Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

First 3G BlackBerry Announced 89

An anonymous reader writes "The Register is featuring an article on Research In Motion's first 3G BlackBerry, due shortly for release in the UK via Vodafone. The big news is that it contains an integrated 3G data modem - meaning UK addicts will be able to connect from the device and their laptop (via USB/BlueTooth) at 3G broadband speeds. No EDGE so the US will have to carry on waiting, but for those in the UK and Europe, short of integrated GPS, is the BlackBerry 8707v finally the first example of mobile device convergence everyone has been waiting for?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

First 3G BlackBerry Announced

Comments Filter:
  • Convergence Device (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cstec ( 521534 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @02:41PM (#14994263)
    "is the BlackBerry 8707v finally the first example of mobile device convergence everyone has been waiting for?"

    No, that would be the Treo. And we stopped waiting a while ago.

    • Actually, that would be the PPC-6700. Even though it is a Mobile Windows phone, it is great. EDGE is crap anyway compared to EV-DO.
      • I just picked mine up a few days ago, and have to admit, this is as close as I've seen to what would be perfect. At least in a device that doesn't hover a few feet around your head.

        Speaking of that, I have a few unlocked Blackberry 7100's available now going on ebay soon.
  • Thank-you poster for including cache links!

  • by maan ( 21073 ) * on Saturday March 25, 2006 @02:43PM (#14994273)
    I've never tried a Blackberry myself, but I've heard from someone that Email is the only thing it does right. Is that the general consensus? I'm using my Treo 650 for my (very) occasional mobile email needs, and SnapperMail is working great for me. And as a Palm, I find it a great PDA.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      You pretty much heard correctly, with some conditions.

      First, plain text email is the only aspect of email that the Blackberry does right. If it's HTML formatted you might get the text, plus any graphics that you would be able to view with a competent mail client come through as attachments. With RTF formatted email you'll get the text, but loose all the formatting. If you intend to do anything meaningful with attachments then forget it unless you install third party software. The built-in attachment vie
      • Don't get me started on how well these things perform as phones. With the exception on the 7100 series, Blackberries are generally awful as phones. The form factor is all wrong, the UI is all wrong, it's just plain wrong. Put your voice plan on a decent wireless phone, and put the data plan on the Blackberry if you must have one. Of course if you're going to go this route, and don't need live access to your email, then forget the Blackberry, get a Bluetooth phone, a Bluetooth PocketPC or Palm, and access th
    • Actually the 8700 is the best PDA/Phone I have ever used. Blackberry does email phenomenally well. And the phone on the 8700 is finally a very good phone with great sound quality.

      Because of the large user base, Blackberry has learned how to make the Blackberry VERY intuitive... try doing something intuitive on a Windows mobile unit and you'll see what I am talking about. It will be at least a year before Microsoft catches up to Blackberry as far as ease of use.
    • by Wolfier ( 94144 ) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @01:17AM (#14996509)
      Here's a test for you:

      Get a Blackberry, and get a PocketPC or a Palm. From 4 feet in the air, drop/throw them all on concrete.

      I found that the Blackberries are built to withstand a much greater deal of abuse/collision/drop than all other PDAs.

      That, combined with a great browser and emails that arrive the second (sometimes before!!) it reaches your mailbox, is a great combo for me.
    • That would be my observation too. I see people with blackberrys all the time on the train to and from work. I have never seen someone with a blackberry who does not also carry a separate mobile phone. I have never seen anybody use the blackberry for anything other than reading mail.
  • by timmyf2371 ( 586051 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @02:45PM (#14994280)
    I don't see this as the first example of mobile device convergence everyone's been waiting for; the first obvious feature missing is the ubiquitous mobile camera.

    From looking at the market and hardware available, there's no one device which does anything and everything the "ultimate mobile device" would do. What I do see, is a few devices which merge some features, but miss out others.

    For example, this new Blackberry device gives instant email, phone service, and 3G data access, but it's big and bulky and doesn't feature a mobile camera. The Nokia N-Series provides smartphone capability using Series 60, multimedia features, and high spec cameras, but it's small and only has a standard mobile phone keyboard.

    The above examples are the way I see the mobile device market going; there will be many devices which offer convergence in many different ways. But, I don't see it possible to create a "one device fits all" type handset, purely because there are so many different market sections and types of people who use them.

    • I think that a camera is probably the worst candidate for convergence. I suppose by convergence people usually refer to convergence of communication/personal organization features. A mobile device that achieves that will be very succesfull.

