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 →
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 →
BlackBerry rumors: Verizon, T-Mobile to EOL Curve 8500, Verizon to EOL Storm 2 9550, 9780 to be Bold
This isn’t exactly shocking news, but we thought we would share anyway. BBLeaks is reporting that Verizon Wireless will give the BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 and the BlackBerry Curve 8530 their end-of-life papers on August 15th and August 1st respectively. The move comes as Verizon makes room in its inventory for newer BlackBerry devices; BBLeaks reports that replacements for the 9550 and 8530 are due out in Q3/Q4 (which is a pretty large 6-month window). The 8530 is likely going to be replaced by the 9300 series, and we’ve heard grumblings from sources that an updated Storm, the Storm 3, will follow the Storm 2 (although we haven’t been able to pin this one down).
PocketBerry is reporting that T-Mobile has ceased shipments of the BlackBerry Curve 8500 series to retail stores and should be rolling out the new Curve 9300 series to its customer base within the next few months.
And finally, driphter.com got a few snap shots of the BlackBerry 9780; which will purportedly fal into the “Bold” family. The device is very Bold 9700 looking with 512 Mb of RAM and BlackBerry 6. We’ve got a few images of the leaked handset after the jump.
There you have it! More →
Verizon Wireless customers in the market for a new handset may want to put the brakes on any purchases until next week. One of our insiders tipped us off to a sale on handsets that is slated to start on Monday, June 28th. The promotion extends to both smartphones and feature phones and includes the following handsets:
- LG enV Touch: $49.99 after $100 mail-in-rebate ($30 drop). Eligible for BOGO (buy one get, one same device).
- BlackBerry Storm 2: $149 after $100 mail-in-rebate ($30 drop). Eligible for BOGA (buy one, get any device of equal or lesser value).
- Nokia Twist: $49.99 after $50 mail-in-rebate ($50 drop).
- Kin ONE: $29.99 after $100 mail-in-rebate ($30 drop). Eligible for BOGA.
- Kin TWO: $49.99 after $100 mail-in-rebate ($30 drop). Eligible for BOGA.
With an average savings of $30, the sale is on the small side, especially for the singleton looking to score one phone; but a couple, with two phones in hand, can do well with the price drop and the BOGO combined.
We know it’s coming — Verizon’s CEO is flashing it to random college students around NYC, RIM is updating BIS infrastructure, and there’s been a ton of release dates flying around. However, it now looks like Verizon Wireless’ web team is jumping on the Storm 2 bandwagon as well. Last night the Storm Part Deux made it’s debut on the VZW website — all 360 degrees of it. Take er’ for a spin, won’t you? Also, if you’re up for it, we’d love to know if you are an original Storm owner and are planning to get the new Storm2 over the BlackBerry Tour or Motorola Droid. Hit us up!
With the BlackBerry Storm2 getting nice and official over night, we here at BGR thought that it would be nice for us to take a moment and focus on just what its launch means for our loyal readers that aren’t living in The New World. Earlier this week, UK-based The Guardian proclaimed that the Storm2 would be announced by both RIM and Vodafone this week. Clearly this was the case as we now know it will be arriving on or around the 26th of October, but its report missed out on one huge revelation — Vodafone’s exclusivity on the device will only last “a few weeks”. This of course paves the way for other carriers such as O2, Orange and T-Mobile to get in on the Storm action. While all of the aforementioned Storm2 candidate carriers have remained mom mum on the matter, The Guardian is hedging its bets on Orange carrying the Storm2 in time for Christmas. What does this all mean for the UK? Well, when one considers that every major carrier is going to be offering the iPhone 3GS and has the option of picking up the Storm2, it looks as if a major price war is about to erupt in time for the holidays.
It’s only a small matter of time now before the BlackBerry Storm 2 officially hits the streets, but Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam has been seen flaunting the goods a little early in New York City. Apparently, McAdam has been carrying the device for weeks now and feeling it out. To put it to the test, he showed it to some NYU students and it was well-received according to the New York Times:
“I let them play with the second-generation Storm device,” he said. “They came back and said ‘Oh, my gosh.’ They were very excited. This is what they hoped the original Storm should be.”
The first Storm didn’t do as well as RIM and Verizon were hoping (we’re not talking sales, we’re really talking about people’s impressions), so fingers are crossed at both camps for the Storm 2. Unfortunately, there is no actual opinion on the device itself from McAdam, who has been spending the past few weeks with the device looking for glimpses of promise or any signs that it might do better than the first. It’s up in the air for now, but one thing is for certain: with McAdam strutting around with a Storm 2 in his hands, it can’t be that much longer until you nab yours, too.
