RIM Stories November 4, 2013

heins

While Google may have been among a lengthy list of rumored suitors for BlackBerry, it appears its latest attempt to sell the company has failed. In fact, the collapse of the deal with Fairfax has led to the ousting of CEO Thorstein Heins and the raising $1 billion in convertible debt. So, you win some you lose some, eh?

The “new” BlackBerry will be led by John S. Chen who will be appointed Executive Chair of BlackBerry’s Board of Directors and is now responsible for the strategic direction, strategic relationships and organizational goals for BlackBerry. We wish John the very, very best of luck in this difficult climate.

“Today’s announcement represents a significant vote of confidence in BlackBerry and its future by this group of preeminent, long-term investors,” said Barbara Stymiest, Chair of BlackBerry’s Board. “The BlackBerry Board conducted a thorough review of strategic alternatives and pursued the course of action that it concluded is in the best interests of BlackBerry and its constituents, including its shareholders. This financing provides an immediate cash injection on terms favorable to BlackBerry, enhancing our substantial cash position. Some of the most important customers in the world rely on BlackBerry and we are implementing the changes necessary to strengthen the company and ensure we remain a strong and innovative partner for their needs.”

It’s an unfortunate day for the folks in Waterloo and while there was an inkling of hope that Google might scoop up the company formerly known as RIM, it appears they are now back at square one in their attempts to knock Android and iOS off their pedestals.

via BlackBerry

RIM Stories May 14, 2013

BlackBerry-BBM-iOS

Although BlackBerry has been rumored to bring its BBM messaging platform to iOS and other devices before, today the company has made things official announcing at its event that support for both iOS and Android will be arriving in the coming months. The service, which BlackBerry says currently has about  60 million monthly active users, will come to devices running iOS 6 and Android 4.0 or above when it’s launched as a free app sometime this summer in the App Store and Google Play.

The company said that it would be bringing messaging and groups functionality to new platforms first but also has plans to introduce voice features, screen sharing, and its just announced “social engagement platform” dubbed ‘Channels’ in future releases. BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said the company is “committed to making the BBM experience on other platforms as fully featured” as possible: expand full story

RIM Stories May 3, 2013

Samsung KnoxEarlier this week we told you that the Defense Department was nearing a decision on approving the three major mobile platforms through new security approvals that would allow widespread use of devices by government agencies and the DoD networks. While the department is yet to grant approval to Apple’s iOS 6 for for nonclassified communications by military agencies, today the Wall Street Journal provides an update noting that both Samsung’s Knox security software and BlackBerry 10 have now received the approvals ahead of Apple:

RIM announced late Thursday that the Department of Defense approved smartphones and tablets running on BlackBerry 10, the company’s new operating system, for use throughout DOD networks…Samsung devices outfitted with Knox, the company’s new security software offering, also received Pentagon approval Thursday, according to a DOD spokesman. Apple’s approval is still expected in the “next few weeks,” according to the spokesman.

As of February, BlackBerry made up the majority of the 600,000 devices on the DoD’s networks. Currently the networks consist of around 470,000 BlackBerrys, 41,000 Apple products, and 8,700 Android devices, although that could quickly change thanks to the new security approvals allowing more government agencies to adopt Samsung and Apple devices.

RIM Stories October 29, 2012

In December, we heard reports that the Pentagon had officially certified an Android device and Android 2.2 for use on Defense Department networks. According to a report from The Washington Postciting a recent document posted by the Defense Department, the Pentagon is hiring contractors to securely manage a combination of at least 162,500 iOS and Android devices. The document also noted the project could expand up to 8 million mobile devices: expand full story

RIM Stories May 1, 2012

Update: Scalado won’t confirm publicly what partners use its technology, but we’ve managed to confirm with a source close to the situation that RIM is using Scalado’s Rewind technology in BlackBerry 10.

If you happened to catch the highlights from RIM’s unveiling of BlackBerry 10 this morning, you probably noticed that slick new camera app with the ability to “rewind” time and capture the perfect expression of each person in the image. If you thought it looked familiar, it was probably because it looks almost identical to the Rewind technology from Swedish mobile imaging company Scalado.

The company has been showing off its tech on Android and other platforms from partners such as Qualcomm and Intel for over a year. A video of Scalado’s Rewind tech is above, and BlackBerry 10’s is in the video above at the 8:30 mark or below at 1:15. Scalado appears to have already partnered with at least HTC for some of its other tech and works specifically with OEMs and developers to implement its apps.

It looks like RIM may have partnered with Scalado to implement its tech, which would mean BB 10’s coolest new feature is likely headed to Android and other platforms soon. We reached out to Scalado and will update if we hear back.

