Why Are There Plans For A BlackBerry Curve 8980?

Could someone please explain to me for what possible reason Research in Motion has submitted plans for the BlackBerry Curve 8980, yet another underpowered, BlackBerry OS 5 running, looks like every other Curve looking, BlackBerry Curve?  I cannot for the life of me figure this out….  I know that the BlackBerry Curve line is the best selling line of BlackBerry devices ever, but, how many times is RIM going to reincarnate this puppy?

For those not sure what I am ranting about, the FCC has released documents and photos detailing a new, unannounced, BlackBerry device, the Curve 8980, which has quad-band GSM/EDGE radios in addition to Bluetooth and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.  The BlackBerry Curve 8980 also has a 3.2 megapixel camera with flash, optical trackpad, and 3.5mm headset jack and will ship with BlackBerry OS 5.

[Via PhoneScope]

  • Norman R.

    I’d be willing to bet that this is a device headed straight for China or India. Makes no sense for Europe or North America.

  • http://www.intomobile.com Simon Sage

    Yeah, it’s going to China Mobile. Just a refresh on the 8910.

    • DavidB

      Right, with Evolved EDGE china mobile makes sense. However, if its ONLY destined for China, why bother with the FCC? Strange…

  • a1by

    The only thing I can think of is a free device as part of a pre-paid plan

  • Jono

    I have an 8900, T-mobile. I can’t understand why it was dropped in favor of the 85xx. It feels like a much more solid device, and maybe it’s my imagination, but the screen appears more clear than the 85xx and the 93xx.

    I’d get an 8980 over a 9300 if I was buying today, but I’m not, so I’ll wait for the Touch refresh.

  • http://www.s-consult.com Wayne Schulz

    It’s called a death spiral. Check out how Palm performed it prior to RIM.

    First they artificially pump up the company with cheap devices (Palm did this with the Centro for about a year) then ultimately competition steps in and the reality of the market takes over and people figure out they’re buying junk. Cheap. But still junk.

    Commence death spiral.

    • gquaglia

      I’ve been saying this for some time now. Palm also cranked out look alike devices for years, thinking their form factor was superior and needed no improvement. They also stuck with an old, outdated OS while they developed a replacement, that should have been started years earlier. When the new and great OS arrived, they were already near death and was never able to come back. RIM is repeating this time line to the letter. Oh yeah, Palm also tried releasing a tablet (Foolio) that needed the Palm device to tether, sound familiar?