BlackBerry Launch

Maxis opens BlackBerry Torch & Curve 3G registration of interest


UPDATE: Maxis officially reveals BlackBerry Curve 3G plans for postpaid and prepaid.

This comes pretty early than expected. Maxis has now started to accept registration of Interest for the BlackBerry Torch with its latest BlackBerry 6.0 OS. Also open for registration is the Blackberry Curve 3G. This is the first offering of the devices in Malaysia. BlackBerry kings in Malaysia, Celcom, had already offer solid pre-bookings for the BlackBerry Curve 3G last week.

As usual, no pricing details are available yet and we wonder which one will be launched first. The iPhone 4 or BlackBerry Torch?

When the torch was revealed a while back, we’re not excited at all as there wasn’t anything revolutionary. If you’re still interested, head on to the registration page here.


BlackBerry Torch got torn down, estimated $183.05 to make one

iSuppli Corp a research company has torn down a Blackberry Torch to find out what goes inside and how much does it cost. A long list of components had came up to $171.05. Add that with an estimated $12 cost to manufacture, the Torch costs $183.05 to roll out from the factory.

In the tear down, apart from a new GPS IC from CSR, most of other components are similar or virtually identical to previous Blackberry such as the Bold 9700. The touch screen display is reported to be similar as the BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 and it shares the same accelerometer as well.

When it comes to component costs, the most expensive was the 3.2″ 480×360 touch screen LCD which came up to $34.85. The next expensive was the memory subsystem at $34.25 followed by the circuit board and enclosure plastics at $23.35.

If you want to know more, hit the link for full component and price breakdown.

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BURNED: BlackBerry Torch price slashed by half in record time

(Update: 18082010 1248hrs) RIM spokesperson has refuted claims that the Amazon price slash of the Torch is a result of poor initial sales. Saying that the BlackBerry Torch was actually priced at US$99 from the beginning. The spokesperson also stated that the Torch is a very advanced device. “Mechanically, it is comparable in complexity and cost to HTC Tilt 2“. Referring to a WinMo 6.5 device that was launched in the US close to a year ago. Read more about it here. Bottom line, we’re not convinced.

2010 is shaping up to be a year that RIM would quickly like to forget. A slew of ban threats from paranoid governments wanting take a peep into its servers, have left share prices plummeting and its credibility in taters; now the device that RIM has banked on to take its BlackBerry brand from business phone to must have phone has fall flat on its face.

That’s right ladies and gents, RIM’s much hyped about BlackBerry Torch 9800 has failed to win RIM and the BlackBerry franchise any new fans, in fact it risks isolating existing BlackBerry users who are already pondering a future with the more capable and feature-rich Android or iPhone devices.

It’s not even a month after the Torch made its US debut and already Amazon, one of the frontlines offering the device, has reduced its purchase price from US$199 to a bargain basement US$99 with a 24 months contract on AT&T. More degrading, this puts the flagship Torch in the same price bracket as Apple’s entry level 8GB iPhone 3GS. This doesn’t bode well for the Torch, a device that RIM pegged as its comeback kid.

This is a massive blow to RIM, once a leader in business smartphones, and if sales figures don’t improve, its very easy to deduce that the Torch could be walking the smartphone green mile sharing the very same fate as the swiftly terminated Microsoft KIN.

RIM is stuck in the mud now and must find its way out quickly if it intends to stay in the smartphone game past this holiday season. This peddling of old hardware mated with also-ran software is not going to cut it in a playing field that’s dominated by 1GHz processors, dual camera’s and Retina Displays. The will need a miracle to pull through.


BlackBerry Torch: Only 150,000 sold at launch

RIM was banking on the Torch to bring BlackBerry into the new smartphone game but it looks like the new device is not the beacon the Canadian manufacturer had hoped for.

The latest estimates from market researches have put the Torch’s sales a measly 150,000 units over its debut weekend. In contrast, Apple sold over 1.7 million iPhone 4s in three days of its launch.

Granted, Apple launched the iPhone 4 in five countries versus the BlackBerry Torch’s US only debut but even taking that into account, the opening numbers of RIM’s latest flagship smartphone can only be considered as disappointing when compared to its peers.

Although neither AT&T nor RIM has confirmed the numbers, earlier investigations had shown no shortages of the BlackBerry Torch.

At launch, we reported that the there’s nothing spectacular about the BlackBerry Torch, summing that it is nothing more than a mashup between a Bold and Storm with a new OS. Looks like US consumers have come to the same consensus

Even more worrying is that RIM may not have the luxury of wider profit margins based on a iSuppli cost breakdown. Despite older hardware, the device costs a total of USD$183 (about RM580) in raw parts and assembly. On the other hand, the iPhone 4 with its Retina Display, 1GHz processor, two cameras, better camera sensor, more storage and a hardened glass chassis costs just US$5 more to make or US$188 (about RM595) in parts and manufacturing.

