BlackBerry 9000 to introduce OS 4.6.0?

By on February 17, 2008 at 10:30 AM.

BlackBerry 9000 to introduce OS 4.6.0?

If the evidence we’re seeing now is correct, the upcoming BlackBerry 9000 will launch with OS 4.6.0. This was previously hinted to be launching with OS 4.3.2, however that version will suffer the similar fate of rebranding like its predecessor, which was recently changed to version 4.5.0.

OS 4.6.0 has un-officially graduated from internal development at RIM and has been moved on into the official builds and carrier certification process. This same process started for OS 4.3.1 in the September / October 2007 time frame and we’ve yet to see an announcement of availability from RIM or any carrier. It has been widely reported in forums that the successor BlackBerry – model number 9000 for those who are still spreading rumors otherwise – was plagued with battery drain issues due to the inclusion of Wi-Fi, GPS and 3G, much to the shared chagrin of every other vendor who can’t seem to perfect this flaw with 3G devices. The good news is that the introduction of the carrier certification process may indicate the remote possibility that a workaround and/or resolution has been implemented for the new does-it-all device.

Only time can tell, but here’s hoping that carrier certification of the BlackBerry 9000 does not take as long as it has for the long-delayed OS 4.3.1 (err, 4.5.0).

27 Comments

New Features in Action – BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.1 SP5, OS 4.5.0

By on February 2, 2008 at 11:49 AM.

New Features in Action – BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.1 SP5, OS 4.5.0

To say these are rather long awaited releases, both in the consumer and corporate environments, is an understatement. BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.1 SP5 will deliver more end-user enhancements than arguably any version of BES prior, possibly out-delivered only by the introduction of wireless PIM synchronization and wireless backup/restore functionality in BES 4.0, which was released just over 3 years ago in late 2004. BlackBerry OS 4.5.0, formerly known as OS 4.3.1, is set to introduce HTML support in it’s email parsing, a long-overdue feature. It will also enable consumer-oriented features such as an office document reader and editor and video recording (my girlfriend finds it fairly annoying, go figure), as well as corporate-oriented features such as calendar availability (Free/Busy Lookup) and over-the-air OS upgrades.

We have featured many of these enhancements in our pages in previous articles, but never have we actually tested them out…

…until now.

More →

20 Comments

Update: BlackBerry OS 4.3.1 simply re-branded, no delays expected

By on January 23, 2008 at 6:19 AM.

Update: BlackBerry OS 4.3.1 simply re-branded, no delays expected

We have received information from a very credible source that OS 4.3.1, mentioned in conjunction with BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.1 Service Pack 5 in November’s Connecting With The Experts webinar and apparently forgotten in yesterday’s press release from RIM at Lotusphere, has actually been re-branded as OS 4.5. There will be nothing missing from this new version that is packaged with the same enhancements previously reported with OS 4.3.x, including long-awaited HTML e-mail capabilities. As initial carrier certification comes to a close, the general availability dates are still expected to fall somewhere between late February and the few months following, depending on the carrier.

This morning’s official press release made more than a few heads in the online BlackBerry community perform a double-take, as OS 4.3.1 beta releases have been highly visible in various circles since carrier certification began last October. Per our sources, due to the number of enhancements being added to the OS, it was a marketing decision to change the version number. As we’ve previously mentioned, this should be perhaps the most anticipated OS releases for end-users since the release of OS 4.0, nearly three years ago.

38 Comments

RIM announces BES enhancements, delays in OS functionality

By on January 22, 2008 at 1:49 PM.

RIM announces BES enhancements, delays in OS functionality

Research In Motion announced at Lotusphere 2008 some of the previously reported features in the forthcoming BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.1 Service Pack 5, including Document Downloading and Editing, Remote Search and Retrieval, Free / Busy Calendar Lookup, and HTML email. The previous official roadmap from Research In Motion delivered these new feature enhancements coinciding with the release of device OS 4.3.x and above. According to the press release from RIM today, it seems these features have been delayed to the previously unknown OS 4.5. This OS has been confirmed for release for the entire 8000 series family, including the 8700 series, although it does not currently have support for the unreleased BlackBerry 9000 as far as we can tell.

