Posted tagged ‘RIM’

BlackBerry Says All Service Restored

October 13, 2011

According to Research in Motion (RIM) executives, all BlackBerry service has been restored following the largest network outage in that smartphone’s history.

The outage started earlier this week in Europe and spread to North America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America over the course through yesterday.

It appears that a failure at one of the company’s messaging servers in Europe was what set off a domino effect that reportedly caused problems for millions of BlackBerry owners.

From CNN:

“We’ve now restored full services,” RIM’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis told reporters.

Some BlackBerry users may still see e-mails coming in slowly as the system recovers, he said.

The major outage frustrated customers on nearly every continent who were unable to send and receive e-mails and text messages this week. It also comes at a bad time for RIM, which is facing increased competition from Android and Apple smartphones.

No Windows Mobile For Palm

September 18, 2009

Palm has announced that the company will abandon the Windows Mobile platform in favor of its own webOS mobile operating system.

From InformationWeek:

“We’ve made the decision to dedicate all future development resources to the evolution of webOS,” said Palm CEO Jon Rubenstein, in a conference call with investors, according to numerous industry blogs. “Going forward, our roadmap will include only Palm webOS-based devices,” Rubinstein reportedly said.

Palm’s webOS powers its new Pre device, which the company is positioning as an alternative to RIM (NSDQ: RIMM)’s ubiquitous Blackberry for road warriors and other business professionals. Other Palm offerings, like the popular Treo, run Windows Mobile.Reasons behind the move were not immediately clear, but Palm’s decision to ditch Windows Mobile in favor of its own technology means that it won’t have to pay licensing fees to Microsoft for the phones it sells. Palm needs to shore up its bottom line, as the company on Thursday reported a quarterly net loss of $161.1 million, compared to a loss of $39.5 million for the same period a year ago.

Palm Pre Hits June 6

May 19, 2009

Looks like the Palm Pre will be available June 6 for about $200. This comes with a new two-year contract from Sprint.

Check out the story from Marin Perez at InformationWeek for more information!

From InformationWeek:

Once the undisputed U.S. leader of the smartphone market, Palm has been thoroughly outpaced by the likes of Apple and Research In Motion (NSDQ: RIMM). The Pre, which was introduced at January’s Consumer Electronics Show, was well-received by the press, and Palm is looking to use it as a springboard for a comeback.

With a large capacitive touch screen, Wi-Fi, 3G, GPS, 8 GB of storage, and Bluetooth, the Pre stacks up well against rivals like the iPhone 3G, BlackBerry Storm, and the T-Mobile (Android) G1. One of the most appealing features of the Pre is webOS, the operating system that combines a variety of online services into a finger-friendly user interface.

Palm Debuts Their New Touch Screen Phone

January 8, 2009

Palm has introduced the smartphone it hopes will return the wireless pioneer to its glory days, as it showcased the “Palm Pre,” at CES. The device  is aimed at helping users retrieve and consolidate the usual trove of information that might be scattered across a number of online sites and software programs.

From the Associated Press:

Palm Inc. unveiled a new touch-screen smart phone and operating system Thursday, marking its latest attempt to catch up with competition from Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry and Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

At the International Consumer Electronics Show, Palm executives touted their Pre, which looks similar to the iPhone, with a face dominated mostly by a 3.1-inch touch screen and single button. The body of the Pre is black and slightly curved, with a full QWERTY keyboard that slides out from the bottom.

In an effort to capture both business and consumer users, the Pre will come loaded with features including Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth and GPS, as well as 8 gigabytes of storage space, a 3-megapixel camera and music and video playback. The Pre also has a variety of sensors, such as an accelerometer so images on the screen will rotate when a user turns the device on its side.

Many of these features are already available on rival phones, including the iPhone, the latest BlackBerry models and HTC Corp.’s G1 that was released in the fall by T-Mobile and Google Inc. Palm has been overshadowed in the last several years by the success of these products — especially by the growth of BlackBerry smart phones among business customers and, since its June 2007 release, of iPhones among consumer users.

According to data from comScore Inc., as of October, Palm devices accounted for about 15.6 percent of the U.S. smart phone market. Some of Palm’s smart phones run on its own operating system, while others use Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Mobile operating system.

Palm, a pioneer in the market for handheld digital assistants, now hopes its latest offering can stand out.

“We think it’s the one phone you can use for your entire life and you’ll really enjoy using it,” Palm Chief Executive Ed Colligan said at a news conference.

