8800 Gets Glowing Review in Asia

blackberry 8800

I came across this excellent story on the new BlackBerry 8800. The BlackBerry 8800 device is making its appearance around the world and this online overview is from Singapore. South East Asia is proving to be a strong market for the BlackBerry and it seems the 8800 will be a hit if this review is anything to go by.

The author, Francis Yeo, says “although the Blackberry 8800 doesn’t carry fancy HSDPA or wireless capabilities, it won’t fail to please corporate types and Blackberry fans alike with a useful GPS receiver and multimedia zing added to the proven Blackberry recipe. Certain minor things like its slippery keys and inaccessible miniSD slot do cast a shadow on its brilliance but not to the extent you'll want to give the phone a miss.”

For the full review, visit the site here.

Only Bet What You Can Afford To Lose

RIM Rollercoaster RideDid I speak too soon?

RIM stock is taking a hit today.

Gotta love the stock market. Knee-jerk reactions to news...Hop on and ride the Roller-Coaster...Woohoo!

Click here to read the latest...

RIM Stock Coming up Rosy: 10 Things Stockholders Should Buy Right Now

Why Not Buy an Interactive R2-D2?With Research In Motion's stock looking good as ever, I thought this might be a good opportunity to lend my 2 cents to RIM stockholders.

Why not sell and treat yourself to something nice? C'mon... Treat yourself!

If this sounds like fun, here is a list of 10 practical things I think you should purchase:

10. The Talking Beer Glass - With your stock cashed in and money coming out your ears, shouldn't you have a beer mug that tells you when you need a refill?

9. A New Coffee Mug - Nothing starts the day better than a strong cup of coffee in a brand new Mug.

8. A New Jacket - Why not put yourself in something that can hold multiple BlackBerry's?

7. An Interactive R2-D2 - Every office needs one of these. He'll even hold your coffee (or beer)

6. An Autographed Picture of your Favorite Celebrity - Looks great on your desk, mantle or bedroom!

5. Tickets to the Oprah Winfrey Show - Go and visit the show live in Chicago. Why not? Chances are you'll get something for free while you're there. A bike, or a book perhaps?

4. A Natural Cotton Velour Robe - Why not slip into one of these? Looks comfy, and look at how happy they are.

3. A Personalized Piggy Bank - Stash all that extra cash somewhere safe.

2. A New Tuxedo - For those formal gala's you will no doubt be attending.

1. The Enzo Ferrari - Get around town in style. 

Good Day at RIM

stock market

As we reported earlier in the week, things are looking rosy over at Research In Motion headquarters. The BlackBerry maker reported a significantly higher fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday.

If there is a dark cloud in Waterloo this morning, it is over news that the informal inquiry by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into RIM stock-option grants, which led to an earning restatement earlier in the year, has been upgraded to a formal investigation.

Yesterday, RIM announced earnings of $187.9 million, or 99 cents a share, in the three months ended March 3. That was way up from the same period last year when the company earned a profit of just $18.4 million, or 10 cents a share.

RIM’s announcement was made after the markets closed and the stock was at $146 on the NASDAQ and $166 on the TSE at closing.

The company’s solid results should keep investors and stockholders happy. The investigation may have a negative effect at some point, but currently it is not bringing the company down. Analysts generally concluded that the $250 million restatement  was disruptive but would not affect the general performance of the company.

RIM is entering 2008 with even larger projected earnings."We are entering fiscal 2008 with very healthy subscriber growth momentum, a strong slate of products and services, exceptional partnerships and a growing market leadership position," Rim Co-CEO Jim Balsillie said in a statement Wednesday.

The company claimed it had added more than a million BlackBerry subscribers in the quarter and now has 8 million potential CrackBerry addicts worldwide.

In the next quarter, RIM expects revenue of $1.025 billion to $1.075 billion and the addition of between 1.125 million and 1.15 million subscribers.

Canadian Rates a Travesty?

travesty chart

Sometimes it sucks to be a Canadian. Really. Crappy weather for half the year and only three Canadian teams made the NHL playoffs. And to make matters worse we reportedly get to pay more, way more, to our BlackBerry carriers.

According to Thomas Purves at his blog, Canada is worse than many third world countries when it comes to the cost of mobile data access. As you can see from the chart, the cost of transferring just 500MB is ridiculously expensive in Canada. It's even cheaper in Rwanda than in the home of the BlackBerry.

500MB is about 100 minutes of usage at a Canadian Carrier’s maximum advertised download speed of 700kB/s.

"500MB is not a lot of data in the grand scheme of things, a few GB could make a better example but in that case the red bars would be completely off the charts," says Purves.

This is already generating a lot of chatter from Canadian Blackberry users and seems like another example of how Canada conspires to make itself less attractive to investment.

Palm Pins Hopes on New Wave

palm treoEither the good folks over at Palm are putting a good spin on their current situation and trying to beautify themselves for potential suitors, or they really don't care about all the takeover talk that has been going on for months.

