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FP Tech Desk Interviews Mike Lazaridis About Tablets, Apps and RIM



The Financial Post have an interesting interview with co-CEO of RIM Mike Lazaridis about the history of RIM, his thoughts on tablets, apps and the future of the industry with respect to infrastructure.

Here are some of my favorite questions:

Financial Post: For a while there, there was a trend towards smaller devices, the smaller the better. Now there’s a lot of talk about larger screen sizes and how big of a screen can a smart phone support. Now the big question is who is going to wade into tablet territory, not quite the size of a PC or a laptop, not quite the size of a smart phone. What trends are you seeing on the horizon?
Click through for more insightful questions and answers from Mike Lazaridis

Interview with a first time BlackBerry user and 8520 owner



Recently, we posted an article about the “The BlackBerry Curve 8520 setup guide and tips and tricks”. One user responded saying:

“I’m the target audience for this post, never having used a Blackberry or any sort of smartphone, so this has all been very helpful. I’ve been really impressed with the Curve so far; despite this being unfamiliar territory for me, everything has been intuitive and easy to use.” (Head over to the article to read the full comment.)

We decided to follow up with this user and interview them about their first BlackBerry.
Click through for the interview with a first time BlackBerry user who bought a Curve 8520

RIM talks BlackBerry Application Center


BlackBerry Application Center

Potentially lost among the Lazaridis’ statements about netbooks in CNET Asia’s RIM interview are a few important morsels about the BlackBerry Application Center, something we haven’t heard much about since it was officially announced at the BlackBerry Developer Conference. Below, you’ll find what Tyler Lessard, Director, ISV Alliances & Dev. Relations had to say.

Lessard: First of all, we have a strong developer community for many years. We’re looking to build on that and of course take advantage of all the applications that exist today and give them a central spot to be distributed. We think we’ll have a very broad breadth of applications that represent everything from games for the consumer to business productivity-type applications that cater to business professionals. Our focus is to make it a really effective channel for the developers. There are a few important things that we want to make sure we do. One is that the storefront is being designed from ground up for mobile software distribution. We are ensuring that developers will be able to submit applications and upgrades when they need to and letting users set up custom profiles so they can be alerted when new types of applications are posted.

We want to make sure we support free applications, paid applications and also monthly subscription billing or try-and-buy models. Those are things some other vendors have not been able to do because their stores weren’t designed for software necessarily. At the end of it, we want to support the broadest types of applications, different types of billing models and operate a very effective wireless channel for downloading of applications whether it’s via a cellular network or Wi-Fi.

Wireless operators can also offer their own customization to that storefront experience. So this won’t be the only place you can get applications for BlackBerry. If a wireless operator chooses to have a separate store where they highlight applications they want to sell because, for example, they have billing integration with those vendors, or it’s an exclusive application that’s available only on that operator, we want to make sure they can offer those separate applications and customize the storefront experience. We see the application store as a very important distribution mechanism, but it won’t be the only place. We’ll continue to let developers distribute directly as well.

|via CNET|


How RIM perfected the trackwheel


Prior to the development of the BlackBerry scrollball, the BlackBerry trackwheel (found on the stalwart BlackBerry 8700 among others) was probably the best navigation mechanic of any smartphone. It was always a wonder to me how RIM could get it right where so many others failed. RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis gives us the answer in his interview with CNET Asia.

Lazaridis: We had the first symmetric keyboard and the first real successful use of the track wheel. Other companies have tried using track wheels and they gave up. Nobody really got the ball right. The problem with the track wheel was that in the early days, the manufacturers made them very stiff. The plastic was so rigid that, no matter what you did, if it hits the ground like this, it would break and the circuit board would crack.

We have very sophisticated labs with high-speed cameras, electronic scanning microscopes and infrared fast frame rate transform scanners that we invested in a long time ago. What we found with high-speed photography was that there was no deflection in the wheel when it hit the surface. The wheel stayed totally rigid and that snapped it right off. There was no saunter joint, metal pin, nothing. It’s so hard to manufacture and that’s why most companies gave up on it because there were a few phones that had it earlier on.

What we discovered and invented was a suspension in our track wheels. The suspension is sort of like the moon buggies, and what’s interesting about it is, you can’t feel it. It’s so stiff that you don’t notice that it’s got a suspension. But high-speed photography shows that when it hits, it bends in and it doesn’t break. That lowered the breakage a hundred times. Not a 100 percent, but a hundred times. That was a very big breakthrough for the industry, but we patented the technology.

Lazaridis goes onto state that RIM was also first company to come up with USB charging. Two cool pieces of trivia about what makes BlackBerrys so special.

|via CNET|


Judy Mellett talks Telus BlackBerry Storm


Despite both my intentions and best efforts, I actually ended up doing some work during the Telus BlackBerry Storm launch party. Judy Mellett, Director of Product Realization at Telus, was brave enough to spend a few minutes outside with me in the harsh Toronto cold discussing the BlackBerry Storm and the role it plays in Telus’ overall strategy. It was interesting to hear her position the Storm as both a business and consumer device. Check it out.


Magmic VP Phil Giroux talks BlackBerry Addiction


phil giroux

In case you missed it, local Ottawa A-list celebrity and local A-list BlackBerry game developer Magmic‘s VP of Business Development, Phil Giroux, was interviewed by CBC National Radio a few weeks ago about BlackBerry addiction.

Although the interview is brief and mostly an excuse for the uninformed interviewer to play sound bites, it’s worth checking out to hear Phil deftly respond to dumb questions with comedic gold. Oh, he also discusses sharing drinks with RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie and whether or not it’s polite to pull out your BlackBerry during a meeting with RIM. Enjoy.

Phil Giroux CBC Interview