BlackBerry Unveils The New Curve 9380 Smartphone

Along with the BlackBerry Bold 9790, RIM (Research-In-Motion) also announced the new BlackBerry Curve 9380 smartphone. This handset also runs on the latest BlackBerry 7 Operating System. BlackBerry Curve 9380 is the first-ever smartphone in the BlackBerry Curve family with a touch display. It comes with a 3.2 inch touch screen display, 806 MHz processor, 5 megapixel camera and more. Check out the complete specs after the break.

blackberry curve 9380

BlackBerry Curve 9380 Specifications:

  • 3.2 inch touch screen display
  • 480 x 360 pixel resolution
  • 806 MHz processor
  • BlackBerry 7 Operating System
  • Optical trackpad
  • 5 megapixel camera with flash
  • 4X Zoom
  • Image stabilization
  • Face detection
  • Digital zoom
  • Geo-tagging
  • VGA video recording
  • Integrated GPS with A-GPS ready
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • microSD/SDHC slot
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 512 MB internal memory
  • microSD card slot
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • 1230 mAh battery

BlackBerry Curve 9380 comes with the premium version of Documents To Go, which offers powerful document editing features as well as a native PDF document viewer. The BlackBerry Curve 9380 smartphone will be available from various carriers around the world over the coming weeks. The price of this handset will be announced later.

BlackBerry Announces The New Bold 9790 Smartphone

BlackBerry recently announced the new BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone under the popular BlackBerry Bold series. This handset runs on the new BlackBerry 7 Operating System. The BlackBerry Bold 9790 is the slimmer version of the popular BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone. It comes with a 2.45 inch touch screen display, 1 GHz processor, 8 GB internal memory and so on.

“We are very excited to expand the BlackBerry 7 portfolio with the new BlackBerry Bold 9790 and BlackBerry Curve 9380,said Carlo Chiarello, Senior Vice President, Handheld Product Management at Research In Motion. BlackBerry smartphones offer a uniquely refined mobile communications experience that people love and we think many customers will be thrilled by the faster performance, beautiful touch displays and compact designs available with these new BlackBerry 7 based models.

blackberry bold 9790

BlackBerry Bold 9790 Specifications:

  • 2.45 inch touch screen display
  • 640 x 480 pixel resolution
  • 1 GHz MG1 Marvel Tavor processor
  • BlackBerry 7 Operating System
  • Full QWERTY keyboard
  • Optical trackpad
  • 5 megapixel camera with flash
  • Continuous auto focus
  • Image stabilization
  • Face detection
  • Digital zoom
  • Geo-tagging
  • VGA video recording
  • Integrated GPS with A-GPS ready
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • 3G Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • microSD/SDHC slot
  • 768 MB RAM
  • 8 GB eMMC
  • microSD card slot
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • 1230 mAh battery

The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone will go on sale in Indonesia first, starting November 25. This handset will come with a price tag of 4,599,000 Indonesian rupiahs (approx. $515). The BlackBerry Bold 9790 will also be available from various carriers around the world, in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more updates!

BlackBerry PlayBook OS Update Pushed to 2012

If you were waiting for the PlayBook to get an update to OS2.0 before actually being useful, unfortunately you’ll have to continue waiting.

While RIM is going against all odds and continuing to provide support for the PlayBook, the shiny brick won’t be getting the expected update to OS 2.0 until February of 2012. It’s not the recently announced BBX, but it is supposed to be a fairly large upgrade for existing users. It wouldn’t be a product from Research in Motion if it didn’t ship missing crucial features, would it? Of course not, so it’s very fitting that RIM has decided to leave BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) support out of the update. That’s right, it’s going to take an additional 4 months of work before the system is polished up, but it still won’t have their proprietary instant messaging functionality. Feel free to purchase a new $500 (likely) BlackBerry to accompany your $700 PlayBook so you can use BBM with it. That’s a pretty good option, right?Maybe news of RIM doling out a couple of hundred PlayBooks loaded with OS 2.0 beta might make you feel better. Developers and any other DevCon attendees were given a new PlayBook. So, technical journalists, hobbyists and other random kids got them, but not paying customers. Members of the BlackBerry Early Access Program will also be getting closed betas of 2.0 shortly, this is mainly for tackling Enterprise support and integration.

In a post to the Inside BlackBerry Blog, Senior VP of BlackBerry PlayBook at RIM, David Smith gives a few reasons for the delay and lack of features upon launch.

First off, we have decided to defer the inclusion of the BBMâ„¢ application to a subsequent BlackBerry PlayBook OS release. We are committed to developing a seamless BBM solution that fully delivers on the powerful, push based messaging capabilities recognized today by BlackBerry ® users around the world and we’re still working on it. In the meantime, BlackBerry smartphone users will be able to continue to use BlackBerry ® Bridgeâ„¢ to securely access BlackBerry ® Messengerâ„¢ on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s high resolution display.

