Research In Motion’s increased marketing efforts centered around its “Be Bold” campaign in North America have not paid off according to Canaccord Genuity. Sales of BlackBerry 7 smartphones, and specifically the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Curve 9360, were poor in February, Canaccord analyst Mike Walkley wrote in a research note late Sunday night. “Our February checks indicated weak sell-through trends for BlackBerry 7 smartphones despite increased marketing efforts,” Walkley told investors. “With very strong share gains for the iPhone 4S, increasingly price-competitive Android smartphones, improving Windows smartphones, and the likely March 7 launch of the iPad 3, we anticipate increasing competition across all of RIM’s products during 2012.” Read on for more. More →
Global sales of Research In Motion’s latest round of BlackBerry smartphones were solid in September according to checks performed by Canaccord’s Mike Walkley. The analyst said in a research note on Monday that initial sales of RIM’s new phones such as the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry Torch 9810 have been strong, especially among enterprise customers upgrading from older BlackBerry smartphones. ”Our September checks indicated solid global sales of new BlackBerry 7 smartphones, with strong initial enterprise upgrade sales of the Bold at Verizon, strong initial sales of the Bold in certain markets in Europe, and solid sales of the Torch at AT&T with its $49 price,” Walkley wrote, noting that sell-through to consumers has been weak at Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile. Read on for more. More →
T-Mobile on Tuesday announced an upcoming smartphone sale that will last for one day only. During the carrier’s “Yes, Every Smartphone Is on Sale, Sale” on Saturday, September 24th, each and every one of its smartphones can be had for $99.99 down or less (after a mail-in rebate) along with a T-Mobile Value plan. T-Mobile’s Value plans essentially remove the handset subsidy from T-Mobile’s monthly plan pricing, though this sale reintroduces the subsidy by charging a low up-front “down payment” and then spreading additional payments across 20 months. So for example, customers can purchase the HTC Sensation 4G — one of our favorite Android phones at the moment — for $99.99 down after a $100 mail-in rebate, and then $15 per month for 20 months. The HTC Sensation 4G, HTC myTouch 4G Slide, BlackBerry Bold 9900, Samsung Exhibit 4G, T-Mobile Sidekick 4G, LG G-Slate tablet and the T-Mobile 4G Mobile Hotspot are all included in this sale. A two-year service contract is required with each purchase, and Value plan pricing starts at $34.99 for 500 “whenever minutes” with no messaging or data. T-Mobile’s one-day sale is available in T-Mobile retail locations only, and the carrier’s full press release follows below. More →
Another BlackBerry out of RIM? We might as well consider them done and finished. Or should we? With a brand new take on BlackBerry hardware and an improved and enhanced operating system in BlackBerry 7, RIM hasn’t been sitting still. I have been using a BlackBerry 9900 for over a week, and as a reformed BlackBerry addict, I have some thoughts on this latest flagship smartphone out of Waterloo. Is this the device that’s going to save RIM? Is this the phone that’s going to make iPhone and Android users switch to a BlackBerry? Can RIM finally compete in the smartphone arena? Will it take RIM 9 months to make a BlackBerry 9900 in white? Is Will.i.am going to haunt me for eternity? Hit the break to find out. (And I sure as heck hope not on those last two.)
Hello, my name is Jonathan, and I was a BlackBerry addict. Forget having every BlackBerry the company released, including different variants of models that didn’t ever appear in the U.S., like the BlackBerry 8707g. Forget being one of the first people to discover BlackBerry Messenger and convert family and friends to the service, even though it was probably the slowest thing ever to run on a BlackBerry 7290. Forget getting a bunch of celebrities to attend the BlackBerry 8700 launch party in New York City just so I would be one of the first people outside of RIM to have an 8700. I even once paid to have a BlackBerry 8700 forged out of solid white gold, which barely functioned since gold doesn’t play nice with antenna (an early lesson on wireless communications — maybe the first real antennagate?). I had a dedicated BlackBerry Enterprise Server for over four years — I was so in. Read on for more. More →
BGR took hands-on looks at the all new BlackBerry Bold 9900, the BlackBerry Torch 9810 and the BlackBerry Torch 9850/9860 last night, and while we were pleasantly surprised with RIM’s new hardware, several analysts were not impressed. Jefferies & Co.’s Peter Misek and Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu each cut their price targets on RIM stock Thursday morning, suggesting that the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor’s BlackBerry 7 phones just aren’t enough to reignite the public’s interest in BlackBerry devices. “Handset shipments will be worse than expected in the November quarter despite the sell-in of new OS 7 handsets,” Misek wrote Thursday in a note to investors. RIM said on Wednesday that the upcoming BlackBerry device releases across more than 225 carriers will be the vendor’s biggest launch ever, but Misek isn’t convinced that the handsets will get enough of a push. ”Preliminary reviews of the handsets cite improved speed but a browsing experience still inferior to Android and iOS. We do not believe carriers will put extensive marketing dollars behind the new handsets,” he wrote. Shaw Wu at Sterne Agee said the devices were “better late than never,” but like Misek, he’s still not convinced the devices will be a hit. Misek cut his price target on RIM stock to $22 from his earlier target of $24, and Wu dropped his target to $23 from $27. More →
