The recently revealed BlackBerry Curve 9360 is proving to be a surprising bit of hardware. Not only did it (thankfully) get rid of the chintzy chrome-ish highlights of its last iteration, IntoMobile reports that it also packs a a more competitive hardware configuration (hello NFC!) and a little feature hidden in the settings that doesn’t seem to have popped up on any other OS 7 device recently: mobile hotspot.
While the 9360 (affectionately referred to as the “Apollo”) is a significant upgrade for the budget-conscious BlackBerry owner, this development adds a bit of confusion to the mobile hotspot question.
Like I mentioned, recent hands-on outings with the other new BlackBerry models haven’t turned up any sign of mobile hotspot support. Funny, considering the BlackBerry Bold 9900 was widely reported to have the feature months ago, only to disappear in subsequent releases. Strangely, the new Blackberry Torches also don’t make mention of hotspot support, which is odd since it’s meant to be the more prestigious device.
Two possibilities come to mind. It’s entirely possible that the pictured Curve is running an old build that retains the feature, and the photo only just now made it into the wild. The other is that mobile hotspot inclusion will be a carrier-level decision, meaning some customers get it and others don’t. Either one seems plausible, but the bigger question is why RIM is being so coy about this whole thing?
For a company with such pronounced focus on trying to stay relevant and meeting the needs of their establish business customer base, it seems totally odd that they wouldn’t mention a great mobility option for road warriors and travelers alike. There’s no reason not to mention it, considering all RIM would have to do is add a bullet point to a spec sheet. A little clarity from RIM going forward could go a long way for the right customers.