Sprint has been behind in the world of BlackBerry other than getting the Curve 8350i, which only is of interest to those still using iDen devices. Sprint did get the Bold because it was GSM, but the Storm went to Verizon. Sprint has not even been able to get version 4.5 of the BlackBerry OS out to existing Sprint BlackBerry Curve owners, although we continue to hear scuttlebutt that they are, in fact, working on it.
Things could change as soon as this quarter for Sprint, as we were engaged in some alleyway discussions when it was whispered to us that Sprint has quietly been able to secure the CDMA version of the popular BlackBerry Bold, which is known as Niagara.
From what we have been able to uncover, the Niagara incorporates much of the styling that has made the Bold and Storm so popular, in a package that will offer the full-QWERTY keys with a 480x360 display. Of course, it will be powered by EVDO Rev. A and include GPS, WiFi, and 3.2 megapixel camera.
We continue to hear that there is a possibility that the Niagara might also offer HSPA support for world-roaming, but don’t count on it, because that might not be in the cards in the end.
The best news from these whispers is that Sprint might get Niagara as soon as late first quarter of this year, which could level the BlackBerry playing field among the providers a bit, with each of them offering what amounts to an exclusive BlackBerry device option in the U.S. market space.
While Sprint continues to struggle, we have to think that in the exploding Smartphone market space the issues that they have had are much of their own doing. Their continued inability to be able to secure new device exclusives and get them certified and out the door quickly continues to be an issue.
Sprint seems to continue to miss the BlackBerry train as it has in the past been slow to add newer BlackBerry releases quickly, which has had many Enterprise BlackBerry IT shops jumping ship to other BlackBerry providers.
If the whispers are true and Sprint has, in fact, secured Niagara and they can get it out the door quickly in the first quarter, it could be a pivotal release for Sprint; and they might be able to halt at least some of the bleeding that has been inflicted by its customers jumping ship.
Now, if they could only get the BlackBerry OS 4.5 update out for the Sprint version of the Curve; but this, we suspect, might be just too much to hope for.
Published in Mobiles
BlackBerry Niagara goes to Sprint
by David Stellmack on05 January 2009
Could launch as soon as this quarter