Word has it that the Wi-Fi enabled BlackBerry 8820 is landing in Singapore thanks to M1, Singtel and Starhub. The keypad is decribed as “highly tactile”, which seems bizarrely necessary now that other nontactile keypads are emerging. We’re all pretty familiar with the 8820 by now (pretty much the BlackBerry 8800 plus Wi-Fi), so no need to dive into stats. No word on pricing yet.
By snooping around some early documents for AT&T’s unreleased Tilt, PDAStreet has confirmed that the HTC device will support BlackBerry Connect. In terms of specs, “the quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE smartphone should support AT&T’s UMTS/HSDPA 3G data network and include GPS, a 2.8 megapixel camera, 400MHZ CPU, a Windows Mobile 6-friendly 128MB of RAM, 256MB of ROM, a microSD slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, USB 2.0, and high-capacity 1500mAH battery.” Release date is sometime soon, so if you’re in the market for push e-mail and 3G, this could be an option for you. When it eventually does hit the shelves, you’ll be looking at a $500 pricetag and two-years signed away.
Gizmodo has pointed out a technology that’s in the works to let you use location-based services by playing hot and cold with your mobile. German and Swedish developers will be announcing their study’s results at the upcoming MobiHCI conference in Singapore next week, which used thermoelectric cooling to warm up a handheld the closer the user was to their established route, and cooled down the more they strayed. The possibilities of using this technology for GPS-based rounds of Marco Polo is exciting, since it allows you to split your attention.
“The idea of ambient information as a new interaction paradigm has been expressed more than a decade ago, when Mark Weiser referred to it as a means of “calm technology” that is staying within the scope of a user’s attention without exclusively requiring her full awareness by blocking out other streams of information.”
It might not be terribly precise, but it’s still a cool way of navigating.
RIM CEO Jim Balsillie is well-known for his philanthropic streak, and now he’s got one more notch on his belt by supporting the new Canadian foreign policy think tank, the Canadian International Council, with a million-dollar kick-start. By donating upwards of $80 million to the University of Toronto he’s supported students in the policy field, and is encouraging other industry leaders to fork up $100,000 a year to do the same. Apparently Canada is the only G8 country not to have something like the CIC already in place, and what with BBCool HQ being right in the national capital, we can appreciate Jim’s support of Canada’s international presence and future. He remains tight-lipped on his own views, saying “My feeling is these global issues matter and they should be researched and driven by the experts in these fields. This is not about my opinions.”
Sony Ericsson has recently unveiled plans for an ecologically-friendly and eye-pleasing base radio station dubbed the Ericsson Tower Tube. These 40m stations will be made of flexible concrete, cutting down on transportation and manufacturing CO2 emissions. The base station proper is going to be at the top, which diverges from standard design which puts it at the bottom of the tower. As a result of being closer to the antenna, power consumption costs are cut by 40%. The Tower Tube takes up 60%-70% less land than standard towers, and, being fully-encapsulated, avoids the need for perimeter fencing. This move for base stations as a whole seems right up there with windmills – if the ecological benefits don’t sell you, maybe its good looks will.
Palm CEO Ed Colligan has announced the last-minute cancellation of the Foleo, what was to be Palm’s new smartphone companion. Ed cites the difficulties of simultaneously developing two platforms as the biggest reason for calling the project off, but he’s adamant that a Foleo II will come into the picture after their new handheld OS is all polished off and settled. Hardly anyone was looking forward to the $499 pseudo-laptop, and others thought that ditching the project was key to Palm’s survival, but the fact that they’re still clinging to the idea of a smartphone companion is a little disturbing.
If you’ve been to the mobile Google site recently, you’ll notice a few changes. Namely, you can now add extra content to your default Google page, such as news, weather, and plenty of website updates. This is reminiscent of their iGoogle service that has been around for awhile. The mobile search engine’s been a little more location-optimized, so Google remembers where your previous queries were directed and applies that to future searches. Pretty awesome, all around.
With the summer drawing to a close, the numbers for the initial wave of iPhone sales are shaping up, and they’re pretty impressive. iSuppli is reporting 220,000 out of 2 million surveyed have bought one, which translates to a 1.8% grab of the market. On top of that, they’re forecasting 4.5 million before the end of the year and 30 million units in the public by 2011. Earlier, we were looking at a total of 6% market penetration, and with a start like this summers’, it’s entirely likely. Just to put these numbers in perspective…
“The two models of the iPhone on the market sold more than Research in Motion’s Blackberry series, the entire Palm portfolio and any individual smartphone model from Motorola, Nokia or Samsung.”
We just got wind that Telus has this nifty new service called the Wireless Solutions Roadmap, launched on the basis that Canadian companies are willing to adopt new wireless solutions, but simply need some guidance in figuring out what those solutions are. This online service is pretty comprehensive, assessing a company’s mobile e-mail and internet access, navigation, asset tracking and dispatch, and a wide range of other facets vital to corporate operations. Additionally, Telus has some metrics in place to see how your company stacks up against others in terms of handling these things.
After running through a few of the scenarios, it’s clear that this program is designed to make companies seriously reconsider their wireless strategy. Now, this could be seen as a way for Telus to hawk their own solutions by convincing execs that their company has problems that they really don’t, but it could be worth their while if there is something that needs fixing.
A recent article from the Bapco Journal examined a pilot program to equip Bedfordshire police with BlackBerrys. From a human-resources point of view, police are not only very mobile, but also extremely dependent on up-to-date information and quick communication. Of course there’s plenty of other smartphones out there that can provide for those needs, but the Bedfordshire police went with BlackBerrys for a few particular reasons.
Discussing why the force selected BlackBerry, [Insp. Jim Hitch, Project Manager, Bedfordshire Police] said, “Many of the solutions we trialled did not allow us to mobilise the computerised systems that we already have in place. With the BlackBerry solution, we were able to do this quickly and easily. The solution operates securely with a low overhead which means low costs to the public. Managing our deployment of devices through the BlackBerry Enterprise Server has also been hassle free. We can change a security policy or push out a new application remotely, saving both time and money,”
Above all, the police seem altogether satisfied with the security of data transmission, and you’d better believe they’re dealing with some sensitive information.
BGR has received some snaps of the upcoming Wi-Fi enabled Curve, the BlackBerry 8320. This might look similar to a certain BlackBerry 8120 we saw not long ago; looks like gold is the colour of Wi-Fi as far as T-Mobile is concerned. Outside of an alternative silver finish, there’s not much else to report. The rapidly-approaching September 24th. remains our rumored release date, so keep your eyes peeled.
The BlackBerry 8820’s soft launch is rumored to have begun yesterday, slowly trickling into stores as BlackBerry 8800 stock runs out. We’ll be supposedly seeing an identical price point to the 8800: $299 with a two-year contract, but still no sign of confirmation on AT&T’s site. If anyone manages to spot one in the wild, drop us a comment!