Possible Name Change: Bold 9800 (slider) may instead launch as the BlackBerry Torch 9800; Should RIM add a new product family?

By Kevin Michaluk on 15 Jun 2010 11:14 am EDT
 BlackBerry Torch or BlackBerry Bold?
Holding the BlackBerry Torch or Bold?

We've already seen plenty of pre-release photos and videos of the RIM's upcoming BlackBerry slider device, which according to the operating system's about screen pegs the device model number as the BlackBerry 9800. We've even seen the device carry the Bold branding on the hardware itself (stamped Bold onto the back of the device beside the camera), which pretty much makes it a no-brainer the slider would be marketed under the name BlackBerry Bold 9800. However, the BlackBerry Bold 9800 name isn't a done deal just yet.

Apparently RIM has been debating whether or not they should launch the slider as part of the BlackBerry Bold family or instead launch a new product family for the slider. The new name? BlackBerry Torch. We've received multiple tips on the 'ole CrackBerry hotline relaying word that the new slider from RIM, which will launch with BlackBerry 6, may ultimately carry the BlackBerry Torch name rather than Bold. A little digging confirmed the Torch name is being seriously considered (though it doesn't seem like the decision is quite final just yet). I wonder if RIM's affair with the Torch name came about when they acquired Torch Mobile (the company/team responsible for the new WebKit browser) or if it was the 2010 Olympics that inspired it? While the change of branding decision may still be a bit up in the air, we have heard that some slider devices are already being manufactured down in RIM's plant in Guadalajara, Mexico carrying the Torch branding and a quick WhoIs search on the BlackBerryTorch.com domain name does reveal that Research in Motion registered it back in April. In other words, this isn't random speculation.

CrackBerry Poll: So what do you think? Should RIM introduce a new product family for the slider form factor? As it stands, the Pearls are narrow devices featuring SureType, the Curves are the entry-level full qwerty, the Bolds are the flagship full qwerty, and the Storms are full touchscreen devices. With a new sliding form factor, RIM could take this as an opportunity to introduce a new brand name that would hopefully catch a lot of buzz and attention when the device hits (especially considering it will be the first device to get BlackBerry 6 and the new WebKit browser). At the same time, RIM just scrapped the Tour brand in an effort to consolidate and simplify the product families (though in that case it was arguably more redundant to the Bold family since it was essentially a flagship full qwerty). And if RIM introduces the BlackBerry Torch brand for the BlackBerry 9800 slider, what family of product to they put the BlackBerry 9670 (full qwerty clamshell) into. Decisions, decisions. Whether it be the BlackBerry Bold 9800 or BlackBerry Torch 9800, I just want to see this device hit the market asap. Cast your vote above and sound off with your thoughts on the BlackBerry Torch name below!  

Reader comments

Possible Name Change: Bold 9800 (slider) may instead launch as the BlackBerry Torch 9800; Should RIM add a new product family?


I don't think so. when companies do this all it does is really confuse the customer. The device should be kept within the BOLD family as it shows a constant progression with the device.

It isn't a consistant progression with the device though. They will be releasing a Bold 9700a soon with the non slider form factor and then I'm sure they will have another Bold that will be with the built in keyboard and then upgrade the Slider again and name it another Bold name. To me, that is confusing as shit!

I guess you do have a point. But its not fancy enough to be called a "Torch" its functions seem to be way behind some of the sleeker Android devices. This name will grab the attention of a few and if it does not live up to it, then RIM will have to face the music.

And your true opinion comes through, you don't really have any true insight into why the name should or shouldn't be changed. You just happen to be a android lover. You know they have a blog you can post on somewhere right??

I like the change. Something BBRY has never done as far as model goes, and I think it fits to change the name. Not a huge fan of "Torch" but the idea is good.