These betas will be rolled out over the course of this year and are an important next step to bringing our unmatched enterprise app deployment, device manageability, security and email integration capabilities to the tablet category.

There is a bit of good news in the tidbit. When OS 2.0 does pop around for download, it will bring integrated email, calendar and contacts. Your “business ready” tablet, isn’t exactly business ready at all, but it soon will be.

The software update will add advanced integrated email, calendar and contact apps, a new video store, as well as new functionality that will allow your BlackBerry smartphone and BlackBerry PlayBook to work together even better.

Hopefully this means a few software managers at RIM got slapped with a trout and are now starting to put actual work into the PlayBook. Their half-assed Android Player isn’t going to bring any new customers, so hopefully the brand spanking new OS, BBX, will make it to smartphones by February with the new PlayBook OS in tow.

RIM Reveals BBX Disappointment at DevCon

Today, Research in Motion officially announced BBX. BBX is the culmination of their legacy OS merged with what QNX has been building for the past year or so.

The developer conference that RIM hosts, DevCon, takes place over the next few days in San Francisco and then moves to Asia and Europe in the following months. New devices, new endeavors and anything new to RIM is normally announced at the event. So far, BBX has been the most ‘exciting’ thing. No new smartphones, no new tablets, and most certainly no devices running BBX have been discussed thus far.

So, what makes BBX so special? For starters, it’s a completely new platform — except it’s already on the PlayBook, which was an abysmal failure in comparison to other tablets. Okay, well they now have new development environments! HTML5 with WebWorks, Adobe Air, Native C/C++ and an Android Runtime. Even if developers don’t flock to using “web technologies” for their apps, you can surely rely on the vast Android Market, right? Before you do that, be sure to check out what will and won’t work with their Android Player  — almost nothing useful will work as it should.

What did RIM do properly? They announced they were abolishing some of the barriers to start developing for the platform. You no longer need to register to download the SDK. You no longer need to show ‘notarized papers’ to start developing. Leave the credit card in your wallet, it’s now free become a BlackBerry third party developer. That’s right, previous to today, you had to create an account, identify yourself and fork over cash before you could write a single line of code with their tools. If anybody was wondering why RIM was having a hard time attracting real talent, wonder no more!

RIM plans to use BBX to provide unification to their smartphones, tablets and other embedded devices they have in the works. BBM is there, push notifications are there, and their now-defunct proprietary communications backhaul  is there too! Everything you love (and hate) about BlackBerry is basically going to stay the same for the foreseeable future.

If RIM plans on gaining back the confidence they lost earlier this month, they will have to pull out all the stops over the next 2 days. We can only hope that the Waterloo-based company has an ace in the sleeve before they end the game.

RIM’s Response to Recent Service Outage; $100 Worth of Free Apps as Apology

If there’s one thing you use your BlackBerry for, it’s games, right?

In response to the recent BlackBerry service outage, which left millions of users across the world with a completely useless device, RIM has apologized for the disruption and is attempting to win some confidence back. In a Press Release issued early this morning, Research in Motion announced they will be offering premium apps  to customers as an expression of appreciation. The short list of apps and games will be available later this week, and will stay “free” until the end of 2011. It’s about as free as the $40/month you pay your carrier for access to RIM’s proprietary backhaul.

Likely, you have a BlackBerry for enterprise use (because it’ll cost the company too much to drop the antiquated service), well RIM isn’t ignoring you either. Corporate enterprise customers will receive one month of free technical support. A whole 30 days of technical service tacked onto your existing ball-and-chain contract with RIM — free!

The complete selection of premium apps will become available to download at BlackBerry App World over a period of four weeks beginning Wednesday, October 19th.   The selections over this period will include the following (with more to come):

•  SIMS 3 – Electronic Arts
•  Bejeweled – Electronic Arts
•  N.O.V.A. – Gameloft
•  Texas Hold’em Poker 2 – Gameloft
•  Bubble Bash 2 – Gameloft
•  Photo Editor Ultimate – Ice Cold Apps
• Pro –
•  iSpeech Translator Pro –
•  Drive Enterprise –
•  Nobex Radioâ„¢ Premium – Nobex
•  Shazam Encore – Shazam
•  Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant – Vlingo

RIM’s enterprise customers will also be offered one month of free Technical Support.   Current customers will be offered a complimentary one month extension of their existing Technical Support contract, and customers who do not currently have a Technical Support contract will be offered a one month trial of RIM’s BlackBerry Technical Support Services – Enhanced Support, free of charge.   Additional details about the program and information about how to register will be available at

It’s a pretty unclear message that RIM is sending. “Our service was down for 3 days and you were left with a brick in your pocket, here are some free games to play (for when the service goes out again), and if you pay for the service, we’ll offer your free technical support (to tell you when the service goes out again)“.

