Research In Motion released the first set of commercials from its new “Be Bold” advertising campaign on Thursday and while the ads feature new faces, they are nearly identical to the campaign RIM has been running for months. The Waterloo, Ontario-based smartphone vendor was quick to point out that the team of four awkward superheroes that starred in an infographic RIM recently posted were not part of its upcoming advertising blitz, but perhaps they should have been. RIM’s new ads feature BlackBerry devices in real-world situations and they do a good job of showcasing key features like BBM. What the ads are not, however, is different or memorable. RIM’s new CEO Thorsten Heins named the company’s marketing strategy as one of the first orders of business he plans to address in his new role. With an exciting new breed of devices like the BlackBerry London on the horizon, marketing and advertising will be more important than ever for RIM as the company continues struggling to maintain its footing in key markets. A pair of Be Bold ads can be viewed after the break. More →
2011 was a huge year for the wireless industry. Global mobile connections surpassed 6 billion as the world’s total population hit 7 billion people, and worldwide smartphone penetration is now approaching 10%. In the United States, smartphone penetration has now topped 44% as converged, connected devices continue to flood the market across all age ranges. The rapid growth in the smartphone space can be attributed for the most part to two platforms, Android and iOS, and other companies continue to struggle to gain or even maintain their ground in a market that is expanding faster than it ever has before. Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS is heralded as a breath of fresh air but significant sales still elude the company’s vendor partners. On the other side of the coin, age finally caught up with Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS and smartphone users are becoming increasingly disinterested in a platform that was once the most desirable mobile experience in the world. More →
AT&T on Tuesday announced that it will launch three new BlackBerry 7 smartphones next week. The carrier’s BlackBerry Bold 9900 will finally arrive on November 6th for $199.99, $100 less than T-Mobile’s version of the sleek smartphone. AT&T will also launch the full-touchscreen BlackBerry Torch 9860 for $99.99 on the same day, and the entry-level BlackBerry Curve 9360 will become available for $29.99 beginning November 20th. ”Our BlackBerry enthusiasts will welcome these three new BlackBerry smartphones to AT&T’s premium smartphone lineup – the new BlackBerry Bold 9900, all-touch Torch 9860 and Curve 9360,” AT&T SVP Jeff Bradley said in a statement. “From new and improved versions of BlackBerry classics to AT&T’s first-all touch BlackBerry smartphone as well as 4G models, our leading suite of BlackBerry smartphones has something for everyone – government, business and everyday consumers – at the best prices available in the market.” AT&T’s full press release follows below. More →
In spite of Research In Motion’s recent fiscal second-quarter earnings report, which missed Wall Street’s consensus and RIM’s own estimates, not everyone is jumping ship just yet. Investment bank Macquarie Capital Markets reiterated its Outperform rating on RIM stock this past Friday, and it maintained its 12-month price target of $42. The firm noted that RIM’s low shipment volume (10.6 million units) ahead of the BlackBerry 7 product refresh is less disconcerting than most believe in light of the 13.7 million devices that were sold to customers. Macquarie also sees improved ASPs and sell-through leading to a rebound in the second half. Read on for more. More →
While sales of Research In Motion’s brand new BlackBerry 7 devices won’t be reflected in RIM’s second-quarter earnings report next week, analysts still aren’t sold that the device launches have positioned RIM to rebound. In a note to investors on Thursday morning, RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky wrote that he expects RIM’s earnings in the fiscal second quarter to narrowly beat the consensus, with revenue down 2% from the same quarter last year to $4.5 billion and earnings per share at $0.90. The Street sees revenue at $4.5 billion as well, but EPS estimates are slightly lower at $0.87. Abramsky also expects BlackBerry handset shipments to slide 9% from the first quarter to 12 million units, and PlayBook shipments are expected to grow from 500,000 in the first quarter to 650,000 in the second. Read on for more. More →
