Sales of Research In Motion’s new BlackBerry 7 smartphones have been mixed out of the gate according to one analyst, with AT&T showing weak sell-through while Sprint stores have shown healthy sales to end users. In a note to investors on Wednesday, RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky wrote that the majority of subscribers who purchased BlackBerry 7 smartphones during their first two days of availability were upgrading from older BlackBerry models rather than switching from other platforms. Checks performed by RBC at 40 retail stores found that the sales of the AT&T’s BlackBerry Torch 9810 were light while the Bold 9930 sold well at Sprint, with the phone having been sold out at 20% of the stores contacted. Initial inventory at each of the 40 stores is unknown. Abramsky also commented on U.S. carrier support, noting that AT&T and Sprint appear more supportive with aggressive pricing of RIM’s new devices, while Verizon and T-Mobile’s less competitive pricing might have a negative impact on sales. Read on for more. More →
BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk says HTC’s latest beastly smartphone for Verizon Wireless is going toe to toe with the iPhone 4, and is even outselling Apple’s iPhone at many Verizon Wireless store locations. Piecyk and his team made calls to 150 different Verizon Wireless stores across 22 major U.S. cities, asking which device was selling better. According to the analyst’s report, 61% of stores said the two devices were selling at about the same rate, 11% said the iPhone 4 was selling faster and 28% said they were selling more ThunderBolt smartphones than iPhones. This anecdotal evidence suggests a solid launch for Verizon Wireless, and it further supports recent data that large-screen smartphones are continuing to grow in popularity. We reviewed the HTC ThunderBolt recently and called it the fastest cell phone we’ve ever tested. More →
Today, at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, Paypal’s Laura Chambers indicated that an update to her company’s iPhone application, that will allow users to deposit checks by photographing the front and back of the tender with their Apple smartphone, is due “in the next day or so.” The ability to deposit checks via scanned images has already been implemented by some traditional banks, however PayPal will be one of the first companies to implement the feature into a mobile application. More →
While the US is decidedly and unbearably behind the curve when it comes to mobile banking, the iPhone is managing to spark some creativity in the space. Case in point: USAA, a privately-held bank and insurance peddler, will be updating its iPhone app soon with a new check deposit feature. As you might have been able to conclude from the image above, USAA’s app will allow account holders to capture images of a check and deliver them securely to the bank’s servers. The bank will then process the check and deposit the funds in the customer’s account. There will be no need to go to a branch to follow up or even mail the check to the bank for verification — snap a few pics and you’re done. Awesome. The new feature will only be available to certain customers; those “who are eligible for credit and have some type of insurance through USAA.” According to the bank’s EVP however, about 60 percent of the bank’s customers will meet these requirements and therefore be able to use this great new feature when it becomes available. While the technology involved is nothing groundbreaking, this is yet another example of of the iPhone spawning creative new solutions and services. Let’s just hope Apple approves the app.