What Made BlackBerry Special Isn’t In The Priv


Don’t call it a comeback. Don’t call it a rebirth. Maybe it could be called the next step, or the next generation, but to me, it’s just a flat out new, overpriced Android device. It’s a pretty neat looking Android phone, but the 5.4” sliding keyboard BlackBerry Priv is anything but a BlackBerry, no matter how they brand it. Sure, the specs are impressive, and at a cost of over $700, they should be, but this monster BB is missing something that nobody has been talking much about, and to me, it was what made RIM and BlackBerry the best devices of their time.

You see, when BlackBerry ruled the world, they had the Curve, the Pearl and even the Bold. They were sleek communications devices that had more security than you could imagine and Apps that would blow away anything around it – except maybe a Symbian device, but that’s another story for another time. The ecosystem was amazing, and so was one deadly feature. When everyone had unlimited data plans, the carriers loved it. When overages began to come into play, the carriers ran away as fast as they could. The feature was BlackBerry Internet Services or BIS for the average user. Enterprise customers had their own little version called BES, but it did virtually the same thing as BIS.

BIS was a ‘front’ of sorts for your device. It took the internet page you were visiting, compressed it down and rendered it for your BlackBerry browser. It made graphics faster to load and formatted text so it was easier to read. It compressed videos, sounds and anything else it could to make pages load faster and use less data. It’s much like the same mission that browsers like UC and Chrome have today, to use less bandwidth. You see, nobody with a Berry every worried about a data cap since everything they did was so streamlined.

Sure, the Priv may be one of the most secure phones ever released. It might also let you know if you are being tracked, traced or spied on. That’s not the problem that most consumers are faced with any more. Paranoia may sell a few Priv’s at the price that it is at, but without having that amazing back end compression, the Priv just looks to be a very high priced Android device with a slide-out keyboard. Hopefully it is a good device for BlackBerry as the world still needs them, but if they are planning on the Priv saving the day, we don’t have much hope for them going forward.

Quick Press: BlackBerry 10 Arrives Next Month

Research In Motion has announced their knight is shinning armor. Lucky for them, it is coming to Canada next month and will roll out to all 4 major US carriers in March. While everyone is covering what BB10 will include, we will wait to get a hands on before giving our thumbs up or down to the new OS.

Currently, pricing on the BlackBerry Z10 is set at $199 with 2 year agreements. We’ll post more as we have solid performance information on the next generation of CrackBerries.

BlackBerry App World Loses The App For BB10


Everything is in a name, right? Well, the folks at Research In Motion, makers of the BlackBerry must think so. In preparation of the launch of their BB10 OS, they have decided to drop the “App” from their “App World” and rename their delivery portal, BlackBerry World.

There is a bit more reasoning behind this than just a name change. The new BlackBerry World will not only feature Berry Apps, but it will also contain music and videos. It would also be a good bet that popular magazines and e-books will make an appearance in the new BB World as well.

The only thing that is left to be seen about these new devices at this point is who will have them and how much will they cost the end user.


Why There Will Be Only Two

It’s a simple matter of mathematics. Actually, it’s a simple matter of not wanting to spend any more money that one already has. This is why, despite all the advertising in the universe, all the amazing hardware designs on the planet, even all the star-studded commercials on TV, there will be only two OS choices left for the smartphone user when it is all said and done.

Rewind to a few years ago. The iPhone was just coming to market. BlackBerry and Windows Mobile ruled the United States markets and Symbian ruled the world. Apps for smartphones were available for free, or limited cost and could be downloaded and installed from many different places. The best part, most of them were free. Remember though, back in the day, dumb-phones were still in the pockets of most cellular users and kids didn’t really have them at all. It was different time, and they were different markets.

Moving forward, Apple burst on to the scene with the first full “smartphone ecosystem” with the iPhone and iTunes Store. For the first time ever, you could buy software, music and entertainment in one place. Sure, in the past, carriers tried to have their stores for purchasing ringtones, games and other fun add-ons, but they couldn’t hold a candle to what Apple had assembled.

This leads to the current smartphone market and the positioning of the top operating systems in the world. The split is in the sales figures verses income between iOS and Android. For the sake of the argument, they are one and two. Falling quickly off the map is Symbian, now orphaned by Nokia. BlackBerry, which Research In Motion is praying to bring back, is also struggling to maintain any measureable market share. The final player in the game is Microsoft’s Windows Phone, which has failed to make any meaningful gains in popularity even with its second generation launching in 2012.

Many wonder why companies like RIM, Microsoft and Nokia continue to fire blanks into the market and can’t gain back any of that lost market share that they once had. It’s a relatively simple answer, Apps…

It’s not the number of them or that the most popular one of the week isn’t on this or that platform, but the amount of them that people have already purchased. It may be that person that has downloaded the Amazon App of the Day for the last year and a half that won’t  if consider going back to BlackBerry because they have all the Apps they need. It may be that iPhone user that purchased Apps for the last 4 years and continues to install them on each upgraded device they purchase. It’s a simple matter of not wanting to reinvest in the Apps that were already purchased for a different operating system.

If you figure the average user has purchased $20 in Apps per year and they are in to their contracts 2 years when they are due for a new device, it only makes sense to stay where they are, or go somewhere that offers the same Apps they use now. This leaves RIM, Microsoft and Nokia outside in the cold, looking in through a window.

Right now, being on the outside of the top two operating systems is not a good thing. More and more users are moving to smartphones, but fewer and fewer of them will consider anything outside iOS and Android because of their friends and family.