I don't like that everything is being called a Curve, Pearl, or Bold now. Each phone is difference with similar insides. The Bold 9700 is not the same as the Bold 9650. And the Slider isn't even close to the same. Give these difference form factors difference names to make things easier. When someone asks me for help on their phone, they don't know the number associated with it (9105, 9550, 9700, etc) they know the name. Its hard to help someone with their Bold 9650 when they have the Bold Slider.

haha. i wrote that statement into the final paragraph. i know LOTS of us think that. i'm more curious to see the straight decision of Bold vs. Torch. it's an either or type of reponse on this one. :)

Hi Kevin. I was just wondering why you're never on BBM. Is it my phone or yours? It keeps saying that you're unavailable 24/7 and I don't know why. =S

Anyone that ever has to help someone with their blackberry over the phone and needs to know what phone they have. Its not the biggest deal, but I just had to experience it yesterday with the Curve (which there are too many of).

Yeah. Too many Bold's already. 9000, 9700 and now the 9650.

There should be something across all devices that determines the family name. To me the slider is an entirely different form-factor thus should be named something other than "Bold".

Storm is a good name since you know that's a non-kb BB.

a month or two before the 9650 released. What I didn't (still don't) understand is why a seemingly better phone (the 9650) has a lower model number than my 9700.

And, I'm not a hater....I don't care that I JUST got it and it is already dated relative to the 9650 and soon to be Slider and Flip and even the Pearl 3g or whatever....electronics are always out of date within six months of purchase.

If you are helping someone over the phone and work in technical support the phone model number shows on the account. Giving the imei does the same thing.

True if you're working in tech support. Not so true if you're helping Uncle Steve. Not that it's that hard to figure out which model it is by just asking a couple questions about the phone, though.

Absolutely... but what's the first thing you are going to tell your uncle to do when troubleshooting his Blackberry? Battery pull, "and while you pull the battery go ahead and tell me the model number" says I to uncle Steve.

They need to save "Blackberry Torch" for the real device that totally changes the Blackberry universe. Using it on the 9800 would be a complete waste.

I voted for "Keep it as Bold" but really, I say neither due to my statements above on the Torch name and also I think the 9800 doesn't fit in the Bold family. It needs a name though, just can't think of one at the moment.

I really think they need to keep things simple right now, they tried to introduce the tour as a new product family and that failed. i would understand needing a new family name, especially because this is a completely new form factor for them. i guess a new product line would be good if they keep the silders comming out. we will have to wait and see.

Pearl, Bold and Storm all had to be introduced. As long as they continue the line. Storm has made a better name for itself in the second round. Possibly even better with S3. If the Torch can hit the ground running and running well, it'll be fine.

I do believe they need a new family name for this line of devices. IHowever personally I don't care for the name Torch at all.

I don't mind giving it a new name, but it doesn't strike me as deserving of the "Torch" title. Maybe save that name for something really ground breaking.

Would be easier if they just called this thing the Slide and eventually make a landscape version, and maybe call it the Slide L... or something along those lines.

I could live with Torch. But the name just seems vague. It fits in that a torch is a tool - a light in the darkness to show you the way - but for this device it doesn't seem unique enough. All BlackBerrys are torches in a sense.

Something more specific to the identity of device would be more fitting. I like the idea of going with "BlackBerry Shift".. as you can shift from touch to type, this BB has the best of virtual and physical navigation. I think the name should reflect that, seeing as the melding of the two was a major point of conceptualizing the slider form factor in the first place.

Either way, I care not in the end -- this is my next mobile.

I agree this man needs a cigar. Blackberry "Shift" has a better ring to it and more logical meaning. They definatly need a new name. The Torch is just not it.

Couple quick questions, didn't get a chance to do too much research on this phone but I like the way it looks here.

Will this (Torch/Bold) be 4G capable?

Will it have a virtual SureType keyboard to use in addition to the physical qwerty?


the device is already gay enough, might as well give it a flaming name as well...seriously RIM, keep the downward spiral moving.

I definitely think a new product line is necessary. However, I also think RIM needs to define their product lines more clearly. The merging of the Tour with the Bold was confusing. I work with a lot of people who formerly used the World Edition. Most of them don't know that the Tour is a replacement of this phone (ie. CDMA and GSM capabilities). The merging of the Tour with the Bold further confused this distinction.

It looks like this is what they are doing. So it makes sense to have the slider in a new category and stick to these lines.
1. Pearl - intro, affordable, entry-level
2. Curve - full keyboard, affordable, moderate power
3. Bold - full keyboard, high-end, full powered
4. Storm - full powered, touchscreen
5. Torch - slide-out keyboard, full powered touchscreen.

