Research In Motion’s venture into the tablet segment must happen sometime in early 2011. While we have all the details with respect to the features (click here to check out all our earlier PlayBook articles), one thing that is not known as yet is the price. In September, analyst John Jackson from CCS Insight speculated the price of PlayBook to be in the range of $300-$350. While it was merely his own speculation, the general consensus was that RIM might play aggressive and could be offering the device at a low cost.
That is confirmed now. In an interview to a Korean newspaper, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie has assured that the device will be available in the US market at a price of below $500. Now that may be too broad a price range. But at least, we now know that the PlayBook might not launch at exorbitant prices a la Galaxy Tab.
Blackberry Style, the new flip from the folks at Research In Motion is now available for sale in the American market. The phone is carried by Sprint and shall be available at an attractive price of $99 along with a 2 year contract. There are two colors to pick from – one royal purple and another steel grey. There are a good number of women owning a Blackberry. So the royal purple is probably targeted at them.
Talking about specs, this is a flip phone and so if you are a fan of this model, read on. It comes with the usual 624MHz processor but with a larger 512MB RAM and a 5-Megapixel camera. The phone has the characteristic QWERTY keyboard and runs on Blackberry OS 6. Storage is not huge with only an 8GB memory card. Other features include GPS, Wi-Fi and support for Open GL for 3D graphics.
Here is a small video demo of this new phone.
The mobile phone segment is very competitive with every quarter bringing some sort of a surprise. Back in May this year, I had written about an IDC report that had listed the world’s five largest mobile phone manufacturers. Nokia, quite unsurprisingly, had the top slot while Research In Motion and Sony Ericsson had their spots in the top five secured.
Just a few months and a few launches later, there seems to be a complete revamp of the last three positions. Thanks to a robust growth in sales despite a number of reported bugs, Apple has notced a spot in the top five. LG has had a lackluster period and has seen the number of units sold drop. Sony Ericsson is out of the top five.
Here is the latest top five list along with the units sold in the quarter Q3 2010. The corresponding worldwide market share is in the brackets.
1. Nokia : 110.4 million (32.4%)
2. Samsung : 71.4 million (21.0%)
3. LG Electronics : 28.4 million (8.3%)
4. Apple : 14.1 million (4.1%)
5. RIM : 12.4 million (3.6%)
Others : 103.8 million (30.5%)
Total : 340.5 million (100%)
Mike Lazaridis, the co-CEO of Research in Motion announced on stage during the AdobeMAX developer conference that developers who build apps for the AppWorld platform now get “eligible” to win a free Blackberry PlayBook – yes, the tablet device that is releasing shortly. Now, this was an one off comment and we are still unsure if this means every developer who builds an app over the next few days stands to win a PlayBook or if this is for a selected few from this list. Sure, there is no information about this on the AppWorld developer website.
Either way, this is the best time for app developers to jump into the AppWorld platform. The registration and submission fee for getting accepted are waived at this point in time and those of you who manage to get in now at least save on the $200 entry fee with which you can buy a PlayBook for yourself.
Last month Research In Motion unveiled their new tablet computer, named the PlayBook. Now though the device has not been launched as yet, there is a pretty high anticipation for the device that is expected to be priced under $350.
Now as RIM gets ready for the final launch, we are seeing minor progress on all the other aspects that go with the launch. The company has now released a beta version SDK of the Blackberry PlayBook that will let developers build applications using Adobe AIR. The release also includes a simulator for the developers to build the application from the Windows and Mac platforms.
On the product download page, RIM has also indicated that the support for app development using Adobe Flash and HTML 5 are on their way. Eager to check it out. Hit this link to download a copy to your computer.
If you have been waiting for a new flip phone from Research In Motion, then get ready for the new Blackberry Style. This is a Sprint only phone (for the US customers, obviously) that will come with a 2.7″ QVGA display, 5-megapixel camera, 8GB microSD card, Blackberry 6 OS, a full QWERTY physical keyboard and is integrated to the Blackberry App World.
According to the press release from Sprint, the phone will be priced at $99.99 after a mail-in rebate and along with a 2 year contract. Blackberry Style 9670 shall be available in just two colors – Steel Gray and Royal Purple to begin with.
And the launch? The statement notes that the new Blackberry Style 9670 should be available starting October 31st. Of course you can reserve a unit right away at the Sprint website. In that case, hit this link to go ahead and make your pre-order.
If you are a Blackberry user from North America, you should notice an update to the BIS on your berry. RIM has rolled out the latest version 3.2 of Blackberry Internet Services to users in this part of the world that will bring a number of enhancements to the internet services. This includes updated password criteria and automatic login systems, Google Calendar syncing and an option to show passwords. The new criteria for setting up passwords include,
- Must include 8 to 16 characters
- Must include at least one letter and one number
- Cannot include the word “password”
- Cannot include the user name of the BlackBerry Internet Service account or BlackBerry email address that the password is associated with
If you are from other parts of the world including Europe, Asia and Africa, you should have already received this update and so nothing to see here for the moment.
