Facebook has decided to kill off its Facebook Deals product, a service that was launched to compete with other coupon service providers such as Groupon and LivingSocial. “After testing Deals for four months, we’ve decided to end our Deals product in the coming weeks,” Facebook told Reuters. “We think there is a lot of power in a social approach to driving people into local businesses. We’ve learned a lot from our test and we’ll continue to evaluate how to best serve local businesses.” Facebook will instead focus on Pages, Sponsored Stories and its Ads product. Facebook announced Deals in November and began testing the service in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco. It partnered with aDealio, Gilt City, HomeRun, kgb deals, OpenTable, Plum District, PopSugar City, ReachLocal, Tippr, viagogo and zozi to power the service. More →
BGR exclusively reported back in May that RIM was working on a 10-inch BlackBerry PlayBook 2 that the company hoped to launch in time for the holidays this year. Now, according to a report from BlackBerry enthusiast blog N4BB, those plans have been canceled. The blog claims that RIM decided to pull the large-form tablet and instead focus as much effort as possible on building and releasing its first QNX-powered BlackBerry smartphone. Specs of the purported next-generation BlackBerry smartphone include a single-core 1.2GHz processor — though it may be swapped for a dual-core if RIM can find a way to reduce the drain on the battery — along with a 4.3-inch high-resolution touchscreen display. Further details surrounding the device were not made available, nor was a codename, launch name or a time frame for the device’s release. Finally, the report claims that RIM’s delayed 4G PlayBook tablets will finally launch in October. More →
Adding on to last night’s Apple announcement that the company would further delay the release of the white iPhone 4, we have received new information that paints a different story. According to a previous source of ours, we have been told that Apple in fact has no plans to release the white model iPhone 4. Our source hypothesizes another “delay” communicated around March leading us into an iPhone 5 release time-frame in June / July. Something interesting is that manufacturing sources our contact has are keeping quiet on the matter, not confirming that this was in fact a manufacturing issue at this point, but that there might be something else going on behind the scenes.
Oh well. We’ll always have CNN.cn.
This has been rumored to be coming but VZW E dropped the bomb on us all by leaking a Verizon Wireless document detailing some drastic changes to Verizon’s data plans. Starting November 14th, 2008, all new PDA / Smartphones will require a $29.99/month or greater data plan. Gone are the pay as you go data plans, 1X data block plans and the 10 MB $24.99/month plans. The good news is that those who are currently signed up for any of the now canceled plans will not be forced to change. If you have a data block, you can keep your data block and continue to use Wi-Fi instead of EV-DO for you data connection. The bad news is that once you swap out your phone for any reason, you will be forced to upgrade to a $29.99 or higher monthly plan. The leaked document also notes that a similar plan will go into effect in 2009 for select Mobile Web 2.0 phones. Since the document mentions HTML web browsing capability as the criteria for a mandatory data plan, we assume this will affect phones such as the LG Dare, the LG Voyager and the new Krave ZN4. With this change, you will be forced to subscribe to the $15/month VCast plan that provides unlimited data for email and web browsing. This move, though controversial, is not entirely surprising. Verizon is apparently trying to better montize the growing interest in smartphones and generate a constant revenue stream by requiring data for all its advanced data-capable phones. Oh, one other thing. You know all of the hot new phones set to hit store shelves in November? Don’t be surprised if we see them become available after November 14th when this new mandatory data plan policy takes affect.