A Quattroporte adds LiDAR, sonar, mirror displays
BlackBerry's QNX division has brought a modified Maserati Quattroporte to CES, demonstrating the company's vision for safety and infotainment technology. The sedan has been outfitted with a bevy of cameras, LiDAR equipment, ultrasonic sensors, a digital instrument cluster, a gigantic infotainment touchscreen, and additional displays that function as side- and rear-view mirrors.
'Global' switchover will cost nothing extra over normal replacement cycle
Automaker Ford has announced that it will transition at least 9,300 corporate employees from BlackBerry models and flip phones to iPhones over the next two years. The change, which will cost the company nothing above the normal cost of a replacement cycle, is a blow to BlackBerry, but the Canadian smartphone maker can take solace in the fact that Ford chose BlackBerry's QNX for its next-generation Sync infotainment system, replacing a previous Microsoft-based one.
Gartner sees iPad still leading in four years
Apple will stay out in front of the tablet market for at least the next four years, Gartner predicted in a long-term estimate on Tuesday. The analyst group saw sales for the entire tablet market for 2012 nearly doubling, up 98 percent to 118.9 million, with Apple still in the clear majority at 73 million. While the gap would close, Apple would keep the largest piece of the market even until 2016.
RIM may shed long-term BlackBerry server fee
RIM might counteract its recent poor results by dropping its longstanding BlackBerry server access fee. A rumor from a "senior source" at RIM speaking to BGR had the company exploring the possibility of dropping the cost it normally passes on to carriers in order to get wider adoption. It would cost over $1 billion in revenue a quarter, but the gamble would be that carriers would drive more sales without that fee to pay or factor into their prices.
We check out QNX in a Porsche at CES 2012
A side section of RIM's booth at CES 2012 was dedicated to showing off the results of QNX's work in car dash technology since it was bought by RIM. Custom-modifying a Porsche 911's dash and center stack, QNX showed Electronista an interface very heavily inspired by the QNX-based BlackBerry PlayBook but tailored just to the environment of a car. It not only controlled phone calls (including VoIP), music playback, and navigation, but also Internet access and even an app platform.
ARM Cortex-A7 promises speed in sub-100 phones
ARM chose Wednesday to reveal a new mobile processor design that could make possible smartphones under $100 that still have real performance. Cortex-A7 MPCore borrows some of the optimizations from the A15 and rolls them into a budget design. Although it's a fifth the size of the older Cortex-A8 at 0.5mm square and five times more power efficient, speed is "significantly greater" and closer to that of a higher-end $500 phone, ARM argued.
BBX official with unified code
RIM at BlackBerry DevCon unveiled BBX, its unified platform for BlackBerry phones and tablets as well as even some embedded devices. Both share the same open-source, standards-focused QNX roots as the PlayBook. They also use an interface layer from RIM's acquistion The Astonishing Tribe.
BlackBerry X may merge RIM phone, tablet platforms
RIM's BlackBerry DevCon this month may see it take a page from Apple in an OS naming scheme and strategy. New leaks from multiple sources pointed to a more unified platform known as BlackBerry X. CrackBerry understands that it wouldn't represent a jump to revision 10 but instead would reflect the influence of QNX on the new mobile OS.
Apps also power RIM BlackBerry Playbook
RIM's real-time OS developer QNX has revealed that its Neutrino real-time OS and Aviage audio processing have been embedded in Onstar's new FMV rear-view mirror which the GM division launched in August. Onstar is using the aftermarket mirror to provide access for non-GM car owners to its driver's services. The QNX code is used to tune the system performance and hands-free calling.
RIM talks patent win effect on others and QNX
RIM as part of the call discussing its summer results discussed its view on how it would use its share of Nortel patents bought alongside Apple. While silent on how much exact control it had, the BlackBerry creator saw it as equal opportunities. RIM could find ways to "monetize" its involvement in the patents as well as provide "assurance" against attacks, co-CEO Mike Lazaridis explained.
RIM details PlayBook 2.0 and Video Store plans
RIM during the conference call for its bleak summer quarter confirmed major software efforts to reinvigorate the BlackBerry PlayBook. The company confirmed that the PlayBook 2.0 update was real and that it was planning one, major upgrade instead of trickling out features. The update would include the long-promised native e-mail, calendar, and contacts as well as the Android App Player and BlackBerry Balance, its platform for separating home and work content on the same device.