      As far as camera's go, in my opinion, they are completely pointless on any device whose primary purpose is not to be a digital camera. Cellphone/PDA cameras are bulky and of low quality. Which makes them kind of pointless. Furthermore, it is safe to say that cellphone cam
      • I totall understand what you're saying and to some extent I do agree with you. For example, on my summer holidays I wouldn't dream of travelling anywhere without a good digital camera. Same if I was going for a weekend away somewhere.

        On the other hand, there are certain situations where people won't necessarily have digital cameras or where it may not be appropriate to be carrying a digital camera. Examples of this would be nights out, shopping (where you can simply video call someone else and quickly show

        • Don't start with a PDA and add a camera, start with a good camera and "converge in" the PDA things you might want.

          I have no idea, anyone make anything like that? Niche market but it might sell.
          • by Anonymous Coward
            You're missing the point with the lack of cameras on the Blackberry. I'm a senior blackberry admin for a fortune 100 company. Every time one of these new PDA convergence things come out the company that makes them sends us a load of them to test out. So far they've all fallen to the venerable blackberry. The point of the blackberry isn't to be all things for all people, it's to provide damn good corporate PIM and email and do it quickly. The Treo service is a POS that won't amount to very much unless the
            • I wasn't commenting on the blackberry, just on the topic of convergence in general as a subthread side issue. I have heard that reply about "crappy cameras in phones" many times before, just thought that as long as they make good cameras and people tote them now and they are much larger than modern phones, that it might be easier to incorporate a decent phone/wireless function into a high end camera than vice versa. A niche product.

              I'm sure blackberries are just fine products. I don't need one, but I am not
    • Blackberries are largely corporate devices. Many corporations don't even allow cameras on premises, especially cellphone ones. The opportunities for IP theft are too great that way.
  • Convergence? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by futuresheep ( 531366 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @02:45PM (#14994282) Journal
    Nope. For that it needs to support my 1GB mini-sd card so I can carry around MP3's for my commute like my Cingular 2125 does. It's not the most featureful music player since it's really a phone, but it works and keeps me from lugging around multiple devices. You'd think that with the wheel on the side the Blackberry would be perfectly suited for this task and do it as well as it does email. Oh well. They're decent phones, fantastic for email, and suck at most anything else.
  • It's a killer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by romit_icarus ( 613431 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @03:03PM (#14994348) Journal
    By positioning the 3g phone as a high speed modem, blackberry is doing something very significant: it is saying that the best thing about 3g is not that you can watch movies or do video calling on a phone screen , it's the sheer access to bandwidth wherever and whenever you want.:)
    • but unless the customer is an idiot they will realise there are better 3G devices out there that can ALSO be used as modems.... oh wait, my point was invalid after the first seven words....
    • i've been able to use my phone as a modem for years now. my old nokia 3650 did this quite well at 19000 baud and i used it on a number of occasions with a palm organiser with a larger screen than the phone. however the price of data is a big issue and now my n70 with its superduper 3g connection has the exact same problem. i've seen references to data plans in the states that are unrestricted but here in ireland theres no such thing. data is visciously expensive so this great feature will never take off
  • Who needs 3 gigabytes of local e-mail storage in a handheld device?

  • by jht ( 5006 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @03:13PM (#14994385) Homepage Journal
    Depends on what you call convergence. I call convergence a handheld that's reasonably small, handles data and voice, gives me real-time access to my e-mail, and serves as an effective adjunct to my laptop. And I call that a GSM Treo 650 - which I've owned for the better part of a year. With the addition of a quality IMAP-based e-mail client [] instead of Versamail, the Treo gets messages as they arrive, can do real background processing, and give me easy access and editing of all my accumulated information. If I wanted to, I could use the built-in camera to take pictures, and capture lo-res video to my SD card.

    To me, that's convergence. The only thing it lacks is support for the higher-speed cellular broadband standards (and enough internal RAM), but the Treo 700w (Windows Mobile-based) works with the CDMA EV/DO service from Verizon, and the forthcoming 700p (PalmOS) is expected to work with Sprint's EV/DO network. GSM EDGE versions of both are slated to arrive pretty soon as well.

    And the Blackberry that's covered here? That's the tip of the iceberg. The CTIA Wireless show [] is in Vegas less than two weeks from now. And there's sure to be quite a few relevant announcements there. I'm holding my breath for a ExpressCard-based EV/DO card, though - My MacBook Pro is on order and I'd rather use a card than tether a phone (I use a PC5220 card from Verizon right now with my existing PowerBook).

    The ultimate definition? Convergence is a state of mind. And when your device does all the things you need, it matches that.
    • The Treo can't do real background processing. It's OS is horribly broken/unstable and enabling background tasks like Verichat (for instance) is a death sentence. Versamail is garbage of course. Push email is overrated as very few users really need that feature. The rest of us can poll for new mail every few minutes or do it manually. Oh yeah, the Treo camera sucks.

