BlackBerry 10 Coming January 30th With 15,000 Apps to Choose From

BlackBerry 10
BlackBerry 10

Research in Motion, aka RIM, the company behind the beleaguered BlackBerry, has officially announced that it will bring its latest BlackBerry to the world on January 30. Official press invites have gone out for the unveiling, and there are plenty of rumors and leaks about what we will and won’t see in the new revamped BlackBerry.

In case you haven’t been keeping up, BlackBerry 10, or BB 10, is RIM’s completely revamped proprietary operating system designed specifically for BlackBerry. As part of the release, RIM will also introduce complementary smartphones designed to run the new OS.

BlackBerry faces a familiar problem: it needs apps. One of the iPhone’s biggest selling points is both the variety and volume of apps available for download. Android, while initially lagging, has caught up with a very respectable selection. The less popular operating systems, like the Windows and BlackBerry, have fewer apps because they have a smaller customer base, and a smaller customer base because they don’t have a huge app selection. It’s a vicious cycle that can directly impact the success or failure of RIM’s risky new launch.

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BlackBerry Mobile Fusion Launched – Multiple Platform Mobile Device Management

BB Bold and PlayBook

The term BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) can be a nightmare for your companies’ IT guy who has to ensure that sensitive information being passed around via employee-owned mobile devices stays secure. On the flip-side, allowing employees to use their own gadgets for business keeps hardware and voice/data plan costs down while keeping employee morale high as they get to use the device they want.

Now that RIM has announced plans to “focus on its strengths” (a.k.a. the enterprise), look for RIM to offer more options to aid large corporations and small businesses alike with their mobile device solutions. Case in point, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion – A mobile device management solution built on renowned BlackBerry Enterprise Server technology that allows IT departments to manage company & employee-owned BlackBerry, Android, and iOS devices under a unified web-based console.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server is one of RIM’s crown jewels, so companies interested in deploying BB Mobile Fusion can do so knowing that their data is protected under the same BES 256-bit AES encrypted technology, as well as easy over-the-air app and installation capabilities for BlackBerry devices. Read More

BlackBerry OS 2.0 For PlayBook – Native Email FINALLY!

For all the BlackBerry folks who waited (and waited, and waited…) RIM has announced the official OS 2.0 update for the PlayBook that finally brings native email to the tablet. As long as you have a access to the Internet, you can now you can perform triage on your inbox, sans a BlackBerry smartphone.

In addition to native email, OS 2.0 for the BlackBerry PlayBook also brings native calendar and contacts, as well as the Android App Player that gives you more app choices, something that BlackBerry is lacking big time.

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RIM CEO Shakeup: Meet new President and CEO, Thorsten Heins

Thorsten Heins

RIM’s big announcement on Sunday, where they named their former COO of Products and Sales Thorsten Heins as President and CEO, may not be the seismic change that Blackberry fans have hoped for.  Many voices of the blogoshpere are openly wondering about the decision to appoint someone who has been long ingrained with the RIM culture, especially with many speculating that what RIM really needs is a big shake-up to stay competitive with “the other fruit company”.

It’s no secret that RIM has lost substantial market share recently. Some have switched to Google’s Android, but even more have swapped for Apple’s sexy consumer-oriented iPhone 4S.  The Blackberry interface has publicly lagged when compared to Apple’s slick and user-friendly features (like Siri, for example).  Apple is known as the master of the “big show”: updates to the popular iOS and hardware are released regularly and with much fanfare, and their fans wait with bated breath.  RIM’s OS fiasco has been just the opposite; if people have been holding their breath waiting for a Blackberry 10, they‘re likely turning purple as the product has missed its shipping date several times.

Additionally, Apple and Android have embraced open platforms that allow millions of developers to create apps for the platform, and RIM’s closed system seems geriatric in comparison.  To be competitive in this market, RIM should embrace the developer community and leverage their as-yet-untapped creativity.

With all this said, is RIM dead?   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

BlackBerry’s PlayBook Tablet Screams ‘Business Ready’

With its ultra-portable, 7″ inch screen weighing in at under one-pound (compared to the Apple iPad at a “husky” 1.5 pounds for the WiFi only model) and HTML5 AND Flash 10.1 capabilities, RIM has decided to enter the tablet game, but focuses on its tried and true business customer base with the unveiling of the new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet devices set to be released to the masses early 2011.

