ThoughtPiece: Predictions for 2007

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Everyone’s getting their magic ball out around this time of year - rubbing their temples to discover what lies ahead in 2007. Thought returns this week with his predictions for RIM and the BlackBerry in the year of the boar. Got something to say about Thought’s thoughts? Shoot him a comment. Nice to have you back, pal.

Predictions for 2007

It’s the New Year and that means it’s time for predictions. Herewith are my humble forecasts…

1) The BlackBerry 8800 series will outsell the Pearl.
With its QWERTY keyboard, larger screen and integrated WiFi, the 8800 models will outsell the very successful Pearl. Of course, what this will mean is that RIM will have another record-setting year with more sales and revenue than ever before.

2) RIM will release a BB 8800 for Verizon sooner than expected.
I will go out on a limb here and predict that a BB 8800 model for US carrier Verizon will be released in the first half of the year, and perhaps even in the first quarter. I have to believe that RIM understands the sizable potential market for a CDMA 8800, and that Verizon must be pushing RIM as well to shorten the lag time between GSM and CDMA releases. I also note this interesting fact: Verizon has just lowered the contract price of their 8703e by 25% to $149.99. The 8703e is still quite a recent release on Verizon, having been released only in October. It is interesting that Verizon would lower the price on their newest and most fully featured BB so soon if the wait for the new 8800 series was going to about a year or so, as is the normal lag time for CDMA releases. Price drops often foreshadow new product releases.

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