Another BlackBerry Curve 9320 sighting

BlackBerry Curve 9320
By Adam Zeis on 20 Mar 2012 01:50 pm EDT
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We haven't heard much about the rumored BlackBerry Curve 9320 lately, but it appears there are still some pre-release devices floating around. Forums member radewa posted up these photos of a Curve 9320 that was spotted out and about. Not much new to be seen here - another look at the screen and a quick shot of the dedicated BBM button (which is still pretty sweet). As a refresher, the Curve 9320 features 512MB of RAM, an EDOF camera, Wifi, Bluetooth and more. If all goes as planned the device should be available in some markets in the coming weeks. Keep reading for another photo then hit the forums for more discussion.

Discuss more in the CrackBerry forums

BlackBerry Curve 9320

BlackBerry Curve 9320

61 comments

samgbx

Them dam buttons ergh!

kingbernie06511

bottom feeder phone from a former top tech company
what goes around comes around!

edyb

When I saw this article I shuddered at the idea of YET ANOTHER Blackberry phone model coming out. Instead of reducing the product lines to a few simple ones capable of running a unified OS, I see another phone and model number. For Pete's sake, how many Blackberry Phone models are out there? Every carrier has a different number, each with different OS capabilities. Enough is enough! Take a lesson from Apple (and every other phone manufacturer) and minimize the number of phones, one line for North America and one line for developing world. Concentrate all efforts on a few phones that are all running the same OS.

This may be an effort by RIM to keep relevant in the developing world and far-east markets where people need affordable phones and plans. I assume the strategy seems to be to get new users in these markets and increase the number of first-time smart-phone users. This phone (which does look a bit cheap and flimsy) is probably catered to those markets. It would be laughed at if it was brought over here to North America or Europe where we are used to much higher quality phones.

My hope is that RIM doesn't forget the developed market and entice people who actually have money to spend to stay in the Blackberry ecosystem. Otherwise RIM will end up entering the "commodity" smartphone market and competing with all the other bottom-feeders in those developing countries, all of which are beginning to offer similar services on cheap phones. By the way, nobody has mentioned the idea that the phone in the picture may be a Chinese knock-off.

Also, what is the profit margin on these phones? There is probably a thinner margin on the lower end competition than there is in the higher tiers. Why would RIM want to enter this cut-throat end of the market... and I am not sure people are going to be as loyal to a brand in that environment anyways, if all they care about is getting the cheapest phone. That is not how to create a customer-base that is loyal and willing to spend money on your products in the future. The bottom-feeding market is all about cheap and price determining people's decision.

Take for example Apple, which continues to outsell everybody with their iPad and iPhone. Yet they are the highest costing products in the market. Apple phones are priced high and they also have essentially one model at a time, for all the carriers. And the OS gets released to ALL phone models at the same time, even older phones and new phones run the same OS. Apple phones are not "BRANDED" with a carrier logo when they boot. Meanwhile, RIM seems to cater each phone to each carrier, perhaps have exclusivity arrangements and slightly different phone designs (many of which are irrelevant) and the OS releases get staggered and available to some carriers earlier than others, some not at all, and also to different phones.

Take for example my wife's Torch 9800 which is OS 6 and my Torch 9810 which is OS 7.0. While 10 other carriers already released OS 7.1 for their phones, I am still waiting for Rogers to release OS 7.1. Meanwhile, when Apple released OS 5, it was available to every person running anything from an iPhone 3 to the latest iPhone 4S and on any carrier, at the same time. Same with their iPod touch AND iPad. Simple. That is why there is such as RESALE market in used iPhones, because you have a device which is very universal.

Another point about Apple... They are at the highest end of the market yet in the markets that can afford it, people line up in front of stores to throw their money at anything Apple has to sell!!! It is incredible to see this mass hysteria!!! My conspiracy theory is that Apple built into it's iPhone and iPad audio chip a subliminal message that constantly repeats the phrase "Apple is Amazing and I must buy the next Apple product immediately upon release". :-)

All kidding aside, Apple has managed to create a simple unified product line and concentrated all it's focus on this higher end market. You do not see a "lower end" Apple phone for the developing world. People at the Foxconn factory have to pay 2 months salary to be able to afford the iPad they are producing. So what is the strategy here? Flood China with Blackberries? They are pirating the Blackberry anyways and making cheaper knock-offs that nobody even knows the difference. Flooding India with Blackberries? That's great but what about the profit margins? Would you rather sell 10 million phones at $10 profit margin, or 5 million phones at $50 profit margin? What is the long-term strategy here?

