WES 2007 Rumors: The Next-Gen Pearl

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Pearl 2.0: 9100

Haven’t been posting as much as I’d like, but that’s because I had to dig deep for this dirt on the next-gen BlackBerry Pearl. That’s right, Pearl 2.0.

Now, obviously RIM always has something in the works for new devices, and with the Pearl being a runaway quasi-consumer success, it makes sense for them to be looking to eventually upgrade the device, especially considering that the BlackBerry 8300 trumps the Pearl’s much vaunted multimedia features. So here’s what we’ve learned…

One thing for sure that RIM is considering in the next Pearl is GPS, something that will excite some BlackBerry Cool readers, but not necessarily the general public. From what I’ve heard, the major contention lies in data charges: the average consumer already has a hard enough time justifying the cost of a BlackBerry due to expensive monthly bills — adding GPS (and the resulting Google/BlackBerry Maps images) would likely be enough to push consumers past the “unlimited data” limit of most carriers (25Mb on Rogers, for example), and cause their bills to skyrocket. It appears as though RIM is taking this concern to heart, with GPS coming on and off the table for Pearl 2.0 development almost on a daily basis. RIM’s argument seems to be: why put in a feature into our consumer device that not that many will use, and could turn users away with added costs, when we could just improve its multimedia features — the stuff most consumers actually care about?

The second rumor we’ve heard refers to how advanced the device will be. All reports seem to indicate that Pearl 2.0 will be a 9xxx device, with it most likely being a 9100. Now, this doesn’t mean that we won’t see minor feature improvements on the 8100 (like an 8130 upgrade with maybe a 2.0 Mpx camera, for example), but the next “true” Pearl will roll 9000 stylez.

This means a couple of things. The 9xxx Pearl will be significantly thinner than the current model, if we can believe Boy Genius (which we can). It also means that, for the first time in awhile, we’ll get a resolution upgrade to the screen. Jibi told us that the 9900 device will feature a resolution of 384×288, which means that it’s not the Pearl (the screen ratio doesn’t match up with the current Pearl or any of the other x1xx BlackBerrys, so I’d be hard pressed to believe that they’d change it now), but does make it very likely that the 9100 device would receive a screen bump as well (especially if they’re looking to significantly upgrade the Pearl’s multimedia capabilities).

That’s all I have for now, but it does send tingles down this Pearl user’s spine. Maybe I won’t have to switch to an 8300 after all — that is, if the 9100 can make it out by the end of the year (not likely).

Private: WES 2007 Rumors: The Next-Gen Pearl

10 Comments

Pearl 2.0: 9100Haven’t been posting as much as I’d like, but that’s because I had to dig deep for this dirt on the next-gen BlackBerry Pearl. That’s right, Pearl 2.0.

Now, obviously RIM always has something in the works for new devices, and with the Pearl being a runaway quasi-consumer success, it makes sense for them to be looking to eventually upgrade the device, especially considering that the BlackBerry 8300 trumps the Pearl’s much vaunted multimedia features. So here’s what we’ve learned…

One thing for sure that RIM is considering in the next Pearl is GPS, something that will excite some BlackBerry Cool readers, but not necessarily the general public. From what I’ve heard, the major contention lies in data charges: the average consumer already has a hard enough time justifying the cost of a BlackBerry due to expensive monthly bills — adding GPS (and the resulting Google/BlackBerry Maps images) would likely be enough to push consumers past the “unlimited data” limit of most carriers (25Mb on Rogers, for example), and cause their bills to skyrocket. It appears as though RIM is taking this concern to heart, with GPS coming on and off the table for Pearl 2.0 development almost on a daily basis. RIM’s argument seems to be: why put in a feature into our consumer device that not that many will use, and could turn users away with added costs, when we could just improve its multimedia features — the stuff most consumers actually care about?

The second rumor we’ve heard refers to how advanced the device will be. All reports seem to indicate that Pearl 2.0 will be a 9xxx device, with it most likely being a 9100. Now, this doesn’t mean that we won’t see minor feature improvements on the 8100 (like an 8130 upgrade with maybe a 2.0 Mpx camera, for example), but the next “true” Pearl will roll 9000 stylez.

This means a couple of things. The 9xxx Pearl will be significantly thinner than the current model, if we can believe Boy Genius (which we can). It also means that, for the first time in awhile, we’ll get a resolution upgrade to the screen. Jibi told us that the 9900 device will feature a resolution of 384×288, which means that it’s not the Pearl (the screen ratio doesn’t match up with the current Pearl or any of the other x1xx BlackBerrys, so I’d be hard pressed to believe that they’d change it now), but does make it very likely that the 9100 device would receive a screen bump as well (especially if they’re looking to significantly upgrade the Pearl’s multimedia capabilities).

That’s all I have for now, but it does send tingles down this Pearl user’s spine. Maybe I won’t have to switch to an 8300 after all — that is, if the 9100 can make it out by the end of the year (not likely).

