Mobile phone operator Orange is believed to be considering the removal of the BlackBerry Bold smartphone from its range of handsets because of ongoing technical problems. Although the phone, made by Research in Motion (RIM), received impressive reviews when it launched in October last year, consumers have reported unexplained crashes, poor reception and irregular dropping of calls. Return rates are understood to be well above average for similar devices. Orange had previously suspended shipping of the Bold to allow RIM to sort out software problems, but faults have continued to be reported with the device. If the operator were to stop offering the Bold, it would be another blow for Canada-based RIM, whose flagship Storm handset, offered in the UK exclusively on Vodafone, has met with mixed reviews. Although initially heralded as the first serious rival to Apple's popular iPhone, the touchscreen Storm has since been criticised by influential gadget enthusiasts, including the comedian Stephen Fry. He has called it "embarrassingly awful" on the social networking service Twitter, and Vodafone sources privately concede that the Storm's software will improve as it is updated.
( www.telegraph.co.uk )