The BlackBerry Curve 8900 smartphone will be on sale at AT&T stores starting Friday for $200, after a $100 rebate.
The date is a month earlier than the early summer availability that AT&T Inc. announced May 4, when it touted the device as the thinnest full-QWERTY keyboard smartphone yet.
A spokeswoman didn't explain the earlier-than-expected release, although a rash of new smartphones are expected to ship in coming weeks, including the Palm Pre from Sprint on June 6.
Two days later, Apple Inc. officials are expected to divulge details about the iPhone 3.0 and possible new hardware on June 8. Typically, Apple's software updates are followed later in the summer by releases of new iPhone hardware.
Late in the summer, a variety of Android devices are expected to ship from various carriers as well.
The 8900 from Research in Motion Ltd. is being pitched as a device for consumers and mobile professionals alike, since it has a 3.2 megapixel camera and an expandable memory card slot that can support 16GB.
An unlimited data plan from AT&T will give 8900 users access to 20,000 Wi-Fi hots pots, the carrier noted. T-Mobile USA, the other GSM carrier in the U.S., began selling the 8900 in January for $200 after a $100 rebate.
According to RIM's specification sheet, the device is 4.29 x 2.36 x .53 inches in size and weighs 3.87 ounces.
This story, "BlackBerry Curve 8900 Hits AT&T Stores Friday" was originally published by Computerworld.