Camera-Less BlackBerry Bold 9000 Coming to AT&T Oct. 16

U.S. wireless carrier AT&T will begin selling a camera-less version of its popular BlackBerry Bold 9000 smartphone on October 16, just days before it releases a Bold in white and weeks before it's expected to announce the Bold 9000 successor, the BlackBerry Bold 9700.

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Thu, October 15, 2009

CIO — Enterprise BlackBerry users with strict no-digital-camera-on-corporate-device policies have a reason to smile this afternoon. That's because they now have a larger selection of BlackBerry devices to choose from, including the popular BlackBerry Bold 9000. During the past year or so, such users were forced to employ out-of-date BlackBerrys, like 87xx and 88xx devices, because those were the only "current" BlackBerry smartphones without digital cameras--Sprint just recently announced a camera-less version of the new BlackBerry Tour 9630.

Screen Shot of AT&T Twitter Feed
Screen Shot of AT&T Twitter Feed

AT&T, one of the leading U.S. wireless carriers, will on Friday, October 16, begin selling a BlackBerry Bold sans digital camera, according to one of the company's Twitter streams.

Many government organizations and other companies with strict privacy and security policies bar cell phones and smartphones with cameras from certain corporate locations, like courthouses and/or medical facilities, and there's still significant demand in the enterprise world for camera-less smartphones.

This isn't the first I've heard of a camera-less Bold 9000; Back in February, Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo pulled its BlackBerry Bold 9000 from the market due to overheating issues. At the time, DoCoMo was reportedly offering both camera-equipped and camera-free versions of the Bold.

The new AT&T Bold represents the first time a BlackBerry Bold 9000 without camera has been officially sold in the United States. In fact, AT&T is the only carrier that offers a U.S. Bold, at all. The new camera-less Bold will presumably sell for the same price as the original Bold: $199.99 after rebate and two-year service agreement.

Earlier this week, AT&T said it would soon being selling a white version of the Bold 9000, as well. It's unclear at this time whether or not the camera-less Bold will be available in both white and black, but if I had to guess, I'd say the white device is aimed more at AT&T's consumer customers and that the camera-less Bold with be available only in black initially.

AT&T is also set to release Research In Motion's (RIM) follow-up to the Bold 9000, the BlackBerry Bold 9700, which should be announced later this month for a pre-holiday release, but as far as I know, only a camera-equipped version of that device will be sold.

AS


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