BlackBerry Kickstart! A Glimpse of RIMs Future?!

By Kevin Michaluk on 30 Apr 2008 10:13 pm EDT

BlackBerry Kickstart!

Well here it is folks, visual proof that Research in Motion is going to start leveraging that World's 51st Most-Recognized Brand Reputation to the max. What you're looking at here are leaked photos of a BlackBerry clamshell flip phone. 

The Boy Genius has been on a roll this week, and now he's brought forth these photos of what he says has been codenamed the BlackBerry Kickstart. We're talking SureType keyboard, trackball navigation, camera, external LCD and a good looking internal LCD, and the thickish base of the phone leads me to think its sporting a big battery which screams 3G (or hopefully 3G to come!)... this thing looks like a Feature Phone on Steroids! What's really amazing here is that a release date BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR is being rumored. I'm liking the Kickstart name A LOT too... I hope that name sticks. There's not much info to go off of at this point, but it would seem this phone would be targeted as an introductory smartphone (a.k.a. Palm Centro market) or in other words, a nice Kickstart into the world of smarterphones for all those feature phone users out there.

Think back to the .alx file digging Jibi was doing recently where references were made of a 9100 and "external" display. Does that make the 9100 the Kickstart?! Then what will the AK Apple Killer touchscreen BlackBerry be called? So many rumors... I can't wait to see these devices be released for real. 

More pics after the jump, and I'm sure now that this is out in the open more details will start emerge by the minute. Keep your browsers locked here for info as it arrives!

BlackBerry Kickstart Images 

BlackBerry Kickstart!

BlackBerry Kickstart!

BlackBerry Kickstart!

BlackBerry Kickstart!

BlackBerry Kickstart!

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Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

BlackBerry Kickstart! A Glimpse of RIMs Future?!


Looks like this is going to be RIM's introductory model. Get people introduced to the Blackberry brand early, so when they can buy a smart phone they pick the BB.

ok i guess. i don't like suretype, but i guess they wanted to pick up on the flip phone market as well. cool that it has a track wheel on a flip phone,lol

personally, i think i will stick with BBs that look like BBs, thats part of the "flash" that comes with having one,lol.

Not for the poweruser but this will be like the centro to Palm . A good low cost(hopefully) smartphone to get peoples feet wet. Palm has a winner on there hands lets hope BB will follow.

Sorry, but that's ugly. Looks like a Motorola. Would this be placed below the Pearl or just an option for clam shell lovers? Nice for those who like that keyboard, but I'm very happy with my Curve.

Well one thing that sucks about Blackberry devices is they're nowhere near as good as a flip when it comes to being a phone. At least this way you can get the solid voice quality of a flip with the addictive goodness of all that is Blackberry.

Not a big fan of SureType myself, but I wouldn't want a flip phone that wide lol

Good move IMHO

Well one thing that sucks about Blackberry devices is they're nowhere near as good as a flip when it comes to being a phone. At least this way you can get the solid voice quality of a flip with the addictive goodness of all that is Blackberry.

Not a big fan of SureType myself, but I wouldn't want a flip phone that wide lol

Good move IMHO


Well as much as I'd like to have a Crackberry flip...SureType isn't my thing but I can live with it...I really think the placement of the talk and end keys would drive me nuts...I think menu and escape should be the top keys and talk/end below it...but maybe that's just me.

I'll be one of the first to buy this phone. Like many of you out there, I've tried every smartphone out there, and keep coming back to BlackBerry. There is NO better operating system on a phone for business people than the BlackBerry OS. Having said that, all of the "regular" cell phones I've ever owned have been clamshells. I just do not like the "candybar" form factor. However, my NEED for a BlackBerry outweighs my distaste for the form factor, so I've used the Pearl and now the Curve. The PERFECT smartphone for me will be the BlackBerry OS in a Clamshell!!! Thank you RIM :)

I'm not sure about this one either. You can't fault them for trying to gain market share in other areas, but it seems that the strategy could easily dilute the brand name if they are not careful.

