Alltel customers in divested markets had plenty of cause to be jealous of their Verizon-owned brothers and sisters last month when Big Red launched the BlackBerry Tour 9630. Well, Alltel fans, it’s time to turn that frown upside down — Alltel has just announced the availability of RIM’s latest CDMA handset. The Tour is available immediately in Alltel stores and online for $199 on a 1-year contract after a $100 mail-in rebate. Gotta love that 2-year price on a 1-year contract. You will be required to select a Smart Choice plan, running $69.99 and up, and the Tour is compatible with Alltel’s famous My Circle calling feature. So, divested boys and girls, are you psyched that you can finally get your hands on the Tour or have you already moved on to daydreaming about the Storm 2?
Following a tumultuous start, it looks like Sprint’s troubles with stocking and delivering BlackBerry Tour units are almost over. A series of three posts from Sprint’s twitter account suggest two shipments from RIM should allow the carrier to catch up with “strong demand”. One shipment apparently arrived this week and a second is scheduled for delivery early next week. Those who still haven’t been able to get their hands on RIM’s latest handset will hopefully accept Sprint’s apologies and sit tight for just a short while longer. We’re still not sure why the Tour was listed as in stock earlier this week when customers received backorder notices immediately after placing orders, but our guess is we’ll never know exactly what went wrong. The bottom line is these two Tour shipments should take care of everyone still waiting to snag a unit.
Why can’t Sprint launch a handset? That’s the question countless subscribers are asking themselves as the release of the BlackBerry Tour 9630 continues to look more and more like a paper launch. A fair number of people who ordered the handset have received it by now and many were able to snag a unit at retail locations, but it seems that for every happy new Tour owner there are three enraged subscribers looking for answers. At this point, you can’t find a Sprint or BlackBerry forum without reading post after post from people fuming over the bungled Tour launch. Since July 12th, the official launch date, we’ve also received countless emails from Sprint subscribers venting their frustrations and recounting various horror stories. The consensus among them: Sprint can’t launch a handset to save its life — or business, as it were.
Following our post yesterday and the ensuing outcry, it looks like Verizon had a change of heart where BlackBerry Tour pre-orders are concerned. Are you a current Verizon Wireless subscriber whose spirits were crushed upon learning that pre-orders were only open to new customers? Fret not, future Tour addicts, as Verizon’s site is singing a different tune this morning. From the 9630 product page:
Existing customers will be able to upgrade or purchase the BlackBerry Tour on this site very soon. Please check back with us tomorrow.
Still wondering why we steered clear of that July 20th rumor? Sprint has made it official folks, the BlackBerry Tour will be launching with Sprint on Sunday, July 12th. Pricing lines up with Verizon at $199.99 after instant rebate but there will be a mail-in rebate of some kind to deal with. More info as it comes in — Sprint still hasn’t issued an official press release.
So sorry, Bell, it looks like Telus is already preparing to rain on your parade. Just as the BlackBerry Tour 9630 will launch on multiple carriers here in the US, so too will it see several homes up north in Canada. Sure it’s a little blurry and it’s greased up like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger, but there’s no mistaking that branding — this little guy is Telus-bound. A 3.2 megapixel camera, GPS, Bluetooth 2.0, HVGA display and a knockout cocktail of CDMA/EV-DO/GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSPA make for quite the stunner. Excited, Telus crowd? Hit the jump for two more shots of greasy goodness.
Thanks, Ricky Ricardo Mentelban!
Next in line to get scooped on this fine Thursday afternoon? How about a little BlackBerry Tour 9630 love for all you RIM addicts out there? Over the past few weeks we’ve been getting some pretty consistant feedback from various ninjas putting the highly anticipated BlackBerry Tour 9630 on the streets either Wednesday July 15th or Friday July 17th. We’ve been waiting for some more confirmation before running a post but now, thanks to a few email tips, we see that insider kevin byrne from HoFo has placed the launch date on Monday July 13th. Byrne has a good track record and at the very least, he’s always in the right ball park. Judging by our intel at this point we’re leaning more towards the 17th but it’s now a pretty safe bet that one of these three dates is the winner. Sure it’s not as early as BlackBerry-addicted Verizon customers would have liked, but at least now you can gear up for what will definitely be a hot Summer week in July.