RIM is about to make a splash this coming Tuesday, at a press conference to the reporters invited online in Manhattan.
Lots of rumors going around with the BlackBerry 9780 – a decent upgrade to RIM’s best selling BlackBerry 9700, the BlackBerry 9800 Slider, and possibly official announcement of BlackBerry 6 OS. Many analysts of upgraded the stock rating for longer term projections due to strong rumors & also to this recent planned announcement.
The 9780 is rumoured to be a slight upgrade to the 9700. Its dimensions will be exact, and the layout most likely will be as well. Under the hood is where the similarities remain the same and also stellar improvements that remind users of the original Bold, the 9000. BlackBerry 6 with WebKit Engine, 5MP Camera with LED flash (Xenon would have been sweet but the Storm 3 may get that), increased flash memory to the tune of 512MB, and with 2GB of built-in storage!! The most important thing is the cost – to providers offering it on contract and to end users willing to purchase outright. No you will NOT need to camp out at midnight the night before, nor worry about RIM trying to induce demand with limited supplies (Foxcon only makes iPhone 4 hardware for Apple and as an OEM they shouldn’t have issues – supply chain complaints by Apple have NOT been confirmed by analysts so I see that as trying to induce demand to create a cult frenzy). Oddly enough SNTradersOnline has the 9780 with price advertised on their site – non in stock presently.
Aside from the highlights mentioned above, I feel RIM should be looking at a few minor things to help out its cost structure, yet also to help out the little guy – the end user & corporate user. These should also help out the supply chain as well. RIM is by any means in NO trouble with finances – having amongst the brightest mines running the company, and amongst the best CFO managing the finances thereof.
Model lineup. We all know that RIM makes several models that appeal to many different users of many different lifestyles. With BlackBerry 6 RIM is realizing in order to keep consumer sales rising with corporate sales in tow, making the device appeal to both markets as a workhorse alone will not do it. They are beginning to brand it as a lifestyle device – and with the original BlackBerry 6 pre-release video showing the female fashion marquee, the business male, and the cool student – RIM is doing this with careful attention & with prowess like Apple does. I honestly feel that the Pearl 3G 9100 needed more marketing attention and should’ve been released about 2years earlier to have given it greater success. However to make the product lineup stronger we should have 3-4 basic models (2 having the same resolution): Full qwerty to have static screens (Bold & Flip lineup) or combine touch screen with trackpad, touch-screen only units (Storm series) to be the front runner of hardware and industry standard API (OpenGL ES 2 minimum this year, etc), Pearl Series (which may get phased out), and finally the all-in-wonderful 9800 Slider.
Hardware. I believe RIM should make some serious strides here. No longer giving us of “just enough hardware power” to perform the intended tasks. Hardware should standardize on powerful ARM Cortex A8/A9 chip architecture, higher RAM (that JVM needs it for powerful apps), storage (more on this later), and finally the batteries. Technically the Bold & Pearl should share the SAME batteries, only the thickness is slightly different and really reducing the supply chain for batteries would benefit RIM’s cost structure, analysts, and the end user – many of whom decide to switch hardware platforms within the lineup from RIM mid-year. Possibly the 9800 may take the Bold 9700’s battery as well, however the power requirements for a touchscreen are slightly more demanding than the slate units. So the future Storm and 9800 Slider & the new full-qwerty flip should also carry the same battery (1500mAh minimum). These units will most likely have a thinner body and longer motherboard to fit the chipsets, this is just common sense. Stop using metal for battery covers; they scratch easily (tables, rings,etc) and look horrible, not to mention lessen grip and least comfortable in the cold winter months. (Common RIM you’re Canadian; start using leather embossed battery covers even if its fake its working on the 9700). Lastly, more work needs to be done with car-bluetooth synchronization for calls and contacts.
The OS. I sincerely hope that OS 6 allows for Applications to be (securely, non-sharing) on the storage memory (microsd cards included). RIM can somehow allow the apps to be set to a specific PIN and changeable by end user should they upgrade or switch devices but not allowed on 2 PIN’s simultaneously to threading developers sales. Just a thought on this.
The future of BlackBerry is going to be incredible. I was a fool to get the iPhone 3GS again; realizing just how solid the hardware and OS 5 was for daily use and efficiency and notes in my daily work I should’ve kept it and just got an iPod. To be honest the latest builds of OS 5 my premium headphones worked as designed.
@ Sean Shen, regarding downloading music OTA … totally agree. My solution was to install Bolt Browser (9700 OS 5) – free btw on AppWorld or directly – and was able to download a 1.3MB mp3 mix session from Soundcloud without issue. I even let my 9700 goto sleep and it completed & I can play it back in native music player – and because I added it to a playlist I was able to sync it to iTunes via PC – did another and did sync to Mac OSX SL.
