How to break a brand new BlackBerry in less than a minute

By Kevin Michaluk on 20 Sep 2012 03:14 pm EDT

Learn from my stupidity... be careful when using a microSIM adapter with your BlackBerry. See video:

All I can say is.... D'oh!!!!!

Last night I swung by the Rogers store to pick up a new black BlackBerry Bold 9900. With labor day behind us I figured I'd rather show up at the BlackBerry Jam conference in San Jose next week with a black Bold instead of a white one. But my black Bold was looking a bit beaten up from lots of use and abuse, so a minty new one was in order.

Just minutes ago I went to fire up my new 9900. At the moment though my main phone line is tied to a microSIM card - the one I was using in my now broken HTC One X. Because of that, I grabbed a microSIM adapter to put to use with my new Bold, which uses a standard SIM. 

Not too long ago I bought a couple of these microSIM adapters from a local Rogers store. But the last time I tried to use one was with my Torch 9810, and I found the adapter was a little too thick to actually fit the SIM slot (I ended up having to get a new full size SIM). I thought maybe the same thing would happen with this 9900, so before I fully tried to insert it with my microSIM into the adapter, I inserted just the adapter to see if it would fit. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid me.

The adapter slid in just fine, but with no microSIM inserted, two of the contact pins pushed up through the hole in the adapter (where they should be in contact with the actual SIM). As soon as that happened, I was screwed. I couldn't pull the adapter out. I tried carefully to get it done, and pried carefully at every which angle, but eventually I just put a little too much force and the two contact pins snapped out. And that was that. My brand new BlackBerry Bold 9900 bit the dust before I even put it to use.

Lesson of the week month: Be careful when playing with microSIM adapters. And if you're going to stick one in, make sure you have an actual microSIM in the adapter. If not, you're gonna find yourself crying like I am right now :/ 

Reader comments

How to break a brand new BlackBerry in less than a minute


I say never cheat on a Blackberry (good intentions or not). The BB gods were out to teach Kevin a lesson. you can probably get that fixed pretty easily though

Kevin .... I have the solution !

1) Have a contest to win a brand NEW Bold 9900
2) Enter the contest
3) Fix the contest so that you WIN ! There you go!

lol .... I'm sure that once someone from RIM sees this video, they will send you a NEW one the next day. You gave them lots of business in the past.

Just you wait and see.


P.S. - NEVER cheat on a BlackBerry. - Nothing can come out of it. Just look at the mighty Americans. They cheat on RIM, and the country is in grave condition.

Ah Dude.... I would be in floods of tears if it was me..... Just be thankful it wasn't a sparkly new BB10!!!!!!

hi kevin.
not sure if you'll even get a chance to read this but anyways. I was wondering wat your going to end up doing with that phone? Im sure you guys go through a whole bunch of phones and I would like to know what you guys end up doing with them after your done using them (for example, your "old" bb9900). The reason I am asking is because I buy and sell phones(mostly blackberrys, around 97%) on the side and wondering if you are interested in getting rid of your phones, regardless of condition, quantity or functioning or not. I am pretty sure you would have access to my email address since I am registered on this site and the forums. let me know please! thanks :)
p.s i can fix your bb9900 :D

you definitely should have just brought it back to rogers and said the device doesnt work out of box and get it replaced. but now that its posted all over CB and youtube........

If you bought the entire sale on a Credit Card, check the benefits of the card. A lot have a 60-day accident/thief insurance up to $60,000 for the life of the account.

Ashley quit, It's Peggy now.

It's no cost protection on most Canadian credit cards, not sure of US.

Purchase protection insurance will cover eligible purchases against damage, theft or loss typically for 90 days from the date of purchase.

PC Financial Master Card

Purchase Assurance benefits are available automatically, without registration, to protect most new items of personal property purchased by a Cardholder with a President’s Choice Financial MasterCard for ninety (90) days from the date of purchase against all risk of direct physical loss, theft or damage, anywhere in the world, to the extent that such items are not otherwise protected or insured in whole or in part.

Just saying that if the Credit Card covers it, why not use it. It was accidental damage, not like Kevin did it on purpose.

