Posts Tagged ‘Blackberry Bold’
RIM is busy working on its highly anticipated launch of the Blackberry Storm next month. There are high expectations of this phone from not only Verizon Wireless and early adopters, but also from analysts. I would expect RIM has a lot riding on this too. Let’s take a look why:
- Expectations: RIM had indicated when it released the Q2 financial statements, that it expects Q3 revenue to be between $2.9-$3.1 billion. That was with the assumption that it would launch the Blackberry Bold early in the quarter and follow it up with the Blackberry Storm release. With delayed release of the Blackberry Bold, it has a lot of ground to make up in the last month to meet those expectations.
- Competition: Apple has been eating RIM’s lunch since it launched its iPhone 3G, as evidenced by the stellar performance at both Apple and AT&T (even with the high cost of iPhone). Also, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple has clearly indicated that he has RIM in his crosshair. RIM has to respond to this challenge. With iPhone 3G, Apple has tried to move into RIM’s enterprise turf. RIM is countering that with its Blackberry Bold (when it launches) and is hoping to fight the battle on Apple’s prosumer turf with the launch of Blackberry Storm. In addition, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile based touchscreen phones are also going to give RIM a headache.
- Economic Condition: Given the current economic climate, RIM has a lot to worry as enterprise customers, which make up almost 40% of its revenue, try to reduce spending. RIM is hoping that Blackberry Storm, Curve, Pearl and other prosumer targeted devices with touchscreen that it plans on releasing next year will help it offset the losses in the enterprise market.
- Investor Pressure: RIM management will be on short leash here given the economic jitters and constant bearish sentiment from the analysts. If the Blackberry Storm does not succeed, investors might push the co-CEOs out or worse look to sell it. The co-CEOs own 12% of the company and as such might not be easily pushed out, but they will have incredible pressure from institutional investors to change course. Also, the constant rumor of Microsoft being interested in buying RIM has to play a role in this. Note that when the rumor surfaced around October 13th, it was said that Microsoft had a standing offer to buy RIM at $50 a share. At that time, RIM’s stock price was at $61. Today, it is at $44. So, does that offer look good or what? However, I think it might be a smart move for Apple to make an offer. Steve Jobs wants to be successful in the enterprise market and if the iPhone starts losing its lustre, Apple will start looking like a one-trick pony, which I am sure Jobs and company will want to avoid. Also it would seriously challenge Microsoft in the mobile market. Though, from a cultural sense, I don’t know if RIM and Apple would be a good fit.
For all these reasons and more, RIM needs Blackberry Storm to succeed. It is doing everything it can to make it happen. Last few days has seen a flurry of activity including release of Blackberry Web Signals Technology and Blackberry Application Store; Blackberry Developer Conference and subsequent courting of the developer community; and massive marketing with Verizon Wireless and Vodafone. Now, like the US electorate, all RIM can do is wait for November and let the market decide.
AT&T has given the Technical Acceptance for the Blackberry Bold which means that it is ready to be sold, according to Boy Genius Report. However, it appears that AT&T will slip its shipping date once again from October 27th to Election Day, November 4th. Also, BGR reports that the price will be $300. The question I have is that price with contract and after rebates? AT&T and RIM just put out a press release which states that the price will be with 2-year contract and qualified voice and data plans.
Now, just a word of caution for all the US fans of Blackberry Bold. Go Vote first, and then buy a Bold to celebrate exercising your right!
Rumor has it that RIM is working on derivatives of the upcoming Blackberry Storm. One such phone is the cross between Storm and Blackberry Bold in Blackberry Curve form factor. This phone is not confirmed yet but seem logical possibilities given the popularity of the Curve and the rave reviews the Bold has been getting. According to Crackberry.com, this device is code-named Magnum. Hmm, who comes up with this names!
According to Boy Genius Report, there will be a new phone launched at the WES 2009 in early May with more to come during 2009. However, given RIM trackrecord of launching the phones on schedule, I am doubtful that it will materialize. But then again, I give RIM the benefit of doubt that they have learnt some valuable lessons from the current delays and will get their act together. Provided, of course that they are not gobbled up by Microsoft before then. Who knows what will happen then!
There are a few rumors floating around about the RIM Blackberrys. First up, RIM is said to be working on an advanced smartphone with 5Mpxl camera, 1MB RAM and ’near HD quality’ screen according to Boy Genius Report. While the form factor is not clear yet, this phone is suppose to be a cross between the Blackberry Storm and Blackberry Bold. RIM is also said to be working on second and third generation of Blackberry Storm devices.
However, the bigger rumor is that Microsoft might be looking to buy RIM, according to Reuters. Some analysts that Reuters talked to think that Microsoft has a standing offer to RIM at $50 a share which amounts to about $28 million. However, these rumors have been raised in the past and no deal has materialized. Given the market conditions and recent misses by RIM both related to Bold and their quarterly earnings outlook, though, this deal would make sense. The difficult part might be getting the two co-CEOs of RIM on board.
It appears that Best Buy is preparing for a slew of phones to be launched in late October through Mid November according to Boy Genius Report. They are still showing the Blackberry Bold to be launched by AT&T sometime in October, though the exact date is unknown. Best Buy will have the HTC Touch Pro on the Sprint Network on October 26th alongwith the Blackberry Pearl Flip on the T-Mobile network. However, the biggest news has to be that they will have the Blackberry Storm on the Verizon Wireless network on November 16th, just 10 days before the holiday shopping season officially starts. This gives good credence to the phone itself launching on the Verizon Network in November before launch at Best Buy. However, I think that Verizon Wireless might launch before November 7th, maybe even October 30st (launch party in NYC) or November 1st.
AT&T has announced the dates of the Blackberry Bold launch parties around the country. According the announcement, the New York launch is the last and it will be on October 30th. So, I think we can safely assume that the Blackberry Bold will be launched shortly thereafter, maybe on November 1st.
Motorola is working on its Blackberry competitor called the Q11. This is a Windows Mobile phone with 3Mpxl camera, QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi and GPS. Beyond that, the phone is still a mystery with no launch date, pricing or which networks will launch it. Here are some spy photos from Mobility Today, via UnwiredView.
BoyGenius Report today got hold of an imminent press release from AT&T stating that Blackberry Bold will be released in October. Clearly the release is still being drafted as the exact date is not filled in.
As you can see above, the release was due out yesterday, however, it is being held back for some reason. BGR thinks it could be they want to wait for the keynote address at CTIA during the week to make the announcement.
BoyGenius Report has a very interesting inside story about what happened with Blackberry Bold launch at AT&T and RIM’s reaction. In short, it appears that AT&T stiffed RIM by delaying the launch of Blackberry Bold. To fight back, RIM did not share the Thunder/Storm information. Now, RIM has increased their marketing budget with Verizon to launch the Storm. One interesting nugget of information is that the Blackberry Storm will be priced at $199 after subsidies for 2-year contract. You can read about AT&T launch of Blackberry Bold here and of Verizon’s launch of Blackberry Storm here.
AT&T has confirmed today to BoyGenius Report that the Blackberry Bold will be available in stores starting October 2nd. As I had mentioned in July, this phone was slated to release in September. However, they launched it in Canada and Europe earlier than planned but the US launch is delayed. If you need to a reminder of the features on the Bold, you can read them here and read the comparison to Nokia E71 here.