by Al Sacco

BlackBerry Bold 9650: May Release Rumors for Sprint, Verizon

Apr 19, 2010
MobileSmall and Medium Business

Both Sprint and Verizon customers should be able to get their thumbs on the new BlackBerry Bold 9650 next month.

It should be no surprise to BlackBerry watchers that RIM’s as-of-yet unannounced—but often pictured—BlackBerry Bold 9650 smartphone will be unveiled by Research In Motion (RIM) in May; I predicted the Bold 9650 announcement at RIM’s 2010 Wireless Enterprise Symposium (WES) more than a month ago.

BlackBerry Bold 9650, aka 'Tour2'
BlackBerry Bold 9650, aka “Tour2” (via BGR )

New rumors suggest my prediction was right on target, and it looks as though both Sprint and Verizon Wireless could also release the device next month, though Sprint will be first out of the gate if current speculation proves to be accurate.

Last week, a screen shot of what appears to be of an internal Verizon inventory system leaked, containing the latest rumored Bold 9650 release date for that carrier: May 27, 2010.

Then yesterday, another inventory leak popped up, this time from Sprint, bringing with it some possible pricing details and another rumored release date. If the leak proves to be accurate, Sprint will begin selling the new BlackBerry Bold 9650 on May 16, and it will sell for $199.99, after $100 mail-in rebate, with a new two-year service agreement. Off-contract price for the Sprint Bold 9650 will likely be $449.99.

I expect RIM to unveil this new BlackBerry during WES 2010, which will take place in Orlando, Fla., April 27 – 29.

Pricing details for the Verizon Bold 9650 are unknown at this point, but it’s probably that the device will also retail for around $200 with a new service agreement.

The BlackBerry Bold 9650 is basically a revamped version of the Tour 9630, with RIM’s new trackpad in place of its problematic trackpad, Wi-Fi support and slightly beefed-up processor.

Sprint is also expected to release a “camera-less” version of the Bold 9650 for organizations with strict security policies that ban digital cameras from certain premises.