Executive exit latest in round of departures for beleaguered company
Adding to the bevy of executives departing the company, Blackberry PlayBook chief David J. Smith is departing the Canadian manufacturer. The executive announced his departure within the last few weeks according to sources familiar with the matter, and is leaving for unspecified personal reasons.
Only 2.7M BB10 OS smartphones shipped in Q1, 6.8M shipped in total
BlackBerry shipped just 2.7 million BlackBerry 10 OS smartphones in the first quarter of its 2013 to 2014 financial year, according to released results. Though the sales of the Q10 and Z10 devices could be seen as disappointing, the news is worsened by it being less than half of the 6.8 million phones shipped in total for the period, with the bulk of that figure made up of previous-generation devices.
Chitika sees iPad share dropping 7.14 percent over holidays
Apple's iPad and iPad mini may have been a top-selling item over the holiday period, but entries from competitors sold strongly enough to slightly loosen Cupertino's stranglehold on the tablet sector. This according to new figures out from Chitika Insights, which looked at hundreds of millions of smartphone and tablet ad impressions from December 1 to December 27, 2012 in Canada and the United States. Chitika found that tablets from Amazon, Samsung, Google, and Microsoft gained a combined total of 5.5 percent market share over that period, while Apple's iPad lost 7.14 percent share.
RIM will launch the 4G LTE-enabled PlayBook tablet on Bell, Rogers and Telus on August 9
RIM revealed on Thursday that its much-anticipated 4G LTE PlayBook tablet will be hitting some of its Canadian stores on August 9. It will only be available through Bell, Rogers, and Telus, though pricing hasn't quite been confirmed. The tablet will use a microSIM card to access the high-speed network.
PlayBook 4G, 10-inch tablet shown
A leaked image of a proposed roadmap appears to show the release windows for Research In Motion's now-delayed BlackBerry 10 devices. The roadmap, acquired by BlackBerryOS.com, shows that the company plans a 4G-enabled version of its PlayBook, and a 10-inch tablet, as well as the company's previously revealed touchscreen and QWERTY handsets. The veracity of the leak is as yet unknown, but it does conform to recent news that devices running the BlackBerry 10 OS would be delayed until next year.
RIM to 'remain committed' to tablets
Research in Motion (RIM) is no longer producing the cheapest, lowest-memory version of the beleaguered PlayBook tablet. The 16GB model will be removed from inventory lists after the stock currently in retailer's possession is gone. Production will continue on the 32 and 64GB versions of the seven-inch tablet.
RIM shows off 4G LTE tablet at breakfast
Thanks to The Canadian Reviewer, an image of the previously rumored 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook has emerged at a BlackBerry World breakfast function. As yet, no release date has been confirmed for the device.
BlackBerry 10 test hardware is plain
The BlackBerry 10 developer device RIM plans to give away next week at BlackBerry World has been spotted days in advance. A CrackBerry forum poster got a quick, power-off look at the experimental smartphone, which is a relatively simple, brick-like design reminiscent of the BlackBerry PlayBook. Other than seeing both front and back cameras, little was discernible without turning it on.
App World gets bird-physics-slingshot simulator
The newest installation of Rovio's popular game series, Angry Birds Space ($3, BlackBerry App World) arrived for RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet on Tuesday. Previously, the game was erroneously posted as available on April 10 of this year, though the link was quickly removed. Now, the zero-gravity bird slingshot game is available to all PlayBook owners except those in South Korea and Brazil.
RIM may be close to BBM Android and PlayBook 4G
RIM could be getting close to releasing a pair of major projects based on a pair of tentative rumors in mid-week. One possible sighting emerging from TechnoBuffalo had BlackBerry Messenger being run on an Android device for testing purposes. The lone shot had few extra details, but conspicuously showed an "iPhone test" contact entry, suggesting RIM was developing for both platforms.
Gartner sees iPad still leading in four years
Apple will stay out in front of the tablet market for at least the next four years, Gartner predicted in a long-term estimate on Tuesday. The analyst group saw sales for the entire tablet market for 2012 nearly doubling, up 98 percent to 118.9 million, with Apple still in the clear majority at 73 million. While the gap would close, Apple would keep the largest piece of the market even until 2016.
BlackBerry to strike balance in app sideloading
RIM's Developer Relations VP Alec Saunders on Monday clarified his position on restricting sideloading on the BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry 10. He noted that, rather than blocking a manual transfer of an app from PC to device, RIM would be encrypting apps to prevent bootlegged copies while still allowing legitimate sideloads from developers and end users who'd downloaded the title. He indirectly positioned it as a balance between Apple's mostly locked down view and the loosely checked Android method.
