Both Verizon, Sprint To Offer Customers New, Global BlackBerry

Wireless carriers Verizon Wireless and Sprint are both offering the new Research In Motion's BlackBerry 8830 CDMA/GSM phone to their customers, with Verizon Wireless the first to have the global edition of the ubiquitous business tool in its stores on May 14.

The BlackBerry 8830 is the fourth addition to its CDMA/GSM product line offering, which spokeswoman Brenda Raney tells Marketing Daily is a product line supported by customer demand, and will be marketed directly to the company's enterprise customers.

"This is a product that fits into the enterprise offering. Much of the marketing is built-in because customers want this device," Raney says. "We have a national sales team that will be calling on the customers. In addition, it will be advertised in standard business publications and on our Web site and in our stores."

Raney declined to disclose what percentage of Verizon Wireless customers are enterprise customers.

Verizon Wireless will offer the smartphone for $299.99 after a $100 rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. An additional $100 credit toward the purchase of the device is available for customers who sign up for qualifying voice and data plans at the time of purchase.



While Sprint customers won't be able to purchase the BlackBerry 8830 until July, beginning today customers can register at to be among the first to purchase the unit from Sprint.

However, when the smartphone does become available to Sprint customers, they will have a distinct advantage over Verizon Wireless customers: their phones will be unlocked, enabling them to purchase local--and often, less expensive--voice service when traveling overseas, rather than having to pay their home service provider's rates when overseas.

Sprint has not yet announced specifics on its advertising and marketing plans for the BlackBerry 8830, but media relations representative Amy Schiska-Lombard tells Marketing Daily it intends to target the smartphone to both enterprise and consumer customers.

Research In Motion had no further comment on overall marketing plans for the device, saying that the company does not discuss its marketing plans, but typically relies on the carriers to handle the marketing for its products.

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