Anyway, in case you were wondering Kevin, you can use the micro-sim without the adapter on the 9900. That's how i'm doing it as well cause i like to try out different devices too. Just have to align it right, same for the 9790.

I did the same thing on my 9810, tried to see if the adapter would fit without the sim in it. Bad move, got stuck. I managed to get it out by using a thin piece of plastic slotted in between the contacts, and the adapter, so it wouldn't catch onto any of the "prongs". Pulled it out with a plier. Damaged the adapter, but thankfully not the phone.

Once bitten, twice shy. Now whenever possible, i try not to use an adapter. If I really need to use one like the sim tray that the 9810 and 9860 is using, i would tape the micro sim to the adapter so the sim doesn't dislodge from the adapter and cause a repeat of that horrid incident.

Hopefully after this heads-up, no one have to go through this kind of pain again.

Perhaps you could talk to Rogers, maybe they have some sort of program where you can pay a bit more to get it exchanged for another one? I know my local carrier does that. If someone were to accidentally damage their phone or whatnot, they can pay a fee (less than the full price of the phone) to get it replaced.

When this happened was your hair in your eyes or did it distract you in any way?

Hurry up RIM and release BB10 before all Kevins tech is ruined!

Is there any way we can blame this on the release of iOS6 and the new iPhone?

You bad, bad man lol. That sucks sorry it had to happen. Thats what happens when you mention iPhone lol

Same thing happened to me when switching from a iPhone 4 to a Nexus S. The adapter is to blame, snagged 1 golden pin and that was it.

I used the Rogers Handset Replacement Program and got it fixed without any cost for 1 Token

$600 clock apps not floating your boat anymore, eh? Breaking $600 Blackberrys is more fun? Why not throw an Android on the ground? Oh wait....

Ahhh. I am so sorry Kev. That is truly the pitts. However, don't mistake my sympathy for a willingness to loan you any of my Berries. Not with your record LOl!

You should go to BBJam America's with a REALLY OLD BlackBerry device as punishment for hurting such a wonderful phone! SHAME ON YOUUUUU!!!!

**EDIT : On second thought, I sentence you to 2 weeks of using a Storm 9500! That' oughta' teach you a lesson!

It would be totally epic, but given past comments from the CB Team (and from Kevin?) about the original Storm I'm not sure what message it would give! Loving the retro idea though.

i love you man. Lol! Sorry to hear about the phone but, this doesn't happen to many people. And to make a video about it....i love you man lol.

You have taken the wrath of the Blackberry Gods for trying to put a tainted SIM used in and Android device into a Bold 9900! Sorry for the bad luck!

it is possible to Solder the contacts back in place.... I've done it, luckily not on my phone, but a friends!!

You know Kevin, if you can't think of anything better to do with it, I sure would be more than happy to give that 9900 a good home. Try and replace the broken part. My 9800 is reaching it's last legs.
Just sayin' ;)


As for your 9800, reload the OS from scratch, restore only what you need and have the clutter cleaned out.

Might need a new battery if it won't last long. Heck, there are people who have replaced the battery 9 times and reloaded the OS twice to keep the clutter down. I know those people. :D

Thanks for the pointers, and I have already re-loaded the OS more than once... but I gotta be honnest, I'd rather have the 9900, even if I have to do a repair job on it ;)


I use my iPhone micro sim in my 9900 all the time with out any kind of sim adapter. The micro sim holds in place just fine.

So sorry Kevin. Why is CrackBerry Adam laughing? And is he jealous because you have so many BBs?

At the very least, this gave you an idea for what to write about in your blog.

Have fun at the BlackBerry Jam!

It is easy to save your BB if this situation append, you juste have to push your sim in the adapter to put down the reader pin. I have done the same mistake but I insert my sim between adapter and bb reader and after I take out both with no damage.

Almost exact same thing happened to me about a month ago. Tried a One X for two weeks, went back to my 9900 and inserted micro-sim adapter without SIM. Luckily in my case the pins did not break, they just got all bent out of shape. But managed to put them back almost to where they were supposed to.

It's my own fault really for cheating on my 9900...


