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3G BlackBerry delayed to avoid iPhone?

updated 10:40 pm EDT, Thu April 24, 2008

BlackBerry 8900 Delayed

Research in Motion's 3G-capable BlackBerry won't launch at the same time as its 3G iPhone counterpart and may have been intentionally delayed, claim sources speaking to Fortune. The handset, now said to be named the BlackBerry 8900 and nicknamed the Meteor, has allegedly had its AT&T release pushed back from June to as far as August. The official explanation is said to revolve around call quality concerns for the smartphone, which is likely to replace the top-end 8800.

However, those same sources suggest the technical justification is a cover for more strategic motives, the magazine reports. AT&T is rumored to be moving the phone's launch ahead by multiple weeks to avoid timing the 8900's launch with the release of a 3G-capable iPhone within days of the BlackBerry, negating the full sales impact of either or both devices. Analyst expectations and other reports would have Apple announce an iPhone with this faster cellular Internet access at its Worldwide Developer Conference on June 10th and release the device no later than June 27th, the Friday closest to the one-year anniversary of the original iPhone's launch on June 29th, 2007.

The 8900 is already known to back up its 3G access (achieved using the HSDPA standard used by AT&T) with a friendlier home screen and may also include both GPS navigation and Wi-Fi at the same time, outperforming or exceeding the current iPhone in terms of sheer feature set and matching devices such as the Nokia N95.

Neither AT&T nor RIM is willing to comment on the allegation, though the delay would prove damaging to the smartphone maker's financial performance for the summer quarter by forcing it to rely on older, less popular models for all but the last few days of the period. [image via Engadget]



By Electronista Staff
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  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    0

    Why?

    If their product is that good, why push it back in fear of the iPhone? I say bring it on.

  1. chadpengar

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2001

    0

    N95

    I replaced my N95 with an iPhone. I kept the N95 on T-Mobile as a backup and for BTooth tethering to my laptop for backup internet use and for when I go to Japan (2100mhz UMTS 3G). But the iPhone is hands down the better more intuitive phone. N95 is clunky. The EMAIL sucks so bad I stopped using it. The iPhone has become the place where 30% of my internet use is done instead of 100% on my Macs.

  1. adept1

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 1999

    0

    3G for a while already

    I've had a 3G Blackberry for about 1.5 years already (the 8707G). Why does this article make it sound like this is the first 3G Blackberry?

  1. Darwiniandude

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2007

    0

    Bad idea if true

    This can't be true. The phone isn't ready, pure and simple. If RIM's device is ready now, they surely must benefit for getting as many as possible out the door pronto, into people's hands, in 2 year contracts, NOW!! It's not like waiting until the 3G iPhone with enterprise support is widely availible is going to make the public go "Oh, that's c***, I'll give the iPhone to my daughter and get a BlackBerry."

    It just isn't ready.

    I too wanted an iPhone, but didn't like the feature set and it's not available here in Australia. I'm a tech head and gadget freak, and I gleefully pounced upon an N95 and turned it inside out over two weeks, and it really grated with me. I hated the thing, for far too many reasons. Just seems rushed, complicated and significantly less than the sum of it's fantastic parts. So i sold it, bought an iPhone, pocketed the change, and have been happy since.

  1. njfuzzy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001

    0

    Copycat

    The great thing is, this means a phone that transparently apes the appearance of the iPhone now won't be appearing until the iPhone has been dramatically updates. They will look pretty awesome releasing a copycat of last year's hot phone!

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    0

    re: copycat

    You think the blackberry "apes" the appearance of the iphone? Why? because it has a screen and is rectangle?

    The only original thing the iphone brought to the table was including a gesture based touch screen, something the blackberry doesn't use.

    Do you even know what you are saying?

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005

    0

    luckyday... yeah...

    yeah, he knows what he's saying, and you seem to be blind.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    RTFA!

    If their product is that good, why push it back in fear of the iPhone? I say bring it on.

    If you read the article (I know, its hard some times), it says AT&T wants to move it back so they aren't releasing both at the same time, so they can maximize the value of both. Plus, if both will be popular, they'd need to hire more staff to cover the influx of people looking at either device at the same time.

    It's all about the money.

    This can't be true. The phone isn't ready, pure and simple. If RIM's device is ready now, they surely must benefit for getting as many as possible out the door pronto, into people's hands, in 2 year contracts, NOW!!

    Where does it say it is ready NOW??? It just says it won't be released in June. And even if it was ready now, they may need to ramp up production to make sure they can cover all orders, rather then pulling the usual Apple stunt of having six available for sale and making everyone else wait 3 months.

    So i sold it, bought an iPhone, pocketed the change, and have been happy since.

    But you said it wasn't available in Australia. Where did you buy it from, then? And I'm assuming you had to hack it to work with an Australian carrier.

    BTW, you know doing this steals money from Apple computer, as they rely on that kickback....er....monthly subsidy from the carriers to make a profit on the device, right?

  1. Tofino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005

    0

    RE: don't throw rocks

    there certainly is some number shuffling going on in every corporation, but i think the difference is that you don't see statements from Steve Jobs that 'Apple TV is a resounding success', do you?

    instead i remember him referring to the Apple TV as 'a hobby'...

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