Three torches, two form factors, one goal: silence the critics. Research In Motion on Wednesday unveiled three new additions to the popular Torch family, the Torch 9810, the Torch 9850 and the Torch 9860. The latter two handsets are GSM and CDMA variants of the same device, a full touchscreen smartphone that hopes to pick up where the Storm series left off. Launching later this month with AT&T, the Torch 9810 is a touchscreen smartphone with a QWERTY slider that one-ups the original Torch in nearly every area. Both phones carry the new BlackBerry 7 operating system — no, not QNX, we’re afraid — on top of big, bright displays and solid hardware. RIM noted that in combination with the already-announced Bold 9900, these smartphones will launch on more than 225 carriers around the world. “This is the largest global launch of BlackBerry smartphones in our history,” said RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis in a statement. “The BlackBerry solution offers a best-in-class mobile communications experience that customers love and we think they will be thrilled by the faster performance, enhanced browsing and richer multimedia delivered by these powerful new BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry Torch smartphones.” The new Torches and the Bold 9900 will begin rolling out later this month. RIM’s full press release follows below. More →
AT&T announced early Wednesday morning that it will offer three new BlackBerry smartphones this year. It will first launch the 4G HSPA+ capable BlackBerry Torch 9810 in August. AT&T promises to then launch the 4G BlackBerry Bold 9900 later this year, as well as the full-touchscreen BlackBerry Torch 9860. The BlackBerry Torch 9810 packs a 1.2GHz processor, a dual-microphone, a 640 x 480-pixel display, 8GB of storage, 768MB of RAM, HSPA+ support, a digital compass and a 5-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video. It’s unclear at this point what pricing will be unfortunately, and AT&T didn’t provide branded images or a complete spec list for either of the other two BlackBerry devices it announced. Thankfully, we’ve already shown you exclusive leaked images of the Torch 9860 and we published a hands-on look at the Bold 9900 back in May. We also have a feeling we’ll be getting up-close and personal with these new devices again very soon. In the meantime, read on for AT&T’s full press release. More →
Launching new products is always difficult. Launching new products with hundreds of different carriers is exponentially more difficult. Apparently there is an easy way and a hard way to do things, however, and RIM has been making carriers offers they can’t refuse. BGR has learned from a trusted source that RIM has been strong-arming several carriers, essentially forcing them to approve devices they normally would not move through the Technical Acceptance phase. More →
BlackBerry fans will just have to keep waiting for the company’s latest and greatest handset. We have confirmed with multiple sources that the BlackBerry Bold 9900 won’t be launching until September globally. While an announcement at BlackBerry World was inevitable, it still hurts to see RIM struggle to get devices out the door swiftly. RIM announced that the BlackBerry Bold 9900 would be available in the “summer” from carrier’s globally when the product was unveiled at BlackBerry World.
P.S. We have heard RIM might have one more major OS release in the cards, possibly BlackBerry OS 7.5, before the launch of QNX on smartphones.
We went hands-on with RIM’s new touch and type BlackBerry Bold 9900 / 9930 on Monday — the only device announced at BlackBerry World yesterday — and today we’re back with live coverage of RIM’s BlackBerry World 2011 keynote. RIM just recently launched the BlackBerry PlayBook, and its first tablet was also the first device to give the world a taste of the company’s QNX operating system. RIM also introduced BlackBerry 7 here at BlackBerry World 2011, and it could very well be the last major release of the BlackBerry OS before RIM transitions to QNX on smartphones as well. This is definitely a time of transition for RIM, and so we’re looking for some more insight as to how RIM plans to stem the tide of iPhones, iPads and Android devices, and stay competitive. Will the company shine any more light on its crucial strategy over the coming months and years? The keynote kicks off soon so hit the break to follow along as we cover it live, and don’t forget to refresh often for all the latest action! More →
We’re here in Orlando at RIM’s BlackBerry World developer event and have scored some more hands-on time with the recently announced BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930… and we’re pretty impressed with what we see so far. The Bold 9900 felt light in the hand, but definitely had a premium feel thanks to its thin form factor and metal accents around the body — it’s also the thinnest BlackBerry to date. The new BlackBerry 7 operating system was very snappy and we didn’t experience any lag when bouncing around the new OS, likely thanks to the 1.2GHz processor under its hood. The keyboard reminds us a lot of the original BlackBerry Bold 9000, and the form factor is more akin to that phone than the handset it is replacing, the 9700. The industrial design of the phone is solid, but we do wish RIM would venture away from a form factor that’s feeling pretty stale. We’ll need to spend more time with BlackBerry 7, but superficially it looks nearly identical to BlackBerry 6 — which could be a positive or negative depending on your viewpoint. We’re excited to see what RIM does with the built-in NFC technology, and the faster processor should definitely open the flood gates to more robust applications in the future. We’ve assembled a gallery of photos for your scrutiny. Have a look and let us know what you think of RIM’s latest creation.
Research In Motion isn’t just a leaky faucet ahead of BlackBerry World this year, it’s a waterfall. We scooped RIM’s 2011 BlackBerry lineup back in January and more recently, we gave you a hands-on look at the BlackBerry Bold Touch, BlackBerry Touch and BlackBerry Torch 2 smartphones, but the leaks continue. In recent days we’ve seen full specs, brief hands-on videos and more, and for the two or three remaining naysayers who still don’t believe RIM is about to announce its next-generation smartphone lineup at BlackBerry World next month, RIM’s promo videos are now starting to leak out. Companies typically don’t put these promotional spots together unless the have some devices to, you know, promote — so BlackBerry fans should sit tight for another couple of weeks and we’re certain they’ll have some sleek new smartphones to swoon over. Hit the break for RIM’s official BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry 9860 promo videos. More →