BlackBerry Drops PlayBook Price to $299 Across the Board

Regardless of what version you choose (16, 32, or 64GB) you can grab a BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet for only $299 – That’s a total of $400 bucks off the original 64GB price when the device was initially released.

Now if you’ve been “reading the tea leaves” and constantly checking online sites, prices for the 16GB version dropped to as low as $199 during this past holiday season. Which means if you really, REALLY only want the 16GB version, presumably, you will have to shell out 100 bucks more than its lowest price ever listed. On the flipside, if you want to maximize every penny, you can have all the space you need in the 64GB version at a steal.

For the PlayBook to match its tablet colleagues in the productivity category, you still (for now) need a BlackBerry Smartphone tethered (for free) to the PlayBook for a native email, calendar & contacts experience (most services offer a mobile-friendly web version); but, if you’re going to ride with #TeamBlackBerry until the wheels fall off, you have until February 4th to pick up the tablet at $299.

The deal is only offered via BlackBerry online, so check out the BlackBerry Online Store for more details on how to purchase.

[via: All Things D]

AT&T Finally New BlackBerry Bold 9900 & Torch 9860

BlackBerry customers on the AT&T Network have been waiting patiently for the latest and greatest from RIM. Now they will have a chance to grab the classically-designed BlackBerry Bold 9900 and the full touch screen Torch 9860 starting on Nov. 6th.

With two-year contracts, the Bold 9900 will the more pricey of the two, but at a very affordable $200, and the Torch 9860 will be an even better deal at $100. Both devices come packed with BlackBerry’s latest OS 7 and will operate on AT&T’s fast 4G HSPA+ network for power and speed. Typical of AT&T’s network, you will be able to browse the web while on a call for the ultimate in multitasking and mobile productivity. Read More

RIM Leans on Corporate Customers by Offering A Buy 2 Get 1 PlayBook Free

Looks like RIM is really starting to lean on its steady business/enterprise demographic by offering a pretty sweet deal to make sure they don’t jump ship like a great deal of U.S. consumers. This deal involves the BlackBerry PlayBook, which in my opinion, is a decent device…when tethered to a BlackBerry.

RIM realizes that the corporate world is keeping them afloat and has expanded its BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) to Microsoft Office 365 enterprise users so they can access more than just Outlook on their BlackBerries. Now, RIM is offering corporate a buy two BlackBerry PlayBook tablets, get one free, plus three free premium accessories (one per device).

As long as corporate customers buy the devices from an authorized BlackBerry Reseller, you will get the deal between now and Dec 31st. Click ‘read more’ to head past the break to learn how to qualify. Read More

RIM and Microsoft Team up to Offer BES to Office 365 Files

Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud offering for all your Office documents. No matter where you are or what computer you’re on, you can access your documents via the web. It makes sense that Windows Phone devices can access Office 365 documents for mobile productivity even if you’re not on your “computer”.

Since most if not all corporations are using a combination of Microsoft applications, but are still issuing its employees BlackBerry phones; it just makes since that RIM is now offering mobile access to Office 365 services via its BlackBerry Business Cloud Services beta (in other words, BES for Office 365). Read More

TweetBook for BlackBerry PlayBook – A Native Twitter Feel

Twitter hasn’t released a native app for the BlackBerry PlayBook. They have recently improved the mobile-friendly web app that looks…good. But for those of us who want a native app that can deliver more features and customization while we surf Twitter, TweetBook might just be what you’re looking for. Read More

AT&T Announces 4G BlackBerry Torch 9810

AT&T have been rolling out new 4G phones and devices all summer, and today they’re announcing the next evolution in Blackberry phones, with their first 4G Blackberry offering: the Torch 9810. While there’s only an announcement today and no release date set, we do have some details to share with you about the large touchscreen + full QWERTY keyboard phone. The most exciting spec though, is that this Blackberry is going to boast amazing internet speeds with 4G connectivity. We can’t wait!

Here’s what’s new and improved:

· 4G HSPA+ capability
· 1.2 GHz processor
· High-res VGA display
· More precise touchscreen
· Updated BlackBerry® 7 OS
· Enhanced Web browser
· 720p HD video recording

If you want to be the first one in your office sporting this hot new Blackberry, AT&T Premier will notify you via email when the 4G Torch becomes available. You can sign up here.

BlackBerry Launches Mobile Conferencing App

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a story on making conference calls with a BlackBerry. Well the folks over at Research In Motion (RIM) must have read my article (Boom!) and pushed the BlackBerry Mobile Conferencing App out of Beta and into the BlackBerry App World.

The app is designed to work with your existing conferencing system to make scheduling, joining and rejoining conference calls from your BlackBerry quick and easy from almost anywhere. Instead of trying to remember conference call codes, and multiple button sequences, the app offers up a single ‘Join Now’ button to make joining calls a breeze.

Additional feature include:

One-Click Join – Before a conference call starts, a pop-up reminder displays a “Join Now” button that, with a single click, dials the conference bridge and enters the appropriate codes to connect the user to the conference. If the call gets disconnected or the user needs to drop off, the app will present a “Reconnect” button, which dials the user back into the call with one click.

Easy Conference Scheduling – A user can schedule a conference call complete with conference bridge details directly from the BlackBerry Calendar in an easy two-step process. To enable this capability, the user sets their conference call profile once in the BlackBerry Mobile Conferencing app, including dial-in numbers and access codes, then simply adds the profile as part of the calendar invitation. (The moderator code is kept hidden from participants in the calendar invitation.)

