ComScore has released its latest report on the U.S. smartphone market, and it suggests that Apple’s share of the U.S. OEM market is growing, while Android is continuing to dominate the U.S. operating system market. Samsung remains the top mobile OEM in the United States with a 24.8% marketshare, up 0.3 percentage points from the period prior. It’s followed by LG (20.9%, no change), Motorola (16.1 percent, down .9 percentage points), RIM (8.6 percent, down .2 percentage points), and Apple (7.5%, up .9 percentage points). Given the dominance by Samsung, LG, and Motorola, it comes as no surprise that Android now has a 33% grip on the U.S. smartphone operating system market — that’s up 7 percentage points from the last report. RIM’s BlackBerry OS dropped 4.6 percentage points to a 28.9% share of the market. It’s followed by Apple’s iOS (25.2%), Microsoft’s Windows Phone (7.7%), and Palm’s webOS (2.8%). The report also found that 68.7% of mobile users use their phone for text messaging. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
In this month’s Bloomberg Businessweek cover-story entitled Larry Page’s Google 3.0, reporter Brad Stone touches upon what may be the root of ongoing bickering between Apple and Google. While the two companies continue to work with each other in many areas, there is no denying the public hostility they show one another. It’s more than just marketing jabs and a competitive nature — these two giants are constantly at each other’s throats. From the Businessweek feature:
As Android became a threat to Apple in 2008, Apple began resisting Google’s claim to valuable location data gathered whenever an iPhone owner used Google Maps. [Vic Gundotra's] negotiations with Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller grew so heated that Schmidt and Steve Jobs had to intervene to settle the matter, according to two people familiar with the incident. (Apple announced earlier this year that it had developed its own location-monitoring system. Gundotra and Schiller both declined to comment on the incident.)
The iPhone’s influence over the Android operating system is also thought to play a role in the quarrel. Many will recall that early Android prototypes bore an OS that looked and operated much like RIM’s BlackBerry operating system. Android was also intended for touchscreen and non-touch devices at the time. At launch, however, Android had shed many of its BlackBerry-like features and had instead adopted several elements that mirrored Apple’s iPhone OS. The alleged spat between Google’s VP of engineering Vic Gundotra and Apple’s marketing boss Phil Shiller is believed by some to have been influenced by that shift in Android strategy. The rest, as they say, is history — Google and Apple will likely grow further apart as their battle in the mobile space and beyond continues to heat up. More →
As crazy as that sounds, we have been told by multiple trusted sources that RIM is seriously considering a feature that will allow BlackBerry devices to run Android apps. Here is what we know… Research In Motion has been trying to figure out the path it wants to take as far as how the existing Java environment will work on its upcoming QNX tablet and smartphones. The company has publicly stated that it is looking at getting a Java virtual machine running on the PlayBook — not so much for app development going forward, but for legacy support, custom apps corporations have deployed and don’t want to recreate, etc — but RIM hasn’t yet decided what kind of Java VM it will use. Hit the break for the rest! More →
Here’s a little update for the folks north of the border. Rogers has added both the BlackBerry Curve 9300 and the Motorola Flipout to their handset lineup. The Curve 9300 will be available for $79.99 with a three-year contract or for $399.99 contract free. The Cliff’s Notes on the 9300 read like this: quad-band GSM, tri-band HSPA, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS, 2.4-inch screen (320 x 240), 256 MB RAM, 2 megapixel camera, and BlackBerry OS 5. The Motorola Flipout will be available for $29.99 with a three-year contract or for $374.99 contract free. The stat sheet on the Flipout is as follows: quad-band GSM, dual-band HSPA, 2.8-inch QVGA touch-screen display, QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi, GPS, Android 2.1, and MOTOBLUR. Anyone up north going after one of these mid-range smartphones? More →
Official Twitter clients are getting an awful lot of love today. This morning, Twitter relaunched and re-branded Tweetie 2 as Twitter for iPhone 3, and just a little while ago the good folks at RIM were nice enough to let us know that the revamped version of Twitter for BlackBerry is en route. The new version, which will stay in beta, has a slew of new and user-requested features, including:
- Ability to edit ReTweets
Auto Complete for @ usernames
- When you type an “@” followed by characters, the auto complete feature pops up a list of users as you type
View Geotagged Tweets
- View locations of geotagged tweets on BlackBerry Maps
Personal Info Guard
- Warning appears when sharing personal information (e.g. email address, PIN, phone number)
Hotkeys for Navigation
- New hotkey functionality has been added for lists, find people, etc.
- R reply, L reply all, Space page down, F retweet, C compose, D refresh, Alt+0 (home), alt+1 (mentions), alt+2 (lists), alt+3 (profile), alt+4 (inbox), alt+5 (find people), alt+6 (search), alt+7 (popular topics).
Go to User
- Ability to access any users profile from anywhere in the application using auto-complete functionality for followers
Additional photo viewing support
The new Twitter for BlackBerry code is set to roll out “over the course of tonight and Thursday” according to RIM’s PR team, and requirements include: a 64 MB BlackBerry smartphone, Twitter account (duh!), and OS 4.5 or higher. Who’s excited? More →
The title says it all…as there isn’t much else to say about the new BlackBerry Bold 9650. A fresh press release from Sprint made the go-live date — Sunday, May 23rd — public knowledge. Here is the white meat from the release:
The BlackBerry Bold 9650 smartphone will be available for $199.99 with a new two-year service agreement, after a $100 mail-in rebate (taxes & surcharges excluded). It can be purchased in all other Sprint sales channels, including Web sales (www.sprint.com), Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1), Sprint Business Sales, Sprint stores, national retailers and third-party dealers, Sunday, May 23.
