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Spotify for BlackBerry now available… with a catch

Spotify announced on Wednesday that its BlackBerry client is now out of beta and officially available for download. Spotify is a free ad-supported desktop music service that allows its users to listen to any song they want, provided it has been licensed by Spotify. Users who want to take advantage of the service's mobile features, which include offline caching and access to the full Spotify library, must pay a $10 monthly subscription fee. We're fans of Spotify here at BGR so we highly recommend BlackBerry users give it a try. The download is free (remember, you'll need a monthly plan to use it, though) and accessible from the BlackBerry App World now. The catch? You'll need to own one of five BlackBerry models (BlackBerry Bold 9780, Bold 9700, Curve 9300, Bold 9000 or Curve 8520) in order to use the app, which means it looks like CDMA users are being left out in the cold for now.

$199 BlackBerry PlayBook FireSale Returns, Buy Yourself One Until Supplies Last!

A few weeks ago, RIM announced a similar sale where the 16GB Playbook was selling for just $199, 32GB for just $249 and 64GB for just $399 ($300 less than the regular price for each model!). And it quickly sold out on almost every good place we've known on the web.

But, Best Buy and Staples are offering the BlackBook at the aforementioned prices again, and they will be available for purchase "while supplies last". So, what are you waiting for? Head past the break to get yourself one. Now.

As a refresher, the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet features a 7" high-resolution multi-touch display, dual HD cameras including a 5 megapixel camera for still shots and video recording and a front-facing 3 megapixel camera for video calling.

In an effort to make some money from the tablet, which despite of its amazing hardware, didn't quite live up to the expectations, RIM has announced quite a few BlackBerry PlayBook offers and deals in the recent past. This, however, is seemingly one of the last before we break into the new year.

Click here to know more about the BlackBerry PlayBook specs and features.

Click one of the following links to avail these BlackBerry PlayBook offers:

RIM responds to claim of BlackBerry 10 software problems

RIM has responded to an exclusive BGR report published on Thursday in which our source claimed BlackBerry 10 was delayed not because the vendor was waiting for a new LTE chip, but because RIM's developers have not yet been able to resolve many of the issues plaguing the new OS. "RIM made a strategic decision to launch BlackBerry 10 devices with a new, LTE-based dual core chip set architecture," RIM told AllThingsD. "As explained on our earnings call, the broad engineering impact of this decision and certain other factors significantly influenced the anticipated timing for the BlackBerry 10 devices. The anonymous claim suggesting otherwise is inaccurate and uninformed. As RIM has previously explained, and as Mike Lazaridis reiterated on the earnings call, we will not launch BlackBerry 10 devices until we know they are ready and we believe this new chip set architecture is required to deliver the world class user experience that our customers will expect. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply false." Contrary to RIM's statement, our source indicated that the company has not yet been able to get core features like email and BlackBerry Messenger working as desired on BlackBerry 10 smartphones, and that it is “pushing this out as long as they can for one reason, they don't have a working product yet.”

Angry Birds For BlackBerry PlayBook Released, All Three Versions Available For Download!

Almost everyone with an Android or an iOS device have this game installed, and we must tell you, it's just as fun always. Anyway, the BlackBerry PlayBook Angry Birds game is available in all the three versions.

These include the original Angry Birds game, the Angry Birds Seasons game with the mighty eagle and the Angry Birds Rio game which has about 135 exciting levels. Head past the break to download Angry Birds for BlackBerry PlayBook and for more details.

It is worth noting that each of these versions is priced at $4.99 and feature different number of levels with exciting game levels and different story lines.

BlackBerry 10 could be ‘too little, too late'

Research In Motion confirmed part of an exclusive BGR report Thursday night when its co-CEOs announced during an earnings call that its first BlackBerry 10 smartphone would not launch until the “latter part of 2012.” Despite RIM's earlier statement that a QNX-powered smartphone would launch in the first half next year, we reported in November that RIM's first next-generation smartphone would not launch until the third quarter. RIM co-Chief Mike Lazaridis blamed the delay on new dual-core processors that were not yet ready to be manufactured in bulk, but the fact remains that by the time RIM's first QNX-based smartphone launches it will be competing against Apple's sixth-generation iPhone, a horde of new Android phones with next-generation features and specs, a variety of Windows Phones from Nokia, and more. According to one analyst, BlackBerry 10 may be “too little, too late.” Read on for more.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky went out on a limb and continued to see a potential upside for RIM long after other analysts were jumping ship. It now appears as though the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor failed to capitalize on what little opportunity Abramsky had identified. The analyst recently began dropping his price target on RIM stock and on Friday, he cut it further to $16 from $20, troubled by RIM's weak fourth-quarter guidance and the BlackBerry 10 delays.