To say the feature exclusion for the unreleased OS version 4.3.x, which is supposed to be out in the next couple months, is quite disappointing is an understatement. No word on release dates for OS 4.3.1 or OS 4.5.0 or OS 5.0.0, although we have heard that OS 4.3.1 has since been delayed at least one or two months from the previously rumored February release date. We’ve even obtained beta releases of OS 4.3.1 as recent as two weeks ago, but we’re not sure on the fate of this OS release. Honestly, with the new press release from RIM uncovering this new OS 4.5, we have to wonder exactly when we’ll have the ability to use these new features we’ve been foaming over for a few months now. Research In Motion has now officially become Readily Involving Molasses.

Read

5 Comments

BlackBerry 8xxx = BlackBerry 9000?

By on January 19, 2008 at 11:31 AM.

BlackBerry 8xxx = BlackBerry 9000?

It seems that we were extremely enthusiastic, much-too-happily excited, somewhat disappointed, and possibly destroyed when news broke that Research In Motion would be releasing the next BlackBerry as yet another 8000 series device, delaying the eventual birth-by-hatching of the 9000 series legacy.

Well, it appears that our previous information announcing the full specifications of the BlackBerry 9000, featuring only 2.5G EDGE technology, has been updated to include UMTS and HSDPA support. This is official information from RIM. As if it weren’t indicative from the Vodafone slides featured on this website a couple weeks ago that the carrier did not have finalized information for the 3G BlackBerry device due out in Q2, it is now apparent the feature device likely to be launched at the Wireless Enterprise Symposium 2008 will be the BlackBerry 9000 as opposed to another BlackBerry 8000 series release. Sorry for those reporting it as the BlackBerry 8500 or BlackBerry 8920.

With that said, we’d like to make note of one more announcement from this crop of new information received. A new era of OS has now been introduced into the Waterloo storyline – version 5.0.0. Excited yet? We thought so. We foresee the BlackBerry 9000 launching with OS 4.3.2, as previously reported on BGR, but will have an update to OS 5.0.0 by the end of the year. Our early bets are on November. As mentioned previously with regards to OS 4.3.2 and future legacy devices, the new version will be supported on the 8100, 8300 and 8800 series handhelds, with the highly acclaimed 8700 series being retired after the upcoming OS 4.3.1 release. Unfortunately, as this new OS is literally only a couple days young, we cannot speculate on potential features and enhancements that will be present when it’s finally launched.

28 Comments

The Stupidity of a Government – Argentina’s Upcoming DST Changes on 12/30

By on December 28, 2007 at 5:21 PM.

The Stupidity of a Government – Argentina’s Upcoming DST Changes on 12/30

As if no lessons were learned by the impacts of DST changes to North America earlier this year, the government of Argentina decided on December 21, 2007 to implement Daylight Saving Time rules for the first time since 2000. These changes are set to be in effect on December 30, 2007, just nine days after the decision was made by the Dodo’s in the Argentine government. Are they, as a country, really that flexible, or do they simply have the impression that the rest of the world does not notice nor care about the eighth largest country on the planet?

The current time zone for Buenos Aires, Argentina and Georgetown, Guyana is SA Eastern Standard Time, which does not recognize any Daylight Saving Time rules.  Guyana will remain on this time zone, although Argentina will move to a new time zone, appropriately named Argentina Standard Time.

Daylight Saving Time begins: Sunday, December 30th, 2007 at 00:00 AM
Daylight Saving Time ends: Sunday, March 16th, 2008 at 00:00 AM

As far as the all-important technical impact that the Argentine government apparently failed to recognize as a factor in their decision, here’s what we know for major applications and platforms:

Windows: Microsoft does not have an updated Windows DST patch for the Argentina changes.  Workaround: Adjust the registry to add the new time zone and reflect changes for the current time zone (see link below).

Exchange: Microsoft does not have an updated CDO.DLL patch for the Argentina changes.  Workaround: None.

Outlook/Exchange Calendar: The Microsoft Office Outlook Tool can be used to update calendar appointments to use the new time zone.  Note: The registry changes mentioned above for the Windows section will need to be applied first, as the Outlook Tool pulls it’s data from the local system registry.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server: See notes on Exchange above, as CDO.DLL will be the point of fault on BES.  Workaround: None.