How about swapping the internals from your white 9900 to the black one? That's if you're comfortable doing it. Then you'll have a nice shiny black one for BB JAM.

I had done this to a 9800 once, but with the microSIM actually in the adapter. The lesson: slip some scotch tape around the whole adapter to prevent it from snagging on any seams.

I know right?! I always seem to find a way to get into trouble as soon as the battery door comes off.

RIM should really just hire me as a consultant to test their phones. I can find every little thing possible. 

I think you and I are cut from the same cloth... I always find ways to break things. I found a quirk with my 9800 on when I shut the screen, and if I hit the lock button right as it snaps into place it reboots the phone :p

Had the same thing exactly happen to me dam.
Broke 3 of those gold little pins in half, then I cut out the top of the card holder so I can bend those little pins up and see what happens. Put the sim in that dam adapter and laid it on top of the pins and put a small piece of cardboard on top on the sim adapter then the battery door on and it worked, still working till this day ;-)

thats funny. I new this was your article even before I scrolled down to see your name. This happens to you alot doent it. seriously thanks for taking that bullet for us.

I did that exact thing with a Torch 9800. I was moving the microsim back to my iphone and didn't want to lose the adapter so I had the genius idea of storing the empty SIM adapter in the Torch's SIM slot. I ended up getting the Torch replaced at the AT&T warranty repair center even though I brought it in with the adapter still stuck in the SIM slot. They first tried to remove the adapter and then gave up and handed me a new phone.

you could have cut the adapter with a sharp knife and not had to worry about the tabsthere is a little cut otu that would have allowed you to do this, but whats done is done maybe rogers will be nice and replace it, just lie and said you put the SIM in and it gave an invalid SIM message then when you pulled it out the pins came with it

Wow! I've been longing for a new BB, but since I had to go away for a one year project now I'm rocking an aging but perfect functioning 8100, and you break a 3 minute old 9900, I can feel your pain!!!

Now I would gladly take yours off your hand, even if broken :p


Go buy another one. RIMM could use the "sale" and we need to get rid of some of the inventory to make room for BB 10.

I really hope BB 10 is better than my Galaxy S3 - I can't wait to switch back to BlackBerry.

It's good to be back from banishment....

I did the same thing on my 9800 last month. Except for the part where you tore off the contacts. I panicked at first but I noticed RIM had left a hole in the clip just big enough for me to get a paperclip through to push the pins down so I could pull the adapter out without damaging them. Then I ordered a 9810 anyway :)


Hope you gave her a nice burial at sea. R.I.P. Kevins 9900 we barely knew thee.

lol. Any chance I can get that GS3 off you when you're done with it? I need something to hold me off until those awesome BB10 phones launch.

It looks like you should have been able to cut the leading edge off of the sim card adapter through the crescent-shaped hole towards the top of the phone. What was the adapter made out of? If the adapter was some sort of plastic, you may have been able to get an xacto knife type of thing through it.

Kevin should have been reading his own forums and he would have known sim adapters were a bad idea and the micro sim could just be put in the 9900 without an adapter.

I hope that it doesn't happen to anyone that only has one smartphone, and maybe not even able to afford a high end one. As for your problems? FIRST WORLD PROBLEM!

Kevin, too much adrenaline as you approach the Jam. Now, my cheesy 8330 doesn't even have a SIM card.
Curve 8330 CDMA (eww, I know, u/g to BB10 soon!)
Winner of EA Mobile SE Playbook - rockin' it!

More like too much excitement about waiting in line to get is iphone5!

"Gonna go wait in line in Winnipeg at Polo Park.. not sure what time I safely have to get there. Stores open at 8am local. Not sure when they'll open the mall doors. Maybe 6am? Don't want to go too early, but don't want to be there late, either!"

I was at the toronto eaton centre and.. There were only 31 people waiting overnight for the iphone 5.

Where was the other 500? Nowhere. As for the morning, I estimate: 250-750 people.

