Research In Motion announced today the joining of The Astonishing Tribe, or TAT, to their team. TAT has been involved in many mobile user interface designs, such as the original Android UI on the T-Mobile G1, and will be lending their artistry to the BlackBerry PlayBook and RIM's smartphone platforms. What does this mean for BlackBerry users? Well, judging by TAT’s previous design efforts they’re going to be some happy BBMers.
Read More | BlackBerry Blog
A couple of days ago was the infamous Cyber Monday, where online stores see massive surges in sales, and eBay is one of the prime destinations people go to buy goods. Today they reported that their mobile sales for the Monday after Thanksgiving were up 146%. Also, eBay released a visualization tool that shows mobile shopping trends across 6 countries. The company reported that the use of its mobile platforms went up 3 times since 2009, with its iPhone app leading the way, followed by Android and Blackberry. In the US, cars and trucks were the biggest mobile trends, with cell phones, PDAs, women's clothing and other accessories leading the number of transactions done. It's clear that eBay is pushing its mobile apps, having recently released an updated version for the iPhone which includes a bar code reader, to bridge the in-store and online shopping experience.
Read More | eBay
It's no secret that Android phones are growing in popularity at an amazing rate, with new phones being introduced all the time. In North America, it's already the most popular smartphone platform, beating out iOS and Blackberry. However, in the rest of the world, it's a different story. Phones based on the Symbian system rule the market, but Symbian marketshare has been going down steadily. This week, the research firm GfK reports that in the third quarter, Android overtook Symbian for the first time in Asia.
According to the firm: "Our Q3 report shows that Android has recently overtaken Symbian as the most popular smartphone OS in the context of Asia as a whole, in both value and unit sales. However, it is interesting to note the difference in OS trends when we look at findings in North and Southeast Asia separately."
Definitely nice to see that the mobile OS competition is heating up across the globe.
Read More | GfK
With more than 45 million smartphone and tablet users nationwide and ABI Research predicting that 6 billion mobile applications will be downloaded this year alone, businesses, especially those looking to reach consumers, have been frenzied about launching mobile offerings. In the past several years, much of the buzz surrounding the mobile space has been about the iPhone. With the debut of the iPhone 4 earlier this year, many businesses continue to focus their mobile strategy resources solely on this much-hyped operating system. In fact, a recent Kony Solutions survey of Fortune 500 corporations found that a staggering 85% of respondents ranked the iPhone as their top priority device for mobile support.
However, the current mobile landscape is quite fragmented - given the sheer number of handsets available to consumers - and the market isn’t necessarily dominated by the iPhone. A 2010 Gartner report estimated that the iPhone holds just 2.7% of the mobile market share. Notably, Android has surpassed Apple’s iOS, and comScore recently reported that RIM actually continues to capture the most smartphone market share (although Apple just announced that they've surpassed RIM for Q4 2010.) As such, the true market share of the iPhone doesn’t warrant the resources and strategy being dedicated solely to this device by Fortune 500 corporations, and companies in this position stand to lose more than 97% of mobile customers.
Data acquired by Nielsen in this graph shows the past 8 months of Android‘s steady rise to the top as the most popular OS. While iOS took a major dive around June, and BlackBerry OS continuing to swerve in both directions like a drunk behind the wheel. This puts Android at 32% of new phone purchases, with Apple and BlackBerry closely tailing each other at 25% and 26% respectively. Though, RIM still remains in the overall lead, boasting the most users of their OS in the US market.
Read More | Nielsen
Today RIM (Research in Motion) finally introduced the world to the BlackBerry Playbook. The Playbook is a 7-inch tablet that RIM hopes will be a healthy competitor to the Apple iPad, and runs its own custom version of the BlackBerry Tablet OS.
The insides of this thing sound pretty good as well, and almost put the iPad to shame: a dual-core 1GHz processor, 1GB RAM, front and rear facing cameras that both support high definition, Flash 10.1 with hardware acceleration, HDMI out, USB, and HTML5 support. It’s got a widescreen 1024 x 600 display that supports multi-touch, and RIM was proud to announce that the Playbook will connect with BlackBerry enterprise servers right out of the box. Now, on paper this thing sounds powerful, but it’s really going to be the UI and user experience in software that will make or break this thing.
RIM says that the Playbook isn’t just for business, and that its OpenGL support is perfect for gaming. It also has e-reader capabilities, and a full web browser, as previously mentioned. Expect the BlackBerry App World to make an appearance here as well, along with in-app purchase integration that developers will be able to tap in to. RIM also says that the BlackBerry Playbook will be offerred in 3G and 4G models in the future.
In light of their new Windows Phone 7 RTM being sent off for manufacturing, the folks at Microsoft jauntily gathered to pay their last respects to the iPhone and BlackBerry. The faux funeral was fully decked out with life sized mock iPhone and BlackBerry devices driven by hearse through Redmund campus.
Microsoft burying the iPhone and BlackBerry may seem a little far fetched at this juncture, but it sure is fun to watch when the big companies go head to head like this. No matter what side you are on, expect the competition to bring new levels of quality to everyone.
Windows Phone 7 was finished on September 1st, with a release date planned to be announced on October 11th in New York City.
This morning Research in Motion formally announced the much anticipated BlackBerry Torch (formerly the 9800,) and we must say, we’re kind of excited about it. The Torch has got a bunch of features that make it a formidable competitor in the smartphone space. Things like a full QWERTY keyboard portrait slider, 5 megapixel camera with flash, 3.2-inch touchscreen display (480x360,) 802.11n support, GPS, and much more. It’s got 4GB of internal storage and ships with a 4GB microSD card as well. 512MB RAM and a quad-band 3G radio that’ll let you use it across the world. One of the more interesting features is MEdia Sync, which lets you sync your content to the device right over WI-Fi. Oh, and did we mention that it runs the new BlackBerry 6 operating system? AT&T has got the exclusive on this one, and it launches in nine days on AUgust 12th, available for $199 with a two-year contract.
Wanna see it in action? Hit the break for a couple of BlackBerry Torch introductory videos!
Read More | AT&T
Following this morning’s iPhone 4 press conference, Apple has put up a page detailing the attenuation and signal loss of the antenna. They include videos of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, BlackBerry Bold 9700, HTC Droid Eris, and Samsung Omnia II (basically, iOS, BlackBerry OS, Android, and Windows Mobile) all showing the same issue, and explain why it happens.
Don’t forget, Apple is offering free cases to all iPhone 4 purchasers through September 30th, and if you’ve already bought one, they will even give you a refund.
Read More | Apple
BlackBerry 6 is on track to launch later this summer, so Research In Motion (RIM) is aiming to get you hyped by releasing bits of information about the major revision to the BlackBerry operating system, slowly but surely. Today, we’ve got a video showing off the fluid BlackBerry 6 interface, giving us a look at some key features that have us pretty excited for what’s ahead. Hit the video above for a look at universal search, Social Feeds, the revamped WebKit-based BlackBerry browser, and more.
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