Gartner: Apple leads smartphone sales to new heights

By on February 15, 2012 at 5:50 PM.

Gartner: Apple leads smartphone sales to new heights

Global smartphone sales increased 47.3% to 149 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to market research firm Gartner. Total smartphone sales for the full year increased 58% to 472 million units and accounted for 31% of all mobile devices sold. The record sales were led by Apple’s iPhone, which sold 37 million units and helped the company capture a 23.8% market share in the fourth quarter. Apple was also the top smartphone vendor in 2011, with a 19% market share. “Western Europe and North America led most of the smartphone growth for Apple during the fourth quarter of 2011,” said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. “In Western Europe the spike in iPhone sales in the fourth quarter saved the overall smartphone market after two consecutive quarters of slow sales.” Samsung continued its success with LG, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Research In Motion recording disappointing results. Both ZTE and Huawei dominated the low-end to mid-range market and became — along with Apple — the fastest-growing vendors in the fourth quarter of 2011. “These vendors expanded their market reach and kept on improving the user experience of their Android devices,” said Cozza. Read on for Gartner’s press release. More →

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BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 said to launch on February 21st

By on February 14, 2012 at 5:45 PM.

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 said to launch on February 21st

When Research In Motion released its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, the device had its fair share of problems. RIM promised an operating system update that would address these problems but the launch was delayed by several months. A new report from N4BB claims the official release of the PlayBook 2.0 update is set for February 21st, just over a week later than the company initially planned. The PlayBook OS 2.0 update will include native email, calendar and contacts apps, but unfortunately native BBM will remain absent from the tablet and can only be accessed through BlackBerry Bridge. More →

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Leaked BlackBerry 10 images reveal home screen widgets, more

By on February 14, 2012 at 11:10 AM.

Leaked BlackBerry 10 images reveal home screen widgets, more

Research in Motion has already confirmed that BlackBerry 10 smartphones won’t be shipping until late this year. Thanks to new images published by CrackBerry, however, we now have a preview of what’s to come. The images have come from one of RIM’s external ad agencies and highlight the much-awaited introduction of home screen widgets. The pictures reveal a number of changes, such as an updated Windows Phone-like icon tray that features dedicated call, search and camera buttons, quarter-screen widgets, iOS-styled folders and integrated video calling. Read on for more. More →

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RIM extends free PlayBook offer for Android developers

By on February 13, 2012 at 6:05 PM.

RIM extends free PlayBook offer for Android developers

Earlier this month, Research in Motion began to offer free BlackBerry PlayBook tablets to any Android developers that repackaged their apps for App World. Due to overwhelming interest, the Monday deadline for registration has been extended to February 15th and all developers will have until March 2nd to submit their apps. As of last Friday, there had been more than 1,500 app submissions and over 6,600 new developers registered in the BlackBerry App World according to RIM. According to a post on its blog late Monday, the company is “working around the clock to approve vendor registrations and app submissions.” More →

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RIM: BlackBerry apps are more profitable than Android apps

By on February 7, 2012 at 8:35 AM.

RIM: BlackBerry apps are more profitable than Android apps

Research In Motion executivess took the stage during BlackBerry DevCon Europe on Tuesday to clear up a few facts about the company’s success with its BlackBerry App World marketplace. RIM’s new CEO Thorsten Heins said BlackBerry App World is now home to more than 60,000 applications, which is a fraction of what’s available in the Android Market or iTunes App Store, and that BlackBerry devices are among the most popular smartphones purchased in the United Kingdom. RIM’s vice president of developer relations Alec Saunders also said that there are 174 million app downloads per month, or about 6 million applications downloaded per day, The Verge reported. Saunders argued that RIM’s BlackBerry App World has 43% more daily downloads per app than Apple’s own iTunes App Store and he said App World can be more profitable as well — BlackBerry apps supposedly earn about 40% more than their Android counterparts, and 13% of BlackBerry developers have made more than $100,000 from their apps. In addition to the app figures, Saunders and Nokia’s head of Qt announced that RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook OS now supports the Qt developer framework, originally intended for Nokia devices. More →

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RIM woos Android developers with free PlayBook tablets

By on February 2, 2012 at 6:30 PM.

RIM woos Android developers with free PlayBook tablets

At last month’s Consumer Electronics Show, Research in Motion previewed the company’s upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 update, which we exclusively reported would land in mid-February. The anticipated update will give PlayBook users the ability to use Android apps that have been compiled for RIM’s platform, but getting developers on board remains the issue. RIM is taking steps to get the attention of developers, however, and one of the first is to offer free BlackBerry PlayBook tablets to any Android developers that repackages their apps for App World. The promotion was announced by Alec Saunders, the company’s VP of developer relations, with developers having been given until February 13th to submit their applications.

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BlackBerry 7 devices gain government approval in U.S. and Canada

By on February 1, 2012 at 5:30 PM.

BlackBerry 7 devices gain government approval in U.S. and Canada

Research In Motion’s latest BlackBerry 7 devices has=ve been granted Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 certification by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC). FIPS certification is required before a device can be used by a government agency in either the U.S. or Canada. “The FIPS 140-2 certification for BlackBerry 7.0 and 7.1 illustrates RIM’s continuing commitment to providing industry-leading, secure, mobile computing platforms for our customers,” said Scott Totzke, Senior Vice President, BlackBerry Security at Research In Motion. “With all of the latest BlackBerry smartphones and the PlayBook tablet certified under the FIPS program, government and security-conscious customers can deploy our entire range of products with confidence.” Devices that received FIPS 140-2 certification include the BlackBerry PlayBook, the BlackBerry Bold 9900, 9790, BlackBerry Torch 9850, 9860 and 910, and the BlackBerry Curve 9350, 9360, 9370 and 9380. RIM’s full press release follows after the break. More →

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BlackBerry users are older and wealthier than average smartphone users, study suggests

By on January 27, 2012 at 7:15 AM.

