RIM May License Blackberry 10

Blackberry 10 Dev Alpha

Thorsten Heins, the current CEO of Research In Motion (RIM), has told the German newspaper Die Welt that Blackberry 10 may be licensed to third-party manufacturers. Unfortunately, RIM likely won’t license the hardware until after RIM’s own hardware hits the market and has a chance to prove itself. When asked by the publication, Heins said the following:

“Before you licensed the software, you must show that the platform has a large potential. First we have to fulfill our promises. If such proof, a licensing is conceivable.”

In the past, RIM has never licensed its Blackberry operating system to third-party manufactures and has always produced its own hardware. If licensed, Blackberry 10 would be opened to a whole new world of hardware innovation, something which RIM is currently lacking.

Blackberry 10 is expected to launch on January 30th. The operating system has been delayed multiple times over the past year in order to give both RIM and third-party developers time to prepare for the launch of the OS. This iteration of the Blackberry operating system has been rebuilt from the ground up in hopes of regaining lost marketshare for the company.

Source: CNET via Pando Daily
Image Source: closari

Blackberry 10 Attracts 15,000 Apps in Two Days

There was a time when RIM could do no wrong. It enjoyed a dominating market share in North America, and enjoyed a massive cult status. With the advent of iOS and Android, things changed rapidly and the tables were turned on RIM. However, things are about to change now. Recently, RIM demoed its Blackberry 10 OS back in December last year, and people have been waiting for the January 30th launch of Blackberry 10 since the day Network world posted that awesome video.

As we get closer to the launch date, RIM has thrown in another surprise with its portathon event.

Alec Saunders, VP, Developer Relations at RIM was spotted tweeting,

The portathon event was held in two parts, one where only Android developers were asked to port their apps to Blackberry 10, and another where apps written in Appcelerator, Maramalade, Sencha, jQuery, PhoneGap and Qt were to be ported. The total number of ported apps stood at 15,000 after 37.5 hours. RIM was also offering $100 for every successful porting and submission. Some might call that bribing, but RIM shares have reached a new high after the event, and this is a good sign.

RIM had to realize eventually that this is what people want from a phone, and after this move, there might just be a chance for RIM to make a strong comeback. Although Blackberry 10 might not bring new features to the table, an overhaul like this had become imminent for its survival.

T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T To Support Blackberry 10


Reuters (via CrackberryThe Verge) has just reported that AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon will all give Blackberry 10 devices a chance on their networks. Reuters has spoken with all three carriers on the topic and can confirm that all three will carry Blackberry 10 phones. Executives at all three companies have made the following statements on Blackberry 10:

“It’s logical to expect our current (BlackBerry) customers will have the best BlackBerry devices to choose from in the future,” – AT&T handset executive Jeff Bradley


“We’re extremely optimistic that it’s going to be a successful product and our business customers are extremely interested in it,” – T-Mobile CEO John Legere


“We’re hopeful it’s going to be a good device”, “We’ll carry it” – Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam

This would leave Sprint as the only major American cellular network to not publically support Blackberry 10 devices, though this may change closer to Blackberry 10’s official launch date.

It’s nice to see that carriers are still giving RIM (Research In Motion) a chance even though Blackberry marketshare has been rapidly declining over the past few years. If you’re unaware, Blackberry 10 is a totally reworked Blackberry operating system. RIM will be completely redoing its smartphone hardware line with Blackberry 10 in hopes of putting up a stronger fight against Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

BBM7 Now Available In The App World; Brings BBM Voice Along With It

Research In Motion (RIM) has released the 7th version of its popular messaging app – BBM – on the BlackBerry App World. The new version of the app brings with it quite a few changes, including the ability to initiate a voice call to all your BBM contacts over Wi-Fi or 3G.

Other new features include new emoticons, improved notification and overall improved stability. Below is the official change-log of the update -:

  • BBM upgrade notifications – BBM will notify you when there are updates to download straight from within the app
  • BBID Synchronization – your BBM profile, Groups and Contacts are linked to your BlackBerry ID
  • 16 Additional emoticons – even more choice for those times when words just aren’t enough. Can you spot the new ones? *Drool*
  • Multi-tasking with Split-screen feature – Customers can do more while they talk, such as check other BBM text chats, check email, or navigate to other apps while engaged on a BBM Voice call. They can start a call in an instant, and switch between texting and talking, or text and talk at the same time. They can also for example, send a picture to a contact while they are talking with them.
  • Clear Visual Indicator – Customers can see when contacts are available for a voice call.
  • Convenient Compatibility with Accessories – Customers can use their favorite accessories, such as a Bluetooth or wired headset, or use the BlackBerry smartphone’s speakerphone.

