BlackBerry 9900 - Touchscreen BlackBerry Bold!

First Real Look: BlackBerry 99xx "Pluto"
By Kevin Michaluk on 14 Mar 2009 10:27 am EDT
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* Update 2: Definitely see our updated post on this one - Could be a photoshop and we've got some follow up details on the Pluto project you'll want to read. *

*Update: So we've got a bit of question mark on whether or not the 9900 will ultimately hit the market with a SurePress display (screen that moves and clicks) or just a standard fixed touchscreen. We've known that earlier prototypes of this model have had the SurePress Storm-styled clickable screen, but are also hearing that part of what Vodafone/Verizon sealed up with their Storm exclusivity deal was the SurePress technology, at least for a while. So for now we're going to leave a question mark on this. And in the comments you can let us know what you'd prefer - a Touch Bold with a screen that clicks (a la Storm) or a fixed touchscreen.  Ahh...gotta love the rumormill games! *

Holy FRAK. Here ya go. Just when we're starting to get excited for the CDMA BlackBerry 9630, here's a first real image of the BlackBerry 9900 (looks like the image itself used in the Rogers document is from a RIM device simulator). This is what has been referred to as "Pluto" for sometime now.

So what's the BlackBerry 9900 all about? We're talking about a BlackBerry Bold style-device with SurePress Touchscreen. Like the Bold, it'll be a 3G device and use the same speedy processor. What it will not have is a trackball. Crazy. Wicked.

According to this document it's slated for Rogers Q3 release, though we wouldn't be suprised to see it hit in Q4. And of course, like the Bold, we'll see this rollout to GSM carriers around the globe. Excited much??!!! 

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

BlackBerry 9900 - Touchscreen BlackBerry Bold!

94 Comments

Why is it when I see this post from CX, it almost makes me think he took the picture. :P haha

i'll probably never get one of these. but my father is looking to make the switch to a Smart Phone... maybe I'll have him wait it out for this one!

Wow Crackberry is on the ball this morning!!!

Looks good but I love my trackball too much to give it up for a touch screen =[

No trackball? Bad move.

Having both would be fantastic. After using the Storm since it came out I can safely say the device would be 100x better with a trackball.

The G1 on T-Mobile has both the touchscreen and the trackball on it. Everyone that I talk to about having both features has stated that they never use the trackball because they have found that it is simply easier to navigate with the touchscreen.

Pretty nice I like it a lot comning the goodness of the bold keyboard and the thing that surepress does best selecting stuff! :)

I just don't want to think about it... got the Bold.. don't want to think about spending for another one.. damn RIM... relax your production... lol Proud to be Canadian :)

To me, the entire advantage of the Storm vs conventional blackberries is the ability to have the virtual keyboard hidden to free up all that gorgeous screen real estate. That won't happen here, and as far as I can tell, there is no other advantage ON THE BLACKBERRY OS to having the touchscreen vs the traditional trackball interface.

Without hardware 5-way controls you will be disappointed... touchscreen are a fad - not a functional one either. I'd take a non-touchscreen Windows Mobile phone over a touchscreen any day. It could possibly work with a trackball, and coding the software to be hardware keys/navigation based - with click features and using the touchscreen mainly for quick access to icons and selecting text.

I'll be sticking to the 2nd generation 8900 with HSDPA radio - am happy with my standard non-touch 8900 Berry.

Mother of God! Research In Motion are looking for world dominiation, lol. That's S-W-E-E-T !! It's great to see that RIM aren't resting at all. Keep 'em coming!

SWEET!!! i love the swipe to scroll on the storm but CANNOT stand the virtual key board, yet i wonder if would still be a pain to selct/copy paste as the storm???

I don't understand what they are trying to do here....

Keyboard, but no trackball...

Touchscreen with a tiny screen?

This device makes no sense and seems rather unpractical.

I agree with dusteater. Without a trackball, you still face the myriad of problems you have with the Storm - copy/paste, highlighting, selecting with precision, using forms online is a pain, etc, etc. Unless it's not a surepress screen and comes with a stylus, I don't know how this will turn out. Well, UNLESS they improve the touch technology we will still need a trackball.

If they integrate the new copy and paste tool into this phone as they have with the storm's new OS's that are getting leaked it will be a very usable feature.

Another leak today? Nice

Whats with the no trackball? That makes absolutely no sense!

But it did get me excited. And I want to see more of whats on page 99...

Using this device is actually sweet. It's much faster because there is no scrolling. You just touch the icon you want. Then type. Makes for very fast navigating. Very good overall experience.

Nope. Nope. Nope.

I use epocrates every day several times a day and the "touch screen" experience of selecting input fields is sorely lacking. Anyone wanting to actually use their phone quickly and unobtrusively will be disappointed without a trackball... I'm serious. Before you give me your "used it more than thou" pronunciation, download epocrates, go to the medical calculators section and time yourself on doing an anion gap. Sure, I can do it with the regular calculator... but that's not the point! I used to be able to do it on the curve in 10 seconds.