Always liked flip phones. Does seem a little thicker than a Pearl though. And that's what I like about my Pearl. It's small and thin. Fits in my pocket so well I forget it's there most of the time. But it basically looks like a Pearl with an extra LCD and taller buttons. The pearl buttons are too small, I have small hands and I hit the wrong button 30% of the time. And yeah siha, the talk/end buttons should be flipped with the menu/back buttons. Or maybe were just used them being the other way around on all other flip phones.

I personally don't think those are 'REAL' pictures. I'm not saying the flip phone isn't a legit concept that RIM actually has under development...but i'm simply commenting on those particular pictures; they look computer animated. Very obvious.

HAHA! have to disagree here they look very real..and very well taken in a RIM building's washroom lmao!! Aside from that, if they were gonna doctor some pics, they could have at least made that front LCD look wayyy better!

Although I'm not fond of the design, it's RAZR-esque and the RAZR was/is so 5+ years ago.

The only thing that looks funny in the pic is dudes freakishly orange hands. Other than that, they look real. The battery cover, buttons, and track ball all look real. You can even see the silver BlackBerry on top of the screen. He could at least taken the pink film off of cover so we could see what it looks like. It's kinda hard to tell whats surrounding the LCD.

Hmmm...well personally Im not a fan of the "clamshell" flip phones or this one for that matter...(*half the reason I bought my Curve*)...Although you cant blaim RIM for trying to expand and attract more buyers into purchasing a BlackBerry...I guess what Im saying is that you wont catch me buying the "KickStart" because im in LOVE with my BB Curve 8320 :P

Remember when the screen shot of the system file was posted & it mentioned "external display" i mentioned that usually indicated a flip i was right ! :)

Looks around the same size as the Pearl only thicker...screen looks slight thinner & longer, i think it looks brilliant & very clever of RIM for the consumer market, Bring out the 9*** series for business user & the Kickstart for the "social" user.

Firstly, I think the name "Kickstart" is fantastic!

Relistically, code names are rarely used as the final product name, but I think the name "Kickstart" is perfect because it's catchy, and can have many meanings:
• Kickstart your PDA and/or BlackBerry experience!
• Kickstart your productivity!
• Kickstart your mobile e-mail & Internet experience!

In my opinion, the name "Kickstart" also just sounds "right"... For reasons I can't explain, it feels like it belongs in the BlackBerry range.

Now, I use a BlackBerry 8800 because I prefer the QWERTY keyboard and cannot have a camera due to work requirements (I work for the Australian Defence Force), but if I WAS to be in the market for a more "traditional" phone, I would certainly give serious thought to the BlackBerry Kickstart, particularly if it offered the same or better functionality as that found in the BlackBerry Curve 8300 (of which I also own)...

I'm not a big fan of the whole SureType keyboards, but at the end of the day, they are more compact, more game-friendly and I imagine that I would grow to like it as much as "traditional" input methods after a week or so.

Further to this, if I was to be in the market for a "traditional" phone, it would be a flip-phone/clamshell that I would be looking for (none of this slider crap!), and such a device could influence me to stick with RIM over another manufacturer...

Taking into consideration the rumored BlackBerry 9xxx and BlackBerry Kickstart, this is how the current line-up looks:
• BlackBerry 88xx series - the workhorse without a camera.
• BlackBerry Curve and BlackBerry 9xxx series - the "entertainment"/"consumer" series with a QWERTY keyboard.
• BlackBerry Pearl and BlackBerry Kickstart series - the "entertainment"/"consumer" series with a "traditional" keypad.

This is a good line-up with broad coverage, and I strongly think that RIM would be wise to cntinue such a line-up for the medium-term future...

Without a doubt...NICE LOOKING BB!
My only worry would be how durable is the hinge? As much as I use my BB, I would put some major strain on it. The possibility of a nice size battery which would last longer, is great to hear, but now you lose the small size, oh well, not everyone can be happy.

Just noticed too its definately a future phone it says Jul 27 on the clock...Wow a time travel phone :)

I like the idea here, but I've come to love the size and simplicity of my pearl (and the candy bar form in general) and would have to play around with this one for a while. I've owned a RAZR, so I could probably get used to this.....we'll have to see what happens with it!

Hmmm...Interesting....But I love the BBish looking phones....One of the flashes of carrying a BB...Wouldnt go for this...