BlackBerry PlayBook to drop sideloading in update
RIM is dropping app sideloading support from the BlackBerry PlayBook in a bid to prevent the problems that have plagued Android, the company's Developer Relations VP Alec Saunders stated earlier in the week. The company would have a "solution" for developers to do it in testing, but the end user would have to go through BlackBerry App World, much like Apple does with the App Store. He believed Android had a rampant problem with piracy, where about a quarter of material was pirated.
BlackBerry 4G PlayBook spied in detail
Removing doubts around earlier rumors of a BlackBerry 4G PlayBook, a CrackBerry forum poster revealed overnight that he had access to at least three of them. Showing both the SIM tray and the presence of a "mobile network" settings pane, user fakedeadmau5 proved that the design was fundamentally the same as the seven-inch original save for cellular hardware. He also showed a rudimentary BlackBerry Messenger app, suggesting that RIM had at least been trying to get BBM working on cellular PlayBooks after failing to get it working on Wi-Fi only.
RIM faces patent lawsuit by Dutch company NXP
Dutch company NXP BV has filed a lawsuit against Canadian smartphone maker RIM for allegedly infringing on six of the company's patents. The firm is a wholly owned subsidiary of NXP semiconductors and wants compensatory and triple damages, though the numbers aren't revealed. It also seeks a stop of the sale of devices that infringe upon these patents, which include the BlackBerry Torch, Curve, and Bold, as well as the PlayBook tablet.
RIM sees no BB10 delay and vows Curve 9320, 9220
RIM chief Thorsten Heins during a call discussing the company's tough quarterly results gave some reassurances that the company was still on track with its first BlackBerry 10 phone. The device was still due for late 2012. Carrier partners were interested in both the new platform and keeping RIM as a partner, the CEO said.
RIM posts fiscal Q4 2012 loss as co-founder exits
RIM recorded poor fiscal fourth quarter results that saw a major upheaval at the company. In the wake of a 25 percent year-to-year drop in revenue to $4.2 billion and a $125 million loss, former co-CEO Jim Balsillie has resigned from the company's board of directors. No explanation was given for the departure apart from completion of "retirement," although Mike Lazaridis was staying on the board.
RIM may bring BlackBerry services to iOS users
RIM may break a longstanding policy against apps for non-BlackBerry platforms if a job listing is an indicator. The position for a Senior iOS Mobile Developer wants someone who can design and write enterprise iPad and iPhone apps. As proof that apps themselves are important, any potential hire has to show examples of published App Store titles.
iPad 2012 gets our thorough look
Once having the tablet arena almost entirely to itself, Apple is now in the middle of a full-scale battle: everyone who could have a tablet does, and even Amazon's Kindle Fire is in the fray at a very low price. The new iPad, then, faces the challenge of not just being the best but of giving buyers a reason to spend more than $199. A record-setting display, new graphics and 4G go a long way, but we'll learn in our review of the new 2012 iPad to see if it's enough to keep the crown.
FCC tests HSPA+, LTE PlayBook tablets
The promised LTE version of the PlayBook tablet has now been spotted at the FCC. An HSPA+ version is also undergoing testing at the government agency. Both are expected to get NFC and a dual-core, 1.5GHz processor.
iPad 2012 camera given early shakedown
Fresh from a very early unboxing, Vietnam's Tinhte has posted the first substantial batch of camera samples from the 2012 iPad. While not difficult, they prove that the five-megapixel camera is dramatically better than the one-megapixel example of the iPad 2. The output appears color-neutral and both sharper and visibly cleaner than before at full resolution where the original was noisy and didn't do well outside of ideal conditions.
IDC optimistic on tablets, Android's chances
IDC on Tuesday gave its own breakdown of world tablet share from this fall and painted an optimistic look at Android's position in the market. Going higher than others' estimates, the research team believed that Amazon shipped 4.7 million Kindle Fires, or enough to stake out 16.8 percent of tablets worldwide. Along with a slight gain from Samsung to 5.8 percent, the prediction would have knocked Apple down from 61.5 percent last summer to 54.7 percent in the last few months of 2011.
$120 Mini Keyboard for PlayBook coming March 23
RIM, well known for its hardware QWERTY keyboard-equipped smartphones, has now introduced a keyboard dock for its touchscreen PlayBook tablet. The BlackBerry Mini Keyboard sports a full QWERTY keyboard and an integrated touchpad. Its included case doubles as stand for the tablet as well.
