We Thought It’d Never Happen: BB10 Has Beta Partners, Preps Jan. 2013 Launch

In today’s mobile news roundup: Over 120 companies already testing BB10; Samsung’s not-so-selfless act; Instagram faces backlash over new ToS; Nokia to release Windows RT tablet by February 2013; and Apple improves Maps with Foursquare.

Over 120 companies already testing BB10

We were starting to think it’d never happen, but Research in Motion announced that over 120 companies are already testing the BlackBerry 10 platform, which will officially make its debut in January 2013.  Though RIM did not drop the names of the users, they hinted that 64 of them are Fortune 500 companies.

“RIM will be visiting some of our enterprise and government ‘early adopters’ and getting them started with the BlackBerry 10 platform,” said Robin Bienfait, CIO of RIM, in a statement. “At RIM, we’ve seen the power of our new enterprise mobility management solution first-hand, and we are thrilled to share BlackBerry 10 directly with these leading organizations.”

If RIM is hush-hush on who their early adopters are, their UK partners are not to timid about sharing their plans as EE, O2 and Vodafone all announced that they’ll be carrying BlackBerry 10 devices come January 2013.

Samsung’s not so selfless act

Samsung surprised the world on Tuesday when they announced that they would withdraw their injunction requests against Apple based on standard essential patents pending in European courts to protect consumers.  What many thought was that Samsung would make like HTC and enter into a licensing agreement with Apple, though the company somewhat touched on that subject, they did not actually state that they will be dropping their complaints against Apple – they just dropped their injunction request.

“Samsung remains committed to licensing our technologies on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, and we strongly believe it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court,” the firm said in a statement. “In this spirit, Samsung has decided to withdraw our injunction requests against Apple on the basis of our standard essential patents pending in European courts, in the interest of protecting consumer choice.”

Instagram’s new ToS faced with users uproar

Instagram recently revised their Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.  For Instagram users who didn’t read the new ToS and PP, part of it read that the company will allow Facebook and its other subsidiaries to have access to Instagram users content and it would be used to “experiment with innovative advertising.”  This was interpreted as people’s photos could end up in ads and the users would have no say in it because they agreed to the new terms.

Some of the users who read the new terms opted to delete their accounts, such as singer Pink, and urged other users to read the new terms.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom stated that that wasn’t what they meant by the new terms, and admitted that they’ve used a confusing language so they’re working on revising the terms so people better understand what they really mean.

”Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation,” Systrom wrote. ”This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. It is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.”

For more analysis on Instagram’s user backlash, check out the video below.  Senior Editor Kristen Nicole discusses Instagram’s tactics with Kristin Feledy on this morning’s NewsDesk program.

Nokia to release Windows RT tablet by February 2013

Finnish company Nokia is said to be in talks with Qulacomm and Compal as they ready a 10-inch Windows RT tablet slated for release February 2013.  Nokia is said to be teaming with Qualcomm to use the Snapdragon S4 processor in their rumored tablet, which is expected to have some of the great features from their Lumia line of smartphones.

Nokia hasn’t confirmed the rumors, but stated that they “continue to eye the tablet space with interest, but we have not announced any specific plans.”  The question now is, would their entrance in the tablet space make any difference for their struggling business, or would they be too late for salvation?

Apple improves Maps with Foursquare

Apple is said to be looking into integrating Foursquare data to their Maps app to deliver information about local businesses and services to their users.  The Cupertino giant is said to be pondering on incorporating the location-specific tips Foursquare users leave on various joints to their map apps to give users a better feel of what a certain place offers.

Foursquare pioneered the service wherein people can check-in to places and rate them – rant or rave about the food, service or staff or whatever that place offers to give other people the heads up or what to expect when they go there.  Now, Foursquare is competing with other services such as Facebook Places, which may have the upper hand given the fact that there are a lot of Facebook users in the world.