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BlackBerry Tablet Confirmed, Supports Flash

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the isn't-that-cute dept.

Portables 159

HouseMuzik writes "Betanews' Tim Conneally reports that sources close to RIM have confirmed the existence of a BlackBerry Tablet device, with a ship date by the end of the year. Previous reporting on the device was confirmed by the source, including a 7" screen and a 1GHz processor. The source added that the device would support Flash, and would include a hardware-based Flash accelerator. Betanews' reporting seems to confirm an earlier report that quoted Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar as saying the BlackBerry Tablet indeed existed."

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159 comments

Memo from Jobs to Balsilie (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885838)

July 12, 2010
From: Steve Jobs
To: Jim Balsillie

Jim,

Hey, buddy, sorry about getting my piece of the pie in the mobile phone market from under your feet but daddy's gotta eat. Right? Really though, I've been meaning to send you over some complementary hookers and blow but you know how things get busy what with the release of my new baby.

Speaking of which, it's called the iPad--maybe you've heard of it? I don't know, seems the other CEOs spend half the time with their heads up their asses so you coulda missed it.

Anyway, I wanted to take this time to send you a message, loud and clear:

It's okay. You can release a tablet device now.

I know, I know, you're probably pitching a tent under your desk as you read this. This has been tried -- what -- like fifty times before? And everybody's failed. But now your sugar daddy has warmed up the masses and anybody can stick their meat in. Even you! Of course you gotta hit below my price point when you offer them your aborted fetus of a tablet but come on let's be happy about this.

I mean, there's the three mil that have already bought the iPad--you know the people whose time is worth more than watching a goddamn blackberry shit itself. And there's everyone else (your customers).

And now that I've said it's "okay", it's "okay" to own a tablet. Did you see how that worked? Let me spell it out for you. Before it wasn't okay. Companies couldn't sell it, people couldn't buy it. And then Steve Titty Fucking Jobs showed up and said it was okay. Suddenly three million people have iPads. That's how it works. On July 12, 2010 your stock shares will jump a little bit because I told you it was okay to turn a profit.

Now someone else gets the dregs, offer up a knockoff and cash out. The Courier fell flat on the pavement like a bead of sweat sliding off of Steve Ballmer's bald head so I guess that comes down to you. But really, when is the last time that guy did anything right?

And you know what? After the iPhone took any non-corporate user you might have had maybe you deserve this. Maybe you are good enough to have Apple's sloppy seconds this time around.

Consider us even. I bet you're upset right now and that's because you're just reading this memo wrong. Don't read it that way.

Steve Jobs

Apple In 3rd Place And Losing Marketshare (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32886036)

Yeah, I'm sure Jim Balsillie gives a shit about Apple and its falling marketshare in the cellphone market and what type of tablet a bunch of Hipster Douchebags bought.

Jim Balsillie is worried about Google and the explosive growth of 2nd place Android.

Re:Apple In 3rd Place And Losing Marketshare (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886192)

In addition, Jobs isn't worried about BlackBerry, either. Jobs has been shown to be visibly upset about Google and the explosive growth of the 2nd place Android.

Re:Memo from Jobs to Balsilie (3, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886134)

Which is indeed what Jobs and some people here no doubt believe, but remember it's not true. Tablets were around before the Islate or whatever they called it, and they're still not mainstream after Apple's tablet. No doubt they will become more popular in time, but this is a gradual change due to increased technology (hence things like touchscreens, prices falling, cheaper mobile Internet connections), and there is no reason to single out Apple as a sole cause.

What has happened is that we now have vast amounts of media hype over Apple's tablet. But this happened before it was even released - or even officially announced in fact. So had nothing to do with any success it did or didn't have (and indeed, the causative link would be the other way round - vast amounts of media hype leads to better sales, not vice versa).

If we're going to credit anyone with popularising tablets, thank the media. But it's still very rare for me to see anyone with a tablet (and when I have, it wasn't from Apple).

Apple entered the phone market after most other companies - so they had to wait until other companies told them it was okay to release a phone now...

(RIM still have higher market share in phones than Apple, don't they? Although they're still small compared to companies like Nokia, Samsung, Motorola).

Oh wow! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32885840)

Another useless Tablet device I didn't ask for, don't want, and will never use! Apple made one, so now RIM need to. Yay innovation!

Guarunteed way for success (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885860)

Make ANY tablet able to function as a Wacom or Cintiq, including the pressure sensitivity. You will lock in the Internet Comic business almost instantly.

There are other things required in order to be a true mainstream hit (which the iPad is, admittedly, fairly close to fulfilling), but creating a niche product that has been requested by pretty much everyone in the industry would certainly be a smart move.

Re:Guarunteed way for success (3, Informative)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885970)

You mean like the Axiotron Modbook? It's a really nice device designed by Woz. I considered getting one myself but it's a bit expensive.

Re:Guarunteed way for success (3, Informative)

macs4all (973270) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886810)

You mean like the Axiotron Modbook? It's a really nice device designed by Woz. I considered getting one myself but it's a bit expensive.

It IS nice; but it wasn't DESIGNED by Woz. He is involved with the company; but pretty much only as a PR booster.

And it is insanely expensive.

Re:Guarunteed way for success (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885976)

Make ANY tablet able to function as a Wacom or Cintiq, including the pressure sensitivity. You will lock in the Internet Comic business almost instantly.

Ummm ... is the Internet Comic business sufficiently large as to cause any large corporation to factor it into its demographics when designing a mass-appeal product?

