Rogers is taking a slightly different approach on the advertising of the new BlackBerry Pearl 8220 flip phone (formerly referred to as the KickStart). The 8220 is not even available for sale yet, yet advertising for the new Pearl is already going out in Rogers mailers. I received a bunch of emails this weekend from CrackBerry readers who have come across the advertisment above. This particular snap was taken and sent in by Mark, who was surprised to see the flyer in his local newspaper. The image should be familiar - it's the same flyer we leaked back on August 28th that confirmed the 8220's $149.99/3yr term pricing.
Just because it's in a flyer doesn't mean the Pearl 8220 is available for purchase though. Indeed, calling up your local Rogers dealer right now to ask if they have any BlackBerry flip phones in stock will probably lead to confusion (trust me, I tried). Upon deferring to my Rogers peeps who are in the know, it seems the availability date on the 8220 is still a ways off... try October 4th.
This date jives pretty well with what I've been seeing on the OS side of the equation. I've been delaying my one month 8220 review (it'll be more like a 6.5 week review when it goes up this Tuesday) because every time I go to write it a newer version of 8220's operating system becomes available and I get distracted by it for a few days and then the same thing happens again and again. When I published Part I of the Hands-On BlackBerry KickStart Review the device was still referred to as a 9100 and was running OS126.96.36.199. I've now updated the OS several times, most recently this past week to version 188.8.131.52. I'm hearing the final OS build should be completed in the next few days (once approved you're looking at a couple weeks before it's loaded onto devices and ready for sale). With CTIA starting on Wednesday it would seem a good time/place for RIM to bring official word of the new flip phone (and maybe the Storm/Thunder and Javelin too while they're at it!!), but I wouldn't be shocked to see the official 8220 announcement delayed to the following week.
Now what I want to know.... who's DYING to go out and buy a new 8220?!