I would like to see Rim define the product lines for the consumers..just like above. Each product line would and can be used for different users and what there needs and wants are. I have to say I'm not crazy about the Torch name, but ..its not about the name...just that the product works and does what it is intended for. I can see having the touch screen and the slide out keyboard. Me coming from a curve to the storm. I can see best of both worlds with that. So if I can have best of both worlds then and it works for me...then I'll take the Torch name.

This makes a lot of sense & like what's already been said would definitely clear some things up. The only thing is, I don't know if I'd classify the new Pearl as "entry-level" with it basically being the 9700 in a smaller package, other than that, the breakdown seems accurate.

Your categories are outstanding! RIM can't go wrong if they use your format! That way RIM can either add to the categories or, make a new one (but not too many, they will lose control).

Of course! Don't want to confuse them! Especially since England'll probably still be fretting over that draw.


It does seem like an odd idea since they killed the Tour line, but the Bold line is getting pretty crowded and the new form factor would seem to require a separate line.

I like the name change, I mean I own a Bold 9700 and I don't think the Torch will be similiar to the Bold family. But then again the phone itself looks kinda long and slim. Maybe a Blackberry Slide 9800 is the most suited name for it. Just don't call a Bold... And one quick question?... What's new on this phone?

I say keep it in the Bold family. I think it would fit with the Storm family (being a touch screen) a bit better but we know that name is enough to turn some off to it.

Only way I could see them starting another name/device line would be if they include the Slider, flip and at least another 2 devices that "open" in some way or another.

If not then I say keep it in the Bold line up.

Pearl, Curve, Bold, Storm is plenty. Just add to those existing line ups.

Doesn't really have a Bold feel? I've always thought of the Bold line as the traditional, powerhouse, corporate phone. The 9800 doesn't give me that impression.

But "Torch" just doen't seem right. Maybe they should stick with Slider or something similar. That way they would now have a line of sliders (horizontal, vertical) or other touch/QWERTY style phones (like the MotoBackFlip). While the Bold holds that classic BlackBerry style and build, every Bold should add to it's specs and keep the style. And that (ugly) clamshell can just be in the Flip family, along with the Pearl Flip and whatever else they make flip. I don't know. I just want the Slider NOW.

Should be named the BlackBerry Whore. "Hey what phone is that?" Its what ever you want it to be. Its a Whore...BlackBerry Whore.

Lots of interesting points. Four different product could be enough already. But five is also a nice round off number don't you think. It could be argued that it can belong to the Bold family or the Storm family being touchscreen. But remember the 8220 - Pearl Flip. It was a flip phone and because it was a SureType narrow handset it went into the Pearl family even though it was the first flip phone in the BlackBerry line. Okay so it was a flop and the 9800 is a much better device. So keeping in the Bold family and calling it Bold Slider could also be suffice enough

I voted for Torch, though I'm not completely sold on Torch. A different name would probably be better. It's a new form factor and will have BlackBerry 6 so a whole new name would go well with it too.

while keeping it bold would continue the line and be familiar with it, I think it should be changed as not to confuse the already too many named "bold" devices out there. Changing it might breathe some new life into the line and cause consumers to give it a second look instead of passing it over as yet another bold

Makes sense to me...

Curve - separated keys
Bold - guitar-fret like keyboard
Storm - no keyboard, touchscreen
Pearl - more of a classic candybar format

And now...

Torch - Slider, guiter-fret like keyboard, touchscreen

Torch doesn't sound that nice... I agree with jlb21 that Bold Slider is a better name... but between BOLD ONLY and Torch then better to have a different name...

RIM doesn't seem to have a cohesive way of naming their phone models as evidenced by their indecision as to which line of models this new phone belongs to. They might as well call it Shirley!

News must be light if Crack is putting up news like this. RIM is wasting time debating a name? Really? Smartphones are making news almost everyday with new features or advancements. I love my 9700 but I could care less about names or minor insignificant upgrades at this point. There is no excuse of that.
As a leader RIM should be leading with innovation. They are not doing so well these days. The 9800 looks nice but is hardly anything to get excited about. I can't believe we are still waiting for better OS and browser.

