Think Research In Motion's upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook is only for business users? It's not, and to drive that point home, the PlayBook will sport a couple of preloaded games: Need for Speed Underground and Tetris. These are full-version titles that come standard with the device, and not game demos, though you do have the option of purchasing additional cars in NFS.
The Samsung Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab 10.1, LG Optimus 3D and Sony Ericsson Xperia Play grabbed the big headlines at Mobile World Congress 2011. If you thought CES was fun, the annual Barcelona event will have had early adopters reaching for their wallets and breathlessly hunting for preorder opportunities. Hit the jump for a quick take on news, pending announcements from the major handset providers, and a brief analysis of what it all means for you.
There's a rumor floating around that Research In Motion is working on software that would allow Android applications to run on the company's upcoming PlayBook tablet. News first broke on Bloomberg, which got the information from "three people familiar with the matter." According to Bloomberg and its sources, RIM will integrate the technology into the PlayBook's OS and could have it ready by the second half of the year.
Yet another leaked slide made its way into cyberspace, this latest one revealing launch details for Research In Motion's upcoming PlayBook tablet. According to the slide, which first appeared on CrackBerry, Office Depot will sell the PlayBook sometime in late March or early April for $500. That's for the 16GB Wi-Fi version, which stacks up nicely against Apple's 16GB Wi-Fi iPad, although the upgraded iPad 2 is just around the corner as well.
Maybe we're too old, stubborn, or set in our ways, but we don't fancy the idea of our smartphones tattooing text messages on our bodies. Most of you probably don't either, so it's a good thing that's not what Research In Motion (RIM) is working on. Instead, RIM, along with the Royal College of Art's Helen Hamlyn Center, are busy developing a technology called SkinDisplay. Learn how it works after the break.
Jonesing for a BlackBerry Curve with a touchscreen display? You might just get your wish. According to CrackBerry.com, Research In Motion is planning to release the BlackBerry Touch Curve in late 2011 or early 2012. That's still a long ways off, and so specs could change between now and then, but here's how it's currently configured.
CrackBerry says it will ship with a Qualcomm MSM 8655 processor clocked at 800MHz. It doesn't appear to have a hardware keyboard, which would make it the first Curve to ship without one. Otherwise, it comes with a trackpad and navigation keys, a 5MP camera with HD video recording, 1GB of internal flash-based storage, 512MB of RAM, a microSD card slot, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, GPS, micro USB, Bluetooth, accelerometer, and an ambient light sensor.
That's how the CDMA version breaks down, though it's a safe bet there will also be a GSM variant.
RIM is in the process of planning for a QNX-based future. The robust operating system is the basis of the upcoming Blackberry Playbook, and BGR is reporting that some decisions are coming down the pike that could allow Android apps to run on RIM's QNX devices. RIM is likely going to use a new Java virtual machine to allow legacy apps to work on QNX. Among the candidates is Dalvik, which is the VM used in Android.
If RIM chose Dalkiv, they could use the open source version of the VM with no dealings with Google. This would allow users to sideload Android app APK files. If RIM really wants to blow consumers away, they could come to some arrangement with Google to certify the Playbook for the Android Market. This last bit sounds like crazy talk to us, but anything is possible.
The Playbook is running on ARM architecture like all other Android devices, so apps would likely work to some degree. We can't be sure about how well they will work, but it should technically be possible. Does this sound plausible to you?
If you though RIM was done with the mediocre Storm line of all touch phones, you'd be wrong. BGR has a new leak that purportedly shows the upcoming BlackBerry Storm 3. The leak includes both images, and a spec sheet. The device design is not a radical departure from what you may remember from the previous Storm devices. The touch screen has been bumped up to 3.7-inches and 800x480 resolution. It is listed in the docs as being capacitive only. It is unclear if the SurePress screen is gone, or this is just an omission.
The other specs of the device are actually rather encouraging. RIM will be using a 1.2GHz CPU of unknown make, a 5MP camera with 720p recording. 8GB of internal storage, 512MB of RAM, 2.4 b/g/n and 5GHz a/n Wi-Fi, and BlackBerry OS 6.1. The device is also listed as being HSPA/GSM, which would mean a departure from Verizon's CDMA network. The exact frequencies were not available.
BGR expects the Storm 3 to hit stores later next summer. But at that rate, other smartphones will be brushing our teeth for us. Do you think RIM has a shot with this one?
You're probably familiar with W. Clement Stone's advice to "Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star." Research In Motion (RIM) is certainly aiming high and expects to ship more than 1 million of its upcoming PlayBook tablets in the first quarter of 2011, DigiTimes reports.
That would be enough to surpass the amount of Motorola Xoom tablets, which is expected to be in the neighborhood of 700,00 to 800,000 units. It would also give RIM a great start in competing against Apple's well established iPad, of which all other tablets will inevitably be measured against, not just in features (Apple could very well lose that one), but in shipments and sales figures.
RIM's shipment goal means the company is planning to blitz the market, considering the PlayBook won't launch until March in Wi-Fi form. Sometime after that, a 3G version will follow.
RIM's PlayBook has been the center of criticism over potentially poor battery life. But according to RIM, battery life will be competitive with other tablets on the market.
Raymond Reddy used to work in Corporate Development over at Research In Motion (RIM). Now he's an outsider looking in, and what he sees are a handful of obstacles standing ahead of RIM's upcoming PlayBook.
Speaking with Business Insider, Reddy identified at least three areas where the PlayBook could potentially run into trouble. First, the device might simply be too late. According to Reddy, RIM didn't anticipate how difficult it would be to port the BlackBerry interface over to the new QNX operating system.
Secondly, there won't be many third party apps, and this ties in with the point above. It will be a challenge, Reddy says, to convince developers to port their apps from the BlackBerry OS over to QNX.
And finally, Reddy says the Wi-Fi only version isn't going to appeal to users who need access to corporate BlackBerry email accounts.
One thing Reddy didn't really touch on was battery life. There has been some concern in the media that the PlayBook's battery life will fall far short of the competition, though RIM insists such claims are bogus and those who say otherwise have been playing with early beta versions of the PlayBook that have yet to be optimized.