It sounds a little like "left handed goat herders who program in scheme".

but creating a niche product that has been requested by pretty much everyone in the industry would certainly be a smart move

RIM doesn't want a 'niche product'. They want something as many people as possible will buy. The internet comics crowd? Maybe not so much.

Re:Guarunteed way for success (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886222)

It's simple, RIM will go after the business market. Tablet style computers are great for lugging around to meetings and taking notes on and such. Give it some sort of a video out so I can attach it to a projector and it's an ultimate win. In the venn diagram that is the two companies' markets there's less overlap than there is individuality. Apple will get the consumer and RIM will get the business, assuming it doesn't totally screw up the business apps.

Re:Guarunteed way for success (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 3 years ago | (#32887084)

pple will get the consumer and RIM will get the business

Really? I know that iWork for iPad isn't exactly MSOffice (in some ways worse (Numbers), in some ways much better (Keynote)), but exactly what integrated word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation app suite does RIM have?

Those types of apps take serious amounts of time and money to develop.

RIM better get crackin' ,'cuz this is all they show [blackberry.com] under "Business Software"!!!

Oh, and the "business" market for the iPad [apple.com] hasn't been lost on Apple, either.

Re:Guarunteed way for success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32887322)

WHAM!!!! KAPOOOOOW!!!!!

Re:Guarunteed way for success (2, Insightful)

ahankinson (1249646) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886010)

Wait.... the iPad isn't a mainstream hit? It sure looks like it is from here...

Re:Guarunteed way for success (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888778)

No, it really isn't. In comparison with computer or mobile phone sales, the iPad is very much a niche product. It's a successful niche product, but it's far from mainstream. Even in comparison to iPods, it's not particularly mainstream.

Apple sells 50-60 million iPods per year, they've sold 3 million iPads in three months. The iPad has had a lot of press coverage, and is selling well, but it's definitely not a mainstream product.

Re:Guarunteed way for success (2, Informative)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886068)

They're available, and expensive, and not selling that well:

http://www.motioncomputing.com/products/tablet_pc_J35.asp [motioncomputing.com]

http://www.axiotron.com/index.php?id=home [axiotron.com]

And until recently the battery life wasn't that great either (technology is finally catching up to the early promise) --- I still have to use 9-cell extended life batteries in my Fujitsu Stylistic ST-4121 (and unfortunately Fujitsu has discontinued their ST-6012)

William
(who has been using pen computers w/ Wacom styluses since the NCR-3125)

Re:Guarunteed way for success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32886130)

Make ANY tablet able to function as a Wacom or Cintiq, including the pressure sensitivity. You will lock in the Internet Comic business almost instantly, creating a niche product.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Guarunteed way for success (1)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886400)

I think that success is guaranteed for a blackberry tablet IF they can enhance usefulness instead of just getting awkward. People love blackberries cos of what they cram into a small space. If they can increase usefulness by making a tablet instead of just getting bulky, well, go for it!

Re:Guarunteed way for success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32886756)

The problem with this is all of the hot new devices use capacitive touch screens. While capacitive screens have that iPhone like 'light-touch' and better multi-touch capabilities, you can't use a non-conducting stylus on the screen. This would make Wacom-like tablet functionality pretty useless. On the other hand if they used the older/cheaper resistive touchscreen technology you would be able to use a stylus, but it would probably be seen as a "con" in most reviews. You have to apply more pressure to get your touches to register and they don't feel quite as fluid.

Re:Guarunteed way for success (4, Interesting)

webdog314 (960286) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886956)

I would agree with you, but not so specifically. Any pressure-sensitive tablet capable of running Photoshop would be an instant winner in the art community, especially if it were priced around that of the iPad. The trend into digital illustration is huge, and not just in the comic industry, but frankly, working on a split screen/tablet format sucks. It's certainly doable (as I can personally attest) but it's a FAR cry from working directly on a medium.

The problem with this is that it's self defeating. The moment you bring ANY form of input device (other than your fingers, which most of us always have with us) back to the tablet, it completely changes the user experience to the point that the device risks falling back out of the "tablet" definition altogether. Would the "stylus" be required for input? It is on any Wacom device.

While such a device is a pipe-dream for artists (and has been for a LONG time), I seriously doubt the public wants to give up the versatility of finger gestures in favor of a pen, even a pressure-sensitive one.

Re:Guarunteed way for success (1)

webdog314 (960286) | more than 3 years ago | (#32887210)

After some reflection, it even makes more sense for a company like Wacom to take the display technology like that used in the iPad, and put it under their pressure sensitive matrix as a display hooked up to a stand-alone system. I know they did this with the cintiq, but at $2,000, the price point is just too high for all but the most serious of artists. To be viable in the current market, I'd say they need to cut their price point by half at least. A display with pressure input that was say, 20-30% more than a similarly sized display would be a no-brainer for almost any serious artist.

Re:Guarunteed way for success (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888240)

The trouble with tablet Photoshop is that, while Photoshop's base specs are only modestly outrageous(in fine Adobe tradition), its real-world spec requirements, among the sort of users serious enough to buy specialized hardware, can be absolutely stratospheric for absolutely unavoidable reasons of the "Nope, that's pretty much just how much RAM working on a 35 megapixel image at reasonable bit depth and adequate speed takes" flavor. You could probably do "Photoshop-lite" tasks easily enough on iPad hardware(and I think that there are already a few apps of that flavor); but advertising a "Photoshop tablet" would be hard because if you kept it as a svelte tablet design(probably CULV based to spare Adobe an ARM port), your performance will make anyone who is enough of a photoshop junkie to buy such a thing cry. If you pack enough power to satisfy the junkie crowd, you'll get something that looks (and weighs) like the bastard child of a LAN Party Desktop Replacement gamer laptop and a General Dynamics Mil-Spec tactical tablet PC.

