ORANGE will be the first carrier to offer the upcoming Blackberry Bold.
In an exclusive to the Inquirer, the France Télécom UK outfit confirmed it will be the very first carrier with Bold. This beats T-Mobile by weeks, despite that firm being the first to announce.
Initially, a source at the Carphone Warehouse informed us they’ll be trumping Deutsche Telekom September arrival of the phone, by stocking the Bold on Orange from the 21st of this month.
A follow-up call to Orange surprised the bejesus out of them as no one was supposed to know any of this, A spokesOrange said the firm will even be beating Carphone Warehouse to the shelves. Orange will be taking stock on the 14th and will have them in its shops by the Saturday 16th, along with online ordering.
The tariffs start at £45 a month, with the phone free. We understand the Warehouse folk will be offering deals on gratis handsets from just £40, with an unlimited data allowance. Normally the latter’s priced at £2.50 per month, but will be refunded every quarter.
Not a peep still from O2 or Vodafone on arrival dates, despite attempts at cajoling information out of them. The relationship with O2 is usually quite strong, as they were the first out the starting gates with the likes of the Curve.
A spokesO2 said: “the Blackberry Bold is still undergoing product testing. We will only launch a device when we are confident it will deliver a great customer experience.”
This is an odd response, seeing as they know full well we recently toyed with the O2 version of the phone for sometime at the Wireless Festival in London, with no problems whatsoever.
What’s even odder than that is the press samples of the handset sent out by RIM for review carry a Vodafone SIM card.
Just in case you need a refresher as to what the Bold is all about, it’s the first Blackberry phone to support tri-band HSDPA networks, with integrated GPS, Wi-Fi and a new full-QWERTY keyboard. Here’s a picture of the phone on an Orange network, the very first image to be seen anywhere on the very first network to support it. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