  • http://www.muzikfetish.net/ Ty

    As for the GPS ~ it can always be a user option to turn it off. It better have it! :P

    Upgraded Camera ~ good

    What it really NEEDS is a faster processor!

    Wifi would be nice too!

  • JasonA

    I hope BB decides to integrate a music service like Napster Mobile.. Rhapsody Mobile anybody?

  • Steve
  • Steve
  • Burt

    What it *really* needs are some improvements in basic functionality: the ability to capture movies as well as still shots; the ability to take voice notes that *don’t* have to be sent back to yourself as MMS messages; support for per-contact ringtones, or at least per-group ringtones (family, co-workers, relatives, unknown callers, etc.); a better speaker cover design that doesn’t require case mods (holes???); a better fitting battery cover that doesn’t need a business card to prop it up; the ability to *disable* the rollerball “spin” so the ringer isn’t shut off when you remove the Pearl from its case; etc.

    I mean, I *love* my Pearl, but there are some simple design changes that would improve it significantly. And some of those “fixes” could be put into software *NOW*.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ jibi@bbc

    Just to clarify, I have reason to believe the 9900 will feature that screen resolution, although I’m not one hundred percent sure. As we discussed, it seems that RIM is debunking that rumor, so let’s keep it in the netherworld for now. Also, a screen’s physical size (millimeters, inches) has nothing to do with the resolution (pixels) – the higher quality the screen (dpi), the more the pixels can be in a constrained physical space. For example, you can change your computer’s monitor display from 1024×768 to 1600×1200 with a noticeable improvement on quality (depending on the monitor), although the size of the content is noticeably smaller (but more defined).

    In all honesty, I think it’d be VERY wise for RIM to shrink the physical size of the screen for the 9900 (as compared to the 8700, 8800) while increasing the pixel size (384×288). What would this accomplish? Well, HTML emails are coming in the near-term pipeline. Enhanced attachment viewing and editing in true form would be a possibility (no more conversions to text). HTML webpage viewing and/or vector-based viewing would now be a reality (iPhone, anyone?). Multimedia functionality and potential would be more than vastly improved. Anyhow, that’s just a few ideas to throw around.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ jibi@bbc

    Just to clarify, I have reason to believe the 9900 will feature that screen resolution, although I’m not one hundred percent sure. As we discussed, it seems that RIM is debunking that rumor, so let’s keep it in the netherworld for now. Also, a screen’s physical size (millimeters, inches) has nothing to do with the resolution (pixels) – the higher quality the screen (dpi), the more the pixels can be in a constrained physical space. For example, you can change your computer’s monitor display from 1024×768 to 1600×1200 with a noticeable improvement on quality (depending on the monitor), although the size of the content is noticeably smaller (but more defined).

    In all honesty, I think it’d be VERY wise for RIM to shrink the physical size of the screen for the 9900 (as compared to the 8700, 8800) while increasing the pixel size (384×288). What would this accomplish? Well, HTML emails are coming in the near-term pipeline. Enhanced attachment viewing and editing in true form would be a possibility (no more conversions to text). HTML webpage viewing and/or vector-based viewing would now be a reality (iPhone, anyone?). Multimedia functionality and potential would be more than vastly improved. Anyhow, that’s just a few ideas to throw around.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ jibi@bbc

    Just to clarify, I have reason to believe the 9900 will feature that screen resolution, although I’m not one hundred percent sure. As we discussed, it seems that RIM is debunking that rumor, so let’s keep it in the netherworld for now. Also, a screen’s physical size (millimeters, inches) has nothing to do with the resolution (pixels) – the higher quality the screen (dpi), the more the pixels can be in a constrained physical space. For example, you can change your computer’s monitor display from 1024×768 to 1600×1200 with a noticeable improvement on quality (depending on the monitor), although the size of the content is noticeably smaller (but more defined).

    In all honesty, I think it’d be VERY wise for RIM to shrink the physical size of the screen for the 9900 (as compared to the 8700, 8800) while increasing the pixel size (384×288). What would this accomplish? Well, HTML emails are coming in the near-term pipeline. Enhanced attachment viewing and editing in true form would be a possibility (no more conversions to text). HTML webpage viewing and/or vector-based viewing would now be a reality (iPhone, anyone?). Multimedia functionality and potential would be more than vastly improved. Anyhow, that’s just a few ideas to throw around.

  • http://www.gpf-design.com/ Vygantas

    What about it’s size and weight? I hope it won’t have a GPS, as I already got it in SXG75, just looking for sweet and small smart phone with great display.

  • hansy

    I love my blackberry. I think the GPS should be an option in the package, but not a must. A good improvement could be the possibility to broadcast either TV or radio, faster data rate, and more compatible video players decoders. you cant play YOUTUBE videos right now. Also, the IMS for MSN software is SOOO crappy, there is room for improvements there…My two cents..