Orange adds to BlackBerry line-up

Orange adds to BlackBerry line-up

BlackBerry 8120 and 8320 are the latest additions to the Curve range

Orange has extended the line-up of BlackBerry devices on its network with the Pearl 8120 and Curve 8320 models, both featuring Wi-Fi and compatible with its Unique IP telephony service. Meanwhile, speculation is gathering that BlackBerry maker RIM is planning a rival for Apple’s iPhone.

Available from 10 December, the Pearl 8120 is RIM’s smallest BlackBerry and features a SureType keyboard using predictive text input, while the BlackBerry 8320 is available now and has a full qwerty keyboard, making it better suited for heavy email users. Both support BlackBerry push email, while adding a Wi-Fi interface for speedier web browsing.

“With these models, we believe we now have the best Blackberry range in the UK,” said Nick Horton, head of business devices for Orange. In addition to the new models, Orange has retained the older BlackBerry 8700 as a low-cost option for more widespread deployments in businesses.

The 8120 has the choice of Orange’s Signature home screen, making it a good upgrade for existing Orange phone customers wanting BlackBerry push email, Horton added. The 8320, meanwhile, will appeal to traditional users that want a camera. Both new devices also support Orange’s Unique service, whereby users with Orange broadband at home can make VoIP calls over Wi-Fi.

RIM has kept up a brisk pace of new models over the last year, but sources have suggested it is also planning a touch-screen device akin to Apple’s iPhone, said to be coming in early 2008. A RIM spokesperson said the company would not comment on unannounced products.