Guest post: BlackBerry 8980, a cheap thrill?

Just when I thought I’d written enough about BlackBerry being out of touch, I received this guest post from John Stepp, president of Free Tech Consultants, about the latest leaked BlackBerry 8980. Looks like another winner, RIM! (If we were still living in the 90s…)

I used to really like my BlackBerry in the early 2000’s.  I’ll never forget the day I was racing to Bush Airport in Houston, raining like crazy, driving with my knees, reading emails and highlighting the phone numbers at the end of the email to call back the ones I felt were important.  Those were the days.  Can’t do that anymore — it’s illegal.  Well, at least if you want to have the same form factor BlackBerry as back then with sort of updated technology under the hood, the FCC has leaked the BlackBerry 8980.

All the details of the phone are unknown since the phone is not announced.  Here is what we know:

  1. Blackberry OS5
  2. LED flash camera with 3.2 megapixel
  3. Quad-band GSM
  4. 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  5. Edge technology

Not exactly feature rich, is it?  Since the FCC has the phone, is it going to be released in the US as an ultra low cost device for budget minded enterprises or simply go to the Asian market which has been rumored?  Either way it seems to cement RIM as a blast from the past.  When unannounced future wireless devices are outed, they usually create a stir in the marketplace, but from what I see RIM is being questioned for having a device like this at the FCC in the first place.

But, who knows, RIM may have the last laugh here.  They could offer this device at an extremely low cost of ownership.  Employees could use the Wi-Fi for calls, be shut off from web surfing (no 3G), but have e-mail and even take a picture or two.  It could be a hit in certain enterprises that want to contain their expenses and maintain strict wireless device guidelines.  Or it could be offered to those in the enterprise that do not have wireless capabilities today.  Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see what happens to the 8980 and if the next leaked BlackBerry phone is some super smartphone that can transform its image.


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