Niagra and Apex News

BGR put up a late night blog post with some updated speculation on Verizon's near-term BlackBerry pipeline.

"Apex" (BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230): Apparently this has been removed from VZW's data devices roadmap, which means it's either going to be released soon or has been dropped. Considering a live image of the 8230 leaked in our forums just the other week and the leaker said it should be coming soon (it was his test unit) makes us think that's more likely to be the case. Good news here.

"Niagra" (BlackBerry Bold 9030): Nothing really new here in terms of device information, other than a bit more confirmation that lookswise the 9030 is more like a upsized Curve 8900 than the existing Bold 9000. I'm still assuming RIM goes to market with this as the Bold 9030 despite the change up in looks... it just seems weird/costly to fragment the brand, especially when Wall Street is complaining about tighter margins. The bad news here is on release date. Back in early January, Engadget posted that the Sprint BlackBerry Bold would hit in the first quarter of the calendar year. This would make for a nice CTIA launch, which if you think back to last year is where both Sprint and Verizon announced the Curve 8330. BGR's tipster/info is putting Verizon's "Niagra" launch at May, which is kind of sad if it pans out to be true. I know sooo many people on both Verizon and Telus right now who want to buy a new BlackBerry but are not interested in the Storm and don't want to pick up the Curve 8330 since they know something new must be coming along soon. 

As much as I'd like to see the CDMA Bold launch in the next month or so and then see a big product announcement/launch at WES in May (aka. 3G/touchscreen/physical keyboard... "Magnum") I wouldn't be suprised to see things get pushed back. Over the past week I've had a few tips come in suggesting the Magnum won't be arriving until August and that we shouldn't get too excited for WES on the new device front. Of course, that doesn't mean RIM couldn't announce it in May... as they did with the BlackBerry Bold, which then hit Rogers in August and AT&T in November. Regardless... I'll keep my fingers crossed, as I always do, for BlackBerry newness to hit sooner than later.

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