BlackBerry Browser To Be On Par with Apple's Safari Browser by Next Summer?!

I just finished watching a pretty comprehensive video evaluation put together by equity analyst Chris Umiastowski that was published earlier today. If you have 17 minutes to kill, you can jump on over and watch the video in full for yourself. The premise of this briefing was to demonstrate how BlackBerry is doing compared to Apple in the consumer smartphone space in terms of core features, and to point out some of RIM's strengths and shortcomings and highlight the things they'll need to hustle to improve quick in order to maintain their sales momentum moving forward.

Though it's not said in the video where the analyst's info is coming from, it's pretty obvious that some of the statements made must have come via RIM (during an interview with somebody higher up the chain would be my guess).  A few of the most interesting points made from a CrackBerry Addict's perspective were in regards to the web browser and include:

  • RIM acknowledges it needs to improve panning and zooming within the web browser and that the issue is an on-device one - it has nothing to do with connecting through the NOC. The key issue is memory management (not enough device RAM). RIM says it's a fixable problem and expects to have a browser on par with the iPhone's Safari browser by next summer.
  • Javascript support will be enabled by default within the web browser this fall. Currently it ships with the JS support setting disabled (enabling JS support tends to slow things down... remember my Bold's Buggered browsers post which was written nearly a year ago?).
  • And very interestingly, RIM gave a reason as to why WiFi on a BlackBerry can often be very slow (not any quicker than using Edge/3G). Apparently RIM has diagnosed the culprit and it has to do with being too conservative on BlackBerry battery management in that the device puts the WiFi radio to sleep too often. Not many details are given here (other than devices being released in upcoming launches should hopefully have much faster WiFi transfer rates) but it's quite possible that if you're using your WiFi browser at the same time that you're connected to Edge/3G but your device doesn't seem to be browsing any faster than if WiFi was turned off, that well, WiFi may actually be asleep and you are actually on Edge/3G.

The presentation goes beyond web browser talk, but the points above are what I found most interesting and newsworthy (news to me anyways!). For the full nitty gritty, be sure to check out the full video.

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