News

AIM and ICQ Now Available on BlackBerry

icq logoResearch In Motion announced today that both AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ Messenger services are now available for the BlackBerry. Yahoo, MSN and Google messenger services have been available for some time, so it is nice to see the BlackBerry expanding its offerings.

Both programs can be downloaded from the BlackBerry site. AIM is available here. ICQ can be downloaded here. Both are free to download but usage fees might be applied by your carrier.

According to the guys over at BlackBerry Cool there are a couple of glitches in downloading the two programs, so you may want to hold off for a day or two until those issues are resolved.

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New Use for Ipod - Body Armor

iraq ipod

We can't verify the veracity of the claim, but it a good story nonetheless and we have photo evidence (which never lies, right?). We have heard the stories before involving bibles, flasks and watches but here is our very own war story, this time featuring an iPod.

According to reports showing up on the net, Kevin Garrad of the 3rd Infantry Division of the US Army was patrolling the streets of Tikrit in Iraq, when he rounded the corner of a building and came face-to-face with an armed insurgent. Both open fired on each other.

The Iraqi was killed, while Garrad was hit in the left chest by a bullet from the Iraqi's AK 47. Apparently, his IPod was in his jacket pocket and it slowed the bullet down enough that it did not completely penetrate his body armor. Garrad walked away unharmed.

Apple have already sent the solder a replacement iPod.

So, do you think that a BlackBerry might be showing up in a similar situation? What do you think could handle a 9 mil slug better? The sturdy 7290 or the new Pearl? You're your answers on a postcard to…

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From 'Brick' to BlackBerry

The First Cellular Phones Looked Like BricksIt’s hard to imagine our lives without our cell phones now, but in reality cell phones are still fairly new technology. The original mobile phone was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X which got FCC acceptance in 1983.

Believe it or not, it would have set you back $3,995 to be the coolest cat on the block. Even more astonishing is the fact that it took Motorola fifteen years of research and $100 million to come up with the technology. So what did “the brick” offer? How about 30 minutes of talk time, eight hours standby time, and only took 10 hours to recharge. It even let you store up to thirty numbers.

This was the start of the cell phone evolution, or should I say revolution. As more companies started developing cell phones and networks were established, consumers demand went up as prices fell. Now a day, some countries have more mobile phones than people, and in 2005 it was estimate that 2.14 Billion people were cell phone subscribers.

The DynaTAC has lead the path to the devices we’ve come to love now, such as the Motorola RAZR V3, Blackberries, IPhone, and Palm Treo. With cell phones offering the ability to SMS, check email, browse the internet, listen to mp3s, it really makes you wonder what’s in store in the future of cell phones.

Cellphone Evolution
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RIM Numbers Great Despite Earnings Misstatement

wall streetThe Toronto Globe and Mail is reporting today that despite a quarter billion dollar earnings misstatement, Research In Motion will close out their year end with “blow-out” numbers.

While investigators in the US and Canada are set to concluded their reviews of the earnings misstatements made earlier in the year by RIM accountants where the company was forced to restate more than $250 million in earnings, it seems unlikely that the results of those investigations will have a significant impact on company profits.

In fact, with a million new subscribers in the fourth quarter that ended at the end of March, RIM is claiming more than eight million BlackBerry users worldwide. Once news of that huge surge in numbers leaked out, Wall Street analysts began rating the Waterloo-based company’ stocks higher. Last week, RIM’s stocks went up six percent and closed the week on the NASDAQ at $145.77. That is still two dollars short of its record high, but certainly within striking distance.

Valued at $27 billion, The Globe nicely points out that RIM is now worth more than each of its Canadian carriers -- BCE, Rogers and Telus.

Sales of both the Pearl and the 8800 have exceeded the company's expectations and have contributed to the company’s growth spurt in the last three months.

Further good news for RIM is found in a survey conducted by investment firm Goldman Sachs, which reported that while less than half a percent of respondents said they owned a BlackBerry, fully 11 percent said they wanted to get one. Even if that is wildly overstated, those numbers have to look good to the guys in Waterloo.

Research In Motion is expected to launch two new models in the next couple of months – the Cyclone and the Daytona – and success of those models should help push RIM stocks even higher.

The Globe story does suggest that more than a few analysts are “neutral” on RIM’s chances for stock price growth however, pointing to the company's high marketing budget and a fear that the new models will merely replace sales that would have gone to the Pearl and 8800.

