12-28-2006, 06:53 PM
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Yes, you can mix and match the OS and handheld to some extent. All the handheld software is produced by RIM and the carriers test/and release that version for their units.
For the most part, all 8700's are the same hardware with some cosmetic differences. This is only true for devices that can be used on the same network. For example, Cingular and T-Mobile both operate on a GSM based network. Their software is inter changable. You could not use Nextel, Sprint, or Verizon software because they work on a different network.
To install a different carriers OS on your device you must first install it to your PC. Next, search for and delete the vendor.xml file. The vendor.xml file is what restricts what OS can be installed to a particular device based on the cellular carrier. Once its gone, any OS compatible for you device can be installed. Finally, run AppLoader to install the OS to your device. Search the forum for a thread that goes into more detail.