RIM looking to expand, planning device for consumers

BlackBerry creator Research In Motion (RIM) is pushing into a wider consumer market with the Pearl, its first phone with a camera and music player, a Reuters report said.


The report said RIM planned to launch the device with T-Mobile USA, the No. 4 US wireless operator, on Sept. 12 and expected a number of other carriers to start selling the product this month and in October, according to RIM co-chief executive Jim Balsillie.


"It's going to be a main product for us in all our markets," Balsillie said in an interview, adding that the majority of RIM's more than 170 operator customers were very interested in selling the Pearl.


The phone had been widely anticipated and investors, viewing the expansion beyond a predominantly business customer base as a potential boost for RIM's revenue growth, had pushed RIM's share price up 23% in the last month.


According to IDC, Blackberry leads the US market for smart phones, which have computer features such as email, but rivals such as the Treo from Palm and the Q from Motorola already sport cameras and media players.


The Reuters report said that as service providers around the world pegged hopes for future growth on services such as music and video downloads, RIM was hoping to jump on the bandwagon with a device that had a 1.3-megapixel camera, a video and music player and a slot to add extra storage space, as well as its popular email feature.