Thursday, August 7, 2008
Blackberry Bold 9000 Still M.I.A.
The iPhone 3G may be still drawing major mall crowds and even some lingering lines at certain Apple store locations, but in the Blackberry world, all eyes are on the imminent North American release of the new Blackberry Bold 9000. The BBB as we henceforth will call it, was expected to be launched on Canada's Rogers Wireless on July 26, 2008, and about three weeks later on AT&T here in the good 'ole USA. But the July launch in Canada didn't happen with two anticipated launch dates coming and going. An August 14th AT&T launch was also pegged, but it looks like that date has been pushed back. Some sites are reporting the Bold already to be shipping in Germany and if of all places--Chile!
Reliable sources have indicated that device over-heating and limited battery life are the issues that AT&T field testing engineers are dealing with. Research in Motion (RIM) has been mum on the launch delays other than to say that things are on track. While AT&T had not officially announced a launch date other than to say Summer '08, there had been consensus that a mid-August launch of the BBB was pretty firm. Major Blackberry News & Blog sites have recently also been mum on the subject lately, although the forums and user boards are abuzz with anticipation and of course speculation on a new release date and reasons for delay.
One popular online source for unlocked GSM phones, MobileCityOnline, had previously emailed its customers last month announcing the pre-sale of unlocked AT&T branded Bold units at a contract-free price of $699.99 (Yikes!) with a slated ship date of August 14, which coincided with the launch date previously thought to be AT&T's. A more recent email from them nixes that date and does not establish a new estimated availability date. With the iPhone finally doing REAL push email, this could spell some real trouble for RIM whose stock price has recently taken a hit. A double whammy if you will. The Blackberry Bold looks like a real promising device if RIM can finally push it out the door, but Apple isn't resting on its laurels waiting for it-Apple will be launching the 3G iPhone in 22 new countries on the 22nd of August, further pushing its might into more waiting hands around the globe.