BlackBerry Pearl 9100: T-Mobile USA’s Second 3G BlackBerry?
New images of an announced BlackBerry, the Pearl 9100, suggest the slim, trim handheld could be T-Mobile U.S.A.'s second 3G smartphone from RIM, behind the popular Bold 9700 device.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
Last year, I brought you the first official image of T-Mobile U.S.A.’s first 3G BlackBerry smartphone from Research In Motion (RIM). Today, I don’t have any more press images to share, but thanks to Twitter user @cellguru, we have a variety of new “live” images of one of RIM’s next BlackBerrys: The Pearl 9100.
And the photos aren’t just eye-candy, either; the new images appear to show the Pearl 9100’s “About” screen, which displays a variety of information on the new device, including a listing of its supported 3G bands.
You can see from the image above that the listed bands are “3G bands 1,4,8,” a.k.a. AWS 3G, a.k.a., 1700MHz support, a.k.a., T-Mobile U.S.A. 3G. (A seperate version of the device with support for AT&T 3G is also expected.)
It’s worth noting, however, that the actual model number listing on the first and second lines is followed by “(GPRS, Wi-Fi)” and not “(3G, Wi-Fi)” like one would expect from a 3G device with Wi-Fi connectivity. (See the below “About” screen from a T-Mobile Bold 9700.)
This discrepancy could be because the device is running an early, unfinished version of the BlackBerry OS, which will be tweaked and modified before an official release. Or the images themselves could be modified to show inaccurate 3G bands.
But if the images can be trusted, RIM’s BlackBerry Pearl 9100 will very likely be T-Mobile’s next 3G BlackBerry device. The carrier’s first 3G BlackBerry, the Bold 9700–which I believe to be RIM’s best BlackBerry–was released in the United States last November.
2010 is shaping up to be a busy one for RIM. With the handset-maker’s recent BlackBerry Tour 9650 Facebook flub and all the attention around a Curve 8900 refresh—Curve 8930, anyone?–we can expect a number of new BlackBerry devices, including this new Pearl 9100, to be announced within the coming months.
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Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.