04:57 PM
Marin Perez
Marin Perez

Verizon BlackBerry To Pack Wi-Fi

The spies over at CrackBerry said Verizon Wireless will soon be getting the BlackBerry 8530. The great thing about this is that this handset packs Wi-Fi. It's about freaking time.

The spies over at CrackBerry said Verizon Wireless will soon be getting the BlackBerry 8530. The great thing about this is that this handset packs Wi-Fi. It's about freaking time.The smartphone itself is kind of boring, as it will essentially be a CDMA version of the BlackBerry Curve 8520 that was announced for T-Mobile. It's a relatively low-end BlackBerry and its main new features are an optical track pad, and media controls on top. While I sincerely think both of these will add to the BlackBerry experience, the device itself isn't that appealing to me.

But the Wi-Fi is an interesting new development for Big V, which has inexplicably kept Wi-Fi out of some high-end handsets like the BlackBerry Storm and Tour. What's even weirder is that Verizon was just fine having Wi-Fi in less popular handsets like the Samsung Omnia.

The mobile carriers get a lot of guff for doing things to protect their businesses. For example, Apple recently pulled a Google Voice app at the reported request of AT&T because it could let customers get around being charged for text messages. If this is how it went down, then I understand the rationale because these are public companies with a legal obligation to maximize profits. I don't have to like it, but I get it.

What boggles my mind is that Verizon already requires data packages for its BlacKBerry smartphones, so users wouldn't be using Wi-Fi to get around this. The other CDMA network, Sprint, has also been pretty silly with its lack of Wi-Fi for some phones, but hopefully both are changing their strategy around this.

No official word on when or how much this will cost, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it within a few months. When you factor this one, the Tour, and the sequel to the Storm, Verizon is going to have a very nice lineup of BlackBerry smartphones. Also, don't be surprised if RIM has a surprise up its sleeves later this year with a touch-screen handset that has the familiar BlackBerry form factor (keyboard and all).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of October 9, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll