Now that T-Mobile has ditched subsidies, the company is rolling out devices with plans that they believe will be more attractive to consumers, while saving the company money in the long-term. Today, T-Mobile officially announced the release of the BlackBerry Curve 9315, a BlackBerry 7.1 device that features a measly 3.2-megapixel camera, for an up front cost of only $49.99, but, customers will also have to make 20 additional payments of $10 a month to completely pay off the phone. On top of that, they’ll still have to sign a 2-year service agreement that features a qualifying Value voice and data plan. Consumers who are interested in the severely outdated BlackBerry device can pre-order through T-Mobile on January 16—if they’re a business customer—or wait until January 23rd when the phone goes on sale for the rest of the country.
Maybe it’s my skepticism of RIM and the BlackBerry brand, but releasing a new phone running BB 7.1 less than a month from debuting a completely new operating system that it will surely not be upgraded to, is exactly the type of executive decision that has put RIM in the situation in which they currently reside. It’s pointless, even with the $49.99 dollar price tag, consumers still have to sign a contract for two years and pay $10 for 20 months, or $200 over the course of the contract, for a phone that will be outdated in less than 30 days—or if you want to be serious about it—that has actually been outdated for years compared to its competition. No matter how great or cheap T-mobile’s plans are, they don’t negate the fact that consumers in the end are screwed if they purchase this phone.
That’s just my two cents. The official press release is below.
BlackBerry Curve 9315 Smartphone Introduced By T-Mobile and RIM
T-Mobile’s most affordable BlackBerry smartphone provides productivity tools and features to keep customers connected
BELLEVUE, Wash. and WATERLOO, ON – Jan. 3, 2013 – T-Mobile USA, Inc. and Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced the most affordable BlackBerry® smartphone on T-Mobile’s nationwide network – the BlackBerry® Curve™ 9315. Powered by the BlackBerry® 7.1 operating system with 3G connectivity, the sleek new smartphone is easy-to-use and provides tools that enable customers to stay connected to the people and information that matter most.
“At T-Mobile, our goal is to delight customers. The new BlackBerry Curve 9315 will delight customers with unprecedented value while also allowing them to combine their mobile business and personal use in one great device,” said Brad Duea, senior vice president of product management at T-Mobile. “The Curve 9315 is the most affordable BlackBerry smartphone on our nationwide network and provides our customers with a wide variety of productivity and social features to keep them connected and make their mobile lives easier.”
“We’re pleased to work with T-Mobile to bring the BlackBerry Curve 9315 to customers,” said Richard Piasentin, managing director for the U.S. at Research In Motion. “The Curve 9315 is designed to make it incredibly easy to stay connected with friends, family and coworkers and will be popular with customers upgrading to a smartphone for the first time, as well as existing Curve customers looking for a step up in speed and functionality.”
Combining an intuitive interface with a QWERTY keyboard, the BlackBerry Curve 9315 features built-in Wi-Fi® connectivity for voice and data, enabling customers to access the information they need when and where they need it, and Wi-Fi calling, allowing calls and messages over an available Wi-Fi network. With a dedicated BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™) key, preloaded apps for Facebook® and Twitter® and the Social Feeds 2.0 app, customers can easily interact with their friends, coworkers and social networks whether it’s instant messaging, posting or tweeting.
The new BlackBerry Curve 9315 offers a 3.2-megapixel camera with LED flash and digital zoom as well as video recording capabilities. Customers also have the ability to geo-tag the location of their pictures by utilizing the smartphone’s built-in GPS. In addition, the smartphone features a microSD card slot for up to 32GB of additional media storage and a built-in FM radio letting customers tune in to local FM stations. With the BlackBerry App World™ storefront, customers have exclusive access to a wide range of apps, allowing them to enhance their smartphone experience with entertainment, personalization and productivity apps of their choosing.
The BlackBerry Curve 9315 will be available in an exclusive pre-sale for T-Mobile business customers beginning January 16 and is expected to be available in T-Mobile retail stores, via www.T-Mobile.com, and with select dealers and national retailers beginning January 23, 2013. For well-qualified customers, the Curve 9315 will require a $49.99 out-of-pocket down payment and 20 equal monthly payments of $10 per month via T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan (EIP)1, with a two-year service agreement and qualifying T-Mobile Value voice and data plan. Customers may also purchase the Curve 9315 for $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate card, with a two-year service agreement and qualifying T-Mobile Classic voice and data plan.2
1EIP: On approved credit and 0% APR. Qualifying plan required for duration of EIP agreement; account must be in good standing. Available only in participating locations; not available in Wash., D.C. All prices, taxes and fees additional.
For more information on T-Mobile products and services, visit http://www.T-Mobile.com.
For more information about the BlackBerry Curve 9315 smartphone, please visit http://us.blackberry.com/smartphones/blackberry-curve-9310-9315.html.
About T-Mobile USA
Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile USA, Inc. is the U.S. wireless operation of Deutsche Telekom AG (OTCQX: DTEGY). By the end of the third quarter of 2012, approximately 131 million mobile customers were served by the mobile communication segments of the Deutsche Telekom group — 33.3 million by T-Mobile USA — all via a common technology platform based on GSM and UMTS and additionally HSPA+ 21/HSPA+ 42. T-Mobile USA’s innovative wireless products and services help empower people to connect to those who matter most. Multiple independent research studies continue to rank T-Mobile USA among the highest in numerous regions throughout the U.S. in wireless customer care and call quality. For more information, please visit http://www.T-Mobile.com. T-Mobile is a federally registered trademark of Deutsche Telekom AG. For further information on Deutsche Telekom, please visit http://www.telekom.de/investor-relations.
About Research In Motion
Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry® solution in 1999. Today, BlackBerry products and services are used by millions of customers around the world to stay connected to the people and content that matter most throughout their day. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. RIM is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RIM). For more information, visit http://www.rim.com or http://www.blackberry.com.