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* Update: We figured and posted as much, and Rogers went ahead and confirmed word with Doug that there will not be a Rogers Storm in their holiday line-up:
Regarding the ‘Storm' posting... Apologies for any confusion, our customer service representative made an error on our holiday device lineup. While we won't divulge the holiday lineup in advance, I can confirm it will not include the BlackBerry Storm.
The only thing to do now is cross our fingers that a touchscreen BB is hopefully in the works that'll come to Rogers in 2009 (something a little faster and optimized for the Rogers network would be nice!). And while I'm updating this post, might as well drop a link to my former employer (the guys responsible for giving me my first BlackBerry!)... it's always good to see that the Financial Post is staying on top of CrackBerry.com along with the BB situation North of the Border!! *
So here's the deal... yesterday a blog rumor started out here (based on a recorded conversation with a customer service rep) that a touchscreen BlackBerry would be available before Christmas (the Storm) on Rogers. The rumor spread, and also got shot down a bit.
I'm late posting on this, because... well... I wanted to do some more digging first before I weighed in on the subject (short answer: shot down). Back on July 4th I posted a Rogers Roadmap that showed the BlackBerry smartphones Rogers would be getting before Christmas along with their approximate targeted launch dates. The devices listed on this roadmap were the Bold, KickStart (Pearl 8220 Flip) and Javelin (Curve 8900). No Storm. (lots more after the jump)
Now since that post went up, over the past couple of months I have, like others, heard some "chatter" that a touchscreen BlackBerry would hopefully be coming to Rogers (which most assumed would be a version of the Storm). Now whether this device would actually come to Rogers in the form of the Storm 9500, or a slightly different version (perhaps supporting HSDPA, and who knows, maybe even carrying different branding and sporting a slightly different look than the Storm...), I have yet to see concrete proof of. From what I can tell, Rogers was looking to put the Storm on the roadmap, dropped it, and is probably now looking again/working hard to get a touchscreen BB out in the hopefully near future (and if they're not, they should!!).
But does that mean we'll see one before Christmas? I wouldn't hold my breath. From what I've dug up it's not yet slated on Rogers Q4 list of devices to launch, and even if it entered carrier testing today (which it hasn't and doesn't sound like it's going too anytime soon - post in the comments if you know otherwise), it would be a miracle at this point to get it certified and rolled out before Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be wrong here and see it happen, but at this point just don't think it will.
Take a look back at the Rogers Q3 hardware lineup. They still have to get the Pearl 8220 out for sale! Rogers had this slated for a mid-September launch (remember those Back to School promotional pricing details that leaked out) but it's now mid-October (into Rogers Q4) now and the flip still isn't available. The reasoning I'm hearing here is that after Rogers certified the still-shaky OS that initially launched on the Bold, they decided to take their time in giving final certification to the 8220's OS and pushed the launch back just to make sure things were perfect. The 8220's OS has since been certified, so look for the new Pearl to become available on Rogers any day now. As for the 8900 Curve, that was on the Rogers roadmap for a Q4 launch (and hopefully still will be here for the holiday season), but after seeing T-Mobile Germany put the 8900 Curve up on their website and quickly yank it down, I'm not quite sure what the full story behind the 8900 is (part of me thinks it may get pushed back to early 2009 (at least in North America), but I'm still hoping for November).
So that's where I'm at. Apologies for the long-windedness. I just hate writing posts like this... cause I know any of the RIM or Rogers folk who may just happen to read this (and of course know all the truth behind blogosphere rumormongering) are likely laughing their a$$es off).
Final Takeway: I want to see a touchscreen BlackBerry come to Rogers in time for Christmas, but just don't see it happening based on my digging. But I've been wrong before, so if you're on Rogers and you're hoping for it, keep your fingers crossed.
Keeping me Honest: Spur of the moment idea as I type this... call me crazy, but how about this: If I'm wrong... and we DO see a Rogers BlackBerry Storm before Christmas, I'll personally run to the local Rogers store the day it comes out, buy one, and put it up for grabs here in the blogs and give it away to one lucky Canadian reader. It'll mean less presents for my family and friends this holiday season, but that's something I'm willing to risk for CrackBerry Nation :-)