A recent ABI Research report is forecasting huge progress for Linux as the OS of choice for smartphones, claiming 31% of smartphones will be running it by 2012 thanks to a compound annual growth rate of 74%. Both Nokia and Palm have been flirting with Linux adoption for awhile. In fact, being more of an open product was one of the key changes Palm needed to embrace, according to a certain open letter. The report just goes to show that doing so early will get them on board with developers. Now, the BlackBerry’s fairly closed in terms of its OS and odds are it’s going to stay that way. How much of a lead could open source adoption give Palm over RIM?
Our buddies at Virtual Reach have a few new channels available for subscription on their free RSS reader: one is a customizable ESPN sports feed and another for exchange rates. Getting exchange rates on the go is just plain handy, especially if it’s folded into something you’re already using (you are already using BlackBerry Cool to Go, right?), but the customized sports feed is certainly something new that could seriously expand the usefulness of Viigo’s channels. Instead of cruising through the folders and finding the stuff you like, being given the option to make your own ensures that you get the content you want. We’re really hoping that Virtual Reach brings this kind of thing to more of their channels.
We were told to keep this one under wraps until the deal went through, but our friends over at the CBerry have started reporting a release date for the BlackBerry 8820, so we can’t hold out any longer. CrackBerry states that along with a September 4th release date, AT&T BlackBerry 8820s will not have their built-in GPS neutered to work with only TeleNav’s service, like we told you previously. They’re probably right, and here’s why.
Right now RIM and AT&T are in the process of re-negotiating the GPS status of the BlackBerry 8820. We’re not sure if the deal has been finalized yet, but if the AT&T documents are correct, it seems at least all-but a done deal. What’s the reason for this? Well, frankly, it’s because AT&T was none too pleased with the hurricane of negative feedback that rolled through the Internet after we broke the story. So basically, loyal citizens of the Internet, you have yourselves to thank for putting AT&T in their place and getting the BlackBerry you deserve. (Unofficial) word from RIM is that, internally, they’re popping open champagne and are very grateful for the support they got from the “BlackBerry Nation”.
One question still remains: what will happen to the neutered BlackBerry 8820s already out there? Boy Genius had reported that AT&T was set to slowly roll out the device on a store by store basis, once BlackBerry 8800 stock had been eliminated, which means that there are at least some out there (the neutering is done via software, so every device that hasn’t left RIM’s hands yet can easily be fixed, although we’re told that this could add a day or two of delay to the supply chain). Will they simply send them back, or sell them to the public and hope nobody notices? Our source told us that this depends on how many there are in existence, but for our money, nothing underhanded AT&T does would surprise us.
(Note: If anyone can get their hands on one, you know who to email.)
Final thoughts? If the deal hasn’t been finalized yet, RIM, you have AT&T by the balls: keep squeezing. If it has been finalized, congratulations, and never let a carrier push you around again. Your real customers are rooting for you.
Oh, and RIM? You’re welcome.
Toshiba’s busting out their own 8 GB card alongside some considerably beefier cards, getting up to the 32 GB mark. SanDisk’s cards high-density memory cards have been in the works for awhile now, and Samsung’s are on the way too, but damn, have you ever tried to actually get your hands on any SDHC card? They’re in short supply, let me tell you. Remember the BlackBerry 8820’s press release stating how the microSDHC slot would be able to support up to 32 GB? It’s really not that far off. The 16 GB SD card should be available in October, while the 8 GB microSDHC and 32 GB SD card will be rolling out January ‘08.
Well, that didn’t take long. Vodafone has officially announced the release of the BlackBerry 8310, complete with GPS capabilities. Any Brits in a rush to get this will have to go with Vodafone, since the carrier has a 2-month exclusive on the BlackBerry stretching until the end of October. On the plus side, they’re offering a full year of free navigation service to make use of that snazzy new GPS unit. Cost seems to vary based on what plan you have with Vodafone, so best talk with them to figure out how much you’ll have to shell out. Can anyone in the UK give us a ballpark?
Vodafone UK and RIM announce the new Blackberry Curve 8310 smartphone with free Vodafone Sat Nav
23 August 2007
You’d literally be lost without it
Vodafone UK and Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced the BlackBerry® Curve™ 8310 with built-in GPS*. The new smartphone includes Vodafone Sat Nav, a powerful and user friendly navigation application. The BlackBerry Curve 8310 can now be ordered online at www.vodafone.co.uk/8310 and will be available from the 3rd September exclusively on the Vodafone UK network until 31st October 2007.
