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RIM vs. ATT-Someone’s Bound to Lose a Chunk of Ear

boxing-squirrel Lets Get Ready To Rummmmble! This story has been floating around for a little while now, but we thought it would be worth it to mention to our loyal readers! It is common knowledge that the BlackBerry Bold is set to be released on AT&T in June. Err July, I mean August, how about September? Ok ok ok October 2nd it is. But the real story comes from what doesn’t make the AT&T and RIM press releases.

A while back AT&T adopted the policy that they, when it comes to new devices, “will not be accepting any non-3G phones on it’s network.” The head honchos at AT&T went to RIM and told them that they needed to design them a new 3G BlackBerry. RIM had no plans on doing this, but reluctantly agreed and thus the Bold was born. When news first broke that RIM was also working on a touch screen BlackBerry (Thunder/Storm) many people began to think that RIM was devoting more of its attention on the device that they wanted to make. Needless to say RIM built the Bold and it was hyped up so high that nothing short of the greatest device in the world would satisfy critics. Then came the problems.

AT&T refused to release the Bold with good reason. The OS is not perfect, and BlackBerry customers have grown to expect perfection. Granted the issues are small, but it also deserves to be pointed out that AT&T is the largest BlackBerry carrier in the world, and being an American myself, I would argue that Americans are much less forgiving about little software glitches. RIM sent AT&T numerous versions to test, each time having them slammed back in their face with new problems. Some carriers finally got sick of the hold ups and released the device anyway. Actually, it turns out that the company that asked for the Bold to be designed would be one of the last major carriers in the world to actually release it, irony…

The speculation is that RIM had been working on the Thunder/Storm for a while before the Bold was even suggested to them. RIM kept the touch screen beauty behind closed doors for fear that AT&T would decide to scrap the Bold and go with the Thunder. Obviously RIM did not want to flush countless hours of work down the toilet when they most likely didn’t want to have anything to do with a 3G GSM device in the first place.

The final bit of humor in this story is the pricing. It is assumed that AT&T will launch the BlackBerry at a price of around $400, a pricey penny! Now it comes out that Verizon will launch the Storm with a price of only $200 with a new contract and after mail in rebates. Is RIM sick of AT&T thinking they can bully their way around getting everything they want? I would say so.

Thanks to the BGR for pointing this out.

The BoyGenius has also managed to get his hands on a pre-release AT&T press release for the Bold which looks interesting but does not provide anything new. It just confirms that the Bold is coming out soon which we already know. Fun reading :)

8 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. There’s no way I’d pay AT&Ts bloated prices for phones and plans. I don’t care how fast they are. I’m actually glad though, because I was going to buy an iPhone at AT&T but walked out after seeing the ridiculous plan prices. So I went to T-Mo and bought a Curve and I’ve been happy ever since.

  2. This is a very interesting read – but why is Blackberry so reluctant to produce a 3G GSM phone? I think they would have been shooting themselves in the foot if they resisted it – especially globally. Anyway, this story sort of puts a damper on the Bold since it now seems that the Bold is a device that BB may never have wanted in the first place. I’m not so sure I want to pick up a phone that may suffer in terms of support because BB never liked it and would much rather focus on the Storm/Thunder.

    To Ron – it sounds like you compared the prices of the iPhone plans against the Curve on T-Mobile, but I thought AT&T’s prices/plans for the Curve were very similar to T-Mo’s. To be honest, I never really noticed a significant difference in pricing for both, but then again I might not be looking hard enough.

  3. Ummmm… I’m a little weirded out by this theory that RIM is the only one at fault here.

    Do we all have such short memories of some MAJOR flaws in one 3G iPhone? Some MAJOR 3G issues (sounds like these are similar issues).

    Of course we haven’t been told why each rendition was kicked back to RIM, but where was this outstanding quality control when evaluating the iPhone?

    Or is this perhaps one of those circumstances of “well, it’s from Apple, it has to be perfect”?

  4. Blackbery has done an amazing job on the device, whether or not they initially wanted to make it. It’s the nature of a new product operating on a new technology, to have glitches (3G). I would hesitate to say that they were reluctant about releasing a 3G unit, just that they are perfectionists and do not like to release something before the technoogy is ready….

    I love the way the article was written and the quote “being an American myself, I would argue that Americans are much less forgiving about little software glitches.” Hmmmmmm….. Where is the home of Microsoft? And the Apple iPhone? Got to love the included humour!

  5. @Richard- I dont think that RIM is the only one at fault by any means, I think that ATT demanding a 3G device before RIM felt comfortable was the largest problem. I think that the lineup of GSM BlackBerry Devices proves that they are not comfortable with 3G just yet, Javelin, Pearl Flip 8820. Its no surprise to me that they released their iPhone Killer (Storm) on Verizon, as they have the best 3G coverage in the USA.

    @Baltee Thanks for the compliments! I do know that Americans have this sense of entitlement when it comes to new software & devices. We have come to expect perfection, and anything less is a slap in the face to many Americans.

  6. @Nate – Glad to hear you’re a blackberry lover. Must be a Linux user too? :) I love your humour too.

    Guys not to get too far from topic, I too use less the flawed and buggy, less than perfect Microsoft Windows, and iPhones. It’s just refreshing to see a company like RIM, who has traditionally been known for near perfect devices, also being pressed into the fray. At least the security of them is still near perfect.

  7. I’m sorry but are you saying that the idea that Americans are much less forgiving about little software glitches is a falsehood given Microsoft and Apple iPhone? On the contrary, Microsoft has taken a HUGE beating with Vista and Windows in general whereas the criticism on the iPhone and it’s issues have made the top headlines whenever possible. And @Nate – while I don’t disgree about your point about Americans – I think “entitlement” is harsh. That being said, I think it’s the main reason why we don’t get the nicest phones/gadgets/etc. here anytime first because of the scrutiny. Whether or not that is valid is debatable.

    I don’t think RIM is entirely at fault by any means. I think it was to every bit of AT&T’s advantage that these bugs they found popped up in order to not have anything get in the way of iPhone sales. I would not be surprised if they didn’t work extra hard on looking for reasons to send the Bold back because I am very convinced that the launch of the iPhone had a significant impact on the launch of the Bold.

  8. Sorry, I’ve read the BG article several times, as well as all the Blackberry blogs pointing to it, and I find not a shred of evidence in any of it. Pure conjecture from BG (and I you can see the genesis of the article in comments to other BG posts in the days leading up to this post) and all the other sites are regurgitating it as gospel.

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