A Smartphone Soap Opera: RIM, AT&T and the Bold

By Kevin Michaluk on 9 Sep 2008 09:09 am EDT

Ahhhhhh...... Feels GOOD!

Honestly, I don't even know where to begin in summing up this story. It's messy, it's ongoing, and there's a lot of bad acting - definitely a soap opera at its finest. The Boy Genius just let loose with his best take/understanding on the AT&T Bold and its rise to existence and series of launch delays. Here's the start:

First and foremost, according to what we have been told, AT&T approached RIM to build the BlackBerry Bold for them. RIM had zero plans of manufacturing a 3G device at the time. They reluctantly gave in to AT&T and started to manufacture the Bold. You can see their non-3G stance with the upcoming Kickstart, Javelin, etc. As it was put to us, "AT&T will not be accepting any non-3G phones on it's network." We've clearly seen this transition take place; we're almost at the point of all 3G handset heaven, so this statement makes sense. The problem with the delays of the Bold is that RIM has the Thunder/Storm up their sleeves...

You can read the rest of the story here. Be sure to report back with your comments on this debacle!

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

A Smartphone Soap Opera: RIM, AT&T and the Bold


Everyone is mad, pissed, anxious, and dissappointed all at the same time. Trust me, Im right there with everyone, because I want a Bold just as bad as everyone else. The real mistake that was made when you get right down to it is the announcement of any release time frame. If we as Addicts had never had an idea, we never would have been let down so soon and so badly. I personally will still get a Bold when they are available and deal with the issues as such. Does anyone else agree, or am I alone in this boat that thinks if we wouldnt have known so early with so many early expectations, BB addicts nationwide would be quite as pissy over it all!!!!

"The real mistake that was made when you get right down to it is the announcement of any release time frame"

I agree with you on this. Unfortunately, the "time frame" has mainly been driven by the blogosphere, in particular Boy Genius, who lately seems to be on an anti-blackberry crusade. Despite RIM not announcing even a targeted launch date, the blogosphere has been claiming "accurate, insider info launch dates" starting with 2007Q4 for the 9000. Then, when these dates come and go, they cry "delay. RIM FAIL".

Now, we can't blame bloggers like BGR for wanting to drum up stories for more page hits. But we can hold RIM accountable for the stream of leaks that out their devices months, or even years ahead of time.

Seems to me that no one should be blaming AT&T for not releasing the phone before it is ready. In fact, they should be commended. I appreciate that they have not given into pressure from RIM to release the phone before it is at the level of stability and battery life that consumers have come to expect from a Blackberry. Also, I think RIM should be thanking AT&T as well, AT&T stance is helping them avoid the "most un-Blackberry-like Blackberry" moniker being applied to its largest market which would truly be a PR disaster.

I 100% agree with you in this matter. I would rather a company wait and put out a good new device rather than something that isn't going to measure up. I'm patiently waiting.

at&t SUCKS!!! when the BOLD is released, this thing better be 100% perfect right out of the box!!! who needs 3g anyway? if you need high speed internet use a friggin laptop!!!

At the bottom of the article, BG states that the Storm will retail for $199 after incentives and stuff. Can anyone confirm this?? Thanks!

I spoke to Verizon insiders that could not confirm the price at $199 but if it is I wouldn't bite the bait. BB traditionally holds back features on first release. remember how the 8800 and the Curve was rolled out.
I got the 8800 with GPS & no wifi. Then I had to get the curve with WiFi and no GPS. If it wasn't for TMO's hotspot at home I would have switched back to att a long time ago.
Good luck to BB Storm/Gustav/Thunder/Rain/Spark or whatever they are calling it these days.

This doesn't make a whole lot of sense "had zero plans to make a 3G device" ?? Aren't all the CDMA Blackberry's 3G?

Seems like they didn't want to make a GSM 3G device due to it's battery life hogging issues, or they wanted more money.

Still.. I'm extremely disapointed with RIM and AT&T on this. I had no plans to buy a Bold, and they are sure doing a good job of keeping those plans for me.

The difference in EDGE and 3g is minimal when browsing the internet on a smartphone!!! I have a 3g phone, and there is a minimal difference between it and my curve...and yes I live in an area with 3g coverage....so suck it!!!

Before you make those bold statements, please do your research. If it is minimal, why the big push for the technology? It depends on your 3g signal strength as well. Just like wi-fi, the weaker the signal, the slower the speed. There's many side by side comparisons with atleast 40% faster browsing on a 3g network. Look it up. Oh and if you have to tell someone to suck it, you might need to step your game up.

Well whatever the issues are...I just got off the phone with an ATT insider who assures me the bold will be launched with the next 10-14 days.

The Storm for Verizon will not be great at all. conflicting reports but it makes perfect sense that BB & Verizon's storm will not have wifi or GPS or both. I'd put my money on the Bold & the Beautiful rather than the Young Storm & the Restless!!!

Yes, because your "insider" certainly knows. Please get your "insider" to tell you the price point as well so you can share it with us. Also, ask your "insider" when the Storm will release on at&t. Oh, and see if your "insider" will tell you how long the Bold exclusive lasts.

