BlackBerry Slider Rumors Update and Roundup (PS. It Is Not Storm3 - More Likely is a Bold)

BlackBerry Slider Roundup
By Kevin Michaluk on 3 Mar 2010 01:06 pm EST

* Update - If you're looking for a little more proof that the 9700a is the Slider and that OS 6.0 exists, be sure to check out this 9700a UAProf document we found hosted on the website. It shows that the resolution is 360x480 (not 480x360 as in the 9700 -- see 9700 UAProf --... thus a slider portrait orientation) and shows that 6.0 is present. It also confirms WiFi b / g and n which we heard about last week from BGR. *

Call me a CrackBerry Addict but last night's leaked photos of a BlackBerry Slider device had me too excited to sleep. Big leaks like this historically get followed by a flood of info into the good 'ole CrackBerry tipline, so between what we knew in the past, what has surfaced recently (BGR posted some details last week) and what's come in that we trust since the photos went live, I figured I'd walk through some Rumor Q&A to set the record straight to the best of our knowledge at this time. Let's get it on!

BlackBerry Slider Rumor Q&A and Roundup

Q. Are the leaked photos of the BlackBerry Slider device legit?
A. Yup. Though I initially had some doubt that this device was the most up to date design RIM has been working on for their vertical slider we've now had several confirmations that this is it. And if this somehow isn't final form it's at least dang close to it. That is assuming of course that RIM proceeds as planned still despite the initial reactions a lot of people are having to the leaked photos.

Q. Is the slider the BlackBerry Storm3?
A. NO. This is not the rumored BlackBerry Storm3. And it likely is not a Storm at all but more likely will fall into another product family. The original codename for the BlackBerry slider was actually talledega (mr. t for short). Going back to my notes on talledega when we first heard about it over the summer, it was clear that this device would be GSM which means an AT&T/Rogers et al thing and not Verizon. Long ago we'd heard rumors that Verizon had agreements in place with RIM for at least some exclusivity to the Storm/SurePress name and technology, so it adds to the reasoning that this will not be marketed as a Storm.

Q. If not a Storm, then what is it?
A. A few things lead me to believe it's more likely the slider berry will hit the market as part of the BlackBerry Bold line. For one, the keyboard shares the same "guitar frets" that the Bold 9000 and 9700 do. That's a Bold signature, just as spaces between the keys are a Curve signature and SurePress has been a Storm signature. Secondly, we've been watching our site analytics and also checking out some App World reports (developers can see who's downloading their apps and what device and OS they are running) and have noticed the odd 9700a pop up. We had heard a little while ago that the vertical slider early hardware was carrying 9700a on the about screen so have been watching out for it and sure it enough, we have seen it a couple times now. Note that the download report pictured above from App World shows OS5.2, but that the device will ultimately launch with 6.0. There isn't a 5.3/5.4/5.5 working it's way into 6.0, so it's most likely that particular unit was not running the latest software builds, with 5.2 not yet re-branded to 6.0, which the latest devices/builds supposedly have. So in other words, 5.2 = 6.0. And obviously the 9700a device model is temporary and will get changed up to something else as it nears the market - likely the 9800.

Last point here.... the Storm has a bad reputation. The Bold has a great one. If you're launching a new device in a new form factor on a carrier that has never sold the Storm before, which name would you rather go with? I'll bet somebody a year's worth of Campari that the slider won't be a member of the Storm family, and with it having more Bold details than Curve details... it only makes sense that it's a Bold (and with RIM scrapping the Tour name on the 9650 to consolidate brand families it just wouldn't make sense for them to introduce a new line). Any takers?

Q. Does the Slider have SurePress?
A. No. This device does not have SurePress, but features a fixed piece of touchscreen glass (aka iPhone style). And resolution (as previously stated by BGR) is at 360 by 480 pixels... same as the current Storm.

