Posts Tagged ‘RIM’

7digital launches in the US, BlackBerry music download store provides the splash

Like many British acts, UK-based music download service 7digital is hoping to conquer America. Today the company announced that its 6 million plus strong MP3 music store has opened its doors in the US, with tracked offered from Universal Music Group, Warner, EMI, Sony and an array independent labels.

To coincide and spearhead 7digital’s US launch, the company has also released the BlackBerry MP3 Music Store application for RIM’s latest range of smartphones (BlackBerry Bold, BlackBerry Curve 8900, BlackBerry Tour, BlackBerry Curve 8520 and BlackBerry Storm).

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Adobe Flash seen running on Palm Pre – Netbooks, MIDs, and other smartphones also set to win (iPhone aside)

Adobe has long talked up its ambition to have Flash running on all manner of screens, not just the humble PC, and today the company got a lot closer to walking the walk not just talking.

Through the Open Screen Project, Adobe was already known to be working with smartphone platforms from Palm (WebOS), Nokia (Symbian) and Microsoft (Windows Mobile), along with a raft of content providers, chip makers and consumer electronics companies. Today, the company added Google and Research In Motion to the list, with relation to Android and Blackberry-powered smartphones respectively, leaving Apple’s iPhone as the odd one out regarding planned support for full Flash (or any Flash support at all).

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Palm Pre aiming to be THE Facebook phone – social networking still mobile's killer app


(Credit: Jamie Gonzalez via twitpic)

I’ve written many times before that social networking, and Facebook in particular, is the killer application for mobile phones. It’s what’s driving take up of mobile data and the adoption of higher end so-called smartphones. The mobile networks have taken notice and jumped on the social networking bandwagon, heavily promoting access to Facebook as a key feature, and handset makers are doing the same.

RIM has been targeting consumers with an ad campaign that features the Blackberry’s Facebook application.

Ditto Apple with the iPhone.

And there’s INQ, a new entrant whose first device, the INQ1, has been dubbed ‘the Facebook phone‘ based on its deep integration with the social networking site.

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BlackBerry App World launches as RIM's consumer push continues

blackberry app worldAlready entrenched in the corporate world, it’s no secret that Canadian handset maker RIM harbors serious consumer ambitions, an area it sees as most likely to produce future growth. Case in point is the company’s recently released ‘BlackBerry Storm’, an all touch screen affair that arguably puts video playback and other consumer features ahead of ‘corporate’ email, which has long been RIM’s ‘bread and butter’.

Today’s launch of ‘BlackBerry App World‘, the company’s answer to the iPhone’s App Store, provides even greater evidence of a consumer push, with apps for Facebook, MySpace and Instant Messaging, currently dominating the “featured apps” list.

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Internet TV news: BlackBerry, Blockbuster and TiVo, Netflix on PS3?

A few Internet TV-related stories have been doing the rounds over the last few days that I’ve not yet had a chance to comment on. Here’s a quick catch-up.

BlackBerry to launch video download service

blackberryvideoResearch In Motion is close to launching a a full-episode television service for the company’s line of BlackBerry smartphones. An official announcement could come as early as next week at CTIA, reports NewTeeVee. Interesting tidbits include:

  • It will be an unlimited monthly subscription service for a fee
  • Once a user orders a program, the content will be downloaded in the background over Wi-Fi
  • Multiple broadcast and cable networks have licensed content for the service

As NTV notes, utilizing WiFi rather than 3G to deliver episodes to the phone enables RIM to bypass carriers, while at the same avoiding the inconvenience of side-loading content via a PC (iTunes style). Obviously it would be preferable to offer both options – WiFi and 3G – but that would likely mean sharing revenue, something that RIM, like Apple, is keen to avoid. As it stands, any direct paid-for content offering from RIM won’t sit well with carriers who still insist on owning the customer.

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If buggy smartphones are the "new reality", here's some free advice for handset makers

It’s an honest yet unwelcome admission: rushing devices to market with buggy and unfinished software is the “new reality” in the smartphone space, RIM’s co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie tells the Wall Street Journal. When the company released its iPhone competitor, the Blackberry Storm, it met its Black Friday deadline by “the skin of their teeth”, only for the device to be widely slammed by critics for its many software glitches, most of which, RIM claims, have now been addressed by a firmware update.

