Sprint on Monday announced that it will launch Research In Motion’s latest CDMA smartphones — the BlackBerry Bold 9930 and the BlackBerry Torch 9850 — on Sunday, August 21st. In line with BGR’s exclusive report from earlier this month, Sprint will offer the Bold 9930 for $249.99 on contract and the Torch 9850 will cost $149.99 on contract after a $50 mail-in rebate. The Bold 9930 is RIM’s brand new touch-and-type flagship smartphone, which launched on rival carrier Verizon Wireless this morning at the same $250 price point. The Torch 9850 is an affordable full touchscreen smartphone that picks up where RIM’s Storm lineup left off. Both smartphones feature Research In Motion’s latest BlackBerry 7 OS and are part of the largest global launch in RIM’s storied history. Sprint’s full press release follows below. More →
Verizon Wireless is now offering RIM’s highly anticipated BlackBerry Bold 9930 smartphone for $249.99 on contract. BGR exclusively reported last week that Sprint would soon be selling the new touch-and-type Bold for $249.99, and at that time we indicated that other U.S. carriers would likely launch the device at the same price point. Verizon Wireless is now the first carrier to do so, and while early adopters are sure to snatch up the long-awaiting 9900/9930 despite its $250 price tag, widespread adoption may be hindered until the new smartphone dips to $199.99 on contract. We reviewed the new BlackBerry Bold last week and found that the hardware is absolutely worth carriers’ high cost of entry. We also found that RIM’s BlackBerry 7 software, despite improved performance and fluidity, left much to be desired.
UPDATE: Verizon Wireless’ full press release now follows below. More →
Another BlackBerry out of RIM? We might as well consider them done and finished. Or should we? With a brand new take on BlackBerry hardware and an improved and enhanced operating system in BlackBerry 7, RIM hasn’t been sitting still. I have been using a BlackBerry 9900 for over a week, and as a reformed BlackBerry addict, I have some thoughts on this latest flagship smartphone out of Waterloo. Is this the device that’s going to save RIM? Is this the phone that’s going to make iPhone and Android users switch to a BlackBerry? Can RIM finally compete in the smartphone arena? Will it take RIM 9 months to make a BlackBerry 9900 in white? Is Will.i.am going to haunt me for eternity? Hit the break to find out. (And I sure as heck hope not on those last two.)
Is RIM’s BlackBerry Bold 9930 worthy of a $250 price tag? Sprint seems to think so. BGR has obtained a copy of an upcoming Sprint flier that reveals pricing for several devices, including RIM’s new flagship CDMA smartphone, the BlackBerry Bold 9930. According to the document, Sprint’s BlackBerry Bold 9930 will cost $249.99 with a new 2-year agreement. Sprint’s upcoming BlackBerry Torch 9850 will cost $149.99 on contract, and the Samsung Conquer 4G will cost $99.99, as we knew. The $249.99 price tag on the new Bold at Sprint could also mean we can expect similar pricing from other major carriers. We really like the aggressive Torch 9850 pricing — $150 is a terrific starting point for RIM’s new full touchscreen device, and when it drops to $99.99 later this, it will be a steal. $250 is still a tough pill to swallow, however, and we think the above-average cost could slow adoption of the Bold fairly significantly. Early adopters will be on board regardless, of course, but average consumers and businesses — especially SMBs — might think twice before parting with $250 for the 9930. Do we think RIM’s new touch-and-type Bold is worth $250? We’ll that’s an entirely different story, and you’ll have to wait for our full review to find out. An image of the full page from Sprint’s flier follows below. More →
Research In Motion will sell at least 22 million BlackBerry 7 smartphones in fiscal 2012, accounting for a minimum of 40% of its unit sales according to RBC. In a note to investors on Wednesday, RBC Capital Markets MD Mike Abramsky said that RIM will launch seven new BlackBerry 7 devices this year, representing the vendor’s largest product cycle ever. While the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor will be release its new phones across more than 225 carriers around the world, Abramsky notes that consumer adoption is still a huge question mark. RBC’s EPS estimates for RIM’s fiscal 2012 range from $4.75 (9% below Wall Street’s consensus) to $6.00 (16% above the Street) depending on user uptake and average selling prices. Regardless of performance, however, the analyst notes that “BlackBerry 7 is unlikely to reverse deeply negative investor sentiment over RIM’s future, pending improved visibility to success or failure of pending QNX handsets expected 2012.” On QNX, Abramsky says the first smartphone to launch with RIM’s OS of the future will look like a “mini-PlayBook.” He believes the phone will hit the market in the first quarter of calendar 2012, and it will feature a 4-inch touchscreen display, dual cameras and a dual-core processor. BGR on Tuesday reported that RIM’s first QNX phone carries the codename “Colt,” and current test units sport a single-core CPU though the phone may feature a dual-core processor at launch. Abramsky also notes that RIM’s first QNX phone will feature a standalone email client and RIM’s Android app player at launch, and these items will be available for the PlayBook in the coming months.
