Amidst all the Apple iPhone hoopla, I’ve been remiss to mention that Tmobile has made its most popular phone, the BlackBerry Pearl, available in a second color — white. That most users of the popular handset use it for personal email rather than corporate email, probably had a lot to do with color addition. While the Pearl is one of the sleekest smartphones on the market, with all of the features of other BlackBerrry handsets, the choice of using one is as much a part of style and fashion for individuals as it is about function.
T-Mobile has this to report about it’s BlackBerry Pearl users:
- Nearly 3 out of 4 T-Mobile customers who upgraded to a BlackBerry Pearl traded up from a regular phone, rather than another converged device.
- The majority of T-Mobile customers using the BlackBerry Pearl are using it for personal e-mail rather than staying connected to corporate servers.
- Approximately 80% of all T-Mobile Blackberry Pearl customers to date have signed up for BlackBerry Internet Service only, to take advantage of personal e-mail accounts like gmail, Yahoo! mail, etc. (rather than Blackberry Enterprise Service for corporate e-mail).
- 96% of T-Mobile Pearl customers send personal e-mail from their device weekly.
According to BetaNews, “The company added 875,000 new accounts in the quarter ending December 2, 2006, about 50,000 more than financial analysts had been expected. Cited as a driver for the strong growth was the success of the Pearl itself.”
The phone’s features include, push e-mail, Bluetooth, a 1.3-megapixel camera, music and video playback, and expandable media via microSD. The BlackBerry Pearl White is priced at $149 with a two-year contract, and Internet and e-mail plans start at $19.99 per month for unlimited e-mail and Web browsing.
With this smartphone’s success in the consumer market, it would seem that Apple has an opportunity to build up a user base pretty quickly. But you have to wonder if the San Francisco-based company will be able to penetrate the mobile retail market with a device that has a hefty price tag (Senior Analyst Gene Munster of PiperJaffray forecasts that the price will be closer to the $399 mark) and will only be available from one carrier.