Page last updated at 16:22 GMT, Wednesday, 10 September 2008 17:22 UK

First new BlackBerry with a flip

The new BlackBerry Pearl Flip phone
The new Blackberry Pearl is the first of its range to have a flip-down keyboard

The company that makes the BlackBerry, has launched its first wireless e-mail device with a flip-down keyboard.

The new BlackBerry Pearl, unveiled by Research in Motion (RIM), aims to work well as a phone while still being good for checking and sending e-mail.

RIM remains a market leader in its field with its closest rivals being smartphones with Windows Mobile from Nokia and HTC, or the Apple iPhone.

On Tuesday, Apple launched new software to improve its iPhone performance.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said the software - which will be free to all users - would "fix a lot of bugs" including dropped calls and connection problems.

The BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 smartphone is designed to appeal to people who already have flip phones but want to start doing more with them than just make calls.

Plenty of storage

The new device has a two megapixel camera, a satellite navigation system, and a memory card of up to 16GB.

In June, the Canadian company reported it had gained around 2.3m new BlackBerry subscribers over the previous three months, making a total of over 16m.

It also announced that it had made a profit of $482.5m (274.5) in the three months to the end of May.

The new BlackBerry will be available in the US from the autumn, although no price has been announced. No details have been announced for the UK market.

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