updated 08:10 am EST, Fri December 26, 2008
Rogers Fido Roadmap 2009
An initial 2009 roadmap for phones at Canadian provider Rogers and its sub-label Fido has leaked and provided clues not only to devices coming to the West for the first time but a new BlackBerry device. A new Pearl Flip will represent a quick turnaround for RIM and will add HSPA-based 3G for faster Internet access; it will also be the first non-QWERTY phone from the company to have both GPS and Wi-Fi at the same time. The new Flip is due sometime in the first half of 2009 and will be available only through Rogers.
Also among BlackBerries is confirmation of the BlackBerry Storm 9520, a version expected to bring at least HSPA 3G and to drop CDMA access. Other features aren't known, though the xx20 designation in the past has been used to indicate models with built-in Wi-Fi.
Other additions primarily involve phones that have yet to receive a carrier launch anywhere in North America. Significantly, the company plans to offer the Samsung Pixon both on Rogers and Fido towards the end of winter. The touchscreen phone carries an eight-megapixel camera and would be one of the few devices on the network to support not only 7.2Mbps downloads but 1.8Mbps uploads.
A trio of Nokia smartphones are also due for Rogers and include both the N79 and N85 in the first half of the year, either of which has previously only been available unlocked on the continent. Both the N79 candybar and N85 slider carry 3G, five-megapixel cameras, GPS and Wi-Fi. Nokia's first touchscreen phone, the 5800 XpressMusic, is slated to appear in either the spring or summer for both Rogers and Fido.
Sony Ericsson will bring two phones to Rogers. T C905, its eight-megapixel cameraphone slider, is due in spring; the XPERIA X1 is also due to get its first confirmed carrier release in North America and will ship in the summer. The Windows Mobile-based smartphone will be one of the few phones beyond the Pixon to support 7.2Mbps downloads and 1.8Mbps uploads and should carry the reference 3.2-megapixel camera and Wi-Fi.
Additional phone releases include HTC's Touch Pro in the spring, the Touch Viva in the first half of the year for free on a three-year phone and data plan, and the possible launch of the Touch 3G; Motorola's Q11 and VE66 are due for Rogers later in the year, while the ZINE ZN5 five-megapixel phone is scheduled for both Rogers and Fido towards the end of winter with support for UMA Wi-Fi calling on both Rogers' Talkspot and Fido's UNO. It should cost as little as $50 on a contract.
No mention is made of iPhones or other devices, though Apple historically doesn't allow such information to be made available in third-party presentations.