By David Friend, The Canadian Press - Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 0 Comments
ORLANDO, Fla. – BlackBerry executives delivered a lengthy list of new announcements this week…
ORLANDO, Fla. – BlackBerry executives delivered a lengthy list of new announcements this week at the smartphone maker’s annual conference, but the buzz has already shifted to what the company may be still hiding up its sleeve, including the possibility of a small tablet device.
The rumours piqued the interest of developers and technology industry insiders at BlackBerry Live, a three-day conference in Orlando that wrapped up on Thursday. In some circles, it nearly overshadowed the company’s launch of a new lower-priced phone and the unlocking of BlackBerry Messenger to non-BlackBerry devices.
Whether or not a smaller tablet — or a phablet — is really on deck for the BlackBerry this year is debatable, but rumours travel fast and run rampant at events like this one.
BlackBerry Live takes place at a hotel complex isolated from most of Orlando’s surroundings, the perfect ecosystem for any information to zip between friends and colleagues.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 2:47 PM - 0 Comments
ORLANDO, Fla. – BlackBerry said Tuesday it will expand its popular BlackBerry Messenger service to Android and iOS devices this year and announced a new smartphone aimed at emerging markets.
BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins said the time was right for BBM, a key feature of BlackBerry smartphones, to be available on its rival devices.
“It’s a statement of confidence,” he told the audience in Orlando, Fla.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 10:42 AM - 0 Comments
ORLANDO, Fla. – BlackBerry’s third new smartphone this year will be another model with…
ORLANDO, Fla. – BlackBerry’s third new smartphone this year will be another model with a physical keyboard that the company expects will come out this summer.
Chief executive Thorsten Heins told the company’s technology conference in Florida on Tuesday that the new device is aimed at emerging markets where the company continues to hold on to a significant market share.
“I think you’re really going to like it, it is sleek, slim, high-performance device,” Heins said.
The BlackBerry Q5 will be available in several colours including red, black, white and pink.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 6:59 AM - 0 Comments
ORLANDO, Fla. – Several questions about the future direction of BlackBerry will be answered…
ORLANDO, Fla. – Several questions about the future direction of BlackBerry will be answered this morning as the head of the company takes the stage at its annual conference in Orlando, Fla.
Chief executive Thorsten Heins is expected to deliver a speech that will give investors and tech industry players an idea of where Blackberry is headed for the rest of the year.
That could include unveiling details about a lower priced smartphone for some international markets.
Such an announcement would move the company closer towards what Heins has envisioned since he stepped into the leadership role nearly a year and a half ago.
By David Friend, The Canadian Press - Monday, May 6, 2013 at 3:43 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Another BlackBerry (TSX:BB) analyst added his voice to caution about sales numbers…
TORONTO – Another BlackBerry (TSX:BB) analyst added his voice to caution about sales numbers for the new smartphone devices, and pulled back his sales expectations.
Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley said Monday that sales of the phones on the BlackBerry 10 operating system are “mixed.”
The Z10 touchscreen device sales trends are weakening, he said citing the research firm’s global survey, while the Q10 keyboard has seen “strong initial demand” since its release less than a week ago in Canada and a few days earlier in the U.K.
“Given the weaker Z10 sales levels combined with more limited initial supply of the Q10 than our expectations, we are lowering our BB10 sell-in estimates for the May quarter from 3.3 million to 2.8 million units,” Walkley wrote.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 1:03 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Canadian BlackBerry users who were hoping to get their hands on the…
TORONTO – Canadian BlackBerry users who were hoping to get their hands on the latest version of the keyboard smartphone may have to wait a couple more days, if they live outside of Toronto.
The company (TSX:BB) says the release of the BlackBerry Q10 will begin first in the Greater Toronto Area on Wednesday, before it expands to the rest of Canada later in the week.
Chief operating officer Kristian Tear told The Canadian Press that demand in the country’s biggest city has been “very strong” and the company wants to ensure that it has enough phones to supply the market.
The keyboard version of the smartphone is expected to be popular with business users, especially with the bankers and traders on Bay Street.
The Q10 phone arrived in the U.K. over the weekend under an exclusive launch at department store Selfridges.
