Why BlackBerry 9900 is dead in the water

By Kye Husbands

Okay, maybe that wasn’t necessary, but so is this device.

RIM announced the upcoming launch of the BlackBerry 9900 series at BlackBerry World 2011 in Orlando this week with the 9900 being the HSPA version and the 9930, its CDMA cousin.

The BlackBerry 9900 series are evolutionary devices for RIM and look like you’ve seen them already. As a matter of fact, a 1st generation BlackBerry Bold could easily be mistaken for this new device before looking under the hood.

The new BlackBerry 9900s come with a new operating system (OS 7) from RIM and unfortunately it’s not the OS that we were hoping to see.  Before we get into the details of OS7 let’s take a look at the BlackBerry  9900s, if you care to know a bit more about what this device has to offer.

So here’s a quick breakdown on the specs of the BlackBerry 9900

  1. 115 x 66 x 10.5 mm, approximately 130 g (Same dimensions basically as the BlackBerry Bold, just slightly thinner)
  2. 2.8″ capacitive “touch screen display” – VGA (640×480), 287 dpi resolution
  3. Ultra-easy QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad
  4. 1.2 GHz Processor
  5. 8 GB on-board memory, plus microSD slot supporting up to 32 GB cards
  6. NFC technology (This will allow you to make purchases with your phone one day soon – perhaps, or pair your device with an accessory to interact in some way)
  7. 5.0 MP camera, supports 720p HD video recording
  8. Orientation Sensor (Accelerometer), Digital Compass (Magnetometer), Proximity Sensor
  9. Built-in GPS / aGPS
  10. Dual-Band Wi-Fi® – 802.11 b/g/n at 2.4 GHz and 802.11 a/n at 5 GHz
  11. Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR support
  12. 1230 mAh removable, rechargeable battery
  13. BlackBerry 7 OS

So we can deduce from RIM’s roadmap that this new operating system will only be available for a relatively short period and one must wonder if purchasing this device is even worth it.   The fact that RIM released this device is a testament to the fact that the QNX platform for smart phones is still a year away.

It is also important to note that current BlackBerry OS6 users will not be able to upgrade to this new operating system.  Sorry, BB Torch users.

This platform is clearly a stopgap on a deadend operating system for a device that is evolutionary to say the least.  The BlackBerry 9900 won’t win any awards for innovation or style but I suppose it’s an improvement on what we have to come to know and expect from RIM.  I don’t know about you but I would definitely pass on this device. What’s your take? Will you pass as well?

Kye Husbands is co-founder of  myCELLmyTERMS, a Toronto-based company that helps cell phone users negotiate wireless plans with independent dealers.


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