Not every device that is put on the market is going to satisfy every person in the world. If this was the case they would make a single phone that everyone would buy and that would be the end of the phone market.

I was responding to his blanket (and wrong) statement that a touch screen makes "very fast navigation". This device is SO not for me... I guess, but if that's the case, it's not for anyone that wants to actually be happy with their blackberry experience.

Can we get a shot of page 99?

Lower left hand corner states "turn to page 99 for more information."

This device looks sick!!! I wish they would have both the trackball and the touchscreen because when using the device one-handed, I think the trackball comes in handy. All in all, this is another step in the right direction.

Touchscreen is an inferior interface whose primary advantage is to allow for a large screen. This seems like the worst of both worlds.

I dunno

the trackball is right where my thumb is
having to move my thumb UP to the screen and back down the keyboard may prove annoying

WOW!! I didn't expect to see any pics of the 9900 until Q3!
Well, this changes my phone purchase plans for this year.
Wow, I am speechless and this hardly ever happens! LOL
Phone looks damn hot! Way to go RIM! I'm excited lots!

Well maybe this is RIM's way of putting this out there to gather consumer feedback. So if we all yell loud enough to have a trackball put in, they'll change it!!! Ya think!!

PUT IN A TRACKBALL PLEASE!!! There I did my share. ;D

people people - just because YOU may not like touchscreens, or YOU may want a trackball, don't take so much offense to what RIM is designing here. They're basically just trying to offer all sorts of options to capture MORE of the market.

Take my wife for example - she has a device (non-RIM, for now) that has both a full qwerty keyboard AND a touchscreen, and she tells me there's no way she'd use a device that did not have BOTH of those features. She likes the kb for data entry, and she likes the touchscreen for quick screen navigation. And she is a total non-techie.

I think RIM has heard over time that there is a portion of the market that wants both qwerty AND touchscreen - and as strange as that may seem to some of you/us here in this forum, those people exist out there. It may not be you, and it may not be the traditional BB user, but just relax a bit. RIM is seeking to EXPAND their market, and this device is just one more example of that. The Flip is another, and there are likely many more to come. Heck you may even see a slider or something like that (shudder). Who knows?

Just know that RIM isn't trying to offend you guys - relax and take a breath.

I think this device will either be a love it or hate it one for some people. Or it could be the best of two worlds. Full QWERTY Bold keyboard and Storm touchscreen (maybe storm like). And with the no trackball, I don't know why people make a big deal about it. The Storm doesn't have one either.

I think we should see what's going on page 99 "for more information please refer to page 99" :) Specs?

Around and around and around they go again. Wherever it stops a new/same phone pops out, lets call it a....BOLD! Yeah, thats the ticket.

I think it would be more practicale to have a touchscreen instead of surepress. I mean the whole reason the surepress came out was so you think your clicking a button. But with this phone having a physical keyboard I think a touch screen like the iphone that does not click is more practical. Why put a trackball? You then just have a bold with a touchscreen that you would never use. A trackball on a touchscreen phone is pointless. Thats just my 2 cents. I'm happy with my Storm.

This is not what is going to make me buy a new phone. I think that the trakpoint is fine. I had a problem with the screen of an other touch phone a long time ago and I would have given anything to have a trackball or anything else.

Did you notice that Berry in BlackBerry is not capital? This tells me that either ROGERS doesn't care about Capitalization or it is FAKE!

Looks pretty fishy to me. You're absolutely right, the Berry would be capitalized if this were a RIM product. I believe the 9900 exists because of CX's comment, but I believe this picture is a result of Photoshop.

Bryan

I used to have an iphone with at&t....touchscreens are not as good as trackball. The screens have to be cleaned constantly and with a small screen like blackberrys hitting little icons with a big finger is a real pain.

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
this is what i have been waiting for. a touchscreen and a blackberry qwerty keyboard yay!!!!!!!!!!!! i wanted the bold but forget that ill wait on this :)

It seems a little odd to me that Rogers will not properly spell BlackBerry, note lower case b in berry, either sloppy or fishy???

I think this looks awesome and the B is capitol on the device itself. I can't wait. I hope verizon gets this too!

I don't think the lowercase "b" is the fishy party, but why if it's a Roger's product don't they know the model #? It says 99xx which denotes they have no idea what model it is. Is that normal? I would think that a model number would already be hashed out by the time a carrier has agreed to carry it. But that is just me I am not in the wireless industry.

hate the touch screen blackberry. I am looking to go back to the trackball. The touch screen is to slow for my texting and it makes mistakes all the time. I might switch to at&t for the bold which my uncle has and is super awesome!

Seriously I don't think it really matters or needs a conspiracy formed around it.

Back to the subject.

Based off the same looks as the Bold w/o trackball I see this device flopping except for the enthusiast crowd. Unless major changes are made in the coming months (they still have 6 monts). Smallest screen out thre for a touchscreen which is a no no if your getting rid of keyboard navigation for touch-screen ability. They would need to get rid of the classic row of buttons where the trackball used to be (call, end, menu, back).

