Mobile

Big changes at BlackBerry continue: On Monday, the company announced that COO Kristen Tear and CMO Frank Boulben are leaving. BlackBerry recently replaced its CEO with John Chen following in the footsteps of Thorsten Heins, making for a full executive sweep of late. After watching its handset market share erode and failing to sell the company, Chen has his work cut out for him. There are no quick-fixes likely available, although the company is sure to continue pushing its services, even as large organizations consider alternatives: Earlier this month it was reported the Pentagon is distancing itself from using BlackBerry.

Nokia’s $499 Lumia 2520 tablet is priced $50 higher than Microsoft’s own Surface 2, mainly because it comes with an integrated LTE radio. Neither come with a keyboard at that price, but for a limited time, Nokia is providing a free Power Keyboard with its tablet. The normally priced $149 keyboard cover has a battery inside, which adds five hours of run-time to the tablet. The offer ends on December 2, and you’ll have to send this form in by January 31 to receive the Power Keyboard in the mail.

Apple on Friday introduced a SIM-free, unlocked iPhone 5s to its U.S. online store. Of course, this has also been available since day one, in the form of an unlocked phone that ships with a T-Mobile SIM card — simply pop the T-Mobile SIM out and pop another one in. This latest version ships with no SIM at all, allowing you to insert one for your GSM-compatible operator of choice. The phone starts at $649 for a 16GB model, which is the same price as the T-Mobile version. And you might want to buy that T-Mobile version anyway – the SIM-free phone shows an estimated 1-2 week wait to ship, while the T-Mobile model takes just 3-5 days.

Earlier this week the Korea Herald quoted an unnamed ARM executive as saying 128-bit processors could make their way into mobile devices within a couple of years. On Friday the British chip design house, whose designs power the vast majority of mobile devices today, said the report was simply “not true”.

In a blog post the firm said, “64-bit processors are capable of supporting the needs of the computing industry now and for many years to come” and “there are absolutely no plans underway for 128 bit ARM-based chips because they simply aren’t needed.” Quite so — the mobile industry is only just starting to move to 64-bit architecture, which is arguably overkill for a smartphone’s current requirements.

Users who purchased a Moto X developer edition handset and requested a bootloader unlock code will retroactively get their phone’s warranty restored. Motorola explained the policy reversal on Thursday, saying “Customers who purchase Developer Edition devices want the flexibility to take this even further and tinker with the operating system. This may include creating and flashing a custom build of Android or porting one from an enthusiast community.” The change is a solid step forward towards embracing Android’s openness and the ability to customize it the way individuals would like to, without voiding the warranty on their phone. Well done, I say!

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