Sal put up a pic of the Verizon BlackBerry Tour2 9650 aka the BlackBerry Essex and it looks just like you thought it would. The only thing new here is that the Tour now has a trackpad and WiFi. These leaked devices are almost always coming from ISVs who get them around 6 weeks before launch. Assuming Sal just got his device, and he got it from an ISV, we’ll be seeing this device around mid-January. This would coincide with a lot of the rumors we’ve been hearing. Expect this device to launch on the Sprint network as well.
Tag: Blackberry essex
Salomondrin has a blog now and is paving the way to be the next BGR. He has managed to leak both the Storm 2 and the 9700 fairly effectively on the net, spreading his videos across multiple users to at least slow down RIM legal from pulling them. He has even suggested a method of preventing a leak from being pulled from YouTube.
Sal points to the following three upcoming BlackBerry devices as rumored to be launching soon:
1) Blackberry Essex
According to Sal, this device is a 3G/CDMA/WiFi version of the already released Blackberry Tour 9630. The device comes with a trackpad, which seems to be standard on all of RIM’s latest devices. Sal also hints at a “little extra surprise” that we will like.
2) Blackberry 9100 A.K.A. Striker
While the codename is too early to be confirmed in any way, and there isn’t much to say about this device, it’s still exciting to hear rumors that the Pearl lineup will get an update. The 9100 is rumored to come with 3G and of course, a trackpad. It is apparently slimmer than the Bold 9700.
3) Blackberry Curve 8530
This is the CDMA version of the 8520 and is expected to be announced “really soon.”
Another interesting rumor is that RIM will be releasing 16 new devices in 2010. The Essex is rumored to launch in Q1 of 2010, so this will likely be a part of this 16. It’s anyone’s guess what the other devices will be. Hopefully, RIM will bring some interesting new features to the table, rather than just tweak the form factor.
So it seems as though 2009 will be the year of the upgrades. The following devices are rumored to hit shelves before 2010:
- The BlackBerry Onyx aka Bold 9700
- The BlackBerry Storm 2 9520
- The BlackBerry Essex
- The BlackBerry “Striker” 9100 (rumor probably has the codename wrong)
Lets take a quick look at each device, so you can see why 2009 should be dubbed “The Year of the Upgrades.” While these devices haven’t launched yet, and nothing is final, there are a variety of features that I would like to see ship with these devices, to truly add a great leap forward element for the device.
Click through to read about each of these upcoming devices and what features should be included
The latest BlackBerry to surface has been named the Essex. The device is the next iteration of the BlackBerry Tour aka the BlackBerry Niagara aka the BlackBerry 9630.
The Essex looks just like the Tour in size and the major adjustments are in form factor, as well as a couple features such as WiFi will be added.
As with many BlackBerry devices, one of the first things you’ll notice is the keyboard. The Essex has opted out of the Bold style keyboard and chosen a chicklet style Curve keyboard. The BlackBerry community is fairly divided on Curve vs the Bold keyboards, so it makes sense for RIM to change it up and offer both alternatives.
The Essex will also come with the new trackpad, which at this point we have to assume will come standard with all BlackBerry devices that once had a trackball. Again, the device will be a World Phone, capable of roaming between CDMA and GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS networks.
There is also a rumor that this device will be heading to Sprint, which was loosely confirmed when a Sprint exec said we will see a WiFi enabled Tour this year.
Tour owners, how do you feel about RIM launching this device so soon after you bought your 9630? Is WiFi, a trackpad and a new keyboard layout something you would have liked on your device?
UPDATE: I’m going to concede that the keyboard might actually be the same. When you put the two devices side by side, it looks like the keys are a little more separated in a Curve fashion, but it could easily just be the lighting. I’m sure we’ll see more pics coming soon which will clarify.