I received a few emails this week from tipsters (thanks for sending in all of you) letting me know that October 27th is the release date for the BlackBerry Bold on AT&T. After having seen delay after delay and every release date prediction miss so far, I was reluctant to post on it.
But tonight (good to see bloggers working late on Fridays!), BGR posted on the October 27th date and seems pretty confident in it, so I have some faith that two Mondays from now you'll hopefully be able to walk into your store and pick up that Bold you've been waiting for (assuming you're still waiting for it - I'd be curious to know the precise # of people who have given up on the Bold because of the delays. If you're one of them, let us know in the comments). BGR also posted up the power point slides used for AT&T BlackBerry Bold training, so click here if you want to take a look.
My only cause for concern on the October 27th date? The fact that AT&T sent out notification to employees today letting them know that "RIM is working with AT&T to upgrade the data transport systems to make way for new devices"... which I'd assume includes the Bold and that "All upgrades are slated to be done by November 3rd." This AT&T memo fits well with the explanation we brought you last week of why the Bold has been delayed to begin with:
The issue is with the AT&T 3G Network. The Bold uses Multi PDP context in its data communications and the AT&T network is not optimized for it. It requires a 2-stage network software upgrade by its 3G vendor, Ericsson. Only 30% of the network is upgraded completely and the rest is still pending. If the device is launched without these upgrades the network will suffer bandwidth crunch and speeds would have to be capped at 128kbps! The Tri-State region is one of the market areas that is still in line for the upgrade which makes sense based on your experience with your Bold in NYC.
This upgrade effort is high priority and slotted to complete by Oct 31st. Nov 1st week is the planned launch timeframe for the Bold and with the latest firmware the BlackBerry Bold is a rock solid device, despite what you may have heard elsewhere.
So while I have also received a few tips referring to October 27th as the AT&T launch date, I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't launch on the 27th and we had to wait until the first week of November. Oh well, what's a few more days... we're used to it.