CTIA Wireless I.T. and Entertainment 2008 kicks off in San Francisco this Wednesday, and the word from BBCool is that RIM will "officially" be announcing the BlackBerry Pearl 8220 flip phone on opening day. RIM's BlackBerry booth should hopefully be full of demo models and our pal Dieter (of WMExperts.com / TheiPhoneBlog infamy) will be on location to report back to us BlackBerry Addicts with lots of photos and info. We've been seeing advertising for the 8220 pop up for Rogers, but hopefully the flip's official announcement will also shed some light on T-Mobile (and other carriers) pricing and availability. I'm also very curious to see the colors the 8220 will be available in. Read on for more Pearl 8220/CTIA talk.

If you listened to our last CrackBerry Podcast, you'll know I've been putting together a long-term update to our web's first BlackBerry Pearl 8220 Review with my thoughts after having used RIM's first flip phone for over a month. It's pretty much ready to be published, but knowing the 8220 is finally getting announced this week there are a couple of nagging questions I'm curious to have answers to before putting this full review live (in case there are any irregularities between my pre-release model and the ones RIM will be showing off at CTIA). For example, here's one I still haven't quite figured out.... the Magnetic Switch/Auto Standby feature. Like all currently available BlackBerry smartphones, every iteration of the 8220's OS I have seen to date has featured the standard Out of Holster / In Holster options for customizing alerts within Advanced Profiles. This signifies that if you use the 8220 with a holster or case that contains a "sleeper magnet" that you should be able to trigger standby and activate the In Holster profile. But for the life of me, I have yet to be able to find/flip the magical magnetic switch, which makes me wonder if there is going to be one (or maybe the unit in the video above is just missing it). Needless to say, I'm as curious to see the selection of OEM accessories RIM has on hand for the 8220 as I am the device itself in hopes of discovering the answer to this one. You can look for this review later this week (once Dieter gets his hands on the 8220 for a few minutes!).

Let's hope for an exciting few days of BlackBerry News coming out of CTIA. I don't think we'll hear anything official on the Storm, Thunder or Javelin this week, but that shouldn't stop us addicts from dreaming. On the eve of CTIA, be sure to check out these hot forum threads:

Read more