BlackBerry Devices: RIM has a case open with their software development group, but there is no current ETR for a device patch or SQL update for time zone table synchronization.  Calendar appointments should be expected to be off by one hour during the DST period.  Workaround: Change the time on the device up by one hour (12:00 AM becomes 1:00 AM).

Read

38 Comments

Ray Sharma, GMP Securities – BlackBerry Touchscreen 1.0 and Pearl 2.0? Really?

By on December 26, 2007 at 12:16 PM.

Ray Sharma, GMP Securities – BlackBerry Touchscreen 1.0 and Pearl 2.0? Really?

Here at BGR headquarters, we love wireless industry analysts, especially those in the financial sector. Ray Sharma, of GMP Securites, LTD. has recently published his analysis of upcoming BlackBerry devices from Research In Motion, dubbed the Touchscreen 1.0 and Pearl 2.0. The label given to the latter device, one with a rotatable keyboard, should give the impression that GMP Securities, LTD. hired Mr. Sharma to deliver shock value rather than substance. As we all know, the Pearl Two-Dot-Oh was launched months ago with the BlackBerry 8130 (CDMA) and BlackBerry 8120 (EDGE with Wi-Fi) and the upcoming BlackBerry 8110 (EDGE with GPS). This report crowned the reference patents as the upcoming 9000 series devices and has since been reported on various online sources as the the extensions of the BlackBerry bloodline, much to the dismay of many online viewers and BlackBerry-related websites and forums. A little background on Research In Motion and filings with various organizations, if you will. When RIM caught wind of their FCC filings, usually published weeks or months before devices launches, were one of the primary sources of online pre-launch leaks, they started requesting supression of images, manuals, etc. from the FCC until 1-2 months after the initial release of that shiny new BlackBerry. A smart move in their aggressive effort to maintain as much control over information and leaks as possible, especially the official variety. Needless to say, that ongoing effort from RIM to supress information is one reason why some of our last couple reports on the BlackBerry 9000 are sourced from one-hundred percent official information although carrying very little visual evidence that our readers are so accustomed to receiving. There’s no need to tip the hand that feeds, right?

Back to the subject at hand, though – Ray Sharma. It appears that in Mr. Sharma’s effort to write an article on the upcoming BlackBerry series and more likely to make a nominal splash in the news for his company, he apparently forgot to look at the filing dates for the patents he referenced. These patents for a rotatable keyboard design and a reconfigurable swivel / retractable keyboard design were filed for by Research In Motion in 2003 and 2005, respectively. We’ll preface the following statement with the disclaimer that we could be wrong in our semi-educated assumptions, but does anyone really think that RIM would launch a next-gen device in the year 2008 based on a keyboard design made in 2003? Keep in mind the advancements and strides made in technology and design, as well as the top-shelf bar set by Apple with their innovative iPhone design…

For poops and giggles, on the USPTO website, we see that the BlackBerry Pearl 8100 series design was filed for in February 2006, just over six months prior to the device launch. It was not published for our viewing until September 2007, exactly one year after the launch of the device on T-Mobile. The BlackBerry Curve 8300 series has yet to show up on the USPTO website. But we suppose the core design for such a supposed revolutionary device as a possible BlackBerry "Touchscreen 1.0" (LOL, sorry just had to) device could have potentially been officially leaked 4.5 years ago, right?

We think you’ll see USPTO patent filings for the BlackBerry Curve 8300 series in mid-2008 and the BlackBerry 9000 series sometime in late 2008 or 2009, potentially six years after the Sharma-dubbed "Pearl 2.0" patent was filed.

Read Ray Sharma’s analysis

Read BlackBerry Touchscreen 1.0, per Ray Sharma

Read BlackBerry 9100, aka Pearl 2.0, per Ray Sharma

10 Comments

Clarification on Yesterday’s BlackBerry 9000 Post

By on December 21, 2007 at 11:50 AM.

Clarification on Yesterday’s BlackBerry 9000 Post

Last night, while browsing Google News and a few BlackBerry-related forums, we realized that our post published yesterday on the BlackBerry 9000 device caused a bit more confusion than we had originally expected, despite our best efforts to reduce any negative reaction to the new device.