The other problem is that Photoshop also has scads of keyboard shortcuts that make experienced users much more efficient. A tablet would be OK for parts of the job; but serious photoshoppers would cry bitter tears if their keyboards were taken away.

The Cintiq has a "fuck you, what are you going to do about it?" price point; but that's because it is pretty much what all the photoshoppers lust over.

Re:Guarunteed way for success (1)

corerunner (971136) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889346)

Would the "stylus" be required for input? It is on any Wacom device.

While such a device is a pipe-dream for artists (and has been for a LONG time), I seriously doubt the public wants to give up the versatility of finger gestures in favor of a pen, even a pressure-sensitive one.

A few of the Wacom Bamboo tablets support stylus + multitouch. They're also some of the least expensive available.

Re:Guarunteed way for success (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 3 years ago | (#32887548)

You can do this already [tenonedesign.com] with the iPad, but it uses an private API, so it's a no-go for now. However, I expect Apple will see the value in opening this up at some point (please?), so we will set third-party pressures sensitive drawing apps and pens.

Re:Guarunteed way for success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32888912)

Try google for MyPaint on pressure sensitive Nokia N900.

Flash, that big a deal? (4, Interesting)

El Neepo (411885) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885884)

Does Flash support really make or break the deal when buying a smartphone or a tablet? Do people really double think that iPhone/iPad purchase just because of Flash? Does anyone even on Slashdot go Android just because of Flash?

Maybe I'm biased as I have an iPad but lacking Flash is a minor annoyance at best. If I switched to some other OS for a tablet or smartphone, Flash support is way at the bottom of the list of features I would switch for.

Personally, I think Flash needs to just die as it's only used for games and annoying ads.

Also, I really don't see why Flash should be in the headline. Unless BlackBerry is really targetting the Farmville segment of users.

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886020)

Unless BlackBerry is really targetting the Farmville segment of users.

There's an app for that.

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32886066)

If you have an iPad now, you're probably an Apple fanboy(or girl).

Your leader has told you, "you don't need flash" and you believe him.

Real people use flash on the internet. That is why it is a deal breaker.

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32886152)

If you have an iPad now, you're probably an Apple fanboy(or girl).

Dude, seriously ... shut your pie hole. Not everybody who bought an iPad is a drooling Apple Fanboi. Heck, I don't even own a Mac.

Your leader has told you, "you don't need flash" and you believe him.

I'm in a browser on a machine that doesn't have Flash installed. Flash is a buggy, insecure piece of crap that I've been avoiding for a bunch of years.

Real people use flash on the internet. That is why it is a deal breaker.

So far, the only things I've seen people say they can't live without is badgers badgers and farmville. For the rest of us, Flash offers nothing of value.

Flash free for years now, and not missing a damned thing -- a web page which is flash only just tells me I don't want your crap anyway.

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32887884)

While some of what you say might make sense to you, the fact is that Apple have been selling technology to people that are, shall we say, lacking in the technical department for years, and that's fair enough.

If you buy an ipad though, then it's a bit of a different matter - really its almost certain that you're not just a bit daft, but you're really very limited indeed. The ipad is a piece of overpriced crap - and this is obvious to all but the thickest amongst us. The lack of flash is probably the biggest omission but certainly not the only failing - the whole pos stinks to high heaven. But hey - it's ok dude; we can't all be Einsteins right!

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (4, Interesting)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888002)

flash delivered the streaming world cup games. flash delivers lots of interviews from some of my favourite sites. flash delivers a HELL of a lot of content that I miss on my iPad. I can live without it... but I dont particularly want to.

Good Liddle iFanboy! Now Roll Over! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32886132)

It's sooooo cute! Jobs has his little fanboy army so well trained!

"OMG!!! I TOTALLY don't want teh Flash!!!"

-wags tail and looks for a treat from its master...-

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (4, Interesting)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886138)

It's actually important for me.
From Google Analytics and Yahoo Finance to a game I play daily I rely on Flash. I actually like flash. I also like to be able to write my own flash app and to be able to install it on a device.

I seriously considered buying an iPad, but I decided against it due to lack of flash and MKV support (I understand there is a player albeit very buggy).

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (2, Informative)

El Neepo (411885) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886358)

It's actually important for me.
From Google Analytics and Yahoo Finance

Thank you for informing me of legitimate Flash uses. Those and Hulu, that someone else mentioned, are good uses of Flash.

However, I do still think that the lack of Flash support isn't a way to shoot yourself in the foot. Apple obviously didn't support it. I'm just wondering if any other companies will follow suit because of whatever reason or do they really believe Flash is a must-have.

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (2, Insightful)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888808)

"Thank you for informing me of legitimate Flash uses. Those and Hulu, that someone else mentioned, are uses of Flash."

The use of "Good" is subjective. I happen to think it's a waste in Hulu Why do we not have flv support as a plain codec? Why is it still only usable in flash based players?

And you can't tell me those sites couldn't code their sites to work with Ajax or retool them for HTML5 (you know, an actual defined standard).

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32886160)

... needs to just die as it's only used for games and .....

One of the things I look forward to is the Apple voices fading out across the internet as they all move to read-only platforms like the iPad and the iPhone.

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (4, Insightful)

netsavior (627338) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886174)

My wife's netbook broke a few weeks before iPad launched and she was looking at getting one then: Wait, what? Hulu doesn't work on iPad, then what the heck is it for? Never mind, I'll just get another netbook. Sure I know that they have Hulu plus now, but for my wife who is more technical than some, but by no means a Slashgeek... Flash was a dealbreaker.

