RIM tops iPhone with consumers in Q1

In a rivalry that should only grow more heated in the months to come, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry Curve moved past Apple’s iPhone in the first quarter to become the best-selling consumer smartphone in the U.S., research group NPD said on Monday.

RIM had three of the top five best-selling consumer smartphones in the period, with the Storm at No. 3 and the Pearl at No. 4, NPD said. T-Mobile’s G1 ranked No. 5.

NPD credited a “buy-one-get-one” promotion by Verizon Wireless for the Curve’s push past the iPhone.

“The more familiar, and less expensive, Curve benefited from these giveaways and was able to leapfrog the iPhone, due to its broader availability on the four major U.S. national carriers,” NPD’s Ross Rubin said in the release.

RIM’s consumer smartphone market share climbed 15 percent from the previous period to nearly 50 percent in the first quarter, as Apple’s and Palm’s share both fell 10 percent. But don’t be surprised if those numbers change soon. Apple is widely expected to unveil a new iPhone in the coming months, while Palm’s highly-anticipated Pre smartphone is set to launch some time in the second quarter.

Las Vegas telecoms show fizzles out

The CTIA’s annual U.S. wireless technology showcase in Las Vegas was quieter than usual this year as vendors sent fewer employees and rented less floor space for their booths in an effort to crimp spending due to the recession.

Aside from a lot of talk about cellphone applications and a software store launch from BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, the show offered few surprises.

A handful of operators and vendors, however, offered insights into their technology strategies — even if they were less than keen to indicate how their businesses were faring exactly. Some even launched new gadgets.
AT&T, the exclusive operator for the iPhone, used the show as an opportunity to talk up application sales for its less fancy phones, which have brought it $1 billion in revenue in the last few years. In comparison, it does not get a revenue share for iPhone apps, which kicked of the craze for application stores when they launched last year.

U2 world tour, brought to you by RIM

The megawatt Irish rock band U2, which has had a relationship with Apple going back several years, surprised a few people on Monday when it announced the sponsor for its upcoming 360 Tour: Research in Motion.

Of course, Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry are fierce rivals in the emerging smartphone market. But U2 has a history with Apple, appearing in iPod commercials and performing at a blockbuster Apple event back in 2004. There was even a special-edition U2 iPod.

U2 manager Paul McGuinness had this to say about the band’s new relationship with RIM:

Walking around with the Financial Times

Having a copy of the Financial Times poking out of your valise is one way of telling the world that you are a sophisticated business type. Another way is to show people the new FT mobile service on your BlackBerry.

Here’s the news from the press release:

The Financial Times today announces the launch of a new website optimised for mobile devices available at The site is consistent with the new design unveiled in November 2008 and follows the news that has broken the one million registered user barrier for the first time.

The idea is to loop a younger generation into the FT, particularly young people who think that any newspaper showing up on any part of their person is like driving a chariot to work in the morning rush hour.

Dial M For MySpace mobile advertising

MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe is bullish on the mobile advertising market, but says ad agencies and corporate sponsors haven’t figured out to dial into it.

Speaking at the Reuters Media Summit, DeWolfe outlined MySpace’s mobile efforts, such as its Blackberry application. He said the company was targeting more download applications for mobile devices. He said he saw big opportunities in the mobile-based advertising sector once there’s some standardization.

We think the future of mobile is more advertising based. But the marketplace on the advertiser side has not quite caught up to the inventory out there… It’s relatively undeveloped, but we think it’s a market that will grow.

New BlackBerry draws some lines, even some storms

The BlackBerry Storm was greeted with lines of hundreds of people when it went on sale Friday morning.

While it didn’t quite measure up to an iPhone launch day, where many people will have camped out for days, it created more of a stir than most phone launches.

Here are some scenes from a midtown Manhattan store to which police were called as would-be shoppers were annoyed they didn’t get a phone.

Latest BlackBerry: A Storm but not a killer

All eyes will be on Research In Motion on Friday when the BlackBerry Storm, the latest high-profile cell phone for the U.S. market, hits the streets. The CrackBerry maker’s much anticipated touch-screen offering is Verizon Wireless’ big bet for the holiday season this year.
But while Thursday’s reviews praised the device for its innovation and its advantages over iPhone, they by no means gave in to the hero-worship flattery that is bestowed on some devices.

In the words of Ed Baig of USA Today, “Verizon and Rim have not come up with a perfect Storm, but it does pack a wallop.”

    What he liked:
    -The battery “didn’t seem to poop out quite as fast as iPhone.”
    -It works as a tethered modem, has expandable memory, multimedia messaging, supports copy-and-paste and other features missing in the iPhone.
    -It has robust e-mail capability
    -It has backbutton and a video recorder unlike iPhone, and has a better camera

Et tu, Google?

Lots of eyes will be on Google, after its shares yesterday dropped below $300 for the first time since late 2005. What will today bring? In early trade, it was down 3 percent, adding to the 6.5 percent drop yesterday.

At the moment, it seems like every analyst is putting out a negative note on Google. Already today, another analyst today cut its price target and lowered its earnings estimates for the Web search company.

“Lack of consumer confidence has affected the online traffic growth. Traffic should be growing around this season as consumers begin to look for gift ideas,” Jefferies and Co said in a note to clients.

iPhone’s first chapter – a timely update

(Here’s an updated chronology. This first posted June 9)  




Jobs_iPhoneJanuary 9Apple Inc CEO Steve Jobs unveils iPhone in the tech industry’s most anticipated new product introduction of the decade.

June 29 – Apple and U.S. carrier partner AT&T Inc start selling iPhone as technology enthusiasts form long lines outside Apple stores.Scoble

July 25 - After big build-up, first weekend sales figures reports disappoint investors. Apple and AT&T sold 270,000 iPhones in first 30 hours; but customers only activate 146,000 of the devices due to initial AT&T service problems.

Here it comes …. the 3G iPhone

“The big news is $399 to $199,” CEO Steve Jobs said of sharp price-cuts Apple is making on its iPhone 3G.


Eight-gigabyte 3G iPhone to be priced at $199


 16-gigabyte 3G iPhone at $299


3G iPhone features:

    Jobs calls it iPhone 3G. Offers two to four times faster speeds that existing models working on so-called 2.5G “Edge” networks, he says. The phone offers GPS – Global Positioning Services for real-time location tracking on one’s iPhone. Same 3.5 inch display. Jobs says it is thinner at the edges and has “dramatically improved audio” Promises five hours of 3G talk time. Five to six hours of Web browsing. Video viewing can run seven hours. In the first year of sales, six million of first-generation iPhones have been sold, Jobs says. The new phone will be available in 70 countries over the next few months — in 29 European countries, 15 Latin American countries and 8 in the Asia Pacific, not including China. price: $199 for 8GB ; $299 for 16 GB Available July 11, in more than 20 countries, with 70 by the end of the year, Jobs says. “We are going to be in 70 countries, this year,” he said.

A side-by-side demonstration of faster Web download speeds of iPhone 3G devives versus existing iPhone.


Promised improvements in battery life for selected functions on iPhone 3G: 


Here is a side shot of the slimmer iPhone 3G


A shot of the back of the new iPhone in black and white versions:


Apple head of worldwide sales and marketing Phil Schiller introduces MobileMe, a desktop-quality e-mail, calendar and contacts Web service. It’s a companion Web service for iPhone users. It’s priced at $99 a year and will be available in early July, he says.