Keep in mind that this isn't the next BlackBerry phone that's leaked several times over the last few weeks. That phone will run RIM's new operating system called BlackBerry 10 and we won't have full details on it until January 30.
The Curve 9315 is a small update to the BlackBerry Curve that's been around for a long time now, but T-Mobile is marketing it as an affordable budget phone.
But it's not really affordable. The new Curve costs $49.99 with a two-year contract, plus $10 per month for 20 months. That's a grand total of $250 over 20 months, or more expensive than the cheapest iPhone 5.
When RIM announced its quarterly earnings about two weeks ago, CEO Thorsten Heins hinted that the company would continue making BlackBerry running the older operating system even after the new BB10 launch. That's because it's important for smartphone makers to have a cheaper option for customers who want to be part of a manufacturer's ecosystem but can't fork out top dollar for the best device. Cheaper phones are also very important in emerging international markets like China and India.
But if the new BlackBerry Curve on T-Mobile is a hint at what cheaper BlackBerrys will look like in 2013, they won't make a strong alternative to the dozens of cheap Android and older iPhone models out there.
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