Tuesday, August 3, 2010

When Will The Blackbery Torch Launch in Canada?

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Research In Motion, having just announced a new Blackberry, a new model called the Torch launching on AT&T on 12th, now technology analysts and journalists north of the border are wondering when the new Blackberry will be available in Canada and with which carrier.

The Torch is a GSM/UMTS/HSPA smartphone which means that it will not be available on MTS or Public Mobile.  It doesn't support Advanced Wireless Spectrum so Wind Mobile and Mobilicity won't be able to offer the Torch ether.  That leaves the incumbent national carriers, Rogers, Bell and Telus.  For Bell and Telus offering the Torch would let both carriers to retire CDMA based blackberries such as the Storm and the Tour.  For Rogers offering the Torch will help re-establish the reputation that Rogers had as Canada's Blackberry leader.

One of Canada's smaller regional carrier has a special interest in offering the Blackberry Torch,  Sasktel will be relaunching their network using UMTS/HSPA about the time that the Blackberry Torch is going to launch.  So far Sasktel's HSPA phone line up is pretty limited, With Blackberry Bold and Pearl that are the same that Rogers offers, There are a few Nokia models as well.  That's about as interesting as Sasktel's CDMA phone linup which is limited and sucky at best.

The smart bet is that there will be at least two national carriers, I would suspect Telus and Rogers are the most likely to land the Torch.  It would be highly unlikely that Research In Motion will enter into an exclusive agreement with a carrier.  Learning the lession from how the Palm Pre died in Canada because of only being available on Bell.  RIM needs to successful with the Blackberry Torch to claw back some market share lost to the iPhone and Android.  Fragmenting down to subscribers of just one carrier would be counterproductive to that goal.

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