BlackBerry Bold Blowout: who will buy it, why it’s taking so long, and what it’s missing (Andy Brown Interview Series), Aug 13

Do you know that RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis carries the BlackBerry Bold circuit board around with him in his pocket? Do you know what new hardware feature will be supported by all post-Bold BlackBerrys? You’d know these things if you were Andy Brown, analyst for Strategy Analytics, who has spent the past decade covering RIM in the wireless space, and recently met up with Mikey L. at the UK BlackBerry Bold launch to pick his brain on a variety of subjects.

We’re not Andy Brown (although we’ve often tried to be), so we were forced to trap him into a 2 hour interview to learn all of his secrets. Today we focus on the BlackBerry Bold: the hype, the hardware, and the delays. We’ve broken the the interview down by subject, arranged as small audio clips buttressed by important text. Don’t forget to also listen to part one of the Andy Brown Interview Series, focusing on the KickStart BlackBerry Pearl 8220 and RIM’s financial strategy and outlook. Enjoy!

Click here to learn more about the BlackBerry Bold

Kickstart madness and the Q3 lineup (BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 36), Aug 08

Rogers gets a lot of news this week, what with its flip BlackBerry showing up along with a few other devices, but there’s plenty going on with the Thunder and Bold as well.

Blackberry Bold launch parties and musical Thunder (BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 35), Aug 01

The BlackBerry Bold looms impressively on the horizon, but the Thunder and Kickstart get some love this week too. We also talk with Andy Brown on the UK BlackBerry Bold launch party.

Using Google Insights for Search to Track iPhone, BlackBerry Interest, Aug 13

Google Insights chart depicting iPhone and BlackBerry interest over time

As bloggers, it’s in our nature to fiddle with the latest and greatest web toys. So you can guess how much time BBCool HQ has spent with Google Insights for Search, the big G’s latest and greatest toy that allows you to view a variety of metrics surrounding different search terms. We thought it would be a good idea to measure the level of interest of “blackberry” vis a vis “iphone”. The results won’t make anyone at RIM sleep easy any time soon.

The numbers on Google Insight graphs reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. As you can see from the graph above, in the past 12 months the iPhone has been handing it to BlackBerry in terms of Google search popularity. In addition, the comparative spikes of interest based around recent launches of marquee devices — i.e., the BlackBerry Bold and iPhone 3G — fall hands-down in favor of the iPhone, demonstrating Apple’s ability to run a well-oiled hype machine.

Click here to see more Google Insights metrics on the iPhone and BlackBerry

BlackBerrys to land in Vietnam in October, Aug 13

Ricepicker

Viettel will be bringing the BlackBerry 8700, BlackBerry 8800, BlackBerry 8100 and BlackBerry 8320 to Vietnam this October. The 4,000 devices on the way will be the first shipment Vietnam sees, and Veittel is lined up to be the sole distributer in the long run. We actually get quite a few Vietnamese readers on BBCool, so it’s good news for them. Mobifone is in a close race with Viettel for cellular subscribers, but an exclusive BlackBerry deal could be the tiebreaker that puts Viettel in the lead.

(via cellular-news)

New BlackBerry software and updates (Round-up), Aug 13

It’s been a pretty busy week so far, so some cool apps slipped under our radar. No fear, here are a bunch of recent BlackBerry software updates and launches that you might be interested in checking out.

  • GPSed updated to 0.999: Now with social track sharing on Facebook, MySpace, twitter, and Blogger.
  • Tiggit launched: An alternative e-mail client that lets you access IMAP, POP3 and SMTP e-mail.
  • Vlingo updated to 1.1: Now featuring e-mail replying and forwarding, along with connection improvements. Works with OS 4.5!
  • MyCaption launched: Transcribes your e-mail to text - just start talking.
  • PictureDial launched: Browse the web and your address book with pictures rather than lists.

Get the Olympics on your BlackBerry (Round-Up), Aug 13

The 2008 Olympics in Beijing are now in full swing and plenty of BlackBerry applications are jumping on board. Here’s the full run-down of the many different ways you can keep up-to-date with the global track meet on your BlackBerry. Go (insert respective country here)!