  • The new BlackBerry 9000 is an actual device not a reference to the entire post-8000 series successor;
  • The new BlackBerry 9000 device is not one of the previously mentioned 9100, 9300 or 9900 device families, all of which are expected to feature a 3G radio in the form of UMTS and HSDPA (GSM evolution);
  • The release of the BlackBerry 9000 should not be expected to delay any release dates for the BlackBerry 9×00, which we anticipate to first be the BlackBerry 9900 corporate device with an early to mid-May 2008 pre-availability announcement.

We hope that clarifies some of the information given yesterday that was apparently misinterpreted by many sources and persons. I’m personally not the least bit upset with RIM for releasing yet another EDGE-limited device, as the physical changes to the device more than establish a future of extremely hopeful possibilities for all of us BlackBerry users and fanatics.

17 Comments

BlackBerry 9000 – Myth or Reality?

By on December 20, 2007 at 2:37 PM.

BlackBerry 9000 – Myth or Reality?

The BlackBerry 9000 series, fast becoming a ‘white unicorn’ in BlackBerry circles, has finally received some substantiated information. Well, it appears that we may first be underwhelmed prior to being overwhelmed with our pipe dreams of the "Perfect BlackBerry".

The BlackBerry 9000 device (not series) has been confirmed with screen size of 480 x 320, although the physical dimensions are unknown at this time. Think of this device as the elder sibling to the BlackBerry 8320. Like it’s small screen counterpart, it will operate with a quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE radio (850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, and 1900MHz) and will feature 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi capabilities. This will be a full QWERTY device, as well.

The BlackBerry 9000 will feature the same general OS platform, although it will launch with version 4.3.2. Coincidentally, OS 4.3.2 will potentially be in the future roadmaps for all 8000 series devices, sans the 8700 family (although that may change).

To recap, Research In Motion will soon launch the BlackBerry 9000 handheld, which will feature a larger screen, a new OS update, most likely a new full QWERTY keyboard layout (which may or may not be a touch screen keyboard), but without HSDPA or UMTS capabilities. This could launch as soon as January and as late as April, although we’ve heard whispers it might even be officially announced by RIM today during their quarterly earnings report. Stay tuned!

54 Comments

The Un-Official RIM Outages Mailing List

By on December 12, 2007 at 3:32 PM.

The Un-Official RIM Outages Mailing List

One of the more useful benefits of purchasing Premier Support (TSupport levels Tx4 and Tx5) from Research In Motion are the BlackBerry Infrastructure Notifications. With that said, it’s one of those features that should be available to practically any business customer of RIM, especially in the event of a major outage or network / infrastructure maintenance that would potentially impact their users. However, these notifications are not offered for free and the Premier Support programs are quite expensive.

In fact, based on a deployment of 7,500 users across 20 BlackBerry Enterprise Servers, Tx4 would cost roughly $275,000 and Tx5 would end up in the neighborhood of $300,000. For a smaller company wanting these notifications, in addition to the other useful features such as dedicated support personnel (DART), the program fee for the Tx4 and Tx5 programs respectively start at $50,000 and $75,000. This does not include the per-server and per-user additional support costs. Considering the impact of BlackBerry outages in recent years and the ever-growing importance of the BlackBerry device functionality, one would think that RIM would offer the BlackBerry Infrastructure Notifications as a low cost a la carte solution, right? They don’t.

Enter the Un-Official RIM Outages Mailing List. This is a community-driven mailing list that relies on it’s members to contribute outage notifications, maintenance notifications, real-time outage observations, etc. There are no affiliations to Research In Motion or any carriers who offer BlackBerry service. This is a non-profit mailing list that’s sole existence is based on the importance of BlackBerry technology and the demand for information when service outages or interruptions are happening. Feel jittery when you’re got a BlackBerry outage on your hands? Crave the push-email madness? Are you breaking into other peoples offices to see if their BlackBerry has capital EDGE on the screen? This list might help you. If not, you might want to check yourself into rehab, you fiends.

Read

9 Comments

BlackBerry 8120 Correction; New Information on the BlackBerry 8110

By on November 23, 2007 at 2:07 PM.

