By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 0 Comments
TORONTO – For the BlackBerry loyalists who hoped the beleaguered company could redeem itself with another top-notch keyboard-based smartphone, there’s good news: the Q10 doesn’t disappoint.
It won’t necessarily impress the early-adopter consumers who obsess over the specs of cutting-edge mobile devices, but those who wistfully recall the glory days of the BlackBerry and reluctantly moved on to other mobile platforms will likely be very happy with the Q10.
BlackBerry announced Tuesday that the Q10 will be available starting May 1 on Rogers Wireless, Bell Mobility and Telus for $199 with a three-year contract.
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11:43 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Shares of BlackBerry gained 5.5 per cent on Wednesday after the smartphone…
TORONTO – Shares of BlackBerry gained 5.5 per cent on Wednesday after the smartphone company secured the second major supply contract this week for its new BlackBerry Z10 devices.
The Waterloo, Ont.-based firm (TSX:BB) said that a mental health organization based in the United Kingdom has ordered 1,800 of the touchscreen phones. Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust will receive shipments of the phones throughout the year. Continue…
By The Canadian Press - Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 11:15 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – In an usual marketing twist, the maker of the BlackBerry bought a…
TORONTO – In an usual marketing twist, the maker of the BlackBerry bought a 30 second advertisement on the Super Bowl broadcast to promote what the new smartphone can’t do.
The fantastical commercial showed a man walking out of a store playing with the features of his new BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen device.
The first time he swipes the phone’s screen his sweater catches fire, while the second time his lower body turns into elephant legs.
When he swipes the phone again he bursts into colourful powder before another swipe turns a crashing tanker truck into hundreds of rubber duckies. Continue…
By Tamsin McMahon - Friday, February 1, 2013 at 1:13 PM - 0 Comments
RIMBlackBerry has launched its new smartphone, the BlackBerry 10, this week to largely positive reviews, the Internet is rife with lists promising consumers “Everything You Need to Know” about the new device.
Rather than add another review to the mix, we’ve put together our own top five list of “Top Five” lists about the new BlackBerry 10:
1. CNN offers its take on the five coolest features about the new BlackBerry 10.
2. Not one to get too caught up in the hype of the phone’s release, the Toronto Star offers five ways in which RIM screwed up in the past.
3. Android OS fan site Androidauthority.com found five things about the new BlackBerry 10 that should leave Android users quaking in their boots
4. Gizmodo offers five videos of stupid things people did to win a free BlackBerry 10 from fan site Crackberry.com (Hint: they involved bikinis, tattoos and paper cranes.)
5. Following on its hugely successful Nov. 27 post entitled “20 Things You Didn’t Know About Baby Carrots,” The Huffington Post honoured the BB10 launch with its top things you didn’t know about blackberries. (The fruit, not the company/phone.)
Apparently, blackberries are also known as thimbleberries and lawers. Also, if your blackberry plant turns orange, it’s dying of an incurable fungus and should go in the garbage. (No word on whether the same advice applies to BlackBerry 10.)
By David Friend - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 2:59 PM - 0 Comments
Research In Motion changes its name to BlackBerry
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Canada’s smartphone pioneer will have a new BlackBerry in Canadian stores next Tuesday, the start of a new chapter for a rebranded company that’s seen its once dominant position trounced by the competition.
The BlackBerry Z10, a touchscreen model, will be the first to hit the shelves while the BlackBerry Q10, which will have a physical keyboard, will follow in April — a move that was signalled last year by the company.
Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) made the announcement Wednesday at a splashy unveiling in New York City, where it also let it be known the company will now go by the name BlackBerry.
The new BlackBerry models are widely seen as a make-or-break product for the company — the BlackBerry 10 devices were originally due for release last year.
By Peter Nowak - Monday, January 28, 2013 at 10:35 AM - 0 Comments
Does anybody else have the feeling that this week’s launch of BlackBerry 10 doesn’t really matter? It’s not for anything that Research In Motion is or isn’t doing with its long-awaited and overdue handsets, but rather because mobile devices are on their way to becoming commoditized.
With smartphones, it’s Google that’s driving the trend. As with virtually every area of its business, the company isn’t so interested in selling things to consumers as it is in getting them online and using its services, with the money coming from the ads it serves them that way. That’s why Google is selling the Nexus 4 in North America for $300 without a contract, while in the developing world it’s moving smartphones for just $50. It’s also why Android has more than three quarters of the world’s market share for smartphones. If Google knew the first thing about actually selling stuff to consumers, the constantly sold-out Nexus 4 would be an even bigger deal than it is.
Neither the Nexus 4 nor those African phones are as high-powered as most of the “hero” devices being sold in advanced markets, but for many users, they’re good enough. With Google plying this very different agenda, smartphone prices have only one way to go: down.
