Research In Motion outlines BlackBerry 7 device screen resolutions

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Jun 202011

Research In Motion

A new document posted by Research In Motion about the next version of its mobile smartphone OS, BlackBerry 7, has revealed not only the screen resolutions that the new OS will support but the devices that will support them as well. The list includes the already announced BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900/9930, the Curve 9360, the 9810 (the rumoured Torch 2), and the 9850 (the all-touch slab possibly to be known as the Volt?) with a 3.7-inch 480×800 display.

BlackBerry 7 screen resolution support

RIM also announced new BlackBerry 7 smartphone simulators to emulate each of these form factors and screen resolutions for developers to get their apps ready for the new devices.

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RIM “strong-arming” carriers to give approval for upcoming devices?

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Jun 202011

Research In Motion is reporting that Research In Motion has been “strong-arming” carriers to approve devices currently going through the Technical Acceptance phase. Some carriers are apparently bending to the pressure and about to sign off “no matter what – with bugs and problems,” allowing them to be among the first to offer these new devices.

The Technical Acceptance phase follows RIM’s own internal operating system testing and gives carriers a chance to validate for themselves that operating systems and devices are ready for launch. If they are not, RIM (or whatever device manufacturer) must then address the concerns, a process that can take a number of weeks and likely delay a device’s launch.

While carriers are likely always under pressure from manufacturers to sign off on the Technical Acceptance phase to prepare for a device launch, BGR’s “very reliable source at a major carrier” suggests that RIM has been applying “an enormous amount of pressure” on carriers to approve its upcoming devices, including the BlackBerry Bold 9900 which has been delayed to late summer or fall. RIM is apparently pushing its own internal engineers to sign off as well. As BGR points out: “In short, RIM is pushing unfinished OS builds from its engineers to the carriers, and demanding that the carriers approve them.”

BGR also points out that this is not new. Rogers apparently launched the BlackBerry Bold 9000 months ahead of AT&T as it gave in to pressure from RIM whereas AT&T held off as the device failed its own Technical Acceptance.

RIM, which reported a disappointing quarter last week, is under tremendous pressure to release new devices to carry it over until 2012 when it should be able to launch its first QNX-powered smartphones. Assuming that these allegations are accurate, RIM cannot be doing itself any favours by alienating new and existing customers with devices not ready for prime time. Such a strategy could accelerate the loss of customers to competing platforms as it scrambles to turn its fortunes around.

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RIM to partner with YOU i Labs UI design firm?

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Jun 142011

Research In Motion

GigaOM is reporting that Research In Motion might hire YOU i Labs, an Ontario-based design firm that has worked with a number of Taiwan-based mobile phone makers. Initial reports suggested that RIM would buy the company but it turns out that the “two companies are rumored to be working together.” Could this work involve bringing the QNX interface to the BlackBerry smartphones?

YOU i Labs is itself rumoured to be in the process of acquiring Teknision, another Canadian firm, which helped develop the RIM Playbook UI.

RIM acquired The Astonishing Tribe (TAT), a Swedish software firm that specializes in user interface design for mobile devices, last fall. It’s not clear if and how YOU i Labs would end up working with the TAT team.

You i Labs has denied that there are active discussions currently taking place with RIM.

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IDC: Smartphone shipments in 2015 to exceed 900 million units

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Jun 122011

Market research firm IDC has published the latest edition of its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. The report indicates that smartphone shipments show no sign of slowing down. Shipments will reach 472 million in 2011 (up 55% from 2010 when 305 million shipped) and will nearly double by 2015 to 982 million by 2015. Among the factors cited supporting this growth are falling average selling prices, increased phone functionality, and lower-cost data plans.

“The smartphone floodgates are open wide,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “Mobile phone users around the world are turning in their ‘talk-and-text’ devices for smartphones as these devices allow users to perform daily tasks like shopping and banking from anywhere. The growth trend is particularly pronounced in emerging markets where adoption is still in its early days. As a result, the growth in regions such as Asia/Pacific and Latin America, will be dramatic over the coming years.”

IDC expects that Google Android, already the leading operating system worldwide, will continue to dominate with its market share climbing over 40% by 2015. Benefiting from Nokia’s partnership, Microsoft’s Windows Phone is predicted to become the second most popular OS (with a market share over 20%). Apple’s iOS (16.9%), RIM (13.4%), and Symbian (0.1%) will complete the top 5. Interestingly, HP’s webOS does not figure in the top 5 but IDC points out that there is a “huge opportunity for competing operating systems to gain footing” as Symbian’s expense.

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RIM acquires Scoreloop

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Jun 072011

Research In Motion

Research In Motion today announced that it had acquired Scoreloop, a company that offers an SDK that lets developers add social and collaborative features to their games. According to their CEO, Dr. Marc Gumpinger,

As part of RIM, we’ll be in the unique position to integrate deeply into BlackBerry platforms to take mobile gaming to the next level. We’ll continue our cross platform approach, but you’ll see that our BlackBerry solution will be unparalleled.

It remains to be seen how Scoreloop’s products will work and integrate with the recently announced BBM Social Platform.

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Android and iOS continue US growth at expense of others

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Jun 052011

The latest US mobile subscriber market share report from comScore shows that Google Android and Apple iOS continued to grow in the three month average period ending April 2011. That growth came at the expense of RIM, Microsoft, Palm which all saw their market share drop over the same period. Here are the latest results:

  Jan-11 Apr-11 Point change
Total Smartphone Subscribers 100% 100% N/A
Google 31.2% 36.4% 5.2
Apple 24.7% 26.0% 1.3
RIM 30.4% 25.7% -4.7
Microsoft 8.0% 6.7% -1.3
Palm 3.2% 2.6% -0.6

Meanwhile, Samsung remained the top handset manufacturer overall with 24.5 percent market share. It was followed by LG, Motorola, Apple, and RIM.

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BlackBerry 7 devices delayed due to RIM focus on PlayBook?

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May 092011

Research In Motion is reporting that RIM may delay the launch of its upcoming BlackBerry 7 devices. The just announced BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 may only launch in mid-August rather than June has some unconfirmed reports had suggested. Other BlackBerry 7 devices (including the rumoured BlackBerry Torch 2 and BlackBerry Touch) may not get announced until mid-October at RIM’s DevCon conference.

The delays are being attributed to a “disproportionate” reallocation of resources to the PlayBook. Not only are new tablet models featuring 3G and 4G connectivity expected but RIM is apparently also looking to release a 10-inch model this year to broaden appeal for its tablets. It’s likely that OS updates are also consuming a fair amount of manpower.

Senior management is apparently quite displeased so we will have to see if RIM can somehow redress this situation.

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Touchscreen display coming to BlackBerry Curve?

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Apr 092011

On the heels of landing the specifications for the upcoming BlackBerry Bold Touch, has now obtained details on an upcoming BlackBerry Curve model that will sport a touchscreen display. Codenamed Orlando, it is very similar to the already leaked BlackBerry Sedona and Apollo but adds the aforementioned touchscreen.

Rumoured BlackBerry Orlando

Further details are not available.

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