BlackBerry 8120 Correction; New Information on the BlackBerry 8110

It appears we were a little off with our previous posting, stating the BlackBerry 8120 would feature both Wi-Fi and GPS. From the FCC filings, assuming the information released is the final release version for the United States, it is revealed that RIM has not, in fact, overcome the technology that barrier that did not allow them to place both receivers in the 8300 series, so expect the BlackBerry 8120 model to hit the shelves with Wi-Fi capabilities only. Also, for T-Mobile adopters who are salivating at the thought of another Pearl to add to your library collection, better hold your breath, as this model should launch first on AT&T.

In other news, we are hearing the BlackBerry 8110, which will feature a GPS receiver, will be on target for a launch in early 2008. We reported on this device back in July, and more recently have started to think that it would never see the light of day. Now, with all the hooplah and hype surrounding the BlackBerry 9100 release at some point next year, we have to wonder if both the BlackBerry 8110 and BlackBerry 8120 are too much of an upgrade too late in the game in the United States. Perhaps if it launched sometime in the neighborhood as our European brethren, these extensions of the Pearl family would have a better chance at stateside success. Only time will tell, though.

15 Comments

Replacement Xbox 360 – Return of Red Rings of Death in 60 minutes or less?

By on November 21, 2007 at 4:35 PM.

Replacement Xbox 360 – Return of Red Rings of Death in 60 minutes or less?

Yes, I do more than work with BlackBerry devices day in and day out, so consider this a rant about one of those personal pleasures that has been with me since I was a toddler – console gaming. It started with an Atari 2600 then I became the first kid on my bus route with a Nintendo. Skip forward into this last generation of consoles with the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii (not a single issue with the latter two, might I add).

I recently returned my defective Xbox 360 to Microsoft for warranty repair and / or replacement for the heart-breaking "Red Rings of Death" issue. A replacement console was shipped to me about a month ago and I finally decided to open it up. I hooked it up to my new 46" Sony XBR5 LCD TV and started it up. Man, I tell you, high-definition gaming is amazing.

I played Project Gotham Racing 4 for about 30 minutes and then my console locked up. The controller sat in a state of vibration for a few minutes before I finally decided to get up and reset the console. I then decided to switch to NCAA Football 2008 and made it through an entire game (Auburn vs South Florida in the 2008 season in Dynasty mode). But, I made the mistake of trying to start up that week’s recruiting and – BAM – another console lock-up. Thinking that it was perhaps that copy of the game, as there have been known issues with EA Games, I managed to return my copy of NCAA Football 2008 to Wal-Mart and exchange it for a new copy. I got home, tore off the shrink-wrap, put the game in, and was greeted by a nice little squawk and a blocked screen (the same one that broke my 360 the last time around).

Needless to say, when I turned off the console and powered it back on, my good old friend, R. ROD the Third, greeted me with a sinister grin. This unit is dated mid-September 2007. So much for thinking Microsoft improved their build quality, right? Less than one hour of pre-mature enjoyment and another brand new Xbox 360 is now dead. Since BG doesn’t really care (might I add that he’s the most impatient person on the face of this planet, and refuses to send anything in for warranty repair), he’s now on his 6th bought Xbox 360 after suffering the same red ring of death issues. Mr. J Allard, are you really proud of this manufactured creation that has seemingly destroyed any credibility for your vision of a wired lifestyle?

90 Comments

BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.1 SP5 – Preview, Feature Enhancements and more!

By on November 15, 2007 at 11:25 AM.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.1 SP5 – Preview, Feature Enhancements and more!

During this morning’s Connecting with the Experts BlackBerry webinar, Research In Motion unveiled the upcoming service pack release to their BlackBerry Enterprise Server solution. To say that this is simply an update is a vast and gross understatement. This service pack promises to be the most feature-rich release of BES… ever! End-users are going to go ‘gah gah’ over this release, due out in late February.

We’ll move on forward straight to the meat and cover some of the features, most of which have already been discussed – without pictures – quite in depth on forums and news sites and blogs across the world. These features, as noted in the slides, will require OS 4.3.1, which is forecasted for all 8000 series devices sometime in late Q4 2007 or Q1 2008.

More →

10 Comments