Battle of the BlackBerrys

19 May 2004

Ireland’s two main mobile networks have simultaneously launched rival versions of the popular BlackBerry email-on-the-move device.

O2 Ireland, which has sold the product in the Irish market for over two years, has launched a consumer version of the new BlackBerry 7230TM. This allows users to access their work and web-based email, claimed as a first in the Irish market. The product has a price tag of €379 including Vat with price plans from €30 per month for 3MB of data (equating to approximately 2,000 emails per month).

Vodafone, meanwhile, in its first partnership with RIM, the Canadian company behind the BlackBerry, is targeting the corporate user with its launch of the 7230TM. The units cost between €200 and €250 each, excluding Vat. Individual users licences are included free of charge, while monthly usage bundles range from €30 to €50 and include 3MBs of data usage.

In a statement, Vodafone Ireland said it plans to extend its BlackBerry offering over the coming months and will launch the BlackBerry Web Client solution for the SME and SOHO business markets this autumn.

The BlackBerry 7230TM is the first colour handheld that is triband (it can be used in the US, Canada and the Asia-Pacific region). Excellent battery performance is claimed for the machine, which comes with an integrated mobile phone in a lightweight blue casing with a high-resolution colour screen.

By Brian Skelly