Pasedena, California-based investment management firm Primecap Management Co. recently doubled its investment in BlackBerry vendor Research In Motion. According to a recent regulatory filing, Primecap now owns 26.4 million shares of RIM stock valued at about $577 million as of Monday’s close, and the stake represents approximately 5% of RIM’s total outstanding shares. According to Bloomberg, Primecap’s stake at the end of the second quarter of this year was approximately 2.5%. As numerous analysts continue to cut their price targets on RIM stock, Primecap’s continued investment could represent a vote of confidence in RIM’s new BlackBerry 7 phones and its future QNX phones as well, which are due to begin launching in the first quarter of 2012. More →
AT&T isn’t the only major U.S. carrier getting in on the action today. Sprint on Wednesday confirmed that it too will soon launch a pair of Research In Motion’s latest smartphones. The touch-and-type BlackBerry Bold 9930 and the full touchscreen BlackBerry Torch 9850 will both become available to Sprint subscribers later this fall. Sprint neglected to specify a launch date or pricing, but we likely won’t have long to wait until these sleek new BlackBerry 7 phones find their way to store shelves. “Sprint’s incredibly loyal BlackBerry customers will appreciate the benefits of the BlackBerry 7 user experience on these two new smartphones – BlackBerry Bold 9930 and BlackBerry Torch 9850,” said Sprint’s product boss Fared Adib in a statement. “BlackBerry 7 is an evolution that extends the ability to support our customers domestically and internationally as they juggle their busy personal and professional lives with one easy-to-use device. We are excited to continue our strong relationship with RIM through these new powerful devices.” Sprint’s full press release follows below. More →
AT&T announced early Wednesday morning that it will offer three new BlackBerry smartphones this year. It will first launch the 4G HSPA+ capable BlackBerry Torch 9810 in August. AT&T promises to then launch the 4G BlackBerry Bold 9900 later this year, as well as the full-touchscreen BlackBerry Torch 9860. The BlackBerry Torch 9810 packs a 1.2GHz processor, a dual-microphone, a 640 x 480-pixel display, 8GB of storage, 768MB of RAM, HSPA+ support, a digital compass and a 5-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video. It’s unclear at this point what pricing will be unfortunately, and AT&T didn’t provide branded images or a complete spec list for either of the other two BlackBerry devices it announced. Thankfully, we’ve already shown you exclusive leaked images of the Torch 9860 and we published a hands-on look at the Bold 9900 back in May. We also have a feeling we’ll be getting up-close and personal with these new devices again very soon. In the meantime, read on for AT&T’s full press release. More →
UBS analyst Amitabh Passi on Wednesday cut his price target on shares of Research In Motion stock to $30 from a previous target of $41, and reiterated a Neutral rating. Passi stated in his note to investors that RIM is currently facing challenges in the “platform wars” underway between companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft. While the analyst sees the successful launches of RIM’s BlackBerry 7 phones as being important for the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor in the near term, he says the company’s successful transition to QNX is much more important to RIM strategically. In other words, there’s still hope if BlackBerry 7 devices aren’t a collective home run. In the meantime however, Passi says that UBS’s checks reaffirm RIM’s declining smartphone market share. “Our store checks also show accelerating market share deterioration for new subscribers during June and July as multiple top-tier Android products have been rolling out and Apple continues to gain market share,” the analyst wrote. As a result, Passi cut his revenue estimates for RIM’s fiscal year to $19.8 billion from $21.1 billion, and he lowered his EPS estimate to $4.82 from $5.81. Also lowered in Passi’s note were his smartphone unit shipments estimate, which dropped to 51.5 million units from 54.9 million, and his estimate for PlayBook shipments, which now sits at 2.5 million units compared to his earlier projection of 3.6 million tablets.
