While official word has yet to come from T-Mobile’s camp, we’ve heard from multiple sources that the carrier has finally released BlackBerry OS 6 for its BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone. The update isn’t yet live on the website, but 9700 owners who connect to BlackBerry Desktop on their PCs should be able to install the update. The release build is version 18.104.22.1688, as has been known for quite some time, and this is the first version of OS 6 made available to Bold users by T-Mobile. More →
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 →
Research In Motion reported its third quarter earnings Thursday evening, and it beat Wall Street’s estimates in several key areas. The BlackBerry maker’s revenue was up 40% year-over-year to $5.5 billion on record shipments of 14.2 million devices — also up 40% year-over-year. This beat the street’s consensus of $5.4 billion in revenue and shipments of 14 million. The $317 average selling price of RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones beat the street’s consensus of $310, though RIM added 5.1 million subscribers during the quarter, which fell below the street’s consensus of 5.2 million. Total subscriber count was 55 million, however, which is up 49% year-over-year. RIM expects fourth quarter revenues of $5.5 to $5.7 billion and 14.3 to 14.9 devices shipped.
“RIM delivered upside surprise on ASPs and GMs — both key metrics,” wrote Mike Abramsky, Managing Director at RBC Capital Markets, in a note to investors. “Importantly, Q4 guidance calls for Q/Q growth in both revenue and EPS on healthy margins, above street and investor expectations. We believe street estimates should come up tomorrow, given the healthy Q4 guide and likelihood that more analysts reflect PlayBook into their estimates.”
Hit the break for the full press release from RIM. More →
Just minutes ago, Research In Motion finally made the BlackBerry Bold 9780 official. You can pick up RIM’s “boldest BlackBerry” starting in November, like had been rumored. It will launch globally next month and we’d bet that every carrier that offers the Bold 9700 will carry the refreshed model. The specifications are just as had been reported: same basic handset as the Bold 9700, 512MB RAM, 5-megapixel and BlackBerry OS 6 are the upgrades. We’ve been using a 9780 for a couple months and we definitely think the added RAM coupled with RIM’s latest operating system works well, but we can’t notice many differences from our 9700 running BlackBerry OS 6. Full press release after the break.
UPDATE: T-Mobile has announced pricing and availability — the Bold 9780 will launch on November 12th for $129.99 with a new 2-year contract. More →
Our friendly FedEx guy just dropped off a present for us — the BlackBerry Bold 9780, replacing the Bold 9700 sometime in the next month or so. As far as the physical changes, well, the device features a glossy jet black bezel, with everything else outside staying the same. We leaked an internal document highlighting the changes in the Bold 9780, and we can confirm that the device seems to be using an updated CPU, even if the clock speed is around 624MHz. The phone boots up very fast, even faster than our regular 9700 with OS 6. The 512MB of RAM in the handset leaves around 300MB free at device start up, and like we said before, OS 6 really works great on a non-touch device overall. We have a boot up comparison video of the current BlackBerry Bold 9700 with the upcoming BlackBerry Bold 9780 side by side as well as photos if you want to get your viewing on. It’s all past the break, folks! More →
It’s getting a little clearer now… We reported that the Storm 2 would be getting a follow up device that is very, very similar to the existing model. What is looking almost confirmed now, is that the follow up device is a Storm 2 refresh and not the BlackBerry Storm 3. A new leaked OS screen shot seems to confirm this by showing off a model number of 9570. If that sounds familiar, its because the current model number for the existing Storm 2 is 9550. It appears RIM really needs OS 6 to run on a minimum of 512MB of RAM, and a quick hardware refresh will buy some time while the company prepares and finalizes their next OS strategy in addition to having slightly better hardware on the market. More →
We wrapped up the RIM and AT&T event with some hands on time with the just-announced though hardly-a-secret BlackBerry Torch 9800. Here are some first impressions:
- The hardware (casing, build quality, feel) is typical RIM — it’s great. Very solid, actually a bit heavy, but a very good feel. The sliding mechanism is top notch.
- The software is typical RIM — uninspired, old, clunky sometimes, and cluttered. Even with the new UI elements in OS 6, we experienced choppiness in the web browser, hangs navigating between screens, and a general feeling of well… claustrophobia on occasion. The simplified BlackBerry now sort of feels like too much has been added without thinking of the ramifications.
- The keyboard is perfect — just like a Bold 9700, and it seems to not be dug in the slider mechanism, unlike the Palm Pre.
- The internals of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 are disappointing. From the 624MHz CPU to
only 512MB of RAM, to(sorry, confused RAM with built-in storage) the 1300mAh battery, it has us a little worried as it feels like the hardware is pushed to the max. On a brand new phone. That’s not even out yet.
- The screen is laughable. For a company that is always “planning three years out” they surely didn’t get the memo that a 480×360, poor, poor LCD wasn’t going to cut it in 2010. That’s the focal point of the entire device, and it makes you feel outdated out of the gate.
All in all, we came away with mixed emotions. On one hand, OS 6 is a much better UI leap from OS 5 than OS 5 was to OS 4, but it still feels a bit not thought out. On the other hand, the device seems like it will continue to excel at specific functions, mainly email, any sort of text-based messaging, etc. My personal thought so far is: this is a stop gap device for current BlackBerry users… and that’s an issue. iPhone 4 or recent Android owners won’t be lusting after the 9800, and that’s never a good thing. We have some images in our gallery for you BlackBerry fanatics to drool over!
If you can’t wait until Tuesday to see what BlackBerry 6 is going to look like, blog driphter.com may have something for you. The blog posted a five minute video of an unreleased BlackBerry 9780 — the purported successor to the Bold 9700 — running BlackBerry OS 6. The video gives us a little taste of what the new WebKit browser and spiffified interface are going to look like. If you’re excited — and judging by our poll yesterday, a lot of you are — hit the jump, we’ve got the video all queued up for you. More →
Hold on to your seats boys and girls, Research In Motion in partnership with AT&T are about to come out swinging. We have just received an invitation to an “exclusive BlackBerry event” taking place August 3rd in NYC. RIM isn’t coming out and saying it, but let’s not beat around the bush here… this is to announce the much-talked about BlackBerry 9800 touchscreen slider with BlackBerry OS 6. With the iPhone 4 and Android madness not slowing down anytime soon, it’s great to see BlackBerry get back in the ring. Let’s just hope they throw some knock out punches in this round.
RIM has posted some additional screen shots of their yet-to-be-released-or-have-a-release-date-announced BlackBerry 6 operating system. You may recall that earlier in the month RIM provided a few screen shots displaying some of BlackBerry 6’s media capabilities. This particular post is from Douglas Soltys, he interviews RIM’s Director in the User Experience group, Joey Benedek, who shows off the new OS’ “home screen evolution.” Hit the read link to see all the goodies, and do let us know what you think. More →
We know a lot of you are dying to try out BlackBerry 6, but until RIM releases it sometime in the “next calendar quarter“, we think this 16 minute and 45 second walkthrough of the OS running on a 9800 slider will tide you over. Unfortunately the narration isn’t in English, but if you can look beyond that hit up the jump and check out the video.