GolfTraxx has recently announced BlackBerry support, and is celebrating by offering the software as a free desktop download. Streak of generosity, or roping in unwitting golfers for beta testing? You decide! The software uses GPS tracking on the BlackBerry 8800 for later review and online posting of your favourite courses on Google Earth. Check it out, hit the greens, get course information, track scores, and let us know how she fares.
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RIM continues its spread, today with another three-pronged release in Qatar. Following Ghana’s suit, Qtel is releasing the BlackBerry 8100, BlackBerry 8300 and BlackBerry 8800 to cover all the main bases, and set a good foundation for the later incremental upgrades. Qatar Airways is already lined up to deploy BlackBerrys to their roaming workforce, so Qtel’s got some good business right off the bat. As ever, Emtiac Mobile Solutions will be supporting the deployment and providing support where necessary. Thanks Stefano!
Remember WildCharge, the guys who were working on the wireless charging platform? Well, they’ve announced the launch of their product at CES, and it should be on shelves this quarter. The iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry 8800 and BlackBerry 8100 should all work just dandy with it, and considering I got an iPod touch for Christmas and use a Pearl, it sounds like a sure bet for me. I’ve never been especially happy that I’ve got to boot up my computer to charge the iPod, which the WildCharger will fix nicely. One thing we missed was that you need to attach an adapter to your device in order for the WildCharger to work, so you’ll have to be okay with a bit of extra bulk and be willing to pay another $34.99 on top of the $59.99 for the pad itself.
Not too long after the Ghanaian three-pronged release, we’ve got another BlackBerry launch at the other end of the continent, in Madagascar. With the help of Alcatel-Lucent, local provider Telma will be carrying the BlackBerry 8800. As a habit, I like to check out the Wikis for every country that announces a release, and it was an interesting surprise to find out that Madagascar is home to five per cent of all of the world’s species of plants and animals, with a fossil record showing the presence of gorilla-sized lemurs. Woah.
RIM announced today the launch of their three flagship devices by MTN Ghana. When it comes to maiden national launches, it’s surprisingly rare to see all three (the BlackBerry 8800, 8100 and 8300) all brought together at once, which is too bad, since the three cover the whole range of customer demand really nicely. RIM realizes that Africa is a promising emerging market, and possibly second only to China. Considering the game in China is now entirely in the carrier’s hands and ostensibly slowing, it makes sense that BlackBerry starts setting its sights on the next new market by making aggressive releases like this one.
There’s already been some griping about BlackBerry’s performance in Consumer Reports‘ ’08 issue, and it might be well-justified. The BlackBerry Curve landed in 7th. place, the Pearl in 12th., the 8800 in 14th., and the 8830 in 19th. out of 20 smartphones tested. Two Treos (755p and 680), T-Mobile’s Wing, the BlackJack and the Moto Q 9m beat out the BlackBerry 8300, with the iPhone topping the list.
Basically, that means everyone who matters in smartphones did better than BlackBerry. Suprisingly, the Nokia N95 (which I had heard great things about) was down in 15th. place. The biggest thing to keep in mind before launching into a CR-hating tirade is that you really have to take these things with a grain of salt. CR’s overall scores were “based mainly on voice quality, ease of use, and talk time”, which can all vary based on user, location and carrier. I haven’t used any of the other top 5, so can’t really pass judgement. Anyone have some horror stories about the leaders, and why they might not deserve top marks?