With Research In Motion’s annual shareholder meeting scheduled to take place later today, one popular RIM-focused analyst is calling for the company to split its handset and network businesses into two separate companies. “RIM’s organization, like its handsets, needs modernization. By acting now, splitting RIM into network and handset businesses may target opportunities and unlock significant shareholder value,” RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky wrote in a note to investors on Tuesday. “RIM’s end-to-end solution was conceived when data devices and networks were nascent — but times have changed,” the analyst continued. Abramsky believes the standalone network business can target a market of roughly 400 million Android devices, Windows Phones, tablets and other devices with “affordable, efficient, cross-platform mobile push messaging, social networking, cloud and business data services (and software)” that is already interconnected with 595 carriers around the globe. On the other end, splitting off RIM’s devices business could accelerate handset innovation, strengthen developer relationships and help the company prioritize its customers and developers over its carrier partners — a sentiment thought by some to be paramount to RIM’s success moving forward. Abramsky reiterated his price target of $35 for RIM stock, noting above-average risk.
If you’re addicted to your PlayBook and a certain social network, listen up. Research In Motion has announced a new Facebook application for its 7-inch, QNX-based tablet due out in “May.” The new app will allow users to view and add friends and photos, utilize Facebook’s chat feature, and interact with the News Feed. “There are over 30 million users of our Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones app who are staying in touch with their social network while on the go,” said Tom Goguen, RIM’s VP of Collaboration and Social Networking. “Now with Facebook for BlackBerry PlayBook we can also offer customers highly engaging social experiences optimized for the PlayBook including the ability to share FaceBook pictures and videos with friends and family on an HDTV.” RIM plans to provide a more in-depth look at the application later this week. The full press release is after the break. More →
It’s no secret that Facebook will be holding another media event on Monday, November 15th. It is widely thought, and has been reported, that the social networking giant will be launching its own web-based email service; purportedly code-named “Project Titan.” This got us thinking, how will Facebook differentiate its employees, who currently use facebook.com email addresses, from its 500 million users? How about this: fb.com.
In doing a little digging we found that MarkMonitor, a company whose sole purpose is to facilitate online and enterprise brand protection, is listed as the registrar of the domain fb.com. According to the available information, records for said domain were last updated on September 8th of this year. MarkMonitor manages online assets for company’s such as Nokia, UBS, and — according to this eWeek article from 2009 — Facebook.
It’s all a little speculative, but considering: MarkMonitor is the listed registrar of the fb.com domain, they have a working relationship with Facebook, and the social networking giant is in the market for a new (preferable shorter) domain name… all the pieces are there. And we’ll find out for sure on Monday.
Cisco’s annual networking conference, Cisco Live!, is in full swing and the networking giant is unveiling the initial details on several upcoming video-oriented products. For consumer video camera buffs, Cisco is working on a Wi-Fi-enabled version of its popular Flip Video camera. Details are sparse but senior vice president of emerging technologies, Marthin De Beer, did hint that the portable camera may launch in time for the holidays. Cisco is also developing an enterprise-level video transcoding service, called the Media Experience Engine, that would allow companies to internally distribute video to a variety of platforms on the fly. Last but not least, Cisco is planning to release an iOS 4 video client for the Apple iPhone and is exploring opportunities to integrate its technologies into Apple’s FaceTime video conferencing tool. More →
Possible new iTunes 9 screenshots depict Facebook social playlist integration, third-party device support
Ready for round 2, ladies and gents? A tipster just dropped a new handful of iTunes 9 screenshots in our inbox and while their authenticity cannot be confirmed, they’re certainly worth mentioning. Earlier this month we scooped a whole bunch of info surrounding the imminent release of iTunes 9 and this new round of screenshots, allegedly of an early iTunes 9 beta, may help support some of the info we exclusively detailed. The first notable feature depicted in the new shots is the Facebook integration. The images show the ability to create a new playlist and then share it on Facebook. The Facebook entry that subsequently appears on the user’s FB wall will include an iTunes link, presumably pointing to the shared playlist found on an iTunes page. Up next… How about some third-party device support? Yeah, very un-Apple but maybe Jobs & Co. have decided to turn over a new leaf. Again, these shots are not confirmed but the wait won’t be much longer — all will be revealed in early September when Apple holds its music event. Hit the jump for the images along with a screenshot of Facebook displaying a shared iTunes playlist.
Where would we be without our trusty Motorola ninjas? We’ve just got the drop on some exciting information about Motorola’s Android plans and how they hope plan to make a splash. Here’s what we’ve been told:
Motorola’s Android offering is definitely a customization of the Android user interface much like HTC has done. It will combine all personal contacts and social networking sites into a clean and easy to use interface. While it’s nice to know Moto is going to be throwing a skin on top of Android, what’s more interesting is the next part.
The skin/OS is named “Blur” by Motorola and will be heavily web-connected. All Android devices will be able to upgrade different sections of the OS and interface all over the air. There’s been something mentioned about a device key that’s attached to your email and passwords for your social networking accounts. What this presumably does is let all the content be pushed right to the device from the web which includes updates and actual upgrades.
That’s all we’ve got for now, but you can bet we’re digging for more information faster than Ed Zander.
UPDATE: Oh well. It seems Fortune reported some of this a couple days ago.