RIM unveils first GPS BlackBerry for Europe

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RIM unveils first GPS BlackBerry for Europe

New device features Pearl controller and assisted GPS.

Canadian firm Research In Motion (RIM) has launched a new BlackBerry device in Europe with integral GPS.

The BlackBerry 8800, unveiled at the 3GSM show in Barcelona, comes with a full Qwerty keyboard and is the first model to use the 'Pearl' ball controller that ships with the firm's first consumer devices.

It also comes with built-in GPS and uses 'assisted mode' to save battery life and speed up location searches.

"Assisted GPS is very important. It uses our network of antennas around the world to narrow the amount of searching needed by the GPS system," said Jeff McDowell, vice president of global alliances at RIM.

"If you can get any antennas in range the device only needs to scan 10 satellites instead of every one, so it is working less hard."

RIM also claimed that the enhanced service helps the effectiveness of the device in enclosed environments. While the GPS signal cannot get through a concrete building the new device will work inside a vehicle, making it much more useful for travellers.

Advances in the design of GPS chipsets also means that the device is the thinnest RIM has ever made.

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