While it’s certainly not much to go on, The Guardian is reporting that the BlackBerry Storm 9520 aka Storm2 will be announced this week by Vodafone UK. Specifics are scarce and it is not entirely clear as to when consumers will actually be able to actually purchase the next-gen Storm, but at the moment we’re more interested in another matter. You see, The Guardian seems to think that Vodafone subs will be able to walk away with a new Storm for free on all tariffs over £30 ($47.40 USD). Now, whether or not these contracts are for the standard 18 months or painfully long (for the UK) 24 month affair might be an issue for some, but the fact remains that Vodafone seems to be clearly targeting O2 and its much more expensive Palm Pre.
Need more proof that Verizon is on the cusp of releasing the BlackBerry Storm 9550? If so, you might want to check out this BES 5.0 flyer that one of our BlackBerry connects just sent us. Aimed towards corporate folks, the flyer lists what a glorious and indispensable business tool the still-unannounced BlackBerry 9550 is when running on BES 5.0. You know, good stuff like follow-up flags, advanced folder management, calendar appointment forwarding, wireless contact sync, document editing with DocumentsToGo and remote file sharing with the Files app. Yes friends, this is hotness personified. Hit the jump for a larger pic!
Before you get too excited, sometimes Best Buy simply inputs incorrect dates into their systems when loading SKUs. What is incredibly interesting, besides the fact they’ve gone through the trouble to conceal these product names, is that in our leaked Holiday Playbook, Best Buy mentioned that October 25th would be a “key date for handsets entering our assortment.” Sounds pretty nice, right? We’ve been told the price range for the five handsets in here (full retail Best Buy pricing) is $249-$599. Five models though? We’d say BlackBerry 8520 in white, BlackBerry Storm 2, BlackBerry 9700, BlackBerry Bold in white, and maybe BlackBerry Curve 2 for Verizon, but this shows that all of them are for AT&T? Larger shot after the break!
UPDATE: As one of our commenters points out, SKU 65057 shows in AT&T’s systems as the Nokia 6350 and the 65050 shows as the Garmin Nuvifone.
Verizon Wireless, Sam’s Club, TARGET: gearing up to launch Motorola Droid, BlackBerry Storm 2, BlackBerry Curve 2, more
If you’ve been wondering whether the Motorola Droid (or Tao, or Sholes — whatever), BlackBerry Storm 2, BlackBerry Curve 2 or LG Chocolate Touch would be hitting Sam’s Club stores or even TARGET, you’re in luck. We just scored an internal document outlining merchandising, training, locations, and pretty much everything else you’d need to know. While Sam’s Club appears to be set up to carry the Motorola Android handset, TARGET seems to be left out. We won’t bore you with some of the more technical stuff, though. Here’s a shot of the Motorola Droid looking pretty fly in an all black everything outfit. There actually looks to possibly be a front-facing camera on the phone. It seems to corroborate our earlier report of some cool face recognition action, or it could just simply be the European variant. There’s placeholders for the LG Chocolate Touch, BlackBerry Storm 2 and Curve 2 in here, and we might have a little bit of copyright infringement on our hands, folks. That’s our BlackBerry Tour image nestled in between some other Verizon handsets. One more slide after the break.
Thanks, J Bird!
We were lucky enough to get our hands on Best Buy Mobile’s entire Holiday Playbook and after combing through it, there’s a couple little nice nuggets of information. Really more confirmations than anything else, but hey, we aren’t ones to turn down info. Before we get to handsets specifically, it seems Best Buy has some pretty hard statistics on sales opportunities — check this out:
- The average store sees over 64,000 customers during October and November
- Out of those customers, only 1% receive an upgrade eligibility check on their accounts
- Of the 1% who get upgrade checks, around 30% are actually eligible for upgrades
- If stores increase the amount of customers checked to 2% from 1%, Best Buy Mobile would see an increase in revenue of around $20,000 for those two months, just off upgrading individuals
- After customers upgrade their handsets at Best Buy Mobile, around 16% of them come back and make other purchases later
They’ve really got it locked down, huh? Smart, smart, smart. Hit the break for some other juicy information we gathered!
One of our ninjas just blessed us with a product inventory shot from Best Buy. It shows that Best Buy locations will be getting BlackBerry Storm 2 dummy units starting October 25th. Why is that important? Well, as it was explained to us, actual retail units start to come in a little bit before or a little bit after those dummy models hit.
Have the hunger for one more piece of Storm 2 info? Fine. We’ve also been told the unit will retail for $599 at Best Buy locations with no service agreement.