“BlackBerry 10 is now pushed out to 2H/CY12 (from 1H/CY12), making RIM significantly late to the high-end smartphone market, risking further share losses and competitive developer momentum,” Abramsky wrote in a note to clients on Friday. He continued, “As visibility continues to decline with BB10 delayed, we see few catalysts over the next six months (valuation volatility may occur on newsflow) and recommend investors remain on the sidelines.”

RBC lowered its estimates for fiscal 2012 to $18.9 billion in revenue with earnings of $4.55 per share, down from earlier estimates of $19.3 billion and $4.40. Abramsky cut fiscal 2013 estimates as well in light of BlackBerry 10 launch delays; he now sees revenue totaling $18.1 billion and EPS coming in at $3.00, down from $20.0 billion and earnings of $4.30 per share.

BlackBerry Bold 9790 shows up at Orange UK

Already confirmed for Vodafone and O2, the BlackBerry Bold 9790 will be also released by Orange in the UK.

The new smartphone is currently listed as "coming soon" over at Orange's website. There's no mention on when exactly the network will launch it, but it's probably going to happen in January (when O2 and Vodafone will release the handset, too).

Running BlackBerry 7 OS, the 9790 features a full QWERTY keyboard, 2.4 inch touchscreen display with 480 x 360 pixels, NFC, Wi-Fi, HSDPA, GPS, 5MP camera, 768MB of RAM, 1GHz single core processor, and 8GB of internal memory.

RIM tells Blackberry owners how to remove Carrier IQ's software

The whole situation with Carrier IQ has gotten carriers and handset manufacturers denying the software's existence left and right. RIM has also been denying that they install Carrier IQ's software on their phones but admitted that carriers could have installed the software after receiving phone shipments from RIM, but the good news is that RIM is now teaching Blackberry owners how to remove the software from their phones if they chose to.

Luckily for Blackberry owners, the process of removal of Carrier IQ's software on Blackberry devices appears rather straightforward, similar to that of removing your run of the mill third party applications. If you'd like a breakdown on Carrier IQ and what it actually does before removing it, head on down to MobileBurn, but if you've already made up your mind regardless what Carrier IQ's explanation is, you will be able to find removal instructions from RIM's website.

RIM delays Blackberry 10 devices until “latter part” of 2012

RIM seems to be betting the bank on their new Blackberry 10 platform and its accompanying selection of Blackberry 10 smartphones and tablets as a way of regaining some of their former glory. However it looks like it will only be the later part of 2012 when we can start seeing what RIM has up their sleeves.

According to company executives during RIM's earnings conference call on Thursday, it was revealed that the company's first Blackberry 10 smartphone will only be arriving in the "latter part" of 2012. The reason behind this delay is because RIM was looking to launch their Blackberry 10 series of smartphones and tablets with dual-core processors and 4G LTE connectivity.

However the chip that RIM planned to use will not be available until the middle of next year at the very earliest, hence the delay. This chip is apparently a "highly-integrated" chip with low power consumption that many have come to expect from Blackberry devices. What do you guys think? Is RIM taking a huge risk here by banking on how wonderful their Blackberry 10 devices will be that they're willing to cede market share to their competition for the first half of 2012?

So far we've only seen alleged leaked photos of RIM's Blackberry 10 devices, the Blackberry London and the Blackberry Milan. From a design standpoint they look pretty good, but as to how well they will handle and perform remains a mystery for now.

SIM free BlackBerry Bold 9790 to be out on January 9 in the UK

Already available in Canada and India, the BlackBerry Bold 9790 will be out in the UK soon, too. We've previously reported that the 9790 would be released by O2 UK sometime in January, and now we have a more exact release date for the new smartphone: January 9.

Retailer MobileFun says it will start selling the new Bold on that day. Unlike O2, MobileFun will offer the handset SIM free (it will cost you £399.95; that's about €472 or $624 - rather expensive I'd say).

The Bold 9790 runs BlackBerry OS 7, and features a 2.4 inch touchscreen display with 360 x 480 pixels, QWERTY keyboard, NFC, HSDPA, Wi-Fi, GPS, 3.5mm headset jack, 1GHz single-core processor, 768MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage space, and a 5MP rear camera.