Research In Motion appears to be getting ready for yet another Blackberry launch; this time with Sprint. A Blackberry clamshell, earlier termed Style, and now starting to be called the Oxford appears to be all set to launch on Sprint later this month. The new Blackberry Oxford will run on Blackberry OS 6, include a 5-Megapixel camera and will have a full QWERTY keyboard with a track-pad interface.
From what we hear, this new Blackberry Oxford should go on sale starting the 31st of October at a price of $99.99 – that’s after all those mail-in rebates and signing of two year contracts. If you are instead looking for an unsubsidized price, then you can go for it at a price of $399.99.
The device is expected to come in grey during launch though a purple variant is expected to be available later on.
Research in Motion Blackberry scores really high on business users. But despite attempts made by the company to shrug off the business-user tag, the company has not come a long way in this direction so far. In this regard, I think the recent launch of the official ESPN Radio app for Blackberry is pretty significant. This is not only indicative of the growing usage of Blackberry phones by the not-so-business-savvy user, but also contributes towards making the Blackberry appealing to the general audience.
As you may have expected, the new ESPN Radio app is not free and costs $2.99 to purchase and download from the Blackberry AppWorld. But for this one-time charge, you should be able to access plenty of official ESPN radio content from
ESPN Radio Network Feed
ESPN Deportes Network Feed
KSPN – 710 AM Los Angeles, CA
KESN – 103.3 FM Dallas, TX
WMVP – 1000 AM Chicago, IL
WEPN – 1050 AM New York, NY
WTEM – 980 AM Washington, D.C.
WKNR – 850 AM Cleveland, OH
WWGK – 1540 AM Cleveland, OH
WEFL – 760 AM West Palm Beach, FL
WAUK – 540 AM Milwaukee, WI
WTLX – 100.5 FM Madison, WI
WHBO – 1040 AM Tampa, FL
WHOO – 1080 AM Orlando, FL
KIRO – 710 AM Seattle, WA
KKEA – 1420 AM Honolulu, HI
WENJ – 1450 AM Atlantic City, NJ
KLAA – 830 AM Anaheim, CA
WRGM – 1440 AM Mansfield, OH
KEPN – 1600 AM Denver, CA
WNXX – 104.5 FM Baton Rouge, LA
KKXS – 96.1 FM Redding, CA
Interested? Hit the link here to go ahead and purchase.
With rumors about the imminent launch of the new iPad 2 doing the rounds, it does not seem entirely justifiable to pit a product that is half-a-year old to a tablet that does not launch until later this year. Nevertheless, assuming that these are the three devices that will see competition during the holiday shopping season this year, here’s a brief rundown on the features and specs. This is NOT a comprehensive review by any means.
Platform : The new iOS 4.2 is likely to be big with the introduction of multitasking functionalities on the iPad. Also, if you also own an Apple TV, the iPad will bring features like AirPlay. On the other hand, the QNX built Blackberry Tablet OS is completely untested at the moment and so there really cannot be a comparison between platforms until we get to know more. HP PalmPad should however be popular among those who are fans of the WebOS.
Screen Dimensions : Is the iPad too big at 9.7″? If so, you should go for a smaller tablet like the Blackberry Playbook that comes with a 7″ screen. The size is significant for a media consumption device like a tablet since users will not only want a screen large enough to view content clearly, but will also need a device small enough for an easy hold.
Processor : Things are still not clear on the HP PalmPad front. The other tablets though will come with a 1GHz processor. The Blackberry PlayBook though is expected to come with a dual core processor that is equipped with hardware acceleration to support Adobe Flash.
Storage Capacity : Apple does not really encourage microSD support. So do not expect to store anything more than the standard 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variations even on the upcoming version. On the other hand, Blackberry Tablet and HP PalmPad are expected to come with 16GB and 32GB variants with support for a microSD slot.
Camera : Now this is a contentious issue right. With FaceTime here, Apple is most definitely going to offer a front-facing camera on the next generation iPad. But is that going to be enough. Blackberry PlayBook is a clear winner here. The device will have a 3-megapixel frontal camera and another 5-megapixel rear facing camera. Expect the camera to be available on the PalmPad, but no idea on whether there would be just one or two.
Connectivity : The iPad cannot tether. But it does have Wi-Fi and 3G variants available. The Blackberry PlayBook on the other hand does not have 3G but can tether to a Blackberry phone besides connecting to Wi-Fi. The PalmPad is expected to have both Wi-Fi and 3G though that is not entirely clear.
What is your choice?