We recently heard reports that Research In Motion's PlayBook tablet might not be ready for prime time due to battery life concerns, but according to RIM, it's much ado about not very much Erictric.com reports.
"Any testing or observation of battery life to date by anyone outside of RIM would have been performed using pre-beta units that were built without power management implemented," RIM explains. "RIM is on track with its schedule to optimize the BlackBerry PlayBook’s battery life and looks forward to providing customers with a professional grade tablet that offers superior performance with comparable battery life."
Reading between the lines, it's probably fair to say that the PlayBook is still in need of some tweaks to get battery life up to par with competing tablets, but it's not an issue RIM expects to cause any delays.
Ruh roh, Shaggy. If what we're hearing from news and rumor site Fudzilla turns out to be true, Research In Motion's upcoming PlayBook tablet could have a tough time taking on the iPad, Galaxy Tab, and every other slate. According to Fudzilla, battery life woes are proving to be a thorn in RIM's side.
"Apparently, the issue stems from the adapted QNX OS that powers the new PlayBook tablet along with the fact that the OS was never really optimized for battery life," Fudzilla explains. "To address this issue the engineers at RIM have had to adapt, refine and build new routines at low levels to allow the OS to only sip the battery power to extend battery life. Optimizing battery life isn’t an easy thing to do and takes significant time and work."
This isn't a death knell for the PlayBook, and most agree the device holds a lot of promise. But don't rule out a delay, either. The last thing RIM wants to do is push out a half-baked tablet to go up against competing slates boasting 6-10+ hours of battery life.
Samsung has already racked up 600,000 Galaxy Tab sales and the iPad still dominates the tablet market, so where does that leave the competition? In really good shape, apparently. Ittai Kidron, an analyst with Oppenheimer, predicts that Research In Motion's (RIM's) PlayBook will fall into the hands of 3.3 million users by 2012, CNet reports.
The PlayBook is taking aim at the enterprise crowd where interest has been heating up. Because of this, Kidron sees RIM selling 100,000 PlayBook devices in the fiscal fourth quarter ending February 28 with an average selling price of $540.
Is Kidron being overly optimistic? It's far too early to tell, but it certainly didn't hurt that RIM recently posted a side-by-side comparison of its PlayBook with the iPad in which the PlayBook trounced Apple's magical tablet in page loads, Flash capability, and overall performance.
Oh, it's on like Donkey Kong (don't sue us, Nintendo). Jim Balsillie, head honcho over at Research In Motion (RIM) had plenty to say about Apple's smartphone business model during an on-stage interview at a Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, AFP reports.
"You don't need an app for the Web," Balsillie began. "We believe you can bring the mobile to the Web, but you don't need to go through some kind of control point."
The RIM chief was taking a shot at Apple's tight control over which apps end up the App Store at iTunes.
"It is really not about a set of proprietary rules or about appifying the Web," Balsillie said. "The Web needs a platform that allows you to use your existing Web content, not apps."
Balsillie pulled the Flash trump card during his interview, pointing out how even though there are tons of Flash videos on the Web, Apple's mobile phone can't play them.
According to a Bloomberg report, Research In Motion (RIM) plans to sell its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet in early 2011 for less than $500, which can be viewed as an attempt to sweep the legs out from under Apple's iPad.
The cheapest iPad available runs $499, which gets you the Wi-Fi only version with 16GB of storage, or you could spend as much as $829 for the flagship model with 64GB and 3G baked in. Samsung's Galaxy Tab so far is the only tablet to really challenge the iPad, but it too is pricey, especially if you don't commit to a 2-year service agreement.
First run PlayBook devices will only come with Wi-Fi, but its sub-$500 price tag could spark a price war among tablet makers, of which there looks to be many.
"There's going to be a lot of tablets on the market so I think pricing is going to start coming down," said Matt Thorton, an analyst at Avian Securities LLC in Boston.
Like the Galaxy Tab, RIM's PlayBook is a 7-inch slate, compared to the iPad's 9.7-inch screen. It will come ARMed with a Cortex A9 dual-core processor clocked at 1GHz, 1GB of RAM, 3MP front-facing camera, 5MP rear camera, and 16GB or 32GB of storage. Other features include HDMI, microUSB jack, 1080p playback (via HDMI), and Bluetooth.
