updated 12:30 pm EDT, Mon June 20, 2011
Rumor claims RIM forcing Bold 9900 into approval
A rumor Monday accused RIM of pushing carriers into approving devices they wouldn't normally accept. In order to avoid delays on phones like the BlackBerry Bold 9900, the company is supposedly demanding that carriers take one of its Technical Acceptance builds for approval "no matter what," the BGR source said. The practice had allegedly already been in effect as far back as the Rogers release of the Bold 9000 months ahead of AT&T.
The approval process, common to most phones, normally takes weeks of testing to make sure a phone is compatible with the network and won't have any repeatable bugs, leading to months-long delays in getting a stable release. RIM is thought to be particularly worried this year as the Bold 9900 and others are needed to keep it afloat while waiting for its first QNX-based "superphone" in 2012.
Some carriers have balked at the idea. AT&T waited until November 2008 to release the Bold 9000 and may have been validated by reports of 3G testing problems. Multiple devices have still managed to push through the process.
RIM and carriers so far haven't commented on the claims.
The stance hasn't been confirmed but, if true, would mirror an increasing sense of concern at RIM that its smartphone share won't hold. The company has already forecast a bleak outlook where its shipments and profits should drop rapidly during the summer. The rises of Android and the iPhone have switched the BlackBerry from the most promoted platform on US carriers to the second or even third most important platform.
The PlayBook has become a centerpiece example of RIM's troubles. Although RIM during its most recent results call touted Verizon plans to offer the tablet to corporate buyers, It has publicly downplayed any chance of a home user release.