The Russian government is considering disallowing the use of Apple’s iPad tablet within government agencies due to security concerns, Russian-language business news site RBC Daily reports. Instead, it is investigating various alternative tablet options including RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook, Android-powered tablets or even a new device created by a Russian agency. Government security experts are reportedly looking for more “cryptographically secure tablet PCs” than Apple’s iPad tablet, and if the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s recent certification is any indication, the BlackBerry PlayBook could fit the bill. RIM announced last week that its PlayBook tablet received FIPS 140-2 certification, thus allowing it to be used by U.S. government officials. No other tablet has received FIPS certification to date. More →
eBay has revealed sales figures for the iPad 2 during its first two weeks on the market. The online auction house created a chart that shows just under 12,000 iPad 2 units were sold during the two week period that it was exclusively available in the United States. The graphic notes that 35% of iPad 2 units sold during that 2 week period were to international customers looking to get an early taste — that figure is down from the 65% of international customers who purchased the original iPad on eBay. Canada and Russia were the two largest importers, each purchasing about 500 iPad 2 tablets. Hong Kong, Japan, and the United Kingdom each bought about 350. Australia purchased 317 iPads last year, but only purchased 110 iPad 2 devices in 2010. The 16GB Wi-Fi version of the iPad 2 was the most popular, as it represented 30% of all iPad 2 sales. Apple has yet to release its official iPad 2 sales figures. More →
Samsung Russia has confirmed that it will launch a new version of the popular Galaxy S Android smartphone next month. The Galaxy S 2011 edition will ship with Android 2.3 and also feature a new metal back cover. The phone packs a faster 1.4GHz Qualcomm MSM8255T Snapdragon processor — as opposed to the 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird CPU in the original — as well as a 14.4Mbps HSPA+ radio and a larger 1,650mAh battery. The rest of the hardware remains identical to the original; that includes a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, 8GB of internal storage, Bluetooth 3.0, 5 megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video, and more. The Galaxy S 2011 edition is expected to hit Russia next month for 24,000 rubles ($846 USD). There’s no word if the 2011 edition will ever be available in other countries. Hit the jump for Samsung Russia’s blog post. More →
WIND Telecom SpA announced on Thursday that the shareholders of Russian mobile operator VimpelCom have voted to approve the acquisition of WIND Telecom for $6 billion. VimpelCom said regulators approved the acquisition as well. The deal covers all of WIND Telecom’s assets, which includes Orascom Telecom, a major WIND Mobile shareholder, and VimpelCom will add nine new markets including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burundi, Italy and Canada to the eleven it already covers. When finalized, the purchase will make VimpelCom the world’s fifth largest mobile Teleco with more than 173 million subscribers. “This is great news for us. Our partner, Orascom, will be even larger and stronger as a financial partner. This gives us more leverage and increased scale with telecom network equipment manufacturers and more importantly, for devices including handsets and tablets,” said Anthony Lacavera, WIND Mobile’s chairman, adding that the purchase will give WIND more access to long distance roaming services. Lacavera said he would provide more information as new details on the acquisition emerge.
