Lots of BlackBerry news circulating around the internet this week. Don't worry, we're here to cover it for you!
BlackBerry Tour suffering from extensive trackball issues?
When I purchased my first BlackBerry Tour on launch day, it was plagued with the now-infamous trackball issue. After exchanging it for a new one, I was ready to go. Despite seeing problems pop up all over the internet, my thought was that it was an issue affecting the first batch, and after a few weeks, the problem would be resolved. Not the case, according to Gerard Hallaren, Director of Research at TownHall Investment Research. According to Hallaren, the trackball must be cleaned on a regular basis in order for it to function properly - something that we're pretty sure most aren't doing.
As a result, return rates are climbing with both Verizon and Sprint, with the latter reporting upwards of a 50 percent return rate. Gerard notes that a 2-3 percent increase in quality control would dramatically reduce that number. Furthermore, Verizon relies on RIM for about 80 percent of its smartphone lineup, but with models such as the Motorola Sholes and Palm Pre rumored to be on their way, their reliance will go down. “Verizon is angry about this recurring trackball problem and is telling its retailers to expect strong support for the new Motorola phone,” Hallaren said.
[Update] Both Verizon and Sprint have issued official statements in regards to the allegations of trackball issues in the BlackBerry Tour:
Verizon: "BlackBerry Tour has the lowest return rate of any smartphone Verizon Wireless is selling. In fact, its return rate is one of the lowest among all the products our company sells."
Sprint: "We experienced a small percentage of early production Blackberry Tour smartphones with trackball issues," a Sprint representative said in a phone interview Wednesday night. "As soon as the issue was identified, we worked closely with our partners at RIM to resolve the problem quickly. Any customer experiencing issues with the Tour should visit a Sprint service and repair center."
Via Engadget Mobile
BlackBerry Tour to receive OS 188.8.131.52 in the next maintenance release?
Maintenance releases (typically shortened to "MR" online) are common for BlackBerry devices, and despite the fact that OS 184.108.40.206 didn't quite make it to the Tour, it looks like an official maintenance release will land sometime around October 1st. According to BGR, the update doesn't provide much in the enhancements department beyond speed improvements, but is a new release nonetheless. Via BGR (image courtesy of Crackberry)
Buy a BlackBerry Curve (8900, 8520, or 8320) at T-Mobile and get $50 back
Granted, you have to send in your old (working) phone, but if you don't want to sell your old device through eBay or Craiglist, it may be the best option for you. Upgrade to a BlackBerry Curve of some sort (8900, 8520, or 8320) at T-Mobile, and receive $50 back by mail when you send in your old device. With free shipping, it's not a bad deal for most - but if it was me, I'd want to sell my old device through eBay. I'm sure I could fetch more than $50.
BlackBerry Bold (Onyx) 9700 set to receive AT&T "technical acceptance" on October 12th
According to a tipster on Crackberry, all signs are a go for the BlackBerry Bold (Onyx) 9700 to launch in November. Crucial_Xtreme, a well known voice in the community and someone rumored to work for Research In Motion, has validated earlier claims that the device will receive AT&T technical acceptance on October 12th. In layman's terms, "technical acceptance" refers to the device leaving official field testing, in preparation for a launch.
With a release date so close, you would think an AT&T-branded Bold 9700 picture could be found somewhere, but alas, none are available as of yet. Two more months! Via Crackberry (image courtesy of PocketBerry)