The update is already available in the BlackBerry App World for all BB owners to enjoy.

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 Update Now Available

Remember the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet from RIM? While the tablet did not really set the sales chart on fire, it did find a few takers later on, thanks to a steep fall in its price.

RIM has been doing a pretty commendable job of keeping its small PlayBook user base happy with regular software updates. Starting from today, RIM has started rolling out the BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 update for the tablet.

The update adds tons of new enterprise related features, along with more apps and content. However, the three major changes brought about by the OS 2.1 update are as follows -:

  1. Updated BlackBerry Bridge: Now you can view, respond and compose new SMS messages on their BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet when connected to a BlackBerry smartphone over Bluetooth®. You’ll also enjoy increased performance and speed of other BlackBerry Bridge functions as well. So you can do more, more efficiently. Txt away, my friends.
  2. Email and PIM Enhancements: You’ve asked for it and we’ve delivered portrait support for email, calendar and contacts, giving you the option to use your tablet in either orientation to message. This will definitely come in handy for those of you who enjoy thumb typing in portrait mode like I do.
  3. Improved Android Application Support: Includes Multi-Window Applications, Camera Support and In-App Payments. We all love a richer app experience, and with the improvements to the Android runtime, that’s just what you’ll get. Running the applications in separate windows allows you to multi-task between Android apps easier, and in-app payments will make it easier for you to enhance your app content. Game on!

Owners of the Wi-Fi variant of the PlayBook can already pull the update from RIM’s server by going to Settings -> Software Updates and then selecting the “Check for updates” option. The update for the 4G LTE variant of the tablet will be available, once it is approved by the carriers.

RIM, Focus on Consumers, Not Carriers

RIM’s next smartphone platform, BlackBerry 10, is expected to hit the market next year. It has already been delayed, and since the launch is still far off, RIM is apparently trying to drum up interest in its new platform by showing it off to its carrier partners, who seem to “love” it.

RIM showcased early versions of new BlackBerry devices to carriers in Canada, Mexico and the United States, and here’s what they had to say about it:

“The response that we got back from the executive team at some of the Canadian carriers was tremendous.

They were visibly positive and visibly enthusiastic.”

While RIM will be launching these devices globally, it stated that it intends to focus on its home market, Canada.

With still around a year to go, RIM may be too late to market and is likely to fail. Another thing — RIM still doesn’t seem to get that it’s not about the carriers (it might have been the case earlier, but the iPhone changed the game), but the consumers.

It needs to focus not on making carriers happy with its platform and devices, but on making consumers happy. The days when carriers ruled the smartphone space are gone. RIM needs to learn that ultimately, it’s the user who will decide whether or not its devices are hits, not carriers. Until it does that, it can hardly even think of displacing the iPhone or Android.

Not focusing on the end user has led to its grip on the enterprise mobility space slowly loosening in the last couple of years, as the iPhone and Android devices gained traction in that space. If it doesn’t learn from its mistakes, it might be too late, if it isn’t already.

via The Star

Kodak Fails at Patent Trolling; Loses Lawsuit Against Apple & RIM

Kodak has been in dire straits for more than a year. Ever since it filed for bankruptcy, it has been trying to somehow monetize its massive patent portfolio which covers a lot of digital imaging applications, a space which Kodak was a leader in.

It had sued a lot of mobile industry leaders like Apple, HTC, RIM and Samsung for patent infringement relating to the use of digital cameras in smartphones.

This week, it lost a patent case against Apple and Research in Motion, as the presiding judge ruled that the patent in question was invalid. The judge also ruled that neither Apple or RIM had violated any trade laws, and so no injunction could be enforced against the sale of any of their products.

The patent, which was related to previewing images with a digital camera, was one of Kodak’s most important patents. It has signed licensing deals for image previewing patents with multiple companies including Samsung and LG.

If the patent is indeed invalid, Kodak’s patent auction last month may fail, and it may not be able to raise the “billions of dollars” that it thinks its patent portfolio is worth.

