RIM has an interesting reputation in the trade show world: it rarely makes any announcements of interest or consequence during events, but if you look hard enough, you still might just find something juicy. Last year's CES, for example, briefly saw a Curve 8900 mysteriously running AT&T-branded firmware
, which we now know foretold a release several months later. This year's shindig in Vegas proved to be a little less bombastic -- or so we thought, anyway, until a dude cleaning out his camera's memory card noticed that Case-Mate (of all companies) allegedly had an unannounced Curve 8910
chilling in its booth. It's pretty common for manufacturers to give valued accessory partners some prototypes ahead of time to make sure there are plenty of add-ons available by the time a device is released, they just don't usually... you know, put those prototypes out at a booth for everyone to enjoy. We actually stopped by Case-Mate this year
and didn't catch the 8910, but we don't know how long it was actually out -- and besides, telling the difference between this and a Bold 9700 takes a Mike Lazaridis-like understanding for the subtle differences in RIM's industrial design. Next year, though, be on notice, guys: we'll be scanning your kiosks with a fine-tooth comb.