ChangeWave shows iPad consolidating in work world
A follow-up study through ChangeWave has shown that corporate uptake of iPads was only climbing higher in February despite more concerted attempts from Android makers. Of those hoping to buy tablets in the spring, he number of companies looking to buy the iPad shot from 77 percent in November to a new high of 84 percent just last month. Without exception, every Android tablet designer's share of tablet interest declined, with none crossing into double digits.
PlayBook gets rare lead over any tablet in stores
RIM posted word that Best Buy Canada and its sister chain Future Shop had seen the BlackBerry PlayBook become the top-selling tablet at their stores this week. Neither store was reporting by how much, but they implied that the tablet had outsold even the iPad. No mention was made of overall performance in the country.
App said to be set for mid-March release
Zinio has reportedly confirmed that it is set to bring its magazine reader app to RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook platform within the next few weeks. In a Twitter post, the company noted that the PlayBook app is set for a mid-March release.
PlayBook Pacemaker DJ app due in spring
RIM has teamed up with app developer 100 Milligrams to launch an exclusive app for its PlayBook tablet. Mentioned briefly at MWC during a RIM event, the app will let users match beats, scratch in vinyl mode, loop, and apply pro-level effects to tracks. Other known features include a digital mode, loop travel, pitch control, and beat skip.
MoboTap publishes thousands of Android apps
Developer MoboTap has raised questions surrounding the Android app submission process for the BlackBerry App World, after the company noticed that its Dolphin HD browser had been added to RIM's app portal by a third party. The developer claims that it had no idea that the app had been submitted to RIM, and the move was not authorized.
Netflix isn't planning on making BlackBerry app
Netflix has no plans to build a streaming app for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet or BlackBerry smartphones, the company revealed in a Twitter response. The company already provides a streaming app for iOS and Android platforms, however. No reason was given for this, leaving many to wonder why this was the case.
Android titles can still use existing ad services
RIM has reportedly confirmed that it will not utilize its own advertising platform for Android apps running on the PlayBook's App Player. Initial rumors suggested that the device would not support mobile advertising of any kind when the company launches the App Player, however the company later clarified to GigaOM that Android apps will be able to use their existing ad platforms.
Apple developer guide helps platform newcomers
Apple on Friday quietly posted a Getting Started guide for new iOS developers. The overview is intended as a top-level look and goes with basics such as setting up Xcode, understanding what types of code are needed, and more abstract issues such as design guidelines and App Store submission.
Mobile Fusion app to launch on same date
A new leak appears to confirm February 21 as the release date for RIM's PlayBook 2.0 OS. In a posting by Engadget, collateral, apparently either published by RIM or one of its resellers, clearly indicates the update will be available at 4:01AM on that date. A second posting indicates that RIM's Mobile Fusion enterprise management tool mobile devices will also be available on the 21st.
NPD points to iPad owners being wealthier, older
iPad owners are increasingly more likely to be wealthier and older than their counterparts, the NPD Group uncovered on Friday. Over 40 percent of iPad owners have a combined household income of over $100,000 a year where just 26 percent of those with Android and PlayBook tablets can claim the same. These more comfortable homes were more likely to have tablets as a whole.
Details corroborate recent rumors
RIM appears to have inadvertently corroborated rumors pointing to February 21 as the launch date for the PlayBook 2.0 OS update. The company noted the specific release date during a webcast that focused on developing games using the BlackBerry NDK 2.0.
Exact release date remains unconfirmed
RIM has reportedly reiterated its commitment to launching the PlayBook 2.0 OS update sometime later this month. In an interview with PCMag, BlackBerry senior brand manager Jeff Gadway promised that the release is coming "very soon," however he failed to provide a specific launch date.
BlackBerry PlayBook sees Kindle Fire effect
RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook may have seen the same effect on tablet share in Canada as its close cousin the Kindle Fire did in the US, Solutions Research Group said Wednesday. Having had as little as five percent in the fall, it's now estimated to be up to 15 percent of tablets in its home country through the price cut to $200. The shift would have dropped the iPad's share from 86 percent to 68 percent, the Globe and Mail was told.
Rumors point to February 21
RIM is rumored to be preparing its PlayBook OS 2 update to arrive early next week. The company has yet to make an official announcement narrowing down the time frame, however unnamed sources have told N4BB the major update is scheduled to begin rolling out on February 21.
BlackBerry 10 may borrow from iOS, Android
New shots intercepted from a BlackBerry 10 ad briefing may have given some of the first detailed visuals of the OS. The CrackBerry images showed a device that at once had a shrunken parallel to the PlayBook interface but with traces of similarities to other platforms. It would use an always-up grid of all apps, like the iPhone, but have home screen widgets similar to, if more organized than, Android.
