BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 beta coming today or tomorrow

By on May 30, 2012 at 10:53 PM.

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 beta coming today or tomorrow

BlackBerry Playbook OS 2.1 Beta

Research in Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook product manager, Michael Clewley, has confirmed through his Twitter page that the company is planning to release a beta version of its 2.1 Playbook OS by the “end of May.” After signing up as a BlackBerry developer, the update will be pushed to eligible devices once it is released. The company’s previous update brought native contacts, calendar and email to the tablet. Details surrounding the PlayBook OS 2.1 beta are not yet available. More →

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More than 50% of U.S. mobile users own smartphones

By on May 7, 2012 at 8:15 PM.

More than 50% of U.S. mobile users own smartphones

Over 50 percent of US mobile users own smartphones

The majority of mobile subscribers in the United Stated now own a smartphone according to the latest numbers from Nielsen. The research firm found that 50.4% of all U.S. mobile subscribers owned smartphones in March, up from 47.8% in December 2011. Consumers purchasing new phones picked smartphones more often than featured phones, with Apple called the top manufacturer and Android as the top platform. During the first quarter of 2012, 48% of smartphone owners had an Android-powered device, while 32% of devices ran iOS and 11.6% were on the BlackBerry platform. The dated Windows Mobile OS owned a 4.1% share of the market, ahead of Windows Phone at 1.7%. More →

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Samsung looking to acquire mobile companies (but not RIM)

By on May 4, 2012 at 10:00 PM.

Samsung looking to acquire mobile companies (but not RIM)

Samsung looking to acquire mobile company (but not RIM)

J.K. Shin, president of Samsung’s mobile business, sat down with The Wall Street Journal and revealed that the South Korean manufacturer has begun aggressively hiring foreign software engineers in an effort keep pace with Apple’s iPhone. Samsung, which has traditionally developed its own hardware, is also embracing the possibility of making key acquisitions in the mobile space. “The technology industry is growing very quickly and it is too much of a burden to try to do everything in-house,” Shin said. “There are many qualified workers from India that are very skilled in software. And there are small companies that we can acquire that have good research and development capabilities.” More →

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RIM CEO confirms 4G LTE-equipped PlayBook coming in 2012

By on May 2, 2012 at 8:00 PM.

RIM CEO confirms 4G LTE-equipped PlayBook coming in 2012

RIM CEO confirms 4G LTE PlayBook

Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins at a press event on Wednesday confirmed that a 4G LTE PlayBook will launch by the end of this year. According to The Canadian Reviewer, the tablet will be equipped with an updated dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHZ, will include NFC technology and look similar to the current BlackBerry PlayBook. BGR in January exclusively reported details about RIM’s plans to introduce a new PlayBook tablet around May or June that will be equipped with a 1.5GHz processor, built-in HSPA+ and NFC support. In March, a RIM tablet with HSPA+ and LTE radios passed through the FCC, confirming speculation regarding a 4G PlayBook. More →

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IDC: Samsung passes Apple to become No.1 in smartphones

By on May 1, 2012 at 6:30 PM.

IDC: Samsung passes Apple to become No.1 in smartphones

Samsung passes Apple, now No.1 in smartphones

The global smartphone market grew by 42.5% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2012, as the worldwide mobile phone market declined 1.5%. According to market research firm IDC, vendors shipped a total of 398.4 million mobile phones in the first quarter compared to 404.3 million units in the same quarter last year. Samsung ousted longtime leader Nokia to become the world’s largest mobile phone vendor, and it topped Apple to become the world’s largest smartphone vendor. The South Korea-based vendor increased its profits by 82% to a record 5.05 trillion won in the first quarter, and shipped 42.2 million smartphones to capture 29.1% of the market according to IDC. Apple’s smartphone share grew around 6%, as the Cupertino-based company shipped 35.1 units to capture 24.2% of market. More →

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Veto of radical strategy shift led to former RIM CEO’s resignation

By on April 13, 2012 at 10:30 AM.