The Pre will be available in the second half of the year, exclusively on Sprint Nextel Corp.’s wireless network. Palm did not disclose the price.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Palm Inc. introduced a long-awaited new operating system and touch-screen wireless phone on Thursday following a nearly two-year long restructuring effort designed to revamp the company’s product portfolio.

Shares of Palm got a lift following the company’s appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The stock has lost more than half its value over the past four months as sales of the company’s aging line of smart phones have begun to stall.

At the event, Palm executive chairman Jon Rubinstein announced a new device called the Palm Pre — a touch-screen phone that also slides out to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard. It will be the first device to run on the company’s new WebOS platform, an operating system Palm built from scratch for a new family of devices.

“We need the right phone on the right platform to compete in the market,” Mr. Rubinstein told the gathering.

At Palm, Mr. Rubinstein has been leading a wide-scale restructuring effort designed to revive the company’s business. Palm was an early pioneer in the smart-phone category with its Treo device, but the company has since lost market share to rival devices such as the BlackBerry by Research In Motion and Apple’s iPhone.

Wal-Mart Delivers iPhones, But AT&T Offers a Special $99 Option

December 30, 2008

Wal-Mart began selling the iPhone on Sunday at more than 2,500 outlets, charging $197 and $297 for the 8 GB and 16 GB models. Those hoping the retailer would discount the Apple handset heavily will have to turn to AT&T, which is offering a black, refurbished 8 GB iPhone 3G for $99 until Dec. 31.

From InformationWeek:

Wal-Mart on Sunday began start selling Apple’s wildly popular iPhone at nearly 2,500 of its stores, but not at the $99 price that was previously expected.The retailer said it would offer Apple’s black 8-GB iPhone 3G model, which also holds about 2,000 songs, for $197. The 16-GB model, which comes in black or white, will be priced at $297. Apple sells its handsets for $199 and $299 for its 8 GB and 16 GB models, respectively.

Consumers would still need to purchase a two-year service agreement from AT&T (NYSE: T), Apple’s U.S. provider. New plans start at $70 per month.

Earlier this month, The Associated Press and Bloomberg news quoted unnamed Wal-Mart employees who said the popular smartphones were expected at heavily discounted prices before the end of the year. However, there was no confirmation that Wal-Mart would offer a $99, 4-GB iPhone.

Still, Wal-Mart has the potential of providing a major boost to iPhone sales. Apple sold 6.89 million iPhones during its last reported financial quarter, which ended on Sept. 27. Apple’s iPhone market share for the first quarter was 19.2%, a drop from 26.7% the quarter before. Only Research In Motion (NSDQ: RIMM)’s BlackBerrysmartphone market. series controls a larger share of the

Despite Wal-Mart’s reputation for pushing prices lower than its competition, consumer can find Apple’s iPhone smartphone for much less elsewhere.

Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) currently sells the 8-GB iPhone for $190 and the 16-GB version for $290 until Dec. 31. That’s $10 less than the usual price found at Apple stores.

The lowest price award, however, goes to AT&T, which is selling refurbished iPhone 3Gs in the black 8-GB version for $99 with a two-year service contract through the end of the year. Previously, AT&T discounted its refurbished iPhones to $149. The wireless telecom is also offering refurbished 16-GB iPhone handsets for $199 during the same time period.

Android is Here…What Next?

October 22, 2008

T-Mobile USA has made the formal, nationwide launch of its G1. This is the first phone to run Google’s Android operating system. The G1 smartphone is now available to consumers at retail outlets in cities where T-Mobile’s 3G service is available, including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle.

CNET, James Martin

Credit: CNET, James Martin

Google made its first retail sale of the G1 last night in San Francisco. Now that it’s here, the question many will ask is what’s next? Can Android live up to the hype? Will it be an iPhone killer? What should expectations be for this much anticipated device?

From the Associated Press:

Google is jumping into the mobile phone business with its new G1 phone. The G1 is available starting today for $179 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile.

The new gadget features a touch screen, slide-out keyboard and a trackball.

This alternative to Apple’s iPhone is the first cell phone powered by Google’s Android operating system.

From CNET:

Along with 3G support, the HTC-built G1 features a touch screen, a full QWERTY keyboard, and GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity. But the big attraction for many will be the open-source Android software, the means by which Google is seeking to up-end the old ways of the telecommunications business.

