updated 10:15 am EDT, Thu March 26, 2009
RIM Unlimited TV Leak
Research in Motion may be preparing to further compete against Apple and others as leaks on Thursday point to the company offering its own TV service. Multiple contacts for NewTeeVee say RIM will have an unlimited, subscription-based plan that gives BlackBerries access to full episodes from several TV networks' catalogs. Rather than stream shows like most carrier-specific TV, the service would let users pick shows themselves and download them individually.
To avoid over-saturating carriers' networks, RIM would limit any direct-to-device downloads to Wi-Fi. The change would let phones like the Bold, Curve 8900 and Pearl Flip 8220 receive episodes but would typically prevent the same for CDMA BlackBerries, as carriers like Verizon have asked RIM to strip Wi-Fi from their phones to force users on to their 3G networks.
If true, the feature would give RIM a potential advantage over Apple, which currently limits iTunes downloads on the iPhone to music and podcasts. Most long-form videos still have to be transferred from a host computer, and most streaming services, such as YouTube or TV.com, typically only offer short clips.