Perhaps running out of business customers to woo, Research in Motion, the makers of the popular Blackberry handsets has announced that it will go after consumers with the announcement of its latest handset, the BlackBerry Pearl.

In a move that according to the company's COO Larry Conlee "gets BlackBerry out of the boardroom" the company has launched the 14.5mm thick consumer focus handset hoping to tap into a market already enjoyed by Nokia and Sony Ericsson.

Not to be mistaken by any means with the Disney Movie Pirates of the Caribbean The Curse of the Black Pearl, the BlackBerry Pearl comes complete with digital camera, multimedia capabilities and an expandable memory slot for the first time, while still offering its trademark interface.

The phone sports a crisp large (240 x 260) display similar to the HTC's MTeoR 3G handset however building on the MTeoR, BlackBerry has included its SureType QWERTY keypad that works has two QWERTY keys to every numerical key.

Beneath it's sleek exterior, which measures just 4.2 x 1.97 x 0.57" and weighs 88 grams, the BlackBerry Pearl is a quad-band GSM/GPRS and EDGE-enabled, however not 3G and comes with 64MB flash memory expandable to an additional 2GB with a MicroSD card.

It also features a speakerphone and Bluetooth 2.0 for use with hands-free headsets, car kits and other Bluetooth peripherals such as a GPS receiver.

Hoping to appeal to consumers rather than just business users the phone features a 1.3 megapixel camera with built-in flash and 5x digital zoom. Furthermore in an attempt to appeal to more consumers than previously RIM has added a media player and stereo headset for music and videos on the go. MP3 and ACC music files and MPEG4 and H.263 video files are supported.

The BlackBerry Pearl will be available from T-Mobile USA in the United States beginning September 12. It will also be available in October from Rogers Wireless in Canada and a variety of carriers in Europe. Availability in Asia-Pacific is expected later this year.

Expect a review up on Pocket-lint shortly.