Viigo: Olympic news channel with schedules and medal standings. (Download Viigo)
EQO: IM client with Olympic news. Also running an Olympic themed contest where you can win a BlackBerry of your choice. (Get EQO)
Zumobi: Has partnered with Lenovo for a special Olympic widget. (Download Zumobi)

NBC Olympics News Page: http://m.nbcolympics.com (Download Browser Launcher)
CNN Olympics News Page: http://cnnmobile.com/beijing08 (Download Browser Launcher)
CBC Olympics News Page: http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/blackberry/ (Download Browser Launcher)
BBC Olympics News Page: http://news.bbc.co.uk/mobile/bbc_sport/olympicsport/
Reuters Olympics News Page: http://mobile.reuters.com/mobile/m/Category/COLY

Canada BlackBerry Theme: Yeah, we’re homers. Go Canada! (Download BlackBerry Theme)
US BlackBerry Theme: For our friends down South. (Download BlackBerry Theme)

If you find any more worthy apps out there offering Olympic coverage on your BlackBerry, post about them in the comments section!

BlackBerry Answers available internationally, still English-only, Aug 13

BlackBerry Answers

BlackBerry Answers, a rather underwhelming mobile support service launched in July for North America, released internationally recently, although it’s still only in English. The results tend to cover the more basic stuff (good luck finding results on tethering or OS upgrades), but the answers that are there tend to be pretty well-documented. If you’re still learning your way around the BlackBerry environment, it might be worth your while to bookmark the help page on your mobile browser. Maybe we can see some more language support soon…?

(Support Community Forums via BerryReview)

Beta BlackBerry MDS Studio and MS Visual Studio plug-in released, Aug 13

Microsoft Visual Studio

Developers on the bleeding edge will want to check out some new beta tools released by RIM recently: version 2.0 of the BlackBerry MDS Studio and plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio. Both feature enhanced JavaScript debugging and enhanced GPS functionality, while the new BlackBerry MDS Studio is bundled with the Eclipse plug-in first peeped back at EclipseCon and has some enhanced script editing functions. The Microsoft Visual Studio plug-in has a bunch of new application-invocation APIs that should be handy for devs looking to plug into both native and third-party programs.

  • Download BlackBerry MDS Studio
  • Download BlackBerry Plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio

(Community Support Forums via BerryReview)

New features in the BlackBerry MDS Studio and the plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio behind the jump!

Tata to launch Indian BlackBerry service, Aug 13

IndiaBack in April, Indian carrier Tata Teleservices was held back from starting up BlackBerry service due to newly-discovered security concerns, but it sounds like they’re sick of waiting and will be launching within the next two months. The whole Indian security thing was a pretty big mess, with RIM and the Canadian government getting involved, and eventually finishing in a big talk which seems to have resolved most issues, or at least determined a solid course of action. Tata has promised that whenever the Indian government has decided on what they want to do security-wise, they will happily abide.

(via Techtree)

iDEN BlackBerry 8350 slated for Q4 release, Aug 13

The push-to-talk BlackBerry rumored to be coming from Sprint now has a face and a release date. The BlackBerry 8350i is due to drop before the end of the year, and breathe some unexpected life into the Curve brand. With the BlackBerry Javelin well on the way, you would count on RIM to leave the predecessor in the dust - not so! On top of that, the brand new -50 designation could spawn a whole slew of 8000-level iDEN BlackBerrys. As is, the BlackBerry 8350i will launch with both Wi-Fi and GPS (something only the BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry 8820 have done to date), have a 2.0 megapixel camera, and run OS 4.6. Any push-to-talk users out there hankering for something like this?

(via BGR)

How To: Upgrade your BlackBerry Software, Aug 12

How to upgrade your BlackBerry OS

We thought it would be prudent to go through the process of upgrading your handheld software, what with OS 4.5 and 4.6 having hit us in pretty quick succession over the last month or two. New operating systems usually have plenty of new bells and whistles that are worth getting in on, so if you haven’t yet, we’ve got instruction here on how to make the switch. The BlackBerry OS upgrade can be a daunting process if you’ve never done it before, but don’t fear - Big Papa BBCool is here to hold your hand through the whole thing.

Get started with your BlackBerry software upgrade behind the jump!