      Why bother talking about products that don't exist like the Treo 700p or future imaginary Treo's that have EDGE support? They don't exist a
      • Why bother talking about products that don't exist like the Treo 700p or future imaginary Treo's that have EDGE support?
        Read the Treo650 spec sheet sometime. Class 10 EDGE. That and my Treo650's data connections are too fast to be GPRS anyway.
      • A couple of minor return nitpicks here for you - first of all, with Matrix SSL (an optional add-on to Chatter) I actually have very stable and efficient background processing of my email connection. The only real limitation is that you can't do data and voice at the same instant (not many devices seem able to do that). Also, the 700p is a very real product, with a scheduled Sprint launch in just under 2 months and all sorts of verification and detailed real specs available pre-intro. Yes, I'm speculating
        • I don't know about addons to alternative email programs for PalmOS. I've tried Chatter and don't like it because it's ugly. I'm not a heavy email user and I like the way Versamail works. Just wish it weren't buggy. Background processing proitsvided by PalmOS itself is poor.

          Sprint is planning to launch their version of the 700. What software that's included isn't announced. There is other speculation on future Treos for GSM and I'd prefer the ones without the antenna to a version of the 700.

          Treos are th
  • I don't get it. At first, I thought it was something like a telephone jack on the phone, but that would be pretty slow. Then I thought it was access to the internet, and it clearly says over USB/Bluetooth, and upon reading the article, it's not very clear. So, uh, what's the big deal? Haven't we had phones that connect via USB (and beter yet - Bluetooth) to give a PDA/laptop/whatever internet access? As we move into 3G, doesn't it follow that we can access it the same way? Is this just 'big news' beca
  • I think it depends on what you mean by "first". I don't think that the Nokia E61 [] is actually in the shops yet either, but it was due for release in February and looks like a far nicer device, with the same bluetooth modem/3G concept, plus WLAN, various synching and push email options and a nice screen. Oh, and Nokia just bought Intellisync, so you can assume that Intellisync is going to provide their superior experience on these E series phones sooner rather than later.
  • You mean the integrated MP3 player, camera, video playback, SD expansion and touch sensitive screen etc? I guess not. Those are all the things missing from RIM that are offerced by competitors on even entry level Microsoft PDAs. Face it. RIM only does one thing well: email. Period. They totally suck as PDAs and are the worst cellphones I have ever seen or used. Until they get the price down on a cheap and reliable text message service plan for $20, most people will be reluctant to drop $600 on a RIM and pa
    • ...and portable browsing can be done by other, better devices anyway. RIM does one thing and that's true push email. How many users really need that? My T-mobile device has SMS-triggered email downloading which is almost the same thing except that it polls my IMAP account every few minutes. I turned it off so i wouldn't get email delivered autmatically. I really don't see the need for most people and I found it annoying.
  • Oh yeah? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Realistic_Dragon ( 655151 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @03:33PM (#14994437) Homepage
    <i>The big news is that it contains an integrated 3G data modem - meaning UK addicts will be able to connect from the device and their laptop (via USB/BlueTooth) at 3G broadband speeds</i>
    And the only thing faster than the connection will be the speed at which the bill rises.
  • by FishandChips ( 695645 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @03:45PM (#14994474) Journal
    Where I live (not USA), the thing that is holding back new devices is the insane connectivity costs imposted by the mobile companies. 3g and the trimmings is out unless it is on business expenses. Using an "ordinary" old mobile is expensive enough. Naturally if you impose a greed-crazed charging structure like this, as if megabytes were as rare and precious as diamonds, there will appear to be no demand for all-in-one devices, phones with mp3 players, etc. Someone, somewhere will suss this eventually and if they make a fortune by breaking up the cosy club and bringing all-in-one to the mass market they will thoroughly deserve it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    EVDO is a 3G standard.
    An EVDO Blackberry has been out since late 2005.
    Therefore, this is not the first 3G Blackberry.

    Unless they want to make the distinction that the voice traffic is being handled by a 3G-type connection as well?
    • Thank you for saying this. I'm playing around with a 7130e right now, and I would consider an average of 640 kilobits/second to be pretty damn good. EVDO (EVolution, Data Only) is definitely 3G. EVDV is the next step, but as far as a device primarily used for data goes, having 3G voice does not much matter to me.