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888844)

Pity she's now missing out on Hulu for the iPad. If that was her only reason, I feel bad that she's stuck with a "full sized" device that probably requires it to be plugged into the wall because flash just ate all the battery while watching her favorite show on hulu.

If you build it, they will write software for it, and in this case demand for Hulu on the iPad necessitated a push for it there.

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889310)

Even if the iPad had Flash, Hulu would have blocked it. They do it with every other mobile device which supports Flash.

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (2, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886264)

Flash would let you use a web cam for real.
The ability to broadcast from any location on any network to a world wide audience with a few clicks seems 'flash easy' at this time.
Apple is still trying to get beyond wifi and device lockin with its open FaceTime camera efforts.
Sure html5 is fast, pretty and new but easy UVC web cam support is still a ?

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (4, Insightful)

Steve S (35346) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886332)

Although I program in and use Flash daily, actual flash support was not a dealbreaker when I chose to get an android phone. It was important, sure, but not a dealbreaker. The dealbreaker was WHY flash isn't supported on apple products. It's clearly not a technical limitation since it can be installed on a jailbroken ipad and works well even through a compatibility layer http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/07/how-to-install-flash-on-your-jailbroken-ipad-for-real/. It's entirely political. I don't want to be told what I'm allowed to install or not. My devices are MY devices.

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (1)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888542)

To be fair, the version of Flash that people are installing on their iPads is a hacked version of the Flash Player 10.1 for Android that was just barely released a couple weeks ago. It still has a lot of issues with Flash that requires hover actions, and playing back video at a decent framerate. Most of the complaints I've seen are that it is impossible to scrub video because the controls are too tiny to actually tap on with a finger.

Personally, I don't blame Apple for not including it with the iPad - It wasn't even available when the iPad was released, and it doesn't have the user experience Apple products are known for - trying to watch Flash video that is so small you can't even click on the play or pause button is going to be an exercise in frustration for anyone.

Once Adobe fixes these bugs, I have a feeling we might see something change from Apple, and they may include it with a future release of iOS or Safari.

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (2, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889060)

To be fair, the version of Flash that people are installing on their iPads is a hacked version of the Flash Player 10.1 for Android that was just barely released a couple weeks ago. It still has a lot of issues with Flash that requires hover actions, and playing back video at a decent framerate. Most of the complaints I've seen are that it is impossible to scrub video because the controls are too tiny to actually tap on with a finger.

Personally, I don't blame Apple for not including it with the iPad - It wasn't even available when the iPad was released, and it doesn't have the user experience Apple products are known for - trying to watch Flash video that is so small you can't even click on the play or pause button is going to be an exercise in frustration for anyone.

Once Adobe fixes these bugs, I have a feeling we might see something change from Apple, and they may include it with a future release of iOS or Safari.

More fundamentally, only the iPad meets the requirements for Flash. Adobe's Flash Player for Android requires a minimum 1GHz processor. Only the iPad has it (the iPhone 4 is rumored to be a 600-800MHz processor). Not a problem for Android since all the good ones all have 1GHz processors (pretty much out of necessity to get a really nice and smooth running phone). But Apple's not ramping up the CPU speed (they don't need to - even the 3GS with its 600MHz CPU is really speedy).

Jobs' next challenge for Adobe would be to get Flash running "great" on an iPhone 4 or something, which would be about 20% slower than the Android phones it already runs on, or this Blackberry device.

(And Jobs could easily force Adobe's hand by requiring third-party platforms support new features by new OS release date. App store apps using said platform will be removed until updated runtimes are available. Thus, native developers have advantages in having apps ready all the time, while those reliant on 3rd party platforms get locked out until the platform is updated. And everyone saves face, except Adobe has to work harder in getting their Flash updates in time with iOS updates...).

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (2, Funny)

PPalmgren (1009823) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886408)

Flash sways iPhone/iPad purchases because people beleive they should be able to think for themselves. The "think different" line is definitely no longer accurate.

You never know what they're going to decide for you next.

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32887712)

"Does Flash support really make or break the deal when buying a smartphone or a tablet?"

I don't own an ipad because it lacks Flash. The primary reason I wanted a tablet was because I wanted a home viewer for legitimate streaming sites, many which are Flash based and encrypt the video data. Having a general purpose browser that worked well without restrictions would be a benefit. The ipad doesn't match either of these because it lacks Flash. Adobe is partly to blame, since they don' t have a clear Flash spec, but Apple is, to me, being the worse player, since they've restricted other programs and content from the app store.

There are other issues with the ipad, such as not being 16:9, or high enough resolution to adequate handle letterboxing in a 4:3 ratio, but they aren't deal breakers. Not being able to use common sites the way I want them, without a custom app released by that site, is annoying.

"Also, I really don't see why Flash should be in the headline"

Then you don' t use Flash, and are happy not using Flash. Not everyone is like you. Many people want Flash. As such, the company that puts out a decent device with Flash may win over that population of buyers who are interested in owning a tablet which supports Flash.

This is why Android 2.2, which supports 10.1, is to most people the tablet they may be waiting for, if device makers can put out a decent hardware package.

Maybe, I'm guessing, you're not a regular /. reader then either, as you don't seem to know you own an Apple product that has been lambasted for months for being closed, restricted, crippled, and lacking development tools, Flash often being cited as an example in all these cases.

Steve Jobs wrote an open letter criticizing Flash, and even belittled Adobe that they were late in getting Flash to mobile devices and having them worked well.