Microsoft is set to officially debut Windows Phone 7 today at 9:30AM ET in New York City, but that hasen’t stopped Samsung Russia from publishing info about the company’s Omnia 7 WP7 handset a few hours early. The device has a 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen display, 800 x 480 resolution, 1 GHz Qualcomm QSD8250 processor, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth, aGPS, 5 megapixel camera capable of 720p video at 25fps, tri-band HSDPA/HSUPA radio, quad-band GSM radio, 8GB internal memory, and a built-in FM radio. Pretty snazzy looking spec sheet. The device will weigh a very reasonable 138 grams (10 grams heavier than the Captivate) and should be released fairly soon. We’ve got a screen grab of the specs after the break in case our friends in Eastern Europe realize that the phone’s operating system hasn’t actually launched yet. Enjoy! More →
Things we know: Microsoft has an Internet Explorer event scheduled for September 15th, Microsoft has released four developer previews of Internet Explorer 9, IE 9 beta is set to launch in September and in all likelihood will be unveiled at the 9/15 gathering. Things we don’t know: what IE 9’s interface will look like. However, thanks to Microsoft’s Russian press site, we may have a better idea of what we are in-store for. ZDNet found the screen shot above sitting on the Redmond software giant’s Russian web site. The screen capture shows a sleeker, less cluttered, dare we say more mature, version of IE. The shot depicts a unified search and address bar and the Russian site said the whole look and feel of the browser has been simplified. When contacted for comment, the company had this to say: “Microsoft is encouraged by the early enthusiasm around Internet Explorer 9; we have nothing further to share about Internet Explorer 9 at this time.” Guess we’ll just have to wait until the 15th. More →
Nokia is on the warpath regarding the leaked N8 prototype handset that was the subject of a scathing review by Eldar Murtazin of Mobile-Review. Nokia publicly announced on its Conversations blog that it sent a written request to Murtazin asking for the return of this unauthorized property. Murtazin reportedly failed to respond to this letter and Nokia has sought the assistance of the Russian police. Nokia claims that this heavy-handed response was not prompted by the negative review from Murtazin but out of a need to protect its intellectual property. The tale gets even more sordid with Murtazin claiming via Twitter that he was never contacted by Nokia and accuses them of lying about the letter. More →
Straight out of Russia are some new images of the Motorola XT701. These renderings are reportedly from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the PRC, China’s version of the FCC. Also, the device has reportedly received certification and is expected to arrive in China and possibly Russia in early 2010. The handset will reportedly ship with Android 2.1 and will include an HDMI port, 720P video recording/playback and an FM radio. Once again we see the curious bump on the side of the handset and and a prominent camera with Xenon flash. Although the back of the phone in these renderings clearly states 8MP, previous spy shots have indicated that the camera is 5MP, which leaves us wondering which information is correct, or if there’s just two variants. Will the real Motorola XT701 please stand up? Hit the jump for one additional image.
We’ve seen pretty wild iPhone thefts in the past, some involving serious injury, but you just know it’s bad when Interpol gets involved. Thousands of iPhone 3GS’ were stolen from a Belgian warehouse through a hole in the roof directly above the smartphones, and they’re now surfacing in Russia. The iPhone 3GS is definitely going to be a hot commodity there because of the vast grey/black market and because the 3GS hasn’t been officially released in Russia. If you’re planning on grabbing one of the hot phones, you should think twice. Interpol already has a list of the IMEI numbers on the stolen phones so it’s a matter of time before people start getting caught. We’re just wondering how many of those iPhones might be recovered. More →
If there was ever a contest for blurriest photos taken post-haste, this image of a Motorola CLIQ look-alike, rumored to be called Motus, takes the cake. There isn’t much to be said or gathered about the Motus so far, except that it looks like a CLIQ with a flat keyboard and no D-pad for navigation. Said to be coming out in Q1 2010, rumors also peg this device as packing Android 1.6 and a 5 megapixel camera, so it’s not as if anything terribly special is going on. Unfortunately, the image is far too blurry to really make out the left side of the keyboard and what the bright yellow spot is. Maybe image stabilization should be standard on camera phones now.
Sure, the bulk of BGR’s readership might come from elsewhere but that does that mean we can’t talk about some good news for our friends across the (other) pond in Russia from time to time? Beginning today you can brave the chilly weather and head to your local, or not-so-local, mobile retailer or electronics store and snag an iPhone 3G. And if the Americans should ever dare whine about the cost of an iPhone 3G in the states, perhaps they might take a little delight (shadenfreude, anyone?) in knowing just how ridiculous the cost will be in Россия (that’s Russia… in Russian). For the 8 GB model it will be 22,999 rubles and the 16 GB will run 26,999 rubles. That’s $937 and $1,100 respectively, with a contract! Wow. It can be purchased at the Eldorado chain, M.video, and Russian carriers MTS, Vimpelcom and MegaFon. Sales of the phone by year’s end is estimated to be around 150,000 but some might speculate it will be more like 12 given the steep price.