Sprint has launched the first push-to-talk BlackBerry in the form of the BlackBerry Curve 8350i, sporting iDEN technology on Nextel Direct Connect. Adding push to talk capability is especially appealing to some enterprise and small business customers who rely on the feature to utiize phones as two-way radios to coordinate teams around a job site and in time-critical operations.
"The BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone is the most recent example of our solid commitment to iDEN technology and our Nextel Direct Connect customers," said Nextel Direct president Danny Bowman, in a statement. "The BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone is designed for customers who require instant convenient push-to-talk services to communicate with friends and family as well as with employees, customers and suppliers."
The BlackBerry Curve 8350i sports a two megapixel digital camera, integrated GPS, built-in WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0, microSD expansion up to 16 GB, and (of course) BlackBerry’s software suite enabling push email, full HTML Web browsing, calendar and contact synchronization, and more. The phone also supports Group Connect, which enables users to set up group conversations with up to 20 people, and supports Talkgroup, which can connect up to 200 people at once within the same local market and in the same "fleet."
The 8350i is available from Sprint today via the Web and phone at prices starting at $149.99 with a two-year service contract (and after an $80 instant credit and a $100 mail-in rebate. It should land in Sprint stores January 11.