A delayed top-of-the-line BlackBerry phone from Research in Motion Ltd. is still undergoing testing by AT&T, and RIM's co-CEO implied that the carrier wants to avoid the chorus of complaints about performance that greeted the new iPhone this summer.
RIM said in May that the BlackBerry Bold 9000 would go on sale this summer. It has gone on sale in some foreign markets, but it's still not available in the United States, and no date has been announced.
RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said Thursday that the phone is still undergoing the certification process in which AT&T tests all new handsets to make sure they work well on its wireless network.
"There's great scrutiny, as you might know, on that network and a certain device. So I guess everyone wants to be sure on every last test," Lazaridis told The Associated Press.
Apple's iPhone 3G went on sale in July, with AT&T as the sole U.S. carrier. Customers soon started complaining of slow data downloads and dropped calls on some units. AT&T and Apple have not directly acknowledged a problem, but Apple has released a software update that was supposed to improve performance. The majority of iPhones appear to be working well.
Lazaridis appeared confident that the Bold would not be subject to the iPhone's problems.
"We're very meticulous about what our product does," he said.
AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel would not confirm that the Bold was still in testing and said only that it would come out this year.
The delay of the Bold's U.S. launch has weighed on RIM's stock. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company will now be launching several new phones at once in the coming months, and said last week that expenses from those rollouts would eat into short-term profits.