Behold the Ghost of Palm Past. Earlier this week, industry watchers got to relive the rise and fall of webOS as Research In Motion gave the world a brief look at a gorgeous new smartphone platform while failing to convince anyone that it can succeed in a market dominated by Apple and Google. RIM’s stock plummeted from a high of $14.62 earlier this week to the $11-range as a result. Then, on Thursday, Samsung took the wraps off its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S III. The impressive smartphone’s design was described as having been inspired by pebbles that had been smoothed be the flow of water in a river. There was once another smartphone with a design inspired by river rocks, but I can’t quite put my finger on it… More →
During the annual Consumer Electronics Show in January 2009, a struggling smartphone company that had once helped shape the mobile industry unveiled its next-generation platform. It was gorgeous. The design was unique and appealing, the gesture-based controls were smart and intuitive, and the company’s new smartphone operating system offered a breath of fresh air in an industry dominated by just two major players, Apple and Google.
On August 18th, 2011, less than three years after this promising new platform was unveiled, it was effectively laid to rest.
I sat at my computer in amazement a little earlier. Most of me knew that RIM is too damaged and too slow to pivot, and just too out of touch with its customers to know it actually has a chance. But, there was this small part of me that was genuinely excited for BlackBerry World’s announcements. Then I saw Thorston Heins start off the company’s most crucial keynote ever with Salesforce and Cisco. More →
Apple released its third-generation iPad on March 16th and I purchased mine one day later on the 17th. There were no lines at my local Best Buy when I went to buy the new model. In fact, there were still more than 100 new iPads in stock when I picked up my iPad more than 36 hours after it was released. The store was eerily quiet. It felt nothing like an Apple launch. More →
Instagram is a hugely popular social network centered around sharing retro images with friends, and while it continues to add users by the millions, it will likely soon see a somewhat sizable defection in light of recent events. Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday announced that Facebook will acquire Instagram for $1 billion. The deal will make Instagram’s small team rich and give the app exposure to millions of new users, but it will also bring a fresh round of privacy concerns that have already begun to surface. For those who avoid Facebook and its suite of services, deleting an Instagram account couldn’t be easier: users can simply visit the company’s account removal page, log in, and select a reason for their account removal requests from the drop-down menu. As it turns out, “privacy concerns” is the very first option.
The iPhone’s unprecedented success stems from the combination of multiple factors, not the least of which are Apple’s industry-leading design prowess and its ability to make software that appeals to enthusiasts and mass-market users alike. The culture and hype surrounding Apple products doesn’t hurt either, of course. Where the overall experience is concerned, Apple wisely created a scenario that gives it control of both hardware and software, removing carriers from the equation to an extent and ensuring the end user enjoys the experience Apple envisions without any substantial impediments. Despite this ideal scenario, some industry watchers maintain that fragmentation is unavoidable to some degree, and this issue exists in the iOS ecosystem just as it does with Android. More →
Android phones have never been as impressive as they are today. They have never been as responsive, as slim or as powerful. Their displays have never been more vivid or more stunning. Their data speeds have never been as fast. Competition is now hotter than ever before in the smartphone market and consumers are reaping the benefits. At its core, each and every new smartphone that launches is an engineering feat that simply could not have existed a few short years ago. And yet as amazing as the current crop of smartphones might be, there has probably never been a worse time in Android’s brief but storied history for savvy users to buy a smartphone. More →
Late last summer, I wrote an article titled Dear tablet makers: You’re doing it wrong in which I shared my view on what I believe to be one of the biggest problems currently facing tablet vendors. In this article, I postulated that most Android tablets failed to make a splash because, in a nutshell, they bring nothing new to the table. Of course Android offers a vastly different user interface and user experience as compared to Apple’s market-leading iPad, but in terms of true differentiation — unique and desirable features offered to tablet buyers that cannot be found on the iPad — Android tablets have historically been lacking. More →
A pair of workers who claim to have been poisoned by toxins in a Suzhou, China factory while assembling touchscreens for Apple’s iPhone have written an open letter begging consumers to demand reform. SumOfUs, the organization behind the Ethical iPhone Campaign, released the letter in an email to the media on Wednesday afternoon. The letter was written by Guo Rui-qiang and Jia Jing-chuan, two former factory workers who urge consumers to sign SumOfUs’s petition and demand that Apple force its suppliers and manufacturing partners to improve working conditions at their Chinese factories. Both workers claim to have been poisoned by a chemical cleaner called N-hexane, and they have suffered neurological damage as a result. The Fair Labor Association is currently conduction inspections of two Foxconn factories, prompted by Apple, and while only preliminary inspections have been made at this point, the organization says it has already found “tons of issues.” The workers’ letter follows below in its entirety. More →
With Apple’s upcoming iPad 3 launch just a few weeks away, reports and rumors have been swirling. We exclusively reported some details on the tablet which The Wall Street Journal has basically confirmed, but here’s a round-up using what we know, what’s been rumored and reported, and what I’d wager the iPad 3 will feature when it launches early next month: More →
I love my iPhone. In fact, I’ve loved every iPhone Apple has launched since the first model was unveiled in 2007. Slowly but surely, Apple has introduced new features and eliminated upon almost every major gripe people had with iOS to push the limits of what we expect from a modern smartphone, and also to keep the platform on par with or even ahead of the competition. Copy and paste, MMS, background apps, multitasking, notifications, folders and much more have been added over time. There is one thing that makes me hate my iPhone every single day though, and I hope Apple is going to address it soon. I need more control over my alerts. More →
As 2012 approaches, we thought it would be fun to look back on 2011 one last time and share our biggest stories of the year with you. Here they are in order, from our post popular post of the year to our tenth most popular post:
- Open letter to BlackBerry bosses: Senior RIM exec tells all as company crumbles around him
- BlackBerry Messenger will launch on Android and iOS
- Samsung Galaxy Nexus full specs revealed; Verizon Wireless exclusive
- BlackBerry Dakota gets pictured; the touch and type BlackBerry you’ve been waiting for
- Google’s first Ice Cream Sandwich phone to be manufactured by Samsung, possibly dubbed ‘Nexus Prime’
- Live from Apple’s WWDC 2011 keynote with Steve Jobs
- Apple testing iPhone for T-Mobile USA
- Google Nexus 4G detailed – 720p display, 4G LTE, Android 4.0
- BlackBerry Bold 9900 review
- Inside RIM: An exclusive look at the rise and fall of the company that made smartphones smart
Have a great and safe New Year.
Each year on the evening of December 31st an estimated one million people from around the world flock to New York City’s Times Square to cheer in unison as the final 10 seconds of the year are counted down and the iconic glowing ball is lowered down a 130-foot pole from atop 1 Times Square. BGR recently attended the Philips Ball Test, during which the city does a dry run of the ceremonies that will take place seconds before midnight on New Year’s Eve. We had a chance to sit down with Jeff Straus, the president of Countdown Entertainment and one of the producers who has overseen the event for the past 17 years, and Ed Crawford, the CEO of Philips Lighting, which provides the bulbs for the New Year’s Eve ball. We also had a chance to walk up and see the ball in person, and learn about how the whole process works from the beginning down to the second when a switch is flipped and the ball begins its descent.