Archive for December, 2006

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Samsung BlackJack TVC by Cingular

December 7, 2006

Found this commercial of the Samsung BlackJack PDA-Phone from Cingular. The best mobile device commercial I’ve seen in recent memory!

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Huawei E220 / Globe Visibility / MacBook Update

December 6, 2006

I have been connected to the 3G network here in Singapore using my Globe Visibility account for about 3 hours now using the newest release candidate of the Intel Mac Drivers and so far things look good!

Connection speed is constant from an email, browsing, and downloading perspective. The MacBook has not froze or hung, and the connection speed has not degraded over time, all issues experienced using the other Huawei drivers available on the Internet.

I am actually writing this post right now using the 3G connection and dont expect any issues. From a usability perspective, I think the driver is almost ready for prime time!

As a side note, I noticed that the LED light on the Huawei card is flicking from Blue (WCDMA) to Blue-Green (HSDPA). I was not aware that Singtel actually offered HSDPA yet. There is no increase in speed that I experience, which only says that rollout is still in progress and the service is not commercially ready yet.

So stay tuned, and it seems that the light at the end of the tunnel for MacBook/Pro users is getting much brighter!

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Light at the End of the Tunnel for MacBook/Pro Users with a Huawei E220

December 5, 2006

Seems like there is finally a glimmer of hope for users of the Huawei E220 USB HSDPA Modem on the Intel Powered Macs. The latest test version (2.6) of the E220 drivers for Intel Macs have been released and seem to work properly on most test Macs around the office.

I am using a MacBook on an E220-connected 3G roaming connection here in Singapore (using my Globe Visibility SIM) and the connection is looking good. I am getting good download speeds and my Cisco IPSEC VPN is up and running just fine. Entourage connected both to my home Exchange server via VPN and a foreign Exchange server via OWA are up and running.

Web browsing is pretty quick, despite not being in an HSDPA network (Singapore has not yet launched HSDPA).

Of course the real proof on whether or not this version works and will be ready for release will depend on whether the connection holds for a prolonged period with 3G / HSDPA speeds intact and if the driver does not freeze the MacBook after some time of use.

Stay tuned….

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More New BlackBerry Devices

December 4, 2006

Apparently, a couple of sites got their hands on what seems to be a Mobile Operator presentation of the upcoming BlackBerry device roadmap for 2007. Aside from the BlackBerry Pearl that everyone is talking about, two new devices are coming up as well under the 8800 model number, the Indigo and the Crimson.

The Indigo is a device with built in GPS and expandable memory via MicroSD. It is expected to target the segment that needs location based service functionality such as logistics and construction companies, where they say that LBS has had slow adoptions so far. Aside from having built-in GPS, the device also has shifted from the BlackBerry standard trackwheel to a Pearl-type trackball.

LBS Market Overview - BB Presentation from The Boy Genius Report

BlackBerry Maps - BB Presentation from The Boy Genius Report

Indigo Spec Sheet -- BB Presentation from The Boy Genius Report

What is very interesting is that the spec sheet says that it will support WIFI/UMA. WIFI is not really new on other devices, but placing UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access) specifically is quite interesting. UMA, assuming is supported by the network, will allow seamless handover of voice calls from the traditional circuit switched domain, ie, a regular cellphone call, to a packet switched domain, ie, VOIP, without the call dropping out. This means that I can start a call via VOIP in a supported hotspot, and as I walk out of the range of the hotspot, the call will automatically switch to a regular GSM call without the call being disconnected as I switch networks. This is huge stuff as several operators start to look at Fixed-Mobile Convergent services to roll out, both for consumer and corporate markets.

8800 Spec Sheet from The Boy Genius Report

Meanwhile, the Crimson seems to be a compromise between the traditional wide-body BlackBerry form factor and the narrow 7100 and Pearl series form factor. It seems to be narrower than the 8700 series devices but will still retain the full qwerty keyboard, no Suretype. The device will not have a GPS will will have a built in camera.

Crimson Description - BB Presentation from The Boy Genius Report

No doubt this device will cover a segment of the market that likes the sleek 7100 / Pearl form factor but just didnt have the patience to use Suretype enough to build their dictionary.

Crimson Spec Sheet - BB Presentation from The Boy Genius Report

Apparently, a poll over on BlackBerry Forums says that 60% of people that joined the poll will get the new 8800 series devices. Personally, I dunno if the number will be that high but I think the new devices, particularly the Crimson, will further expand the acquisition initiatives of RIM into the mass market.

Poll Result on 8800 Adoption from RIMarkable

At the end of the day, 2007 should be a pretty interesting year as far as BlackBerry devices are concerned. I think its actually good that RIM has somehow slowed down their rollout of new devices. I think that they launched way too many devices in late 2005 to 2006. Some devices, like the 7100, actually went less than a year (if I remember right) from launch to end of life. While a constant stream of new devices is good to drive adoption of their wider mass market thrust, too many devices launched at such a short time may disappoint buyers that made the jump early and quickly find themselves holding an obsolete device, as well as potentially alienate potential switchers for fear of their devices becoming obsolete very quickly.

BB 2007 Roadmap -- BB Presentation from The Boy Genius Report

Note: The content of this post was taken from sites around the internet. For more information, also check out The Boy Genius Report or RIMarkable.