It should also be noted that of the 12 listed apps that RIM will be offering customers, most of them  require  an active data connection to be of any use. You can’t use Shazam, Nobex Radio or the iSpeech applications without service.

So be sure to fire up AppWorld on your BlackBerry and grab those games before the service goes down again, we all know you can’t survive with BrickBreaker for another 3 days.

US Cellular Launches The BlackBerry Curve 9350 For Free On Contract

Back in August, Research-In-Motion (RIM) announced its new BlackBerry Curve 9350 smartphone, under the popular BlackBerry Curve series. This handset runs on the new BlackBerry 7 Operating System. BlackBerry Curve 9350 is a CDMA smartphone. This device is already available for the Sprint customers in the US. Now, US Cellular announced the availability of this handset for its subscribers.

“The BlackBerry Curve 9350 combines everything customers love about BlackBerry smartphones with new features that make connecting with friends, family and business easier than ever,” said Edward Perez, vice president of sales and marketing operations for U.S. Cellular. “At U.S. Cellular, we offer devices that help our customers simplify their life and stay organized, which is one of the reasons why we have the happiest customers in wireless.”

blackberry curve 9350

BlackBerry Curve 9350 features a 2.44 inch HVGA+ display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 360 pixel resolution, 800 MHz Qualcomm 8655 processor, BlackBerry 7 Operating System, Full QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, 5 megapixel camera with flash, image stabilization, face detection, Digital zoom, Geo-tagging, VGA video recording, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR support, etc.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, MicroSD card slot, 512 MB RAM, 32 GB expandable memory, 2 GB MicroSD card bundled, BlackBerry App World, BlackBerryPlayBook support with BlackBerry Bridge, integrated GPS with A-GPS, NFC (Near Field Communications), up to 9 hours of video playback time, up to 45 hours of music playback time, up to 14.5 days of standby time, up to 5.5 hours of talk-time and a 1040 mAh Lithium-ion battery.

This handset will be available for $49.99 with a 2 year service agreement and a $100 mail-in-rebate. Until November 20, the new BlackBerry Curve 9350 is available for free with a 2 year service agreement and a $100 mail-in-rebate. To get this smartphone, head over to this page at US Cellular

Kik Comes Back To BlackBerry

It’s been 10 long months for Blackberry users who coerced their friends into using Kik, have been waiting for a new app. If you recall, Kik landed themselves in hot water with RIM when they first released their real-time chatting application. It was a direct competitor to BlackBerry Messenger and it was suspected they were using unsanctioned API and mimicking RIM’s own messaging service. They were ousted from the App World in November of last year.

Almost a year later, Kik has released a reworked and revamped client for their cross-platform service. It’s a universal Java app, built with no service calls or APIs that are specific to RIM. No RIM-owned NoC infrastructure notifications are being used. The app is lacking in a few features, like sending pictures and it’s missing support for the PlayBook — but it’s back and RIM can go fly a kite.

Kik is distributing the BlackBerry app exclusively on their site, as RIM is unlikely to allow it back into the App World for fear of users abandoning their proprietary service. Who can blame them, when RIM is having issues with their service, leaving users stranded for days due to outages.

Kudos to Kik for working around the blocks that some pinheads at RIM put in place, as an attempt to force existing users to stay with their inferior products and services.

Kik aims to be a completely free, cross-platform solution for instant messaging across mobile devices. It’s available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and now, again, BlackBerry platforms. Visit the Kik Blog  for full details and to download the app to your PaperWeight  BlackBerry.

RIM Service Outage Frustrates Blackberry Users Worldwide

Research In Motion announced on it’s website today, that they are continuing to struggle with intermittent service outages. Problems began for the ailing company on Monday in Europe and have continued to spread to the U.S. and Canada today.

Blackberry Down

There is a link on their main page to the service updates. Below, you can see quoted from their website what has been announced up to the time of this article.

BlackBerry Service Update

Wednesday 12th October 9:45 (GMT-5)
BlackBerry subscribers in the Americas may be experiencing intermittent service delays this morning. We are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and we apologize to our customers for any inconvenience. We will provide a further update as soon as more information is available.

Wednesday 12th October 12:00 (GMT+1)
We know that many of you are still experiencing service problems. The resolution of this service issue is our Number One priority right now and we are working night and day to restore all BlackBerry services to normal levels. We will continue to keep this page updated.

Tuesday 11th October – 21:30 (GMT+1)
The messaging and browsing delays that some of you are still experiencing were caused by a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure. Although the system is designed to failover to a back-up switch, the failover did not function as previously tested. As a result, a large backlog of data was generated and we are now working to clear that backlog and restore normal service as quickly as possible. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to many of you and we will continue to keep you informed.

