ATandT, T-Mobile Get Competitive with BlackBerry Smartphones
AT&T introduced the BlackBerry Curve 8520, while T-Mobile launched the BlackBerry Bold 9700. Nearly identical at a glance, the smartphones differ in price, as well as features such as GPS, WiFi calling and camera resolution.AT&T and T-Mobile have both announced new, and very similar looking, BlackBerry smartphones, scheduled to arrive in the next few weeks. The AT&T BlackBerry Curve 8520 will be available at an after-rebate price of $100, and with a 2-megapixel camera with video recording on its feature list. The T-Mobile BlackBerry Bold 9700 will be priced at $200, and will count WiFi calling, built-in GPS and a 3.2-megapixel camera with video among its features.
(AT&T will also offer a Bold 9700, though without the WiFi calling feature. T-Mobile's 9700 is the first BlackBerry smartphone to include support for both 3G connectivity and voice calls over WiFi.)
T-Mobile's Bold also comes with 256MB of memory, but features a crisper screen resolution of 480 by 360 pixels, compared to the Curve's 320 by 240. Users can also switch between WiFi calling and T-Mobile's 3G network while they talk. "The BlackBerry Curve 8520 offers the best value by combining the essential features of a BlackBerry smartphone with access to AT&T's network, which includes best coverage worldwide, as well as the nation's largest WiFi network," AT&T's Michael Woodward said in a statement. The statement began with a somewhat insistent reminder that AT&T is "the choice for twice as many smartphone customers than any other carrier and the first U.S. carrier to offer BlackBerry services." The tone seemed to nod at AT&T's need to bolster its image - or at least clarify its services - as it pursues a legal suit against competitor Verizon. The suit began with AT&T's objection to several Verizon advertisements, which AT&T believes may confuse customers about its coverage offerings and areas. EDITOR'S NOTE: The text has been changed to include information on AT&T's Bold 9700.