Then of course, Adobe released Flash 10.1 in final candidate for supposedly the upcoming Android release, and has been releasing decent Flash updates like 10.1 for most general purpose computing, and as a result, in my mind, become the second company to show in the past few months that Steve Jobs's way of thinking is backwards and old.

Jobs says AT&T is great and has great plans.

AT&T screws users with revamped plans.

Jobs talks about how great the iphone is, which runs pretty much the same OS as the ipad in its current gen. Tech folks point out Android devices have been making huge gains into that market.

It's the Macintosh and Windows debate all over again. Jobs hasn't grown up. Except this time, it's not MS with the general platform, it's Google, and Google is far superior to MS when it comes to putting out more open, clear products (even though it'll stay in beta for years).

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 3 years ago | (#32887948)

as an iPad owner, i doubt my purchase because of the lack of flash. I couldn't watch the world cup on it, I cant see videos from my favourite sites (like tsn.ca), and there are lots of places where I see "you need to download flash to use this." Its actually much more annoying than I thought it would be. I dont care how technically poor flash is, the fact is there are tonnes of cool stuff done in flash that I cannot access on my iPad.

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888986)

I suspect that there are two(or three, depending on how you cut them up) factors at work:

1. Yes, some people do need flash, for various reasons. Not as many as used to need it; but still some.

2. Given that Adobe, spurned by Apple, is in full breakup/rebound mode, alternately calling Apple at odd hours and leaving sobbing voice mails, and vowing that they don't need Apple, there are plenty of other device makers who are just as good, and Flash 10.1 will be not sucking on anything that isn't a 2+GHz wintel any day now; adding "Flash Support" is a relatively cheap and easy way for any non-Apple device maker to pick up a marketing bullet point, and possibly some of the users from point #1.

2(a)/3. Part of the reason that Apple doesn't need Flash is that they are the big fish. Loads of websites that do, in fact, require flash, have kicked out Apps that substitute for whatever functions were provided by flash. The Youtube app, and every other video app out there, various dedicated games, etc, etc. If you are not the big fish(and, in terms of 3rd party app development, RIM definitely isn't) you cannot depend on 3rd party providers going out of their way to build a native application just to support you. Ergo, you have to tailor your device to consume whatever their website dishes out.

What piques my curiosity, though is this "flash accelerator" hardware. If it is simply something like Broadcom's "CrystalHD", which Adobe could conceivably use to accelerate h.264 "flash video", then that is probably a good design decision; but nothing novel or wildly interesting. What would be much more interesting(and, to my knowledge, not previously seen) would be an actionscript accelerator, along the lines of the java acceleration that some embedded chipsets have. In addition to its novelty, actionscript is pretty damn similar to javascript. This would suggest, for certain purposes, hardware acceleration of javascript might be possible...

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889408)

Flash 10.1 will be not sucking on anything that isn't a 2+GHz wintel any day now;

I will believe this when I see it.

Re:Flash, that big a deal? (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888992)

I have Flash 10.1 Beta 1 on my Nexus One and its kinda handy actually - its fun to watch some of those funny web cartoons, or the videos on The Escapist, or the videos on crooksandliars.com, or an inline video someone linked on a blog to youtube/vimeo or whatever. Oddly enough this really is a case of "it just works" you can rest assured visit any site and everything on it will work without any external app I have to pay for or download. Yeah sometimes its a bit buggy (its never crashed though), and the phone itself sometimes doesn't handle really complex (or poorely optimized) flash files, but I suspect much of this will be addressed in the coming releases.

For me personally if I'm browsing the web I want it - and it is a deal breaker for me if the device doesn't have it.

And to answer the question of the Jobsian followers - it hasn't had any effect on battery performance - in fact since I've been using Froyo battery life on my Android phone has never been better.

I hope the software doesn't suck (4, Interesting)

ari_j (90255) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885898)

I currently have a BlackBerry, and the operating system is horrid. I regularly have to pull the battery because the device's media processor gets tied up by software malfunctions, preventing ringtones from being played. The browser currently crashes entirely when viewing any Wikipedia page. Even sending a text message can take up to 90 seconds from the time I hit send and the time the device is usable again, apparently due to some ridiculously bad programming on the part of whoever wrote the message display software.

I am currently thinking about getting an iPad to replace my personal laptop entirely, probably after a few more first adopter issues get sorted out and I am convinced that I can carry on my normal workflow with it, browsing web pages and being able very quickly to switch to read and reply to instant messages and e-mails (which will most likely be in another browser window until a better Gmail app with threading becomes available), etc. I have an iPod Touch and believe that there is actual potential for the iPad to effectively replace my personal laptop. I also have a BlackBerry and I can't imagine a larger version of it being even the least bit useful.

Re:I hope the software doesn't suck (4, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886012)

I've got a Curve 8330 myself. Even though it has the latest OS (v4.5.0.175), it will still reboot on its own. Quite annoying. And yes, the processor is slow. I wish I hadn't updated Opera Mini. It's so damn slow, the mouse cursor skips all over the place. I will be dumping it for a Droid soon.

Re:I hope the software doesn't suck (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 3 years ago | (#32887298)

I will likely end up with a Droid, as well. I actually had a Pearl 8130 for 2 years until this past January, when my contract came up and I got a 1-year contract on a Curve 8330 on a $20.10 promotion. My desire was to let the local Alltel assets get switched to AT&T and let Verizon get the Nexus One (which didn't happen) and have the bugs ironed out on both fronts by next January, when I will either get a Droid or (if available - AT&T's acquisition here has been a no-apparent-progress thing for the past 2 years or more) iPhone.

