Orange's business customers might be feeling the recession pinch, which might explain why the France-Telecom owned company has decided to sell its first PAYG Blackberry phone.
The smartphone on offer, an Orange Exclusive Indigo Blackberry Pearl 8120 model, is not the top of the range model but at £145, it is a rather good deal, especially as you can add email and internet browsing for only £5 a month (ed: No details about any restrictions regarding using Internet without topping up).
The device comes with a 2 megapixel camera with LED flash, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and media player plus it offers built in access to Facebook, Flickr, Myspace and a host of online services.
The current credit crunch is definitely having an impact on the audience RIM is looking to target. The traditional more lucrative "Square Mile" business has been melting away as financial services slashed their employees (and their Blackberries).
According to Ian Fogg, principal analyst at Forrester, RIM could be looking for a younger but less cash-flushed audience, hence the PAYG offer.
Pocket-link also reports that the Carphone Warehouse will also be offering the Blackberry Pearl on a PAYG basis for £150. You will be able to choose, as from tomorrow (Friday 29th), between the Silver Blackberry Pearl 8110 or the Pink 8120 model.
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Expect other Blackberry smartphones to be available on PAYG fairly soon. Could Vodafone also offer the Blackberry Storm on PAYG? The iPhone is already available on a PAYG version at nearly £350. How does that compare? Well Play.com sells a Blackberry Pearl 8110 (SIM Free) for £260 which means that you can treat yourself to a £115 discount by going with Orange.