BlackBerry OS 7.1 leaked

While everyone who still uses the BlackBerry platform are waiting for BlackBerry 10 (no longer called BBX as RIM does not have the right to use that moniker), here is some respite in between – a leaked copy of BlackBerry OS 7.1, where it does pave the way towards native mobile hotspot support. This particular 3G sharing feature that has been a staple on just about any and every Android-powered device does look as though it will finally see integration at the OS level.

The leaked BlackBerry OS 7.1 was caught running on the Torch 9810 platform, and there is also a good chance that this feature will be included in the BlackBerry 10 OS when that is finally released to the masses. Makes sense after all, doesn't it? Bear in mind that this installer is still an unofficial version that was put together, where it will update the ROM with features found in 7.1, so you might want to make a backup before proceeding (with extreme caution).

RIM loses BBX trademark battle, next OS is named BlackBerry 10

Die-hard fans of RIM's mobile efforts should put those BBX tattoo plans on hold, as the US Federal Court has blocked the company from using the BBX trademark, favoring the existing use by BASIS International for its software. As a result, the boys from Waterloo just announced at BlackBerry DevCon Asia that the new name for its next phone OS is BlackBerry 10 (and the Roman numeral for 10 is... ah, we see what you did there.) Let's hope RIM's plans for pulling its tablets and phones into a single unified platform are better executed than its naming process - next time, they should probably just leave it up to the machines.

RIM investigates BlackBerry PlayBook rooting

Yesterday we reported that the BlackBerry PlayBook was successfully rooted by a developer via the “dingleberry” method. Well, it looks like RIM is now aware of the situation and is looking into it. The company released a statement saying that it is now in contact with the “security researchers” behind the exploit. RIM is also aware of the developer's plans to release tools that will let anybody root their PlayBook, and has mentioned that if that happens, an investigation will take place.

For those of you who are worried that the securities of your BlackBerry phones will be compromised, fear not. RIM has announced that the exploit only affects the PlayBook and their smartphones are unaffected. This is certainly interesting as RIM's next operating system, BBX, will be a combination of QNX and BlackBerry OS, so I guess they want to be completely sure that such exploits won't be possible in the future.

In the meantime, the dingleberry website has been set up, though no tools for rooting the PlayBook have been put up yet. How many of you are keen on rooting your PlayBook?

Android, iOS usage shares dip in November as BlackBerry gains

Apple's iOS platform and Google's Android operating system both lost usage share in November as BlackBerry and Symbian showed gains. Analytics firm Net Applications on Thursday published its operating system market share data for the month of November, and momentum has shifted quite a bit compared to October. IOS slid more than seven points to drop to a 54% share in November, and Android shed two points to fall to 17%. Android also slipped out of the No.2 spot it claimed from Java ME in October as the feature phone platform jumped seven points to a 20% share last month. RIM's BlackBerry platform ticked up to 3% and Symbian usage gained a point and a half to hit 5%. Microsoft's Windows Phone platform didn't even register 1% on Net Applications's radar. A graph outlining November's smartphone and tablet platform market share by usage follows below.

BlackBerry Bold 9790 now available in Canada at Bell, Telus, Rogers, Koodo and Virgin

The BlackBerry Bold 9790 was announced a few weeks ago as a more affordable variant of the Bold 9900, RIM's current flagship in the ‘classic BlackBerry' form factor. The 9790 has a 2.44-inch 480×360 touchscreen, a 1 GHz processor, 5 MP camera, 8 GB of built-in storage space, microSD card support, NFC, and the usual connectivity options. It runs BlackBerry OS 7.

The BlackBerry Bold 9790 is now available in Canada from a large number of carriers – as you'd expect in RIM's native country.

Rogers offers it for $99.99 with a three-year contract, $349.99 on two-year, $399.99 on one-year and monthly, and $449.99 without a contract.

Bell will give you a BlackBerry Bold 9790 if you shell out $99.95 on three-year, $379.95 on two-year, $404.95 with a one-year agreement, and $429.95 without a contract.

Virgin Mobile offers the Bold 9790 on the SuperTab for $99.99, or $429.99 without a contract.

Telus is a bit more expensive asking for $129.99 with a three-year term, $379.99 on two-year, $429.99 on one-year, and $479.99 sans contract.

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