My iPod Touch is a curse, though - it makes me really want an iPhone. But I'm sure I'd be happy with a Droid as well. All I know is that a buggy Droid would beat my BlackBerry, which has no excuse for that kind of crap given how long they've had to mature the platform.

Re:I hope the software doesn't suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32888164)

4.5.x might be the latest version approved by your network carrier, but that version is 3-4 years old. Try the 5.x series which you can get on crackberry.com. The 6.x series is also slated to come out sometime this year.

Re:I hope the software doesn't suck (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886272)

Blackberry is (unfortunately) being marginalized. They've still got a strong hold on the corporate market, but they see the writing on the wall. At some point Android and iPhones will be considered "good enough" for the corporate IT.

The problem is (as mentioned above) the blackberry OS sucks. I mean, it sucks almost as bad as Windows Mobile. That bad. It's a miracle it works at all with multimedia.

Re:I hope the software doesn't suck (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889212)

Preach it. Really all we are waiting for (us blackberry admins) is a good management server for Android or iPhone. Really all we want to do is be able to put policies on our phones so they automatically lock and encrypt. We could do these one at a time but when you have more than 10-20 phones this becomes problematic. Are there any projects out there for this?

More Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32885924)

I am with Linus on this one.
Totally agree with Linus.

does the education system hinder computing skills (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32885946)

you can bet you .asp it does, as well as conveniently avoiding looking into any 'skill' that is not on the list of things we're supposed to do/know. not much better at home right now. that will change, guaranfauxkingteed.

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"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."--

"The wealth of the universe is for me. Every thing is explicable and practical for me .... I am defeated all the time; yet to victory I am born." --emerson

no need to confuse 'religion' with being a spiritual being. our soul purpose here is to care for one another. failing that, we're simply passing through (excess baggage) being distracted/consumed by the guaranteed to fail illusionary trappings of man'kind'. & recently (about 10,000 years ago) it was determined that hoarding & excess by a few, resulted in negative consequences for all.

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"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." )one does not need to agree whois in charge to grasp the notion that there may be some assistance available to us(

boeing, boeing, gone.

Do you know what day it is, kiddies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32885954)

It's Patch Tuessay! Go get your patches! Seriously!

Well isn't this cute. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32885994)

BBOS has been stuck in some usability quagmire since the Quark. RIM knew that business users don't like being bombarded with a constant stream of change, so they sat on their laurels and did absolutely nothing with their captive, well-moneyed audience. Not a damn thing. Now they're little more than a third-tier also-ran struggling to become relevant once again. Sorry, this tablet is far too little, far too late.

Re:Well isn't this cute. (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889342)

Well that is kind of the way many of these companies go *cough*palm. You have forums filled with threads of people asking for a feature or improvement. Then RIM releases something that not one person asked for. Seriously, community driven development is the way to go. That is why I have so much hope for the Android. I like companies that ask the users what they want rather than telling them what they want.

Trackpad (2, Interesting)

Zaffle (13798) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886040)

Of course, in the tradition of blackberry, the device will be a tablet with a keyboard, and won't have a touch screen. Fortunately they will instead use the new trackpad, instead of the trackball. Blackberry don't have a good record with touchscreen... In fact, its pretty atrocious. People forget, the touchscreen is what makes a device. This is why iPhone, iPad, etc are so popular, Apple have nailed the touchscreen. (btw - in case anyone accuses me of otherwise - Avid blackberry user, hate the iPhone, love the blackberry, but I call it like it is - Apple ownz touchscreens).

Re:Trackpad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32888072)

If by "nailed the touchscreen" you mean "nailed it to the wall".

The touchscreen on the iPhone (and the many other trend-follower phones that now use capacitive technology) is crude, at best, compared to the previously used resistive screens.

Let me reiterate: the iPhone touchscreen makes the devices less useful, as in, less usable. They are limited significantly by the capacitive touchscreen (lack of) sensitivity, and as a result have to compensate in crude ways such as "multitouch".

Resistive touchscreens were better. They had (have) higher resolution and the ability to do finite things with them (pen or finger) was possible. What the hell does it matter if your screen has a high resolution if all you can do with it that I can't with mine is watch higher resolution porn?

Re:Trackpad (2, Insightful)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888458)

Funny, you'd think a blackberry user would remember the bb storm. All screen, no keyboard and it distinguishes hovering from clicking.

Not that I'm saying the bb storm touchscreen was particularly good, but at least it let you interact with the web as if you had a mouse. Now if only it didn't freeze up every other week.

Underwhelmed? (4, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886052)

I really like my Blackberry. As a phone. It's nigh indestructible, and the OS is ideal for the itsy bitsy 2.5" screen. I can even buy aftermarket replacement parts for it (trackball). However the smartphone industry has advanced by leaps and bounds in the last year. As much as I am satisfied with my BlackBerry, I know it's so far behind the curve now that even their new OS 5 can't save them now. My next phone will for sure be an Android device, maybe an iPhone. Even the new "Windows Phone 7" isn't completely distasteful. Do you really want to buy a consumer device tablet running an outdated OS designed for enterprise users? On an oversized tablet device? There's so many better options out there, starting with the Apple iPad, various Chrome/Android products in the works, and HP has a WebOS tablet in the works. But something running the Blackberry OS in this day and age simply looks....antiquated. RIM may never catch up in the smartphone OS race at this point; I think the BB Storm is proof of that. And with the Motorola Charm [google.com] on the horizon... well, we come to bury RIM, not praise their outdated OS.

Re:Underwhelmed? (1)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886238)

I recently received a BB Bold from my company for work (I didn't really want a smartphone, but the BB Bold was literally 50% of the options offered by Verizon that did not have a camera, and the other 50% was some soon-to-be discontinued BB model; I work at locations that prohibit cameras and actually enforce that policy).

