Tag: norm-lo

RIM considering Chinese factory

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ChinaDuring the Hong Kong BlackBerry Bold launch party, RIM’s Pacific-Asia VP Norm Lo made a fairly hefty insinuation that a Chinese BlackBerry factory was in the works. Rollouts in China have experienced their fair share of difficulties in the past, and the advent of their TD-SCDMA standard could further compound issues, but RIM remains optimistic about their future in the country. And hey, why shouldn’t they be? There is a lot of opportunity to be had in China despite all the technological, bureaucratic and cultural challenges.

(via cellular-news)

BlackBerry 8120 hits Australia

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OptusOptus will be carrying the BlackBerry 8120 as of the first week of December, just in time for Christmas. The Wi-Fi Pearl packing a 2 megapixel video-capturing camera and externally-acessible microSD slot is set for a $659 recommended retail price. Pacific VP Norm Lo is understandably excited about the 8120 coming out.

“BlackBerry Smartphones are well received in Australia and we are pleased to be working with Optus to introduce another RIM innovation,” said RIM President of Asia Pacific, Norm Lo. “The new BlackBerry Pearl 8120, with its elegant design, advanced multimedia features and Wi-Fi capabilities, is perfect for both personal and professional use.”

RIM keeping operation centres in Canada

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Norm LoNorm Lo’s been pretty good about telling us what’s not going to happen with BlackBerrys, so leave it to the Pacific VP to tell us that RIM has no plans to move operation centres outside of Canada into countries where its services are in higher demand. “Things are working really well right now. Having things centralized really improves the efficiency of the network,” says Lo. He admits to the possibility of a new network centre in the future, but nothing is on the radar yet. Keep in mind this is coming from the Pacific, where huge growth is happening in China, Japan, and elsewhere in the area. RIM could just be playing their usual coy, tight-lipped game, and just drop an Asian centre by the end of the year just for the sake of surprising us, but there’s something to be said for keeping all of those skills and hardware in the same neighborhood. What do you think? Is it in RIM’s best interest to stay efficiently centralized, or could expanded local support anchor their presence elsewhere?

Weekly Contest – Australia laments “To 3G or to not 3G?”

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YorrickPiggybacked onto Australia’s release of of the BlackBerry 8300 was rumor of a 3G BlackBerry, which was promptly snuffed by RIM VP Norm Lo. The initial ZDnet post mentioning the possibility of a 3G BlackBerry was running on the hint of a technical account manager by the name of Chris Ting, and BGR is taking Ting’s word for it. So, we’ve got snitch versus exec, neither of which we can trust with any amount of comfort. RIM’s co-CEO, Jim Balsillie, already told us that we should expect 3G devices out of the company, but he didn’t really give a clear timeline or say where. Obviously, we’d like to see a 3G GSM BlackBerry in North America, but we know that the BlackBerry 8707 made it to Europe… and Australia.

This is our cue for wild speculation. Are we going to see a 3G GSM BlackBerry by the end of the year? If so, what kind of BlackBerry will it be: 8800, 8300, 8100 (!)? Also, who will get it first: our friends in Europe, our friends down under or us crazy Canucks and our Yankee brethren? Post a comment with your thoughts on the 3G issue and you can win 3 games of your choice from Bplay.

Check out last week’s winner after the jump.

DoCoMo pushes for 3.5G

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DoCoMoBetween setting up Hawaii with WCDMA through AT&T, and beginning an experimental “Super 3G” project, DoCoMo’s had a pretty busy week. The Super 3G is based off HSPA and is primarily focused on low latency and spectrum efficiency. Funny that, considering Norm Lo’s words the other day regarding 3G. Could this new technology be something RIM bites on?

In addition to this, Super 3G will be examining something called Multiple-Input Multiple-Output or MIMO, which involves multiple antennas receiving and transmitting data on the same frequency. Ultimately, they’re hoping to hit the 300 Mbps downlink mark; a noble goal, especially considering the last big project we’ve heard about was aiming for 100. The 3rd. Generation Partnership Project is on board for this one, marking Super 3G as a long-term evolution for wireless standards and aiming for a 2010 implementation. As far as Hawaii goes, Ohau should have WCDMA coverage by the end of the year, with the rest of the islands getting access early in 2008.

BlackBerry 8300 lands down under

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SydneyAustralian carriers Optus, Vodafone and Telstra are now packing BlackBerry 8300 goodness. RIM VP Norm Lo took the occasion to talk a bit about the future of BlackBerrys. First off, he’s dashing any dreams of touchscreen devices or 3G anytime in the near future.

“In terms of input mechanisms, we’re looking at different technologies and we continue to assess them on devices,” he said, adding touchscreen inputs “are interesting but we’ll just have to see how they play out.” … Speed is not necessarily a high priority for users. “It depends on the applications you are using — you don’t really need high speed, you need low latency.”

Lo goes on to push RIM’s growing consumer appeal.

“We are finding that about a third to a half of people visiting our website for information on BlackBerry are clicking on ‘for personal use’ rather than ‘for business.’ And in the last quarter we have seen an increase in the number of people walking into a store and buying a BlackBerry handset purely because they like the look of it, and use it just as a phone. Then what happens is once they discover the other things they can do with the device, they go back to the store and get some sort of data plan.”