Q. What OS will it launch with?
A. As stated above and as also mentioned by BGR, it'll launch with OS 6.0.

Q. Release Date?
A. Je ne sais pas. My guess would be sometime in the summer. If you check out the Analytics report above, it's pretty funny to see the unreleased devices that cruise the site. RIM still has a Pearl 3G to push out, not to mention a Tour2 (now Bold). And oh yeah, let's not forget the atlas (Curve 8910). The dakota has been rumored for a while now, but we're not seeing that on the analytics at all yet so maybe this slider is next in the pipeline. With people LOVING the Bold 9700 as it is, it makes more sense financially/market-wise I think for RIM to put this out first and appeal to a different user vs. adding a touchscreen to the standard 9700 form factor. One interesting point to make is that the App World download in the photo above with the 9700a came from AT&T, which means the slider is likely at a point now where partners (carriers) are getting it to do some testing, vs. it still being in the early development (waterloo) stages. CTIA and WES are coming.... so hopefully we'll start seeing some device announcements soon.

THINGS WE'D NOW LIKE TO KNOW... When the photos leaked it was stated that some more photos and maybe even a video would be on the way, so hopefully we'll have some more clarification to all of this soon. In the meantime, going off the 9700a theory as above it introduces some interesting things to ponder on. With the look of the device being current generation styling (very much a Storm and Bold slammed together) and knowing it's GSM, it becomes likely that this device is running the same processor as the Bold 9700. Will it get a memory boost above the 256megs we see in the current devices or will it stay the same? Right now it's only the Storm2 and Curve 8530 that support OpenGL - no GSM BlackBerry does. Will this be the first GSM BlackBerry to support OpenGL or ??? If not, that seems like a real shame as this type of form factor has more of a consumer (gaming) appeal.

So that's where I'm at on the rumormill front as of right now. And keep in mind I've been wrong before and will probably be wrong again. But you know I just have to share where my mind is at on these things with everybody. Take from it what you will. Let's see how it pans out. As always, sound off in the comments and let us know what you think!

Reader comments

BlackBerry Slider Rumors Update and Roundup (PS. It Is Not Storm3 - More Likely is a Bold)


I need this in my life, I swear that is the sexiest phone I've ever seen in my life and its part of the Bold line supposely. I need to know more lol.

The 8900, yeah we know :P

The Slider really isn't a looker. As I saw in someone else's post:

"That's not a phone! It's an air craft carrier with a runway!"

It really is huge. Just imagine that in your pocket?

Eeeh well it does look better than a pre. I would prefer either a storm or bold style design though. They'd better push that 6.0 out to the curve 8900!!!!

I can upgrade by the end of the year. Been curious about the new BBs coming out. This one looks pretty cool but wonder what the next Storm would be then . . . I'm a Storm2 and Bold 9700 user . . .

god damn this is sad. Its 2010 and we still are at 360x480 pixels, and yeah the Bold is fast but would it hurt to have something faster??? Other platforms are laying the smackdown on RIM spec wise. Im bypassing this and waiting for the Storm3. At least based off the initial hands on some sites have had, it look it will actually be an upgrade

If this thing is basically a 9700 with twice the physical screen area and a slider keyboard, why would it NOT be twice the resolution of the 9700, i.e. 480x640? That's depressing.

I love the resolution (dpi) on the 9700 and was sure we'd see something as impressive on future BB's - including touch screens.

of why RIM is so behind the times. Compare these specs to specs of other platforms and every BB is really a low to mid class smart phone. We have still yet to see very high in specs on BB's like 8 megapixels (we can't even get 5!), snap dragon processors, high res video recording, more RAM, HD screens and many other things. look im not saying that all these things need to be in one phone (or am I...) but if RIM is aiming at the consumer market, these would be some great selling points to compete.

i like the best of both worlds kinda thing going on...although im gonna have to see how it feels in hand. and it seems like something i would break easily, seeing as im on my fourth storm idk if it would the best phone for me. all in all it does look good

To bad, if all speculation is correct, that this will be GSM only. CDMA USERS WANT A SLIDER!!!! At least this one does.

Same here! I'm on a Storm1 but really want a physical keyboard. I was mentally prepared to say goodbye to my big screen in favor of the Tour2/Bold (whenever it is released) but now that my eyes have seen the light I want the best of both worlds on VZW!

I think there is some bad blood between RIM and Verizon after the $100 million Verizon spent promoting the DROID while almost totally ignoring the Storm 2. How many Storm users has RIM lost forever after Verizon reps encouraged them they needed a DROID instead. More likely T-Mobile or ATT will get it.