That’s good for consumers, as it will ultimately change the way phones are sold here in North America. Cheap handsets mean consumers won’t need to sign on for subsidized contracts with carriers. And with no contracts to lock them in, carriers may actually be forced to give consumers better service and prices.
But it’s bad for phone makers. The healthy profit margins enjoyed so far by the likes of Samsung. and especially Apple. are coming under pressure, which is why there’s been so much chatter lately about the possibility of a cheaper iPhone.
Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook has tried to deflect such talk by saying he isn’t interested in “revenue for revenue’s sake,” yet the company’s previous actions speak volumes. Apple did launch the cheaper iPad Mini last year in response to pressure from Google and Amazon, who together set the new price agenda on that category with their own smaller and less expensive devices, the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, respectively.
Phones and tablets are inevitably following computers into commoditization. Apple may still charge a premium for its products, but it will ultimately have to settle for a relatively small market share as a result, just as it has in computers. There is also a limit to that premium – with the likes of Google and Amazon setting the pace, the respective days of $700 smartphones and $500 tablets are numbered.
Which brings us back to BlackBerry. With shrinking margins on the horizon, why would anyone want to be in the smartphone or tablet market? Monolithic conglomerates such as Google, Samsung and Apple can afford it because such devices are but pieces of their much larger wholes. They can take a bath on phones and tablets since they pay off in other ways, including keeping people within their larger ecosystems.
For smaller, single-purpose players such as RIM or Nokia, which don’t really have anything else to offer consumers, that low-margin future isn’t very appealing.
It’s no surprise, then, that RIM may be looking to pull an IBM, where it would sell off its hardware business to focus instead on software and services. It’s ironic that the same company involved in IBM’s computer spinoff nearly a decade ago – China’s Lenovo – is the latest potential dance partner to be attached to this idea. And it’s not just speculation; RIM CEO Thorsten Heins says he is considering doing exactly that.
The smartest thing currently going on at RIM is the development of BlackBerry Fusion, the toolkit that lets businesses manage all the different phones being brought in by employees. This bring-your-own-device niche is one which RIM’s current competitors are unlikely to enter – and it’s potentially a high-margin business, at that.
Put these trends together with Heins’ oddly-timed comments about a potential hardware sale, and it’s tough to get excited about this week’s BlackBerry 10 launch. It may just be a lot of sound and fury that ultimately won’t matter much, since RIM’s real interests – and future – lay elsewhere.
By macleans.ca - Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 7:50 AM - 0 Comments
Nokia files a lawsuit and Yahoo moves away from RIM
With its much-anticipated new smartphones still weeks from release, Research In Motion found itself under attack yet again last week. Rival Nokia filed a lawsuit against the BlackBerry maker after a Swedish arbitration panel ruled RIM was in breach of a key wireless patent. At the same time, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was widely quoted dissing RIM’s phones: “We literally are moving the company from BlackBerrys to smartphones,” said Mayer in an interview with Fortune.
Yet despite the bad press, things are suddenly looking up for the Waterloo, Ont.-based firm. Goldman Sachs recently raised its rating on RIM from “neutral” to “buy.” Market confidence has been quietly rising. National Bank and Jefferies have also boosted their outlooks. Over the past two months, RIM shares have risen 75 per cent, to over $11.
Investors don’t expect RIM to shoot back to the top of the mobile industry when BlackBerry 10 arrives. But it has fallen so far in recent years that even a modest turnaround seems a safe bet that could yield results. “We now assess a 30 per cent chance of success for BB10 given positive early reviews, broad-based carrier support, attractive features and interest by carriers and consumers in broadening the field beyond Android/iOS,” said Goldman Sachs in its report.
By Chris Sorensen - Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:15 AM - 0 Comments
Research In Motion is still near death, but has one last shot at redemption
It’s just before 10 a.m. and Andrew MacLeod, the Canadian managing director for Research In Motion Ltd., is sitting in a diner in downtown Toronto. For the first time in recent memory, he has some “good” news to talk about. A day earlier, the beleaguered BlackBerry-maker reported a quarterly loss of $235 million—less than many had feared. It also added about two million new subscribers, mostly in developing countries. RIM’s battered shares, which have traded as low as $6.22 in recent weeks, shot up 13 per cent.
While none of that means RIM is back from the brink—far from it, in fact—it does suggest the Waterloo, Ont.-based company may still be around in early 2013 to launch its long-overdue BlackBerry 10 smartphone, which seemed far from certain just a few weeks earlier. “We’re entering lab testing with our carrier partners next month,” says MacLeod. “Then we’ll be gearing up for a series of really big commercial platform launches. It’s a really exciting time for us.”
