updated 01:00 pm EDT, Mon August 3, 2009
RIM video conferencing
RIM is reportedly working to integrate front-facing cameras on its Blackberry smartphones sometime next year, according to tinycomb. A company executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, claimed that video conferencing is something they have been working on for a "quite some time."
The exec took an indirect jab at AT&T when asked about the company's plans if Apple brought front-facing cameras onto the iPhone. "As I said before, we are fortunate to have our relationships with many different carriers, some of which can handle something like live video-conferencing."
Speaking in more general terms regarding the overall market, the source suggests RIM's US distribution across more than one network has been a "strong advantage." The company has not endured the "nightmare" that Apple has experienced with AT&T.
Following the recent removal of several Google Voice apps from the iPhone app store, AT&T issued a statement denying involvement. Critics suggest the carrier has played a role in limiting certain types of content from the mobile platform, such as apps that require a significant amount of data transfer or enable users to avoid long distance fees. The FCC is currently investigating the situation, as each involved company has been asked to provide further explanation.
Regarding the BlackBerry App World, the executive admitted that "it's tough when you are going up against a company operating one platform and perfecting a single piece of hardware." RIM has seen particular strength with young buyers, however, particularly in the 18-25 age group. "All of their friends are on BBM, and it's addicting," he said.