Despite its new CEO promising a renewed focus on marketing, Research In Motion hasn’t been known for effective campaigns of late. The company launched a sizable advertising blitz earlier this year that focused on its new BlackBerry Bold smartphones, but the commercials had no apparent impact on smartphone sales in key markets including the United States. Late last month, RIM and its Australian marketing agency Tongue began a campaign that takes a different approach to raising brand awareness, though it’s one we have seen numerous times in the past: bash Apple and its customers. More →
Research In Motion’s newly appointed chairwoman of board Barbara Stymiest vowed on Thursday that the changes sweeping the struggling smartphone vendor will continue. RIM announced late last month that company co-founders Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis were stepping down from their roles as co-CEOs and co-chairmen of the board following more than a year of investor unrest. Replacing them atop RIM’s management team was Thorsten Heins, and Barbara Stymiest was named chairwoman of the board. Heins got off to a rocky start but promised that more change was coming, and now Stymiest has gone on record making a similar vow that the shake-up at RIM isn’t over. Read on for more. More →
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 →
Research In Motion’s newly appointed CEO Thorsten Heins said during his first day on the job that hiring a new marketing boss and revamping the company’s marketing strategy was among his first orders of business. If some of us were unsure why finding a new CMO and revamping RIM’s marketing efforts are such a priority, this new campaign should help clear things up. RIM on Monday introduced four new cartoon superheroes who will help the company spread the word about its products. Gogo Girl can save the day with her “brilliant strategy, a smile or a spatula,” Max Stone is “tough, proud and a little wild,” Justin Steele is “always ready to stick up for his friends and Trudy Foreal is “not afraid to call it as she sees it.” We’re not afraid to call it like we see it either, and we sincerely hope this new cartoon superhero campaign dies on the vine. RIM’s super infographic starring The Bold Team follows below.
UPDATE: RIM posted a note to its blog on Tuesday to clarify that The Bold Team is not a part of its new advertising campaign. More →
As 2012 approaches, we thought it would be fun to look back on 2011 one last time and share our biggest stories of the year with you. Here they are in order, from our post popular post of the year to our tenth most popular post:
- Open letter to BlackBerry bosses: Senior RIM exec tells all as company crumbles around him
- BlackBerry Messenger will launch on Android and iOS
- Samsung Galaxy Nexus full specs revealed; Verizon Wireless exclusive
- BlackBerry Dakota gets pictured; the touch and type BlackBerry you’ve been waiting for
- Google’s first Ice Cream Sandwich phone to be manufactured by Samsung, possibly dubbed ‘Nexus Prime’
- Live from Apple’s WWDC 2011 keynote with Steve Jobs
- Apple testing iPhone for T-Mobile USA
- Google Nexus 4G detailed – 720p display, 4G LTE, Android 4.0
- BlackBerry Bold 9900 review
- Inside RIM: An exclusive look at the rise and fall of the company that made smartphones smart
Have a great and safe New Year.
We’ve just heard from a tipster that the BlackBerry Bold 9790 — think of the BlackBerry 9900 and mash that up with the BlackBerry 9700 — will be launching around the end of November. The device will feature a 2.45-inch 640 x 480-pixel VGA touch display, 8GB of built-in storage and of course, a full QWERTY keyboard. New here is the redesigned (hideous) menu buttons a la BlackBerry Torch 9850. The device was incredibly clean before, but the new buttons ruin it for us. RIM also made the same move with the BlackBerry 9850 before it was released, changing the design from flush buttons to individual physical keys. Additionally, we have been told that RIM’s first major update to OS 7, OS 7.1, will launch later this year. This is expected to be the last OS release from RIM before the company unites its smartphone and tablet operating systems with the BBX platform.
Updated with clearer image.