The BlackBerry Curve 8310 is a powerful and intuitive smartphone, making it easier for busy people on the move to make calls, email, surf the net, take and send photographs, listen to music, watch videos, and access their organiser, calendar and a range of business and leisure applications. Combining its built-in GPS functionality with Vodafone Sat Nav, the BlackBerry Curve 8310 becomes a powerful all-in-one navigation system packed into a very small and stylish design.
Vodafone Sat Nav, powered by Telmap, helps customers avoid getting stuck in traffic jams with instant access to live traffic alerts; and provides weather updates and a host of other useful information such as restaurant reviews. Customers also can be reassured that they have the most up-to-date maps and directions on their smartphone, as it quickly retrieves information over the Vodafone network refreshing maps every three months.
“With the addition of Vodafone Sat Nav to the popular BlackBerry Curve, we’re offering all our customers a feature packed device at a great price, helping them make the most of their working day, wherever they are,” comments Kyle Whitehill, Director of the Enterprise Business Unit, Vodafone UK
“Vodafone’s customers in the UK will benefit greatly from the many features of this new smartphone, including email, multimedia, GPS and more,” said Charmaine Eggberry, Vice President and Managing Director, EMEA at RIM. “The BlackBerry Curve 8310 is an ideal tool for users who want to stay connected while juggling their busy work and personal lives.
“Customers who purchase the new BlackBerry Curve 8310 will have an exclusive opportunity to enter a draw to win the ride of a lifetime in a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. In addition the winner will also take a tour the McLaren Technology Centre and be given their own race suit and helmet.
The new BlackBerry Curve 8310 is packed with distinctive BlackBerry smartphone functionality, including comprehensive email capabilities, fast web browsing, and premium phone features, as well as consumer-friendly features such as a built-in 2 megapixel camera, media player and a powerful desktop software suite for managing multimedia content. The BlackBerry Curve 8310 can be tailored to suit individual lifestyles through a wide range of applications, from currency converters and expense managers to fitness guides and games. Vodafone customers can also customise the home menu in order to have easy access to the applications they use most.
Pricing and Availability
* Free 12 months subscription to Vodafone Sat Nav is available to customers connecting to the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) bought in store, online or through Vodafone telesales. The BlackBerry Curve 8310 is available on either BlackBerry personal or business price plans with prices starting at free, dependent on price plan. Customers should contact their account manager or visit www.vodafone.co.uk/business for more details.
About Vodafone UK
Vodafone UK has 16.3 million customers and is part of the world’s leading international mobile telecommunications Group, offering a wide range of voice and data communications. The company is committed to providing mobile solutions that allow both consumer and business customers to make the most of now. In addition, Vodafone connects customers across the globe with roaming agreements worldwide. It provides 3G roaming in 29 countries and offers great roaming value with Vodafone Passport. For more information, please visit www.vodafone.co.uk.
About Research In Motion (RIM)
Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity to data. RIM’s portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry® wireless platform, the RIM Wireless Handheld™ product line, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. RIM is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (NASDAQ: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RIM). For more information, visit www.rim.com or www.blackberry.com.
For further information please contact:
020 8564 6323
Vodafone Group Media Relations
Telephone: +44 (0) 8454 444466
RIM Investor Relations
Forward-looking statements in this news release are made pursuant to the “safe harbor” provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used herein, words such as “intend” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions made by and information available to Research In Motion Limited. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include, without limitation, possible product defects and product liability, risks related to international sales and potential foreign currency exchange fluctuations, the initiation or outcome of litigation, acts or potential acts of terrorism, international conflicts, significant fluctuations of quarterly operating results, changes in Canadian and foreign laws and regulations, continued acceptance of RIM’s products, increased levels of competition, technological changes and the successful development of new products, dependence on third-party networks to provide services, dependence on intellectual property rights, and other risks and factors detailed from time to time in RIM’s periodic reports filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and other regulatory authorities. The Company has no intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
The BlackBerry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited. RIM, Research In Motion and BlackBerry are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be pending or registered in other countries. All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners. RIM assumes no liability and makes no representation, warranty or guarantee in relation to third party products or services.
