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BlackBerry Pearl now in white

Price for RIM device, identical in features and function to the black original, drops from $199 to $150 with contract discounts. Photos: Pearl-colored BlackBerry

Research In Motion and T-Mobile USA released a white alternative to the BlackBerry Pearl on Sunday.

The pearl-colored BlackBerry is $350, or $150 with T-Mobile contract discounts, compared with its original September discount launch price of $199. The phone is also available through Cingular Wireless.

The white version of the BlackBerry comes with matching accessories such as a charger, headset and USB cable. Customers can also purchase a matching white handset, case, car charger and Bluetooth headset.

The phone, which operates over a GSM/GPRS/EDGE network, is identical in features and function to the . Like the piano black version, it offers a 1.3-megapixel camera, a multimedia player that reads MP3 and AAC music files and MPEG-4 video, a QWERTY-based SureType keyboard, and voice activated dialing and speech recognition capabilities. It has Bluetooth, a color display and an expansion slot for MicroSD cards in addition to 64MB of storage. The BlackBerry Pearl also integrates with Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino and Novell GroupWise platforms.

The MyFaves feature on the BlackBerry Pearl enables users to keep five numbers in a one-touch access system for phoning, instant messaging, e-mailing and texting. New York also recently gave approval for software that would enable people to place racetrack bets from cell phones like the BlackBerry.

RIM could be facing new competition from Apple's upcoming iPhone, expected to be available as soon as June, pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission. It is set to be available through Cingular starting at $499 with a two-year contract .

The new BlackBerry Pearl is available online and at T-Mobile stores, as well as authorized dealers. T-Mobile offers a $20 per month unlimited data plan for the BlackBerry for e-mail and other Internet-related features.