My hope is that RIM consolidates and becomes more efficient and develops a few stream-lined phones that cater to 2 or 3 different markets maximum (high, medium and low-end commodity). Or perhaps just get out of the commodity business altogether, unless the strategy is to pick up people just beginning to afford smartphones and we are trying to lock them into the Blackberry ecosystem.

Ideally, RIM should stick to only a few form-factors like the Torch and Bold/Curve, keeping the keyboard which many Blackberry users prefer. I don't think the Storm form would appeal to people unless they make an EXTREMELY THIN Storm so that it competes with other "slate" touch-screen phones. And stop the different numbering systems PLEASE. Just make ONE of each of the phones (like Apple does) and keep it for about 1-2 years. That means ALL CARRIERS would have only 3 phones... a TORCH, a BOLD/CURVE hybrid (for people who like keyboards), and a really thin STORM. Make it good quality and work. And put BB10 on ALL OF THEM. That's it!

They can call it TORCH X1.... then a few years later, TORCH X2, and so on. Same goes for BOLD X1, then BOLD X2, and STORM X1, STORM X2, and so on. Each time making improvements. All of these phones should ideally be able to run the same BB10 OS, which could be downloaded directly from RIM and not wait for carriers to release separate updates. Whenever BB10 is upgraded, ALL people with Blackberry phones, be it TORCH, STORM or BOLD, would have it on ALL carriers. All users will have access to the same App Market. This makes more sense to me.

I am a Blackberry user (Curve 8900, Storm, Torch 9800 and Torch 9810), own 2 Playbooks, RIM stock-holder and Playbook App Developer. I love my RIM stuff but please take notice of these ideas. I want to see a commercial in a few months advocating the TORCH X1, BOLD X1 and STORM X1 running BB10 available at all of your carriers.

mousii

This must be the longest post ever. Wow ... It took you some time to get the point across!

Did anybody read the entire thing?

By the way, I agree with most of what you said.

SteelGreek

Ok I read this whole post- I agree with the vast majority of it as it has been stated before with many variations (normally in the forums).

Large changes company wide do take time but this phone is another on a laundry list of impossible to keep up with phones... Motorola with their new DROID every week seems to love this game as well

tl;dr version: Less phones. Better quality. More unified system.

Skeevecr

I am guessing most won't bother to read your post due to the length, but I did notice a number of errors and misconceptions.

Firstly, while this is another model, it would actually lead to some simplification of the range as it pushes out the 8520 and 9300 models that are still being sold on prepay in europe and plenty of other places globally, moving those customers onto an os7 experience that is going to be better for rim and them.

Rim are not forgetting the developed markets (although too many on here seem to think that equals North America) as they have the higher end os7.1 devices that have plenty of features, albeit not a superfluous multicore processor and the bb10 devices are going to be their next shot at the higher end market when they arrive, it is not like their sales would be helped in north america if they randomly brought out a dualcore os7 device and it would probably delay bb10 too.

When you dismiss the lower end of the market as being purely about costs, you overlook the obvious point that things like bbm become a much bigger selling point for people when they have more contacts on there so converting feature phone users over to cheap blackberries first and then getting some of those to upgrade to dearer ones later benefits them twice.

Also, while the margins on those lower end models is less than those on the higher end ones, it is still a damn sight more than the margin of no sale at all which would be the case in some countries without models like this one.

You keep holding up Apple as the only viable approach to doing business, which overlooks the very obvious point that they can only impose their one size fits all attitude because they are the flavour of the month, if they weren't then they would need to do exactly the same as every single other mobile phone company and that is to release a range of phones at multiple price points in order to sell to as many people as possible.

