Tag Archives | BlackBerry

Inside RIM

It’s always sensible to be skeptical when you read news reports based on anonymous sources. But BGR’s story on the troubles at BlackBerry maker RIM–which has juicy tidbits like the statement that founder Mike Lazaridis once said there’d never be a BlackBerry with a camera or a music player–is a fascinating read.

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Surprise! Microsoft <3 RIM

I don’t think anyone saw this one coming. This week is the BlackBerry World conference, probably something a lot of us didn’t know (except for Harry maybe?). Well, Steve Ballmer — yes, the CEO of Microsoft — made news at the conference.

The surprise guest of a talk starring president and co-CEO Mike Lazardis, Ballmer was on hand to announce Microsoft has signed a deal with RIM to become the exclusive provider of search and mapping functions on BlackBerry devices. Even more surprising? Bing and Microsoft would find itself deeply integrated into BlackBerry OS 7, coming later this year.

“This  goes way beyond search box,” Ballmer was quoted by ReadWriteWeb as saying to attendees. “It’s about real tools that help real people get things done.” All in all, it really looks like RIM just handed the keys to the services component of the OS right over to the Redmond company.

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RIM Reveals the BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet. It Looks Spectacular–So Far

It’s always dangerous to judge a new tech product from a demo. It’s even more dangerous to judge one from a canned video and a features list. But here at BlackBerry DevCon in San Francisco, RIM just showed a video of its BlackPad tablet–which turns out to be called the BlackBerry PlayBook, and which the company is calling “the first professional tablet”–and revealed some of the key specs. And from what we know so far, it looks mighty cool–like “this is the most interesting-sounding iPad rival so far” cool.

Here’s the video we just saw:

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Native Union's Retro 'Pop Phone' Handsets

When you think of phone headsets, its probably a good bet that what you’re thinking of its the traditional on ear kind. Native Union has taken this and given it a retro feel, launching a line that looks like the traditional corded phone handsets that many of us older folk would be familiar with.

The Pop Phone comes in pink, yellow, dark blue, dark purple and green. The company had already offered two other less “poppy” colors in red and black. The included 3.5mm jack will plug into any iPhone, iPad or BlackBerry, and a button on the inside of the handle would allow for one touch answer and disconnect. The Pop Phone also includes noise-cancelling, which should improve call clarity in noisier situations.

Native Union says one of the most compelling uses for this is on the iPad, as the handset would work with Skype and turn the tablet into a phone. The price is about the same as most other handsets, coming in at $29.99. I have to credit the company with being creative, but will these really sell?

Also available from the company are other less pop-influenced designs including the MM04, which retails for $199.99. That unit can connect up to two phones simultaneously via Bluetooth, and seems more catered towards the business set.

Will the Pop Phone sell though? I’m guessing if you’re a frequent Skyper, maybe getting this for your iPad might be the missing link. But I don’t know how many iPhone users would be willing to plunk down $30 for that old retro feel. I guess we’ll see.


RIM's Torch Not Burning So Bright

If RIM was hoping its BlackBerry Torch would give it a much-needed boost in competing with Android and Apple, they better look somewhere else. Analysts are pegging debut weekend sales at around 150,000 — while a substantial number, its far below that of its competitors. Take for example the iPhone 4: it sold 1.7 million devices in it first weekend out.

While the phone is currently only available through AT&T for $199 with a two year contract, Amazon was noted to have taken the unusual step of slashing the price on a new phone to $99. Not a good sign for a device RIM once hailed as “the best BlackBerry ever.”


Another BlackBerry 6 Tease

RIM has posted another video demo of BlackBerry 6, the OS upgrade it says will show up later this summer. As with the earlier one, it looks neat–but it’s presented in the form of a floating screen that isn’t surrounded by a phone, and focuses more on showing cool stuff whipping by then on providing a detailed walkthrough of what’s new.


BlackBerry Tablet Rumor Roundup

Is BlackBerry Maker RIM working on a tablet? Lots of rumors say so. But so far, it’s hard to construct them into a logical picture of what might be in the works, or even a coherent rationale for RIM getting into the tablet business.

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