Year End Deals on iPods, iPads, iPhones, Smartphones

Didn’t get the cool new phone or iDevice for Christmas that you were hoping for?  Are you sitting on a pile of cash or gift cards?  Don’t worry!  There are still deals to be had on new and refurbished hardware between now and the end of the year.

Apple (Refurbished Hardware)

  • iPod Classic (Silver or Black) – $209
  • iPod touch 32GB (third generation) – $229
  • iPod touch 64GB (third generation) – $299
  • iPad Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G – $50-100 off refurbished units

AT&T Wireless (Refurbished Hardware)

  • Apple iPhone 4 16GB – $99, $36 activation fee
  • Apple iPhone 4 32GB – $199, $36 activation fee
  • Apple iPhone 3GS 8/16/32GB – $29/$49/79, $36 activation fee
  • BlackBerry Torch – $9.99, activation fee waived
  • HP Palm Pre Plus – $0.00, activation fee waived
  • HTC Aria – $0.01, activation fee waived

Keep reading for Verizon Wireless and Sprint phones.

Sprint

  • BlackBerry Bold 9650 – $150 off online order
  • BlackBerry Curve 3G – $200 off online order
  • HP Palm Pixi – Free when ordered online
  • HTC Evo 4G – $150 off online order

Verizon Wireless

  • HTC Droid Incredible – $149.99, BOGO
  • BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 – $49.99, BOGO
  • BlackBerry Bold 9650 – $99.99, BOGO
  • HP Palm Pixi Plus – $0.00

Depending on the phone model and service plan, a $36 activation fee may apply.

AT&T Slashes Price of RIM BlackBerry Torch, PlayBook Priced Below iPad

Oh, really?  What’s going on with RIMM and AT&T?  This morning Barron’s Tech Trader Daily blog noted that AT&T has cut the price of the new BlackBerry Torch to $99.99 down from $199.99.  A 2-year service agreement is required.  The BlackBerry Torch was introduced back on August 3.

The Torch, you will recall, looks like a second cousin for HP’s Palm Pre smartphone that was released back in mid-2009.  Those interested in the Torch, and yes, it is available in red, should head over to the AT&T Wireless website.

Research in Motion Co-CEO Jim Balsillie also has been reported as saying that the Berry-themed tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook will go on sale at Target and Best Buy retail locations and that the device, when it does become available in early 2011, will sell for less than $500.  The cheapest non-3G, Wi-Fi only Apple iPad starts at $499.

The price cut on the Torch, while unexpected by me, isn’t too surprising.  Interest in the new slider BlackBerry hasn’t exactly lit the fire that RIM was hoping for.  As for pricing the PlayBook below the Wi-Fi Apple iPad’s $499 price tag, well, I think that anyone releasing a table in the next 12 months is looking for something, anything, that might resonate with consumers and get them to purchase their product verses and iPad.

[Via Tech Trader Daily…]

Getting To Know BlackBerry Messenger

Hey BlackBerry addicts!  Are you using BBM?  Don’t know what BBM is?  It’s BlackBerry Messenger an instant messaging app specifically for BlackBerry users!

So what can you do with BlackBerry Messenger?  It allows you to send IM messages to other BlackBerry users in your contacts list.  Some of the features include being able to send messages without character limits; receive real-time notification when a message is delivered and read; send pictures and videos to multiple BBM users; and share what music you are listening to on your BB.

Hit the Read more link to see a video of BBM in action.

Ready to get started?  Head over to the BlackBerry website to install the software on your phone.

Before you can get started with BlackBerry Messenger, your BlackBerry must be running BlackBerry OS 4.5 or later.  That means that most BlackBerry Curve and later devices will be supported, however, you may need to update your phone’s operating system before you can install.

If you really want to learn the ins and outs of BBM, you can download the manual from the BlackBerry support website.

Facebook Updated for iOS, BlackBerry OS

Along side the Facebook website upgrade, the iPhone and BlackBerry mobile Facebook applications have also been upgraded to versions 3.2 and 1.8.0.49, respectively.

Use the App Store and BlackBerry App World to install or upgrade your software now.

If you don’t want to use Facebook Places, or you want to keep your friends from checking you into Places, be sure to update your Facebook privacy settings.

UPDATE:

The iOS edition of Facebook has been updated again.  This time to version 3.2.1.  This latest updates includes “bug fixes” and limited the Places feature to iDevices here in the United States for the time being.

BlackBerry Desktop Manager 6 Rolls Out

I was greeted this morning to an upgrade notice on my Windows 7 PC that an update was available for BlackBerry Desktop to version 6.0.  The software was released earlier this week and the download comes in at just under 100MB.

According to the BlackBerry Desktop 6 release notes, the new software has the following new features:

  • An improved, simpler design for the software
  • Added BlackBerry® Media Sync features to import and synchronize your media files (music, pictures, and videos) from one location
  • Option to synchronize your music by artist and genre
  • Support for the BlackBerry® Torch™ 9800 and the BlackBerry® Curve™ 9300 Smartphones
  • Wi-Fi music sync for devices running BlackBerry OS 6.0 when the PC and BlackBerry are on the same wireless network

The update also includes some minor software updates.  Enterprise users will want to check with their IT administrations before installing the latest desktop software because “some features that will not be available which may affect some users.”  These features include Certificate Synchronization and Encrypted media card transfer support.  For more details, take a look at BlackBerry KB article 23745.