Today, Palm said growth in sales of their Treo devices in Europe and Asia has given the company hope it can remain viable and ride the new wave of mobile smartphone expansion it sees coming in 2009. Palm executives cited research that suggests the annual market for smartphones will grow to $36 billion by 2009.

"We think there is a big wave coming in this whole mobile computing revolution, which is becoming a bigger part of the overall mobile phone business. We have an enormous opportunity going forward," Palm CEO Ed Colligan said at an investors meeting on Tuesday. "You can expect us to do business development around the world."

Details on how Palm might ride this wave was not forthcoming.

He also refused to talk about takeover speculation. Motorola, Dell, HP and Nokia have all been touted as potential buyers. That speculation boosted Palm's stocks by more than 20 percent, but since takeover talk has cooled over the last month, those stock prices have slipped back 13 points.

Palm's Treo is in direct competition with RIM's BlackBerry and, so far, the Berry is winning the day. Both companies are also trying to hold off Nokia and Motorola as they try and muscle into the consumer smartphone market. Apple Inc.'s iPhone is also due out in a few months.

Palm hopes that business users stay away from the entertainment oriented iPhone and that the business market for both Treo and Berry continue its vigorous growth.


New APIs Added for Java-Based Developers

java map

Research In Motion (RIM) is becoming proactive when it comes to letting developers create applications for its BlackBerry device. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, RIM has recognized the need to expand the capabilities of the BlackBerry device beyond the usual push e-mail, messaging and phone functions.

RIM is hoping that by adding APIs (application programming interfaces) to the BlackBerry Java Development Environment, it will encourage the development of third-party applications for the Berry. These new APIs will encourage developers to access additional functions on the smartphones, including audio, messaging and mapping, in order to build social networking, location-based, multimedia and other forms of applications.

Developers can now insert custom made audio and video content into applications and use the BlackBerry media player. The new APIs support a variety of audio file formats including MP3, WAV, Windows Media Audio and Advanced Audio Coding.

With new consumer-oriented BlackBerries being released this year featuring an in-built camera, a new camera API will give developers the opportunity to build applications that can access pictures taken with the camera as well as applications that can receive notification when photos are taken.

In another example, developers can create custom mapping and location applications by using new APIs that provide access to information from a local GPS device and BlackBerry Maps.

RIM is also working on releasing additional APIs, including support for 3D graphics, MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) and SMS (Short Message Service).

According to a statement from RIM, “The BlackBerry Java Development Environment (JDE) includes APIs that enable integration with BlackBerry phones and applications. Today, more than 125,000 developers have downloaded the BlackBerry JDE and around 500 software organizations participate in the BlackBerry ISV Alliance, a program that supports software developers.”

BlackBerry Interview Seemed Like Good Idea

lohan blackberryFile this under “it seemed like a good idea at the time.”

For their latest issue, GQ magazine thought it was being 'leading edge' when it decided to interview a celebrity entirely on their BlackBerry via text messaging. Writer Marshall Sella explains the reason for trying this method of interview was because “that's how the kids are communicating these days.”

That phrase right there should have been a tip-off that this idea was not going to go well. The second tip-off should have been the subject – noted BlackBerry user and rehab denizen Lindsay Lohan, or as Sella calls her “an icon of her generation.”

For the “Love, Sex and Madness” special issue of the magazine, GQ conducted the interview with Lohan entirely by text and the results are, predictably, not pretty.

For example, after being asked what she is wearing these days ( sorry “who” she is wearing these days), we get this piece of wit and wisdom from Lohan. “Here now wearing marc jacobs pumps and a kate and kass dress, vintage chanel messenger and topshop tights and peace sign earrings from kaviar and kind,”

Sella then asks if Lohan plays poker online. “Weird! I just e-mailed my friend sara pantera saying I'm going to start playing poker again! I bought two puppies today! Sober impulse buying of companions who will help me stay home etc.” comes the Molly Bloom-like reply.

Sella indicates he likes dogs too but how does the actress and Robert Altman biographer feel about cats? “Cats scare me…I just think of bad luck from black ones like I had in Just My Luck! I need a boyfriend. Geez.”

If this was an ad for texting, BlackBerries or youth today, it fails badly.

When they finally get to the fact that Lohan is an actress and currently working, Lohan signs off with “Gotta think sex scene today.”

"Best message ever," Sella replies. Creepy.

As an experiment, it is a hideous failure. Maybe a better subject might have held out hope for a different result, but then GQ would not have had a reason to run all of those pictures of a scantily clad Lohan. I wonder if there is a WAP version of this article?

Former Morgan Stanley Exec Sells BlackBerry on eBay

Morgan Stanley Exec Sells BlackBerry on eBayImagine this. You're former executive with Morgan Stanley (lets say for arguments' sake, you were the vice president of mergers and acquisitions).

You are no longer with the company, but need to get rid of the BlackBerry you had been using.

Sell it on eBay right? Sure why not!

But before you do you'll wipe all sensitive data off the device right? Wipe it clean so that the new user can start fresh?

Wrong. Click here to read the rest of this amazing story.


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.


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…


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

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 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.