Why wouldn't VZW and anyone else turn people away from RIM? They are lagging behind so bad it is sad. get Open GL out to all new phones to get some more consumer market share. Get faster processors with LOTS more ram. Can anyone say Gigs not Megs? If they don't get their act together and catch up with the rest of the smart phone makers then they are loosing people like me. When my turn to upgrade comes, unless there is major catching up done AND SOON, then I am probably going over to Android. The only thing that RIM has that others don't is BBM and that's not always that great.

and without surepress, it seals it for me. I don't like slider designs, but some how I think RIM will win me over.

I can't leave the big, beautiful screen of the Storm, but this would be worth it. A physical keyboard with the large screen... Perfect!

I would of course want to play with it before making a decision on buying it. I love playing games on the wifes iphone, but I can't type on that thing for anything. I have been hoping RIM would come out with something like this. This has the potential to be an awesome BB I hope its all that, and doesn't dissapoint.

I have AT&T and honestly, the only reason I don't have an iphone is because like you said, I can't type on it to save my life (and I only weigh 130 lbs, so by no means do I have 'sausage fingers' in case anyone was wondering). I have to use my pinky or index finger, so it's an incredibly slow & tedious process to type anything. I love being able to use both my thumbs to quickly type emails on my 8900 without any problems.

I love the idea. It's not for everyone, no, just like the Pearl Flip wasn't for everyone. That doesn't mean they shouldn't build it.

As a VZW S2 user, I'm disappointed this is a GSM device.

As for the name, this is a radically different form factor than anything they have now. I can't blame them for not using the Storm name, but why piggyback on the Bold's?

Ahhhh i think i'll pass on this,not really a fan of Just takes away from the blackberry trademark.

Not sure I follow. Wouldn't touchscreen and digital cameras also detract from the BB trademark, then, since these weren't popularized on Blackberries?

I like the basic idea, but I'm not sure I like the Storm's touchscreen compared to some of the more popular touchscreen phones out there, so I wonder if they're improving it.

been waiting forever to get a bigger screen on the BlackBerry with Rogers... waiting and waiting again...

After reading reviewsw on this phone I am super excited about it coming out. Cross bredding the Blackberry with touchsreeen and full qwerty keyboard is superb. I cannot wait for it to come out and get my hands on it!!

SO the fraking Bold was a success??? Do they need to pattern every device for the next decade after it?

Sure why not they have used the same ole OS (which I like by the way) for years now.

That thing is hideous, anyone should see that. An another thing you could prolly kill someone with it, it looks to weigh a ton, and it is going to have the same lousy balance issues the Pre has.

Please RIM, stop the insanity, scrap that thing before it is too late.

Honestly, do people really care that much what the device casing looks like nowadays? Show me an iPhone, and Android, and 20 other touchscreen phones, and the all basically have a screen and maayyybe 2 to 4 buttons.

I feel like the operating system and comfort with the keyboard or touch keyboard is much more important than evaluating how the casing "looks" from a still photo. Plus, half the people with BB's or iPhones cover them with some type of sheath or case anyway!

That thing is going to feel god awful in your hands, it will have the same balance problems the Pre has.

Lol I feel like you have never held a slider phone in your hands before. Have you? I had a Samsung slider way back, maybe four years ago now, and I loved it. sliders just LOOK like they would be awkward to hold/have balance issues once they are slid open...that's just how they look. Now, I don't have a Pre or Palm anything. And I don't follow it. So if they really do have "balancing issues" then, that sucks, I feel bad for them. But, seeing ONE photo of this phone that isn't released and not even HOLDING it in your hands yet (just looking with your little eyeballs...), and you sit here and act SO sure of yourself that it is going to be awful and terrible and be off-balance....that's hilarious. Haha.

How on earth you believe that you can tell the weight of the screen versus the weight of the bottom half of the phone by looking at a photo, one single photo might I add, is beyond are truly a master of the comedies sir or madam. :) Have a great day!

You are the minority on this thought. I'm looking forward to it like most are. I'm sure the device will be balance much better than the pre. You can't even begin to compare the two, phone or company wise.

I have both Storm and Storm2 and I am very happy RIM didn't go with this as the Storm 3. I love my surepress and my Verizon Storm2.

Nobody is crediting him for leaking back in December that it would definitely have a Palm Pre-like design.

I'm F Pissed!
Verizon loses out again....WTF!
I didn't want to switch to ATT, but maybe will have too if they can't get the 9650 or the slider.

