One of the questions I receive most often from BlackBerry-toting readers: When will the new BlackBerry Tour2, a.k.a. BlackBerry Bold 9650, become available?
And my current answer is simple: I don't know for sure, but mid- to late-spring, say May, sounds about right to me. Today, new rumors suggest that my past predictions may have been right on target.
May sounds like a likely release-date for Research In Motion's (RIM) successor to it BlackBerry Tour 9630, which will reportedly be named the BlackBerry "Bold" 9650, because pictures, technical specifications and even leaked operating systems have been floating around the Web for months, suggesting the device is nearly ready for prime time.
And RIM's largest show of the year, the 2010 Wireless Enterprise Symposium (WES) is to be held in Orlando on April 27 – 29. RIM has used this venue to unveil new devices in the past--the Bold 9000 at WES 2008, for example. So it would make sense for the company to unveil the Bold 9650 at WES 2010, amidst thousands of avid BlackBerry users.
Mobile-industry blog BoyGeniusReport.com also says it got word from an anonymous source that the Bold 9650 is currently expected "around May" on Verizon Wireless in the United States. Sprint, the other U.S. carrier that currently offers RIM's BlackBerry Tour 9630, will presumably get the new 9650 sometime this spring or early summer, as well.
The name of the new Tour2/Bold 9650 is not yet official, but what appears to be a leaked user guide for the device makes reference to the "BlackBerry Bold 9650," so it seems fairly solid that the 9650 is the next smartphone in RIM's Bold lineup. I also happen to think it makes a whole lot of sense for RIM to scrap the Tour-name and go with Bold, at least from a marketing perspective. (Read "Why RIM's New BlackBerry 'Tour2 9650' Should Be the Next BlackBerry Bold" for my explanation.)
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