by Al Sacco

Holiday Tip for BlackBerry Shoppers: AVOID RIM’s

Dec 13, 2010
MobileSmall and Medium Business

Looking to buy some BlackBerry accessories this holiday season? CIO's Al Sacco explains why you should avoid

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) is offering daily deals at its online store throughout the 2010 holiday season, on products including BlackBerry batteries, chargers, cases and leather holsters. But smart smartphone shoppers should steer clear of RIM’s official Web store, since just about every BlackBerry accessory listed for sale can be found elsewhere online for a fraction of RIM’s costs.

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I first noticed RIM’s “Holiday Specials” page on after the company’s official Twitter account “tweeted” the news, which includes deals on certain BlackBerry accessories each day through December 17, 2010.

I’ve long wondered why any BlackBerry user with even an average degree of intelligence would shop at, since a little online research shows almost all of the ShopBlackBerry products to be grossly overpriced. But these new holiday “deals” on the site finally led me to post on the subject.

I’ll keep this short and sweet, since I’ve already offered my advice for shoppers seeking BlackBerry accessories—stay away from ShopBlackBerry–but here’s a quick comparison of RIM’s latest “deal” on BlackBerry leather holsters and’s everyday prices for a few of those same holsters

ShopBlackBerry SALE price for BlackBerry Storm leather pocket: $25.49 plus shipping; EVERYDAY price for same leather pocket: $18.28 plus shipping.

ShopBlackBerry SALE price for BlackBerry Bold 9000 Koskin pocket: $16.99 plus shipping; EVERYDAY price for same koskin pocket: $6.49 plus shipping.

And last week, RIM listed a handful of BlackBerry batteries and chargers for sale on ShopBlackBerry, but I found every one of those power packs—official RIM batteries, not knockoffs—for sale online at 50 percent of the price of RIM’s store.

The one thing has going for it: You’re guaranteed “official” BlackBerry accessories, built and/or certified by RIM for use with your specific BlackBerry. But again, you can find the exact same products for much cheaper with a little online ingenuity.

And for more smartphone related holiday-shopping resources, read “11 Great Smartphone for $50 or Less” and “Smartphone Stocking Stuffers.”


Al Sacco covers Mobile and Wireless for Follow Al on Twitter @ASacco. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Al at