Pricing hasn't been released to the Verizon folks I've spoken to don't know. ATT doesn't have plans for the Storm as far as they were aware they are betting on the bold. And as far as the Bold exclusive goes, use your brain! TMO hasn't dropped prices yet so they are probably at least 3 months away. Verizon is taking the storm & nextel is just getting the 88000 series & on the sprint side of the group it could be a possibility but I'm sure its 2 months away or so.

OMG, BG is such a d***!! Do you really believe RIM would make a device because ONE carrier requested it? Seriously? No way, this is is simply a rant from a couple people who are angry. Alongside BG's own MISINFORMAION. Remember this coming from the same source who predicted that the Bold would launch with OS 4.3, lmao....

The thing I'm waiting for with the Bold is *FINALLY* having a Blackberry device I can use everywhere, which includes Japan and Korea, countries I travel to frequently for business. For those who don't know, the only GSM-based phones that work in those countries are 3G devices that operate on 2100 MHz/UMTS, not the 900MHz HSPA networks in use in North America. If it weren't for needing that functionality, I'd have blown off the Bold long ago and picked up a Curve: sure the Bold is beautiful, but it's the 3G that I'm desperate for more than anything else.

We'll see when this thing finally gets launched, but I'm not holding out much hope of having one before Halloween, which means more time spent on my craptastic Windows Mobile device from work. Ugh.

I love how the term "3G" is being brandished about like its a huge deal. If you look on the back of my Sprint Curve it says "Qualcomm *3G* CDMA". Its been there the whole time and always will be there. The idea that ATT went to RIM and "demanded" a 3G berry is silly, and the fact that BG thinks RIM went along is sillier.

F**k**g Apple! See what you did?!?! You slap 3G on that brick of a phone and now other carriers need to make it a point to tell you they have it, but not really explaining that 1. 3G is not everywhere and 2. The speed differences can be not that much. I went into an ATT store to ask about their 3G coverage here in Los Angeles and the guys just rolled their eyes. They said that unless you are in Downtown you really don't see 3G. I hear in other areas it's better, but to make a cell phone manufacturer answer to demands is rediculous.

So this "information" by BG just seems silly. I'm not saying someone didn't tell it to him, I just think that a lot people have inferred this to him and thus he feels he has the information. It's not completely unbelieveable, but it definately ain't something I would bet my reputation on."

is it so hard to have wifi and gps in the same device? I'm getting tired of this game. just release the darn thing already.

oh, and if the touchscreen phone comes out and doesn't have everything... what's the point?? if it's a iphone killer why not have wifi too?? WHY NOT HAVE IT ALL??

Lets get something straight. AT&T does not have a 3G Blackberry at all.

8300, 8310, 8320 Curve is all non-3G GSM phones.
The Bold is Blackberry's 1st 3G GSM phone.

Verizon/Sprint/Alltel/US Cell all have 3G CDMA Blackberry's because it's easier to intergrate. 1X/EVDO/GPS chips use less power then a GSM/GPRS/EDGE/HSPA/GPS/WIFI phone.

All CDMA Blackberry's have GPS, so the Storm will have GPS. The Storm may or may not have wifi though.

RIM could have easily made the Bold 9000 the same as every other GSM phone. Like:
9020 GSM/EDGE/WiFi

It seems 3G GSM phones seemed to be plagued with issues in one form or another, Bold and iPhone 3G to say the least.

I feel it has more to do with Network Infrastructures in the US rather than 3g itself. I don't think ATT is really that far advanced on setting up coverage as good as Verizon (and Sprint for that matter). They are strong in specific areas...but I feel VZW has the head start on the infrastructure need for 3g.

@ anonymous:

"The Bold is Blackberry's 1st 3G GSM phone."

Not quite right - it is RIM's second 3G GSM phone (but AT&T's 1st 3G blackberry). The 8707 on Vodafone was RIM's first 3G GSM phone.

For all of you complaining about the 3G networks and what not as soon as all tv goes digital in Feb 09 the frequency formerly used for tv will be taken over by the cell companies, we're on our way to 4G and all the cell carriers will run off of CDMA anyway lol so in the end it doesn't even matter

If AT&T approached RIM to build the BB Bold....how come AT&T is one of the last carriers to get it released? How come other countries got it first before we did.... Confused here...

f**king kidding me, ya im a blackberry addict to but give me a break, when it comes down to it the bold is just another phone and everyone is bitching about it apparently more than the iphone(which everyone is sick hearing about). next year around this time we are going to be speculating about the next gen of bb and the year after that and the year after that. continous cycle of FALSE HOPE. there is never any sence in listening to some kid who runs a website out of his moms home ( talking about bg) and friggin arguing until we can't even remmeber what we were talking about in the first place. main idea is chill the f**k out and its coming out soon.

ok thats a crazy story if fully true...but where do sprint customers fit into this mix are we getting the bold or javelin or are we stuck with that 8350i????