Tear says the U.K. sales exceeded the company’s expectations, though sales figures haven’t been released.
By Emily Senger - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 10:22 AM - 0 Comments
‘Tablets themselves are not a good business model,’ Thorsten Heins says
Anyone who was hoping for a next-gen version of the BlackBerry PlayBook — which is probably no one — likely won’t get it, after BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins questioned the future of tablet computing.
In an interview with Bloomberg on Monday Heins gave tablet computers a five-year time limit:
“In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,” Heins said during an interview at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles. “Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”
His comments come after the company’s PlayBook was considered a flop after it was introduced in 2011. Critics took aim at the PlayBook’s lack of apps, including a lack of built-in email capabilities. The company was forced to write down inventory in 2012 after the tablets failed to sell as anticipated.
The BlackBerryQ10, which is the company’s latest smartphone offering with a built-in keyboard, has garnered positive reviews and it appears, so far, that it may be the comeback phone the company needs.
While Heins’ comments about the future of tablets could be viewed as risky, they seemed to pay off for the company. Blackberry shares rallied Monday, hitting a month high and closing at $15.61 per share in New York.
UPDATE: After Heins’ comments from the Bloomberg interview gained attention, BlackBerry released a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying that his statement about tablets was in line with previous comments about mobile computing. “We continue to evaluate our tablet strategy, but we are not making any shifts in that strategy in the short term,” the company said in a statement. “When we do have information about our PlayBook strategy, we will share it.”
By David Friend, The Canadian Press - Monday, April 29, 2013 at 6:14 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Several months ago the smartphone industry was preparing for an all-out brawl…
TORONTO – Several months ago the smartphone industry was preparing for an all-out brawl over technology and innovation, but a knockout device hasn’t hit the market yet and some say that could give BlackBerry an opportunity.
The Waterloo, Ont.-based company could have been pulverized earlier this year by competitors after it unveiled its two new smartphones, which were considered more catchup than game-changer.
But a mix of fortunate timing and a lacklustre slate of new phones from other developers has given the company a bit of a boost in its quest to return to the game, likely as the No. 3 smartphone player.
By Rosemary Westwood - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM - 0 Comments
BlackBerry executives are basking in the glow of rosy reviews this morning, with tech blogs and mainstream media hailing the new BlackBerry Q10 as the comeback device the company—and its devoted followers—have been longing for.
Praise is flowing from both sides of the Atlantic. The Wall Street Journal calls the Q10 “the BlackBerry of BlackBerry users’ dreams.” It’s “the best phone with a keyboard on the market,” claims the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper. BlackBerry’s A-type, suit-wearing, hardcore fans “are going to love this phone,” Wired reports.
The Q10 is BlackBerry’s second offering on its new BlackBerry 10 operating system, after the release of the Z10 earlier this year. But reviewers seem to unanimously praise it above the keyboard-less Z10. TechCrunch’s Darrell Etherington called the return of the keyboard “refreshing.”
“This is a business phone, and an unabashed one,” he writes.
The upgrade to the new BlackBerry 10 operating system is “fun and responsive,” the WSJ notes. And many reviewers liked BlackBerry Hub—an app that compiles texts and emails to a single place.
In the age of apps, however, BlackBerry flounders. Offering 100,000 apps—BlackBerry’s approximate catalog—is useless if the ones you really want are missing, Wired notes. “Instagram, GroupMe, Vine, Flixster, and other apps that have thrived on iOS and Android are still missing.”
But the Q10 targets clients more concerned about being productive than playing games. Etherington notes he actually got more work done on the Q10 then he would on a competitor smartphone, including composing an actual paragraph. That’s maybe the best news of all for BlackBerry, which has staked its new name (it was formerly Research in Motion Inc.) on its reputation as the businesses world’s top choice.
Despite accounting for just five per cent of market share in the U.S., and falling behind Apple iPhone sales in Canada last year, BlackBerry proved in March that it can still make money, posting a profit for the end of 2012 and better-than-expected sales of phones using the new operating system. And it plans to sell the Q10 for more than the iPhone 5—$249 on a two-year contract in the U.S., and $199 on a three-year contract in Canada (it rolls out May 1 in Canada, and at the end of May in the U.S.).
