Research In Motion Co-CEO Jim Balsillie on Wednesday confirmed that upcoming new BlackBerry smartphones will contain Near Field Communication chips in 2011. During a keynote shared with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and NTT DoCoMo CEO Riuji Yamada at Mobile World Congress, Balsillie said “many, if not most” of his company’s smartphones released this year would include NFC capabilities. This confirms details from BGR’s exclusive report last month, which revealed several BlackBerry devices slated for release in 2011 and outlined specs that often included NFC capabilities. NFC is being promoted aggressively by cell phone makers, carriers, banks and other companies looking to profit from the new mobile payment systems NFC will facilitate. Google has already begun to show off Android’s NFC capabilities with its Nexus S smartphone, and Apple will soon unveil its next-generation iPhone with NFC capabilities as well.
We unveiled nearly all of RIM’s 2011 lineup over the past day or so, and we wanted to highlight the devices as well as give you a bit more background and personal thoughts on them — and of course, more photos. For starters, though, let’s talk about RIM’s NFC implementation and its real world use cases… we have been told RIM is planning to use NFC for pairing and streaming control with accessories, in addition to peer-to-peer information exchange. What does that mean? Well, you’d hold up one BlackBerry to another BlackBerry to add that person on BlackBerry Messenger, transfer your vCard information, or even share files. Future NFC uses headed to BlackBerry devices, we’re told, include things as crazy as building access control (no more key cards!), ticketing, and of course, payments. Hit the break for the rest of our break down! More →
That BlackBerry 8520 feeling a bit outdated? Well, we might have just what you’ve been waiting for — the next generation BlackBerry Curve. Codenamed “Apollo,” the new BlackBerry Curve finally brings up the lower-mid end of the BlackBerry lineup with very reasonable (and decent) specs for what will be an aggressively priced handset line. A 480 x 360 screen joins a 5-megapixel camera, quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and a tri-band HSPA 7.2Mbps radio, and even NFC capability. Hit the break for the full run down, alright? More →
According to a report from ZDNet’s All About Microsoft blog, the first major update (codenamed Mango) to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform isn’t due until August or September of next year. A second major update (codenamed Apollo) is said to be due a year later, toward the end of 2012. This contradicts earlier reports, though it does jibe with rumors from last week suggesting Microsoft’s initial WP7 update in January would not be as major as was once believed. While All About Microsoft’s source claims this will be WP7′s first major update, the only functionality mentioned by the anonymous tipster is the addition of a Silverlight plug-in and HTML5 support in Internet Explorer. Meanwhile, an update supposedly due in February may bring a multitasking solution for third-party apps, enhanced developer controls, in-app downloads and more customization options. That sounds slightly more “major” to us. More →