Is RIM working on a new Blackberry model that will come with a hybrid touchscreen display technology? That indeed appears to be the case going by a recent patent application made public by the company. In the filing titled “TOUCH-SENSITIVE DISPLAY WITH CAPACITIVE AND RESISTIVE TOUCH SENSORS AND METHOD OF CONTROL”, RIM describes a touchscreen technology that will detect whether the touch input carries characteristics of a capacitive or resistive input and will perform functions based on these inputs.
The patent application reads,
“When the force applied to the touch-sensitive display exceeds the force threshold that causes the resistive touch sensors to contact each other, a touch is detected via the resistive touch-sensitive overlay and the resistive touch-sensitive controller. The resistive location of the touch is determined utilizing the resistive touch sensors of the resistive touch-sensitive overlay. The resistive touch sensors effectively determine the center of the force of the touch. The force threshold that causes the resistive touch sensors to contact each other is known.
The capacitive touch-sensitive overlay includes capacitive touch sensors separated by a barrier. The overlay may also include a substrate, a ground shield, a barrier on which one of the capacitive touch sensors is disposed, and a cover disposed on the other capacitive touch sensor.”
While this definitely sounds like an interesting technology, I wonder if there is any use case for such a device. What do you think?
Android’s growing popularity is making everyone design products for the OS now. Adobe is planning to do a mobile compatible flash player for Android 3.0 based tablets. Flash Player 10.2 – the mobile version of the flash will be integrated into the hardware allowing it to decode the video which would save the battery power by a fair margin when compared to the software doing the decoding.
Also, Blackberry devices are also expected to get the Flash Player 10.2. At the moment, the version is being tested intensively on the Motorola Xoom, various other netbooks and the Blackberry PlayBook. As of now, this version of the flash is going to be released for the above mentioned devices, while the other devices have some compatibility issues which will be dealt with accordingly.
Adobe has already mentioned that Android users across the world have downloaded the flash version for their devices 20 million times in the six months after the launch.
The Nokia-Microsoft partnership was made public yesterday. But, is this partnership a blessing for Google and Apple and may be RIM as well. Nokia as we know has embraced Microsoft’s Windows and has abandoned its own OS Symbian for developing new smartphones. Analyst Abramsky opines that this partnership is actually helping the iPhones, Androids and Blackberries more than it is going to help Nokia and Microsoft. The partnership between Nokia and Microsoft could help both the companies is the market were to be successful and take Microsoft’s market share from the existing 5 percent to 35 percent. But, if the partnership were unable to deliver the results as expected, then the share gains of their rivals are sure to go up.
On the other hand, there is a possibility that this partnership could also trigger further collaborations like Android /RIM which could influence the smartphone market immensely.
According to the latest reports, Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s Blackberry have overtaken Sony Ericsson and Motorola to claim the fourth and fifth spots on the top mobile phone manufacturers list of 2010. The top three places were shared by Nokia, Samsung and LG respectively. Although Nokia and LG have held on to the first and third places, their market share in 2010 when compared to the previous has come down drastically, no thanks to the iPhones anf Google’s Android based smartphones. Right now Nokia and LG are under a lot of pressure and it is also being rumored that Nokia might shelve its phone OS Symbian and join hands with Microsoft for developing smartphones. Ironically, Symbian also observed a steep decline in the last quarter of 2010.
The strong sales of Apple’s and RIM’s smartphones in the last quarter of 2010 has enabled them surpass Sony Ericsson and Motorola.
In an earlier news, we reported that the Google OS has overtaken Nokia’s Symbian to become the world’s most popular phone OS. A dotcom report which was released yesterday suggests the same trend in the US market with Goolge leaping past everyone else in the smartphone business except America’s favourite smartphone – RIM’s Blackberry. But, Goolge is definitely closing in on RIM as well.