Considering that some analysts say business clients can bring the company $7 to $10 in fees per person per month, compared to $1 to $4 for regular consumers, clinging to the keyboard—and staking claim to the corporate market—isn’t a bad plan. And if the public likes the Q10 as much as reviewers, 2013 could be a turn-around year for BlackBerry.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 2:52 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – BlackBerry says the keypad version of its new smartphone will arrive in…
TORONTO – BlackBerry says the keypad version of its new smartphone will arrive in Canadian stores on May 1.
The BlackBerry Q10 will first be stocked by carriers Rogers (TSX:RCI.B), Bell Mobility (TSX:BCE) and Telus (TSX:T).
The new model, which sports both a keypad and a touchscreen, has been highly anticipated by some longtime BlackBerry fans.
When the Waterloo, Ont.,-based smartphone maker revealed its new phones in January, several analysts were critical of BlackBerry’s decision to stagger the release of the touchscreen and keypad versions.
A date for a U.S. release for the Q10 hasn’t been announced, though it’s expected sometime in May or June.
By David Friend - Friday, April 12, 2013 at 6:05 PM - 0 Comments
BlackBerry is fighting back against what it says is a “false and misleading” analyst…
BlackBerry is fighting back against what it says is a “false and misleading” analyst report that claims the company’s new touchscreen smartphones are being returned in unusually high numbers.
The smartphone maker is asking securities regulators in Canada and the United States to investigate comments made by Boston-based investment firm Detwiler Fenton which it says harm both its reputation and its shareholders.
At issue is a report published by Detwiler Fenton on Thursday which claims that a very high level of BlackBerry Z10s — the first of a new generation of BlackBerry smartphones — were being returned to stores by customers.
“We believe key retail partners have seen a significant increase in Z10 returns to the point where, in several cases, returns are now exceeding sales, a phenomenon we have never seen before,” the investment firm said.
By The Canadian Press - Friday, April 12, 2013 at 12:36 PM - 0 Comments
BlackBerry (TSX:BB) wants regulatory authorities to investigate what it says is a “false and…
BlackBerry (TSX:BB) wants regulatory authorities to investigate what it says is a “false and misleading” analyst report that claims the company’s new touchscreen smartphones are being returned in unusually high numbers.
BlackBerry claims the company and its shareholders have been harmed and called for an immediate investigation by the Ontario Securities Commission and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
At issue is a report that was published by Boston-based investment firm Detwiler Fenton on Thursday which claimed a very high level of BlackBerry Z10s were being returned by customers to stores. In several cases, the returns exceeded sales, claimed analyst Jeff Johnson.
After the report was published, the volatile shares of BlackBerry took a negative turn, falling more than seven per cent on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday. The company’s stock was up 18 cents to $14 late Friday morning on the TSX.
By The Canadian Press - Friday, March 29, 2013 at 12:31 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – BlackBerry delivered a US$98-million profit in its fourth quarter, surprising analysts who…
TORONTO – BlackBerry delivered a US$98-million profit in its fourth quarter, surprising analysts who had expected the smartphone maker to report a loss as it launched its new high-end touchscreen smartphone.
The Waterloo, Ont.-based company, which spent much of the quarter rolling out its BlackBerry Z10 in the United Kingdom, Canada and elsewhere, said it shipped about one million of the smartphones during the reporting period.
The quarter, which ended March 2, didn’t include Z10 sales from the United States since major U.S. carriers didn’t start rolling out the smartphone until last week. The U.S. sales of the BlackBerry 10 devices will begin to be reflected in the company’s fiscal first quarter, which ends June 1.
“We’ve made great progress and we’re proud of it, but we’re also well grounded,” said president and CEO Thorsten Heins in a conference call with analysts.
“Everyone at BlackBerry understands there’s more work to do, and delivering BlackBerry 10 and getting back to a profitable quarter is just our starting line — not the finish line.”
BlackBerry said its marketing spending, which can include publicity as well as behind-the-scenes incentives with carriers, will increase by 50 per cent but it did not provide specific financial commitments.