The full press release is all linked up. More →
Oh dear. It’s no secret that out of all the major mobile platforms, RIM’s BlackBerry OS is the easily one of the most difficult to develop for, but even with that in mind, we didn’t see Skyfire completely abandoning their BlackBerry client, even if they haven’t worked on it in months. In a blog post Wednesday afternoon, Skyfire’s CEO, Jeff Glueck, announced that his company has ceased all work on the BlackBerry version of their popular browser in order to focus on Android. Citing a poor developer environment with inconsistent and fragmented APIs, Glueck apologized to those who have been eagerly awaiting the release of the browser while vowing to return to development provided BlackBerry OS 6.0 delivers on RIM’s promise to bring much needed improvements from a developers perspective. Of course the release of OS 6.0 will see RIM release its WebKit-based browser, but then a little healthy competition is good for us consumers, right?
Thanks, Chris! More →
Look, we know it’s an early beta and we’re extremely greatful to RIM for letting us try out this app before the masses load it onto their devices, but we’re not exactly impressed with Twitter for BlackBerry. We were intially planning to go all out and review the hell out of this app because a lot of people have been begging us for information on this app, but having tinkered with it this morning we’re ultimately concluded that we’re going to do this point-form style:
- To our eye, the app is cluttered in that so much stuff is packed into a small amount of space. We have to be honest and say it’s actually a bit overwhelming to look at after a while. Less is more. Less is more.
- There are no keyboard shortcuts we can find except for “R” for reply, “C” for direct message (umm…) and “L” for all. Okay, fine. There’s also “T” for top and “B” for bottom.
- Tweets are not cached, meaning each time you open up the app you have to sit tight while your timeline is populated.
- Since installing the app, our device has been randomly locked up no fewer than 5 times. Each instance lasts up for 5 to 10 seconds at a go.
- Loading tweets is slow in terms of the app itself lagging and the pulling of data. Running the app with Wi-Fi honestly offers no advantage over 3G.
- You can search for people, keywords (and narrow them down by location), view trending topics
- Have we mentioned this app is laggy?
- You can compose tweets and DMs from the standard Messages app, but it’s actually a bit of a pain in the ass because you have to hit Menu, scroll down and select Twitter and then pick either Direct Message or Tweet.
Okay, that’s enough talk because for the life of us we can’t think of anything else worth noting. We’re going to duck out for a few and grab some coffee, but make sure that all of you make like good BlackBerry addicts and hit the jump for some screenies.
Disclosure: BGR makes a BlackBerry application called TweetGenius. More →
While the launch of the BlackBerry Storm2 on Verizon is widely expected to take place on October 28th and the Bold 9700 is so close we can almost taste it, owners of current generation BlackBerry smartphones — the Pearl Flip 8220/8230, Curve 8330/8350i/8900, Bold 9000, Storm 9500/9530 and Tour 9630 — should be pleased to note that RIM is all set for the launch OS 5.0. Specific dates aren’t easily pinned down as it more or less depends on the device one has and the carrier one is with, but thanks to our connects we know, for example, that Verizon will be dropping for the OS 5.0 for the Storm 9530 tomorrow evening with a fall back date set for Monday. Those that don’t have Desktop Manager set up on either their PC or Mac might want to get everything ready ahead of time as it looks for the most part that OTA software updates will not be made available. Oh well. OS 5.0 is oh so worth the hassle.
You know us; we have nothing for love for RIM but it seems that its case of ADD is a lot worse than previously thought. For the better part of a week we’ve been playing around with a new beta build of OS 5.0 and noticed that it has a new feature that has yet to be seen on any other OS 5.0 betas — tabbed browsing. Sound a bit familiar? Well it should, because RIM has been working on getting tabbed browsing right since at least June of 2007. As it stands, the process of opening a new tabs isn’t something we can complain about (all that you have to do is hit the Menu button, click Tabs and then New Tab), but switching between two or more tabs is, quite frankly, a huge pain in the ass as there is no keyboard shortcut. This strikes us as rather hilarious as BlackBerrys are legendary for the speed at users can fly around the devices. We’re praying that the clunkyness of tabbed browsing is just because it’s not ready for prime time and that some added functionality, including shortcuts, will hit before launch. Hit the jump to see tabbed browsing in action.
It was only two weeks ago that AT&T announced it would be dropping the Curve 8900 sometime this Summer, and one week ago that we told you it would run for $199.99 on a two-year after a $100 MIR. Well now AT&T has finally come out with an official launch date for both online and in retail stores: this Friday, the 22nd of May. All you have to do now is decide whether or not you want to drop an extra $100 to get the 3G-enabled Bold.
Wondering what happened to the Storm OS .141 update we said should have dropped late last month? We had heard rumors of some problems with the OS but over the weekend we got word from a trusted ninja that the much anticipated OS .141 has failed Verizon Wireless’ testing. Oh. No. Too many glitches remain, so this update is supposedly dead in the water. There is no word yet on a new OS version nor any expected release date for a future update. The big question now is what RIM and Verizon will do with the Storm. Will we see another 4.7 version go through testing, will both companies ditch 4.7 and roll out an OS 5.0 update or will development on the Storm be shelved in lieu of the rumored Storm 2? In any case, at this point we really better start to see some movement soon.
Day two of WES 2009 has come and gone and with its passing we have a few bits and pieces of BlackBerry news to report. While a lot of people were tired from a long night of eating free food and drinking free booze as will.i.am performed on stage, the symposium continued on Wednesday though there really wasn’t much in the way of announcements from companies. Nonetheless, we’re here on location and there’s more to report so hit the jump for the skinny.