The Android mobile operating system is closely tied to Google services and, says CNET News’ Stephen Shankland, it gives the Internet titan yet another way to get people to use them. For instance:

Search ads are, of course, Google’s bread and butter. Android’s Web browser can use others’ search engines, but a secondary part of the G1′s home screen features a prominent Google search box. There’s no option to change the search box to use search from Microsoft or Yahoo.

CNET Reviews, meanwhile, offers this bottom line on the G1 as a phone:

While we’re not in love with the design and would have liked some additional features, the real beauty of the T-Mobile G1 is the Google Android platform, as it has the potential to make smartphones more personal and powerful. That said, it’s not quite there yet, so for now, the G1 is best suited for early adopters and gadget hounds, rather than consumers and business users.

For the full review, see: HTC Dream T-Mobile G1. CNET’s Kent German, too, offers his own assessment: On Call: Welcoming the G1.

From ZDNet:

The excitement the mobile industry feels over delivery of Android software is all about a single number.

The number is 21. That’s the percentage by which AT&T’s wireless profits jumped in the last quarter. The most attractive business, postpaid (long-term) contracts, rose 40%.

During the quarter AT&T activated 2.4 million Apple 3G accounts, 40% of them new customers. Those are killer numbers.

The telecom business has suddenly become a struggle for survival. Shares in all the major wireless carriers are down sharply this year, mostly 30-40%, although Sprint shares are down 70%.

Apple is keeping AT&T afloat in these tough times. Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile can’t compete. Verizon is trying everything it can think of, buying Alltel for its market share, even considering contract-free plans, but nothing is working.

Worse, all carriers are doing expensive network build-outs, increasing the bandwidth they deliver customers using devices that might compete with the Apple 3G. Trouble is nothing does.

It’s not going to just be about price, as Funambol thinks. Handset makers have to deliver something that will encourage the data network use the iPhone stimulates. Some estimate iPhones take 500 times the bits of other mobile users.

In this, Android is not the only option. Carriers are willing to support Windows Mobile, the Blackberry, LiMo phones, even Symbian.

From InternetNews.com:

The arrival Wednesday of the T-Mobile G1, the first Android smartphone, marks the debut of the most open mobile operating system yet.

Android’s creators – the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), Google and T-Mobile – have pledged to fully support third-party application development, promising no one will dictate what users can download to the G1, or what developers can upload to the Android Market storefront.

Such openness is aimed at advancing mobile applications, fostering innovative services and, of course, becoming the ‘game changer’ in a competitive and crowded smartphone market.

Apple’s success with its popular consumer-friendly iPhone, and RIM’s (NASDAQ: RIMM) leading enterprise device, the BlackBerry, are proof that tight development and security controls can prove successful.

In fact, RIM’s co-CEO noted today at the vendor’s first developer conference that BlackBerry is known as “the” secure enterprise device.

Android leaders don’t dispute security is a critical smartphone aspect. Google has put a ‘kill switch’ clause within Android’s Market service agreement that states Google can and will remove applications that have a “malicious intent.”

But the search giant and its Android partners have also made it clear they won’t be policing and patrolling applications as closely as Apple or RIM. At the G1 product launch event last month the companies said they would not prohibit third-party Skype applications that would allow voice communications away from T-Mobile’s network.

Storm Brewing for the iPhone?

October 8, 2008

Research in Motion’s BlackBerry Storm smartphone will be hitting the market in the U.S. and Europe next month with exclusive rights belonging to Verizon Wireless and Vodafone. The Storm features a 3.25-inch screen, which is slightly smaller than the iPhone’s; the BlackBerry’s first touch-screen interface; and 3G network support. But, on the negative side, the BlackBerry Storm lacks Wi-Fi access and weighs approximately 16 percent more than the iPhone.

Research in Motion

Credit: Research in Motion

From the Wall Street Journal:

Research in Motion Ltd. is rolling out its first real answer to Apple Inc.’s iPhone, the touch-screen BlackBerry Storm, which will work on broadband networks on both sides of the Atlantic and be exclusive to Verizon Wireless in the U.S. and to Vodafone Group PLC throughout Europe.

BlackBerry will have to distinguish itself amid the wave of other sleek do-everything smart phones coming to market, like Google Inc.’s G1, made by HTC Corp.. The Storm, BlackBerry’s first touch-screen device, aims to make it harder to inadvertently select items while moving images across the screen.