The company’s subscriber base, which had been growing until the third quarter, was also on the downswing with a decrease to 76 million from 79 million, a sign that more people ditched their Blackberry in favour of competitors’ phones.
The drop was mostly in North America and Europe, though it was partly offset by more subscribers in Latin America and Asia.
Heins said the decline in BlackBerry subscribers shouldn’t come as a surprise.
“We knew, and we said it last quarter, there would be a deterioration in those subscriber numbers,” he said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
But as BlackBerry rolls out its new devices across the world, the company is working behind the scenes to create additional services tied to its BlackBerry Messenger and other phone features that could boost revenues.
“The question is how quickly can we really come up with services that we can monetize.”
In its outlook, BlackBerry said it expects to “approach break-even” results in the first quarter of its current financial year based on lower costs, a more efficient supply chain and improved hardware margins.
The company, which formerly called itself Research In Motion (TSX:BB), reported a profit of 19 cents US per share for quarter ended March 2, compared with US$125 million or 24 cents per share loss a year ago.
Analysts had expected on average a loss of 29 cents per share, according to estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters.
Revenue increased to $2.68 billion, coming in below expectations of $2.84 billion, according to a poll of analysts by Thomson Reuters.
“At this point, it’s cautious optimism,” said Colin Cieszynski, a market analyst at CMC Markets Canada of the results.
“They have still obviously have a long road to go to get back to where they were. They have very formidable competition but so far they seem to be doing OK.”
About 55 per cent of customers who have bought the BlackBerry touchscreen phone are migrating from competitor’s devices, Heins said. However, overall shipments of BlackBerrys, which include older models, dropped to six million devices from 6.9 million in the third quarter.
“The challenge they’re running up against is they need to get these BB10 (devices) out faster to the market to abate that erosion,” said Richard Tse, an analyst at Cormark Securities Inc.
Tse said he is optimistic that the company will rise above expectations for handset sales, partly because he believes most analysts have “conservative” estimates considering the 223 carriers around the world that have the technical approvals to sell the new phones.
BlackBery also announced Thursday, co-founder Mike Lazaridis will step down as director of the company on May 1, though he has no plans to sell his large stake in the firm.
Lazaridis is the company’s second-biggest shareholder with a 5.7 per cent stake.
BlackBerry has yet to launch the keypad version of its new smartphones, though Heins said it remains on track to hit stores next month.
Heins said the company chose to launch a touchscreen model before the keypad version to address the growing popularity of employers allowing their workers to use the phone of their choice at the office, a trend known as “bring-your-own-device” within the industry. Many employees have gravitated towards touchscreen phones like Apple’s iPhone and Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S3.
“This is where we need to be,” Heins said.
BlackBerry shares closed up 29 cents at $15.09 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday.
By The Associated Press - Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 10:02 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Research In Motion Ltd. co-founder Mike Lazaridis said Thursday as he prepared to leave the company for good that the board had asked him to reconsider his decision to step down as co-CEO.
Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie stepped down in January 2012 after several quarters of disappointing results. Lazaridis said he stayed on as vice chairman and a board director to help new CEO Thorsten Heins and his team with the launch of the BlackBerry 10 smartphones, an update considered crucial to the company’s future. With that underway, Lazaridis, 52, plans to leave the company on May 1.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Lazaridis said the board wanted both him and Balsillie to stay, but Lazaridis decided “it was the right time” to leave.
By Chris Sorensen - Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 1:37 PM - 0 Comments
BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion Ltd.) continues to prove its harshest critics wrong. The company today posted a return to profitability in the fourth quarter, announced the retirement of co-founder and board vice chair Mike Lazaridis and revealed that the company sold about a million devices running its new BB10 platform during the three-month period. The device sales were in-line with Wall Street’s expectations and were considerably more than the 300,000 or so predicted by some of the more bearish analysts following the stock.
It’s the first piece of solid data about the company’s efforts to make the transition from its legacy OS to a new platform. Though still too early to call BB10 a success, CEO Thorsten Heins said during a conference call that more than 50 per cent of people who have bought a BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen were non-BlackBerry customers, which bodes well for the company’s early efforts to win back market share from industry leaders Apple and Google. A version of the device featuring a physical keyboard is expected to launch soon.