Ahead of an official announcement expected on Tuesday, Verizon Wireless let slip a promotional video starring its upcoming flagship BlackBerry smartphone, the BlackBerry Bold 9930. First revealed exclusively here on BGR, this next-generation Bold smartphone is the handset BlackBerry fans have been clamoring for. It features a sharp 2.8-inch touchscreen above the famous full QWERTY that RIM’s phones are known for. While the Torch was the first BlackBerry device to pair a touchscreen and a full QWERTY, the keyboard was no match for the one found on RIM’s Curve and Bold smartphones. Thankfully, the 9930 sports the best of both worlds and although we’re far more interested in seeing what QNX-powered devices RIM has in the works, the Bold 9930 will certainly help tide over legions of BlackBerry fans while they await RIM’s next bushel of Berries. An official Verizon Wireless video showing off the new Bold 9930 follows below. More →
Waterloo, Ontario-based Research In Motion has begun laying off workers according to a report from a local newspaper on Tuesday. The Waterloo Region Record reports RIM has already begun reducing its staff, though there is no word on how many employees have been let go at this point. Last week, RIM reported a weak first quarter and poor fiscal 2012 guidance that sent investors running for the door. RIM’s Co-CEOs also confirmed on an earnings call that the company would be reducing its workforce, though no time frame was provided, and that the launches of several upcoming BlackBerry devices have been delayed. Shares of RIM stock have fallen more than 25% since the company reported its earnings last week, and it is down more than 50% so far this year. More →
With BlackBerry World 2011 coming to a close, you knew there had to be some unannounced news waiting to come out of the conference, right? We have been told by multiple sources that RIM is planning on releasing its followup to the BlackBerry PlayBook around the holidays this year. That’s clearly less than a year from the April launch of the original PlayBook — and the 4G versions aren’t even out yet — but there is a key differentiating factor here… the screen size. It’s entire possibly that RIM wants to play in both segments of the tablet market, and the PlayBook 2 could probably be thought of as an additional PlayBook model as opposed to the second-generation tablet. We have been told this tablet will be in the 10-inch range as opposed to the current model, which sports a 7-inch screen. The first model is selling pretty well according to some analysts, and a bigger version of the tablet along with an update OS that includes an email client, BBM and more could really hit the sweet spot. That’s all we have on the upcoming PlayBook 2, but hit the break for some details on BlackBerry OS 7. More →
During the BlackBerry World Keynote in Orlando this morning, Research In Motion announced that it is working with foursquare to include support for the social-network in an upcoming version of BlackBerry Messenger. Users will be able to share their location information as their BBM status, but RIM execs didn’t go into much detail on how check-ins will work or just how feature rich the implementation will be. The native foursquare client, for example, allows users to find nearby deals, compete with friends for check-in points, and more. RIM did not say when the client would make its debut, although we suspect it will be around the launch of its BlackBerry 7 powered Bold 9900, which will occur later this summer. More →