The success of Apple’s iPhone has spawned a series of touch-screen smart-phones from manufacturers around the world over the past year. Consumers will have a multitude of options this holiday season — among them, Samsung Electronics Co.’s Instinct, LG Electronics’ Dare, and the soon-to-be-launched G1 from T-Mobile USA Inc., a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG, and Google.

From InformationWeek:

The much-awaited smartphone sports many of the features of Apple’s handsets, and even outshines it in certain categories. The touch-screen smartphone may give Verizon Wireless a legitimate rival to the iPhone 3G, and it may help stem the loss of subscribers to AT&T. The Storm has 3.25-inch touch screen that has a 360 by 480 resolution. Like the iPhone, the Storm has support for multi-touch interface, but RIM’s device will have haptic feedback for its virtual keyboard, and it will be capable of cut and paste. The keyboard will have RIM’s SureType layout in portrait mode, and it will be a full QWERTY layout in landscape orientation.

From CNET:

Tech journalists and gadget lovers across the globe are rejoicing over the announcement of the BlackBerry Storm, RIM’s first touchscreen cell phone to compete with the iPhone.

Those who can’t wait to get their hands on BlackBerry’s latest call it a marvel and its keyboard functionality, which makes you press down on the screen to register a “touch”, is something worth drooling over.

OK, I guess I can concede that the Storm is really neat and the touchscreen idea is fantastic. But I still don’t see how the BlackBerry Storm will be able to compete on any level with the iPhone 3G.

It’s not that I have a problem with RIM–I think the BlackBerry Curve is a fantastic device–or that I’m not impressed by the Storm. I just don’t see how BlackBerry’s first touchscreen device can compete against the iPhone if the vast majority of “mainstream” users simply don’t know anything about it.

Go ahead and ask the person next to you at the office about the BlackBerry Storm. Chances are, if they aren’t in to technology like you and I, they wouldn’t have the slightest clue about it even though it’s making headlines all over the tech world today.

Then ask those people what they knew about the iPhone the day after it was announced. I’ll bet you’ll find that they knew much more about the iPhone than the BlackBerry Storm.

Do you see what I’m getting at here? No matter how important a new device in the cell phone business may be to the growth of the industry, it will never be able to outshine the iPhone.

From ZDNet:

I just got done reading Matthew Miller’s preview of the BlackBerry Storm, RIM’s first BlackBerry that’s replaced the keyboard with a touchscreen system — one that you must physically depress with your finger to manipulate (resulting in a “satisfying click,” as many reviewers have reported).

My question is simple: is this truly an advancement?

It occurs to me that, while RIM’s responsive touchscreen technology, called ClickThrough, allows it to differentiate itself from the iPhone, it’s not a great advancement in the long run. Well-built as any BlackBerry is, I feel that the screen would eventually give out over frequent, Crackberry-level usage. And when the screen doesn’t press anymore (or worse, when it presses too far), then what?

It strikes me that such physical use of the device is actually backtracking a bit, technologically. Perhaps advancement, to me at least, is removing a “touch” altogether.

RIM’s “push-screen,” as I think it should properly be called, seems to bridge the gap between a true keyboard and a true touchscreen. Which is good for RIM’s keyboard-happy users, but by no means some groundbreaking new technology.

Plus, it also occurs to me that this technology would actually slow down the speedier users among us, because you actually have to take the time to depress the screen when tapping a message out.

But we’ll see when Matt gets his hands on one in a month or so.

iPhone Security Issue Exposes Consumer Data

August 28, 2008

It is being reported that a security flaw in the iPhone allows unauthorized users to gain easy access to private contacts and e-mails even when the device is locked. The company has stated that they are working on the problem and that a solution is coming in the near future.

Apple

Credit: Apple

From Reuters:

Popular technology blog Gizmodo and an online forum run by the Mac Rumors site showed that it took only three taps to gain access to locked iPhones, which run the latest 2.02 iPhone software.

A spokeswoman said in an e-mail that Apple was aware of the problem and was readying a software update to fix it. In the meantime, she recommended users set the iPhone’s “Home” button to open up the phone’s iPod music collection rather than the phone’s “Favorites” menu.

The spokeswoman did not say when the software update would be made available.

The flaw could be seen as a momentary setback in Apple’s ambitious plans to compete against Research In Motion, whose BlackBerry smartphone has become a standard issue device in corporate businesses around the globe.