Someone pointed out that the date showing on the screen is July 27th. It also says that the day is 'Friday'; the 27th of July definitely doesn't fall on a Friday this year.

1) If you look at the first picture, the hand looks way to computer generated.

2) The 4th picture from the top; as the hand's holding the phone; look in between the pointing and middle finger...what's the little orange'ish/red'ish flashing streak? it's definitely the computer animation of the picture gone a little astray compared to the other pretty well done shots.

3) That tile in the background looks way too unnatural.

4) The screen looks too simulated too; especially how it's seen through the 'protective orange sticker'.

I'm not saying these images were not released by RIM...all i'm saying is that these aren't real pictures; they're simply computer images of a possible future phone in the works by RIM.

I don't know.... :/
It can't get any uglier!!!!
Looks cheap....looks like a toy.... not a tool
I have no doubt that it's gonna carry awesome features and tools... 3G = sweetness.. :) But the reality is that its really bad looking. RIM can definetly come with a waaay better design intended for a flip phone

I definitely think they're real photos...the comment about the tiles...well if you look at the grouting between them, its not even, the tiles are not perfectly aligned.

The hand / skin is way too real to be a computer generation...i think maybe the photos have been "lightened" at most, so that's why people think theres some kind of funny colour to the hand.

27th July was a Friday in 2007 so its either old pictures & the phone has been in development since last year or the date is just set wrong.

This picture was taken last year July 27th fell on a Friday. No one traveled to the future and it isnt fake because of the date. Why couldnt it just be a prototype of a "REAL" clamshell phone RIM is developing?

i'm not saying the pictures aren't real because of the date. no way. i'm saying they aren't real in the sense that this phone is probably a concept in the works right now. those are merely images of an image...not images of a real product that you can physically touch. understand?

that's my opinion; and i'm sticking to it. cheers.

It looks as big and clumsy as my old Clie NX80. Thing weighed a ton an pulled my pants down when I wore it in a belt holster.

But at least the Clie had a Qwerty keyboard. Don't know if I can get used to SureType.

My $0.02.


guys sorry to rain in on your parade with this diversion. the blackberry flip looks just okay, but my issue is how do i get my husband to pay me some attention over the black berry. He doesnt not seem to notice me any more since he has the phone. HEELLLPPP.

I don't like this one. Blackberry need to leave the flip phone alone, what make blackberry so much better than the others out there is because they did not have a camara, I enjoyed not haveing a camera phone I could take my phone everywhere, others with camera would have to leave there phone. First the camera now the flip change is good just not this one They should be working on more memory. To me it look like a cheep free phone.

I, like others previously, really prefer a flip phone. No exposed keyboard, throw it in your pocket without a case, you know it's off if it's closed and it positions the speaker and mic better to be used as a PHONE. I love my Curve, not crazy about SureType but if the price is right, might give it a shot.

If you do a WhoIs search on, you will see that the domain name is registered to someone in Canada, though the specific details of the domain name holder are kept secret...

Sounds to me like Research in Motion (RIM) are pretty happy with the name "BlackBerry Kickstart", and I feel pretty confident in saying that I'll probably be wrong and the codename WILL be used for the final product!

Well, I think it will be a good thing for people who need a intro smart phone, but it is a little too long for me and it doesn't have that blackberry look my curve has.I also like a full keyboard. I think it is more for people who need a more basic smart phone.

I love my blackberry curve, but I hate how I -HAVE- to lock the phone before I put it in my pocket. Because I'll be calling olds friends that I dont want to hear from. With the clamshell, I'll just flip down the screen and there we go, LOCKED. I can't wait. I want this so baddd. But I don't like the color, maybe if it came in black with a dark purple finish. That would be hot.

I don't love it, but I don't hate it either. It's definitely nice to see RIM breaking the mold of the candybar style. It could be great, horrible or middle of the road. All I ask is some CDMA love (and not the year later variety).

I agree with the above person, UGLIEST PHONE I HAVE EVER SEEN!

They released the pearl I was like ZOMG HAWT

and then the curve I was like ZOMG HAWT FOR FULL KEYBOARD USERS

then they released this and I was like ZOMG Im keeping my pearl for another 4-5 years until they get their designers back on track..