While the market share of Android as far (as the smartphone market was concerned) in the third quarter of 2010 was 21.4 percent, it has risen up to 28.7 percent by the end of the fourth quarter. As far as Apple is concerned, they only managed to post an increase of 0.7 percent finishing at 25 percent share by the end of the quarter. Blackberry on the other hand, has come down from 37.3 percent to 31.6 percent, a considerable fall for the giant.
So for now, Android can maintain the lead over Apple. But iPhone 4 on Verizon can sure turn the tables around for Apple.
The Mobile World Congress being held in Barcelona from the 14th of February to the 17th will see the launch of the application Visual Voice Mail (VVM) for Blackberry phones. The VVM application is being developed by Communology, a specialist mobile phones’ s application developer. VVM is an app which is being developed for the blackberry phones and can convert the voice into text format on the phone.
VVM comes with a user interface that is visual and allows users to process voicemails into text just with the push of a button. The app also allows users to store the voicemail in text format for as long as the user wishes to just like a text message or an email. Other smartphone users can use the VMM widget that is available online can access the basic functions of VMM.
Google’s phone OS – Android which overtook Apple to become the second largest used phone OS in the world some time back has now overtaken even Nokia‘s Symbian to become the most used phone OS in the world. Canalys, a global market researcher that conducted the research has revealed that 32.9 million Android handsets were shipped in the last quarter of 2010 compared to Nokia’s 31 million. Apple had a shipment of only 16 million units leaving it third on the list and RIM Blackberry OS had shipments of 14.6 million units which puts it at the fourth place.
If we compare the figures, it is easily understood that Android’s popularity is increasing rapidly considering that the OS was launched only three years ago. But, all’s not gloom for Apple yet. With the Verizon iPhone 4 coming out soon, there is every chance that customers would want to lay their hands on iPhones rather than Verizon androids.
Yesterday, RIM has launched a demo video of a few business applications that are going to feature on the Blackberry Playbook Tablet. The tablet is going to come out in March. Well, there was not a lot new in yesterday’s demo. The demo once again reiterates the need of pairing the tablet with a Blackberry smartphone for keeping the enterprise email on Playbook. Switching between Apps can be done with easy swipes of the finger. One new feature was the SAP business tool that allows the use of complex graphs and charts.
The other technical specifications of the tablet are 1 GB RAM, dual core processor with a speed of 1GHz, a 7″ wide touchscreen with the resolution 1024×600, 3.0 and 5.0 megapixel cameras, Wi-Fi and HDMI output.
The features seem to be quite excellent. But, only time will tell if Blackberry can outsmart Android devices as far as business applications are concerned.
Well, if you observe the sales data of Blackberry smartphones in the year 2010, you would have to agree that Blackberry has really done well. Does this mean that Apple and Google are only among the competitors and not the leaders? One reason for the wonderful business that Blackberry has done and for the boost in RIM‘s figures especially during the Christmas season was the lack of newer products from Google’s front. There were only a few phones like the Galaxy S or the Desire HD that run on Android during Christmas. New Android products like Atrix and other ones from Samsung are still awaited.
But, if you look at the market scenario as such, Apple is still a leader when it comes to mobile phoning. Although, according to analysts, Android is ready to take over that mantle sooner or later. Blackberry is only one manufacturer, Android is the OS that is now being adopted by several manufacturers across the world.
A number of Blackberry Playbook variants are speculated to launch in the next few months. Firstly, a Wi-Fi only version of the Playbook tablet is expected to launch soon after RIM’s financial year ends in February this year. Besides this, 4G LTE and WiMax variants are also learned to be in the pipeline.
Now another source has claimed that Research In Motion is also gearing up to launch a 3G variant around the end of March or in April. According to this source – apparently a Blackberry administrator who is in the know about RIM’s plans – this device could launch well before the 4G LTE variant launches – presumably in April this year.
Do note that we still do not have anything official at this point in time about either the 3G or 4G variants. So, take this with guarded skepticism for the moment.