by Al Sacco

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Update: Now Available in Canada; Camera-less Version for T-Mo; “Piano-Black” Bezel

Nov 09, 2010
MobileSmall and Medium Business's Al Sacco provides a status update on the BlackBerry Bold 9780, which is coming to the U.S. via T-Mobile Nov. 17.

In late October, Research and Motion (RIM) took the wraps off the much-anticipated BlackBerry Bold 9780 smartphone, a refresh to its popular, business-oriented BlackBerry Bold 9700 device. (Read why I think the Bold 9700 is RIM’s best BlackBerry….or it was until the 9780 came along.)

RIM's BlackBerry Bold 9780
RIM’s BlackBerry Bold 9780

Today, the Bold 9780 is available in Canada via at least two wireless carriers, Rogers and Telus, for $150 with a new three-year service agreement and $100 with a three-year contract, respectively.

The BlackBerry Bold 9780 can’t yet be purchased in the United States, but it’s coming soon to T-Mobile U.S.A. in both a 5MP camera-version and a version sans camera. The “camera-less” 9780 is meant for organizations and/or government agencies, etc., with strict no-camera policies within certain sensitive areas and facilities, such as courtrooms or evidence vaults.

T-Mobile is expected to release the Bold 9780 on November 17, and though U.S. carrier AT&T has not yet announced the new RIM smartphone, it too will presumably release its own version of the 9780 in the coming weeks or months. (T-Mobile was first to release the Bold 9700 in the U.S. back in November of 2009, with AT&T following suit a few weeks later.)

The most significant differences between the original Bold 9700 and the 9780 refresh, minor as they may be, are mostly on the inside. Specifically, the new Bold 9780 runs RIM’s latest mobile OS, BlackBerry 6. It packs more application memory, with 512MB compared to the Bold 9700’s 256MB of app memory. And the device has a higher-quality, 5MP digital camera, while the Bold 9700 has a 3.2MP shooter.

The new Bold will be available on many carriers, including T-Mobile, in black and white. And the black version has a different, darker outer “bezel” than the original black 9700, that runs along its edges.

From a RIM Bold 9780 product manager:

“The white device will have the original ‘chrome’ NCVM finish [bezel] as the 9700. All black 9780s will have the darker, blacker NCM finish compared to 9700. [The] black 9780 will only be available in the darker NCVM. We’ll call it ‘Piano Black.’

“So all 9780’s with the exception of the white models will have a Piano Black Bezel–darker than the straight Chrome one on the 9700.”

I anxiously await the arrival of this new Bold, since I’m a huge fan of the original 9700, and I haven’t found any BlackBerry that can replace it–even the Torch 9800. I’m also pleased that the black version ships with a black bezel, since that means I won’t have to customize, or “black-out,” my own device, as I have with my 9700. I’ll just say the process wasn’t exactly easy…

Visit RIM’s website for more official details on the Bold 9780.


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