The rumors have been swirling for months that BlackBerry maker RIM would be launching a tablet device. Today at the RIM developer event, that rumor became reality with the introduction of the BlackBerry PlayBook. This device will sport some serious specs and an all new RIM operating system based on the QNX system.
The PlayBook will run on an ARM Cortex A9 dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, and will have a 7-inch 1024 x 600 capacitive touch screen. There will be both HDMI and USB ports, with the former capable of full 1080p output. In the camera department, we're looking at a 3 MP front facing, and 5 MP rear facing sensor. There will be A/B/G/N Wi-Fi, but the PlayBook will be capable of Bluetooth tethering to Blackberrys for internet connections as well.
This new QNX-derived OS will have slick webOS-like app switching, and a WebKit browser with Flash. In teh media department, there will be support for MP3, AAC, and WMA for audio; video support comes in the form of H.264, MPEG, DivX, and WMV. No exact release date or price was given. Just that a launch was expected in the coming weeks. A mention was made of working with developers, so hopefully, we can expect some sort of app ecosystem here.
Verizon and Research In Motion (RIM) jointly announced the upcoming availability of the BlackBerry Curve 3G on Verizon's network. Sales will begin on September 16, 2010 (this Thursday) for just $30, albeit after a $100 mail-in-rebate and new two-year service agreement.
The newest Curve will ship with a "stylish new design," 35-key full QWERTY backlit keyboard, dedicated media keys, 512MB flash memory, microSD/SDHC card slot with support for up to 32GB memory cards, built-in GPS with support for geo-tagging and location-based apps, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, camera with video recording, and various other odds and ends, all of which you can view here.
On the OS side, the BlackBerry Curve 3G will come with BlackBerry 5 and Verizon/RIM ensure that it's also BlackBerry 6 ready, which is expected to ship in the coming months.
Maybe Maximum PC should come out with a tablet and join every other company on the planet who purportedly is working on a slate PC for a late 2010 launch. That includes Research In Motion (RIM), which is reportedly coming out with a 9.7-inch tablet called the BlackPad in November of this year.
Quanta Computer is said to be building the device, and judging by the name, RIM is eager to go toe-to-toe with Apple's iPad, so far the only viable tablet to yet be released.
According to a report in Chinese-language Apple Daily, the BlackPad will sell for $500, the same price as Apple's entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi iPad. The BlackPad will support Wi-Fi too, as well Bluetooth and 3G (through connection to a BlackBerry smartphone).
Apparently the ambitious bunch, RIM is expecting to ship two million units in 2010 alone, and eight million in 2011.
Research in Motion (RIM) this week unveiled its BlackBerry Torch 9800 smartphone, the first phone to run RIM's new BlackBerry 6 OS. Not among the supported features, however, is Flash support.
Unlike Apple, which refuses to work with Adobe in porting Flash over to its smartphones, RIM has real interest in running Adobe's multimedia platform, at least once the kinks are worked out.
"What's really important... is to get it right. Flash and Flash video have very specific hardware, CPU, and memory requirements," said Tyler Lessard, vice president of global alliances and developer relations at RIM.
"We don't want to deliver an experience that users are going to get really excited about -- perhaps buy a new device just because it supports Flash -- and then find it doesn't work as they hoped it to," he said.
Given that the two companies announced last October that they were working together to bring Flash to BlackBerry devices, it's a little surprising they couldn't get it down in time for the Torch 9800 launch. And while it would appear that support is imminent, neither side is willing to give a time frame.
RIM's long-rumored BlackBerry Torch (previously known as the 9800) has gone official, with RIM just moments ago unveiling its first touchscreen device with a slide-out keyboard, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
No stranger to exclusivity agreements, AT&T is getting sole custody of the BlackBerry Torch 9800. It will arrive in AT&T stores on August 12 and sell for $200 with a 2-year service agreement, as well as a required data plan ($15 for 200MB or $25 for 2GB).
RIM, which has been largely overshadowed by the spate of smartphone releases from the competition, is hoping its BlackBerry Torch gets them back in the game. The newest BlackBerry is RIM's first device to run on the company's BlackBerry 6 operating system, which was designed with touch functionality in mind.
A sampling of other features include a 5MP camera with image stabilization, 3.5mm jack, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR, 512MB of flash memory, 4GB of onboard storage plus another 4GB media card included (expandable to 32GB via microSD), and a 3.2-inch touchscreen with a 480 x 360 resolution.