RIM’s story isn’t an isolated one. The majority of smartphones that I’ve tested over the last year, admittedly some were “pre-production” models, had issues with the software on which they run on. The problem should be addressed in a forthcoming software update, I’m almost always told, and more often than not it is.


And there lies the biggest problem.

While “release early and release often” might be the new smartphone reality, timing is everything. Here’s some free advice for smartphone makers…

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Report: HTC's Android-powered "Google phone" may be delayed after all

I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. Developing a phone — even if it is just an operating system — is not something you do overnight with a bunch of cajoled software developers.

Just a week after High Tech Computer (HTC) said it was on schedule to deliver Android-powered cell phones by the 4Q of 2008, another report surfaces Thursday that says HTC is “having structural problems to incorporate Google’s demand feature set” and “demanding a guaranteed minimum revenue surety from Google,” according to Barron’s Tech Trader Daily.

Barron’s picked up a research note from Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research saying his “contacts” contend that HTC’s Android handset — the so-called Google phone — will be delayed until the first quarter of 2009.

Additionally, Chowdhry’s “contacts” tell him that another problem Google is having is attracting software developers to the platform. They’re too busy writing code for Windows Mobile, Nokia (Symbian), Research in Motion (BlackBerry), and Apple’s iPhone.

That’s no surprise. These guys actually have phones, real working phones, to develop for and test.

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@Supernova: Evidence developers are just as interested in Blackberry as they are iPhone, Android

While the Supernova conference is mostly about the future of the network, a part of that network is mobile. And if you listen to most attendees, the two most important mobile players right now are Apple and the iPhone and Google and Android.

Oddly, it’s as if two other established players — Nokia and Research in Motion — have been relegated to the sideline as also-rans. One conference attendee even asked during a discussion about the future of mobile, “Is Blackberry dead?”


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Mobile OS wars heat up as Verizon joins LiMo Foundation, a Google-Android rival

VerizonHere’s an interesting jab at Google and its mobile operating system Android: Verizon, the No. 2 U.S. carrier, is joining the LiMo Foundation because it has software and phones available, Google does not.

LiMo FoundationThe LiMo Foundation, representing Linux Mobile, is the lesser known of the mobile operating systems. There’s Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, supplying many makers of smart phones; Symbian, supplier mostly to Nokia; Qualcomm, supplier mostly to Verizon; upstart Google, and Apple. Then there’s Linux Mobile, slowly creeping along by adding devices mostly in Europe and Asia.

The LiMo (Linux Mobile) Foundation is a consortium of companies well vested in the mobile industry: Motorola, Samsung, LG Electronics, Vodaphone, NTT DoCoMo, and many others. Verizon is the first U.S. carrier to join the LiMo initiative, which now has 40 members worldwide.

The idea behind LiMo is to build a standardized, Linux-based mobile platform, which members can customize to meet their needs. For the most part, Linux Mobile is a competitor to Android, which is not yet available on any handsets. Linux Mobile is showing up on phones from Motorola, NEC, Panasonic, Samsung, and LG.

Kyle Malady, vice president of network for Verizon, said in a conference call today that he expects Verizon to sell both regular devices and smart phones using mobile Linux next year.

“We expect that Linux Mobile will rapidly become our preferred operating system,” Malady said to The Associated Press [via The New York Times] . “As the development community looks at how best to bring new applications to the marketplace, they should check out LiMo and Linux Mobile first.”

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The mobile web isn't dead. It's just starting.

mowserThe mobile Web is dead! The mobile Web is dead! The mobile Web is dead!

Or says Chicken Little, aka Russell Beattie, the founder of Mowser, a Menlo Park, Calif., startup focused on mobile Web browsing. Beattie delivered the news Monday that Mowser “is at the end of its life in its current form.”

For that, I am truly sorry. Beattie, who has invested everything he has in Mowser for the past year, is a gutsy entrepreneur who knows a little something about mobile. From November 2004 to September 2006, Beattie worked at Yahoo! creating mobile products and content.

Beattie left to launch Mowser, a Web site focused on content adaption for mobile phones. You can read about his experiences on his blog, but what it all comes down to after a year of intense work is that “I don’t actually believe in the ‘Mobile Web’ anymore” and the market “is limited at best, and dying at worst.”

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