Many people will assume this is to prevent any disappointment on launch day, but the real reason is for O2 (and others) to see how many people are actually going to buy one.
Disappointing sales on launch day are the last thing an operator wants when they’ve filled each store with millions of handsets and only ten people have turned up, five of which are paid stooges and PR!
However, we’re pretty sure that interest in the Curve 8900 is going to be high. It’s the slimmest BlackBerry smartphone (at 13.5mm) and it packs in loads of features; a 3.2-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and image stabiliser, a full featured media player for music, video and pictures, support for Facebook and MySpace clients and – of course – the excellent push email service. The 8900 also has GPS and Documents to Go software that allows you to edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files.
The compromise? No 3G (but you do have Wi-Fi). The upside will be better battery life, and none of the 3G related problems that have been afflicting the Bold (although it must be said, the latest firmware seems to have resolved most of these issues).
The photograph shows how similar the Curve 8900 is to the Bold, but the lack of 3G should have less of an impact than other devices because the email server automatically compresses your messages and sends the data in smaller packets (as well as recoding documents so you can read them without having to download the whole file). Slower web browsing is the only real deal breaker.
Further information can be found at; www.o2.co.uk/blackberry
The Curve 8900 will range from free to £234 depending on tariff. It will be supported on both BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) and BlackBerry Internet Server (BIS).