Of course the business-savvy professional isn’t the ONLY customer RIM had in mind when developing the PlayBook. It also packs most of the entertainment features that are becoming standard of most mobile devices.

– Front and rear-facing HD (1080p) cameras
– 1080p HD video playback
– Mini HDMI output
– MP3, AAC, WMA audio playback
– WiFi (up to 802.11n)
– Bluetooth 2.1

Back to the business side of things – The PlayBook will sport 1GB of RAM and a 1GHz DUAL-CORE processor to power what BlackBerry calls “True multitasking”. Current BB smartphone owners who may be eye-balling the PlayBook will be happy to know that while the first Playbook will be WiFi-only, the ability to tether (share data connection) with their BB smartphone will be as easy as setting up bluetooth connectivity between the two devices. Once set up, the Playbook will display and synchronize data from your BB smartphone – with no extra data plan fees.

The most surprising point about the new PlayBook is the fact that it’s not using the new BlackBerry 6 OS that BB recently unveiled with the new BlackBerry Touch smartphone. BB is putting its acquisition money to good use and tapped QNX to build an all new mobile OS specifically for the Playbook. The company’s founder states that “QNX is going to enable things that you have never seen before”. If this is true and the QNX OS does blow our socks off when the Playbook is released, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this OS take the place of BB 6 OS in the not-so-distant future.

But, we will have to wait and see because “early 2011” is the only solid date we have, and no word as to how much the BlackBerry PlayBook will cost. From the looks of it, there will be two [storage] sizes, a 16GB and 32GB version. And BlackBerry has stated that 3G and 4G versions should be available in the future as well.

My opinion (that is, if you’re wondering) – I’m an app guy, and BlackBerry SERIOUSLY needs to step up its app game to get me excited enough to keep my BlackBerry smartphone AND possibly ditch my iPad for this new PlayBook. Speaking of which, during RIM’s Developer’s Conference (where they unveiled the PlayBook), they also unveiled their new WebWorks Software Development Kit (SDK) in hopes to woo developers back into making some good applications for the PlayBook and other BB mobile devices. So I will reserve judgment for when or if RIM can catch up with iOS (Apple) and Android in the mobile app wars.

What about you? Will you be bugging your company’s IT department about making the new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet available so you can do more Teleworking with your BlackBerry devices? Will you see the PlayBook as much needed companion to your BlackBerry smartphone and your busy, small business lifestyle? Will the PlayBook be a competitor to the iPad? Speak on it in the comments section…

New Blackberry Torch 9800 mobile phone with touchscreen and slideout keyboard

Credit: RIM new Blackberry Torch 9800

Glad to see RIM (Research In Motion) the makers of the Blackberry releasing a new phone. It’s titled the Torch 9800 available on Aug. 12th on AT&T for $199.00 w/2 yr contract! I have always been a fan of the Blackberry form-factor and it’s hyper-focus on the business user!  My business partner Nicole, is a loyal BBerry user no-matter-what. She calls it her “workhorse”. I know plenty of Bberry users that will be excited about the new changes since the Torch 9800 is the 1st Blackberry with a slide out keyboard, touch-screen (not the clicky screen from before) and the new operating system OS6 which brings the Torch a new interface, better multimedia use with dedicated apps like YouTube app and a Podcasts app. Most of all it has a new browser!!! It features tabs for accessing multiple sites simultaneously, double-tap to zoom and pinch to zoom. Another big plus for Bberry people is the Universal search–allows you to to search through email, messages, contacts, music, videos  as well as extend search to the Internet or to discover applications on BlackBerry App World.

Check the video to see it in action: (WILL YOU GET THIS PHONE ?- tell me in the comments)

Additional BlackBerry Torch Smartphone Features

  • Approx. 4.4″ (5.8″ open) x 2.4″ x .57″ and weighing 5.68 ounces
  • 3.2″ 360×480 capacitive touch screen display
  • 35 key full QWERTY backlit slide-out keyboard, designed to feel optimally balanced when opened for typing
  • Optical trackpad, 624 Mhz processor with 512 MB Flash memory
  • 4 GB built-in memory storage plus a microSD/SDHD memory card slot that supports up to 32 GB cards; a 4 GB card is included giving users 8 GB of storage out-of-the-box
  • 5 MP camera with flash, continuous auto focus, image stabilization, scene modes, geo-tagging and zoom, as well as video recording at up to 640×480 resolution
  • Built-in GPS for location-based applications and geo-tagging & Wi-Fi® (802.11 b/g/n)