What a downer. No Verizon, storm resolution, & no surepress. But absolutely love the form factor. The 2nd edition of this device will be the one to get.

Very good point...although this is a great concept and I too love the form factor, first generation devices are usually too alpha. Increase the res, maybe a larger screen, and an actual updated OS (as opposed to "old OS revised"), and CDMA and this will be a great device :-)

I wish style wise it was more like the motorola hint slider. Take the tour/bold screen and have the keyboard come out where it would normally be on a tour/bold.

How about RIM focusing on a state of the art operating system/web browser and not just another piece of hardware that's just a knock-off of something already on the market!

I hope this comes to Sprint, or at least some sort of touch screen.

I've read that Sprint is testing a touch screen BB and have a nice portfolio of BB devices for this year, so let's see.

But the device up above was mostly what I've been waiting for. Either slide out from the bottom or from the side.


Thanks for the update Kevin. This looks like a great concept. I really like the form factor. The first post I saw about this device on BGR got me all excited...however, now I'm a bit disappointed to find out that it's all GSM :-(. I'm a Verizon customer...mostly because it is the ONLY carrier that actually works well in my area.

Anywho, hopefully we hear more about this in the coming days. I love reading about these devices even though I know I'll never have one (because of the carrier).

I just like answering and ending calls with the slide action...just seems more phone-like to me. This could be the phone that convinces me to switch to Telus hspa.

I'm can't say I'm 100% sold on the look of it yet.
Maybe with better photos or a video I'd be able to judge it's aesthetics more accurately, but from the current pictures, it still needs cosmetic work.

That said, I am 100% sold on the form-factor and specs. I think RIM needs a device like this if they want to stay competitive in an ever more cut-throat marketplace.
The news of OS6.0 is also incredibly welcome. Presumably it would include the new Webkit browser and widgets, and would really push the consumer side of things.

I'm also hoping that with the new consumer orientedthings going on (the Storm2 and Mr.T, AppWorld, widgets, OS6, OpenGL, etc), RIM will not forget about the traditional form factors. As the poll in the previous blog entry clearly shows, there is a very sold block of core users who are not sold on RIM's new push in the consumer market, and prefer the back-to-basics business oriented devices.

looks a tad bit over-sized and not very text/email friendly. I can hold my Tour and type with only one hand, this phone will fall... Also, they need to move past 256 megs for app memory...

Kevin your analysis borders on Vulcan reasoning, but I can't agree with you more. The road you went down makes a good bit of sense. Getting into RIM developers mind is a scary thing, you know? Just kidding.

I am more than ready for this generation of phone. I have some reservations as I see it, but will wait to pass judgment when it is the real thing in hand.

I think this will go a long way to satisfying folks in several different target markets. But, it will be seen.

Let's hope the delays and hold ups are not too monumental.

Man, that looks just like a big dam soap. Come on, I would rather see a Pearl Slide - which would attract the feminine users, but this...

I rather stay with my Bold2...and stick to it.

The question is, is this the dakota? I know its a bold, but what if the dakota IS the bold 9700a. Or will RIM make a slider hybrid AND a candy bar hybrid? I need to know if this is the true dakota to know if I should wait for the dakota or not.

I was talking with a friend about a "new Blackberry" that RIM needs to design about a month and a half ago. I said big screen like the storm that is touch screen like the iPhone with the keyboard of the 9000 (not 9700, it is too small sorry) that slides so it still has a decent sized footprint as well as a touchpad just because the touch screen doesn't work for everything. Low and behold this new piece of sexy awesomeness hits Crackberry. I just hope it has the new webkit on it when it releases. I get my upgrade in Nov. might have to spend a little more $$ if this comes out before then...I WANT IT NOW!

Q. Does the Slider have SurePress?
A. No. This device does not have SurePress, but features a ***fixed piece of touchscreen glass*** (aka iPhone style). And resolution (as previously stated by BGR) is at 360 by 480 pixels... same as the current Storm.

I work for Rogers, and as you know, we have about a dozen sliders or so. These things cause so much heartache in terms of just basic wear and tear, I'm not impressed with the slider for factor. RIM should of just made a solid screen storm, or a 9700 sans trackpad and with a touchscreen. I love my 9700 and actually prefer trackpad to touch.

love the look of it! i'm a bold 2 user now and while i love the bold 2 i think a bigger screen will be nice. and it's all here! big screen, touch capabilities and the same nice qwerty keyboard.