During my initial attempt to familiarize myself with the phone, the thing crashed while using the default browser on the NOAA website. Not just hung, mind you, but dump to the white screen with hex codes on it (that incidentally didn't stay there long enough to record to send in a bug report or whatever).

I was not impressed that the phone crashed in such a manner within an hour of booting it for the first time (and seriously - 60 seconds to boot a phone? A phone is an appliance, it shouldn't have to "boot".)

I still dislike smartphones...they have become portable computers with voice features rather than phones with computing capability. I wish the phone manufacturers would go back to the old way of thinking about things in this regard.

Re:Underwhelmed? (1)

jomcty (806483) | more than 3 years ago | (#32887348)

I agree with your sentiment about smartphones in general. At times I enjoy the features of a more advanced phone, but do we really need more that the trusty Nokia 1100 [wikipedia.org]? It seems to me that the BlackBerry is the middle ground.

Re:Underwhelmed? (3, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 3 years ago | (#32887612)

running an outdated OS designed for enterprise users?

Enterprise user here. Apart from the exchange support and BES (which is admittedly quite nifty and unique), I certainly wouldn't argue that Blackberry's OS fits our needs to a T. In fact, we're routinely frustrated by almost all aspects of it.

I've said this many times, but it bears repeating -- The first phone manufacturer who can make a product that functions as a drop-in replacement for BES will capture the enterprise smartphone market. It's ripe for the picking.

Flash rulez (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32886070)

My college just got HTC desire he was playing with it and he's like "Hey it supports flash!!! ... I wonder if there's a flash block" :D

Re:Flash rulez (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32886254)

Your college speaks to you in person? My university just sends me impersonal bulk emails from time to time.

Seriously a tablet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32886078)

Rim or whomever they are called better get thier asses in gear and start making the next generation PDA's.

I am about a hairs breath away from moving to the new Apple iphone.

I am not what you call a die hard crack berry user, but damn to see that Apple iphone in action I am almost there.

If it's anything like my corporate Blackbury (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886106)

It will crash all the time.

It will not display most web pages properly.

It will be slow as fuck.

The user interface will be confusing, the error messages will use inadequate terminology, esp. in i18n.

Scrolling through long lists will give you callosities.

It will be butt ugly.

But it will have great battery life!

In other words, I won't ever be seen carrying in one except if I'm forced to by the incompetent nazis at the IT department.

Anyone Ever Actually Seen An iPad In Real Life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32886162)

I mean other than Starbucks?

Anyone???

Re:If it's anything like my corporate Blackbury (1)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886334)

The keyboard and battery alone make Blackberrys very good, if not the best, mobile wireless devices for the enterprise. Given Apple's 'f u' corporate service focus and poor enterprise support, its not a surprise that most large orgnaisations support the iPhone grudgingly, if at all. Blackberries don't provide great mobile internet browsing, because that's not their primary purpose. "Incompetent nazis" suggest to me you lack perspective and experience in supporting 10,000-100,000 users.

Re:If it's anything like my corporate Blackbury (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32886478)

...you lack perspective and experience in supporting 10,000-100,000 users.

And this, right here, is the only part in which RIM truly shines. BES is a management dream come true. It's just a shame their phones and OS blows goats.

Re:If it's anything like my corporate Blackbury (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886742)

> "Incompetent nazis" suggest to me you lack perspective and experience in supporting 10,000-100,000 users.

I'm not calling them incompetent nazis because they use Crapberry, I'm calling them incompetent Nazis because they are incompetent and arrogant.

Re:If it's anything like my corporate Blackbury (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32887430)

i do not know about incompetence but you are arrogant for sure
    --Another Nicolas

P.s. seul les académicien pétulant capitalise leur nom de famille!

Re:If it's anything like my corporate Blackbury (1)

helix2301 (1105613) | more than 3 years ago | (#32887292)

With the way Rim focus on the business market this might really take off for them especially if it integrates with blackberry enterprise server.

Re:If it's anything like my corporate Blackbury (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889002)

"Given Apple's 'f u' corporate service focus and poor enterprise support,"

Not sure what you're talking about but the crappy Enterprise Exchange support on the blackberries make me laugh at my colleagues who allowed their phones to be "upgraded".

I stayed on a 4 year old xv6700 with WinMo 6 to avoid the "upgrade" to Blackberry because I at least get to keep my task lists and a calendar and email I can navigate quickly and at least resembles Outlook to some degree. They always complain about how crappy the email client on their Curves are.

And my personal iPhone is an AWESOME client for an Exchange account minus task management support (which is the only thing it doesn't do for me).

This will fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32886136)

Only Apple can pull off a successful tablet because tablets are not really useful and only Apple fanbois can justify blowing their entire paycheck on a shiny but useless toy.

CAPTCHA: gimmick

A tablet...from blackberry? (2, Interesting)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886154)

That's two strikes, I'm waiting for the third.

It's not that blackberry can't make an OS...it's just that their OS isn't one I want to use for recreational purposes. Corporate email? Ok, they've got that locked up, I'll grant them that. But usable might be a bit of a stretch.

And a tablet? It's a niche market, at best. Sure, because apple released a tablet everyone's nipples are hard for one, but honestly it's a flash in the pan. What app will really drive people to a device with no keyboard, or any physical input method whatsoever? Portable media player is about all I've got here.

Re:A tablet...from blackberry? (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 3 years ago | (#32887538)

Sure, because apple released a tablet everyone's nipples are hard for one, but honestly it's a flash in the pan.