Key to BlackBerry’s comeback will be making an impact in the huge U.S. market. While some analysts have expressed concerns about the Z10′s mid-March U.S. launch, Heins suggested it was far too early to pass judgment (the figures reported today only include sales up until March 2). He also cautioned against making assumptions about Z10 sales based on spot checks with retailers. “Guessing the store line-ups has become a bit of a spectator sport in our industry,” Heins said. “I would like to emphasize that BlackBerry 10 has a phased roll out.” In other words, investors will have to wait another three months for more answers.
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 11:01 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Research In Motion co-founder Mike Lazaridis say he has no plans to…
TORONTO – Research In Motion co-founder Mike Lazaridis say he has no plans to sell his significant interest in the BlackBerry maker now that he’s retiring as vice chairman and director.
Lazaridis said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday that having fulfilled a commitment to the board, he has decided to retire after 29 years with the company.
He says he is leaving RIM in good hands. According to FactSet, Lazaridis is the second biggest shareholder with a 5.7 per cent stake.
He and Jim Balsillie had stepped down as co-CEOs in January 2012 after several quarters of disappointing results. Thorsten Heins, the chief operating officer, took over and spent the past year cutting costs and steering Research In Motion Ltd. toward the launch of new BlackBerry 10 phones.
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 8:28 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – BlackBerry (TSX:BB) rose to a profit in its fourth quarter as the…
TORONTO – BlackBerry (TSX:BB) rose to a profit in its fourth quarter as the smartphone maker reported the first glimpse of how its latest touchscreen smartphone is being received by customers.
But the results also showed its loyal subscriber base is waning.
The Waterloo, Ont.-based company reported a profit of US$98 million or 19 cents per share for quarter ended March 2, compared with $125 million or 24 cents per share loss a year ago.
The results surprised analysts who according to Thomson Reuters were expecting on average a loss of 29 cents per share from the company, which spent much of the quarter rolling out its new BlackBerry Z10 smartphone.
“We have implemented numerous changes at BlackBerry over the past year and those changes have resulted in the company returning to profitability in the fourth quarter,” said president and CEO Thorsten Heins in a release.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 2:57 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Sales figures for the new BlackBerry smartphone have been a mystery since the device launched nearly two months ago, but the veil will be lifted on Thursday when the company reports its fourth-quarter results.
But the picture that will emerge for BlackBerry sales is only part of the whole story, which several analysts caution could still take another quarter to completely materialize.
“Buyers beware it is too early to gage sell-through,” wrote National Bank analyst Kris Thompson in a note to investors on Tuesday.
Since its last quarterly report, the company held a splashy launch in New York for its new phones, changed its name from to BlackBerry and rolled out the Z10 touchscreen smartphone in several key markets around the world.
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 9:34 AM - 0 Comments
WATERLOO, Ont. – BlackBerry co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin have established a $100-million…
WATERLOO, Ont. – BlackBerry co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin have established a $100-million fund to commercialize quantum computing, an emerging field they say could revolutionize information technology.
They say the Waterloo region in southwestern Ontario could be a focal point for new jobs and new industries, much as California’s Silicon Valley became a hub for advances in conventional computing.
Lazaridis and Fregin collaborated to found the company formerly known as Research In Motion in 1984, which became Canada’s leading high technology company through its pioneering efforts in smartphones.
The company recently changed its name to BlackBerry (TSX:BB) in keeping with its main product line. Continue…
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 8:25 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – One of the key selling features of the new BlackBerry smartphones will…
TORONTO – One of the key selling features of the new BlackBerry smartphones will soon be available on phones made by its major competitors.
The company (TSX:BB), which formerly called itself Research In Motion, said Thursday the technology that allow users to operate their BlackBerry as both a business and personal device entirely separate from each other is headed to both Apple’s iPhone and the Android operating system.
The version of BlackBerry Balance for other phones will be called Secure Work Space when it’s launched in the coming months.
The technology has widely been promoted by BlackBerry as one of the most appealing features exclusively available on its new devices. The touchscreen version of the latest phone hit Canadian stores in February and is rolling out in the U.S. this month, while a keypad version is expected sometime this spring.