This is honestly the ugliest looking smartphone I've ever seen. Instead of catching up to Apple and Google, RIM is falling further and further behind.

My thoughts exactly. Is it going to be a touch screen device for sure? If it's capacitive touch, it'll be going again what Mike Lazaridis said last year about SurePress being "here to stay." At any rate, looking forward to seeing what will become of this interesting little device.

Hey Kevin

always good to read your posts, they are well balanced.

couldnt agree more with you, it makes sense to badge this as a Bold as it has the fret keyboard. Not all BB designs suit everyone, thats why we have a choice.

Conceptually I think its a good idea and if it comes out in the summer, i will definitely look at buying it.

i have to have this NOW. i was semi excited about the 9100 but i realized i just cannot leave my qwerty... then this beauty shows up and im drooling. its like the first time i saw my 8900... *sighs*.. looks like it will come out around the end of my contract so PERFECT timing :)

this thing is awesome, of course its apparantly not coming to VZW...

I could not justify switching from the Storm1 to the 2, considering how similar the phones were for the price difference. But this thing I could trade up to... I want it

I almost gave up on my Tour bought a 9700 on AT&T this weekend. (My wife wants to give up her Tour for an iPhone)
I'm really glad I held off on the purchase. The slider totally does it for me because:

1.) you get a nice size touch screen (and most likely and on screen keyboard in landscape view)

2.) the flexibility of a physical qwerty pad and track pad is available.

3.) this device appears to be perfect for those interested in the multi-media side. Imagine watching movies on this thing.

4.) you can still use the device one handed to make calls and browse.

seeing as how u say this will be released with OS 6.......i have to ask there an OS 5.2? Or do you think that OS 5.2 will become OS 6 once it hits the market.

ok cool. thats kind of what i expected since it doesn't seem like this device is (too) far off, and I could never see RIM giving us 2 OS's back to back that quick. I hope it is a big step forward too. I still have many desires from RIM regarding specs of our BB's but i have confidence that they got something cookin up in canada (please jesus let me be correct) regarding that OS. Hey they listened to us when it came to web browsing (finally!!!!!), mayb they did too when it comes to the OS

By the thats two responses I've gotten from you ha ha ha ha(yeah im keeping track). I feel in the loop of things now lol.

Thanks Kevin

It looks like its going to be very top heavy when you're typing with the slide out keyboard. I'd rather a Bold 9000 form factor device with a capacitive touchscreen.

Seems a little top-heavy to me. Why the trackpad if it is a touchscreen device? Why the hardware buttons? They would have been better of with a Storm2 with horizontal slide out keyboard.

WOW, this is great :D.

I was also excited after the first pics leaked and was willing to pass off on the Storm 2 and wait for this device, that is, until I read it was GSM and my dreams were crushed :(

at&t yep I will be getting this phone on launch day whenever that is. Will have two upgrades at the time and won't be surprised if the fiance wants one as well.

we will see a 3.2 mp camera in this. im beginning to think that we might have to wait until almost 2011 until RIM really upgrades these specs. I guess they're saving a ton of money thru volume pricing by purchasing all these 3.2 mp cameras, and 360x480 screens. kudos on that but come on RIM. we want some true high class specs


After launching this device will the prices of storm2 9550 reduce? What is the typcial price changes practices BB goes through for existing models when new models are released?

I want to buy a storm2 9550 at retail price so your response would help to decide on if I should wait for retail price reduction or go ahead and buy it now.


The Storm3 isn't too far off and they are talking about many upgrades that are coming to it, but you are looking at between 450 and 500 dollars right now for full retail of the device and i don't think that is coming down now. its still relatively new.

Thanks Rello.
Including taxes I might end up paying $600 for storm2 9550 if I buy from verizon.
I don't really like the slider part of storm3 (i know that may not be the name used). I really like the aesthetics and design of storm2 9550. I hope the storm3 will have similar looks, but the photos look different.

I was worried when the rumors started yesterday about this phone being the "Storm 3." I like the Storm and SurePress and I don't want the Storm line to evolve into a BlackBerry-Pre type of phone. As this report points out, GSM means it won't be a Verizon phone. Good news for Storm users that want no part of a slider phone.

