Blackberry Style Brings Back the Flip Phone

I doubt that anyone expects the clamshell phone to make a comeback, but that's not stopping the Blackberry Style 9670, a flip phone that's coming to Sprint on October 31.

The Style has a 624 MHz processor, 5 megapixel camera, microSD storage, GPS, Wi-Fi, and the Blackberry 6 operating system. It costs $100 with a two-year contract, after a $100 mail-in rebate. Coverage, which requires a data plan, starts at $70 per month.

Is it wrong that I'm totally fascinated by this product? Sprint and Research in Motion justify the Style's existence by claiming that 100 million people currently use flip phones. They don't say how many of those people would want a clamshell with smartphone guts. Usually, flip phones are dirt-cheap, and don't require data plans. That's the allure.

Which is not to say that a flip smartphone (a fartphone?) has no appeal. Have you ever tried to emphatically hang up an iPhone? You can't. Ever tried to answer a call on a touchscreen phone without looking at it? Good luck. With the flip phone, you flick it open with your thumb and forefinger to answer the call. You snap it closed with gusto. It's wonderful.

But $100 wonderful? I don't know.

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