Research In Motion’s new BlackBerry 7 smartphones are seeing strong initial sales among businesses looking to upgrade from older BlackBerry smartphones, however consumer sales have been weak according to Canaccord Genuity. In a research note, Canaccord analysts Mike Walkley and Matt Ramsay found during channel checks that upgrade sales of BlackBerry 7 devices in North America were quite strong with enterprise customers in August. Specifically, Verizon Wireless saw strong Bold 9930 upgrade sales among its substantial enterprise customer base, while AT&T and Sprint saw mixed sales. T-Mobile’s $300 Bold 9900 has not been selling well according to Canaccord’s checks. Read on for more. More →
As Samsung’s latest devices continue to be targeted by patent complaints filed by the likes of Apple and Microsoft, Research In Motion may reap the benefits of these numerous quarrels. In a note to investors on Tuesday, Gus Papageorgiou of Scotia Capital sees Apple’s multiple complaints against Samsung as potentially opening doors for the struggling BlackBerry maker. Pointing specifically to Apple’s recent win barring the sales and marketing of several new smartphones by three European Samsung subsidiaries, Papageorgiou believes sales of RIM’s new BlackBerry 7 devices will be bolstered by the void these devices will leave in certain regions of Europe if the ban goes into effect on October 13th as scheduled. He also notes that the new BlackBerry Bold 9900 is already selling well in Europe, however, which means RIM’s potential benefits from the impending ban on Samsung smartphones could be icing on the cake. Read on for more. More →
Research In Motion will benefit in the near term from the ongoing launch of its new BlackBerry 7 smartphones, which are being described as the vendor’s strongest devices in some time. Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu upgraded his rating on RIM stock to Buy from Neutral, increasing his price target to $35 from $28. Wu sees near-term opportunity in RIM, and he thinks new BlackBerry handsets like the Bold 9900 will be well received. ”The key differences this time include a refined user interface and improved hardware including faster processors, better graphics and displays as well as better build quality with its greater use of premium materials,” Wu wrote on Friday. “The company recently launched the new Bold 9900 and Torch 9810 and we see the upcoming launch of the full touchscreen Torch and new lower-end Curve in upcoming 1-2 quarters as future catalysts. RIMM has undoubtedly lost some customers but for loyalists still using 2-3 year old models, these refined updates are a worthy upgrade.” Read on for more. More →
Things are changing in Waterloo. The summer is drawing to an end and Research In Motion is in the very early stages of the biggest BlackBerry device launch of the brand’s storied history. BlackBerry 7 smartphones — which include new Bold models, Curve models and Torch models — will be sold by more than 225 carriers around the world this year and into 2012. But RIM’s BlackBerry 7 device launch is also significant for another reason, of course: it is the end of an era. More →
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 →
We first saw the BlackBerry Bold 9900 during BlackBerry World earlier this year, but we figured we’d bring you a fresh new look since we’re up in Toronto checking out the release version. We’re loving the thin design just as much as the first time we saw it, and it’s definitely the most elegant BlackBerry Bold to date. The metal bezel gives it a premium feel that will be right at home in an executive’s hands — or a BlackBerry die-hard’s hands — and we also appreciate the extra power under the hood for moving around RIM’s new BlackBerry 7 operating system quickly and smoothly. AT&T said that it will carry the BlackBerry Bold 9900 beginning later this month, so ahead of our full review, be sure to check out our hands-on gallery below.
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 →
In addition to the possible Apple iPhone 5 launch date, our source at Telus has shared an internal document that reveals a slew of release dates for some of the most hotly-anticipated handsets on this side of the equator. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 — what’s sure to be RIM’s finest Blackberry ever — should be available for purchase starting around August 15th in North America. Holding out for the upgraded BlackBerry Torch 2? The follow-up to the original model should be available around August 15th as well, in Canada at least. The BlackBerry Torch 9860 (full touchscreen version) is slated to touch down on or around August 22nd with the BlackBerry Curve Apollo bringing up the rear on August 29th. Hit the break for more.