I have been saying if I were to build a phone it would look just like this phone. I never thought I would see touchscreen , vertical qwerty and trackpad!!! Awesome!!! VZW better come out with it or I may just have to switch. Nov contract date up but I would spend the extra to have it now!!! Way to go BB!!!!!

When I bought my Curve I wished that they had a slider instead because I thought it would be the coolest thing, seeing it now, I still like the idea, but it seems a little too big for me. And on At&t, that doesn't work for me either.

Kevin, I thought I remember a podcast a ways back where you said that 5.2 would be a huge step forward. Was that coming from guy at RIM, or just the common rumour mill?

Originally, I thought RIM was way off base with a vertical slider. While I still think a horizontal slider would be better, this device is starting to grow on me. I remember looking at the original shots of the Bold 9000 and thinking it was a step back in design from the 8800, but now I don't want to let go of my 9000.

The only issue I have is the use of the "Bold" name. While it does have a Bold style keyboard, the Bold-line of devices are targeted more towards the corporate end. I don't see an IT department buying this slider for their employees. I think it needs it's own line name. For example, even though the Tour has a Bold style keyboard, it was not called the Bold then (although now they may be merging it). In my view, looking back at the existing product lines, the definitive feature of the Bold-line is not the keyboard, but the leather back.

Not really interested in owning one of these...maybe I would be if thit was a horizontal slider...but I am jealous of this "6.0 OS" its suppose to launch with...AT&T better release a 6.0 for my 9700 or I'll ne pissed!

Im glad to hear the phone will be a touchscreen then I am interested if T-Mobile is gonna pick it up or if it is not a pain in the @#$ make it work for it.

This is what I love about this community - when something breaks, everyone with any connection to anything finds whatever they can and brings it back here to share with the whole family of 'Crackheads!

I also love how much mashup RIM is doing - the best parts of each generation of devices carries over and get combined with the next - the Ultimate Blackberry form factor is just around the corner.

Did anyone else notice the 9020 on that list? New Bold with the old form factor?? Better processor, camera, or resolution, perhaps? Nothing against the slider, but I think that's exciting, too.

The Pearl wasn't for everyone, this is true, but it was still a success! Granted I hated it when I used it, but I'm sure other people swore by (I know my Cousin does).

The only conceivable problem I see happening would be making the keyboard have some strength. A lot of times with these slider phones, the screen is so massive, or the piece is just heavy that it over powers the over looked keyboard. If they put a relatively cheap build quality on the keyboard, it would really ruin the phone.

Not saying I wouldn't use it, and don't get me wrong, I trust RIM to do the right job. I have a feeling I won't be one the few who find this phone to absolutely magnificent.

I had a slider phone once no it wasn't a blackberry but I didn't have it long the slider got so loose (all plastic frame) it wasn't worth a fuk , I would never , EVER , purchase another slider phone no matter who its made by or what carrier offers it even if it was free I wouldn't have it .Ship it back ,reject it sling it out da window , :p lol

I want one SOOOO bad... I wish that I could have a new blackberry for every day and mood that i was feeling!!!

Although I prefer a landscape keyboard (like the old rumoured S3 / Mr. T / 'Whatever' with the side-slideout), I believe this is a very good step towards a much better device using the best of both worlds (Bold & Storm). It may seem like a compromise to some but I agree, if some are happy with the Storm & SurePress then work on improving that on it's own separately & give the rest of us the option of a great device that WORKS (aka Bold) with the GLORY of a full screen!!

If this does come out & with latest technology (ie: the givens: more RAM, faster processor, better camera, wireless, etc & hopefully a version to work on other networks), The 1st thing I will do is BUY ONE, the 2nd thing I will do is take my 'lovely' (f**n - P.O.f*n.S.) Storm, Drop in a big glass of coke, pull it out, smash it to bits with a baseball bat, drive over it with my car, then again, then finally pack it up in an envelope and ship my'Improved Storm' to RIM for their evaluation!!

i have a blackberry tour with sprint. i have an upgrade coming in july. if they dont come out with the tour 2. i will be looking for another phone. do you think that sprint will get the slider. I like the way it looks and it dont look to big to me.

I have spotted the following device in my download list TELKOMSEL. So looks like 5.2 is not only 9700a based os. Is there any build floating around?