By Julia Anderson and Colin Steele, Editors
Apple sold more than 4 million iPhone 4S devices in the three days after its launch, the company reported. AT&T and Sprint also reported record sales on the first day their customers could purchase the iPhone 4S in stores.
More than 25 million devices are now running iOS 5, the latest iPhone, iPod touch and iPad operating system, Apple said. In addition, more than 20 million people have signed up for iCloud, Apple’s new cloud storage service. Both iOS 5 and iCloud debuted just last week.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich debuts
With Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Google is unifying its smartphone and tablet operating systems.
The current smartphone-specific OS is Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and the tablet OS is Android 3.0 Honeycomb. But Android 4.0 is designed to run on both kinds of devices, which should quiet some of the complaints about Android device fragmentation.
Ice Cream Sandwich features a new user interface, with separate home screen tabs for apps and widgets. There’s also improved management of notifications and application-level controls over data usage. And for business users, the OS offers new security and VPN APIs.
Google and Samsung showed off Android 4.0 at a media event in Hong Kong this week. The OS is expected to be available on devices next month.
RIM launches BBX, immediately sued
BBX, the next-generation operating system for BlackBerry smartphones and tablets, debuted at this week’s BlackBerry DevCon Americas conference.
BBX combines the traditional BlackBerry OS with QNX, an operating system Research in Motion (RIM) acquired last year. RIM was short on details about BBX, but the company did say the OS would make it easier to develop richer, more interactive “super apps” for BlackBerry devices.
Talk about potential BBX features was short-lived, however, because the day after the launch, a software company called BASIS filed legal action against RIM over the BBX name. It turns out BASIS has its own operating system called BBx, and RIM’s announcement caused “great confusion” for BASIS users, the company said.
The lukewarm reception to BBX, last week’s BlackBerry outage and the continued success of iOS and Android devices have at least one blogger wondering whether RIM should give up on BlackBerry entirely.
Motorola, Verizon unveil Droid RAZR
The new Droid RAZR will be the world’s thinnest LTE-capable smartphone, Motorola and Verizon Wireless said this week.
Despite its 7.1mm waist line, the latest in Motorola’s line of Android smartphones has a similar look to other Droid models. But it boasts a Kevlar fiber casing designed to “withstand the back-pocket test,” Motorola said.
The Droid RAZR runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and supports Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Motorola has also included support for its MotoCast application, which streams content between PCs and mobile devices. Business users will have access to corporate email, the ability to view and edit Word documents, and Citrix Receiver for remote application access.
Pre-orders for the Droid RAZR start Oct. 27, and it’s scheduled to be available in stores in November.