      Not to split hairs here, but as far as I can tell, the "word" 3G is about as real as "AJAX" or "broadband" when it actually comes down to meaning something. Mainly it is an idea, not an actual

  • I need a PDA, Cell phone, and 802.11 VOIP phone w/ bluetooth. I need the ability to read my email and ssh back into my home computer. I need the ability to open webpages and read the news. When I get something that does those things, then I'll pony up the big bucks for it. Until then I'll stick w/ my sanyo 7300.
  • by nmec ( 810091 )
    and the worker bee's, they did rejoice.
  • Could someone please explain why this is news? Is the UK behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to communication? 3G phones/handhelds is nothing new, everybody (here, Sweden) has been using that for at least two years or so - and it's hard to find new phones/handhelds still using that other system, whatever-it-was-called.
  • With Microsoft and other third-parties offering push email Blackberry need to diversify.

    They need to get back to what the internet is all about, what increased 3G bandwidth is all about, hell, what am I talking about? High definition porn direct to your hand... ( just where you need it )

    And the name of this new product, the RIM BlueBerry .

    • Depite the obvious joke implications here, "BlueBerry" is in fact already used as slang for any BlackBerry device that supports Bluetooth.

      An example of this is in these lyrics to Encore by Jay-Z:
      "I'm in, Boeing jets, Global Express
      Out the country but the blueberry still connect"

    • The thing is that, for the most part, RIM got the push email right with the BlackBerry. It's so simple and easy that I have to give them respect. Sure, the interface is bland, and it takes some learning, but once you learn it, you realize it is very efficient and well designed. Sure, a touch screen is nice sometimes, but eliminating that cuts out the difficulty of trying to accurately tap on tiny buttons while in various environments. Each device has a suitable purpose. A BlackBerry is pretty much the
  • One thing that the RegHardware article [] neglects to mention (that is, however, covered in the Airtime Manager article [] it links to) is that "3G" in this cases is UMTS (W-CDMA).

    I suppose because the 8707v (Vodafone) is being released in Britain that's implied already. But "3G" isn't a single technology, and in fact the BlackBerry 7130e - which has been commercially available in Canada, the US, and Australia for a while - uses the CDMA2000 standard (with 1xEV-DO technology), which is also considered 3G.

    So t

  • Like StarTrek's communicator presaged the flip phone, this [] , "Global Link", from the TV show "Earth Final Conflict" (terrible show yes) would really be an example of what we are after in a mobile device. The technology needed to make it happen is a high resolution OLED flexible display [], so you can roll up the screen tightly. But nearly everything else is very doable with today's technology. Also, with better voice recognition with dictation it would make the interface much more appealing by limiting the
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The concept of convergence depends wholly on your personal needs, and based upon the posts so far, seem to have a lot to do with the BlackBerry vs the devices running Windows Mobile and Symbian that tend to have a lot more add-ons that people add into their personal definition of convergence.

    RIM have built up a critical mass of customers because lots of companies and organisations really don't want devices with removable media or integrated cameras because it would break every security rule they have. T
  • With OS 4.02 or higher, the 7250 supports EVDO. You just have to make sure before you load the newer OS that you contact your provider and make sure your account is set up to allow EVDO otherwise you'll get "Data Connection Refused" when trying to transmit data. Check out to get more info.
  • As someone who routinely scitters his cell phone across the concrete floor at the firestation, I didn't want to spend several hundred bucks on a fragile one.

    I got a Motorola e815 -- it is first and foremost great at being A PHONE. Reception and clarity being the key. It does bluetooth and is easily hacked to remove the verizon crippleware. It does EVDO and can act as a broadband modem. It has a pop3 client, calendar, text message, camera, and MP3 player. It has a 512 meg transflash card I can pop into
  • ... salesweenies and marketroids are.

    And they like the BlackBerry. (Hell, it's a lot more convenient than trying to boot up a laptop and pay the Marriott ten freaking bucks for internet access, and a thousand times more convenient that unlugging your desktop-replacement laptop.)

    Why do they like it? It. Just. Works. It gets email from point A to point B, fast. It's fully integrated with either Exchange/Outlook and Notes, which covers, what... 90% of the Fortune 500 companies? The people who use Black
  • Verizon Blackberry devices in the US already have 3G-speed EVDO (1.5M downstream) network access and tethered modem capabilities, with much better coverage than EDGE in the US. ( 488 [])
  • is the BlackBerry 8707v finally the first example of mobile device convergence everyone has been waiting for?

    So I was driving out in the middle of nowhere today and noticed a new e-mail in my gmail inbox. I stopped to see what it was, a friend alerting me to a slashdot story about a brand new blackberry. Ok, I'll bite. I opened up my web browser and checked it out, and laughed to myself as I began typing a reply to my deluded friend. I was interrupted by his IM, and explained to him that the future has a

Trap full -- please empty.