After word of a BlackBerry Javelin popped up on eBay, I was eager to see what else I could find floating around in the online auction world. Could there be any more pre-release devices for realz, or a bunch for shamz? Read On for my adventures!
I wasn't expecting to find much, but it took only a few clicks to turn up a total of two BlackBerry Javelin's, five Blackberry Thunders and a shiny unlocked BlackBerry Pearl 8220 "Kickstart". Now mind you, I have no intention of buying any of these items, but if you happen to have $1,600 lying around, you can supposedly grab an unlocked BlackBerry Thunder - listed as a GSM model that will work on both AT&T or T-Mobile. Or if thats too steep, how about a mere $880 for a Kickstart (not even listed as a Pearl 8220).
If you do some homework (check that the images are original and real, look at the sellers rating and feedback, etc.) you can get a fairly good idea if it's a legit auction or somebody trying to make a quick buck, so it all comes down to a Buyer Beware and a bit of a gamble. I personally wouldn't go near any of them.
You can't win if you don't play though. So if you are willing to take a risk, you can always try your luck, make a bid, and maybe you'll win the auction and pick one up. Kevin's luck wasn't so bad in snagging a Bold, so you never know. But keep in mind Kevin's Bold was only fully functioning for a couple of days before RIM killed the PIN on him, turning it into a not so smart smartphone. And the word of late is that RIM disables the PINs from any pre-release phones once the device becomes commercially available. So to the lucky person who pays thousands of dollars for that Javelin, I hope you enjoy the device a lot, since it likely will not be fully-functioning for all that long. It seems to me the only people who would be crazy enough to make that kind of an investment into a phone with a short life span would be a hedge fund manager (who is going to rip it apart the moment he takes delivery to see who's sourcing all of the components and try to make some cash off the knowledge) or a rich dude from Dubai (don't we all wish we could say "Money is No Object")!
As of now, one of the Javelin auctions appears to have been pulled, but the original auction is still running and is now up to over $3,000. Update: Oh wait, what's this, JUST IN..another Javelin auction! Only $430 at the moment... it won't be for long.
And the Kickstart is still up for grabs, and after 13 bids is still a cheap $880 (the last Kickstart sold for $1725!). I'd defintiely steer clear of the $1,600 "GSM" Thunder models. As much as we'd all like to get our hands on one, these auctions all scream sham Sham SHAM!
Check out some screens from eBay with the new devices:
Of the five Thunder's listed, four as stated as GSM devices, while the one that is shown as being for Verizon has a screenshot from a device that is far from any Blackberry.
Two Blackberry Javelin's - one has since been pulled by eBay
Pearl 8220 "Kickstart" - maybe the only legit one in the bunch
And if you do happen to buy one of these devices and take delivery, be sure to send an email into editorial @ crackberry.com and let us know all about it!