“We’re extending as many of these features as possible to other platforms, critical in today’s bring-your-own-device world,” said David Smith, executive vice president of BlackBerry mobile computing operations.
The latest announcement is another sign that BlackBerry is moving away from features that are exclusive to its own smartphones.
Earlier this year, the Waterloo, Ont.-based company opened up the availability of its secure enterprise service for IT professionals to give them the flexibility to accommodate a growing trend of bringing your own device to the workplace, in particular the iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S3 phone, which uses the Android system.
The move was made as competition heats up for the highly lucrative corporate smartphone market, which has largely been a stronghold for BlackBerry for years.
On Wednesday, it announced it has sold one million of the new devices to an “established partner” it declined to name. It was the first time the company had provided any sort of sales figures since the phones launched.
In a note published on Thursday, BMO Capital Markets analyst Tim Long addressed the ambiguity around the recent announcement.
“We do not know who placed this order, nor do we know the timeframe. We believe it is most likely a distributor, but it could also be a large U.S. carrier,” Long wrote.
“In our view, most of these (recent sales) statements are vague, and lack the detail needed to determine if the Z10 has been successful. We believe that, if viewed in a proper context, these statements do not imply any substantially positive news for the company.”
Analysts have been divided over the specifics of the sales of the BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen phone since it launched, some citing anecdotal evidence that some stores in the U.K. sold out of the devices, while others refuted those claims.
Chief executive Thorsten Heins has said the new BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen phone is selling better than the company expected, while Canadian carrier Bell (TSX:BCE) said last month that pre-orders broke its previous records for BlackBerry.
Three major U.S. carriers have also announced they will stock the device by the end of this month, including AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile, which only has plans to supply it to business users at this point.
On Thursday, RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Sue boosted his fourth-quarter expectations for BlackBerry shipments to 500,000 units from 350,000.
He noted that sales of the device “appears to be slowing in Canada and the U.K. from launch-week highs, this is normal, and U.S. demand is still too early to quantify.”
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 5:07 PM - 0 Comments
WATERLOO, Ont. – Shares of BlackBerry rose more than eight per cent on Wednesday…
WATERLOO, Ont. – Shares of BlackBerry rose more than eight per cent on Wednesday after the company announced it has sold 1 million of its new smartphones to a mystery buyer.
The Waterloo, Ont.-based company said an “established partner” made the purchase, though it cited confidentiality reasons for not revealing the identity.
Shares moved ahead $1.21 to close at $16.04 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
It’s the first time the smartphone maker has revealed sales data for its new devices.
Chief executive Thorsten Heins has said the new BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen phone is selling better than the company expected, while Canadian carrier Bell (TSX:BCE) said last month that preorders broke its previous records for BlackBerry presales.
Meanwhile, the U.S. rollout of the device continues, with Verizon Wireless announcing that it will begin stocking the BlackBerry Z10 on March 28, with preorders starting on Thursday.
By The Associated Press - Monday, March 11, 2013 at 10:39 AM - 0 Comments
DALLAS – A month and a half after its Canadian and U.K. launch, the…
DALLAS – A month and a half after its Canadian and U.K. launch, the new BlackBerry is finally hitting store shelves in the United States.
Wireless carrier AT&T Inc. says it will begin presales of the BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen smartphone on Tuesday, leading up to an official release on March 22.
The company says the phone will sell for US$199.99 under a two-year contract.
A perceived success in the U.S. smartphone market is considered key to the new BlackBerrys.
The U.S. is where Apple’s iPhone is most dominant and where Android smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 are gaining traction.
The BlackBerry release date comes as Samsung prepares to unveil its latest Galaxy smartphone at Radio City Music Hall in New York on Thursday.
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 6:33 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO, Cananda – Jim Balsillie once re-mortgaged his house to help build the BlackBerry…
TORONTO, Cananda – Jim Balsillie once re-mortgaged his house to help build the BlackBerry company, but by the end of last year, the smartphone maker’s former co-CEO had cleaned out any shareholder stake he still owned.
