Verizon drops Google and others, users aren’t happy

In move that is part of a five-year search and advertising deal between Microsoft and Verizon in January of this year, the carrier unilaterally updated user Storm 2 Blackberries and other smartphones so that now, only Microsoft Bing is available.

“We’re a proud supporter of Microsoft’s Bing search engine,” a company spokesman tells The Register. “On a couple of select smartphones (Storm 2 the most prominent), we’ve changed the [Verizon Wireless]-supplied web menu to make Bing the default search engine.”

Before, by the default, the search box could be set to search Google, Wikipedia, and other sites. Now, users will have to visit these sites via the browser to have access.

Users aren’t happy though. In a thread about the Verizon’s recent change at the CrackBerry, posts have now reached 36 pages long, and it doesn’t contain a lot of happy messages either. Other Verizon forums contain similar complaints too.

“Yesterday, all of the search providers that used to be available through the browser disappeared and bing is the only option. I hate bing. I no longer am able to search using Google,, or Wikipedia from the ‘Go to…’ page on my browser. This is a very poor decision…to take choice away from their users,” the first post says.


Apple’s iPhone comes in second place

Source: TechTree

In a survey conducted by research firm comScore, Apple’s iPhone is now in second place when it comes to having the largest user base in the U.S. smartphone market.

Research In Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry still takes the top spot while Windows Mobile-based models came in the third place.

According to Mark Donovan, a comScore senior analyst, Apple’s iPhone are being used by almost 9 million Americans as their primary phone. RIM’s Blackberry have almost 6 million greater user base with 15 million Americans saying RIM is their primary handset maker. Microsoft’s Windows Mobile are being used by an estimated 7.1 million people in the U.S.

“The surveys aren’t a measurement of sales velocity in the last quarter, but of the installed base using the phone as their primary,” said Donovan, acknowledging that the iPhone has been outselling Windows Mobile phones for some time.

“But there has been a large installed base of Windows Mobile phones out there, which accounts for its strength until recently.”

According to comScore’s result however, more and more people are leaning toward purchasing iPhones (20%) and Google Android-based phones (17%  – 8% of that said they’re buying Verizon’s Droid) in the next 90 days.

“There’s some serious momentum behind Android,” Donovan said. “The iPhone and Android have set the bar at a new high for smartphones.”



eBay comes to BlackBerry

BlackBerry owners need not go to eBay’s website to find great deals now that an app for the famous auction Web site is available.

Co-developed by eBay and RIM, the app is available for U.S. and Canada auctioneers. It allows users to search, watch, bid and buy items in eBay and even allows payments via PayPal.

In addition to letting users search and purchase stuff, the app also provides real-time home screen notifications to users of their bidding status such as when they’ve won or lost a bid.

Lastly, the app allows users to schedule auction-related reminders and email notifications for auction end dates in the native BlackBerry calendar, making it easier for users to remember when to bid or sit-out on an auction. J

System requirements for the eBay app include activation with data plan, Internet service browsing capabilities, BlackBerry smartphone with at least 64-MB of built in memory (with at least 100KB available) and BlackBerry® Device Software v4.5 or higher.

The app is available at the BlackBerry App World and can be downloaded for free.


BlackBerry Desktop now on Mac OS

Rejoice Mac users!

Research In Motion (RIM), the makers of BlackBerry, has announced last yesterday that a version of its smartphones’ desktop software will be available for Apple computers on September.

Users can now sync their iTunes playlists, calendars, contracts, notes, and tasks from their Mac. Adding applications on your BlackBerry is also allowed and multiple handsets can now be managed on their computers.

There’s a catch though. RIM said that only Mac OS X versions 10.5.5 and up will be supported, so those Mac users who haven’t updated Leopard or those running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger likely won’t be able to run the software.

Aw, the unfairness of life. 😉


Child stumps BlackBerry creators

“Are you going to make a phone more for kids so that my Mom will let me get one?”

These were the innocent words coming from a child in the audience at the annual general shareholders’ meeting at Canada’s Research in Motion in Toronto yesterday.

The creators of BlackBerry, the world’s No.2 smartphone maker whose target market are mostly executives, wasn’t able to answer the question immediately.

According to a report from Reuters, the child’s question was “met with hums and haws by RIM Co-Chief Executives Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis before they summoned up a vague response.”

“There’s lots of opportunity and, you know, if the current BlackBerries aren’t acceptable to your mother, hopefully the next ones will,” Lazaridis said.

The shareholder meeting revealed RIM’s plans about a campaign to win over more people to use their devices. The campaign includes sponsoring in the U2 360 Tour, one of the world’s most popular rock bands.