Today we lead with the 9800. As long as the device remains unreleased, and as long as we keep seeing new pictures of it, we’ll continue to lead with it. The device is probably the most exciting one we’ve seen from RIM in a while, and the hype in the media grows by the week. We heard a Q3 launch, and Q3 is just a couple of weeks away, so it could be any time now. And if you thought you knew everything about the 9800, well, you might get a wild card thrown your way right about now.
RIM banking on the 9800
Update (4:02 p.m. EDT): Of course, just after I publish this, Engadget gets a working unit. Make sure to check out the whole picture gallery. We’ll start with new photos. You can see more at BerryTimes.cn, via BB Rocks.
“The expectations are that they’re going to want to get a new product out into the marketplace in time for September, because that is when you get the back-to-school and big consumer push,” said Mackie Research Capital analyst Nick Agostino.
Oh, and that new tidbit. Yeah. So remember when we thought the 9800 was going to be an AT&T exclusive? It still probably is, but this picture kind of makes you wonder:
First details of BlackBerry Shield emerge
RIM laying the bait for developers
Part of the reason that the iPhone has exploded during the past three years is because of the App Store. Thousands and thousands of applications fill its virtual walls, and people just can’t seem to get enough. Apple apparently made it easy for developers to make an application on its platform — though the approval process can be a pain — which meant that more developers were more apt to create an iPhone application. It has been quite a successful plan. RIM, on the other hand, has had trouble attracting developers. A recent story in The Wall Street Journal recounts the story of Urbanspoon, the random restaurant finder application that made waves on the iPhone — even made it into an iPhone commercial. The developers decided to make a BlackBerry version, but found many more obstacles and hurdles. When they finally did release it, the BlackBerry audience didn’t find it as compelling. This story, among others, has discouraged developers from making BlackBerry applications. RIM just doesn’t make it easy for them.
Developers say the myriad BlackBerry models, with their different screen sizes, processing power and features, are their biggest hurdle to making software. A row of buttons that looks good on one phone’s screen may not fit on another’s. BlackBerry Storms, for example, have touch screens, while Curves have track balls and track pads, and Pearls have half the processing power of Bolds.
That, apparently, will change. RIM plans to release a drag-and-drop development kit, which should make life easier on developers. The new version of App World, of which we saw a preview this week, should further help in making the apps readily accessible for consumers.
Stray links? Stray links.
- Adobe releases Flash 10.1 to mobile partners. That includes RIM. Flash should be here for BlackBerry soon.
- Free BlackBerry apps for summer travel. Plus, a (non-free) accessory you might want to check out.
- A review of BES Express.
- And don’t forget: Hedone Design is running a sale this week. Today you can get 50% off Their Explicit theme. Tomorrow you can get Wall-E for half off.