so handset owners can customise their device. The Curve 8520's preinstalled BlackBerry MediaSync feature works with both Apple iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries.
"More and more cell phone users are choosing to upgrade to a smartphone and the new BlackBerry Curve 8520 will undoubtedly convince many more people in the UK to make the switch.
The 8520 "delivers all the great messaging, social networking and multimedia features that customers have come to love about BlackBerry smartphones," said Carlo Chiarello, vice-president of product management at Research In Motion.
The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone will go onsale in the UK from August and is expected to be available for free on a £25-a-month contract.