T-Mobile subscribers who thought $250 was a tough pill to swallow for the BlackBerry Bold 9900 will be none too happy with this morning’s news. T-Mobile on Wednesday finally announced the imminent launch of its Bold 9900 variant, which will become available on August 31st for a whopping $299.99 with a new two-year contract. What’s more, that price is after a $50 mail-in rebate, so subscribers looking to nab the latest flagship out of Waterloo, Ontario will have to part with $350 to do so. Ouch. “T-Mobile is excited to add a BlackBerry smartphone to T-Mobile’s best 4G product lineup ever,” T-Mobile VP of product management Andrew Morrison said in a statement. “With the new BlackBerry Bold 9900, we are offering our socially-active and business-minded customers a powerful device with a unique proposition — the pairing of a nationwide 4G network with the mobile communications efficiency that has become synonymous with BlackBerry smartphones.” T-Mobile’s full press release follows below. 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.
Research In Motion on Tuesday announced a major milestone for its on-device software portal BlackBerry App World: 1 billion downloads served. “The BlackBerry App World storefront launched a little over two years ago, and over that time, we’ve made many feature improvements, enhanced the look and feel, and added a ton of compelling apps,” RIM’s Alex Kinsella wrote on the company’s blog. “BlackBerry App World is now in over 100 countries, seeing an average of 3 million downloads per day, and we recently crossed the 1 billion app download milestone!” While the achievement is still impressive, RIM did confirm to BGR that the 1 billion figure includes application updates, however, and not just initial application downloads. More →
Research In Motion on Thursday announced some serious heat in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region — the BlackBerry maker said it recently added more than a million new subscribers in less than three weeks. “BlackBerry continues momentum across EMEA with 1 Million+ new subscribers added in less than 3 weeks,” RIM posted from its Twitter account. RIM no longer includes subscriber additions or totals in its quarterly earnings reports, but when it last did in the three-month period ending November 2010, the vendor had netted more than 5 million new subscribers for a total of just over 55 million. Last quarter, RIM said it shipped 13.2 million BlackBerry smartphones and 500,000 PlayBook tablets despite a very difficult quarter. More →
BlackBerry fans on Bell won’t have to wait long for a new Torch, Bold, or Curve. TechFIBE picked up some leaked documentation that suggests the carrier will sell the new phones — which we leaked in April — in just a few months. Specifically, Bell will launch the BlackBerry Torch 9810, BlackBerry Bold 9900, and the full-touchscreen BlackBerry Torch 9860 in late August, followed by the BlackBerry Curve 9360 launch in September. BGR reported this past May that the Monaco 9850 and Monza 9860 could launch under a new “Volt” banner or the BlackBerry Torch brand, and according to this document it looks like RIM may have gone with the latter. Bell also confirms what we already knew: that the Torch 9810, Bold 9900, and Torch 9860 will all offer 1.2GHz processors, while the Curve 9360 will be powered by a slower 800MHz chip. More →
Sprint will have a busy third quarter as it preps a number of new handsets. According to Thisismynext, the carrier will launch the Samsung Epic 2, the BlackBerry Bold 9930, and a new “full touch 4G” device from Samsung. The Epic 2 will sport a 1.2GHz processor, a 4-inch display, and an 8-megapixel camera. Given Samsung’s recent introduction of the Infuse 4G on AT&T and DROID Charge on Verizon, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Epic 2 offer the same Super AMOLED Plus display as those handsets. Sprint is expected to launch a new “full touch” Samsung “Galaxy Within” device in the quarter as well, and we’re hoping it’s the Sprint version of the Korean firm’s new ultra-high end dual-core packing Galaxy S II handset. The carrier’s also planning to introduce a global-roaming version of the BlackBerry Bold 9930, which we leaked before RIM took the wraps off of it during its annual BlackBerry World conference in March. On the same note, Sprint may introduce a new “push-to-talk BlackBerry,” but it’s unclear what the name will be. Lastly, the carrier may launch new Kyocera/Sanyo phones according to the report, although there’s no word on what those devices will offer.
Following first-quarter earnings that sent investors and the media into a tizzy, analyst coverage of RIM has been fairly monotone. The consensus? The company is doomed. Sure, there’s been an odd half-hearted vote of confidence here and there, but the majority of analyst coverage we’ve seen has been negative and investors are exiting en masse. In a 45-page report published last Tuesday, however, analysts at Macquarie Capital Markets paint a different picture of RIM’s business. Despite product delays and declining market share, the firm issued an Outperform rating and set a 12-month target on shares of RIM stock at $40. Read on to find out why. More →