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.
Verizon Wireless on Tuesday made RIM’s latest BlackBerry operating system available for the BlackBerry Bold 9650 and BlackBerry Curve 3G smartphones. BlackBerry 6 is now available for both devices and will be pushed to customers as an over-the-air update beginning Tuesday evening at 8:00PM Eastern Time. Customers may also update their smartphones using the BlackBerry Desktop Manager software. Updates compared to version 5 of the BlackBerry OS include a redesigned UI, universal search functionality and RIM’s highly anticipated HTML-capable browser. More →
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That BlackBerry 8520 feeling a bit outdated?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 →
We have just received more information on Best Buy’s Free Smartphone Sales Event going on tomorrow at Best Buy Mobile. In addition to a free iPhone 3GS 8GB with new activation or qualified upgrade, we have been told that Best Buy Mobile will also be offering the BlackBerry Torch for free with the same terms, except it will be available for the price of $0 for the entire month of December. Additionally, the BlackBerry Curve 9300 (T-Mobile edition) will be become available for free on December 12th, again, with the same terms and will be available for free for the month of December. Not bad Best Buy, not bad.
It’s no secret that BlackBerry 6 will be coming to the Bold 9650 and Curve 9330. RIM has publicly stated that the two devices are in line for the yet-to-be-release update and both sets are marketed as “BlackBerry 6 ready.” Exactly when the updates will start to roll-out is, however, still a mystery. Several unofficial builds of BB6 for both handsets have been circulating on the Internet for quite some time, but as with all handset updates, the code needs to be carrier tested and ultimately carrier approved — a process that has historically proven to be the opposite of swift.
Bureaucracy aside, blog CrackBerry has produced some hard intel that indicates — at minimum — Verizon is getting their proverbial ducks in a row for a BB6 release. An advertisement that shows the company’s Curve 9330 and Bold 9650 running the new code has surfaced. The advert dramatically proclaims RIM’s OS as “the ultimate blend of productivity and fun” and lists some of the new features the update packs: social feeds, new browser, universal search, better multimedia, etc.
Both the 9330 and 9650 are seen sporting their current price tags, $49.99 and $99.99 respectively. More →
It looks like our friends at the FCC have given the BlackBerry 8980, the presumed successor to the Curve 8900, a proper outing. Aside from the above picture, the FCC has the user manual for the unreleased and unannounced RIM handset available for viewing as well. The device will have a quad-band GSM antenna, Wi-Fi b/g/n, 3.2 megapixel camera with flash, and — judging by the instructions in the user manual — ship with BlackBerry OS 5. The device looks extremely similar to the BlackBerry 9700, aside from that sensual 8900 keyboard. Thoughts?
The Nielsen Company reported Monday that smartphones now account for 28% of the cell phone market in the United States. Nielsen’s report also states that 41% of cell phones purchased in the U.S. over the past six months were smartphones. In terms of smartphone OS share, Nielsen paints a very different picture compared to earlier data presented by the NPD Group and Canalys. Nielsen’s data shows RIM still at the top of the U.S. smartphone market with a 30% share. Apple sits at number 2 with 28% and Android follows with only 19% of the market. Reports from NPD and Canalys released just this morning, however, show Android passing BlackBerry OS and attaining a commanding lead in the U.S. while iOS and BlackBerry OS battle for the two and three slots. Both firms claim that Android now holds a massive 44% of the U.S. smartphone market, while iOS is number 2 with 23% – 26% and RIM’s BlackBerry OS is number 3 with 22% – 24%. More →
Over the last several days, rumors have been swirling that the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 would be making its way to WIND Mobile — especially after the device surfaced in RIM’s software database. Now, one of our ninjas from the North has sent us visual confirmation of the device in Wind Mobile’s inventory system. Judging by the two listings, it appears as though the handset will be offered in two colors; we’re assuming a gray or black and something a tad bit brighter. Pricing and availability have not yet been determined… anyone excited?
Friendly reminder, folks… RIM’s latest candybar device and lower cost QWERTY 3G handset are now available for purchase from your friendly AT&T store. If you need a refresh on the products, here we go:
BlackBerry Pearl 9100
- SureType keyboard
- 3.2 megapixel camera
- 1150mAh battery
- $149 with 2 year agreement
BlackBerry Curve 9300
- QWERTY keyboard
- Wi-Fi b,g,n
- 2 megapixel camera
- $99 with 2 year agreement
If you’re in the market for a BlackBerry handset from AT&T which one are you going to go for? Or do you think you’ll hold out for the BlackBerry Bold 9780? More →
Back on the 14th of September, Verizon Wireless announced that the BlackBerry Curve 9330 would be available for purchase in the “coming weeks.” After almost a month, it looks like the time has finally come. Today, the Curve 9330 subtle appeared in the Verizon online store in a not-so-subtle fuchsia color. The device, which has 3G, Wi-Fi, and BlackBerry OS 5, will retail for $29.99 with a 2-year contract.
Thanks, Joe! More →
Today, AT&T announced that they will begin selling the BlackBerry Curve 3G and BlackBerry Pearl 3G in time for the holiday buying season. The Curve 3G (9300) will be available on an unspecified date — before December 25 — and will retail for $99.99 with a new 2-year contract (no mail in rebate required). The Pearl 3G (9100) will be available starting October 17 in stores and online and will retail for $149.99 on-contract (again, no rebate required). The devices will add to AT&T’s BlackBerry lineup which also includes the Bold 9700 and Torch 9800. More →
Today, Sprint announced that it too would carry the latest update to the BlackBerry Curve family, the Curve 3G. The specs of the device are identical to the handset available on a plethora of other carriers — 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, BlackBerry OS 5 , optical trackpad, BlackBerry 6 ready — but Sprint’s offering will be priced $20 higher than CDMA rival, Verizon Wireless, at $49.99 with a 2-year contract. The device will be available via Sprint’s direct sales channels on September 26th and via the remaining sales channels on October 10th. More →