June 27, 2012

Boost Mobile To Offer BlackBerry With Unlimited Plan

Peter Suciu for

Despite a bad week, which is just part of a bad month in a bad year, BlackBerry is getting a boost — or rather Boost Mobile is getting a new BlackBerry. Boost Mobile announced on Wednesday that they would see the pre-pay wireless service provider offer the BlackBerry Curve 9210 smartphone beginning next month. Earlier this week Research in Motion attempted to dispel rumors that it would sell off its handset division, and has apparently struck a deal with the carrier.

Along with the new smartphone Boost Mobile is launching a new plan that will offer unlimited BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) usage along with unlimited talk and text services.

Boost Mobile is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sprint Next Corporation and does not require its customers to agree to an annual contract to purchase any of its products or services.

“We have partnered closely with RIM to enhance the Boost Mobile line-up and launch the first-ever no-contract BlackBerry smartphone priced under $100,” said Andre Smith, vice president of Boost Mobile, in a statement. “This breakthrough device is matched with the most affordable BlackBerry service plan in the industry with shrinking payments and unlimited talk, text, and worldwide BlackBerry Messenger.”

The BlackBerry Curve 9310 isn´t exactly the most cutting-edge of BlackBerry handsets. The GSM version launched in 2010, but this is not the first time that that a RIM handset has filtered down to Boost. The carrier currently offers the Curve 8530. The newer Curve features the BlackBerry OS 7.1 and includes a 3.2-megapixel camera. The device will also offer built-in Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth and an FM radio. The handset will offer a full QWERTY keyboard and optical trackpad.

The Curve 9310 will be available for $99, while Boost Mobile will offer nationwide taking and texting for $45 a month, and as added incentive to keep the customers paying and coming back, they will see their bill drop by $5 for every six payments made on time — consecutive or non-consecutive. This continues until the bill bottoms out at $30 a month.

The Curve will support Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail for email and texting and include a dedicated BlackBerry Messenger key. Users will even have access to Facebook Twitter and YouTube along with other social media sites, but not the full web browser or mobile data that is offered on BlackBerry handsets for other mobile carriers.

To access the aforementioned social network sites, as well as apps and games from BlackBerry,  App World will require Wi-Fi access — as a typical data plan is not available. Boost instead highlighted this by noting, “The smartphone is also Wi-Fi enabled, giving users the opportunity to enjoy unlimited data” but obviously neglected to note that this would only be available where free Wi-Fi is also available.

However, users of the real-time BBM can reportedly share large files up to 6MB including pictures, voice notes and locations.

The smartphone will be available at Boost Mobile exclusive retail stores, select independent wireless dealer locations nationwide and at with free shipping. It will also be available at select Best Buy locations next month.