Tuesday 11th October – 16:00 (GMT+1)
Some of you are experiencing messaging and browsing delays. We are working to restore normal service as quickly as possible and we apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.

Monday 10th October – 20:46 (GMT+1)
Our sincere apologies to all of you affected by today’s BlackBerry service issues.

Monday 10th October – 15:00 (GMT+1)
We are currently working to resolve an issue impacting some of our BlackBerry customers in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. In the meantime, we apologise to you for any inconvenience, and thank you for your patience.

It appears that problems began in North America sometime late Tuesday night. One of the Project Managers at my company experienced the problem this morning. Phone calls were coming through to his phone, but he could not browse the web or get email.

Frustrations like this are the last thing RIM needs right now. The iPhone and Android phones have almost wiped the Blackberry out of existence. According to a Business Week article, “RIM, based in Waterloo, Ontario, fell 1.8 percent to $23.97 at 10:48 a.m. New York time. Before today, the stock had dropped 58 percent this year.” A failure like this could prove to be a fatal blow if they don’t get this resolved soon.  There have been calls for a change of leadership in the RIM organization. It is hard to blame leadership for hardware failure, however, stack this on top of all the other challenges they face and it can’t help.

Are you a Blackberry user? If so, how has this affected you and will it affect your future purchasing decisions?

Is RIM Killing the Blackberry Playbook? Update: Nope, It Isn’t!

The tablet market is getting increasingly competitive. Apple, the first major entrant in the tablet market, is still ruling it with a market share of around 80%. Android hasn’t yet been able to replicate its smartphone success in tablets just yet, and Microsoft is yet to enter the tablet market. It will launch Windows 8 only in 2012, and risks being late to the party.

Amazon launched a new $199 Android tablet — the Kindle Fire — yesterday, which is expected to change the game. In my opinion, it will kill off any competition in the low end of the tablet market which is currently dominated by Chinese OEMs, while affecting iPad sales only marginally.

Blackberry Playbook

RIM which foolishly priced its lackluster offering — the Blackberry Playbook — at the same price as the iPad, has been seeing continually dropping sales. Last quarter, it shipped just 200,000 tablets, which is about the number that Apple sells in a couple of days.

With Amazon’s Kindle Fire, RIM is starting to feel the heat, and according to a report by BGR, it has finally pulled the plug on the Blackberry Playbook. Sources at Quanta, RIM’s manufacturing partner reveal that it has laid off a lot of workers working on the Playbook, essentially halting the production of the tablet. While RIM hasn’t confirmed the news, it seems quite plausible.

I hope RIM holds a firesale for its remaining Playbook inventory too, just like HP did for the TouchPad. I would definitely buy one for $99.

Update from WSJ: Apparently, RIM isn’t killing the Playbook. In an email statement, it said that the report was “pure fiction”, and that it “remains highly committed to the tablet market.”

What You Can’t Run on the Blackberry Playbook’s Android Emulator: Pretty Much Everything

When RIM announced the Blackberry Playbook, it also said that it would support one nifty feature — an Android emulator. It said that the Blackberry Playbook would be able to run Android apps in an emulated run-time environment. This was one of the most highly anticipated features of the Playbook, which would allow Playbook users to use all Android apps on their devices.

Since it was obvious that the Playbook wasn’t going to attract enough developer support to build a large library of apps, this was a nice way to attract consumers by piggy-backing off Android huge app library. However, it wasn’t available when the Playbook launched.

Recently, RIM announced that it would be launching the Blackberry runtime for Android apps soon, hoping to breathe some life into the dying Playbook, which shipped just 200,000 units last quarter to manufacturers.

It was a moment to rejoice, for all users of the Blackberry Playbook around the world — a grand total of around 673. However, some things are just not meant to be. Today, RIM announced some more details about the runtime emulator for Android apps, specifically which features would be unavailable to Android apps running on the emulator.

Here is a laundry list of some significant Android features which will not be supported by the Playbook, rendering certain types of apps useless.

  • Apps using live wallpapers
  • Apps using SIP and SIP VOIP protocols
  • Apps built using the NDK
  • Apps containing only app widgets
  • Apps containing more than more than one Launcher activity
  • Apps using Google Maps
  • Apps using in-app billing
  • Apps using Android’s text-to-speech engine
  • Apps using Android’s cloud-to-device messaging system

We all knew that running Android apps on the emulator in a Playbook was going to be a crappy experience, exactly as running low resolution smartphone apps on a high resolution tablet display using a software emulator ought to be. However, with all these types of apps not supported, you have a significant number of apps which make Android awesome completely incompatible with the Playbook.

There is no reason anyone should want to buy a Blackberry Playbook now, unless RIM does a firesale and starts selling it for $99 like HP.

Screw you, RIM. You messed up the one thing on the Playbook that we looked forward to.