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RIM refreshes BlackBerry lineup

Research In Motion introduces a slew of new products designed to take advantage of the latest wireless technology.

Research In Motion on Tuesday introduced a slew of new BlackBerry products designed to take advantage of the latest wireless technology.

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The products, which will be displayed at this week's TechXNY conference in New York, primarily target the corporate market. They are expected to use 2.5G network technology, which is considered a stepping-stone to third-generation, or 3G, networks.

The launch comes ahead of Wednesday's keynote speech from RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie.

RIM designed the new lineup to offer improved mobile-data services and Web-based applications and to be easier for IT departments to manage, the company said. Among the products:

• A new BlackBerry handheld for GSM/GPRS (Global System for Mobile Communications/General Packet Radio Service) networks that will be available in the fall. The "world band" handheld will support wireless data and voice services operating on GSM/GPRS networks in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. The device will also include an integrated speaker and microphone.

• A BlackBerry wireless handheld that will operate in the United States on the iDEN network, which enables two-way radio and wireless voice communications. The new handheld will feature BlackBerry wireless e-mail with digital cellular service, digital two-way radio service, text and numeric paging, and a browser. The product, available later this year, will target markets such as the financial and manufacturing industries.

• A BlackBerry for CDMA (code division multiple access) networks. RIM said it continues to develop its Java-powered BlackBerry handhelds for CDMA networks. The handhelds will offer both data and voice support and will be available this year.

• A BlackBerry server that will allow customers to support mixed network environments and standards. The company also said it's offering more management features for IT departments.