Veto of radical strategy shift led to former RIM CEO’s resignation

Former Research In Motion co-chief executive Jim Balsillie sought a radical shift in strategy before he stepped down, Reuters reported on Friday. Citing two unnamed sources, the publication claims Balsillie wanted to allow wireless companies in North America and Europe to use RIM’s proprietary network for services on non-BlackBerry devices. The plan would help carriers entice customers to upgrade from feature phones to smartphones and allow them to offer inexpensive data plans that were limited to social media and instant messaging via the company’s BlackBerry Messenger service. Despite RIM’s network bringing in nearly $1 billion each quarter, the plan was vetoed, leading to Balsillie’s resignation soon after he stepped down as co-CEO. The Blackberry-maker will instead focus more on its next-generation BlackBerry 10-powered smartphones, and on regaining enterprise momentum. More →

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BlackBerry 7 rated most secure operating system

By on April 11, 2012 at 8:15 PM.

BlackBerry 7 rated most secure operating system

Trend Micro on Wednesday named Research In Motion’s BlackBerry 7 OS as the most secure mobile operating system in a new report titled “Enterprise Readiness of Consumer Mobile Platforms.” The security firm compared four of the top mobile operating systems — Android 2.3, iOS 5, Windows Phone 7.5 and BlackBerry 7 — and found the Waterloo-based company’s platform best met the demands of enterprise users. BlackBerry 7 scored a 2.89 rating, which was based on a number of factors including built-in security, application security, authentication, device wipe, device firewall and virtualization. RIM was followed by Apple’s iOS 5 with a 1.7 rating, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 with a 1.61 rating and Google’s Android 2.3 operating system with a 1.37 rating. Researchers from Trend Micro, Altimeter Group and Bloor Research praised the Blackberry 7 operating system for its corporate grade security and manageability, while the iPhone’s lack of removable storage and Windows Phone 7.5′s for overall performance were applauded. Google’s Android platform received negative comments, however, with researchers claiming the platform’s fragmentation has proven to be a barrier for enterprises. More →

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RIM: BlackBerry sales to U.S. government on the rise

By on April 9, 2012 at 10:25 PM.

RIM: BlackBerry sales to U.S. government on the rise

Research In Motion’s BlackBerry line remains the platform choice for nearly half a million federal workers, including President Barack Obama. While the company struggles with consumers and the enterprise market, sales of BlackBerry devices are growing within the U.S. Government, Bloomberg reported on Monday. “Compared to the enterprise over the last year and a half or so, the federal business on whole is up,” said Scott Totzke, who runs RIM’s U.S. government sales business. “The employee base is shrinking, so if we’re looking at a market with fewer employees and our install base is stable to slightly up, that would seem to indicate that we have an increasing market share.” RIM sold 400,000 BlackBerry devices to the federal government in the past year, and more existing clients upgraded to the newer BlackBerry 7 devices and added BlackBerry servers, Totzke said. He added that 40% of RIM’s government customers also upgraded to new devices in the past 12 months. Some agencies are changing their policies, however, and allowing workers to choose other smartphones, which may impact BlackBerry’s government market share moving forward. More →

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Chrysler announces industry-first in-vehicle wireless charging system

By on April 9, 2012 at 9:20 PM.

Chrysler announces industry-first in-vehicle wireless charging system

Chrysler’s Mopar division plans to become the first car manufacturer to eliminate power cords from cars. The company on Monday announced its new in-vehicle wireless charging technology, which will be available in the 2013 Dodge Dart. “At Mopar, we look for every single opportunity to make our customers’ lives easier,”said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. Our industry-first in-vehicle wireless charging system is the perfect solution for those connected customers who are always on the go.” The wireless charging system is installed just below the center stack and in front of the center console. The unit features a built-in charging grid that is activated when a user places their iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, or compatible MP3 player on it, and will begin to charge when the vehicle is started. As with other wireless charging options, a separate phone case will be required. The in-vehicle wireless charging system will be available for $199.99 plus installation, and the 2013 Dodge Dart is scheduled to be available in the second quarter of 2012. Read on for Chrysler’s press release. More →

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RIM adding restrictions to PlayBook to avoid creating a ‘chaotic cesspool’ like Android market

By on April 9, 2012 at 5:25 PM.