You have what, a 30 day over the counter exchange? Play dumb, tell them something else is wrong, and get a new one. Done deal

Easy fix. Take a torx T5, undo your old beat-up 9900, remove the motherboard with the SIM pins, and put it in your new 9900 housing. Keep the same PIN as before, as a bonus. SIM will work, and your phone will look brand-new. If you were in the Toronto area, I could've done it in an hour or so. Did it for my 9000 and Torch 9800.

See Kevin. You didn't break a phone. You simply created the first (and most cumbersome) 9900 cover swap kit. I wonder when we'll see these in the CB store!

I feel your pain Kevin!!!
I just did the same with my 9800! the adapter was too thick!! So now, I am left waiting for BB10 phones! Luckily I have an iPhone 4s lying around (brand new in the box). Not sure if I can get it fixed! I feel like a traitor with the iPhone, LOL!

I did the same thing with my torch 9800. Except I put my full sim card in backwards, it caught the pins and ripped it out.

just take it back, be honest about what happened and they will probably still replace it for you

just go in there acting like you want to buy a new one, lay on a bit of a story and bing bang boom you have a new 9900

remember they will just send it back to rim where it will get repaired for pennies and they will resell it

It that what everyone meant when they said R.I.P. RIM?

Kevin .... I have the solution !

1) Have a contest to win a brand NEW Bold 9900
2) Enter the contest
3) Fix the contest so that you WIN ! There you go!

lol .... I'm sure that once someone from RIM sees this video, they will send you a NEW one the next day. You gave them lots of business in the past.

Just you wait and see.


P.S. - NEVER cheat on a BlackBerry. - Nothing can come out of it. Just look at the mighty Americans. They cheat on RIM, and the country is in grave condition.

Hey Kevin,
Send me the phone, I'll try to fix it and make a video about it like I did for my other YouTube posting here of this water-damaged Torch:

Good luck and thanks for sharing the "accident" as it will help many people avoid the same mistake in the future.

yep...i broke my 9810 in June when i bought my GSIII and tried to see if the sim adapter would fit into the 9810 so i could swap my line between both devices

same scenario as Kevin's except the 9810 wasn't a new one.... had to pick up a new 9810 after that though

microSIM works just fine in the 99xx devices. Just have to center it properly. It does not move around (even if the phone is dropped). I have one in my 9900 right now and have for the past few weeks without issue.

The same thing happened to me. This how I solved the problem.

- Take a business card, and cut it to be the same width as a SIM card.
- Insert the paper under the micro sim holder.
- If the paper is thick enough, it won't fold (pushed up by the pins) and you will be able to push it all the way.
- If it did, carefully slide the adapter out of the sim holder.

Alternatively, cut the far end of the adapter using a cutter so it won't touch the pins on the way out anymore. This only works if the adapter if a frame around the micro sim.

Although this is utterly irrelevant, I have somewhere a Nokia phone which has a fold-out drawer for the SIM. The drawer comes up at 90 degrees, slide in the SIM, fold the drawer down till the little metal latch clicks. No chance of damaging the contacts and, bonus, they can be cleaned if necessary.
Too late for the L series, but come on RIM, think about this for the next slider before I buy it.

I destroyed the sim slot of a Samsung Infuse using a sim adapter in a similar fashion. While removing the assembly from the slot, the microsim popped out before the adapter was fully clear of the slot, leaving the adapter hung on the pins. I didn't use force, just a bigger hammer, to get the adapter out, destroying the pins in the process.

The problem is with the slightly more flexible material of the adapter and the lack of a mechanism to secure the microsim within the adapter. I'd considered using tape to secure the two together, but feared the tape might somehow get stuck or jammed in the slot.

My solution:

Since then I purchased a microsim punch from a vendor on Amazon. I now use the outer remnant from the punch-out as my sim adapter. It's more rigid and more snug than the purchased sim adapters, and of course it's thickness matches the microsim punched from it! Works like a charm! The microsim punch out fits snugly within the confines of its original outer material, allowing easy insertion and removal.

Why I didn't read this article before... why....

I did this dumb thing with my newly-received Q10!!!!! What a dumb.
I happened to put a Nano SIM adapter without the Nano SIM inside that slot, as a result... boom! Broke one of the metal pin.
RIP my Q10... :(