Your ideas for the future range are pretty flawed for a company that is not Apple, nobody else can afford to cut into their margins by including additional useless radios (cdma to a gsm carrier or the wrong bands of lte) that the carrier won't pay for and that is why everyone else brings out slight variants of the same device depending on the particular carrier in question.

The idea that they are going to bring back the Storm name is laughable, they will either stick with Torch or go with something new. The curve models are not going to be bb10 this year so it is possible we could see one more of those at the end of the year as a replacement for the 9360.

One thing I do think we will see in the future with bb10 are more direct updates from Rim, some radio stuff would still need carrier approvals, but with the way that qnx is designed that could be entirely separate from the rest of the os that they could freely update more often.

gregorylkelly

Your last point is the most important. Once BB10 comes out, RIM will be in charge of their OS updates. They currently need carrier approval to release OS updates. Why do you think their are so many leaks that are very easy to install with no reprocusions?

With BB10, they will be able to bypass the carriers with updates because they won't be updating the antenna protocols with the simplist of updates.

Android Market for QNX

Thank god for that! Having to run all your phones with different OSes makes your ecosystem impossibly fragmented. Take a look at Android, it is a mess with phones still running gingerbread.

When RIM pushes its own updates instead of relying on carriers, it'll be a huge step forward. It's too bad that they can't update the current OS 7 phones to BB 10, because that would mean continuity across their mobile devices. Unfortunately, this means that OS 7 devices gets very little love from consumers now since everyone knows they're going to be running a legacy OS that no one will use in the future.

RIM, pick one OS and stick with it, consistently give incremental updates to all your devices. BB 10 is going to bring RIM back.

Chris Hansum

Nice one bro, they really have to stop producing and start giving us good upgrades. Thumbs-up

clemmiez

S.O.S. - Geesh, come on, RIM! How about a bigger screen - for starters. You had the right idea with the Torch. But T-Mobile stopped selling the Torch before I could upgrade from the Bold 9700. They really need to make something for those of us who hate touch screens and love the keyboard, but who also want a bigger screen and more power. I don't want to go iPhone, but it seems to be heading that way soon...

Android Market for QNX

Agreed, more touchscreen offerings please, love the Torch 9810 and 9860. Just need to market them better rather than focus on Curves. Since the phone is in a smaller form factor, it needs a relatively bigger screen, RIM clearly didn't get the memo -_-

ddlax22

You guys do realize that these will prob never see north america markets..right..?

klkd

Just what rim needs! another curve...

Bobcat665

Another Curve? Where's BB 10? *YAWN*

thesign

Hasn't anyone noticed how the QWERTY keys are different? Its not like old curve buttons. They are taking lessons from the Bold I guess :p

bilalqwarriach

They look much similar to the curve series

mssca

This is the problem 101 for RIM. Too many phones; confused customers.

thesign

On the other hand, having many phones at different prices, makes it easier for people to acquire a BlackBerry within their budget. That way they have more potential BIS customers!

mssca

Yes then make four or five models instead of 100s of them. Have ONE curve model, not million. Combine both Bold 9900 and 9930 into one and make it a single phone.

There are cheaper Android devices with ALL possible GSM and CDMA frequencies than this Bold 9900 9930 mess up.

Skeevecr

One curve model would be idiotic, why make a budget device more expensive by including a cdma radio that would be useless for all gsm carriers.

As far as android devices supporting all possible gsm and cdma frequencies, can you name any specific models or are you just making stuff up? In any case, I wouldn't want a phone with too many antennas because the most likely result of that would be shitty performance on all frequencies.

soren203

I agree although the numerous models aren't bad, they need to at least phase out the older ones if you go to the blackberry website they are still advertising the 85xx curve along with the 9300 and then the os 7 93xx series and the touch screen curve that no one bought...

Skeevecr

The 9320 is clearly intended to phase out the 9300 and 8520 since carriers inserted the 9360 at a slightly higher price point.

mohamedmamdouh

This buttons sucks and for sure will decrease its sales wake up folks

thesign

By looking at it, its more ergonomic than previous QWERTY's on curves. It would feel more comfy to hold while your fingers rest on the keypad.

Marc_Paradise

Dedicated BBM button? Also known as the 2nd launcher button that they took away from us last year?