BlackBerry users are older and wealthier than average smartphone users, study suggests

BlackBerry owners tend to be older and wealthier than other smartphone users according to a new report released this week. Data from comScore Data Mine suggests BlackBerry users are “more likely to have a household greater than $75,000 when compared to average smartphone owners.” BlackBerry owners were also more likely to have at least part of all of their monthly mobile bill paid for by their employers. We’re not surprised, taking into consideration the vast number of enterprise users that still own a BlackBerry for work. “BlackBerry users over indexed in all age segments 35-64 in November 2011, with the 55-64 age bracket showing the highest index of 120,” comScore said in its report, which found the fewest number of Blackberry users between the ages of 18 and 24. More →

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RIM’s Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis step down, name new CEO

By on January 22, 2012 at 9:22 PM.

RIM’s Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis step down, name new CEO

Research In Motion will be getting a new chief operating officer shortly, replacing current co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis. RIM named Thorsten Heins, previously the company’s chief operating officer, as the company’s new CEO. Though Balsillie and Lazaridis will step down as CEOs, they will remain on the board though both have relinquished their co-chairman roles and Barbara Stymiest has been named chairperson of the board. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the company’s new CEO stated that RIM was not intending to put the company up for sale, though a successful launch of BlackBerry 10 could open the door to possible licensing agreements with other manufacturers. BGR exclusively reported that executives from Research In Motion were in high level, preliminary discussions about a possible sale of the company to Samsung. Samsung denied interest in acquiring RIM through a spokesperson. RIM’s full press release follows below. More →

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Pentagon approves Android device for Department of Defense, Apple still awaits clearance

By on December 28, 2011 at 4:20 PM.

Pentagon approves Android device for Department of Defense, Apple still awaits clearance

Research in Motion’s BlackBerry OS has been the platform of choice for the Department of Defense for many years thanks to RIM’s robust security. However, with the rise of Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems, the DoD may be moving away from BlackBerry devices. In a recent Security Technical Implementation Guide, the DoD approved the use of Android-powered devices by its staff, but the Dell Venue is currently the only phone that qualifies. The DoD states that a device must be running Android 2.2 and have the Android Market stripped from its core in order to be used by staff. Moreover, all web browsing must be done through a DoD proxy server and classified information cannot be sent, received or accessed by Android handsets. Apple’s iPhones and iPads are also being tested by the Defense Information Systems Agency, however due to Apple’s tightly controlled ecosystem, the devices have not yet been approved. Installing DoD third-party security software was more difficult on iOS than Android’s open-source framework. Additionally, government officials said they were uncomfortable with Apple’s ability to track its users’ locations. More →

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RIM responds to claim of BlackBerry 10 software problems

By on December 22, 2011 at 4:00 PM.

RIM responds to claim of BlackBerry 10 software problems

RIM has responded to an exclusive BGR report published on Thursday in which our source claimed BlackBerry 10 was delayed not because the vendor was waiting for a new LTE chip, but because RIM’s developers have not yet been able to resolve many of the issues plaguing the new OS. “RIM made a strategic decision to launch BlackBerry 10 devices with a new, LTE-based dual core chip set architecture,” RIM told AllThingsD. “As explained on our earnings call, the broad engineering impact of this decision and certain other factors significantly influenced the anticipated timing for the BlackBerry 10 devices. The anonymous claim suggesting otherwise is inaccurate and uninformed. As RIM has previously explained, and as Mike Lazaridis reiterated on the earnings call, we will not launch BlackBerry 10 devices until we know they are ready and we believe this new chip set architecture is required to deliver the world class user experience that our customers will expect. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply false.” Contrary to RIM’s statement, our source indicated that the company has not yet been able to get core features like email and BlackBerry Messenger working as desired on BlackBerry 10 smartphones, and that it is “pushing this out as long as they can for one reason, they don’t have a working product yet.” More →

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RIM reportedly rejected takeover talks with Amazon this summer

By on December 20, 2011 at 5:55 PM.

RIM reportedly rejected takeover talks with Amazon this summer

Research In Motion reportedly cut short takeover talks with Amazon and other companies, preferring to instead attempt to solve its own financial woes. Reuters broke news of the discussions Tuesday evening. Amazon allegedly hired an investment bank to help guide discussions with the BlackBerry maker, but it’s unclear how far along the talks got before RIM turned the retail giant away. Sources speaking to Reuters said RIM is not currently interested in a sale or a joint venture and would instead prefer to license its technology. “Selling the company or an economic joint venture is probably not in the cards right now,” the anonymous source told Reuters. “Until you stabilize the platform, people are going to be very nervous about spending $10 billion or more.” Read on for more. More →

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Drunk RIM execs gnawed through restraints on flight, assaulted a flight attendant

By on December 12, 2011 at 11:30 PM.

Drunk RIM execs gnawed through restraints on flight, assaulted a flight attendant

Two former RIM executives who were recently removed from an Air Canada flight on its way to Beijing after causing a drunken raucous apparently gnawed their way through plastic handcuffs and tape, new court documents reveal. The two men, aged 38 and 45, were allegedly intoxicated before boarding the plane and then “drank, passed out, and woke up to continue consuming alcohol and yelling at one another,” CBS said. One of the executives laid down in the aisle and kick the floor while he was being restrained. In another case, one man “assaulted a flight attendant and threatened to punch her,” a court document said, noting that the man also threatened to “off people when they left the plane.” The two men have since been fired from Research In Motion.  More →

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