BlackBerry PlayBook 10, docks seen early
A Czech sighting in backrooms at BlackBerry DevCon Europe has claimed to show not just upcoming accessories for the PlayBook but the rumored 10-inch PlayBook. BlackBerryCzech claimed to have seen one within several feet but was denied a chance at a photo. The design was supposedly working and left open a chance the new version might show either at Mobile World Congress this month or, more likely, DevCon Americas in May.
RIM extends free PlayBook offer, adds dev types
RIM has just revealed it will expand its free PlayBook promotion for Android developers by two weeks. What's more, it has expanded the offer to Native C/C++, HTML5, Adobe AIR, and Qt developers. The offer was due to end on Monday, but was extended due to the overwhelming interest, RIM said.
Telus phases out all three Wi-Fi PlayBooks
Canadian wireless provider Telus has now deemed that the three Wi-Fi models of the BlackBerry PlayBook seven-inch tablet has reached the end of its life. As such, no returns are being accepted, no new ones are being ordered, and the carrier is clearing them out for the lower price yet, at just $150 CAD for both the 16GB and 32GB versions. The 64GB models are slightly more expensive, at $300.
RIM to focus on upgrading current BlackBerry users
RIM's new leader Thorsten Heins in further interviews has outlined how he plans to take on competition in the short term. He revealed to Reuters that just 20 percent of BlackBerry owners are using a modern version of the OS, in some cases using BlackBerry 5 or even older. Much of the company's focus would be on getting them to upgrade to new phones, including special carrier deals that could bundle devices together or give carriers phones with bundled apps.
BlackBerry 2012 roadmap exposed in huge detail
An extremely detailed RIM roadmap has leaked to BGR that shows even more than what was shown yesterday. Along with confirming the 1.5GHz, 3G- and NFC-equipped PlayBook refresh, the scoop shows that the BlackBerry Curve 9220 and 9320 will make BlackBerry Messenger a central feature. Both will have a built-in BBM key on the side, making a return to chat a one-button feature.
Sprint to phase out PlayBook, Evo 4G, more
A leaked End-of-Life (EOL) report shared by SprintFeed reveals Sprint will phase out the BlackBerry PlayBook, HTC Evo View 4G, and Evo View 4G before month's end. The shipments to carrier stores will decrease before ceasing altogether. The discontinuation of the two tablets could be an indication Sprint is readying sequels, although only the PlayBook refresh has been hinted at so far.
Sony Tablet S and P claim 26pc of UK rival tablets
Sony staked out an odd consolation prize Tuesday for tablet market share. It pointed to GfK data that showed the Tablet S and Tablet P as the most popular Android tablets in the UK at least as of October, the combination of the two amounting to 26 percent of the market. The figure was calculated by value, rather than sheer units, but might have favored Sony even more since the majority Tablet S costs as much or slightly less than the Samsung Galaxy Tab.
RIM may fight back with major hardware updates
RIM's hopes for 2012 might be brighter after a potential roadmap leak. According to a BGR tip, the BlackBerry PlayBook would get an update a year into its life with a 1.5GHz (presumably TI OMAP) processor, 42Mbps HSPA+ 3G, and NFC for tags and payments. It would reportedly ship in May or June.
RIM CEOs quit unexpectedly
In a surprise step, RIM confirmed late Sunday that its two CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis would resign from their top positions. The two would stay on as board members and shareholders for the BlackBerry designer, they told the Wall Street Journal early, but would hand over direct leadership to one person, current COO Thorsten Heins. Board member Barbara Stymiest would be promoted to an independent board chairman.
PlayBook 2.0 could have settled schedule
The BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 update could have a firm release date if a rumor late this week bears fruit. While multiple anecdotes of RIM's relayed to BerryReview had pointed to the exact middle of February, the site claimed to have a "very solid source" pointing to February 17 as the upgrade date. The schedule would have the release appearing five weeks after RIM gave its last public preview at CES.
Study shows iPad still in wide lead on tablet web
Apple's iPad still doesn't have any immediate threat from other tablets if web usage is an indicator, Chitika reckoned on Wednesday. For every 100 iPad web hits, just 2.4 came from the next-closest Amazon Kindle Fire. Its design sibling the BlackBerry PlayBook was next at about 1.8, while the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab families were near-even at 1.6.
RIM schedule has broad BlackBerry, PlayBook plans
A purported roadmap for RIM's top-level 2012 strategy may have been uncovered on Monday. As portrayed by N4BB, RIM would have a "3G+" (likely HSPA+) version of the existing BlackBerry PlayBook design due for its one-year anniversary in April. The previously hinted-at 10-inch PlayBook would be coming with LTE for 4G, it said, but wouldn't arrive until December.