BlackBerry fans, a dwindling crowd, seem cautiously optimistic. Developers at a recent conference reacted positively to demo phones running BlackBerry 10, despite first being treated to a bizarre music video featuring Alec Saunders, RIM’s head of developer relations, singing a nerdy, BlackBerry-themed version of REO Speedwagon’s Keep on Loving You. Unlike Apple’s iPhone, or devices running Google’s Android software, BlackBerry 10 allows users to slide back-and-forth between applications (without the need for a “home” button) and check their inboxes by swiping away the screen they’re viewing. “It fundamentally changes the paradigm of how a smartphone should be used,” says independent tech analyst Carmi Levy. “The problem for RIM isn’t developing unique technology. It’s convincing people to at least give it a try.”
By Gustavo Vieira - Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM - 0 Comments
After offering a sneak peak of the BlackBerry 10 at the annual BlackBerry World…
After offering a sneak peak of the BlackBerry 10 at the annual BlackBerry World gathering in Orlando, Fla., Research In Motion said Wednesday the company is not going to stop offering physical keyboards in future BlackBerry models.
On Tuesday, RIM’s CEO Thorsten Heins unveiled a prototype of the BlackBerry 10, which included a touchscreen keyboard. Speaking to reporters at the conference on Wednesday, Heins said a new BlackBerry line will include both touchscreens and keypads.
Asked if RIM would drop BlackBerry’s physical keyboards, a feature many of the device’s users claim is its biggest advantage over the flashier iPhone and the Android-based smartphones feautring touchscreen keyboards, Heins said the keyboard is not being totally eliminated.
From the Canadian Press (via CBC):
“We won’t lose the focus on physical keypads. It would be wrong — just plain wrong to do this,” Heins said.
The CEO was left scurrying to clear the air on Wednesday after he spent much of Tuesday touting an early version of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system that appeared to rely solely on touchscreen technology.
Judging by the initial reception his showcase seemed to wow the crowd of mostly developers and carriers, but by the time the event was over, RIM’s stock was down a hefty 5.8 per cent Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The company’s stock dropped a further 5.1 per cent on Wednesday, closing down 68 cents to $12.63.
Some reports suggested that Heins’ presentation was a sign RIM would completely ditch the physical keys that helped build its name and are favoured by many of its users.
The confusion obviously wasn’t ideal for the Waterloo-based company which is trying to rebuild its reputation after a series of technical blunders and management changes, which include hunting for a new chief marketing officer to navigate the campaign for its upcoming devices, due late this year.
By Chris Sorensen - Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 1:56 PM - 0 Comments
But it’s not enough to win over the skeptics
With Research In Motion Ltd.’s future looking increasingly dire, CEO Thorsten Heins stepped on a stage in Orlando, Fla., today and began the long and difficult process of trying to rebuild consumers’ faith in the beleaguered BlackBerry smartphone platform. It was Heins’ first keynote presentation at the annual BlackBerry World gathering and he used it to offer a sneak peak of the BlackBerry 10 software that will run RIM’s next generation of devices, which, after several delays, are set to be launched later this year.
Heins, who took over from co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis in January amid a management shake-up, used a prototype phone to demonstrate a few nifty features of RIM’s new BlackBerry software. He reiterated that RIM’s focus is on making the BlackBerry a bulletproof communications tool—an attempt to differentiate RIM from industry leaders Apple and Google.
That includes a new virtual keyboard that can learn a users’ typing habits and prevent typos on the fly by adjusting the position of certain keys. There’s also a feature that spells out words over individual keys as they’re being typed, giving users the option of flicking them onto the screen with their fingers. Heins also showed off improvements to the BlackBerry’s multimedia functions, including a feature that allows users to “rewind” photographs so they can capture the moment they were intending to (i.e. before somebody blinked).
It wasn’t nearly enough to win over skeptics. “The parts of BlackBerry 10 demoed are slick,” wrote Jonathan Geller on the popular tech blog Boy Genius Report. “What we saw wasn’t truly innovative, though. It wasn’t compelling enough, and it’s unfortunately too late to try and gain enough traction and support for a third mobile ecosystem.”
With some analysts predicting that RIM’s global market share could slip below five per cent (it now stands at 8.8 per cent, compared to 24 per cent for Apple and 51 per cent for Android, according to Gartner Research), many observers share Geller’s belief that the only way for RIM to recover is if BlackBerry 10 is a runaway success story.
But coming up with another smartphone breakthrough, like the one Apple achieved in 2007 with the original iPhone, is no longer a realistic goal for RIM in such a competitive market. The best RIM can hope for is hanging on to its 77 million subscribers, and maybe pick up a few new ones.
The key will be getting the small things right, an area where RIM has struggled and Apple has excelled. That includes making a virtual keyboard that actually works, a user interface that’s intuitive and software that adds—not detracts—from the overall BlackBerry experience.
It’s going to be an uphill battle. But if the early looks at BlackBerry 10 are any indication, RIM appears to finally have gotten the message. With RIM’s shares down more than 70 per cent over the past year to $13.72, investors can only hope it didn’t arrive too late.