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 →
Apple rocked the consumer electronics industry when it launched the “magical and revolutionary iPad” in April 2010. It wasn’t the first media tablet aimed at the consumer market by any means, but it was the first that consumers actually wanted. Following the iPad’s unveiling, Apple’s rivals scrambled to build tablets of their own and market research firms were quick to herald 2011 as “the year of the tablet.” More than 100 different tablets were unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2011, the bulk employing Android to power their user experiences, and the year of the tablet was upon us. Read on for more. More →
Research In Motion on Thursday reported earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2012. The struggling smartphone vendor announced earlier this month that it would miss its third-quarter guidance of between $5.3 billion and $5.6 billion in revenue, and it said EPS would likely be in line with the low end of its earlier guidance. The numbers are now in, and RIM pulled in $5.2 billion last quarter while recording earnings of $1.27 per share, or $667 million, beating its lowered guidance. RIM shipped 14.1 million smartphones in the third quarter, in line with its guidance of between 13.5 million and 14.5 million units, and sell-through came in below expectations at 13 million units. Net income dropped to $285 million from $911 million in the same quarter last year, and the vendor’s fourth-quarter guidance was worse than expected. Read on for more. More →
Despite a wide selection of Android tablets as well as an own-brand offering from Research In Motion, Android and BlackBerry smartphone users prefer Apple’s iPad above competitive tablet offerings. A recent survey of 2,500 respondents conducted by market research firm Maritz Research found that to be the case, Forbes reports. When presented with a choice of 14 different tablets from 11 different vendors, most Android, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile users identified the iPad as the tablet they would most like to buy. 53% of BlackBerry users identified the iPad as their tablet of choice, and only 8.5% said the BlackBerry PlayBook would be their preference. Among Android smartphone users, 41% indicated that they would choose the iPad over any other tablet, and 40% of Windows Mobile users said the iPad was the most appealing tablet. 15% of Android users said they would buy the Amazon Kindle Fire and 19% said they would buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab, while 16% of Windows Mobile users expressed interest in purchasing a Kindle Fire and 12% said they would buy a Galaxy Tab. More →
Research In Motion, for the first time ever, suffered an exploit in which root access was gained on one of their devices, the PlayBook. While RIM initially downplayed the significance of the jailbreak, the exploit tool created by a few hackers was recently released to the public and it indeed gave users root access to the BlackBerry PlayBook, bypassing RIM’s security measures. After the jailbreak was released, RIM made an OTA update available that fixed the jailbreak. RIM’s fix has already been jailbroken however, leaving the company’s only tablet exposed, again. This cat and mouse game is something that RIM has not had to deal with in the past due to the enhanced security of the BlackBerry platform. More →
Research In Motion announced last week that it will take a $485 million charge in the third fiscal quarter due to poor sales of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor shipped 500,000 PlayBook tablets to retail partners during the slate’s first quarter of availability and just 200,000 units in the second fiscal quarter. Last quarter, RIM shipped just 150,000 units into sales channels. A string of big sales ahead of the holidays this year is apparently going a long way to clear unsold inventory however, and one study suggests adoption may have jumped by nearly 50% during Black Friday weekend. Read on for more. More →
Research In Motion announced ahead of the trading day on Friday that it will miss its third fiscal quarter guidance when it reports its earnings later this month. The Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor confirmed that it will not meet the $5.3 billion to $5.6 billion in revenue it guided when reporting its second-quarter earnings, and it said EPS fell in the low to mid range of its forecast. RIM also said it will miss its full-year EPS estimate of between $5.25 to $6.00 a share. The company plans to book a one-time pre-tax charge of $485 million in the third quarter in order to write down the value of unsold BlackBerry PlayBook tablets, which has not been well-received by consumers or enterprise customers. RIM did say it shipped 14.1 million smartphones in the quarter, in line with its forecast, but it only sold 150,000 PlayBook tablets into retail sales channels compared to 500,000 units in the first quarter and 200,000 in the second. Shares of RIM stock dropped 5% in pre-market trading after being halted on the news. RIM’s full release follows below. More →
A group of security researchers recently demonstrated on video that they have successfully gained root access to the QNX-based operating system found on Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The PlayBook jailbreak and related “mack truck” security hole these hackers identified could have some serious implications for future BlackBerry devices, but RIM says users should not get ahead of themselves. “Research In Motion (RIM) is aware of a claim made on Twitter by security researchers working together that suggests the ability to ‘jailbreak’ a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet,” RIM said in a statement, noting that no BlackBerry smartphone users are affected. RIM also said it will begin working on a patch for the claimed security hole if its investigation determines the hackers’ claims are genuine, and it will also investigate any PlayBook jailbreaking tool released to the public. RIM’s full statement follows below, along with a video demonstration of security researcher “neuralic” gaining root access to a BlackBerry PlayBook.
There has been word for the past few days that Research In Motion’s PlayBook has been jailbroken. What this means is that, for the first time ever in RIM’s history, root access has been gained into a BlackBerry operating system. Why is this a big deal? Well, of RIM’s few remaining strengths, one of them was security, both in terms of encrypting and securing the messages you send over the RIM network, and device security. It’s why BlackBerry products became so popular with enterprises and governments — security. That device is so secure, that even the President of the United States uses one. Read on for more. More →
Research In Motion on Thursday announced a new promotion that will make its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet available to enterprise customers for free. Businesses that upgrade to RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) v5.0 between now and December 31st will receive a free 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook tablet along with their purchase. Additional incentives provide up to $400 off installation services through participating partners. Earlier this week, RIM announced a sale that makes the PlayBook tablet available to consumers for $300 below standard retail pricing. Sales of RIM’s debut tablet have been lackluster at best, with shipments into retail channels totaling 500,000 units during the PlayBook’s first quarter of availability and just 200,000 units last quarter. As interest in RIM’s tablet tapers, sales of its latest smartphones stall and the company continues to burn through cash at an alarming rate, price drops and promotions appear to make up much of RIM’s strategy as it continues to tread water until the first round of BBX phones is ready to launch.
Research In Motion’s debut tablet hasn’t bowled people over like the company had hoped, and now it is pushing a huge sale in hopes of drumming up interest during the holiday shopping season. For a limited time through participating retailers, RIM is offering its BlackBerry PlayBook slate for $300 below MSRP, representing savings of up to 60%. Sale pricing comes in at $199.99 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 32GB version and $399 for the 64GB model, and participating retailers include Best Buy, Walmart RadioShack and more. More →
Research In Motion’s latest run of BlackBerry smartphones was reportedly well-received early on, with checks from a number of sources having indicated strong upgrade sales for several phone models. Demand has apparently been waning lately however, as strong competition from the likes of Android and Apple’s iPhone has drawn attention away from sleek new BlackBerry phones like the Bold 9900. Now, more bad news comes from a firm that has historically seen RIM’s glass as being half full while other investment banks were telling their clients to head for the hills. Read on for more. More →
End user pricing on media tablets is set to drop substantially in 2012 as competition further increases among vendors. A new report from analyst James Wang of DigiTimes on Thursday suggests that the average price of 10-inch tablets will drop to between $299 and $399 next year, and 7-inch models will average between $199 and $249. Wang further speculations that Amazon may lower the end user cost of its Kindle Fire tablet to $149 in order to maintain its pricing advantage. Regarding eReaders, the analyst sees shipment volume growing 31.4% in 2012 to 28.9 million units, and he believes the U.S. will continue to account for the bulk of eReader sales. EReader pricing is expected to drop as well next year, and Wang says Amazon’s Kindle could be sold for as little as $49 as eBook readers from other vendors like Barnes & Noble reach the $99 price point. More →