Got any real news Kevin? Crackberry is kinda weak these days.

Nah seems kinda lame but the storm was widely accepted..Idk

The should just come out with it and the name could be doo doo slider but if the OS is good no one will care. But black berry does need a better definition all those numbers can become likd binary code especially when they reach 9999

Torch sounds fine to me. It would sure be easier than trying to identify it differently than my Bold 9000. It surely is not a Bold though. I have been waiting for this phone for a long time. About two years ago, I asked for a phone just like this.

So, please RIM, get this thing out! Now!

I voted for Torch. The phone seems like a pretty big step for RIM...new form, new OS..may as well give it a new name.

Where is the "Scrap this garbage 2003-era slider design and come out with a decent touchscreen instead" option.

Keep the name; this has the Bold keyboard and the Bold large form-factor. And it seems a normal evolution of the Bold to go to a larger screen, and touch-screen was thrown-in to boot.

All I want to know is when it will be coming out. If it takes them too long, it will definitely be time to move on to something else. The Flip, I have Zero interest in, and this is pretty much the only phone I see that I want to upgrade to as far as BB's go. if it takes them too long to releases it, with OS6, I will try something else.

Call it anything....
I am not buying it...
Untill RIM comes with calculator model bold with classic bold size
And new age OS.

I like the name, I think that the slider does need a name that separates it from the other form factors. We all know that the Pearl is the small one, the Curve is, dare I say, most peoples "intro" Blackberry. The BOLD is the high end, big gun Berry & the Storm is just that only for those you are into the "touchscreen scene." The 9800 is going to run a new OS, pack more under the hood & it's a SLIDER so I've got to say that I'm with the others that feel it should have a different name to set it off from the rest.

...but not sure "Torch" is it. Too easy for the fanbois to go crazy and add an "ed" to the end. What's more, naming after the BROWSER seems, at best, a bit inept (unless RIM wants to be known as such). And if it's about the Olympics, let us not forget that the "torch" (rather, 4 torches) did NOT function correctly.

If this BB functions like THOSE torches, I'll have to scrap my dreams of getting one! :)

All aside, call it "Dog Poop". If it's the phone that fulfills my needs (business first), then it's the phone I'll be after. (I'm one of those hoping for OS6 to be "evolutionary" rather than "revolutionary".)

the 9800 is a combination of the storm and the bold. It should not have either name. Does it deserve the "torch" title? Maybe, maybe not.

But it definitely does not deserve the Bold title or the Storm style. Different devices, different look style.

If "torch" is the only title out there, be my guess. So to answer the question - yes, it should be named the Blackberry Torch 9800.

The Bold series got confusing after the merger of the 9600. If this is another bold then many people out there will be more confused as me. Torch sounds cool, fresh and inspiring.

I also think they should name their new browser BlackTorch as well. Browser sounds generic. When you refer to the term browser, people will think brands like Safari, Firefox, Opera, Skyfire, Explorer, Chrome and etc but they never think about Blackberry.

I'm really on the fence about this name change...while I'd like it to keep the Bold name because I've had both Bold 9000 and 9700 this would make for a three-peat...but I do like the name Torch for this as well. It just sounds better for the slider......

I think they should change the name. I'm not sure "Torch" is the best option, but seeing as how it's very different from the Bold's to date (seeing how it has a touch screen) there's no reason to call it a Bold. So I agree they should change the name. I also agree that I really don't care what they change it to, so long as they release it soon and it's the prodigy we hope it is.

Honestly, i really don't care what they name this bb.....just release the damn thing already. Currenty, i'm using the BB 9000 and i'm getting really bored with it. However, i'm seriously looking into adding another line and getting an iphone 3GS; don't want the Iphone 4.

BB really needs to get their ***t together and release it....point blank and period.

Sorry just had to vent!!!

I think the Torch could swing both ways.....with the key unifying factor being a full physical qwerty that is kept out of sight and protected when not needed.

Does the flip form factor include a touch screen? I don't recall that it does, but if it did, then they'd obviously be in the same family with different styles.