The Globe and Mail just posted about a pretty great product RIM’s working on: the BlackBerry Home Server. The idea is that it would be kind of a mini-BES for your home, which would let RIM’s network operating center to talk with your PC at home, allowing for access to music, photos and files from anywhere with your BlackBerry. The author makes an open comparison to iTunes, and Scotia Capital’s Gus Papageorgiou wasn’t shy about bashing the old model versus the new one RIM is setting up.
“Why do you need this application-specific, expensive piece of hardware that you batch process into your PC every once in a while when you happen to be home, when instead you can just do everything you want to over the air and not have to worry about being at home to sync it with your PC or your laptop?” Mr. Papageorgiou asked.
This is a trend following Microsoft’s Windows Home Server in terms of bringing business functions to home customers, and shows a lot of promise for penetrating the multimedia-crazy consumer market. A few days ago we were talking about advanced features on BlackBerrys, such as music-playing, and how many owners actually use them. If RIM can offer the software which supports those features, we can count on usage (and the value of owning a BlackBerry) going up.
The fine Spaniards at miblackberry have spotted an upcoming BlackBerry 8100 dock by the name of BerryBuddy that looks pretty stylin’, especially versus RIM’s clunky thing. RIM’s BlackBerry 8800 and 8300 docking stations are coming out next week, but if the form factor of the accessory doesn’t match the that of the device, it just gives third parties like Innov8 Systems here the opportunity to cash in. More power to ‘em – this new dock is classy. So classy in fact, we’re getting one for review. Keep your eyes peeled.
In other international releases today, we’ve got the GPS-enabled BlackBerry 8310 coming to Portugal via Vodafone. It won’t take long for the 8310 to get all over Europe, considering rumors of an imminent UK release, and the initial German announcement. Of course, it’s pretty much standard that Europe gets all the shiny toys before us across the pond, just like it’s inevitable that the Orient will be doing crazier wireless things than, well, anybody else.
Latin America’s getting a bit of BlackBerry love today, what with the BlackBerry 8300 launch by Telcel in Mexico and Digicel in Trinidad and Tobago. Digicel’s Curve is going for $3899 TTD, or $620 US, and Telcel’s for … man, my Spanish is rusty. No luck finding the price on Telcel’s site. Any speakers out there who can get a lock down on the BlackBerry 8300’s price in Mexico gets a gold star. Although the BlackBerry 8300 is just coming out now in Mexcio, some sneaky forum members have been able to get one across the border and activated A-O-K before official release.
Following the brief viewing of an EVDO Pearl, a few more official-looking details have leaked through on Sprint’s Pearl 2. The 2 megapixel camera seems to be what the Pearl 2 will be packing (so long, dreams of 3 megapixels), and is slated for a Q4 release this year. That time frame lines up nicely with rumors of Telus releasing their own Pearl 2 before the end of the year.
(While Simon seems to think that these new Sprint Pearl details confirm that a 3.2 Mpx camera is not to be in RIM’s next SureType BlackBerry, I’m holding firm on my stance that the new GSM Pearl will have sweet 3.2 Mpx camera goodness, as well as other features such as Wi-Fi, while the CDMA variant will be more of a ‘tweener 1.5 Pearl, ed.)
Oasys Mobile has announced their release of the classic card game UNO on BlackBerry. C’mon, who doesn’t like UNO? It’s like Crazy Eights, only more multicolored, and let’s face it, everyone likes multicoloration. UNO’s been doing pretty well on other mobile platforms, so it should perform well on BlackBerry.
“We are very excited about being able to bring such a powerful brand to the market on BlackBerry smartphones,” said Keith Pichelman, CEO of Concrete Software. “UNO Classic 2007 is a top selling game on many platforms. We have very high expectations for the BlackBerry platform as well.”
Emoze has announced today that they’re now offering free Gmail push on any cellphone out there for free. We remember emoze, right? Emoze has been openly targeting RIM as a competitor, and now they’re horning in on their Google turf, which is fair game. Making nice with Google is good for business. There’s a divide in what folks want in e-mail: those who need the whole shebang, and those who just want to occasionally check their personal e-mail, and emoze is going after the latter. While RIM obviously doesn’t have to worry about losing their full-feature customers, emoze’s free push e-mail certainly raises the bar for capturing a casual market.