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BlackBerry Mobile Fusion integrates RIM, iOS and Android device management

April 5th, 2012

BlackBerry Mobile Fusion integrates RIM, iOS and Android device management

With iOS now offering business-friendly security features, the shift away from BlackBerry is well underway, and the transition hasn’t exactly played out well for RIM. Now, the company even appears to be embracing the recently established competition, by launching BlackBerry Mobile Fusion. Beginning today, the new enterprise management tool will support not only BlackBerry devices and PlayBook tablets, but also Android and iOS tablets and smartphones, through the Universal Device Service. Business customers will be able to use Mobile Fusion to configure devices with email and calendar access, create groups, establish security policies, manage lost phones, detect rooting and jailbreaking, and even control roaming to help curb pricey fees. RIM is offering the service with a free 60-day trial, with full pricing info likely to roll out before that two-month e-taste dissolves. You’ll find more details at the BlackBerry for Business Blog by clicking through to the source link below.

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RIM announces Q4 2012 earnings with a bathe breath, Jim Balsillie resigns from board, company refocus on enterprise

March 31st, 2012

RIM announces Q4 2012 earnings with a bathe breath, Jim Balsillie resigns from board, company refocus on enterprise

We’ve already seen a bit of big news slip out ahead of RIM’s earnings announcement, and the company’s now dropped another bombshell itself. Former co-CEO Jim Balsillie has resigned from his position on the company’s board of directors. In a statement, Balsillie said simply: “As I complete my retirement from RIM, I’m grateful for this remarkable experience and for the opportunity to have worked with outstanding professionals who helped turn a Canadian idea into a global success.” RIM also confirmed that CTO David Yach would be retiring as well, and that COO Jim Rowan has “decided to pursue other interests,” but it hasn’t offered any indication of a broader shakeup beyond those three departures.

As for the fourth quarter earnings, RIM is reporting revenue of $4.2 billion, down 19 percent from the third quarter, and a GAAP net loss of $125 million. Total BlackBerry shipments for the quarter dipped 21 percent to 11.1 million units, while PlayBook shipments totaled 500,000, which is actually a new high water mark for the tablet (1.3 million were shipped during the fiscal year). This is also notably the company’s first quarterly earnings under the leadership of new CEO Thorsten Heins, who admits that the RIM faces some “significant” business challenges over the “next several quarters,” and says that he’s “taking the necessary steps to address them.” That includes “increased management accountability and process discipline,” as well as what he describes as a “comprehensive review of strategic opportunities including partnerships and joint ventures, licensing, and other ways to leverage RIM’s assets and maximize value for our stakeholders.”

On the company’s earnings call, Heins further added that he intends to refocus on the company’s enterprise business, and not try to be “all things to all people.” He went on to offer an even more frank assessment of RIM’s current state than he had earlier, stating that these are “difficult times” and that there’s “no guarantee of success,” while also adding that he’s open to exploring “all opportunities.” That includes the possibility of licensing BB10 which, incidentally, will apparently address the company’s current LTE deficit “later this year.” Asked on the call whether he would consider getting out of the hardware business altogether, Heins says that he prefers an “integrated” approach, but left the door open a little to that being done through partnerships instead of completely in-house — he also repeatedly noted that he wants RIM devices to be high-end, “aspirational” products. In short: the company’s focus now is on BB10 and enterprise, but it’s seemingly leaving just about everything on the table.

SOURCE via Financial Post

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iPhone shipments overtake BlackBerry in Canada, poor RIM now runner-up in its hometown

March 23rd, 2012

iPhone shipments overtake BlackBerry in Canada, poor RIM now runner-up in its hometown

Heads up, RIM. The bad news train is coming to your backyard and only Mr. Heins can get you off the track. It appears not even local loyalties are enough to bolster the BlackBerry brand back into its former hometown glory. According to research provided by Bloomberg and IDC, Waterloo’s Canadian prospects are dimming, as that chunk of revenue, which amounts to about seven percent of its total earnings, has begun to wither, putting the company in second place behind Apple. Last year alone, iPhone shipments in the region outstripped BlackBerry by nearly one million and its recently reported fiscal performance isn’t helping to brighten the picture, either. With its 3rd quarter domestic sales down 23 percent and US revenue plummeting by almost half, the once prominent king of the smartphone sector has a long uphill battle ahead. For the company’s sake, let’s hope its annual BlackBerry World showcase, less than two months away, and anticipated BB 10 devices can turn its financial frown upside down.

SOURCE via Bloomberg

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PlayBook controlled robo-buggy can give you abit of Mission Impossible feeing

March 14th, 2012

PlayBook controlled robo-buggy can give you abit of Mission Impossible feeing

If iRobot tickled your fancy, but you don’t have the budget for military-grade technology, how about this fella? So, it’s not officially called PlayRobot, but if there was a naming convention, we guess that would be it. The buggy has a mounted camera, which relays video back to a PlayBook over a WiFi connection set up via a BlackBerry 9900. The six-wheeler is controlled by an on-screen joystick, much like many tablet versions of arcade games. It’s an entrant into this weekend’s Robot Challenge in Vienna, so thanks to that video link, at the very least, if it doesn’t win they can’t say they didn’t see it coming.

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Official BlackBerry PlayBook Mini Keyboard coming on March 23rd for $120?

March 13th, 2012

Official BlackBerry PlayBook Mini Keyboard coming on March 23rd for $120?

