Alltel has just announced the latest addition to its handset arsenal and it’s a familiar face indeed: RIM’s CDMA varient of the Pearl Flip. In terms of specs it’s not the most ground-shaking Berry of the bunch but for $79.99 after a $70 mail-in rebate, it is most definitely a solid option for bargain-seeking BlackBerry addicts. There are two caveats to the $80 price point however — first, the obvious two-year contract. Secondly, users must select from among Alltel’s Smart Choice Packs starting at $69.99 per month. All Smart Choice Packs include unlimited data, Internet and email however, so it’s hardly a deal breaker. If $80 for a shiny new Pearl Flip 8230 isn’t low enough for you but you’re in dire need of a Berry, the Curve 8330 is now $50 after a $100 mail-in rebate and the Pearl 8130 is free after a $100 mail-in rebate. Yeah, we’d definitely go for the Pearl Flip. Alltel’s 8230 is available in early May in all 91 markets. Hit the jump for the full press release.
The next few months will be busy for U.S. Cellular customers as five new handsets are rumored to be hitting the shelves by the end of June. Coming first is the HTC Touch Pro which is slated to arrive on April 17th. Following close on the heels of the Touch Pro is the Samsung Gloss U440, a white or charcoal clam shell with a QWERTY keyboard, integrated music player, stereo Bluetooth and 1.3 megapixel camera. Targeting a feminine audience with a penchant for texting, the Gloss will hit the shelves in early May. Shortly thereafter in mid-May, U.S. Cellular will debut the entry-level Samsung R311, a simple clam shell with Bluetooth, one-touch speakerphone and a VGA camera. Last but not least to arrive in mid-June are the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230, which needs no introduction, and the LG UX840. The LG UX840 will be a QWERTY slider with a 3″ QVGA touchscreen, 3.0 megapixel camera, integrated music player, stereo Bluetooth, full HTML browser, email support and GPS. The lineup is hardly confirmed considering the source is an anonymous forum post, but we imagine U.S. Cellular customers will be glad to hear about the possibility of some fresh blood coming their way.
While this might come as a bit of a shock to some, there is a little known country just north of the good ‘ole US of A that just so happens to be home to the World’s second largest smartphone manufacturer. That country is of course Canada and the manufacturer is RIM. It used to be the case that BlackBerry fans in the US got the latest BlackBerry devices before Canada, but in recent times it seems that Canada has launched RIM’s latest devices long before its neighbors to the South — the exception to this being the Storm. Canadian carriers stuck it to the Americans once again however, when Bell was the first carrier to release the CDMA Pearl Flip 8230. Sure, a few hiccups six days after launch due to buggy software killed off a lot of the excitement, but thankfully for RIM, TELUS launched the Pearl Flip 11 days after Bell, a launch that went off without a hitch.
Now back in October we reviewed the GSM version of the Pearl Flip (the 8220) and found it to be a pretty decent device considering its affordability. However, we couldn’t help but feel let down by the build quality which made the device feel extremely cheap, and the ridiculously pixelated display. So does the CDMA Pearl Flip offer any notable improvements over its GSM cousin? Hit the jump to find out. More →
Late this afternoon, Canada’s TELUS Mobility formally announced that it too has launched the BlackBerry 8230 Pearl Flip. Starting at $49.99 on a three-year contract and going all the way up to $449.99 contract-free, TELUS is hoping the youth market in Canada will receive the clam shell smartphone with open arms — especially younger females considering TELUS’ nation-wide media campaign featuring the all pink Pearl Flip. While other carriers have pink variants of the Pearl Flip, TELUS is the only carrier whose device has pink on the external housing rather than surrounding the SureType keypad. Whether or not its efforts are going to be rewarded in full, TELUS can at least be pleased people are already excited by the low price tag and rumors of an ultra-cheap voice and data plan thought to be in the mid-$30 range.
We don’t yet know what OS the TELUS version is running, but we assume it’s one build better than what Bell released its Pearl Flip with.
Surprise, surprise Canadian readers. Bell just became the first carrier to make the CDMA variant of RIM’s BlackBerry Pearl Flip a reality, and at a killer price no less. Bell’s Pearl Flip 8230 is available right now on the company’s site for a mere $29.95 with a 3-year contract. Don’t feel like signing three years of your life away? The 8230 will run you a ridiculous $349.95 with a 2-year contract, a whopping $449.95 with a 1-year deal or an unfathomable $499.95 with no contract. Seriously guys? As you well know, the 8230 packs 1xEV-DO, GPS, TV, radio and a SureType keypad into a slightly oversized clam shell form factor. It’s not the most solid piece of kit RIM has ever churned out but it’s definitely a great phone at a great price… As long as you choose the 3-year deal, that is. Good show Bell — now let’s hope Telus and Verizon aren’t too far behind.
Thanks, Bell Boy!
We know the BlackBerry 8900 has been slated as an AT&T device forever. Heck, Giz’s unit was AT&T branded, and then there’s also the mysterious vanishing act it pulled at CES. We also outed the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8210 (oh no, RIM isn’t even close to being done with the confusing models/different features) and that looks to be the unit AT&T is going to be launching first (we believe the 8220 will come to AT&T as well later). What everyone has been wondering, however, is when will these devices will actually see the light of day on AT&T. We just got some information that corroborates with what we’ve heard, but it isn’t from one of our normal tipsters. If you’re still interested, we have been told the BlackBerry 8900 is scheduled for a February release (we also heard the SKU is now appearing in AT&T’s systems), and that the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8210 is coming in March. Verizon isn’t going to be the only one, it seems. We haven’t got word on pricing yet, but we’d imagine you’ll see the Curve 8900 for around $199 and the Flip for around $99. Possibly lower if AT&T really wants to churn and burn.
