In a sign that RIM employee Alain Segond von Banchet doesn't quite know what he's talking about, 2009 seems to be quite the year for new BlackBerry devices. Crackberry and Engadget have obtained pictures (and remarkably clear ones, to boot) of a new 3G device referred to as the "Onyx/Driftwood." Based on the intelligence coming into their respective websites, Engadget, Crackberry, and BGR have slightly different opinions on the matter, so here's a culmination of everything we can gather at the moment:
- The BlackBerry "Onyx" is headed to AT&T with Wi-Fi and a QWERTY keyboard similar to the BlackBerry Tour 9630 - no release date or price available at this time, though.
- The BlackBerry "Driftwood" is cosmetically identical to the Onyx and is headed to T-Mobile for a rumored September launch date. It will offer Wi-Fi and UMA, and will support the AWS 1700 MHz band, making it T-Mobile's first 3G BlackBerry!
- Though the pictures show a trackball, this is a pre-production model. The actual device will offer the optical trackpad at launch (most likely changed to some creative RIM marketing name when released).
- BGR's sources suggest that it will launch in the 96XX product family, making it (perhaps) the 9600 or 9620, putting it in the same product family as the BlackBerry Tour 9630.
We'll keep you updated as we hear more. As an avid BlackBerry fan, I must say - these devices are looking great! Keep up the good work, RIM! Anyone thinking about picking one up when they launch?
Sources: BGR, Crackberry, and Engadget Mobile