Kevin has had a chance to play around with OS 4.3 on the BlackBerry 8100 and found that it supports A2DP, a feature previously found only on the Curve and later Pearl models. As a guy who’s stuck listening to podcasts on the dinky mono earbud with his Pearl, I’m pretty excited about the news. With any luck the stereo Bluetooth support will also hit the 8800 whenever OS 4.3.1 becomes publicly available.
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A new ABI Research paper is forecasting $100 billion to be made from GPS-enabled handsets, like the BlackBerry 8310, in 2012. In terms of units, that translates to 240 million mobile sales next year to 550 million in four years. Now, I’ve gone on the record for being pro-GPS and all, but Wi-Fi still seems like the feature of choice for a lot of people. Manufacturers are going to be in a tough position where, in an attempt to keep costs low and their handsets slim, they’ll need to be picky about what they would rather have under the hood, and ABI seems to think that many will go with GPS. Which are you guys siding with?
We spotted WICKSoft last Spring, sporting a virtual private network app which let you view files on your BlackBerry which were stored on your office network. Their latest upgrade to Mobile Documents has taken out the conversion process, so now you see your Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDFs in their unfettered full-resolution glory. The set-up also lets you e-mail and fax those files willy-nilly, which is pretty handy. If you’re interested, the software works on Windows, Novell, and SharePoint environments, and you can give it a 30-day trial.
We bitch and moan a fair bit around here about Canadian wireless rates, which is why we were excited by the news that 40 mhz of the upcoming spectrum auction will be reserved for parties other than Bell, Rogers, and Telus. Industry Canada stepped in to impose this and promote more competition and curb the wireless oligopoly that’s in place right now. On top of opening the doors for smaller carriers to get a piece of the pie, international companies can also take the opportunity to partner up with Canadian companies for usage of the new spectrum, which means more investment opportunities for those little carriers like Videotron, Shaw, Quebecor and MTS. Hopefully the new kids on the block will help drive down rates, but we’ll have to wait until after the auction to find out.
Let’s face it: the tech sector is dominated by dudes. RIM in all its philanthropicness is once again showcasing the women who, despite the numbers, have dived head-first into the field and found success. The third BlackBerry Women and Technology Awards has been announced, and applications are open to to all women kicking ass in technology. Categories range from multimedia, company advancement, mentoring, technology use in small to medium business, public sector and academia, and a bunch of others. Submissions are closed February 11th., and the award ceremony is March 12th. The prizes are an interesting mix, appealing to both tech and feminine tastes – it’s not often you’ll see a £1,000 software voucher and a spa day on the same list. Thanks Hayden!
Robb spotted a Seeking Alpha report which gives us a preliminary view of BlackBerry sales last Friday. Verizon’s new BlackBerry 8130 did pretty well, and it’s no surprise that AT&T’s $99 BlackBerry 8310 rocked the charts, too. On the losing end of things we have Sprint, who suffered a “lack of new devices at the U.S. wireless service provider’s stores”. Not enough BlackBerry 8130s to go around, Sprint? Tough break, especially with all that money you’re losing.