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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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View-Master VR device in Apple Store
Apple has started to sell a Google Cardboard-style VR headset modeled on a classic Mattel toy. Initially launched early last year, the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for $30 is designed to use an iPhone as a display, with a Preview Reel and lever system mimicking the toy's switching between images to take users between different VR apps and scenes. http://bit.ly/1RhJW8y
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh