BlackBerry Rumors Roundup

I know it's probably "bad blogging" to sum up five stories in one post, but it's been a helluva week and honestly, I just don't want to see Lindsay Lohan and her BB get pushed down the homepage too far too quick (LOL). And think of it this way.. I'm extending the life of your mouse by saving you a couple of clicks.

But you'd be crazy not to click through and read this whole article. There are some good tid bits in here (like Verizon stores will be opening an hour early the week of the Storm's launch in anticipation of BIG SALES). I hope you enjoy this Special Edition of a BlackBerry Rumors Roundup!

Rumors From the BlackBerry World for Friday, October 10th, 2008

1. Microsoft to Buy RIM - Every now and then rumors surface that Microsoft is going to buy RIM and it's happening yet again. With RIM's share price in the tank just a bit (well.. the whole market is in the tank, including RIM) the timing is definitely better than it has been for a while. According to Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek, "RIM is a massive strategic fit (for Microsoft)... I'm fairly certain they have a standing offer to buy them at $50 (a share)." 

So whaddya think...  Is it a good fit? Would you still buy a BlackBerry if a new one came to market running some form of a Windows Mobile OS??  via Electronista

2. Super BlackBerry in the Works - Yesterday in our hands-on BlackBerry Curve 8900 video we dropped word of some of the codenames of new BlackBerry smartphones being worked on by the boys and girls in Waterloo. The pipeline definitely is not stopping after the Storm. We've already talked about the BlackBerry 9220 briefly on the blogs and today BGR posted the specs on one of these upcoming new devices, which he hears will "feature a 5 megapixel auto-focus camera, 1GB of RAM so your precious worthless apps don't cause memory leaks, and a "near-HD quality" screen. We're honestly not sure about the form-factor but we heard this device could be sort of a Bold and Storm mashup." BG also mentions that he's heard a second and third generation Storm is already in the works. 

There's definitely validity to these rumors as far as I'm concerned. RIM's engineering team is constantly working on devices that are two years out (remember how plans for the Bold started three years ago?!). I wouldn't let rumors like this stop you from buying the Bold or 8900 or Storm you want right now. Cause you know what? By the time we see these next generation devices come to market there's going to be yet another generation of devices being worked on. The safe thing to do is put some money aside each month into a BlackBerry savings plan so you can buy your device of choice whenever you want :-)

That said, I'm excited as all hell to see images and detailed specs of these new BlackBerrys emerge (as we know they will) in the weeks and months ahead. via BoyGeniusReport

3. BlackBerry Storm Release Dates - After what we've seen with the Bold and even the Pearl 8220 flip, I don't really like to speculate on Release Dates (since they're most likely going to change and be wrong). But in the case of the Storm, with all the marketing being thrown at it you know it's coming SOONER rather than later. One of our readers sent us in a nice screen capture and video along with the following comments that call for a November 2nd launch of the Verizon Storm. Keep in mind the 2nd is a Sunday, so maybe the week after makes a bit more sense:

Hey, this is a video I made of a training spread sheet. It has the Blackberry Storm launch date as 11/2, and training starts 10/17. I thought the training would launch on 11/2 but there is a seperate column for training start date 10/17 and training end date 10/31. Before under 'launch date' the spreadsheet used to say TBD.

Storm Release

Now, despite what the above videos/image show, MY BEST information at this time actually pegs the release date to be on 9th (which is also a Sunday). I'm also hearing that Verizon stores will be open an hour early ALL WEEK LONG in anticipation of Storm sales. So we'll see how this pans out.

Either way, it's not TOO long of a wait, though I wish I had a Storm TODAY. While we're taking Storm.... whatever happened to ROGERS in Canada getting the BlackBerry Storm?! I did some digging and apparently it's not on the roadmap at this time (though it could change). It's funny, because leading up to the Storm's worldwide marketing debut, it was looking like Rogers would be getting it. As for who IS getting it, David Flynn over at posted a good story earlier this week on how Vodafone and Verizon locked up rights to the Storm - definitely worth checking out.


4. Orange Pulls BlackBerry Bold - If you haven't seen this yet, there's a story (looks more like fact in this case than a rumor) going around that Orange has pulled the BlackBerry Bold from their offering for the time being. An internal statement went out that says:

Following reports of software issues with the BlackBerry Bold handset across a variety of mobile operators, Orange has decided to act in the interest of its customers by suspending shipments of the device in the UK. We are currently awaiting feed back from RIM as to when an industry wide fix for these issues will be in place, and expect this suspension to be an interim measure.We apologise for any inconvenience this issue may cause you."next stepsBlackBerry/RIM are doing everything they can to resolve this issue and will be completing full testing and validation to ensure future handsets do not have any quality issues. This may take a couple of weeks so it's up to us to do what's best for our customers. 

If you read the blogs, hang in the forums and listen to the CrackBerry Podcast you'll already know that the code on the Bold that initially went to market was less than perfect. I'm not sure it warrants Orange yanking it from their product offering though (even a BB at 80% is still better than any other device on the market!!). via MobieTechAddicts


5. AT&T Bold Delays - AT&T customers are still waiting for the Bold, though I'm sure the Storm marketing hype has many of you contemplating jumping ship if it becomes available first. We know it is coming soon... but the point of this post is to relay more of a "technical" explanation for what has caused the delays to begin with (it also explains why New York HATED my BlackBerry Bold). The info comes not from me (remember, I'm just the Addict!), but from a trusty source in the know:

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.

How do like that explanation?! Have patience AT&T friends... the Bold is an awesome device worth waiting for and should hopefully be here soon.

That's it for this edition of a Friday Rumors Round-Up. Be sure to post your reactions, thoughts and questions in the comments!!