The price of owning a Blackberry

In the past few months Research in Motion has seemingly been pushed to the background by all the recent exciting product launches in the wireless industry. They appear to be loosing track to Apple’s iPhone, Nokia’s N series, and even HTC’s touch. Not to mention the new SonyEricsson Xperia X1 that is poised to be the next big thing in the SmartPhone world. It has been a long time since you heard something truly positive and exciting about the Waterloo company, that is of course unless you like network failures and lawsuits.

The main detractor remains that they are cost prohibitive and the Blackberry service has yet to come down in price like stand alone data plans have. One has to wonder if this is because customers have become so reliant on the service that the wireless companies feel they don’t have to make their plans very competitive.

Lets take a look at the prices by the major wireless companies:

AT&T

BlackBerry Personal Add on Unl Msgs $50.00/month
BlackBerry Personal Add on 200 Msgs $35.00/month
BlackBerry Personal Add w/no Msgs $30.00/month

Verizon

Blackberry Solutionâ„¢ Unlimited Data Usage $44.99/month
Email and Web for BlackBerry $29.99/month

T-Mobile

BlackBerry Unlimited w/Enterprise Email $29.98/month
BlackBerry Unlimited E-mail Add-on $9.99/month
BlackBerry Unlimited Add-on $19.99/month

Sprint

Sprint Power VisionSM BlackBerry Pack $30.00/month
Unlimited web browsing/email/text messages
10MB BlackBerry Email and Web $39.99
Unlimited BlackBerry Email and Web $39.99
Worldwide BlackBerry Data Plan $69.99

As you can see Sprint and T-Mobile have a somewhat reasonable price of $30.00/month. AT&T effectively prices themselves out of competition at $50/month and Verizon isn’t much better at $44.99/month. So at the bare minimum you can expect to have a $85 bill but more likely it will be in the $100 range and thats pretty painful. It is long overdue that the prices of the BlackBerry service get lowered, for no other reason than its longevity alone, as its been around as long as text messaging. Of course all this will take is one company like Sprint/Nextel to announce a $9.99 BlackBerry service and soon thereafter the other companies will follow. Les hope this will happen sometime this year and a lot more people can afford to tryout the service for the first time.

Its not all bad for the SmartPhone maker, the soon to be announced BlackBerry 9000 is creating some buzz but with conflicting ‘leaked’ images and mixed messages from the company itself on the new operating system they seem to be undermining themselves. They could learn a thing or two from Nokia and Sony about leaking info, however the info that has come out has gotten some excited. These include:

A super fast Intel 624 Mhz processor, 1 GB internal memory, WiFi, GPS, UMA, high end optics and multi Band HSDPA.

Some of the rumors on the design are that it could have a full screen interface without a tactile keyboard, scroll wheel or joystick. If thats the case it would be a huge departure from anything seen the company before and could signal a huge shift in their approach. Take a look at the two photos reported to be the new 9000 and decide for yourself.

9000-final.jpg