From InformationWeek:

IPhone security is a key issue in use of the device on corporate networks. Getting businesses to adopt the iPhone was a major focus in Apple’s release of version 2.0 of the iPhone operating system over the summer. Find out what 2,000 IT professionals told InformationWeek about their plans and priorities for securing their companies’ assets. Download the report here (registration required).

Nevertheless, security issues have arisen with use of the iPhone. InformationWeek, for example, reported potential security problems in using Apple’s tools for creating custom configuration files that can be used to provision large numbers of iPhones on an enterprise environment.

In addition, the iPhone Mail and Safari applications in July were found to be vulnerable to URL spoofing. Security researcher Aviv Raff reported the problem and recommended that users not click on links to get to trusted sites, like online banks; but rather type URLs in manually until the problem is resolved.

With Google’s Android platform set to enter the market, Apple will want to make sure that all problems with the iPhone are quickly taken care of. Thoughts?

HTC Debuts New Windows Mobile Smartphone

August 27, 2008

Taking aim at RIM’s BlackBerry, HTC has debuted its Windows Mobile-based smartphone today which comes complete with a variety of features designed to appeal to a mobile professional. The HTC S740, which is set for September release in Europe and elsewhere at a later date, comes with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi, assisted GPS, a 2.4-inch screen, MicroSD slot and downloading options that include 3G and EDGE technologies.

InformationWeek

HTC S740 Smartphone Credit: InformationWeek

From Marin Perez at  InformationWeek:

The HTC S740 has a similar form factor to the HTC Touch Pro but it loses the touch interface. The S740 has a 12-button number pad on the face, and the slide-out, four-row QWERTY keyboard can be accessed by holding the smartphone horizontally. The S740 is powered by Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard, and mobile professionals can read and compose corporate e-mail on the device. Users will also be able to view Microsoft Office documents on the handset, as well as browse the Web with the PocketIE HTML browser.

HTC packed in multiple connection options, as the S749 has integrated Wi-Fi and is capable of having 7.2-Mbps downlink speed over 3G networks. There’s also an EDGE option for times when faster connections are unavailable.

The smartphone also sports a 3.2-megapixel camera that’s capable of recording video. There’s also built-in GPS that’s can use assisted-GPS for location-based searches, a multimedia player, and Bluetooth v. 2.0 capabilities.

The S740 has a 2.4-inch QVGA screen that’s capable of displaying 65,000 colors, and the handset has 256 MB of RAM that’s expandable via a MicroSD slot. There’s also a MiniUSB slot, built-in hands-free controls, and HTC said it can get more than 6 hours of talk time off a single charge.

This is all great but what the world is waiting for is the HTC Dream, which is expected to come complete with the Google Android platform. This product is due in September. Thoughts?

Palm Releases its Treo Pro

August 21, 2008

In an effort to compete with Research In Motion, Nokia, and Apple, Palm has unveiled its new, touch-screen smartphone which includes many unique features for the avid mobile professional.

Engadget

Credit: Engadget

From Reuters:

The new Treo Pro will be sold by Vodafone Group Plc and 02 in Europe in September, and by Telstra in Australia, Palm said.

In the United States, Palm does not have an agreement with a carrier to sell the phone, but it said enterprise demand is growing for unlocked phones that can work on any network.

From Network World:

The Palm Treo Pro incorporates a battery of features designed to appeal to IT managers who are opting for Windows Mobile as their mobile platform and who want more control over corporate hand-helds. But the sleek design, bezel-less high-resolution display, and “shortcuts” to streamline the user interface, are all intended to appeal to end users.

The phone faces an uphill battle, competing with the wildly popular Apple 3G iPhone and the BlackBerry Bold.

From the San Jose Mercury News:

Palm had a hit last year with its $100 Centro, aimed at consumers buying their first smart phones. But that low-cost model had lower profit margins. Now, on the heels of competing Blackberry and iPhone products introduced in recent months, Palm is aiming the new high-end Treo at business users.

The new model has a flush screen, full keyboard and features like WiFi and GPS, which the company hopes will appeal to users, said Palm product line manager Parag Gupta. He said the Windows operating system should appeal to corporate buyers and IT managers who will find it compatible with their other computer systems.

Palm’s latest phone differs from the Centro by targeting the enterprise. The Treo Pro will be available in the United States this fall through the Palm online store and select retailers at a suggested retail of $549.


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