BlackBerry Unite! available internationally, Aug 12

Previously available in only North America, BlackBerry Unite! has now been localized for all around the globe. Central American, Italian, German, French, Asia Pacific and Spanish versions of the software is available for small groups of up to 5 to share media, contacts, and take care of management tasks. There are plenty of small and medium businesses out there that could use some extra functionality from their BlackBerrys, and when the software is free, it’s hard to go wrong.

(BlackBerry Support Community Forums via BerryReview)

Download sites for BlackBerry Unite! behind the jump…

BlackBerry 8220 spec sheet leaked, Aug 12

If you’re looking for all the hard details on the BlackBerry 8220, a specification sheet has been let out of the bag that shows all the important info. It’s from back in February when the device was still the BlackBerry Kickstart, so some of the smaller details may have changed, but on the whole, this is about as solid as details for the flip BlackBerry will get before launch on T-Mobile and Rogers sometime this September. Nothing particularly new, but if you’re looking to know something in particular about the device, this doc should have it. In broad strokes, the BlackBerry 8220 will be packing a microUSB slot, externally-accessible microSD slot, 128 MB of flash memory, 2.0 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi b and g, quad-band GSM, 128 x 160 external display and a 240 x 320 internal screen.

(via BerryReview)

Full spec sheets for the BlackBerry 8220/Kickstart behind the jump!

Rogers offers new BES data plan, still has that familiar feeling (’Cool Deals?), Aug 12

One might say that feeling is located somewhere in the posterior region of Rogers subscribers. We recently tipped you off to a Rogers deal that would provide SMBs with a free BES for 15 new Rogers subscriptions, and now we’re letting you know that Rogers is offering a new data plan for BES users, whereby you receive a whopping 300MB of data for the low, low price of $45/month!

But can this really be constituted as a ‘Cool Deal? My first reaction upon seeing this was, “Well, it’s cheaper than the previous plan of 25MB for $60.” It’s also well known that enterprise customers frequently get the short stick in pricing compared to consumers, but this may be beyond the pale. Right now, until August 31st, Rogers BlackBerry subscribers can upgrade their consumer plan to 6GB for $30/month. If anyone can explain the schism between the pricing, other than ‘Rogers can get away with it,’ please post a comment below.

Click here for more details on Rogers new BES data plan

Shape launches free web-based IM conference service, Aug 12

Persistent.im went live today, offering a very cool cross-platform IM tool that works between AIM, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, Google Talk and MySpaceIM by delivering messages through a conference bot. This works just dandy on any of your mobile IM clients - just add the conference bot to your friends list, and messages will be sent and received between participants through it. With so many different platforms becoming popular, having common channels is increasingly important. Be sure to scope out our multi-service BlackBerry IM client review for a few more options along that vein. Persistent.im is free and running its beta, so go ahead and sign up if you like your existing chat client but want to get in touch with buddies elsewhere, too.

Wi-LAN and RIM settle patent dispute, Aug 12

You might remember Ottawa-based Wi-LAN recently putting the legal screws to RIM over some CDMA and Wi-Fi patents in late June. Well, the dispute has mysteriously drawn to a close, but considering Wi-LAN is saying their financial results will be better this year because of the case’s turnout, it’s probably safe to say RIM settled with them and licensed the patents. Can’t win ‘em all, eh? When we first reported on the issue, a lot of people defended the company when called a “patent troll“. GeorgeD made a very good point…

The fact of the matter is that patent violations are part of the cost of doing business, only the big companies have largely gotten used to ignoring those who can’t afford to take them on, or otherwise buying them outright.

What do you guys think - do folks in the patent business get an unfairly bad rap around these parts? What differentiates a “patent troll” from more legitimate patent work?

(via Yahoo!)

BlackBerry 8800 launched in Russia, Aug 12

Onion domeVimpelCom has launched the BlackBerry 8800 in Russia today under the Bee Line brand, following up on a fine contract with British American Tobacco and a batch of BlackBerry 8700s. It might seem like sloppy seconds when other countries are getting the likes of the BlackBerry Bold in mere weeks, but at the end of the day, the 8800 is still a solid platform for BlackBerry service - heck, I see government workers on the bus every morning still packing the old blue 7200 series models who would kill for an 8800. It might be easy to see the flip BlackBerry 8220 replacing the BlackBerry Pearl, and the BlackBerry Javelin eventually replacing the BlackBerry Curve, but those devices are still solid, and will likely stick around for a good long time after the Bold is released.