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RIM Stories April 9, 2012

Blackberry Playbook users have —for a long time— been able to sideload Android apps for those who have not been updated with native versions for RIM’s tablet. As noted in a recent report from CrackBerry, Vice President of Developer Relations at RIM Alec Saunders announced via Twitter that the feature is being removed and an alternative solution for developers is on the way. In an earlier tweet, he noted, “Privacy is a huge problem for Android devs, and we don’t want to duplicate the chaotic cesspool of Android market.” CrackBerry explained the reasoning behind the move:

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RIM Stories April 3, 2012

Following Nielsen’s latest survey that showed over 90 percent of United States smartphone buyers are choosing iOS or Android, research firm comScore today released its data of the top smartphone platforms and OEMs in the U.S. The survey included more than 30,000 people over a three-month period ending February 2012. It found Android was up 17 percentage points from a year ago with 50.1-percent of the U.S. smartphone market. In comparison, Apple’s 30.2-percent accounted for an increase of 5 percentage points from the same period a year ago.

According to comScore, Google passed the 50 percent milestone for the first time during February 2012. The numbers represent a 3.2-percentage point increase over previous three-month period for Google, and a 1.5-percentage point increase for Apple.

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RIM Stories March 29, 2012

With iOS gaining roughly 30 percent United States marketshare as of Q4 2011 at the expense of RIM, Nokia and Microsoft, new numbers from Nielsen’s latest study show just how much of a duopoly the U.S. market has become. While noting about 50 percent of mobile subscribers in the U.S. are now smartphone owners, Nielsen gave a breakdown of how the two leading platforms continue to dominate as of February 2012: expand full story

RIM Stories September 22, 2011

Apple’s embattled iPhone has had tough time competing against the legions of Android handsets that have flooded the market. That shouldn’t come as a surprise: Carriers are promoting inexpensive Android devices left and right and they are literally everywhere. But how satisfied Android and iPhone users are with their handsets? According to a study of 515 smartphone owners conducted by USB Research (via GigaOM), iPhone is “sticky” like no other phone, with an average retention rate of 89 percent.

It is falling rapidly for other vendors, though, and the next nearest hardware is HTC with a retention rate of 39 percent and 28 percent for Samsung. Android phones in general are at 55 percent. Nokia and Research in Motion are sinking really fast. The former saw its retention rate drop from 42 percent in March 2010 to just 24 percent and the latter dropped from 62 percent to 33 percent.

The survey may not be terribly accurate due to a small sample size, but it helps understand market trends. People are obviously happy with their iPhones and a large portion of users will happily stay within the Apple ecosystem. USB concludes:

Demand for iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro remains robust, with a leading ecosystem that creates sticky demand.

Truth be told, Android’s low stickiness could be due to its users being more comfortable changing handset manufacturers. Another interesting nugget that bodes well for Apple: Nearly one-third (31 percent) of polled Android users have plans to switch to an iOS device in the future. Also important, more than half the smartphone switchers are in the market for an iPhone while only one in ten iPhone users plan on defecting to other platforms.

Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com.

RIM Stories August 4, 2011

Today comScore posted their latest smartphone market share report showing Google’s Android as the top smartphone platform for the three-month reporting period ending in June 2011, up 5.4 percent from the previous March 2011 report.

78.5 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in June 2011, up 8 percent from the preceding three month period. Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform…

A close second to Android is, of course, Apple with 26.5 percent market share, up 1.1 percent, followed by RIM at 23.4% down 3.7 percentage points since March. ComSCore also posted the top mobile OEMs based on the same reporting period with Android manufacturers Samsung, LG, and Motorola topping the list, which also shows Android’s dominance in the current smartphone market. expand full story

RIM Stories July 21, 2011

Research firm Strategy Analytics discovers that shipments of Android-driven tablets are finally beginning to make a meaningful impact on the overall tablet market. Yes, Android slates are making their presence known, even though iPad is still king of the hill. According to the research firm’s survey, June quarter tablet shipments topped 15.1 million units, a material increase over the 3.5 million units from the year-ago period. Apple seized the #1 slot with 9.25 million iPads the company reported for the June quarter, representing a 61.3 percent share of the tablet market overall.

At the same time, Android tablets have gone from 2.9 percent market share in June 2010 to 30.1 percent in June 2011, a surprising 27.2 percentage points increase based on sales of 4.55 million units. In the year-ago quarter Apple enjoyed a 94 percent share, so iPad’s 33 percentage points drop is substantial no matter how you look at it. GSM Arena observes that “in terms of market share, the iOS lead in the past quarter is nearly three times smaller than it was in the same period of last year”.

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RIM Stories July 20, 2011

Brain drain at Research In Motion continues with the news that the PlayBook senior product manager Ryan Bidan left for greener pastures at Samsung. Bidan is third high-ranked RIM executives to defect for Samsung following the departures of the company’s vice president of digital marketing and media Brian Wallace last month. CrackBerry reports that Bidan is now Director of Product Marketing at Samsung Telecommunications America and Bidan’s LinkedIn profile confirms this. Prior to joining RIM in October 2008, Bidan was Product Manager at Microsoft’s Games division and Operations Manager at WorldWithoutWire. Two weeks ago Samsung’s chief product and technology officer Omar Khan resigned and went on to work for Citigroup, but it’s unclear whether Bidan will fill his shoes.

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