Light Reading

RIM's 'Stealth' to Uncloak?

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
8/21/2006
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BlackBerry could be gearing up to unveil its hotly anticipated "prosumer" smartphone early in September, according to analysts.

The Canadian company sent out a note this morning inviting journalists to an "exclusive BlackBerry press event" in London on September 6 with a number of RIM's big cheeses. The firm promises "an exciting development with BlackBerry."

Analysts suspect that the company could launch the 8100 -- codenamed 'Stealth' -- next month with carrier partner T-Mobile International AG . "I'm hoping RIM uses the 'Pearl' name rather than the less interesting '8100' when this device is launched in September with T-Mobile," says Gartner Inc. analyst Todd Kort.

"The buzz created by this device is most responsible for the run-up in RIM’s stock price over the last three weeks. Everything I’m hearing about the Pearl has been positive and this bodes well for RIM’s entry into the prosumer market."

"It will be the upgrade to the smaller, 7100 sized device," agrees Jack Gold at J.Gold Associates. "More consumer oriented features -- [such as a] music player -- and a sexier form factor."

Financial and industry analysts have been talking up the 8100 for a while now. Earlier this month, Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. noted that around a quarter of the company's 5.6 million users fell into the high-end professional consumer (prosumer) category. (See RIM Dominance Slips, Slightly.)

RIM hasn't yet replied to calls for comment.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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