Mobile Roundup: RIM, Funding, iPhone 5, Samsung & More

RIM Lays Off 2,000 Employees — BlackBerry maker, Research in Motion has had its share of problems in recent time, and as a result it has laid off 2,000 of its employees. Additionally, RIM has expanded the executive roles of Thorsten Heins and Patrick Spence who will take on the jobs of COO of product and sales and managing director of global sales and regional marketing respectively.

Samsung to Potentially Become Top Smartphone Maker — According to Bloomberg, research firm Strategy Analytics believes that Samsung’s smartphone sales may surpass that of both Nokia and Apple. Strategy Analytics estimates that Samsung has sold between 18 and 21 million smartphones during the last quarter, while Nokia is recorded at 16.7 million and Apple at 20.3 million.

Unfortunately, as reported by TechCrunch, and according to Samsung’s “new information policy,” the exact number was not released in the company’s Q2 earnings report.

[Launch] Big Fish Games Launches Game on Kindle — Casual and mobile games developer Big Fish Games has launched one of its early iPad titles on the Amazon Kindle, Hidden Expedition: Amazon. The now black and white hidden object game currently costs $4.99.

[Launch] Streamzoo to Challenge Instagram — VentureBeat has highlighted an interesting new photography app looking to compete with Instagram, dubbed Streamzoo. Not only does the application allow users to organize, discover, and share photos and video, but it also allows them to add various special effects such as borders, filters, and so on.

[Launch] Skyfire Converts Flash to be Viewable on iOS — TechCrunch has come across an interesting new mobile app from Skyfire. With their newly released VideoQ application, users can browse the web and through and mail links of Flash videos to and upon launching VideoQ, it will be converted and ready for playback.

[Launch] Qualcomm Augmented Reality SDK For iOS — Already available for Android, Qualcomm’s augmented reality SDK is now available for iOSTechCrunch covers. The beta version now allows iOS developers to more easily implement visual-recognition systems into their applications.

[Launch] BBC Launches iPlayer Service in Western Europe — According to VentureBeat, BBC Worldwide is launching its iPlayer streaming media service in Western Europe this week for iPad. The service provides on demand streaming for BBC programs and is slated for Canadian, Australian, and U.S. releases later this year.

[Update] Zombie Farm Goes Social — The Playforge’s Zombie Farm has received a significant social update this week. The mobile farming simulation title, with zombies, has added in several social mechanics such as visiting friends, connecting to a social community, playing games of “Zombie Tag,” and sending gifts.

Angry Birds HD Receives Price Cut — Though the top paid iPad app was Sid Meier’s Pirates! for a short while, Rovio Mobile has reclaimed its top spot with Angry Birds HD. The sudden boost is due to the game’s first ever price cut, that has reduced it to $1.99.

All AT&T Android Phones to Get Gingerbread — Android phone owners received a bit of good news this week, as service provider AT&T has confirmed that all of its Android OS phones that were released in 2011 will be getting the Gingerbread upgrade, reports TechCrunch. This includes the HTC Inspire 4G, LG Phoenix, Motorola Atrix 4G, Pantech Crossover, Samsung Captivate, and the Samsung Infuse 4G.

Alibaba Launches Mobile OS — China-based Alibaba has launched a new mobile operating system dubbed “Alyun OS” to compete against Android and iOS in China, reports BBC News. According to Alibaba president Wang Jian, “the cloud OS, with its use of cloud-based applications,” will provide mobile users with “a more open and convenient mobile operation system.”