In truth why the hell would you have those buttons anyways if its touchscreen? LOL that just seems fricken retarded and makes the product a further mutant. You said you would come out with a touchscreen with a keyboard so do just that nothing more and I think people were kind of expecting a Storm/iPhone layout with a slideout keyboard maybe as bulky as the G1 was. I could be wrong but thats the vibe I got reading about the 9900.

At least get rid of those buttons mentioned and add a little more screen instead. It already looks freakishly retarded if this truly is a touchscreen and an extra half-inch to inch is going to help sell this easier. Those are just a few things that can be done better from just looking at it.

I sure hope this is a fake. I will probably just go Bold when its time to upgrade at the end of this year.

Tried and True vs Frankenstein Modern Art retro crap.

The device itself does not excite me that much (touch screen interface on a small screen appears a little strange to me personally). However, this does suggest that RIM is sticking with the touch screen technology; maybe not for all their devices but it does look like it's not just a passing trend.

Some people appear to be saying that they don't like touch screens at all. I would suggest that once refined and provided that you don't have to type using a screen, it really is a superior method of navigating a display. Smartphones are not the only devices going this way; just look at POS terminals, cutting edge home devices, Windows systems and I'd say most input devices going forward.

Good news for both worlds I would suggest. Those who like the touch screen tech will probably continue to see improvements (Storm users) and those wanting both or at least a physical keyboard will not be left behind.

The thing I find intersting is that it looks like it just has silver side rails, similar to an 8800 series, just without the trackball.I wonder if it is going to be similar in size to the 8800 series.

OK, full disclosure: I've spent little time using the iPhone. I really, really like my Bold. But, my two cents: it's not just the touchscreen that gets people excited about the iPhone. It's how well the OS works with the touchscreen. It's like all the people who used to harsh on ipods for not having a built-in radio, ability to delete songs, removable battery, etc.

I didn't get it until I got an ipod. It just worked so well, and so smoothly. I know the iPhone isn't as perfect as the ipod, but it's pretty close, and it's clear it was designed from the bottom up with a touchscreen in mind. Unless RIM re-boots its OS, it's not going to make a dent in the iphone's popularity.RIM needs to figure out how to fight the iPhone, and playing the "me too" card isn't going to cut it.

I am not for one minute suggesting I don't like the look of some of these new models however does anyone else agree that RIM's priority right now should be improving what is under the hood? Looking at the work Apple and Palm are doing (particularly the Palm Pre), there are a lot of great new connectivity features coming through. Palm Pre's synchronisation between, im, internet, social web and just about anything else they can imagine is in my eyes a true step forward not to mention the future plans to integrate Flash into their OS later in the year. First impressions of the Pre's browser seems pretty special too while the Blackberry browser still leaves a lot to be desired. Not wanting to start the Pre vs. Apple vs. Blackberry battle too early I am just wonder what RIM has got up it's sleeve to keep up with the competition in OS department. The new models look great but as a Blackberry fan who has put up with some pretty poor OS issues I'd love to think that there is a decent level of investment going into improving the internal workings of the phones aswell.

The proper term would probably be a CAD(computer aided design) drawing. Which is perfectly acceptable in my book. It is part of the R&D process. Typically one of the first steps.

As I stated earlier, me too. I've already got a copy fixed with the second B capitalized. Took about a minute.

It is great to see RIM looking at numerous options with phone designs. I am sure this will be welcomed by many.

As for me, and being a longtime user, I am not sure this is a fit for me. That is just me. I have the storm right now because of the size of the screen. The touchscreen was a way to have the large screen. If I was limited to a smaller screen, I would not need a touchscreen and would welcome the keyboard and trackball.

Hopefully it's a success and comes with a smoking os.

The Rogers shot is certainly fake and photoshopped. All you need to do is look at the "Blackberry" error. S/B "BlackBerry." Oh well...

I know a couple of people who will be glad to hear about this (mainly my girl friend which whines about touch keyboards but then also whines about having to use the track ball to do everything) but its not for me.

I'd like to see SurePress Touchscreen on this one...
As 9900 will still have real qwerty keyboard, then this SurePress would be OK for onMouseOver effects while surfing web...

For typing, SurePress is terrible... I'm an ex Storm user, and now I'm Bold :)

The NEW BlackBerry 9900 touchscreen 3G coming December 2010.
Hedge Fund Billionaire Philip Falcone's Plan to take over Verizon and AT&T building a massive 4G wireless network that cover the coutry in 2015.FCC formally approved the deal last week.

FCC has gaving a warning to Sprint to STOP there "ADVERTISEMENT" saying they have the "4G" network or will be find $10,0000.00 per day. FCC says the 4G Network will not be in the USA until after 2015.

BillyNYC

Blackberry needs to focus on the giving the consumer the biggest screen possible. The 9800 Torch offers the best compromise and gives you the best of both worlds. However, if the photos are real the upcoming 9900 seems like more of the same? RIM's competitive advantage over Android phones and the iphone will only come if it can differentiate itself from the pack.