The BlackBerry Trackball: Good or Bad?

The BlackBerry Trackball

A touchy subject but one that needs to be addressed here on CrackBerry! The new Trackball... Good or Bad?

Personally, I am still in love with the click wheel on the side of my 8700. It's easy to use, fast, and intuitive. I'd really like to have an opinion of the new trackballs but I haven't tried one yet... So lets hear your thoughts...

Good? Bad? Ugly? Useless? Tell us about your experiences and opinions on the new trackball in the forums: The New Trackball: Good or Bad?

Survey Highlights Need For Work-Life Balance

blackberry survey As I sit here at 10 pm on a Sunday night writing this blog, I am inclined to agree with the findings of a new study published this week. According to the survey by Yahoo! Hotjobs, 75 percent of respondents said they used their BlackBerries and laptops equally for business and personal use.

The study proved that the line between a person’s professional and personal life is increasingly blurred. The convenience and flexibility of wireless units have made them significant communication tools, but they have also changed the parameters of the workplace and the expectations of availability. In attempting to free people from the workplace they have also, inadvertently, extended the work day.

The online survey of 900 professionals revealed that 81 percent prefer to stay connected with a mobile phone, 65 percent use a laptop, while 19 percent use smartphones such as the BlackBerry.

The majority of respondents had positive feelings toward their wireless devices, but more than 25 percent believed their Berries and laptops kept them on a relentless corporate leash.

In one strange but entirely believable statistic, 67 percent of those professionals surveyed admitted to having used their BlackBerry or smartphone to connect to work while on vacation. Been there, done that.

In reviewing the survey, the authors emphasized the need for companies to set limits and allow people to disengage and maintain a health work-life balance. It also suggested that employees have an obligation to turn their devices off learn to say ‘no’ if their mobile devices are becoming too much of a burden.

T-Mobile BlackBerry 8800 To Launch April 23?

T-Mobile BlackBerry 8800Rumors have been flying around CrackBerry about the 8800 from T-Mobile. Thanks for all that have tipped us.

For many of our friends in the US, this will be big news as we know many of you want to get your hands in this new model! 

Word on the street is that the T-Mobile 8800 will be launched on the 23rd of April.

Details are fuzzy at this point but we will let you know as we learn more.

In the meantime, discuss this and other rumors in our 'Rumor Mill' Forum.

Excellent BlackBerry 8100 (Pearl) Review

BlackBerry 8100 (Pearl) Review

An EXCELLENT out-of-the-box review by our friend Julie at The Gadgeteer.

Check out the review here. Lots of great pics and detail put into this review. Thanks Julie!

BlackBerry Pearl Skins Already have a BlackBerry Pearl and want to dress it up?

Be sure to visit the CrackBerry.com store. We have a huge collection of BlackBerry Pearl Accessories.

While you're there, definitely check out the new BlackBerry Pearl skins. They are made by BlackBerry, and are an absolute must have! Hot, Hot, HOT!!!

BlackBerry 8830 Pics

Verizon BlackBerry 8830 Pictures

That's one sweet looking machine. 

BlackBerry 8800 vs. SamSung BlackJack

Veronica Belmont compares the BlackBerry 8800 to the SamSung Blackjack

Cnet's Veronica Belmont recently compared the BlackBerry 8800 to Samsung's Blackjack.

Another job well done by Veronica. Click here to watch the review.

650,000 BlackBerry Gamers and Counting...

Jessica Simpson playing Sudoku on her BlackBerryBPlay Vice President Nicholas Reichenbach recently estimated the BlackBerry gaming community to be in excess of 650,000 and counting.

That's a lot of gamers!

As the games for BlackBerries continue to evolve and get much more fun and entertaining, we have no doubt this number will grow.

We've seen a number of game releases lately that have put certain developers to shame (note to MagMic Games). We're excited to see where this industry evolves to!

As you can see, even Jessica Simpson enjoys playing games on her BlackBerry. We bet she's playing Sudoku or some sort of brain teasing game. She's a smart gal.

If you have a game you love and would like us to review, contact me at james AT CrackBerry.com and I'll do my best to do a comprehensive review!

In the meantime, you can check out games we have for sale in our store

Vodafone BlackBerry 8300 Spotted!

This came up in the CrackBerry.com forums yesterday - it seems photos of a BlackBerry 8300 have been spotted on flickr! I guess this means our European Blackberry Addict friends may just be lucky enough to be using 8300s by summer!

