BlackBerry Bold 9900
Wi-LAN has filed a lawsuit against Research In Motion alleging that the BlackBerry maker is infringing on a single patent related to Bluetooth technology. Wi-LAN says a number of RIM's smartphones, such as the Bold, Pearl, Storm, and Torch, infringe on the patent. It is seeking damages and an injunction to halt sales of the devices in the U.S. Wi-LAN is a patent licensing firm. It has filed similar lawsuits against Apple, HTC, and Sierra Wireless over LTE technology. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Research In Motion was hit with a lawsuit by NXP, which alleges that RIM's BlackBerry Torch, Curve, and Bold smartphones infringe on six of its patents. NXP wants sales of the devices halted, and compensatory and triple damages. It's not immediately clear to which technologies the patents pertain.
T-Mobile USA has begun delivering BlackBerry OS 7.1 to the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry Torch 9810. The system update adds a significant number of new features, including Wi-Fi calling, mobile hotspot and USB tethering, the Commercial Mobile Alert System, BlackBerry Music, Bing Search, and BlackBerry Device Analyzer. The updates are free and can be installed through the BlackBerry Desktop Manager application.
The Spotify music application for RIM's BlackBerry platform has left beta and is now available to the GSM models, including the Bold 9780, Bold 9700, Curve 9300, Bold 9000 and Curve 8520. The client does not yet support CDMA-based BlackBerries, and Spotify hasn't said when the app will be available for the Bold 9900, Torch 9810 or 9800. Spotify costs $9.99 per month to use on BlackBerry smartphones, though the service is free to PC users (ad supported).
AT&T today announced that it will begin offering the BlackBerry 9900 Bold and the 9860 Torch on November 6. Both will be available in stores and online that day. The 9900 Bold will cost $199.99 with a new agreement and the 9860 Torch will cost $99.99 with a new agreement. AT&T also announced that the 9360 Curve will be available starting November 20 for $29.99 (government customers will have access to the 9360 starting November 14) with a new agreement. All three devices will the newest BlackBerry 7 platform. The 9900 and 9360 will have access to AT&T's fastest HSPA+ speeds, but not LTE. The 9360 Curve will be able to access a slower version of HSPA+, though AT&T didn't specify at what speeds.
Research In Motion today announced a forthcoming update to its BlackBerry 7 platform that will add an application called Tag. The application makes use of the near-field communications chip on recently released BlackBerry smartphones so users can share contact information, documents, URLs, photos, and other multimedia content by tapping their BlackBerry smartphones together. BlackBerry Tag will also let people add one another as contacts on BBM. The application will work on handsets such as the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 and Curve 9350/9360/9370. RIM didn't say when the update is scheduled to arrive,
Research In Motion and HID Global today announced that the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 and the BlackBerry Curve 9350/9360 will add support for HID's iCLASS digital keys and readers within the near-field communications chip. By including support for HID's digital key readers, users of these BlackBerry devices will be able to use their phone as an identity card, such as those used to access office buildings and other controlled locations. The companies believe businesses and universities will find this feature appealing, as it may allow them to offer alternatives to key cards for entering buildings. The companies are piloting the technology now, and it should be available in the Curve and Bold lines by early 2012.
T-Mobile announced that it will sell the BlackBerry Bold 9900 starting on August 31. It will cost $299.99 after rebates with a new contract. It will be capable of using T-Mobile's HSPA+ "4G" network, though T-Mobile didn't say at what speeds.
AT&T and Research In Motion today announced three upcoming 4G handsets that will be added to AT&T's smartphone lineup over the course of the next few months. First is the BlackBerry Torch 9810, an update to last year's 9800. The Torch 9810 is a vertical slider with a 3.2-inch touch screen with "Liquid Graphics" and a portrait QWERTY keyboard. It will run BlackBerry 7 and includes a 1.2GHz processor, 5 megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture, and 8GB of built-in storage. RIM says that the BlackBerry 7 system software is faster, more efficient, and easier to use than BlackBerry 6. It includes a digital compass, support for augmented reality apps, and can surf the web 40% faster than BlackBerries running OS 6. The BlackBerry Torch 9810 will be available later this month for an undisclosed price. AT&T also said that it will offer a 4G version of the BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 (previously announced by RIM), and a 4G all-touch BlackBerry called the 9860. All three with be able to access AT&T's HSPA+ 4G network at speeds up to 14.4Mbps, which AT&T says is four times faster than current BlackBerry models.
During its recent shareholder meeting, Research In Motion's executives said that the company is on track to release seven new smartphones in what it says will be its biggest product launch ever. RIM originally planned to release the Bold Touch 9900/9930 this summer. The phone's launch was later delayed. RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said at the shareholder meeting that the company delayed the Bold Touch to make sure it was up to market standards. Lazaridis believes the technology planned for the Bold Touch, based on BlackBerry 7, "jumps a generation" compared to previous BlackBerries. RIM didn't provide any information about the other planned handsets, nor did it say when they are expected to hit the market. RIM hasn't introduced a new BlackBerry since 2010.
Research In Motion indicated via its blog today that it is now taking application submissions for its forthcoming BlackBerry 7 platform. RIM has posted a step-by-step guide for developers so they may properly test and post their applications. BlackBerry 7 will first be available on the Bold 9900/9930 this summer. RIM hopes developers will have apps ready for the new system software by the time it launches.
Research In Motion today announced a new series of Bold handsets, the 9900 and 9930, which marry a traditional BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard with a touch screen. The new Bolds are the first BlackBerries to include near-field communications (NFC) for mobile payments. They also include a magnetometer, which supports augmented reality applications. Both devices feature a 2.8-inch capacitive touch display with 640 x 480 pixels; 1.2GHz processor with 768MB of memory; 8GB of on-board memory and support for microSD cards; 5 megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture; and accelerometer and proximity sensor. On the radio side, it comes in two configurations, one quad-band GSM/EDGE with tri-band HSPA+, and one dual-mode CDMA EVDO Rev. A, quad-band GSM/EDGE, and dual-band HSPA+. Both include Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. Both devices will be available later this summer. Price points weren't announced.