(via RIM)

Orange UK to get BlackBerry Bold out before T-Mobile, Aug 12

That T-Mobile BlackBerry 9000 launch last week was apparently limited to business customers only. Well, Orange will be offering the device to the public at large well beforehand - maybe as soon as August 16th., this Saturday, with rates going for around £45 monthly. The Carphone Warehouse will be right behind them, launching around the 21st. with a £40 plan. Between Vodafone, 3 Mobile, Orange, and The Carphone Warehouse, it sounds like the UK will be set for options when it comes to picking up the BlackBerry Bold. Considering features like Wi-Fi, GPS, HSDPA 3G, and a nice, crisp, half-VGA screen, no doubt all those carriers will have no problems finding some buyers.

(The Inquirer via Shiny Shiny)

Rogers BlackBerry 8220 confirmed at $50, Aug 11

There’s been some speedy solidifcation of the BlackBerry Pearl 8220 prices that were leaked earlier this morning, with sources confirming a $49.99 promotional deal on the handset with a three-year plan, which will eventually go up to $99.99. Rogers reps will be pimping this one out with a $45 student plan which will include

  • 450 Weekday Minutes
  • Unlimited Evenings and Weekends starting at 6pm
  • MY5 Canada-Wide (Unlimited talk, SMS, and MMS to any five numbers in Canada)
  • Unlimited Local Incoming Minutes
  • $5 off Value Pack for duration of contract


The plans, which need to include e-mail and a Value Pack, total to $75 and up, which, sad as it may be, is standard for Canadian students.

(via BlackBerry News)

BlackBerry Partners Fund to announce first investments, Aug 11

BlackBerry Partners Fund

The BlackBerry Partners Fund was announced back at WES, and humming along quietly in the background, chatting with some 1,5000 hungry, young developers who wanted some of that $150 million investment fund.

[Kevin Talbot, RBC vice president and co-manager of the BlackBerry Partners Fund] says the unexpectedly large response from developers to the fund threw operations out of gear but says it is now back on track. ‘Since the fund was announced, we have been deluged with opportunities,’ he says. ‘We have lagged a little bit behind because of that.’

Progress is being made, as they will soon be announcing the first three to four companies to get $2-$5 million infusions. A new site will be launched on August 15th. to better inform interested parties about the opportunity and how to apply. With the iPhone App Store now in full swing, Apple’s $100M iFund is looking all the juicier to mobile developers, but there’s one thing that the BlackBerry Partners Fund has that iFund doesn’t - platform agnosticism. That’s right, you don’t have to develop for BlackBerry to get in on the fund, it just has to be mobile software. RIM is staying out of the decision-making process altogether, and leaving it to RBC and JLA to handle the meat and potatoes of the operation. Of course, if you’re chosen, RIM’s throwing in BlackBerry Alliance membership, which makes working on the platform all the easier. One of the partners had a great guest post on BerryReview that’s worth a read if you’re seriously interested in the fund. Keep an eye on www.blackberrypartnersfund.com for the big update.

(via TheStreet)

More Rogers BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry 8220 pricing details, Aug 11

Some fresh screengrabs from a Rogers order form is showing the BlackBerry Bold for $899.99 and the BlackBerry 8220 (a.k.a Kickstart) for $599.99, presumably unsubsidized. The final cost is looking like $275 on a three-year plan, which would put it in the same ballpark as our previous expectations of the BlackBerry 9000 matching iPhone pricing. As for the new flip BlackBerry Pearl, they’re going to have to do some serious discounting if it’s really going to hit that $50 sweet spot. The $30 6GB plan which had been previously set up to lure in iPhone customers has also been extended to all Q3 BlackBerrys. We had been a little anxious to sign on to the sweet deal, since it was slated to finish at the end of the summer, but it makes sense to keep the plan around for the BlackBerry 9000 launch. Last we heard, the BlackBerry Bold was to be available on August 19th., but that date has been pushed back so many times that it’s hard to take the rumours seriously at this point. The BlackBerry 8220 should be landing mid-September in all its flippy goodness.