While there’s an array of unofficial third-party keyboards willing to pair up with your 7-inch RIM slate, an approved peripheral is likely to be the better option. At least, it’s what the BlackBerry-authorized add-on aims to accomplish. Dubbed Mini Keyboard, which also doubles as a “convertible” case, it’s said to start shipping on March 23rd for $120, packing a multitouch trackpad and claiming up to a month of juice on a single charge. Additionally, the device features 128bit encryption to put your paranoia at ease when you’re using that shiny OS 2.0. We’ve yet to hear an official word from RIM about price and availability, however, the source below seems to be taking pre-orders now.

SOURCE via N4BB

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BlackBerry struggles in the sea of advancements at MWC

March 7th, 2012

BlackBerry struggles in the sea of advancements at MWC

According to Steve Levy, CEO of enterprise mobile app platform company Verivo, BlackBerry is still viewed as the safest by IT professionals. However, there’s been an increasing number of companies who are allowing employees to ‘BYOD’ or Bring your Own Device. If those running the IT department had their way, they would likely only support once device: the BlackBerry.

The problem is that those IT advocates really have no way to help push greater RIM adoption. Even though the company makes most of its revenue from smartphones, RIM did not announce anything new at MWC 2012, and there’s going to be a lot of pressure from manufacturers like Nokia this year who are trying to re-establish their global position. The increasing volume of Android devices and Apple’s stable position means RIM is likely only to fall behind.

BlackBerry struggles in the sea of advancements at MWC

Some of us expected RIM to unveil its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones, but now we know that’s not going to happen until late 2012. Until then, the BlackBerry 7 lineup, which was released last year, is the only thing the company can hawk. On the tablet front, RIM is selling the PlayBook in many cases at prices less than half of the launch at $500. Unless something dramatically changes, the PlayBook line looks destined to go the way of the TouchPad.

The only thing noteworthy at RIM’s MWC booth was the QNX-based Porsche Carrera 911 concept car. First demoed at CES, it’s meant to demonstrate the capabilities of QNX and future automotive applications. Inside are three PlayBooks, one for navigation (center console), while the other two are mounted on the back seats as media players. All three devices are networked, so you can control the rear content from the center console.

For those not in the know, QNX is already used by brands like Porsche, Audi, and BMW. It’s also is the basis for the PlayBook OS and the upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS. Unfortunately, this specific media-focused application of QNX is only a concept car. You can’t actually walk into a dealership and get a Carrera 911 all decked out with the following features (source: Cnet):

  • Voice recognition software that allows you to navigate to a location or open a Web site on your center console
  • Voice calls in stereo sound via Bose speakers
  • Video calling with PlayBook tablets in the back seat
  • NFC tags to connect your smartphone and navigation system via BlackBerry Bridge
  • Wireless 3G router in the dashboard provides Internet connectivity
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RIM builds BlackBerry server center in Mumbai, right where Indian government wants it

February 24th, 2012

RIM builds BlackBerry server center in Mumbai, right where Indian government wants it

This is the epilogue to a story that started as far back as 2008, when the Indian government first demanded access to encrypted BBM traffic. In 2010, RIM made “certain proposals” that satisfied politicos and averted a ban, and now it’s gone one step further — placing 5,000 BES Enterprise servers directly beneath officials’ noses in Mumbai. It’s not yet clear if messages will be subject to any more scrutiny than they were before, but N4BB reports that a “team of officers” has already inspected the installation and that “permission for direct monitoring” is “expected to be issued.” Looks like those snoops will soon be working double shifts.

SOURCE via n4bb

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BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 now ready for download

February 22nd, 2012

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 now ready for download

After touring the exhibition circuit for what seems like an eternity, PlayBook OS 2.0 is finally ready to settle down and make itself available for download. Check for updates via Settings on your tablet and you should see it sitting there, wearing last season’s fashions but nevertheless looking every inch the major OTA update that it is. Expect improvements like native email, calendar and contacts, integration with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, some new-fangled Bridge functions, and access to the first crop of Android apps in BB App World.

SOURCE via Crackberry

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BlackBerry Playbook OS 2.0 release confirmed for February 21st

February 21st, 2012

BlackBerry Playbook OS 2.0 release confirmed for February 21st

There’s been plenty of back and forth between the web and RIM lately regarding the debut date of the next OS release for the PlayBook, and now we’ve got some hard evidence showing that the software is set to be let loose on February 21st. As you can see in the picture above, PlayBook users will be able to download version 2.0 in the early hours of an unknown time zone next Tuesday. The much anticipated update will finally give the tablet a native email client, improved BlackBerry Bridge functionality and plenty of other goodies. Not only that, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will be rolling out that same day, giving IT professionals the ability to manage all BlackBerry devices from a single interface — with Android and iOS controls coming in March.

BlackBerry Playbook OS 2.0 release confirmed for February 21st

SOURCE via Engadget

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BlackBerry Desktop Software for PCs makes debatable leap to version 7.0

February 16th, 2012

BlackBerry Desktop Software for PCs makes debatable leap to version 7.0

It’s been a long time in the making, but the BlackBerry Desktop Software for PCs has just made the jump from version 6.1 to 7.0. Despite the significant numeric hurdle, the software is scant for new features and only a handful of known issues have been fixed. New to the revision, the organizer synchronization component has been overhauled for easier setup and BlackBerry users may now import individual pictures and videos from within the utility — as if USB Mass Storage mode didn’t work well enough. A bug that incorrectly minimized the software to the system tray has been resolved, along with a couple of annoyances that relate only to BES users. Meanwhile, the list of known issues is nearly four pages long. Yikes. Ever get the feeling this software release could’ve been more aptly named version 6.1.0.37?

SOURCE via RIM (PDF)

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