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  1. BlackBerry PlayBook Now Available in US and Canada

    Could the BlackBerry PlayBook, which hits retail locations in the US and Canada today, give the iPad a run for its money? Reviews are generally mixed, with most reviewers praising the tablet's hardware specs and QNX-based operating system while panning it for its lack of apps, most alarmingly a native calendar or email client. The PlayBook is a bit more enticing for current BlackBerry smartphone owners, since its powerful BlackBerry Bridge app enables synced email, calendar, and BBM, in addition to free tethering. Still, better to be deficient in apps with solid hardware and OS than to be the other way around; as such, the PlayBook is charitably being referred to as a "work in progress," with the final verdict on it to come in a few months when its app ecosystem is (hopefully) better populated. (via CrunchGear | RIM online store)

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  2. Rumor: White House Warns Staff They Could Get 2 Years in Jail for Using BlackBerrys During Govt. Shutdown

    If you haven't heard, Congressional Republicans are threatening to shut down the government at midnight today if Democrats don't bow down to their budgetary demands, and since some of them entail things like eradicating funding for Planned Parenthood, it's a safe bet that that won't happen. What's that got to do with tech? Well, according to the National Journal, White House staffers have been harshly warned not to use their government-issued BlackBerrys during a potential government shutdown. Apparently, they "face the threat of up to two years in jail"  if they don't comply.

    "People are VERY clear on not using BlackBerries [if they're nonexempted] after a shutdown,” one source said, speaking on condition of anonymity in discussing an internal White House matter with the press. “Same with nonexempted [employees] using their personal BlackBerries [for government work]. Total nonstarter."
    Well, at least there aren't any good apps to tempt them. (via National Journal. h/t @gabrielsnyder)

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  3. Report: BlackBerry Messenger Coming to iPhone, Android

    If you ask any long-suffering BlackBerry owner why they stick with RIM's embattled platform, they'll probably tell you one of three things: 1) The keyboard is the best of any smartphone and they don't like touchscreens; 2) they have to for their job; or 3) BlackBerry Messenger, a.k.a. BBM. If the latest report from BGR is correct, BlackBerry may be losing one of the legs of that tripod as BBM loses its BlackBerry exclusivity and prepares to come over to Android and iOS.

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  4. BlackBerry PlayBook Reportedly Slated for April 10th Launch

    According to Boy Genius Report's "multiple sources," BlackBerry's PlayBook tablet [specs] is due for an April 10th release. If this is indeed the case, the timing of the leak would be quite a coincidence, since today just so happens to be the day that Apple is all but certain to reveal the iPad 2 unto the world. Tech websites are making a big deal about this, apparently. The 7-inch HD tablet is specced to feature a 1 GHz dual-core CPU, 1 GB RAM, front and rear cameras, an on-screen keyboard, and support for Flash 10.1 and HTML 5. (via BGR)

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  5. First Look at the Dakota, BlackBerry’s Coming High-End Smartphone

    Boy Genius Report managed to snag an exclusive photo of the new BlackBerry Dakota, seen above, as well as the fairly pretty specs on the upcoming device, which can be seen after the break.

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  6. RIM Reveals BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet

    The rumors were true, though it's not called the BlackPad: At BlackBerry DevCon today, RIM revealed their 7-inch tablet computer, to be called the BlackBerry Playbook.

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  7. WSJ: RIM Could Reveal BlackPad Tablet Next Week, Kill BlackBerry OS in Favor of QNX

    Research in Motion, the company behind the BlackBerry smartphone, has long been rumored to have an iPad-like tablet computer of its own in the works, supposedly known as the BlackPad: A New Wall Street Journal report has it that the BlackPad could be revealed to the world as soon as next week, when RIM will host its annual BlackBerry Developer Conference. According to the report, the tablet will have a seven-inch touchscreen, one or two built-in cameras, and chips made by Marvell, which already supplies chips for BlackBerry phones. There are two surprises, however:

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  8. RIM Announces BlackBerry Curve 3G; BlackBerry OS 6-Capable

    Research in Motion has officially announced the BlackBerry Curve 3G, the latest in its Curve line of smartphones. While the phone ships with BlackBerry 5, RIM says that the Curve 3G is also capable of running BlackBerry 6, the new OS that was revealed with the announcement of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 last week. But there'll be some time before you can run it: "BlackBerry 6 is expected to be available for the BlackBerry Curve 3G, subject to carrier certifications, in the coming months."

    The biggest mystery: On what carriers will the Curve 3G be available? The release says only that "various carriers and distribution partners around the world" will carry the phone. Following the cosmic unfairness of AT&T, already fatted with iPhone-exclusive lucre, getting the BlackBerry Torch 9800 exclusively as well, the variousness is at least encouraging; however, we want to know -- is this phone coming to Verizon or not?? says that T-Mobile will "certainly" carry the Curve 3G.

    Full release:

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  9. Saudi Arabia Blocks BlackBerry Messaging

    BlackBerry users in Saudi Arabia report that the country's three wireless companies have suspended BlackBerry messaging service. On Tuesday, the Saudi Arabian government announced its intention to do so on grounds of national security: "The manufacturer of the devices [RIM] couldn’t meet the regulatory requirements of the commission and it is not in accordance with the regulations and conditions of licenses issued to service providers, at its present state."