Kodak has obviously stated that it will appeal the ruling. After all, its entire value depends on how much it can get from its patent portfolio now.

via WSJ

RIM Keeps Going Downhill, Loses Another Top Official, More Layoffs Coming

RIM’s downfall started in Q1 2011, when it announced a drop in revenue, coupled with a huge layoff of 2000 employees. Its stocks fell to the lowest since 2006, and on further inspection, it was found that it had been on a downhill journey since 2008. RIM market caps dropped to a record low, and left it in no shape to compete with Android and iPhone. Things became so grave that it set a record for the biggest world-market share loser in 2011.

RIM started this year with approximately 16,000 employees, but now that it wishes to streamline its operations, another layoff is on its way and this one is going to be massive. RIM is about to hand out pink slips to nearly 6000 employees. This will be the largest layoff in the history of RIM, thereby reducing its workforce by 40% (approximately).


RIM announced a strategic review of its business in March. The objective of the strategic review was to refocus the plummeting business of RIM and place it back where it used to be years ago. RIM Chief Executive, Thorsten Heins said,

We believe that BlackBerry cannot succeed if we tried to be everybody’s darling and all things to all people. Therefore, we plan to build on our strength.

Following the trend of top officials like Jim Balsillie, CTO David Yach and COO Jim Rowan leaving for greener pastures, RIM’s global sales head Patrick Spence has resigned recently.

RIM also withdrew its plans for providing its flagship BBM across multiple mobile platforms. This is a clear indication of the fact that RIM lacks focus. If this indeed is true, RIM will need more than layoffs to save itself.

RIM Stops Cross Platform BBM Support Development

Research In Motion’s (RIM) popular messaging app, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), which RIM was supposed to bring to other platforms including Android, iOS, and Windows Phone has now canned its further development.

RIM has recently lost its market dominance in the smartphone market. However, its messaging app, BBM, is still popular and remains one of the reason for customers opting for BlackBerry devices. The project which was unofficially called “SMS 2.0″ within the company, has left few of the RIM’s executives worried that licensing BBM to competitors would further diminish any incentive to buy a BlackBerry.

RIM is expected to stop any further development on SMS 2.0 project and instead divert all of its attention to further development of BlackBerry OS 10. The BlackBerry OS 10 is expected to launch sometime next year.

BlackBerry’s BBM competes against, Independent messaging app — WhatsApp which is a cross platform messaging app and is available on all mobile smartphone platforms including Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Symbian. Apart from that, Apple also has its own messaging app — iMessage.


RIM Finally Appoints CMO & COO

Research In Motion (RIM), has finally filled in the gap created by former CMO Keith Pardy’s resignation from the position. RIM just announced that it has hired French telecom executive Frank Boulben  as the company’s new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Apart from that, RIM also hired Kristian Tear as Chief Operating Officer (COO).


Previously, Kristian served as Executive Vice President at Sony Mobile Communications AB, as a Chairman of the Product Business Council, Chairman of the Accessories Business Unit, Board member of Sony Mobile Japan and China. He has also served as the Corporate Vice President of Sony Ericsson Western Europe based in Munich, with responsibility for the region Western Europe and Global Customer Accounts.  Prior to that, he served as Corporate Vice President at Sony Ericsson Headquarters in London.  From 1999-2005, he served as President and CEO of Ericsson in various regions and markets, including in South East Asia, Germany, Switzerland and Austria and Central America. As for Frank Boulben, he comes LightSquared where he served as Executive Vice President for Strategy, Marketing and Sales.

Why is this important?

RIM, of late, has been in huge turmoil. RIM’s share price has tumbled more than 75 percent in the past 13 months. BlackBerry’s market share has been more or less flat and had failed to attract customers in last couple of months. RIM’s global smartphone market share slipped to 6.7 percent in the first quarter of 2012 from 13.6 percent a year earlier, according to research firm IDC. The only thing that could save RIM is BlackBerry 10 OS which is not making its debut until late 2012.

If you look at RIM’s recent marketing strategies — wakeupbehold, it’s just yawn-worthy even though it’s trying to take a jab at Apple’s iPhone. RIM needs someone to make BlackBerry’s cool. With the new hires, hopefully, RIM will suck less now.