AT&T's Cingular Wireless is painting the town red with its new ruby-colored BlackBerry Pearl from Research In Motion and the crimson Treo 680 from Palm.
The company introduced the phones on Monday. The red BlackBerry Pearl will be the first phone branded with the new AT&T logo. AT&T now has full ownership of Cingular Wireless since it closed its acquisition of BellSouth, which had owned a 40 percent stake in Cingular.
The ruby handheld has all the same features and functionality as other Pearls, including push e-mail, multimedia functions and push-to-talk capabilities. It's available starting Monday for $199.99 after rebates and with a two-year contract.
AT&T also added a new crimson-colored Treo 680. The company offers the same phone in graphite, copper and arctic white. The red model has the same features and functionality of the other Treo 680s, and it's available for $199.99 after rebates and a two-year contract.
As manufacturers and cell phone operators look for ways to sell more smart phones outside the core business market, they're trying to appeal to consumers through style. In addition to packing phones with features like cameras, music players, e-mail access and Internet browsers, they're adding phones in different shades.
The strategy seems to have worked with other popular phones. Motorola offers several different color choices for its ultraslim phones, the Razr and Krazr. LG's popular Chocolate also comes in a variety of colors. T-Mobile USA began selling a white version of the Pearl in January. The phone was originally introduced in black.