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Cingular quietly prelaunches BlackBerry Pearl (updated)

Cingular takes preorder for RIM BlackBerry Pearl

RIM BlackBerry Pearl
Cingular Wireless

It's been no secret that Cingular would get its own version of the BlackBerry Pearl, since the company announced the news at the fall CTIA 2006 show, but we really haven't heard much since then. However, it seems the little gem of a smart phone is on its way; the carrier has quietly posted an advertisement on its business Web site, taunting customers with "coming soon" promises. Still, no details on exact availability date or pricing, but we've contacted Cingular reps to see if we can get them to spill the beans. In the meantime, Engadget Mobile is saying the Pearl will retail for around $579.99, or $179.99 with a two-year contract and after rebates and discounts. First introduced in early September for T-Mobile, the Pearl is the first BlackBerry device to incorporate a camera, music and video playback, and expandable media. The Cingular-branded Pearl is largely like the T-Mobile version with the addition of push-to-talk capabilities.

Update: It's official! Today Cingular Wireless and Research In Motion formally introduced the Cingular-branded RIM BlackBerry Pearl. It will be available in select retail stores, on the Web, and through the carrier's business channels starting tomorrow and in stores nationwide on Monday, Dec. 4. Pricing starts at $199.99 with a two-year contract and after rebates. If you want e-mail, you'll need to tack on some kind of data plan, and if you want to add push-to-talk service, that will run another $9.99 per month. The Pearl also supports the carrier's TeleNav GPS Navigator service for turn-by-turn driving directions.