Research In Motion has its work cut out for it. Apple and Samsung went from dominating the smartphone industry to completely owning it in the first quarter this year, and RIM’s struggles continued as its BlackBerry 7 smartphone lineup really started showing its age. All eyes are on BlackBerry 10 as industry watchers try to determine whether or not RIM has a real shot at a comeback, and RIM has to be especially impressive at this year’s BlackBerry World conference since its first BlackBerry 10 smartphone likely won’t even launch until some time in October. RIM president and CEO Thorsten Heins will take the stage in just a few minutes when RIM’s BlackBerry World keynote kicks off at 9:00 a.m. EDT / 6:00 a.m. PDT, so hit the break to follow all the action as it unfolds and don’t forget to refresh the page for the latest updates. More →
Research In Motion’s annual BlackBerry World conference kicks off Tuesday morning and new president and chief executive officer Thorsten Heins will take the stage to greet the thousands of show goers in attendance. Heins’s company has a daunting mountain to climb as its struggles continue, and this year’s show may be RIM’s most important to date as it looks to attract enough interest from developers and users to tide it over until its next-generation smartphone platform launches. RIM’s first BlackBerry 10-powered smartphone likely won’t be released until some time in October, but developers will get their first taste of a smartphone running PlayBook OS, the basis for BlackBerry 10, when RIM hands out thousands of prototype smartphones at the BlackBerry Jam conference that will run alongside BlackBerry World in Orlando, Florida. Will RIM make enough of a splash to instill faith in developers, users and investors that it can successfully re-enter a market not just dominated by, but completely owned by Apple and Samsung?
Bookmark this link, which will go live shortly before the event begins this morning, and make sure to head there for our live coverage of RIM’s keynote! Coverage will begin just before 9:00 a.m. EDT / 6:00 a.m. PDT.
Research In Motion is set to report its results for the fourth fiscal quarter and full fiscal year on Thursday, and Wall Street is bracing itself for another disappointing quarter. RIM’s fourth-quarter guidance came in worse than expected when the company posted its third-quarter results, and now several analysts are lowering their expectations even further. Pulling no punches, Barclays Capital’s Jeff Kvaal wrote in a note to investors titled “Grim and getting grimmer” that BlackBerry 7 sales have been poor thus far, and he has lowered his projections as a result. Read on for more. More →
Right on schedule — sort of — Research In Motion announced on Tuesday that the first major update for its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is now available for download. The highly anticipated update brings a number of much needed functionality to the PlayBook, but the most notable additions are certainly the arrival of native email, contacts and calendar functionality. BlackBerry Messenger support is still absent from the PlayBook as RIM said it would be, but BlackBerry Bridge has been updated, plenty of new social functionality has been added, RIM’s Android app player is finally on board and video chat has been enhanced as well. We took a hands on look at PlayBook OS 2.0 during the Consumer Electronics Show this past January and we can confidently say that if you own a PlayBook, you should download the new update, which will be delivered over the air, as soon as possible. More →
Research In Motion hasn’t just had a difficult time innovating since the iPhone was first introduced, the company has had trouble innovating ever since its product started to morph into something more than a simple email messaging device. RIM has always been behind the curve with regard to technology in some ways. It was still making devices with black and white displays when other manufacturers were launching devices with vibrant full-color screens. RIM was one of the last manufacturers to launch an EDGE device and it was also one of the last manufacturers to include a camera in its devices. The vendor consistently offered devices without GPS or Wi-Fi, and without a functional web browser. The problem with Research In Motion is not just that the company has failed to adapt or plan for the future, it’s that RIM hasn’t been able to accurately predict not only what the mobile landscape was going to look like down the road, but also what its customers want in a BlackBerry handset. Unfortunately, judging from what I’ve seen so far, I don’t see much changing with new CEO Thorsten Heins. More →
After months of investors unrest, Research In Motion on Sunday announced that Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis were stepping down from their roles as co-CEO and co-Chairmen. Barbara Stymiest was named RIM’s new chairperson of the board, in line with rumors, and former Ericsson executive Thorsten Heins was named president and CEO. Heins and Stymiest hosted a conference call Monday morning, with Heins leading the show, and the company took its first steps in a long climb toward regaining shareholder confidence and customer confidence. Read on for more. More →
Struggling smartphone vendor Research In Motion is still a solid takeover target according to a new report, but only at a deep discount below RIM’s already low market value. RIM has lost 75% of its value over the past year but Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu says RIM’s true value lies below its current market capitalization, which sits at approximately $8.7 billion. Logical buyers according to Wu include Samsung — though the company has gone on record instating it is not interested in acquiring RIM — as well as Amazon, Microsoft and maybe even Facebook. Read on for more. More →
Research In Motion is currently weighing every single option it can think of in an effort to reverse a negative trend that is approaching a boiling point for investors. Reports that RIM is currently in talks to license its software to other vendors are accurate according to our trusted sources, though we have been told that RIM is most likely leaning toward an outright sale of one or more divisions, or even the whole company. The front runner, we have been told by a trusted source with knowledge of the situation, is Samsung, which might be interested in RIM for a number of reasons.
We already reported that the BlackBerry Colt — the handset that was originally intended to be the Research In Motion’s first BlackBerry 10 smartphone — had been cancelled. Now, we have heard from multiple sources that the BlackBerry Milan that leaked last month was in fact was never a QNX smartphone, but a BlackBerry 7 device with a slightly different design identity. Regardless, the Milan has been cancelled as well. We’re told carriers balked at the idea of carrying a BlackBerry 7 phone so similar to the BlackBerry Torch at this point in time. The only phone RIM is working on bringing to market right now is the BlackBerry London. We have been told that RIM is currently shopping the London with carriers, and while it still looks very much like the image published by The Verge in November, there have been some slight design changes made. Lastly, we got word that when representatives from Porsche Design showed up to RIM’s headquarters to check out the progress the company was making on the designed by Porsche BlackBerry 9900-series phone for the first time, “it was a complete disaster.”
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 →
Research In Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie confirmed during the company’s third-quarter earnings call that its next-generation BlackBerry 10 smartphones will not launch until “the latter part of 2012.” RIM on Thursday reported third fiscal quarter earnings that beat its lowered guidance, but the firm projected a bleak fourth quarter that will likely fall well short of earlier expectations. BlackBerry 10 is widely seen as a possible turnaround for the firm, but we’re still more than six months away from seeing the first next-generation BlackBerry smartphone hit store shelves according to Balsillie. Mike Lazaridis added that RIM is currently waiting for a new line of dual-core processors to become available before it will be able to push its BlackBerry 10 smartphones out to market. BGR exclusively reported in November that the recently leaked BlackBerry London could be RIM’s first BlackBerry 10 smartphone, possibly launching some time in the third quarter of 2012.
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.
We’ve just heard from a trusted source that the dummy device The Verge posted an image of earlier today is indeed a real BlackBerry, and it should in fact launch as the company’s first BBX-based smartphone. Our source told us that the BlackBerry Colt, the first QNX-based handset RIM had been working on that looked just like a smaller PlayBook, was scrapped in favor of the BlackBerry London. In terms of release timing, it’s looking like the London is slated to launch some time in the third quarter next year, possibly late in the quarter. Remember, RIM still has not been able to get BES or BBM working on BBX devices — probably the only two features BlackBerry phones are still known for these days — so launch details are anything but firm right now.