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Orange mulls pulling the BlackBerry Bold (again)

January 2nd, 2009 at 2:16 PM

According to a report issued this morning, European carrier Orange is considering dropping the Bold from its lineup after being unable to solve “ongoing technical issues.” Orange employees familiar with the matter have said the Bold has the highest rate of return in its category, something which is not sitting well with the higher-ups due to a previous issue with the Bold. Back in October, Orange halted sales of the Bold due to a high incidence of dropped calls, crashes and poor overall performance. After a more stable OS release from RIM however, sales of the Bold resumed. If Orange were to pull the Bold for the second time it would most likely remain sidelined for the duration of its market life which would deal a huge blow to RIM. To compound matters, this move would give a great deal of additional publicity to the woes of RIM’s latest flagship products, the Bold and the Storm. For the time being Orange has declined to comment on the matter, as was the company’s position before the Bold was pulled last year.

At the time of the first recall, every Bold on the Orange network was running OS 4.6.0.126, a very buggy release indeed. Since Orange reinstated the Bold however, it moved to OS 4.6.0.162 – also not the the most usable version issued in recent history. In all fairness to RIM and Orange customers, perhaps Orange should hurry up and release a new OS build like 4.6.0.190 or beyond (though many are a severe step backwards) as several other carriers have done.

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