(via BlackBerry News)

Still can’t wait? Check out the BlackBerry Bold and known BlackBerry 8220 specs behind the jump!

RIM captures 10% slice of American market pie, Aug 11

Strategy Analytics (hey, we know those guys!) recently published a report saying RIM has captured a solid 10% of American cellular sales in the last quarter. A total of 41.9 million handsets were shipped, which is up 5.3 percent from last year, making it an expanding market that’s getting harder to fill. Motorola still maintains lead position, with LG, Nokia and Samsung hot on their heels. Those are a lot of competitors to chew through, but RIM’s continued upward trend could earn them an even bigger slice of the pie over time, especially if Motorola’s new boss can’t turn things around and Nokia fails to provide a solid alternative to BlackBerry Connect. LG remains the number two dog right now, and with the likes of the Keybo floating around, it’s easy to see them as a potential BlackBerry competitor.

(via Reuters)

OS 4.5 for BlackBerry 8330 and BlackBerry 8130 now available, Aug 11

BlackBerry logoCDMA users have had a fun time trying to get their hands on the latest BlackBerry software, but now they won’t have to resort to Rapidshare to get the new OS. The Canadian carrier MTS Mobility has OS 4.5 available for public download from RIM’s site. If you’re looking to try it out, just grab the file, install, make sure you have the latest Desktop Manager, and plug in your BlackBerry via miniUSB when it’s open. Don’t worry that it’s from another carrier, you should be fine after deleting the vendor.xml file on your computer. OS 4.5 features rich text e-mail viewing on supporting BlackBerry Enterprise Servers, among other goodies like a variety of attachment download capabilities and free/busy calendar lookup. Folks packing the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition might still be out of luck, although there are torrents out there for unreleased versions of the software. CDMA subscribers can head on over to RIM’s site to get upgrading their Pearls and Curves.

(via Pinstack)

Verizon BlackBerry Curve and Pearl now in pink, Aug 11

Verizon’s jumping on the pink BlackBerry bandwagon, now with the BlackBerry 8330 and the BlackBerry 8130 available in the new colour. Pink’s just about had its time with the BlackBerry lineup, but other colours are certainly on the way, like the recent sunset paint job on T-Mobile’s BlackBerry 8320, and a bunch of fresh colours are coming to their Pearls soon. If you’re in the market for something in pink, though, head on over to the Verizon Wireless online store for more details. The Curve is available for $99.99 and the BlackBerry Pearl $79.99, both on a two-year plan with online rebate.

Tickled pink? Check BlackBerry 8130 and BlackBerry 8330 specs behind the jump, along with some other colours that could be coming soon…

More BlackBerry Javelin pics emerge, reveal microSD hot-swapping, Aug 11

BlackBerry Javelin

Some internal docs managed to get loose recently, giving us a closer look at the upcoming BlackBerry Javelin. The specs included with the slides confirm earlier reports of Wi-Fi, GPS and a 3.2 megapixel camera, along with a screen that should match the BlackBerry Bold’s. The slides were dated in May, but the renders don’t differ much from live shots previously leaked. There are, however, some more details on how the memory card slot will work… You might have to pop the battery door, but apparently the microSD will still be hot-swappable. Maybe not as convenient as the side-loading style that’s been becoming the norm, but it still beats having to do a hard reset. Can’t wait to get one? Current rumours are pointing to a late November release.

(via CB)

Specs and pics of the BlackBerry Javelin after the jump!

Registration for the BlackBerry Developer Conference now open!, Aug 08

Developers, start your engines, because registration is now open for the BlackBerry Developer Conference, taking place in Santa Clara, California on October 21-22. Until August 31st., it’ll only cost you $799, which will go up to $999 until October 1st., then $1099 if you’re paying on the spot. Alliance members enjoy a reduced rate of $699, and if you want to get through the doors free, just submit a paper before August 22, and maybe get a few pats on the back from colleagues in the field. Session tracks include: Managing the Application Development and Deployment Lifecycle, The Ins and Outs of Java Development for the BlackBerry Solution, Next Generation Mobile Web Applications and Content Services, and Mobile Applications for the Enterprise. Register now!

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