Jefferies analyst sees RIM too fast on BBerry Colt
RIM's self-proclaimed "superphone" based on its new QNX platform, unofficially known as the BlackBerry Colt, might be pushed too quickly into the market. Based on "checks," Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek believed on Friday that the Colt was "being rushed' with no BlackBerry Enterprise Server or possibly BlackBerry Internet Service support. The company might be following a classic technology company practice of speeding up its timing solely to have a device to show for CES in January, something that Misek saw as a potentially fatal mistake.
PlayBook at last due for native messaging in month
RIM may not wait for an all-encompassing update to give the PlayBook the features it promised before launch. Sources mentioned Wednesday that the update for native e-mail, BlackBerry Messenger, and other features would arrive sometime in September. The Android app wrapper, once promised for the summer, now wouldn't come until sometime "later on in the year," Bloomberg's source said.
RIM puts out PlayBook native SDK and OS update
RIM gave the BlackBerry PlayBook two injections of support Wednesday. Developers now have access to the native SDK beta. The code lets develoeprs finally write in lower-level C or C++ code to make 3D games and other elements that need deep access, such as to the accelerometer, the camera, or full graphics acceleration.
RIM QNX-based Colt to keep dual core, full touch
More details about RIMís forthcoming QNX-based smartphone codenamed Colt have been revealed . It was originally thought that a single core processor to conserve battery life, against what will mostly be dual-core competition by the time it launches, might hobble the smartphone. However, RIM will run a dual-core processor in the device, and will make it full touchscreen as well, like its larger 7-inch BlackBerry PlayBook sibling.
BlackBerry Colt with QNX seen shipping early 2012
A possibly major scoop Monday has shed light on what could be RIM's first phone using the QNX platform from the PlayBook. So far known as the BlackBerry Colt, the long promised device would fall short of RIM's repeated claims of having a "superphone" through lower performance. BGR's source understood that attempts to maintain the BlackBerry's reputation for battery life meant the Colt would still go with a single-core processor where most of its competitors will have dual- or even quad-core processors when it ships.
RIM BlackBerry senior VP may have left
RIM may have lost one of its more important executives in what could be the start of a wider exodus. A claim by multiple sources Tuesday has Suresh Periyalwar, the company's Senior VP of Handheld Software, has supposedly backed out. It wasn't evident from BGR's sources if the BlackBerry lead had voluntarily quit or if he had been pushed out or if he was part of RIM's 2,000 job cuts.
RIM rumored dropping 10in PlayBook to
RIM's rumored 10-inch BlackBerry PlayBook may have already been scrapped to refocus more of RIM's efforts on the company's long-mentioned "superphone" using the same QNX-based OS as the seven-inch tablet. A rumor Tuesday alleges that all work has stopped and that most of the remaining PlayBook focus is on LTE-based 4G PlayBooks, which should ship in October. The N4BB insider didn't know for certain when the phone would ship, but RIM's CEOs have usually put it in early 2012.
RIM CEOs insist on staying in place.
RIM's co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis in the wake of a damaging spring quarter refused to bow to pressure to reduce their control. Balsillie contended that the company was just coming through a massive transition to BlackBerry 7 and the PlayBook and that surviving it was an achievement in itself. Neither of the individual CEOs could have done it alone, he argued.
RIM dashes hopes of BlackBerry 7 Flash or Android
RIM in conversations Monday night revealed that had no plans to support some of the features in BlackBerry 7 that it did in the BlackBerry PlayBook. The company no longer planned to support Flash on the current BlackBerry platform and would wait until the phones were sharing the same QNX-based roots as the PlayBook tablet. BB7 phones like the Bold 9900 also wouldn't qualify to run the OS and would need at least a dual-core replacement, handheld software manager Andrew Bocking told PCMag.