Ceo1836

You've gotta be kidding me. . .another "Curve?", RIM wakeup, competitor's haven't made phones like these since 2007-08. This has no chance of creating a buzz with even existing BB users.

Another ques; Why are you not using the Torch in your ads? Show the company has evolved from the traditional into the future.

#RIMpire

blackberry love

That is a really bad looking blackberry. Is it 2009?

bilalqwarriach

There is NOTHING wrong with making a phone for the cheaper market, IMO it has alot of scope in the developing areas where curve 8520 is still the most popular BB to date!

#RIMpire

kingbernie06511

but they keep on coming up with a cheaper version of their cheapest phone, while letting the high-end, high profit segment to android and iOS? Their stock is taking a beating and this kind of phone is the reason why

all3n7

Chill guys, it is a good thing for RIM to release new cheap phones, so other can also benefits of the QWRTY. I just hope they won't release it here in USA. Because as we all know, ppl here are getting tired of small screens. If they do, competitors and their customers would just laugh @ us.

RIM needs to release LONDON, pack with new UI to compete against others.

it would also be cool if there's a pre-installed app for "CRACKBERRY" hehe..

rustong

I dont have a problem with the release of a new lower end phone. Lower priced phones may get more people to buy BB's. But this one looks old school with the seperate buttons. Kinda sucks in the looks department. What's wrong with the new 9370 Curve? Now that's a great looking phone IMO.

WILLSaDICKted

Will- Ok this is getting old...and i am a fanboy galore... I've watched my BBM contacts dwindle down to about 6. Lost them all to iPhone's ... seriously this needs to stop... if anything has kept me from switching it was my playbook...seriously only use my berry for calls now...and its only made me hate anything prior to QNX. They need to can this whole product line, no one wants these java messes any more, not even me...I have been faithful to BB for so long now, but even I have had enough...I want my phone to run as smooth, no, smoother then the playbook...no one cares about a BBM button...or those horrendous buttons on the front...COME ON LEAK BB10!

donnation

Another Curve??? Why bother? Why not just drop the price to nothing with the previous billion curve models and be done with them FOREVER.

Blackberry_boffin

So.
The logic is RIM is not shifying enough units because there are not enough Curves?
That a little BBM button will draw more customers? Seriously?
I am a fan of BlackBerry but this is bordering on ridiculous.

klkd

Rim just doesn't get it. Its really sad that a great company like rim has come to this. If RIM doesnt meet its Q4 guidance or announce a lower number before the stock is just going to be annihilated. Release bb10 now! you dont have the luxury to sit around and work every little kink out.

chm985

good one Rim. Phase out your touchscreen phones for more low end phones. Cause thats what people want, NOT!!!!!!

Bilaal

Have you all forgotten this phone was most probably designed and produced MONTHS ago? Jesus.

kb1234

EVERYONE RELAX. ADAM, please come in and set these kiddos straight. RIM has other markets besides ours here in the US and Canada. Think outside the box people, there is a market out there for these phones. You are obviously not going to jump ship to this phone from your 9930/9900 or your 9850/9860, so relax and give props to the RIMpire for releasing a new device!

P.S. ( i like the idea of a dedicated CRACKBERRY button haha)

-KB1234

re_matters

I'm all-in for RIM, its vision, its products and its development as a globally recognized brand because I utilize it for how it helps me do more business and speed up communication. I don't use a Curve but to bash it, is unsupportive. RIM makes a great product, period. Doesn't matter what features it has or doesn't have or what market it is for, it should be supported by its community. IE, those who read, post, and use/enjoy their device(s). #RIMPOWER

Rootbrian

This blackberry is for the EMERGING MARKETS and is a BUDGET smartphone. Those that are poor can BUY A BLACKBERRY. If you don't like it, for god sake, DON'T BUY IT, DON'T COMPLAIN! Fuck! I am tired of hearing all this "Wake up rim!" "This is old and outdated, get with it" and "IT'S 2012, NOT 2006/7/8/9." JUST STOP!! If you had read and considered the earlier blog posts, you would understand. Be considerate and appreciative for the poorer countries.