In the end, there will only be only two… Since Google and Android are solidifying themselves as a freebie OS for manufacturers to tweak, play and mangle into their own and Apple continues to sell out of every device they release, it only seems logical to conclude that the others really won’t stand a chance. No matter how much money is thrown at them, how many ads on TV are run or vendors are given units to demo, once the end user has purchased a significant amount of Apps for their system, they won’t want to change – and that day has already come and gone. In the end, there will be only two…

Editorial: What Can Save BlackBerry?

With the release of BlackBerry OS10 finally within sight, there is only one question left to answer: did the world wait for it or did they already move on?

In the past year, BB subscribers have been leaving in mass to the more popular Android and Apple platforms. While device prices have fallen, Research In Motion continues to generate a decent amount of cash off their BlackBerry subscription services. Unfortunately, as they have found out, it isn’t enough cash to keep afloat for long.

So, what does RIM need to announce today? No, the cash report is almost meaningless, everyone expects a financial nightmare. The two key indicators are going to be how many people world wide are still using BlackBerry services and more importantly, how many are enterprise users?

Enterprise users are a guaranteed sale. One good BES sale is good for 1,000 devices. If they have a solid foothold in enough companies, RIM can keep swimming upstream for that final quarter before they release their savior. Of course, if RIM misses the target again, has a quality control issue or even just doesn’t have the cash to put into advertising, they may as well start finding someone to take on that patent portfolio and snap up what little user base there is left.

Does Your Phone’s OS Really Matter Anymore?

There is quite a bit of talk about which OS for which phones will survive the patent wars and the buyouts, but what does it really matter? Right now, there are 4 extremely good phone OS systems in the United States. Regardless of marketshare or how many users have them, there are four really good systems in place. Obviously, you have Android and iOS. The two titans of the mobile world at the moment. You also have Windows Phone and BlackBerry. Now the latter two don’t have much in the way of market penetration yet, or anymore as the case may be, but both of them do what most people use their phones to do: check email and check in on their friends. Android and iOS do it just as well. This leads to the ultimate question, does the OS that your phone runs really matter to you?

A big deal is being made over which OS is better for this or that, which one is the best for this and which one does that in an easier way. Heck, one company actually said, “Our OS will make you use your phone LESS!” While that marketing tactic made for funny commercials, it really didn’t translate well to reality. This is where we get back to that question: can your _________ make your life better? The answer in most cases, no, your phone won’t make your life better. It’s not going to matter if you are carrying an iPhone, Droid, Lumia or Bold, they all do basically the same things, and do them well.

The idea of Apps have destroyed smartphones as we know them. The original devices had so much baked in to them, that it didn’t matter what you loaded on to them, the basic features were still better for most things. Think about Android without GoSMS, Handcent or another SMS alternative. People would be complaining about the SMS program. Remember when Apple didn’t have MMS on the iPhone? That didn’t go over really well either. How about when Windows Mobile ruled the world and “Outlook Mobile” was the only email client available? It was horrendous to say the least. Of course, then there was the mistake that was the BlackBerry Trackball…

The bottom line for which OS your phone should have is simple: any of them. Sure, you may have more games on iOS than Windows Phone, but if you aren’t in to gaming, it’s not going to matter a bit to you. You might find more Office Doc editing programs for Android than Windows Phone, but that’s due to the fact that Office is included with those Microsoft devices. Heck you might even find you like BBMing more than SMSing, requiring your friends to all get those free BlackBerry’s at their next upgrade. Yes, we still miss BBMing…

Stop measuring your phone’s OS against the rest because there is no winner and there is no loser. As far as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a bajillion other social networks go, there’s an App or mobile site for that. As far as cameras go, well that’s more hardware than software, but yeah, they all have something like Instagram about now. Most of all, get the hardware that feels the best to you and that works where you need it to. From device to device, more important than the OS are features like the antenna strength, location and physical pull. If you don’t get a good signal with that HTC Titan, maybe the BlackBerry Bold is a better bet for you. Don’t worry about the software too much, there’s probably a way to get it to do what you want without too much trouble.

AT&T’s Stolen Phone Blocking Creates Headaches

AT&T’s new “no stolen phones on our network” policy is really creating havoc for end users everywhere. Not so much in the aspect of Ma Bell’s postpaid users, but in the form of those that purchase handsets via third parties and used devices off websites like Craigslist.

We’ve been bombarded with unhappy user comments and emails about how their device was blocked from Red Pocket Mobile, H2O Wireless and GoPhone service. We contacted Red Pocket, AT&T and H2O for comments about the new policies and were met with the following answers.

Red Pocket Mobile assured us that they have no control over what handsets AT&T approves for activation and couldn’t comment on how a handset can be placed back on the usable list. They simply stated that the user must contact the issuing carrier to have the device reinstated. H2O stated virtually the same comments, adding that purchasing new devices or using your own previous devices are the safest way to ensure that your phone is not stolen.

AT&T was even more direct with their answers. An AT&T representative stated that their network will no longer allow any phone that has had an insurance claim made against it, been reported to any carrier as stolen or any device that may cause detrimental harm to the AT&T network.

As far as the fix for getting your blocked handset working again, you will need to contact AT&T directly with the IMEI number for your phone. They will then tell you who reported the device and who to call to have the device cleared. It usually takes 12-24 hours for the device to clear the system.

If you are one of the affected, bear with them as they work the links out of the system and be cautious where you get your next handset.

Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone from Getsmartphones.info