BlackBerry 6.1 to be renamed BlackBerry 7
The evolutionary upgrade that is the BlackBerry 6.1 operating system will be known as BlackBerry 7 when it's officially unveiled at next week's BlackBerry World show, multiple sources told CrackBerry. If this proves true, it will also go against a previous report that had BlackBerry 7 launching in November. Also contradicting previous rumors is the latest news that it won't be QNX-based.
Gartner sees Android getting 49pc share by 2015
Gartner on Thursday chipped in a long-term prediction of its own for smartphone share that gave Android nearly half of the market. It expected Google to jump to 38.5 percent of the market this year to reach 48.8 percent in 2015, or 539.3 million phones. The company would be riding the back of an open OS wave where the devices were "democratized" and would cost $300 or less off-contract, principal analyst Roberta Cozza said.
BlackBerry roadmap shows version 7 in November
RIM's software strategy for 2011 has been given out in full with a roadmap that showed the first signs of BlackBerry 7. The future OS is said to be starting "core integration" in mid-October and to have finished by the end of November. N4BB's copy didn't say for sure if it would bring in the new QNX foundations behind the PlayBook or if this meant shipping devices.
RIM exec Pardy bows out ahead of tablet
RIM's Chief Marketing Officer Keith Pardy said on Friday that he was quitting the company for "personal reasons." He didn't explain the causes but said he had let RIM know a month earlier. The executive will stay in touch for the next six months to help transition over.
RIM says PlayBook will only get native mail later
The recently tested BlackBerry PlayBook won't have native support for core messaging features when it ships, the company's Senior Product Manager Ryan Bidan said in a video interview (below). Initially, the BlackBerry Messenger, calendar and e-mail functions will need the BlackBerry Bridge pairing feature that shares a BlackBerry phone's services over Bluetooth. True local access is coming but doesn't have a definite roadmap.
We test the BlackBerry PlayBook as RIM hints sync
We had the opportunity to try the BlackBerry PlayBook at CES on Friday and discovered that it may have sync with more than just the BlackBerry. A representative on the show floor told Electronista that there might be plans to sync some services with the iPhone or other platforms. While there wasn't much definite, it was mainly something that RIM 'hadn't communicated yet,' the staffer said.
PlayBook may be delayed by battery issues
The BlackBerry PlayBook might be facing significant battery problems that has led to a slight delay, Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu heard from sources. The tablet in its current state allegedly has battery life of just "a few hours" where the Galaxy Tab often gets six and the iPad 10. It may need re-engineering and could even demand a heavier battery, negating much of the weight advantage of a seven-inch tablet.
RIM CEO hints at larger PlayBooks in store
RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis' turn at an interview at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference confirmed that larger versions of the BlackBerry PlayBook were coming. He was confident that the seven-inch model was "just the perfect size," but there were "plans for different sizes," he said when asked. When they would come and what dimensions they would have weren't said.
RIM accepts BlackBerry PlayBook apps
RIM today began accepting BlackBerry PlayBook app submissions for an eventual posting to BlackBerry App World. The primarily AIR- and Flash-based apps that pass approval should go up when the PlayBook releases early next year. Developers can write apps in Linux, the Mac and Windows, with recent addition bringing 64-bit Windows development and emulation support in Linux.
RIM talks PlayBook UI and Apple at Rogers event
RIM's David Neale at the same event that detailed Rogers' PlayBook plans also showed a demo of the device itself (video below) and took several shots at Apple in the process. Running a daily build of the BlackBerry Tablet OS, the slate was shown using swipe gestures to manage its multitasking interface much like the card system in HP's webOS. It was running quickly and could handle a 1080p video, the web browser and the photo viewer smoothly, even while running on just one of the two cores.
RIM snaps up Astonishing Tribe for BlackBerry UI
RIM today said it had bought The Astonishing Tribe in a bid to improve its mobile interfaces. The Swedish design outlet is being brought onboard to help the UI on both its BlackBerry phones and on the PlayBook tablet. RIM's CTO David Yach didn't say how soon users could expect Astonishing Tribe's work to influence the design.
Co-CEO Jim Balsillie reveals plans
RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie has revealed in an interview in Korea that its forthcoming Blackberry Playbook will reach the US market in Q1 2011 priced at under $500. Originally unveiled in September, Balsillie also indicated that the device would then begin rolling out globally during spring 2011.