A document filed with U.S. regulators shows that Balsillie, once the company’s third-largest stakeholder, no longer held shares in Research In Motion (TSX:BB) by Dec. 31 of last year.
Balsillie owned more than 26 million shares of the company at the end of 2011, according to filings obtained through DisclosureNet.com.
The documents don’t reveal how much he got for his stock, or when the shares were sold, but it illustrates how quickly Balsillie shed his stake in the company he was leading just months earlier.
The stock had a market value of just under $15 a share at the end of 2011, making Balsillie’s personal stake worth nearly $400 million at that time.
In January 2012, Balsillie resigned from the co-CEO position, alongside co-founder Mike Lazaridis. While both men took director roles at that time, Balsillie completely exited the company, formerly named Research In Motion, hardly two months later.
The two men pocketed a combined $12 million when they stepped down as co-CEOs.
Balsillie joined the former RIM in the early 1990s when it was a startup company with a mixed bag of sales hits and flops. He invested $250,000 of his own money by re-mortgaging his house, and within a few years, the company launched its first sales success, a clamshell wireless handheld pager that eventually evolved into the BlackBerry.
The enthusiastic co-CEO is credited for bringing the BlackBerry into the mainstream. He touted the device on Wall Street and handed it out for free at select technology conferences. Within several years, the smartphone had revolutionized how people communicated.
Balsillie is also blamed in part for the slow reaction to an onslaught of competitors, in particular Apple’s iPhone, and a series of network outages that bruised the company’s reputation.
Some analysts criticized his decision to pursue a National Hockey League team when the BlackBerry was facing some of its greatest challenges.
When Balsillie left the company last year, the BlackBerry maker was in the middle of the most uncertain period in its history.
The latest generation of the company’s smartphones had already been delayed, and there was concern from some analysts that the company might have to dig into its $2-billion cash reserve to survive the rest of 2012. While the company didn’t have to utilize its cash reserves at that time, its operations were in a state of flux.
Analysts had become concerned that the BlackBerry smartphone was quickly losing its already dwindling position on the consumer market, and criticized the company’s co-CEOs for doing little to help stop the bleeding.
Last July, Fairfax Financial Holdings (TSX:FFH) chairman and CEO Prem Watsa purchased more than 25 million shares in the BlackBerry company when the stock price was around $7. The transaction boosted his stake to 9.9 per cent, representing 51.9 million shares.
If Balsillie’s stake was sold at the same time that Watsa made the share purchase, the former co-CEO’s personal stake would’ve been worth less than $200 million.
BlackBerry stock had a lot of ups and downs last year, trading as high as $18.23 in January and as low as $6.10 in September.
Shares gained 88 cents to $14.88 Thursday afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 1:01 PM - 0 Comments
HALIFAX – The Nova Scotia government is giving tech giant BlackBerry (TSX:BB) $10 million…
HALIFAX – The Nova Scotia government is giving tech giant BlackBerry (TSX:BB) $10 million over five years to help the company keep at least 400 jobs in the province.
Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter says in return, BlackBerry has committed to spend $4 million a year on a facility that would purchase new equipment and conduct research and development.
Last summer, the company laid off about 95 people from its Halifax-area operations following its announcement that it would be reducing its global workforce by 5,000.
By Mika Rekai - Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 12:00 PM - 0 Comments
Introducing the Grammy-winner as global creative director brings the Z10 a celebrity endorsement
In a single day last week, Research in Motion launched a new operating system, two new smartphones and changed its company name to BlackBerry. It also introduced a new employee, global creative director Alicia Keys.
The Grammy-winning singer said her “goal is to inspire creativity” in her new job (despite tweeting from an iPhone a day earlier). But will she be more than just a celebrity endorser? Giving musicians lofty creative director titles (will.i.am at Intel in 2011, Lady Gaga at Polaroid in 2009) has become an oft-ridiculed trend at tech companies. Kenneth Wong, a marketing expert at Queen’s University, says a true collaboration with Keys could actually be beneficial. “Celebrity culture is deeply integrated with the Internet and social media,” says Wong. And Keys could serve as a bridge to the app world that BlackBerry ignored in the past. “For BlackBerry not to use her would be a missed opportunity,” he says.