The BlackBerry Bold delay is finally over: RIM’s (RIMM) new smartphone will go on sale at AT&T (T) on Nov. 4 for as little as $299 after subsidy, RIM said today. RIM’s beleaguered shares spiked on the news, up 4.1% to $52.57.
The launch is certainly good for RIM — there’s been some concern that the Bold, and its other big Christmas smartphone — the touchscreen Storm at Verizon (VZ) Wireless — wouldn’t be ready for the holiday shopping season. But the Bold, at least, will be in time. (It makes sense that RIM could announce the Storm’s on-sale date as soon as next Monday, when Verizon posts Q3 results.)
Will a $299 Bold still sell well next to a $199 iPhone? Probably not as strong as it would have a year ago, when Apple’s phone was $399. But there’s still an audience for a phone with a physical QWERTY keyboard. And there’s still a lot of companies that are strongly tied into BlackBerry’s mobile email service — RIM says about half of Bold’s buyers in other countries are enterprise customers.
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