Tag - Storm
RIM's new BlackBerry Torch line is a reboot for the company. After the Storm and Storm2 failed to stem the tide of the iPhone and later Android, the new Torch shows signs RIM has learned its lesson: a faster processor, a touch interface, and the death of its infamous click-down screen. But is it enough? Our review of the Torch 9850 and 9860 will see if RIM is back in form or if its rivals are still moving faster.
The first official phone running Android's Ice Cream Sandwich update, alternately called the Google Nexus Prime or Samsung Droid Prime, may ship to Verizon roughly in sync with the iPhone 5. A rumor from a reported Verizon corporate worker claims that the flagship should be available "around [the] release of iPhone 5." He also told Droid-Life that there weren't indications at his level of the Droid badging reserved for Verizon-only phones, although he didn't rule it out.
RIM may see a bounce back in the market simply out of carrier worries of an Apple and Google duopoly, Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu learned on Friday. After talking to carriers, he heard that networks are worried about the "growing dominance" of Android and the iPhone and were sorely looking for a third option to keep competition up. With Nokia not due to ship its first Windows Phones until September, he said, the BlackBerry could benefit simply by being a well-established company with a recently revamped phone line.
RIM greatly widened its smartphone mix on Wednesday with two more BlackBerry 7 devices. The 9850 and 9860 are the first touch-only phones from RIM to get a high-resolution screen: either has a 480x800 LCD that finally makes them competitive with modern Android hardware and more comparable to the iPhone. The two likewise drop the often criticized click-down SurePress screen from the Storm and use multi-touch instead, much like the Torch 9810.
The iPad 2 launch may have scuppered the launch plans for the HTC Thunderbolt this week, according to an unearthed memo. A roadmap showing "the next big thing" at the carrier has the company's attentions devoted all to the Apple tablet's release this week. The Thunderbolt was next in the Droid-Life shot but didn't have a timetable attached.
Marvell in its financial results call on Friday may have given signs that RIM is stepping away from high-end BlackBerry phones. CEO Sehat Sutardja blamed a steeper than expected 34 percent revenue drop primarily on RIM moving to "entry-level smartphones," where Marvell doesn't have chips to offer. Most of Marvell's designs in the BlackBerry line have focused on flagships like the Bold and Torch.
RIM's long in the making BlackBerry Storm3 has appeared in the flesh on Friday through a video (below). Along with confirming its combination of a keyboard-free design with a trackpad, the slip shows the extra screen area afforded by the 3.7-inch, 480x800 display. It clearly represents a Verizon prototype and has both the Verizon logo and on-phone theming along with a "live air activation" market indicating that it was ready to work on the CDMA and EVDO networks, hinted by a 3G badge in the upper right of the display.
A slate of leaks from a T-Mobile "See BlackBerry Different" event may have confirmed that it will have much of the 2011 BlackBerry roadmap on its schedule. The BlackBerry PlayBook would come to the carrier, but would unusually be the Wi-Fi only version. While not explained by PocketBerry's insider, it may be sold as a companion for those who already have a BlackBerry phone to tether with the tablet.
A purportedly escaped roadmap for Verizon has given out possible timetables for some of its most important phones, including ones it hasn't yet announced. The rumored Droid Incredible sequel might ship in the first quarter of March despite remaining an official secret. The buttonless touchscreen device is rumored by Phone Arena to be a world phone with both CDMA and GSM.
RIM's on-again, off-again BlackBerry Storm3 has reappeared in yet another leak on Friday with signs that it could be RIM's most advanced BlackBerry ever. Matching early rumors, BGR heard it would have the highest resolution display of any BlackBerry at 800x480, keeping it step with most Android phones but below the iPhone 4. Speed would also be recouped through the same 1.2GHz processor and dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi as the Torch 2.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE