Is the BlackBerry Era Ending?

RIM reports drop in earnings.

June 17, 2011 — -- In today's TechBytes:

RIM Earnings Down

Is it the end of an era?

For years, BlackBerry was synonymous with smartphones for business.

But Research in Motion, which makes the BlackBerry, has reported another drop in earnings. It has been having trouble competing with the iPhone and Android phones.

Facebook Research

A new Pew Research Center study finds that users are much more social and trusting than the average American.

The typical Facebook user has 229 friends.

Google Chromebook

Unlike typical laptops, the new Google Chromebook stores all of your information online, which means super-fast startup times.

But as USA Today's Ed Baig points out, there are some major drawbacks to being so dependent on the Internet.

"Since everything is up in the cloud, you need Internet access whether it's Wi-Fi or, in some instances, 3G cellular," he said. "If you don't have access to the Internet, the machine becomes crippled."

Chromebook prices are averaging up to $500.