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Verizon Expands World-Phone Selection

Basking Ridge, N.J. – Verizon Wireless is expanding its selection of world phones with the launch of the Samsung-made Renown and Saga, both incorporating dual-band CDMA 1x EV-DO for use in Verizon’s U.S. network and quad-band GSM/EDGE for use in overseas markets.

Another new world phone due from the carrier is RIM’s BlackBerry Storm, available Nov. 21.

The Saga is a Windows Mobile 6.1 PDA-phone with touchscreen, hard QWERTY keyboard, 802.11b/g

WiFi, optical mouse, stereo Bluetooth, 2-megapixel camera, microSD slot for an additional 16GB of memory, and Microsoft Voice Command technology.

Saga is available through the carrier’s business channels, Verizon’s Web site, and telemarketing staff at $199 with two-year service contract after $70 mail-in rebate, which takes the form of a debit card. The device becomes available through Verizon-owned stores and other retailers on Dec. 1.

The clamshell Renown will be available through Verizon’s business channels, Web site and telemarketing staff on Nov. 19, followed by in-store availability on Dec. 1, at $179 with two-year contract and after $50 mail-in rebate, also in the form of a debit card. The Renown features visual voice mail, stereo Bluetooth and a slot for microSD card up to 8GB.

The BlackBerry Storm 9530, due Nov. 21 at $199 after rebate through all Verizon distribution channels, is the first touchscreen-equipped BlackBerry from Research In Motion, and it’s Verizon’s first cellular phone capable of operating around the world in 3G mode.

The Storm operates in U.S. bands in CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. A mode, and in the foreign 2.1GHz band it operates in W-CDMA HSPA (high-speed packet access) mode. It also operates as a quadband EDGE phone for global use.