While the fall CTIA show has never been known for big handset announcements, 2008 brought a number of debuts, including a handful of smartphones. Check out our photo gallery of the new models.
While much of the attention has turned to the rumored BlackBerry Thunder as of late, the RIM BlackBerryPearl Flip 8220 shouldn't be forgotten, as it's the first BlackBerry to sport a clamshell design. The flip phone comes in red or black and features BlackBerry OS 4.6, Wi-Fi, and a SureType keyboard. The Pearl Flip 8220 will be released later this fall and T-Mobile has been confirmed as the first U.S. carrier.
Along with a number of other handset announcements, Sprint and Research In Motion introduced the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8350i. This should be particularly sweet news for Nextel Direct Connect users, who haven't seen a new BlackBerry model since the RIM BlackBerry 7100i, which was introduced back in 2006. Aside from the push-to-talk capabilities, the Curve 8350i also features BlackBerry OS 4.6, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.
While news of the HTC Touch Diamond for Sprint leaked out before CTIA Fall 2008 officially started, it's still worthy of a mention. Unlike the unlocked GSM version, it sports a burgundy backplate and works with Sprint's various services, such as Sprint TV. The Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone will be available for preorder on September 14 and will cost $249.99 with a two-year contract and after rebates.
In addition to the HTC Touch Diamond, Sprint also revealed that it will offer the business-centric HTC Touch Pro. Touch Pro is similar to the HTC Touch Diamond for Sprint but has a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard, expandable memory, and a camera flash. The Touch Pro will be available starting October 19, for $299.99 with a two-year contract and after rebates and discounts.
We first learned about this newcomer at CTIA Spring 2008, and now at CTIA Fall 2008, Velocity Mobile announced that it would start shipping its first smartphone, the Velocity 103, starting in October. The Windows Mobile 6.1 device offers an interesting touch interface and also allows for over-the-air updates. The Velocity 103 will be sold as an unlocked GSM phone.
On the opening day of CTIA Fall 2008, Sony Ericsson released an official launch date for the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1, but only for certain markets. The United Kingdom, Germany, and Sweden will be the first to get their hands on the Xperia X1 come September 30, while the rest of us admire from afar and continue to wait it out. The only reference to a North American launch is that dates will be announced by local markets in the "coming months."