    The phones can still make and receive regular calls.

    Saudi Arabia is RIM's largest market in the Middle East, with roughly 700,000 users; any hope for BBM to come back?

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  10. BlackBerry Torch 9800 Announced by RIM; AT&T Exclusive, New OS

    Flame on: At a press conference this morning, RIM and AT&T announced the BlackBerry Torch 9800, the latest smartphone in the BlackBerry line. As the graphic above shows, there are some major changes afoot: The phone boasts a 3.2-inch 480×360 touchscreen display previously found only on the BlackBerry Storm, a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a 624 Mhz processor with 512 MB Flash memory, and four GB of internal storage, plus the option of a 4 GB micro-SD card. (h/t MobileCrunch) It also features a brand new, just-announced operating system, BlackBerry 6 OS:

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  11. Your Phone Number Can Be Easily Hacked, and Here’s How

    "It's really interesting to watch a phone number turn into a person's life," security researcher Nick DePetrillo told the Los Angeles Times in a report published yesterday. According to Petrillo and fellow expert Don Bailey, the mere digits of your cell phone number can betray your name, your travel itinerary, and your work and home address; it can also allow others to listen in on your voice messages and personal phone calls. Using "widely available information and existing techniques," DePetrillo and Bailey reportedly were able to construct detailed files on a cellphone user. Find out how after the break.

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  12. Obey or Ban: India Wants to Monitor Blackberry, Google, and Skype Data

    Looks like the iPhone may be the way to go in India. The country's Department of Telecommunications has demanded that Research in Motion (RIM) and Skype format their communication data so they can be read by intelligence and security agencies. A similar notice has been served to Google India, asking that their Gmail content also be made readable. The companies have under two weeks to comply, or else face the possibility of a ban in India.

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  13. T-Mobile Leak: Big Push for Android Apps Coming, with 200-Page, Full-Color App Book

    PhoneDog has gotten ahold of a leaked internal guide for T-Mobile employees that details a new strategy underway at the mobile provider: Apparently, they're going to start pushing Android and BlackBerry apps in a big way starting at or around June 16th. One guess why: While T-Mobile execs have said that they would "definitely be interested" in carrying the iPhone, so far, rumors to the effect that they would do so in 2010 haven't panned out yet, and pushing apps for Android and BlackBerry could be a way to counter AT&T's smug but effective app-centric iPhone promos.

    Speculation aside, the guide says that by June 16th, T-Mobile will be giving an "Android App Guide" to Android customers to help them navigate the universe of Android apps. There'll also be something called the "Android App Book," which'll run at 200 full-color pages and be given to customers who purchase Android devices "during the activation and on-boarding process." Customers who don't qualify will be able to buy them from T-Mobile stores or Barnes & Noble. (They're not currently available at Barnes & Noble's website, however.)

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  14. Boy Genius Report joins and the Boy Genius Shares His Name

    While one tech blogger is getting a lot of attention -- some unwanted -- over what may be the tech scoop of the year, another is getting some of his own and for a whole other reason. Boy Genius Report, one of the top mobile and tech news sites on the internet today, is joining the fold as one of's latest and most high profile acquisitions.

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  15. New BlackBerry Alert: BlackBerry Bold 9650, Pearl 3G

    RIM's announcement at the Wireless Enterprise Symposium that it's rolling out two new BlackBerrys which will be available in May, the BlackBerry Bold 9650 and the Pearl 3G, probably won't get the same wall-to-wall coverage in the tech press as the latest bit of iPhone or Android ephemera, but for a decent chunk of the population, it's arguably bigger news.

    Let's face it: For all the hoopla attracted by the iPhone and by every Android release under the sun, there's a certain segment of the smartphone-wielding population that will always swear its allegiances to the BlackBerry. In some more staid locales like Washington, D.C., the BlackBerry is still king, and while it's definitely clunkier and less app-friendly than the hipper smartphones, the keyboard, BBM, and actual multitasking have given the BlackBerry real edges that are all too often overlooked. Specs for each new phone after the jump:

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  16. Twitter Buys Tweetie: Developers Nervous

    In a move that has alarmed app makers, Twitter has acquired Atebits, the makers of Tweetie, the critically acclaimed Twitter app for iPhone and Mac. The $2.99 app has been reviewed in TIME and Wired, and won a 2009 Apple Design award. Loren Brichter, Atebits founder, weighed in on the Tweetie blog:
    It’s been a wild ride since 1.0, and over the last year and a half Tweetie has gone from a no-name app from a little known software company to an app hailed as one of the best mobile experiences around... and I’ve had the privilege of working with the folks at Twitter from the outside as their service evolved. Now I’ll be working with them on the inside. I’m happy to say that as of today Twitter is the proud owner of Tweetie - and I’m joining their mobile team and starting work on turning into, for iPhone and iPad.
    This marks Twitter's first foray into providing an official client for its microblogging service.

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