Optimal Conference Call Number Selection – If multiple dial-in numbers are provided to accommodate participants in different regions, the application can automatically choose an optimal number to use (for calls within North America), such as using the local number if the user is within the local calling area rather than a toll-free number; or a toll- free number if the dial-in number would otherwise be long distance. Users can also select or modify a specific dial-in number manually.

The app supports many of the leading audio conferencing systems, so no matter if you are trying to join or schedule a call, the BlackBerry Conferencing app has got you covered. The app is a free download from the BlackBerry App World (OS 5.0 or higher).

Your BlackBerry can STILL make Conference Calls

As interactive as we are via Skype, Twitter, Facebook, and instant messaging, there are times when you will actually have to make a phone call. Weird right? But that doesn’t mean your collaboration and productivity has to take a nose dive if one of your colleagues, business partners, or clients can’t “connect” using new-age methods.

Three-way calling and/or conference calls are still the sure-fire way to make sure everybody is present and everybody receives all of the information if you can’t meet face to face. As funny as this sounds, with all the technology packed into our smartphones that we take advantage of to do a number of things unimaginable by previous generations, how many people actually knows how to make a conference call on their smartphone?

The folks over at have a cool tutorial that breaks down how to successfully make a three-way/conference call on a BlackBerry mobile device that includes:

– Dialing and joining calls
– How to deal with dropped calls
– Swapping calls
– Carrier limitations (how many can be on a conference call)

…and other tips and tricks to increase your phone call productivity:

BlackBerry 101: Conference Calls and Three-Way Calling

In today’s age of social networking, instant messaging, video chat, etc. you would be hard pressed to HAVE to use your smartphone to create or join an actual conference call to conduct business. Old school yes, but; just like anything else, technology can fail. So it’s nice to be able to rely on the old school just in case the new school decides it’s “too cool” to work with you in the middle of an important meeting that you need to attend while you are on the go.

RIM Reveals native PlayBook Email, Calendar, Contacts

Close call! It looks like “essential” native apps for email, calendar, contacts, tasks, and other mobile apps will be coming to the newly launched BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet.

Currently, PlayBook users who want to view/manage this data via their tablet are tied to their BlackBerry smartphones. In order to take advantage of those services, you have to use the new BlackBerry Bridge technology that pairs the PlayBook via Bluetooth to a BB smartphone for greater functionality.

Today during the BlackBerry World Conference, some of the former mentioned services were demoed without being paired to a BB smartphone. What does this mean? Essentially, people using the PlayBook don’t necessarily need a BB smartphone, or depend solely on web apps to access these services. I have no beef whatsoever with web apps, but native apps use the device they are designed for a little better than a web app that’s created to provide functionality for a number of devices, IMHO. All you need is a data connection (PlayBook 3G/4G model or WiFi) and you will be on the same playing field as other tablet platforms with native apps.

Furthermore, if wireless carriers all of the sudden decided they don’t particularly like the idea of PlayBook users piggy-backing off of a BB smartphone’s data connection and pulled the plug; having native apps means that you still get your email, calendar appointments, contact lists, etc., while RIM and the wireless carriers hash it out.

If you are a BlackBerry Tablet owner, or looking for an Apple iPad alternative, I think the BlackBerry PlayBook, once it’s retrofitted with “essential” native apps and some other OS tweaks will be a serious contender come this summer.

But we want to hear from you. Is the lack of native email, calendar, contacts, tasks, memos, and similar apps/services stopping you from pulling the trigger on the new BlackBerry PlayBook?

BlackBerry PlayBook Adds Java and Android “app player,” but not in time for launch

Although word leaked last month that BlackBerry had added the ability to run Android apps on their upcoming PlayBook tablet (previously: pricing, quick look), a press release from RIM yesterday gives more details about how this will work.  The PlayBook will have access to what RIM are calling “app players” to allow not just Android 2.3 but Java apps as well.  However, unlike we assumed, there won’t simply be an Android Market on the PlayBook, but the process sounds simple enough. According to RIM, developers will have to simply repackage and sign their apps, then submit them to BlackBerry App World.  Touting a “a high degree of API compatibility” between Android and BlackBerry, the process will hopefully be painless.

Not in Time for Launch

The PlayBook will be here on April 19th, but RIM notes in their press release that the app players won’t arrive until summer.  With their tablet Native Development Kit (NDK) forthcoming and still in alpha, how are developers supposed to have apps ready for launch?  BlackBerry is addressing this in several ways, announcing today that they’re adding C/C++ development to the NDK, allowing developers to leverage work already done in the language and easily port existing code to the platform.  As well, developers will have the option to bring Adobe Flash and AIR apps to the PlayBook, in addition to the HTML5 support via WebKit.

With the iPad 2 and Motorola Xoom already out, their app stores full thanks to a significant head start, how will the PlayBook compete? Will there be a significant number of apps available for the platform at launch, and will consumers be able to wait until summer for Android Apps to make their way to the device?  We’re still waiting with bated breath to find out how the BlackBerry PlayBook is going to shine amongst what we assume will be its core audience: business users. Having already announced that they’re bringing BlackBerry Messenger to Android and possibly iOS, it will be interesting to see what unique features the PlayBook will be bringing to market.