BlackBerry PlayBook gets SDK and simulator
RIM today posted the first SDK and emulators for its upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The kits let both Macs and Windows PCs write apps in BlackBerry Tablet OS' preferred Adobe AIR format and gives a disk image that can run in VMware and possibly other virtual machines. The release gives developers an early opportunity to design ahead of BlackBerry App World submissions and the PlayBook's early 2011 launch.
Adobe intros AIR 2.5 and InMarket for tablets, TV
Adobe today stepped up development of its non-computer Flash plans by launching AIR 2.5. The app for creating non-browser Flash apps can now package them for Android and iPhone devices but also tablets, including the iPad and the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook. Google TV support isn't yet built in, but AIR can build apps for Samsung's SmartTV platform.
Jeffries says Storm3 intact, PlayBook 2 coming
Jefferies & Co. this week issued a research note that insisted that RIM hadn't cancelled the Storm3 and that a second BlackBerry PlayBook tablet was in the works. It claimed that the model with the click-down SurePress screen had indeed been cancelled but that a version without, like the Torch, was on track for late November. The Storm3 that ships would still be very mild with 512MB of RAM, BlackBerry 6 and a five-megapixel camera as its only upgrades over the 2009 phone.
RIM says QNX long-term sequel to BlackBerry OS
RIM during a breakfast at the BlackBerry DevCon session today said the QNX foundations at the heart of the BlackBerry PlayBook would eventually replace BlackBerry OS itself. Confirming a rumor, a vice president said the roots to the currently isolated BlackBerry Tablet OS would eventually spread to the smartphones. BlackBerry 7, which doesn't have a timeframe, would likely be a gateway ahead of the full switch.
Analyst says 25.5m iPads, 6m Galaxy Tabs in 2011
Apple is poised to control the tablet market for at least the next year, Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley said today. He estimated that Apple would ship 13.4 million iPads in 2010 and 25.5 million in 2011. The next closest, Samsung's Galaxy Tab, would reach 1.5 million by the end of the year and move another six million in 2011.
RIM DevCon only teasing BlackBerry tablet software
RIM's opening DevCon presentations won't show any actual BlackBerrry tablet hardware but may talk about its software, sources mentioned today. Both BGR and Electronista have unofficially heard that the events on Monday won't be product unveilings and will stick to the development focus of the San Francisco conference. The BGR tip added that RIM would talk about the platform, though to what extent wasn't said.
Hints emerge RIM may unveil BlackBerry tablet soon
(Update: hardware details) RIM may use BlackBerry DevCon to unveil its repeatedly rumored BlackBerry-related tablet. A San Francisco event on Monday, before the conference in earnest, is said to be very secretive by ZDNet and might precede the actual keynotes for the event, which start with co-CEO Mike Lazaridis' presentation at Moscone Center West. While not necessarily a revelation by itself, it would come just as major companies like Citrix are reportedly promoting services and other products that would support a RIM tablet when ready.
RIM snaps up SurfBook name in Canadian trademark
RIM has fueled speculation about its BlackBerry-influenced tablet with a recently discovered trademark filing. An application at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) for a SurfBook name is vague about the uses of the name but would cover all of the likely devices RIM could make, such as a tablet, a computer or a smartphone. A matching trademark hasn't the US, but it's unknown if RIM is simply waiting or is considering using different names in different countries.
RIM BlackPad may abandon BlackBerry 6 for QNX
RIM's BlackPad tablet may drop any attempt to use BlackBerry 6 when it ships, insiders said this morning. It would instead take advantage of the buyout of QNX to use an entirely fresh platform. Bloomberg's sources maintain that it would still tap into BlackBerry e-mail but wouldn't have the legacy code holding back the BlackBerry 6 platform.
Research firm claims RIM wants large screens
RIM may be developing a tablet of its own, based on claims by an industry research firm. Checks in the supply chain have led the analysts to believe that RIM is ordering an 8.9-inch tablet from Hon Hai Precision (Foxconn) that would be ready to ship by the summer or fall of this year. Whether it would use the BlackBerry OS itself isn't known, but it may have ad-supported content playback and use both 3G and Wi-Fi to sync with a BlackBerry smartphone.