But, I do not think branding the Slider or Flip a "Bold" makes any sense. Doesn't mean that the Bold must remain the flagship either...with the consumer popularity of touchscreen, could a the Slider (assuming it is done correctly) be the new flagship line, considering that it will launch with OS 6 and Webkit?

Also, ridding itself of the Tour line makes even more sense t us now, in hindsight, if they're launching a new line called Torch.

It avoids any potential miscommunication ("Oh,I thought you said you just bought the new Tourch. But, you just have the Tour.") and keeps the product line to a manageable number for RIM and consumers alike: Curve for entry level BB use (and likely the first to be phased out); Pearl for the Suretype and slim phone crowd; Bold for the current top of the line, but future replacement as entry level BB when Curve leaves; and Torch as the flagship consumer line, featuring touch screen and Storm as the touch screen only line.

Maybe there will be two flagship lines Bold for enterprise users and Torch for consumers/cross overs?

I predict that the differentiation between enterprise and consumer will no longer exist in two years.

i think bold slider or bold 9800 is good enough.. i'm just wonderin' when it will be released.. have they announced the release date yet? anyone know?

I'm thinking about getting one of these, and really don't want to say I have a BB Torch. Would rather just call it a Bold if you're going to call it anything beside the model number. Yeah, yeah I know, marketing blah blah blah.

Who are they truly trying to get to buy this horrendous piece of plastic?? What BlackBerry does, and has done for years now, is one thing very very well. Why RIM feels the urge to try and compete with all the fluff "smart"phones out now escapes me. But then, such is the way with many things we buy.

My vote is to call this one the: "Steaming pile of dog dirt" ...although admittedly, that might be hard to fit on the batt cover. Perhaps they can go all artsy fartsy and write it lengthwise, using this form factors completely goofy design to show the entire name when you open the keys up. ;)

In my opinion the BOLD-9000 was the only true BOLD.Since the 9800 has touchscreen and a keyboard that slides out,to me it should be 9800 slider.

Love my BOLD 9000.

It looks like a storm with a track sensor and a sliding keyboard. I think it should be called the Storm 3!

this may be the phone that keeps me with blackberry's! I like the fact that I think I see an AT&T banner on the screen. I love sliders, I love the full qwerty keyboard, and a touch screen, does it get any better than that????

When is this supposed to come out???

I'm just wondering, with it being a cross between a Storm touch-screen and a Bold keypad, why they were going to call it a Bold and not a Storm?

I voted for Torch, but I agree with others that the Slide would be a better name. The Curve seemed to get its name because it was less "boxy," more curvy; the Pearl got its name from the trackball; the Bold was definitely the "big bad bold Berry." The Storm is the only one who didn't really get its name from some aspect of its form factor. If the 9800 comes out with another name (Bold, Storm, Torch, Dog Dirt, whatever) people will probably still say "it's the BlackBerry slider" or "the BlackBerry with the slide." So why not just call it that to begin with?

i dont really care what they name it as others said just release the stupid thing.. I keep looking at android but really want a normal keyboard not all touch.. so many phones keep coming out and BB just sits there saying hey lets put a new keyboard on the pearl and add a track pad.. hey lets add wifi and a track pad to the tour.. people will love it... its pretty boring.. if the slider doesnt come out soon i will be like many others and jump ship and never look back

I think they should call it the BOLD 9800 or Bold Slider. That keyboard style represents the Bold family of phones. Just as the Curve line and Pearl line have their own unique keyboards. I also consider the Tour to be in the Bold family of BlackBerrys. I think they just used the Tour name as a play on the fact that its a "world phone". But its still apart of the BlackBerry Bold line.

....I can see/hear it now. The commercial rolls out with The Doors playing in the background.

"come on baby light my fire,
come on baby light my fire,
try to set the night on FIRE!"

I'm not sold on the name "Torch," but I do think it needs it's own name since it is a different form factor than anything else. The tour was different, I said that was a mistake from the very beginning, but the slider is a whole new device.