RIM Please do the following with BlackBerry 6: * Allow setting of HTML emails defaulted by users to actually WORK!- no more looking to download pictures, no more prompts that doing so exposes email address.* Higher Email attachment sizes: 10MB is Exchange/Outlook standard for almost a decade; follow suit.- on this note allow 10MB default browser download sizes or limit to whatever MicroSD card has free space. This is 2010 and 16/32GB storage cards are NOW common & consumer priced accepted.* Allow quick search within opened browser pages.- if you allow searching for ALL opened browser pages (tabs) you get BONUS marks!!* Allow attachments to be auto downloaded. Not all your users are on limited 500/1GB data plans and with NOC compression even 500GB is sufficient for consumer that get 5MB attachments in emails 3x/day/week. – on this note allow user configurable settings to save attachments in specific storage card locations for specific files: PDF in PDF, webpages (same), mp3/aac/amr/etc in music folder, pictures in pics, movies (same), you get the point.* upgrade the File explorer for more power and the same.- while on this note allow SPECIFIC application and folders to have passwords. Allow different passwords for: Folders have their own group of passwords, Apps their own group of passwords, core PIM apps [Contacts, MemoPad, Tasks, Calendar] their own, etc; leaving this ability out for BES activated devices. To finally add to this … allow Password keeper to manage ALL separate passwords with just one – allowing backup/restore to bring this back as well regardless of BB6 device used.* Better Touchscreen password entry: Ontario government along with many other corporations/industry’s forbids Storms to be activated on BES. For the past week I’ve been using my wife’s 9550 and I cannot STAND IT! The 9800 Slider hopefully resolves this.* BBM. Everybody thinks this cannot be touched. Well it CAN. Allow BBM to move to the computing space: Mac, Linux, WindowsXP/7; enabling live Delivered/Read/awaiting delivery for offline recipients [clock icon]. So many BES users that rely on BBM/PIN2PIN are designated ON-CALL support staff for high-critical contacts and when working to reload an OS onto a device or device out of coverage – say due to non-supported roaming partners [worldwide: investment and consultant corporation users go through this endlessly] or CDMA devices that do not allow roaming on GPRS/EDGE/3G within North/South America still have mobile workstations (laptops) that have internet access via aircards or wlan can STILL get critical PIN2PIN/BBM messages if a computer initiative was launched.^ yup … Sangster copywritten that right here.
^ Just think about how BBM on the desktop/laptop could improve upon the mobile presence and collaboration landscape. Allow API’s so that super apps can tell when you’re offline, yet still mobile on workstation – designated office presence to be ready for meetings (think MS Office Communicator), etc etc.
BBM “Sup beautiful people?!”
Ok time to look at the FACTS! With 11 shareholders controlling over 40% of the shares at RIM’s Annual General Meeting 2010 at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) at 6:30 PM earlier tonight; these facts will show up in the next financial books that will also be reported to all stock listing indices. So onto the facts behind the hype!
During Balsillie’s opening speech …
- What’s really important is the global growth of our subscriber base. Now over 46 million.
- RIM cash position, we added $400-million this year.
- Cash on hand is now $3.3billion.
- We’re midstream on purchasing the 31 million shares announced in the buyback, although we’re not committed to that amount.
- BlackBerry is #1 smartphone for Tweet on Twitter, and the BlackBerry Facebook app was downloaded 3 million times in the fiscal year.
- BlackBerry still #1 smartphone in Canada and U.S., #2 smartphone vendor worldwide.
- Really powerful relationship with Adobe around Flash is part of plan going forward. We’ll support HTML 5 too.
- This fusing of business and personal is very interesting … you want all these collaboration technologies … we think we do that all very well, when they’re mixed and when they aren’t. One of the things that’s in BlackBerry 6, is split profiles between personal and work profile.
So to all those that believe RIM is using an OS with a kernel that is too old be modern, not smart enough to handle personal or corporate duties, or calls (jab intended), and can handle social communications; read the facts, then state the opinions.
That last part about splitting profiles between work & personal sounds VERY familiar … ah yes the Nokia E71 I had offered this and did a fine job too. Layout of applications, themes where also separated, along with shortcuts and notification sounds where different too in both profiles on the E71/E66. However, the content in PIM (Contacts, Notes, Tasks, Calendar, Phone call log, and alarms) remained the same no matter which profile was used. RIM has a tiny start here in that Contacts, Notes, and Contacts can all be set to Personal or Business for filtering; so this could get VERY interesting, powerful and most importantly more intuitive and personally useful.
Mike Lazaridis had this to say at the AGM …
- This is a great time for something that is a communication and data device.
- It’s a very focused company, we do one thing, and we do it very well.
- Not only did we invent this space, but we also realized that to control our own destiny, we had to build our own technology. We made sure that we didn’t just fill in the gaps, but we innovated solutions.
- This is a real product, it makes people more productive, has a great value in their lives.
- Ownership and control of our platform provides seamless integration, security and user experience.
This is RIM’s stance on why a curated platform is best for end users versus a constant ongoing ever escalating and changing debate that ensues in open~source platforms; which may or may NOT be going quite like that.
- Ownership and control of our 3G radio code stack provides unsurpassed performance, quality, battery life and IPR.
- All these networks have challenges. Building antennas is hard, making sure the battery lasts is hard, making sure the software works is hard … by us investing early in building our own 3G stack, we’ve been able to provide a seamless and best in class experience.
- When you look at our BlackBerrys, a great deal of effort has gone into not just the technology, but the design and how people feel and relate to these products. When you have a device near you, it takes on a whole new meaning than something that sits under your desk
- About 15 million lines of code in BlackBerry 6.
So STILL no date on BB6, no specific new hardware announcement, and nothing on this silly notion for a tablet; I have NO IDEA how RIM would benefit from a tablet or why it NEEDS one.