T-Mobile eyes business users with the BlackBerry Bold 9900 4G, $300 after rebate

T-Mobile is betting on businesses and not consumers to shell out $300 plus a 2-year contract for a 4G/HSPA+ BlackBerry Bold 9900. But are companies being priced out of smartphone too?
Written by Gloria Sin, Inactive

After Verizon and Sprint announced on the same day that they are carrying the BlackBerry Bold 9930, T-Mobile just revealed it will be offering the GSM-variant Bold 9900 4G nation-wide on August 31. Will AT&T be next?

I first reported that a leaked Verizon video mentioned the new Bold 9930 could be 4G/LTE, but it turns out it is the Bold 9900 from T-Mobile that is designed for 4G, HSPA+ speeds (capable of 21 Mbps for downloads). The carrier believes the breadth of its 4G network will give businesses and their employees "the ultimate combination of speed, productivity and security" with the Bold 9900.

Not only does the Bold 9900 feature a 2.8-inch multi-touch screen along with the beloved QWERTY keyboard, it also runs the new BlackBerry 7 OS, which supports HTML 5 for a snappier Web experience, Liquid Graphics, an augmented reality Web browser, voice-activated search, and a more social version of BlackBerry Messenger. Just like the enterprise security features on the Bold 9930, the 9900 also offers IT administrators the ability to delete the contents of the BB remotely, and to prevent company information from being copied into personal apps on the device.

Besides containing different cellular radios, both the Bold 9900 and 9930 share the same innards and elegant design:

  • Dimensions & Weight: 115 x 66 x 10.5 mm, approximately 130 g
  • Display: 2.8? capacitive touch screen display – VGA (640×480), 287 PPI resolution (Liquid Graphics)
  • Input: Full, wide QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Snapdragon CPU
  • RAM: 768 MB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 8 GB on-board memory, plus microSD slot supporting up to 32 GB cards
  • Camera/Camcorder: 5.0 MP camera with flash, supports 720p HD video recording
  • Orientation Sensor (Accelerometer), Digital Compass (Magnetometer), Proximity Sensor
  • Built-in GPS
  • Connectivity: Dual-Band Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n at 2.4 GHz and 802.11 a/n at 5 GHz; Bluetooth 2.1+EDR support, microUSB, NFC
  • Battery: 1230 mAh removable, rechargeable battery
  • Radio: Quad-band GSM (3G)/UMTS (4G), Tri-band HSPA+

With mostly positive reviews of the Bold 9930 so far, the Bold 9900/9930 just need to woo some new BlackBerry users from other platforms. T-Mobile is betting that businesses will be snapping up the Bold 9900 for its workforce, which is why it is pre-selling to them first beginning today, before offering the device to consumers by the end of this month. But with the sky-high launch price for T-Mobile's Bold 9900 4G -- $299.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a two-year contract -- will large companies in this uncertain economic climate be willing to pay a premium for the 4G BlackBerry for its employees? Both Sprint and Verizon are offering the Bold 9930 for $250 so T-Mobile is already launching at a price disadvantage. What do you think?

[Source: T-Mobile press release]


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