Why RIM's New BlackBerry "Tour2 9650" Should Be the Next BlackBerry Bold

New rumors suggest the upcoming BlackBerry device known only as the "9650," or the "Tour2," an upgraded version of the BlackBerry Tour 9630, could be officially named the "Bold 9650/9750." CIO.com's BlackBerry watcher Al Sacco thinks RIM would be wise to say sayonara to the "Tour" name and go with the Bold moniker. Here's why.

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Mon, February 22, 2010
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And that's not all, the Curve keyboard appears only on BlackBerry Curve devices; the Pearl's SureType keyboard is currently available only on BlackBerry Pearls; and SurePress is exclusive to the BlackBerry Storm...for now.

But the BlackBerry Tour is the exception to this rule; the original BlackBerry Tour also uses a Bold keyboard...and for this reason it probably should have been called a BlackBerry Bold from the start.

Remember, rumors are just rumors at this point--it's not official that this new device will be a Bold. I can still see some sense in keeping the Tour name. It could spare some initial confusion since the BlackBerry Tour and the new BlackBerry "9650" are practically identical, minus the Wi-Fi and trackpad. But it in my opinion, it would be a wise move on RIM's part to do away with the one inconsistency in its device lineup by restricting Bold-style keyboards to Bold devices.

Calling the new device the BlackBerry Bold 96xx/97xx could also assuage some of the inevitable complaints that are sure to come from BlackBerry Tour 9630 users who'll be displeased a revamped Tour was released so shortly after the original. RIM and its carrier partners would likely market the product as completely new device instead of a mere Tour upgrade...even thought that's really all it is.

It's true that releasing a device that looks almost identical to the BlackBerry Tour 9630 would cause a bit of initial confusion, especially for gadget-geeks or folks like me who pay close attention to the BlackBerry world and all its minutiae. But in reality, most "average" people really couldn't care less what the new BlackBerry is called. That's why it would be smart for RIM to get all its ducks in a row now, before it builds any more awareness of the Bold brand.

Bottom line: The easiest way for "normal" people to identify RIM's devices right now is by keyboard style. The device names are all consistent except for the Tour, which has the Bold keyboard. And RIM could clear up that minor inconsistency by scrapping the Tour name.

AS

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