RIM adding restrictions to PlayBook to avoid creating a ‘chaotic cesspool’ like Android market

Research In Motion will be removing the ability to sideload applications on the BlackBerry PlayBook in a future software update, RIM’s VP of developer relations Alex Saunders said. After the update, PlayBook owners will only be able to download and install applications through BlackBerry App World. Saunders said the reason was to prevent piracy, claiming that more than 25% of Android apps are downloaded illegally. “Piracy is a huge problem for Android devs, and we don’t want to duplicate the chaotic cesspool of Android market,” he said. The VP went on to say that while RIM is removing sideloading for consumers, he is “pretty sure we’ve got a solution for devs” to be able to install and test their applications. Earlier this year, RIM announced its BlackBerry App World was home to more than 60,000 applications, and while the number is a mere fraction of what’s available in the Google Play marketplace and Apple’s App Store, BlackBerry apps are downloaded about 40% more frequently each day than their Android counterparts according to RIM. More →

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Research in Motion loses more senior executives

By on April 6, 2012 at 4:10 PM.

Research in Motion loses more senior executives

Research in Motion has lost a number of senior-level executives in recent days amid a broad review of the company’s strategic options, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Alistair Mitchell, RIM’s vice president of the BlackBerry Messenger instant-messaging platform, is among several executives who have left the company according to the report. A company spokeswoman confirmed to the Journal that Mitchell is “no longer with RIM.” The spokeswoman also confirmed that Alan Brenner, a senior vice president of the BlackBerry platform, would be “leaving the company after a transition period.” RIM posted disappointing fourth quarter sales last week, leading to the departure of company co-founder Jim Balsillie, chief technology officer David Yach and chief operating officer Jim Rowan. The struggling company said it is facing significant challenges, and it is currently reviewing strategic opportunities and potential partnerships. More →

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BlackBerry remains top smartphone in Washington

By on April 5, 2012 at 1:35 PM.

BlackBerry remains top smartphone in Washington

Research in Motion’s BlackBerry operating system has gone from being a leading smartphone platform to the struggling OS it is today. While adoption rates may be slowing with consumers and businesses, the same cannot be said for U.S. Government workers, a new report claims. The Washington Post on Tuesday reported that nearly half a million federal workers, including President Barack Obama, are still using BlackBerry phones. That number hasn’t dipped over the past few years despite RIM’s plummeting sales. “We appreciate RIM’s focus on security, which is paramount for government use,” said Casey Coleman, chief information officer at the General Services Administration. Some agencies are changing their policies and allowing workers to choose other smartphones, however, which may impact BlackBerry’s government market share moving forward. Coleman added that other platforms are proving equally secure, and that the GSA places “a priority on adoption where appropriate of innovative new technologies.” More →

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Android and iOS account for more than 80% of U.S. smartphone market

By on April 4, 2012 at 7:45 AM.

Android and iOS account for more than 80% of U.S. smartphone market

Over the past three months, Apple’s iOS operating system and Google’s Android mobile platform both continued to grow — according to comScore, they now account for a combined 80.3% of the U.S. smartphone market. The research showed that 234 million Americans aged 13 and older use mobile devices. Samsung is the most popular manufacturer with a 25.6% share of the U.S. mobile market, followed by LG with a 19.4% share and Apple with 13.5%. Motorola and HTC round out the top five with 12.8% and 6.3%, respectively. More than 104 million Americans now own smartphones, up 14% from November, with Google Android’s operating system surpassing a 50% market share for the first time ever. Apple’s iOS platform ranked second with 30.2% of the smartphone market, followed by RIM with a 13.4% share, Microsoft at 3.9% and Symbian with 1.5%. ComScore’s press release can be found after the break. More →

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