The Android platform has been growing at an unprecedented pace and has already been the number one smartphone platform in the world since a few months. It had also overtaken iOS in the US and going by the latest data from January 2011, it has now edged out Blackberry to become the number one smartphone OS in the United States as well.
According to data from Comscore, Android now has a 31.2% share of the US smartphone market. RIM follows in the second place with 30.4% and Apple takes the third spot with 24.7% share. This data doesn’t cover the effects of the iPhone 4 now being available on Verizon, but I doubt that will change the overall picture much. Android is still growing at an insanely fast pace, and at the expense of Microsoft, Palm and Symbian. Despite the launch of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has actually lost share.
Nielsen’s data shows a similar trend – Android has a 29% share which is way ahead of iOS and Blackberry both at 29%. With more impressive Android devices coming soon, Android will soon dominate the market by a huge margin. Even Apple’s marketshare has been cemented by its loyal fans. With the support from Nokia, Microsoft’s marketshare is expected to rise at least a bit in the coming year. The smartphone wars are going to be very interesting.
The Boy Genius Report is currently reporting that RIM is poised to port Blackberry Messenger over to iOS and Android devices. RIM has held Blackberry Messenger (BBM) in high regards as a tool to instantly and securely chat with friends and co-workers through Blackberry devices, exclusively. A huge push in marketing BBM to consumers went off in 2010 and it would seem RIM is now taking it to the next level. Many users love Blackberry Messenger due to the fact that it’s carrier-independent, has read/replied/delivered status and is completely free of charge once there is an internet connection, RIM is hoping to build out this BBM user-base by offering the service on Apple’s iOS devices as well as certain Android handsets.
Offering a minimally functioning client may persuade users to jump ship to Blackberry devices in order to get full featured capabilities. Users of third party devices would either be charged a one-time fee for the application or a re-occurring fee to use the service. This would seemingly allow RIM to dominate “mobile IM” market by allowing cross platform communications built atop their industry leading infrastructure. For this to be successful, RIM needs to bring the same experience that many Blackberry Messenger users rave about, but entice users to want more and to purchase a Blackberry device in order to really experience the capabilities of the service.
There is no word on when this will be available nor what terms it will be available with, as this is a rumor — but with the state that RIM is currently in, it’s very plausible.
The technology blog, BGR, reports that the first BlackBerry tablet is all set to be launched on April 10th 2011. The tablet, called BlackBerry PlayBook will be sold at retail locations for $499. Recent speculation about the features BlackBerry PlayBook will include, has increased its anticipation and the most recent announcement about it being able to run Android apps in addition to the BlackBerry apps has also surprised users.
However, a new war front started brewing today due to significant similarities between PlayBook’s OS and the WebOS that Palm introduced back in 2009. HP’s director of product marketing for their TouchBook commented that “there are some uncanny similarities” between the two OSs. Research In Motion, the makers of BlackBerry, have also issued a response to HP’s comment, explaining that “we set out from the ground up to define a user experience that we felt would delight our customers, and we landed in a place that may look like other competitive devices”.
RIM has recently been heavily criticized for not being innovative enough with its products and if the new PlayBook follows the same course, it may very well be the last nail in RIM’s coffin. The company, which at one time created world’s most popular smart phones, is struggling quite a bit to compete with iPhone and Android phones that give users more power and features. Moreover, with every technology company trying their hands on creating a tablet, the competition in this newly created niche is already fierce with no room for mistakes.
Last month, BGR presented an exclusive report on Android apps being tested on the Blackberry PlayBook tablet. BlackBerry has done some considerable work over the last one month and ShopSavvy has seen its app running on three more BlackBerry devices. The data was available to them through the Flurry analytics service. The devices running this app were:
BlackBerry 8300 ran ShopSavvy on January 31, 2011 BlackBerry 8600 ran ShopSavvy on January 17 and 24, 2011 BlackBerry 8520 ran ShopSavvy on February 7, 2011
The access was made from Waterloo, Ontario in Canada where RIM headquarters lie. The blackberry OS has support for a JVM and this is probably being made use of to run these apps on BlackBerry devices. ShopSavvy has also presented the analytics for some apprehensive users.
According to some rumors, BlackBerry was planning to use the Dalvik Virtual Machine to run these apps. However, it dropped the plan later, to develop an internal solution.
With Android having a considerably large number of apps in the market and growing faster than any other mobile OS, BlackBerry has every reason to hook on to the Android ecosystem. This will be a groundbreaking development, thereby bringing cross-platform app support for Android. Android app developers will have better scope for revenues and BlackBerry will emerge stronger in this competition where it is pitted against platforms from Android and Apple.