Dammit, I can't get over how ugly the "chin" on this device is. That's the ONLY thing keeping me from wanting this. I can't be carrying around a phone in which I think the exterior is ugly. If they had only changed that I would be all over his.


Why even make a slider? That bus has come and gone with other devices with little to no success. May as well bring back the brick phone.

They should call this thing the Catchup 2009! I've been a consistent BB user and I've gotta say these new Android devices are getting more tempting by the month. BB really needs to step their game up if they want to retain users these new devices coming out are amazing. The only reason I have not jumped ship like many others is the good ole physical keyboard but with devices such as the Evo I think I can let it slide. This thing looks like the Pre and the screen is rather small. This does not mean I won't give it a chance though, I will definitely wait for it to launch before making a final decision as to what phone will replace my beloved Bold 9000 :(

There needs to be a decision made... Model names (like cars) or generations with increasing numbers (like electronics generally are). I would lean toward the former because too often does a BlackBerry with a HIGHER model number have a lower spec. For instance, why does the Bold 9650 have more memory than a Bold 9700? Anyone on this blog knows enough to know why, but the consumer doesn't. Nor does it justify the fact. There need to be FIVE, count them FIVE form factors.

#1: Pearl (the one and only, no flip, SureType)
#2: Curve (best represented by the 85xx, quasi-ruggedized, cheap QWERTY)
#3: Bold (like the Curve, but more business-y and premium components, roll out OSes on this platform)
#4: Storm (keep refining this platform, keep SurePress, keep Droid and iDon'ts on their feet)
#5: Torch (Palm Pre-esque, standard touch, slider, for those who want a glorious touch screen but want a real, physical QWERTY at times)

Kill off the Pearl Flip. Kill off the "upcoming" QWERTY flip. There is only so much R/D money, and those form factors don't pay off. In all reality, if the chrome on the Bolds and Storms could be metal instead of plastic, the Curve niche could just be served by last-gen Bolds.

Long time BB user who has a Bold 9000 on AT&T. I want to make the jump to a high end Android phone, as long as it has a physical qwerty keyboard, and a +4" screen would also be excellent. As far as I can tell, there are no devices that fit this bill coming out anytime soon on AT&T, which severely limits my options. Although BB is no longer my first choice, the 9800 may be the best of all the bad current forseeable options.

The next Bold should be the Dakota, the slider needs to be called "The Beast". The slider is more Storm than Bold!

What's the worry about RIM running out of model numbers now that they are in the 9's? Don't tell me that they are using decimal. Let them worry when they get to the F's like real digital guys.

(There are 10 kinds of people, those who use binary and those who don't.)

Has anybody actually used the keyboard on that thing? The top row of keys look like they would be hard to access with your thumbs. Top row looks cramped.

I think having a separate family name for high-end devices with "alternative form factors" would be good. They can group the sliders and clamshells together in one family name, as long as they have some consistency with features and specs.

The name Torch sucks. Bold is what that specific line of blackberry is...BOLD. And the name should stay. Bold Slider describes the phone well. Torch sounds like you're marketing to a bunch of kids.

Whatever RIM calls it will be trumped by what the public calls it.
The 9800 slider, bb slider etc...
I'm not big for aftermarket covers and housing but if they
Call it the torch I will be unbranding this phone fast!
Torch just sounds weak.

the blackberry flare? the blackberry jumper? the blackberry slide? the blackberry lift? the blackberry boost? the blackberry aloft? the blackberry uplift? the blackberry ascendance?

like the blackberry torch sounds boring. i especially like the way "blackberry uplift" sounds.


i don't like video what i watch in youtube. i just look a blackberry with touch screen and the touch screen just like ordinary touch not like sure press or pietzo . i think . i like use pda with os blacberry. i doubt this blacberry have a good revenue

Well since the name should be monosyllabic like its predecessors, how about the Blackberry Rogue? It's in the spirit of the Storm and Bold names. But Torch just isn't cutting it. I would not want to say out loud that I had a Blackberry "Torch."

were to have a slider BB I would consider it. I had the envTouch and I liked having a touch and full qwerty together
But am not an Android person

i think the Bold name shouldve been kept with this device but im not made at the new name either....either way i win because im on at&t and i have an upgrade available :-)