New BlackBerry Storm Sync Pod with Status Indicators Coming Soon
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
UPDATE: I’ve been back and forth with RIM PR for the last week, trying to confirm whether or not there is a new Storm Sync Pod in the works. At first I was told flat out that the two Sync Pods pictured on RIM’s U.S. and U.K. site were identical, and I just now got the following message from RIM:
“[T]he description on the UK site is incorrect. The unit only has one LED (on the back), and it is only white (not 2 colors). The BlackBerry logo on front does not light up. The information is in the process of being updated.”
So unfortunately, RIM’s not working on a new Storm Sync Pod–at least if you believe the company’s PR reps. The good news: They’re fixing the text on the U.K. site, so no one else is letdown by the product’s misleading description.
I’ve been using the BlackBerry Storm Sync Pod to power up my device and synchronize data between it and my PC for more than a month now, and while I generally appreciate the product, it has a few design flaws that drive me nuts. Luckily, RIM’s improving upon its first effort and addressing my main concerns via a new and improved Storm Sync Pod—at least if a posting on the U.K. version of RIM’s ShopBlackBerry.com site can be trusted.
First off, my main gripe about the first-generation Storm Sync Pod: There’s no simple method to determine if or when your Storm is done syncing/charging. Your Storm sits in the cradle to charge or sync, and the device can be set to go directly into “Bedside Mode” when in place. (Bedside mode turns the Storm’s screen into a clock and disables the BlackBerry LED status/message indicator, if preset by the user.) There’s even a small panel at the rear of the pod that lights up when it’s plugged in. But that’s it.
The current Storm Sync Pod also doesn’t come with a spare USB sync cord or AC power adapter, but that’s a whole different story, and frankly, I don’t see RIM throwing those extra cords into the mix any time soon.
The upcoming Storm Sync Pod doesn’t appear to include any cables, either, but it does have a pair of new “LED 2-colour indicators – through the BlackBerry logo on the front of the Pod and on its interior,” that will presumably be used to determine charging/sync status. Since there are two LED indicators, one could be used to show charging status, while the other could represent sync progress. And since they’re “2-colour” it stands to reason that the LEDs will glow one color while a task is in progress and another after it’s complete.
The price listed on the U.K. BlackBerry site is 29.99 pounds or roughly $43, which is less than the $49.99 the U.S. version of ShopBlackBerry.com is asking for the first-gen Sync Pod. As far as release dates go, the site simply reads “Coming Soon.”
It’s unfortunate that RIM didn’t just release this BlackBerry Storm Sync Pod in the first place, but considering it’s still not available and the Storm’s been on the market for months, the company may have rushed out an early version just so it had a Storm charging solution available shortly after launch.
Still, better late than never, right?
I’ve got inquiries out to RIM and ShopBlackBerry.co.uk for more details and confirmation of whether or not the new pod will make its way to the United States. I’ll be sure to update this post with whatever I can dig up.
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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.