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Updated: BlackBerry Curve 9310 Coming to Straight Talk, And it's on Verizon

Straight Talk BlackBerry Tutorial - Use *22890 to Activate
Last week the Straight Talk Twitter and Facebook accounts posted a picture of a baseball in what was presumably a pitcher's hand with the words:

We’re throwing a “curve” ball your way. Any ideas? Stay tuned for a big phone announcement coming your way.

OK, it's a phone announcement so it's not LTE or the return of AT&T BYOD SIMs as some have suggested. The only phone I can think of that has "curve" in its name is the venerable Black Berry Curve, the budget version of the classic BlackBerry. The Curve moniker was introduced in 2007 and since has been used on dozens of models.

Today on Howard Forums, well known prepaid phone collector and guru "The Sweeper" posted a link to an interactive tutorial for the Straight Talk BlackBerry Curve 9310. The tutorial tells you how to find the phone's MEID (Mobile Equipment ID), which is a serial number that only CDMA phones have. So the Curve is either on Sprint or Verizon. We probably won't know which until the phone is released.

Straight Talk "Curve  Ball" TeaserUpdate 12-Feb-2013: A Howard Forums user discovered today that the phone's Interactive Tutorial includes an Update Phone Profile and PRL tutorial (under Settings in the tutorial menu) that has the user entering *22890 to program the phone. The *22890 command is used on Verizon and Verizon MVNOs, but not on Sprint. This discovery all but confirms that Straight Talk's BlackBerry, if and when it's released, will run on the Verizon network.

The Curve is an old name but the 9310 (image, right) is one of the newest members of the Curve family, launched on Verizon last May  and by Boost mobile in July. It's about as basic as a BlackBerry can get with a 2.4 inch 320 x 240 px screen and a 3.2 MP camera with flash and VGA video capture.  It's not a touchscreen device and runs the older BlackBerry OS 7.1, three revs behind the just launched BB10 OS. Based on the tutorial we know that  Straight Talk will include BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS), the cloud service that makes all the traditional BlackBerry favorite apps like push email, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and BlackBerry App World work.

Although no longer the hip device of the business and entertainment world, the traditional BlackBerry is still very popular. Loyal user insist that nothing does email, IM and other text intensive tasks better than a BlackBerry. If Straight Talk allows the Curve on its normal $45/month unlimited everything plan, it will be the least expensive unlimited prepaid plan with BIS support. If it's on Verizon I predict the BlackBerry will be a huge success for Straight Talk, on Sprint not so much thanks to the Now Network's much smaller coverage footprint.

Full BlackBerry Curve 9310 Specs:
Screen: 2.44" QVGA 320x240 px resolution (164 dpi), Transmissive TFT LCD
Camera: 3.2 MP fixed focus camera with flash and 640 x 480 px (VGA) video capture
OS: BlackBerry® 7.1 OS
Connectivity:
- Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n WPA/WPA2 Personal and Enterprise
- FM Radio, Bluetooth, 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack
Memory: 512 MB RAM, 513 MB internal storage , support for micro-SD cards up to 32 GB
Keyboard: 35-key, backlit, QWERTY keyboard with optical trackpad
Processor: 800 Mhz Qualcomm Snapdragon
Battery: 1450 mAh removable battery, Talk time: up to 8 hours, Standby time: up to 18 days, Music playback time: up to 70 hours (with headset usage)
Dimensions: 109 x 60 x 12.7 mm (4.29 x 2.36 x 0.05 in)
Weight: 104 g (3.67 oz)

BlackBerry Curve 9310 Interactive Tutorial, User Guide: Download 13 MB PDF, View online

13 comments:

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  1. If I want to buy a used BB Curve 9310 - is there a difference between the sprint/Verizon/boost versions?

    If someone has the 9310 model with any carrier - once it is unlocked it should work on any other carrier which supports that phone. Is that understanding correct?


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, because it's a CDMA phone and CDMA phones aren't locked because they don't need to be.

      The carrier has a database of its phone's MEID serial numbers and will only activate the ones in the database.

      There is one exception, Verizon MVNOs like Page Plus will activate just about any CDMA phone but you need to know how to manually program the phone and there's no BIS support so no email, BBM etc.

      Delete
  2. I wonder if this means that you can now BYOBB (Bring Your Own Blackberry) to ST in the near future...meaning the Blackberry Z10?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The BB10 phones like the Z10 don't use BIS so they should work with a Straight Talk BYOD SIM. I don't think BYOBB is likely for the older BlackBerrys because the Straight Talk BlackBerry is CDMA and there's no CDMA BYOD.

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    2. Minor point - BB10 phones do not require BIS, but they can use it.

      Delete
  3. What scares me as a Straight Talk Verizon customer is Verizon is not releasing anymore 3G smartphones. The Showcase is 2 years old. What android 3G phone is worth releasing besides the S2 at this point.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Current ST service and customer service is horrendous. It'll only get worse with Blackberry in-house.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Question from an ignoramus:

    I have SIM#1 from Provider#1 with a certain Phone number (PN#1). I then switch to Provider#2 who give me SIM#2 and I port my PN#1.

    Few months down the road if I want to switch back to Provider#1 - can I do that by just putting the SIM#1 in the phone or do I need to get a new SIM#11 from them and again have to port the number back to Provider#1 ?

    Regards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It depends on the provider but with most of them once a SIM is deactivated by porting the number to another provider it can't be reactivated. You will probably need to get a new SIM to switch back.

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  6. What is the sim number to a black berry curve

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The StraightTalk BlackBerry is a CDMA phone and doesn't use a SIM

      Delete
  7. I am reading other articles that says this phone is 3g but not seeing it here. Will it get internet anywhere/3g?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The BlackBerry 9310 works on Verizon's EVDO 3G network.

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