Sounds like Bill Gates' famous 1993 quote regarding the internet: "The Internet? We are not interested in it".

Re:A tablet...from blackberry? (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 3 years ago | (#32887628)

Ok, you tell me what use a tablet is then. I can see it as a fancy media player...but other than that, what? eReader? Web browser? I realize many geeks are skilled in browsing one-handed ( myself included ), but that's not a skill that the general public is interested in learning.

What problem is a tablet trying to solve that would dismiss the format's failings?

Re:A tablet...from blackberry? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888714)

You named them. Reader and web browser. To the average person the Internet IS the web, e-mail and IM, probably in that order. The iPad excels at the first two and is decent at the third. It's convenient to use on the couch (where most people want to use the web, e-mail and IM), it runs cool and is lighter than a notebook.

As for an reading, colour tablets are going to soon be pretty much required for students and people who need to have a lot of technical documentation around.

And if, for some reason, you really need a keyboard, hook one up. It's not hard.

Re:A tablet...from blackberry? (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888102)

RIM doesn't have corporate email locked up. Apparently that's mainly a Midwest thing; people in traditional GSM markets have been using WinMo + Exchange for quite some time.

Flash? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32886292)

Since when do we like Flash around here? Wasn't it the Scourge Of The Intarwebs or sumfin?

Ho Hum - more vaporware (1)

rclandrum (870572) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886396)

This certainly isn't news. Apple comes out with a popular device, so everyone else thinks they have to come out with one, too. Everybody makes future vaporware announcements to see what the reaction might be, but until they are actually on the market and you can buy one, they are just PR fluff.

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32886486)

Tablet device form-factor has been around for a number of years before the ipad and in realitive terms nobody cared. As the market responded to poor sales they were scaled back.

Everyone seems to be revisiting this path because of Apple. In my opinion this is just a short lived fad that will ultimatly die but not before it saps some R&D energy from the smartphone industry.

The tablet convertable notebooks with the twist screens in my view were amoung the coolest ideas because you get the best of both worlds. For some applications the tablet form factor makes a lot of sense but for many the harsh reality is you just can't get any real work done without a real keyboard and something that does not resemble a laptop where both horz vert directions are not taken advantage of would end up being much larger in terms of space required to use than a laptop and in my opinion more ackward to use.

Smart phones are getting bigger and have touch screens .. how many gadgets do people really need? I'm sure the answer for some is never enough. At the end of the day those betting on inventing a new mass-market are in for disappointment.

What are blackberries good for? (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886832)

I've never carried a blackberry myself, although I do know a fair number of people who were issued them for work. I remember my father saying that there were a few younger folks at his workplace that loved their crackberries back in the day, but for him it was just an oversized cell phone.

Now that you can get similar devices on pretty much every cell network, with your choice of iPhone, Android, or Windows Mobile (Win7?) OSes, I really don't see why anyone would particularly care about what RIM is creating, especially as AFAIK they have a pretty closed environment with no corresponding desktop OS.

I gotta assume that there's some way to develop applications for the Blackberry OS, but I can't ever remember anyone talking about it.

I guess there are some companies that might issue a standard set of devices, just like issuing standard laptops to everyone, but I'm still finding it hard for them to justify the tablet form factor.

So.... why would anyone actively *want* a Blackberry tablet?

NOOOOOOOO... (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888434)

In other news PalmOS creates a tablet...

Seriously, as a BB admin I can say that their OS sucks big hairy balls. Why would I want, or why would ANYONE want a tablet edition of this? Even with the BIS, you are so limited in what you can do..eg I can brick it and a couple other neat tricks. What is the point? You are a sinking ship BB, going the way of palm because you are a one trick pony whose trick isn't even good anymore.

Things that BB needs to fix before they can even pretend to compete with iPhone and Android devices:

1. Fix the damn OS so it doesn't take 5 to 20 minutes to boot based on the memory card.

2. Allow wifi hotspots from your devices. I mean good lord, you are a business phone! you should at least make the tethering simple and allow 802.11...idiots.

3. Allow at least some kind of reasonable management software...installing 300MB of roxio and desktop crap just to back up my phone? WTF.

4. You havent updated BIS in what? 2 years? Features like online backup are listed but unusable..literally? Any of you who have used BIS know the fun that is installing BIS and managing it, a hundred options, 20% of which are disabled waiting to be finished. Oh yea and it can only be installed on 2003 x32 or less...on a good day.

5. Finally, slap verizon for charging an extraneous $15 charge per phone just for using BIS.

With our next rollout, as the admin i am recommending we switch to an iPhone or Android based phone, depending on who comes out with a central management app first, but that even isnt necessary.

Re:NOOOOOOOO... (1)

jamesyouwish (1738816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888594)

You really call yourself a Blackberry admin using BIS. Come on we all no that sucks. BES on the other hand is what you should be using. I cannot say it is great but I can say it allows me to securely deliver email to my corporate users.

Re:NOOOOOOOO... (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888914)

ya I get yelled at for saying BES as well. Technically I am using BPS. And it really is no more secure than OWA.

It's the ebook market stupid... (1)

accessbob (962147) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888496)

Books are going digital. Newspapers are going digital. Magazines are going digital. Journals are going digital. Print is under 10 years from being as popular as a dial-up internet connection. Not that it won't exist, but it will be a dinosaur existing in niche markets. All the device manufacturers are going after the market. RIM is just the latest.

Tethering (1)

jamesyouwish (1738816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888500)

Well at least I wont be tied with a second bill to AT&T. I can tether it off my existing Verizon data plan that is unlimited!
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