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Vodacom and RIM launch the GPS-enabled BlackBerry Pearl 8110 Smartphone in South Africa


South Africa and Waterloo, ON - Vodacom and Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today introduced the new BlackBerry® Pearl™ 8110 smartphone in South Africa.

Presented in a striking black finish, the sleek, small and elegant BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone integrates GPS (Global Positioning System) along with powerful communications and multimedia capabilities. It is one of the smallest and lightest smartphones available, and is designed for people who want to make the most of their work and personal lives.

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone’s built-in GPS with Vodafone SatNav, powered by Telmap SatNav technology, enables users to find an address and track their location simply and easily as the route is displayed on a 3D map, together with audible step-by-step directions.

“We are pleased to bring the BlackBerry Pearl 8110 to Vodacom customers in South Africa. By providing users with easy, mobile access to communications, multimedia, navigation and personal productivity applications, the BlackBerry Pearl 8110 is an extraordinary lifestyle tool.” says Charmaine Eggberry, vice president and managing director, EMEA at RIM.

Dot Field, Chief Communications Officer at Vodacom Group: “The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 offers our subscribers an ideal blend of personal and business features in a compact design. We are pleased to offer this feature-packed, but affordable smartphone to South African customers who want a solution that will help them maximise the use of their time.”

Easy To Use

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone provides an exceptional user experience through its intuitive trackball and visual interface, along with the popular SureType® keyboard system, which allows a narrower handset design while maintaining easy phone dialling and message typing. SureType now offers word completion, easier editing of misspelled words and a built-in spell checker. The smartphone also features Afrikaans as a language setting.

Multimedia To Go

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone features a 2 megapixel camera with 5X digital zoom and enhanced flash. The camera also supports video capture in two resolutions (240x180 or 176x144) for sharing via email or MMS.

The media player allows users to create and edit playlists right on the handset. Alternatively, users can manage their media files from their PC with the Roxio® Media Manager for BlackBerry®, which is included with the BlackBerry® Desktop Manager software. The Roxio software is based on the award-winning Roxio Easy Media Creator® 9, making it easy for users to search for media files on their computer, view and organise them, create MP3 music files from CDs, create playlists, add audio tags and album art, and convert files for optimal playback.

Roxio Photosuite® 9 LE is also included - this comprehensive tool makes it easy to create photo albums and edit pictures. Pictures can also be cropped, rotated and straightened, redeye can be removed, and brightness, contrast and saturation levels can all be changed.

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone supports the Bluetooth® stereo audio profile (A2DP/AVRCP), and comes with a standard 3.5 mm stereo headset jack so that users can plug in their preferred headphones or speakers. The handset also provides the convenience of an externally accessible microSD/SDHC memory card slot for additional storage of music, videos and pictures. The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 from Vodacom includes a 1 GB microSD card.

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone also supports high-speed USB for transferring files between the handset and a PC at data throughput rates of up to 10MB/sec.

Advanced Phone Features

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone offers many convenient phone features including Speaker Independent Voice Recognition (SIVR) for Voice Activated Dialling (VAD), Bluetooth 2.0 with support for headsets, car kits and Bluetooth peripherals, dedicated ’send’, ’end’, and ’mute’ keys, smart dialling, speed dialling, conference calling, call forwarding, a low-distortion speakerphone for hands-free conversations and support for polyphonic, mp3 and MIDI ring tones.

The smartphone also includes features that improve phone audio quality including enhanced background noise, wind and echo cancellation for better performance in loud environments such as airports, restaurants or busy downtown streets. An ’enhance call audio’ feature allows the user to boost the phone audio’s bass or treble while on a call.

Broad Email Support

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone can be used with BlackBerry® Internet Service, giving users access to up to 10 supported work or personal email accounts (including most popular ISP email accounts), as well as BlackBerry® Enterprise Server, which enables push-based wireless access to email and other applications along with advanced security and IT administration within IBM® Lotus® Domino®, Microsoft® Exchange and Novell® GroupWise® environments.

Vodacom customers can enjoy unlimited email, web browsing, and navigation for as little as R69 (including VAT) per month when using BlackBerry® Internet Service along with an existing Airtime Contract; or for R139 (including VAT) per month along with an existing Airtime Contract when using BlackBerry® Enterprise Server.

Pricing and Availability

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone is available from Vodacom outlets beginning February 2008 on selected Vodacom contracts.


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