BlackBerry’s jump to Wi-Fi is significant, and already analysts are trying to determine how the market will react. European users, who are likely to be getting the BlackBerry 8820 first, will be very happy to see the new handheld, according to RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky. High landline costs and massive cellular usage makes Wi-Fi hand-off a very appealing way to cut down on costs. There remain concerns over how carriers will react, since they’ll have the final say on the terms on which the function is used. There’s a lot of usage fees carriers will be missing out on because of Wi-Fi, which means they’ll likely tack on counteracting Wi-Fi fees.
Security is another issue. Wi-Fi doesn’t exactly inspire the spitting image of data security, despite the 8200’s press release dedicating a healthy chunk to citing off all of the protocols the device will be using. Sure, faster browsing and cutting on data costs will be of interest to enterprise users, but sensitive data will likely be reserved for the BES. Abramsky says we’re still in an early adopter phase, so how the carrier pricing model changes once Wi-Fi becomes mainstream remains to be seen.