Vodafone BlackBerry 8300

Thanks Mr. M for taking the photos - see his 8300 collection here.

RIM Proven Market Leader in First Quarter 07

RIM Proven Market Leader in First Quarter 07

Our friends at SeekingAlpha recently published the above graph showing RIM is winning the current market share over Palm.

Also interesting is the fact that RIM has been steadily increasing their market share over the past year and a half, while PALM has been much more volatile, jumping up and down in market share.

Steady growth usually means good things to me.

Check out the full article here. 

New Service by Willcom to Compete Against BlackBerry?

Willcom Sync Mobile Service

Willcom Inc. recently announced that they will be launching the WILLCOM Sync Mobile Service on April 16. This service connects enterprise systems and Willcom's PHS handsets.

In a nutshell, this service will allow corporate users of groupware (like Microsoft's Exchange Server or Lotus Notes/Domino) to check and update their schedules... and even receive emails from outside the company via PHS handsets.

Personal computers will be equipped with a monitoring program, which will connect to an Intellisync server running at Willcom's data center.

For more details, click here.

A BlackBerry Smartphone You Can't be Without?!

BlackBerry 8800 If you're a regular visitor to the site, you probably noticed last week that we made some changes to our main menu. In addition to the cool forums widget at the top right hand corner of the site that pulls the latest action in the forums, we've also introduced two new content areas - Job Board and Publications.

You'll be hearing more about the job board in the days ahead, but today I wanted to highlight our partnership with TradePub, which offers CrackBerry.com visitors and members the ability to subscribe for FREE to receive Trade Magazine Publications and Technical Whitepaper downloads. The offering is HUGE and covers a wide range of fields, so I guarantee you will find something relevant and worth reading in here. Please do check it out.

And in the meantime, for the BlackBerry Addicts out there, may I recommend checking out the on demand Web Cast Review of the BlackBerry 8800 entitled "A BlackBerry Smartphone You Can't be Without"

Contest Winners Announced!

Early Bird Winners

Congratulations to our Early Bird Winners in the "Confess your BlackBerry Addiction and WIN Giveaway". Member mousie won the "Give Me a Taste" prize of $250USD to spend in the CrackBerry.com store. Our "Fridays in March"winners each pick up $30USD to spend in the CrackBerry.com store as well!

We still have two HUGE prizes to giveaway, so if you are not in the contest yet, get CRACK'n. All you have to do is become a registered member of CrackBerry.com (it's free, and only takes a minute). May 1st we are drawing for the "Pimp my Berry!" prize of $500 spending cash in the CrackBerry.com store. And on June 1st we have the GRAND PRIZE DRAW of $2,000USD. The money can either go to "Getting a Fix" ($2,000 worth of BlackBerry stuff) or "Getting Some Rehab" ($2,000 towards a Vacation from your BlackBerry getaway).

Check out a picture of the winning ballots after the jump. 

Winning Ballots

All of the winners are being contacted today, and have 5 days to claim their prize. Any unclaimed prizes will be drawn again. As we get more information on the winner's and the prizes they pick we will update it in the forums.

Congratulations again to the Winners! 

Verizon Wireless and SanDisk Introduce 4-Gigabyte MicroSDHC

SanDisk 4GB microSDGood news for all Pearl and 8800 users. SanDisk will be releasing their 4GB microSD High Capacity card on May 1st, 2007. Initial plans are to launch this on Verizon with V Cast capable phones.

Now the only question is.... Will it work with the Pearl and 8800, or will we need an operating system upgrade to take advantage of it???

Read the Press Release

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Aliph's Jawbone Bluetooth Headset

Aliph's Jawbone

This surfaced in the CrackBerry forums late last week, but if you haven't it seen it yet, what you are now looking at is Aliph's new "Jawbone" bluetooth headset. It is VERY cool (unless of course you're a hater of bluetooth headsets in general - then they'll always look strange to you and you'll nevre see the beauty!).

Lots of pictures and a review of the Jawbone can be found at the-gadgeteer.com.

I've been working on a review of Motorola's H700 headset, which I bought a month ago. The H700 is a slick, smooth operating device, but seeing this almost makes me want to trade up!

The BlackBerry Mascot

CrackBerry Mascot

Saw this picture at Gizmodo and just had to get it up here. Thanks guys. I really, really want to go as the BlackBerry Mascot for halloween.  That's only seven months away. Somebody MUST be able to hook me up with a costume by then?!

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