Sprint, Verizon to bring more Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones

Sprint and Verizon say they will add and demand Wi-Fi in its future BlackBerrys.

RIM BlackBerry Tour (Verizon Wireless)
The Wi-Fi-less RIM BlackBerry Tour Corinne Schulze/CNET

The RIM BlackBerry Tour 9630 has received positive reviews from around the tech world, though there's been one universal complaint: the lack of Wi-Fi. However, Sprint is hoping to right this wrong by releasing a Wi-Fi-enabled BlackBerry Tour next year and said it will require all of its future smartphones to have Wi-Fi.

"It is now a requirement for all our PDA equipment suppliers to include Wi-Fi," said Sprint's director of business product marketing, Jeff Clemow, in an interview with Fierce Wireless. He did not, however, specify a deadline for when manufacturers will have to adhere to this requirement.

Clemow added that the carrier decided to release the current version of the Tour to bring its lineup up to date and that "speed to market...outweighed the desire to wait for Wi-Fi."

Verizon Wireless, which, like Sprint, will offer the BlackBerry Tour starting July 12 for $199.99, would not comment on whether it would offer a Wi-Fi version of the smartphone, but did say it is working with RIM to bring more Wi-Fi-enabled BlackBerrys to its customers.

Obviously, this is great news for customers of the CDMA carriers, but it certainly puts Sprint subscribers in a predicament, having to decided whether to buy the Tour now or wait till the Wi-Fi version comes out. Sprint didn't provide a specific availability date but said the device would be out sometime after the first of the year. Will you wait or buy now?

(Source: PhoneScoop)

About the author

Bonnie Cha was a former chief correspondent for CNET Crave, covering every kind of tech toy imaginable (with a special obsession for robots and Star Wars-related stuff). When she's not scoping out stories, you can find her checking out live music or surfing in the chilly waters of Northern California.

 

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