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BlackBerry Innovation Forum 2012 Impressions


I’m here in Ottawa attending the BlackBerry Innovation Forum. It’s a full day of IT managers, CIOs and folks in charge of mobile deployments talking about new technologies. This year there’s a big focus on BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, RIM’s solution for managing BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices for deployments large and small. The crowd was full of BlackBerry fans with over 70% of the attendees sporting Playbooks.
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T-Mobile BlackBerry Bold 9700 details emerge including preloads



Al Sacco of CIO.com got an email from T-Mobile USA’s PR firm that contained a marketing image of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 as well as some previously unknown details. The image came before an embargo was signed so he decided to publish.

According to the PR firm:

“The BlackBerry ‘Onyx’ sports a premium experience and design with a high-gloss black finish and leather grain detail on the back. Boasting features such as high-speed 3G Web browsing, Wi-Fi calling, visual voicemail and support for corporate and personal e-mail options, the ‘Onyx’ will satisfy all your on-the-go needs. Also the phone comes preloaded with mobile applications from BlackBerry App World, including Amazon MP3 store for quick and easy music downloads and TeleNav GPS Navigator for turn-by-turn directions.”

It seems we’ll be getting an official announcement about this device early November. Rumor has it that the T-Mobile version of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 will come with slightly different specs. The T-Mobile version is rumored to have the same battery as the Curve 8900/Storm/Tour, while the AT&T version will come with the Bold 9000 battery. Also, the processor is rumored to be different as well.

It’s great to see App World coming preloaded with the device, and I’m hoping this will be standard on all future BlackBerry devices.

The Amazon MP3 store is interesting but I’m more interested in getting the 7Digital application. It was supposed to be available this summer but I’ve yet to see it available for download.



RIM listens to employee’s private calls UPDATED


robin bienfait

ZDNet Australia is reporting about RIM listening to employee’s phone calls. The news comes from an interview with RIM chief information officer Robin Bienfait, where she said that

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion admitted yesterday that it recorded all employee conversations in the interest of maintaining control over intellectual property.

RIM chief information officer Robin Bienfait, during an interview with ZDNet.com.au in Sydney, said that all actions carried out on RIM’s internal network were logged, which meant that people who wanted to carry out private conversations might want to bring in personal devices.

“Everything I have that’s on RIM is recorded and retained as RIM. So if they want to have a chat with somebody and it’s not a chat that’s within RIM’s domain, then they may want their own personal device,” she said.

When asked exactly whether it was conversations, rather than just written information she kept tabs on, Bienfait answered: “Everything. I record everything.”

This is obvious to anyone who follows the BlackBerry space because you need to keep leaks and security information under control. RIM goes to great lengths to make sure that it can offer a secure smartphone to its customers and it can’t have people giving out private info.

So although you may think RIM is being Big Brother, it’s an important element in keeping our devices so pro.

Here is a little side rumor – I heard that RIM once tracked down a device leak based on the grain of the desk in the photo that was published on the forums.



[UPDATE: This story is inaccurate in that RIM does not record employee phone calls. Robin Bienfait’s comments, which originally appeared in ZDNet Australia, were intended to describe a capability that exists with RIM’s BlackBerry MVS technology. This technology allows companies to record both voice and data based conversations, which is particularly useful for RIM’s customers in regulated industries that require such ability, but Ms. Bienfait did not intend to suggest that RIM itself records employee phone calls.

RIM has deployed an internal beta test of its latest MVS technology to a subset of employees and Ms. Bienfait intended to convey that RIM was recording data that is transmitted over voice channels (ie. SMS messages) as well as data channels (ie. email messages and IM chat sessions), but RIM is not recording the phone calls of the employees involved in the beta test or any other employees.]