P.S. The date also seems right because it does lineup with AT&T phasing out those EDGE devices. These could very well be the last of the Mohicans. Yeah, we totally said that.
Well, it’s no Curve 8900 and it’s certainly no Bold but BlackBerry fans with a need for buttons will be happy to learn that the Pearl 8230 Flip should be landing soon on Verizon shelves near you. This SureType clam shell is probably among RIM’s less desirable newer handsets but options are never a bad thing as they say. Pricing and availability are still a bit of a mystery but we know silver will be among the color options, obviously. Test units have gone out however, so the launch can’t be too far off. Unsolicited advice for our pals at Big Red: If you’re planning to launch this puppy with a giveaway contest of some kind, hire a new team to run it.
Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean that the mobile phone industry is safe from leaks. HoFo user clearskies08 has posted pictures which are purported to be from an internal Rogers and Fido flagship presentation. They reveal all of the flagship smartphones that the two carriers plan to release in 2009. Virtually every single phone in the line-up has been written about before in one way or another so we’ll spare you their specs, but rest assured, if even one quarter of the phones in the presentation end up hitting store shelves, 2009 is looking to be a hell of a year for Rogers and its dog. Hit the jump for a complete list of handsets along with images from the presentation.
If you’ve been aching for a new BlackBerry Pearl Flip phone but you didn’t want to plop down a few hundred dollars for it, this may be your week. We don’t have all the details on this, but it’s clear from the advertising that Best Buy is offering the Pearl 8220 for free – obviously with a new contract, but we’re not sure if there are any mail-in rebates involved (it’s not shown in the photo, just price after a sign up). This photo was snapped by one of our ninjas in the San Francisco Bay Area so it might be a regional promotion, too. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to check your local Best Buy to see if they’re offering the same promotion. Being out of contract as a “free agent” is certainly nice during this time of year when everything is being offered dirt cheap, or free as it is in this case, when you sign the dotted line for a new 2-year.
Thanks, Roger A!
If you live in Canada and you’re thinking of asking for a BlackBerry during Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/the coming of Zombie Jesus/whatever, you might wanna think twice. Word has reached us by way of our infamous ninjas, and there are some goodies about to be available in Canada. First we should talk about Rogers. Long has it been known that they’re going to be carrying the BlackBerry Curve 8900, but now we can say for sure that they’re going to be launching it in January 2009 with a $149.99 price tag on a 3-year voice and data deal. Also coming to Rogers is something so terrible that we almost lost the will to live at BGR — a pink BlackBerry Bold. Yeah, that’s right, pink. While were not exactly sure if the whole device or just parts of it will be pink, you can rest assured that it will be heinous extremely popular.
As for Fido, a lot of people doubted that Fido would be offering BlackBerry devices and services since their low-cost re-branding. However, word is that the second week of December is when Fido is planning to launch the BlackBerry 8120 Pearl in both Oyster Pink (some call it Sandstone, a la AT&T) and Grey. In Q1, we’ve got word that Fido will be launching the BlackBerry 8220 Pearl with a projected price of $50 on a 2-year contract.
Oh yeah! There’s also some talk that Rogers/Fido are going to be releasing some new data plans this Friday. We’ll look into this for y’all. Hit the jump for your first look at the BlackBerry Bold in pink!
Fido, which recently underwent rebranding that saw it reposition itself as a bonafide low-cost carrier, is pushing its parent company Rogers Wireless for permission to sell BlackBerry smartphones in time for the holidays. Fido had killed its BlackBerry Connect services earlier this year as it simply didn’t have any BlackBerry devices in its lineup. As such, Fido found itself paying royalties for an product that it essentially didn’t even offer. Now with the skyrocketing popularity of data-dependent smartphones and thousands of customers who have a BlackBerry feeling left out, Fido sees that it’s failure to offer BlackBerry devices and services is an opportunity cost it would rather not have. Specifically, Fido is looking at selling the WiFi-enabled and UNO-capable (think T-Mobile’s UMA and Rogers’ TalkSpot) 8120 Pearl leading up to the holidays and then adding the 8220 Pearl Flip to its catalog after the holidays. In addition to this, Fido would offer support for all other BlackBerry handsets and devices that feature BlackBerry Connect. Sounds good, yes?
T-Mobile USA announced their Q3 results today, and while they are nothing to write home about, one can certainly forgive them given the current economic climate. Having added 670,000 new users in Q3, the total number of T-Mobile subs now stands at 32.1 million. Sadly for T-Mobile, the new customers aren’t bringing much money to T-Mobile which led to a dismal 0.7% increase of revenue over Q2 to $5.51 billion. In terms of ARPU, things stayed very much the same at $52 blended and $55 contract, though these numbers are down $1 and $2 respectively from the same time last year.
With sales of the BlackBerry Pearl Flip being way below what analysts expected, the high costs of implementing a 3G network, and the terrible outlook for the world economy, it’s anyone’s guess as to what T-Mobile’s books will look like in three months time. Hang in there, T-Mo. You’ve got some badass phones on the way!
You can check out the entire press release after the jump. More →
Canadian SureType fans won’t have to wait much longer to get their hands on the BlackBerry 8220 Pearl Flip. Word came down today from the very top of Rogers that the device is going to start shipping to all retail channels on Wednesday, October 29th. Customers who sign up for a 3-year death sentence contract in combination with a voice and data combo of $35 and up will be able to walk away with the Pearl Flip for $49.99, which isn’t a bad price at all in Canada. In terms of release date, unfortunately there isn’t one set in stone. There is however, a lot of speculation that Rogers will do something out of character and release the phone on Friday, a day that happens to be Halloween. If that doesn’t happen it’s pretty safe to assume that by Tuesday, November 4th the Pearl Flip will be officially available in it’s native land.