End of rant.

edyb

Yes I agree (read my earlier post above)... but while RIM is focusing on the emerging market, they are losing the developed and higher profitability market. A cheap BB just cheapens the whole brand.

Skeevecr

They are not focused on emerging markets, this will sell very well as a pay as you go option in most of Europe too.

As far as a cheap BB cheapens the whole brand, are you overlooking the point that a fair amount of the reason that the brand was built up was on the backs of cheap blackberries such as the 8300 range?

Cirdan8

While I agree RIM should step up from the traditional and expand on the torch, I am and always will be a huge curve fan. I've still got my first BB 8330. I've been through multiple phones since I bought my BB but in the end I'm back to it. Even some of the other BBs (Bold, Storm, Tour) haven't held a candle to my curve in my eyes. The Torch does interest me though and I'm hoping for grand things from BB10 but will have to wait and see.

f0xG3

Remember that Nokia had the 1Bth sale due to a Nokia 1100. Do not underestimate the value of budget phones... Well.. These are smartphones on a budget cases XD.

I think it would be a smart move to phase out all previous gen BB's and introduce this on the same price point. It would help boost OS7 share.

playbookster

I am hoping this is the last BB7 phone before bb10.

louboutins

Ick, that is unattractive.

klkd

To the people in the comments arguing we shouldnt care because its a low end phone for its low end customers in asia, Thats bullshit. Even for a free phone i wouldnt want this and im sure others would agree. You can get free android phones that are 10 times better than this thing. It looks like a toddlers toy with those buttons and rubber. I hate to say it as ive stuck with rim through the last few years but my 9700 is about to die and if bb10s not out before the iphone 5 then im done. Theres only 6 people left on my bbm anyways....

udbhav

So 1st world attitude!. There are NO FREE PHONES in India, you have to go and buy your own phone. The cheapest BB phone right now in India is a Curve 2G which is for about 180$, imagine paying that for a 2G device dude. 1st world perceptions are too narrow. This phone is aimed to undercut android devices there which are available for about 100$.
BTW, in emerging markets, BBM is a craze and BB is in the top 3 almost everywhere.
Get out of your well and look around!

world traveler and former ceo

+1000

Rim knows what its doing .. different phones for different needs and different markets ... >>> multiple revenue streams ....

the high end (flagship) is BOLD 9900 / 9930 and the upcoming BB10 QNX phones ...

hurds

People questioning RIM should contact them directly. You all obviously are much wiser and have a better grasp of global markets than a billion-dollar company ever could. Or maybe apply for jobs and give them your views and your expertise. If not RIM, samsung, google or apple must be looking for people with such insight.

edyb

I totally get the sarcasm. I am sure RIM has a grasp of what is going on, and hopefully behind the scenes is doing what they think is strategically is right for long-term growth. All of us combined have ideas, but we are not paid experts, most just average Blackberry users with a bit of time on their hands. A billion-dollar company like RIM knows better what is going on.

Having said that, I also see my beloved Blackberry RIM stock getting slammed and killed in the media, delay releases while my arch-nemesis Apple is being crowned king of the world and posting HUGE profits.

So I think all of us in the RIM camp are feeling frustated right now and wondering what is going on. If RIM has a strategy, and it is the right one, how much more patience do we need to see things turning around? My investment in RIM is in the toilet and I think we all need a glimpse of hope here!

pmtsu00

This can be horrible, an EDOF camera sounds cheap and blackberry is going to learn about being cheap when it comes to a productive feature on their devices such as the camera. I was super pissed when i discovered the blackberry bold had no focus. Even after finding out the Porsche designed blackberry didn't have one either, this is starting to sound like someone needs to be fired in the design team who makes these decisions... Thats a go figure no one will buy a phone. Ow days without a decent camera... NETWORKING...

tlo07

I'm sad to see the Curve has become the low-end phone--slower processor, less RAM, lower screen res-- than what a Bold or Torch will get. It has one of the best keyboards of any phone yet I would never buy one because of the low specs.

mas.quemex

Curve 9320 is the most profitable BlackBerry smartphone selling in India as of September 2013. Price is $242 - 53% more than MRP of peers.

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