What's in a name? If you read our BlackBerry Onyx Review you'll remember we spent some time talking about the Onyx codename, and at that time did not yet know the Onyx's device model number (the OS was simply labeled with "onyx") but we did take the view point of the device itself being a next generation of BlackBerry Bold based on the nature of the device and what it would be replacing.
That said, more recent versions of the Onyx's operating system have been tagged with a device model, which is currently stated as BlackBerry 9020. With the BlackBerry Bold being the 9000, it thus makes sense that a device with a 9020 device model number will also fall under the BlackBerry Bold brand, be it a Bold "something or other" or simply Bold 9020. Of course the device model could change between now and the Onyx's ultimate roll out (that's why there's a question mark in the blog post title - this could be wrong), but as it stands now it seems we can start thinking of the Onyx as a BlackBerry Bold. As for release, we're not sure yet.... but we have heard that mass production has been pushed back to September - so you should have this device in your hand before (hopefully long before) Christmas.
Also, if you were hoping the Onyx might somehow inherit the optical trackpad found on the 8520 Curve before its design was finalized, you're
out of luck in luck. The 9020 will feature a trackball trackpad. It seems RIM's viewpoint on the trackpad (at least for now) is that its a low-cost solution/technology rather than a feature upgrade (even though I personally think it is awesome and love using it on the 8520), though we have heard RIM is looking at even more input method technologies (alternatives to the trackball) along these lines for future devices.
And speaking of next-generation Bolds... the newest codename that has emerged is "nautilus". Word is this could be the 3G BlackBerry "slider" that many of you out there have been longing for.