BlackBerry is to finally receive a long awaited update to its Facebook app in May 2011. Thanks to N4BB, we have some leaked screenshots of the updated version of the app.
From the screenshot we can see that Facebook 2.0 for BlackBerry will finally come with chat feature. Besides that, it has also received a new user interface through which users can view pages and get more info about their friends like friends list, etc..
As mentioned earlier, though the Facebook 2.0 for BlackBerry will be arriving only in May 2011, an early beta is to be released next month. We’ll keep you updated as to when the app will be released. Until then, if you haven’t tried the app yet, you can download it from BlackBerry app world for free.
The Angry Birds game is literally breaking all records on Android, Maemo and iPhone. Wherever you go, you’ll see someone or the other playing the game. Although BlackBerry is considered very business centric device, all work and no play can make Jack a dull boy.
Even though, BlackBerry doesn’t have Angry Birds yet, the developers have made sure you don’t miss the fun. BlackBerry is now bestowed with Angry Farm – a knock off of Angry Birds available at the BlackBerry app world for just $4.99.
Details of the Blackberry Dakota, a smartphone styled after the Blackberry Bold, first surfaced after RIM’s Blackberry Roadmap for 2011 was leaked. Soon after, the specifications of the Blackberry Dakota and a few rendered images of it also leaked out.
Today, we have the live images of the Blackberry Dakota / Montana, rumored to be the Blackberry Bold Touch. It will be the first Blackberry phone to sport both a touchscreen display and the famed Blackberry QWERTY keyboard.
The Blackberry Dakota / Montana will run Blackberry OS 6.1. It comes with a 2.8 inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels. It has 6.5 GB internal storage and comes with 512 MB RAM.
The Bold Touch will be slightly bigger than the Blackberry Bold, but will offer much more than its predecessor. It will also have a 5 MP camera with HD video recording, flash and image stabilization. It will offer Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and NFC support. It can also act as a 3G mobile hotspot. It will be one of the slimmest Blackberry devices at just 10.5 mm.
In the past few months, with the series of Android devices launched at CES 2011 and MWC 2011, it seems that everyone has almost forgotten about the Blackberry.
RIM is planning to launch a couple of new Blackberry smartphones in 2011, and details of quite a few such devices including the Blackberry Storm 3 have already leaked out.
Today, we have come across a video of the Blackberry Storm 3 (codenamed Monaco). The Blackberry Monaco comes with Blackberry OS 6.1 and comes with a nice design. The OS seems very fast and responsive, with an improved UI. It is very slim, at just 11.5 mm.
The Blackberry Monaco comes with a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm processor and has 768 MB RAM. It has 4 GB internal storage and supports up to 32 GB microSD cards.
It is a dual band CDMA phone with EVDO Rev. A connectivity. It comes with a 3.7 inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. It also offers Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 and GPS. It also has NFC connectivity and supports Mobile Hotspot.
It will also have a 5 MP camera with autofocus and flash with support for 720p HD video recording. It is much better than the Blackberry Storm, but doesn’t offer anything that the new generation of Android smartphones, or the iPhone 5 won’t.
Twitter has a lot of problems with third party apps using the name Twitterin their app name. That or UberMedia fought a long and hard battle over the weekend to resolve the banning issue with the micro blogging giant.
“Today we suspended several applications, including UberTwitter, twidroyd and UberCurrent, which have violated Twitter policies and trademarks in a variety of ways. These violations include, but aren’t limited to, a privacy issue with private Direct Messages longer than 140 characters, trademark infringement, and changing the content of users’ Tweets in order to make money.”
Today, Twitter updated their original post. They lifted the ban on the two applications, stating that the applications had started taking steps to remedy the policy violations. A new update for both the applications is available on the respective markets and only a re-sign in is needed for the apps to start working as they used to.
However, amidst this chaotic weekend, the truereason as to why Twitter suspended the apps without any prior warning crept up to the surface. Bill Gross, CEO of UberMedia, the creator of UberTwitterUberSocial responded on Quora as to why the apps had been suspended. However, the best comment on the entire issue came from a user who asked the vital question without making it seem like a question:-
Yes, and it’s total coincidence that on the day they were suspended Twitter ran the promoted Tweet #TwitterMobile and that UberTwitter was never suspended before being bought by Bill Gross & raising $17.5m.
This sort of shoddy and offensive behavior on Twitter Inc.’s part is not going to win it any brownie points later. However, being confined to its bounds (being the largest microblogging platform) we see monopoly mechanics emerging from its depths, although the entire affair has dulled our opinion of Twitter as a whole.