During an interview with PC Pro, Sony’s deputy president of the VAIO Business Group, Ryosuke Akahane, announced that the Japanese company is planning to split its VAIO notebook line-up in two. The first, “division one” would consist of notebooks designed and manufactured by Sony itself, whilst “division two” will have both the design and manufacturing process outsourced to various companies. The reason for the move is that Sony wants to rapidly accelerate the visibility of and interest in the VAIO brand. Akahane noted that it would be expensive and very inefficient for Sony to create a separate brand — such as Dell has done with its Studio and Inspiron lines — so what will ultimately happen is the division one series devices will feature cutting-edge technologies which will eventually find their way into the division two line-up. Quick to calm concerns that latter notebooks will be of inferior quality, Akahane said that “the quality criteria itself is no different between division number one and division number two” and added that they will retain the “taste of VAIO, the style of VAIO.” Akahane is predicting Sony will sell 10 million VAIO notebooks in 2010, a 47% increase over its 2009 sales. More →
Hold on to your hats, BlackBerry fans, because this one’s a bit crazy. Truesupplier, a well respected online retailer of OEM and third party phone parts and accessories has published images of what it claims is a full-QWERTY keyboard for the upcoming Pearl 9100. Featuring what is best described as a shrunken down version of the Bold 9700’s keypad complete with guitar-like frets separating each row of keys, we have virtually no doubts that this keypad is indeed genuine. Having said that, we believe it’s for another device. Why? Take a look at the send, end, menu and back keys. See how they’re stacked on top of one another and extend well beyond the top of where the trackpad will sit? ? There’s no way that would ever fit into the Pearl as we know it unless everyone on the 9100 team at RIM collectively lost their minds and decided to shrink the screen. We’re just throwing this out there as nothing but a guess, but perhaps this belongs to a next-gen Pearl Flip? Regardless, we’re really intrigued by the idea of using a full-QWERTY keypad in such a tight space. But level with us, readers. Is this a viable solution, or should RIM just keep going with the SureType keypad no matter what its detractors say?
UPDATE: Kevin at CrackBerry has heard that the BlackBerry Pearl 9100 will be offered in two versions: a SureType and QWERTY device.