1. gsm_dealer08's Avatar
    Recently I received a donation from MrEvets containing a bunch of Blackberry devices, including two 9000 prototypes. Well, one prototype and one early release unit. Here is an in depth look at them, compared to the official model.
    I will be focusing on the prototype, the other one is identical to the released version. In the photos, the prototype is always the one on the right. The one of the left is the European official release.
    When this device arrived it would not turn on. I had to recharge the battery in another device then tried to boot it up. I noticed that if the device is connected to the charger or the PC without the battery, it has no reaction. The red LED does not light up, no battery error on the screen, the PC has no reaction at all. When I inserted the recharged battery I only got Error 507. I thought OK, fair enough, I will just reinstall the OS. But nope. Tried several versions from different carriers, deleted the Vendor file, it did not work. The device is recognised as 9000, the list of software to be installed is displayed, when clicking Next I always get "This system software is not designed for the connected device [A:0x00000043]" . Tried the NoJVM method, same result. Can't try the no-battery load as the device is not recognised, as I said.
    After some digging around I learned that these prototype units are not compatible with the official OS so if you don't have the prototype loader files, you are screwed. This is probably what happened to this devices, the previous owner tried to update the OS and got the error after it's OS got wiped. Digging some more I found a post from someone with the same problem who took a note of the prototype OS version before trying to update and that was OS
    I tried to dig around for this version but it is nowhere to be found, probably was never released for the public. I tried various tools to inject system files into the device hoping to get at least some basic function out of it. I used BBSAK to dump the OS from another 9000 I have then injected the files into the prototype but that only froze the device and the PC would not recognise it anymore.
    At this stage I fired up my Windows XP laptop and started MFI Multiloader. The program recognised the device and wiped it clean again, bringing it to the factory screen: No Application Linked Blackberry 9000 Bold Prototype. An in depth look.-img_20190401_2015584.jpg

    Tried to load the software again but same result, no way to boot it up, it seems. I wonder if Blackberry implemented this restriction to stop people from using the device outside the development environment. I also wondered if there are hardware differences inside so I decided to have a look.
    First there are some noticeable differences to the housing itself. The most obvious one is the back cover. Instead of the leather covered door this one has just a plastic one. The date stamped on the inside of the door shows 03 March 2008. Blackberry 9000 Bold Prototype. An in depth look.-img_20190401_2015352.jpg
    Another difference is the raised Lock/Mute key at the top. The official release has a flatter key. Blackberry 9000 Bold Prototype. An in depth look.-img_20190401_2014350.jpg
    Next is the earpiece grill. The official release has a metal plate with tiny holes. The prototype has a metal wire mesh design instead. Blackberry 9000 Bold Prototype. An in depth look.-img_20190401_2005177.jpg
    Under the battery, the official release has a black foil covering the internal circuits, the prototype is missing that, the label is attached straight to the metal plates. The label reads SMTDate: 03/19/08 and Property of Research In Motion. The official release was announced in May 2008. Blackberry 9000 Bold Prototype. An in depth look.-img_20190401_2016301.jpg
    It is very curious that the battery has a label on it that reads oct 2012 crackberryBlackberry 9000 Bold Prototype. An in depth look.-img_20190401_2016407.jpg
    Moving on inside the device. The trackball design is slightly different. Blackberry 9000 Bold Prototype. An in depth look.-img_20190401_1958137.jpg
    Camera design slightly different. Also observe the extra connector right under the camera. The official release has only one that connects to the speaker/flash assembly. The prototype has two but the second one does not connect to anything. Blackberry 9000 Bold Prototype. An in depth look.-img_20190401_2002265.jpg
    The LCD connectors have different layout so probably not compatible.Blackberry 9000 Bold Prototype. An in depth look.-img_20190401_2006425.jpg

    The prototype PCB is green and the official one is blue but probably because my official one was made in Hungary, the prototype was made in Canada.
    Apart from that everything else looks pretty much the same. I can't get to the processor or memory chips under the metal plates without ruining it so can't tell any differences there. The visible chips are the same.

    Here is the second device, the early release one. But apart from the label reading Property of Research In Motion, it is exactly the same as the official at&t release. I thought the keyboard being all white was something different but it seems all at&t 9000 were like that. This one did accept the OS update fine so much closer to the final release. Blackberry 9000 Bold Prototype. An in depth look.-img_20190401_2017596.jpg
    Blackberry 9000 Bold Prototype. An in depth look.-img_20190401_2018103.jpg
    Blackberry 9000 Bold Prototype. An in depth look.-img_20190401_2018200.jpg

    I have prototypes of other models, including what seems to be a Blackberry 6225, a possible prototype to the Quark series. I will post that in the Older Blackberry models section soon.

    If you have any information about this prototype or the OS, please share.
    Last edited by gsm_dealer08; 04-03-19 at 03:52 PM.
    04-01-19 03:34 PM
  2. Bla1ze's Avatar
    Funny. I wonder why the battery says CrackBerry. I mean, obviously, it was well-used term back then, but still amusing and makes me curious.
    04-02-19 06:24 PM
  3. gsm_dealer08's Avatar
    Ok, so I found an old OS Autoloader for the 9000. It still won't work but at least I can see the error:
    Blackberry 9000 Bold Prototype. An in depth look.-error.jpg
    From what I understand, the hardware of this unit is different?
    Last edited by gsm_dealer08; 04-06-19 at 11:18 AM.
    04-06-19 10:54 AM
  4. Chuck Finley69's Avatar
    Funny. I wonder why the battery says CrackBerry. I mean, obviously, it was well-used term back then, but still amusing and makes me curious.
    Well you see after the recent sale, there was this old box of hardware lying forgotten in a corner..... LOL
    04-06-19 11:12 AM

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