Research in Motion, regardless of how you may view its recent history or its long-term future, still has a stronghold on the corporate world. Its lineup of BlackBerry smartphones are known for great battery life, comfortable keyboards with intuitive shortcuts, top-notch native email and Enterprise clients and — most important to businesses — unrivaled security features. Sure, its influence is waning as competitors have caught up in some areas (and surpassed it in others), but there are plenty of companies that have clung to their CrackBerries and held on tight.RIM’s been hard at work trying to regain lost momentum by introducing a series of new devices featuring its latest OS, BlackBerry 7, and the BlackBerry Bold 9900 / 9930 series has been the star of the show so far. The problem is, it’s not flashy enough. How is a C-level exec supposed to walk proudly on the golf course with a $300 (subsidized) phone? Talk about embarrassing. Have no fear, poor corporate top dog, luxury brand Porsche Design has come up with a solution: the $2,300 BlackBerry P’9981, a Vertu-ized version of that lesser handset you wouldn’t be caught dead using.
The P’9981 is available only in the UK and the Middle East for now, so until the device arrives in the US this Spring, anyone who lives stateside will have to rely on retailers to import some in. Fortunately we got the hookup by our friends at Negri Electronics, who happily lent us one of the few handsets they have in stock. As a result, we’re now able to discuss the real questions circling around such a Richie Rich smartphone: what in the blue blazes makes this so expensive? Is it even worth it? How different is it from a standard BlackBerry Bold 9900? You’ll find these answers and plenty of mysteries unravelled after the break.