High on the BlackBerry Torch parts list is the $34.85 (RM110.00) LCD and touch layer. Samsung’s RAM and flash storage were next at $34.25. Marvell’s 624MHz processor cost $15 (RM47).

With 50% of existing BlackBerry owners planning to switch to iPhone and Android in their next smartphone purchase, it appears that there’s little that the Torch can do to stop the mass exodus.


BlackBerry Torch not really lighting up the smartphone scene

We’ve not gotten our hands on RIM’s latest BlackBerry but it’s safe to say that we expected much more from the Torch.

When we saw the BlackBerry 6 OS demo videos, we thought that with the right device, BlackBerry could be back in the smartphone game. Unfortunately the Torch is not the right device.

For starters, the BlackBerry Torch has the lowest resolution touchscreen phone this side of the iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S and HTC Desire. It runs on a 624MHz processor (albeit with a generous 512MB of RAM) when it’s competitors are running 1GHz chips with on board GPUs. It doesn’t have fancy dual mics, no fancy Super AMOLED or Retina Display, doesn’t record HD videos, doesn’t do FaceTime calls and does not double up as a MiFi device. What’s so special about the Torch then?

Essentially, from what we’re seeing the Torch is just a Bold 9700 combined with a Storm 2 running BlackBerry 6. What does the Torch have against its competitors? Some might argue that Berrys have the best physical QWERTY out there but those people probably haven’t tried SWYPE. Some would argue there’s BlackBerry Messenger, we say, that’s hardly a USP and you can BBM on the entry-level Curve you don’t really need to get the Torch. Others would argue that BlackBerry servers are efficient on data thus making surfing the web faster, if you think that, then you’ll have to take a look at this video here.

So what does the BlackBerry Torch have that sets it apart from the best that Apple and Android has to offer? We can’t find any but don’t take our word for it, take a look after the jump, what prominent reviewers who already have their hands on a BlackBerry Torch think about the device.

But before you make the jump, we got to make it clear that we got this from Tech Republic’s Jason Hiner’s original article on the BlackBerry Torch. You can read that here.

And another thing, what are your thoughts on the BlackBerry Torch? Do you think it will lesen the great exodus of users who are on BlackBerry but thinking on making the switch to an Android device or iPhone 4? Alright, now you can make the jump.

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BlackBerry Bold 9700, 9650 and Pearl 3G to get BlackBerry 6 update

RIM confirmed in a press release issued early this morning that the following devices will be getting updates to run it’s latest BlackBerry 6 mobile operating system.

Lucky owners with of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Bold 9650 along with BlackBerry Pearl 3G owners can expect to run BlackBerry 6 sometime in the coming months.

We’re saying sometime in the coming months because, RIM, in its release did not indicate specifically when these devices will be getting the update. Simply, the release only states that the updates are coming “subject to carrier certifications”. That could mean, next month or it could mean next year, we can’t really tell. So we will all have to wait.

Also the release states that the BlackBerry 6 is expected to be available for “future BlackBerry smartphones”, maybe we’re reading a bit too much into the release when we say this but, could this mean that BlackBerry device prior to the 9700, 9650 and the Pearl 3G will not be able to upgrade to BlackBerry 6.

We don’t know for sure but it sure is looking like a possibility.


RIM launches BlackBerry Torch 9800 and BlackBerry OS 6

The BlackBerry to rule all BlackBerry devices has just been revealed in the US by RIM. The new BlackBerry Torch 9800 features a slider form sporting a full touchscreen interface together with a QWERTY keypad and is the first BlackBerry device to run RIM’s latest BlackBerry OS 6 mobile platform.

Under skin, there’s nothing really mind-blowing about the 9800 Torch. It packs a so-so 3.2in 480×360 capacitive touchscreen, an industry standard 5MP camera with flash, autofocus and image stabilisation and it records video capable of shooting 640×480 resolution video.

There 4GB on board memory with 512MB RAM and 512MB ROM. Included in the box is a 4GB microSD with option to expand up to 32GB. There’s also GPS and WiFi b/g/n built into the Torch.

Actually, if you really look at it, there’s nothing to talk about in terms of specs. Any other Android device on the market and the iPhone 4 has the BlackBerry 9800 Torch beat. All the other flagship Androids and the iPhone run higher resolution screens, records 720p video and run on 1Ghz processors with built-in GPUs, while the Torch runs a 624Mhz processor. Some may argue that the BlackBerry OS architecture doesn’t need so much processing power, we say, if it’s going to compete with the rest, it will need to be able to play games, and run graphic intensive app and support multi-app at the very least, so the more processing power, the better.

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