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RIM launches delayed BlackBerry

French wireless carrier Orange will make the device available starting in mid-December.

Research In Motion on Monday is preparing to release a new BlackBerry device in France whose launch in the United States had been delayed by a couple weeks. The Waterloo, Ontario-based mobile device maker said its BlackBerry 8700f is now compatible with French wireless carrier Orange's EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution) networks. The BlackBerry 8700f is expected to be available to Orange's enterprise customers beginning Dec. 15, with retail availability planned for January 2006. RIM said it will roll out the handset to Orange's other European customers next year as well.

Last week, RIM lowered its new-subscribers projection by 8 percent for the rest of the year after the Cingular Wireless version of its BlackBerry 8700 Series and its BlackBerry 7130 Series for Verizon failed to ship in early November. RIM's BlackBerry portable devices and service provide users with wireless always-on access to e-mail and corporate data.