The full BlackBerry Desktop Software 6.0.0 release notes can be found on the BlackBerry support website.

RIM Introduces the New BlackBerry Torch 9800

Dallas and Waterloo, ON – Joining forces to offer the first smartphone to feature the highly anticipated BlackBerry® 6 exclusively on the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T and Research In Motion (RIM) today introduced the new BlackBerry® Torch™ 9800 smartphone. Adept for socially connected consumers and packed with the tools business customers love, the new handset is the world’s first smartphone to combine a BlackBerry® keyboard with a full touch screen experience. Whether users choose to type out messages on the capacitive touch screen or easy-to-use BlackBerry keyboard, browse the Internet using pinch to zoom or fluidly navigate with the optical trackpad, the BlackBerry Torch allows them to communicate any way they want. 

“We were the first to launch the BlackBerry solution in 1999 and have a rich history of innovation and collaboration with Research In Motion,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “The two companies that brought the first BlackBerry smartphones to market have teamed up again with the new BlackBerry Torch, creating a true generational shift in hardware and operating system for this enormously popular service.”

“This is one of the most significant launches in RIM’s history and we are proud to introduce the new BlackBerry Torch and BlackBerry 6 together with AT&T,” said Mike Lazaridis, president and co-ceo, Research In Motion. “With a new user interface, new browser and new handset design, the highly anticipated BlackBerry Torch and BlackBerry 6 deliver integrated and uncompromising capabilities for consumers and business professionals that preserve the industry-leading strengths of the BlackBerry platform while adding exciting new dimensions.”

BlackBerry 6
The BlackBerry Torch is the first BlackBerry smartphone to launch with BlackBerry 6, a new operating system that retains the familiar and trusted features that distinguish the BlackBerry brand while delivering a fresh, approachable and engaging experience that’s powerful and easy to use.

BlackBerry 6 features a redesigned interface that seamlessly works with the touch screen and trackpad, includes expanded messaging capabilities with intuitive features to simplify the management of social networking and RSS feeds (Social Feeds), and provides integrated access to the BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™), Facebook®, Twitter™, MySpace™ and various instant messaging applications available on the BlackBerry Torch smartphone. Its enhanced multimedia experience rivals the best in the industry and includes a dedicated YouTube app and Podcasts app.

BlackBerry 6 also integrates a new and rich WebKit-based browser on BlackBerry Torch that renders HTML web pages (as well as HTML email) quickly and beautifully for a great browsing experience. It features tabs for accessing multiple sites simultaneously, pinch to zoom for easy navigation and an auto-wrap text zoom feature that can intelligently wrap text in a column while maintaining the placement of a page’s key elements (simply double-tap on the BlackBerry Torch).

Universal search, always accessible from the Home Screen, allows users to search through email, messages, contacts, music, videos and more on the smartphone, as well as extend search to the Internet or to discover applications on BlackBerry App World™.

BlackBerry Torch Smartphone Features

  • Elegant styling, measuring approx. 4.4″ (5.8″ open) x 2.4″ x .57″ and weighing 5.68 ounces
  • 3.2″ 360×480 capacitive touch screen display
  • 35 key full QWERTY backlit slide-out keyboard, designed to feel optimally balanced when opened for typing
  • Optical trackpad that makes navigation fast and smooth
  • Powerful 624 Mhz processor with 512 MB Flash memory
  • 4 GB built-in memory storage plus a microSD/SDHD memory card slot that supports up to 32 GB cards; a 4 GB card is included giving users 8 GB of storage out-of-the-box
  • 5 MP camera with flash, continuous auto focus, image stabilization, scene modes, geo-tagging and zoom, as well as video recording at up to 640×480 resolution
  • Built-in GPS for location-based applications and geo-tagging
  • Wi-Fi® (802.11 b/g/n); qualifying smartphone customers can enjoy seamless connectivity to over 20,000 AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots at no additional cost
  • 3.5mm stereo headset jack
  • Premium phone features, including voice activated dialing, speakerphone and Bluetooth® (2.1) with support for hands-free headsets, stereo headsets, car kits (including systems that support the Bluetooth Message Access Profile standard) and other Bluetooth accessories
  • New BlackBerry® Desktop Software 6 with integrated media sync for easily syncing music, photos and videos
  • Tri-band HSDPA (3G) and quad-band EDGE support for the option of voice service in more than 220 countries, data service in more than 195 countries and 3G connectivity in more than 125 countries, including Japan and South Korea
  • Removable, rechargeable 1300 mAhr battery that provides approximately 5.8 hours of talk time on 3G networks or 30 hours of audio playback or 6 hours of video playback

Pricing and Availability
The BlackBerry Torch 9800 smartphone will be available only for AT&T customers on August 12 in AT&T company owned retail stores and online at www.att.com/blackberrytorch, as well as Best Buy, Wal-Mart and RadioShack stores.

The BlackBerry Torch 9800 will be available for $199.99 with 2-year service agreement on a qualifying rate plan and smartphone data plan required.  New smartphone customers may choose from two AT&T monthly data plan options, $15 for 200 MB of wireless data or $25 for 2 GB.  Enterprise and small business customers should contact their account representative for pricing details.

You can read today’s full BlackBerry Torch 9800 press release on the RIM website.