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Also: PlayBook slated for BlackBerry 10; HTC serves up Ice Cream Sandwich; more iPhone 5 rumors; Nokia plans a unique tablet

OS Watch: Verizon Reps Balk at Blackberry 7

Sarah Reedy
LR Mobile News Analysis
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor
3/16/2012
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One analyst finds that 10 percent to 20 percent of BlackBerry 's BlackBerry 7 smartphones brick right out of the box as we break down this week's mobile operating system news.

  • BlackBerrys get bricked and booted: RIM promised many improvements with BlackBerry OS 7, but one analyst claims that smartphones based on it are experiencing "abnormally high levels of warranty returns" at Verizon Wireless . Sales reps tell MKM Partners Managing Director Michael Genovese that they advise customers to avoid the devices and that well over 10 percent -- possibly as high as 20 percent -- of new and refurbished BB7 models brick right out of the box. (See Bad Business for RIM and RIM Revamps the BlackBerry.)

    Genovese added in a research that he'd been told by several sales associates at non-Verizon stores that those buying Blackberrys today are overwhelmingly already BlackBerry users, and "very few new smartphone buyers choose RIMM."

  • PlayBook to get BlackBerry 10: RIM says that 50 percent of PlayBook users have already upgraded to the 2.0 software, but that's not the last update the beleaguered tablet will receive. When the QNX-based BlackBerry 10 is ready, RIM will update the Playbook to it, an exec confirmed to TechRadar. The only problem is, there's no deadline on when that will happen, and the wait on BlackBerry 10 is putting more strain on the already troubled company. (See RIM Hopes New OS Will Rewrite the PlayBook .)

  • HTC updates 16 Android phones: High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) is serving Ice Cream Sandwich to 16 of its smartphones, helping move along the Android OS update and probably making a few Motorola Mobility LLC Droid owners wonder when they'll get a sandwich too. In announcing the update, HTC noted it'll have to work with the wireless operators to nail down an exact rollout schedule.

  • iPhone 5 rumor round-up: What better way to celebrate iPad day than with the latest and juiciest in iPhone 5 rumors. The International Business Times has posted a list of "what we know" (know, really?) about Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s next iPhone, claiming it will have Long Term Evolution (LTE), a quad-core processor and iOS 6 baked in with Siri, Apple's voice-activated personal assistant. The site is suggesting a June ... or September ... or October launch.

  • Nokia plots a new tablet UI: Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has promised a unique device when its tablet debuts. Its design chief has confirmed that said tablet will be on its way this year. But how will it stand out from the hundreds of iPad competitors on the market? He's not saying, but it's likely the tablet will be based on Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s Windows 8 OS, and could feature a "significant breakthrough" in user interface design that would reduce the amount of screen tapping required for app discovery and browsing. (See Euronews: Nokia Working on 'Stand Out' Tablet.)

    — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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