Posts tagged 'blackberry'

Catching a falling Blackberry

It’s possible Prem Watsa is a genius. We don’t wish to exclude it. Read more

Blackberry, bricked

Blackberry’s logo (below) resembles nothing as much as a hail of seven silver bullets. It appears the gun has been pointing the wrong way.

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“Keep moving”

“Alicia Keys has come to BlackBerry because she believes in the product and technology, and subscribes to our overriding philosophy to “Keep Moving”: to empower people through mobile computing and communications,” said BlackBerry President and CEO Thorsten Heins…

Yes, Blackberry’s Global Creative Director outed herself as an iPhone junky! a year ago. Read more

BlackBerry maker shakes up board

Research In Motion’s joint chairmen and chief executives, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, have resigned as part of a long-awaited shake-up at the embattled Canadian maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, the FT reports. RIM said late on Sunday that Mr Lazaridis would continue to play an active role as vice-chairman and head of a new board committee on innovation. Mr Balsillie is leaving the company, but will remain a director. The new chief executive will be Thorsten Heins, chief operating officer for product and sales. Mr Heins, a 54 year-old German, joined RIM in 2007 from Siemens, the engineering group. RIM presented the changes as an orderly succession initiated by the two former chief executives. “There comes a time in the growth of every successful firm that the founders realise that it’s time to pass the baton,” Mr Lazaridis told the Financial Times. Barbara Stymiest, former head of the Toronto stock exchange and a senior executive at Royal Bank of Canada, was named chairman. RIM also said that it was seeking a new chief marketing officer. Prem Watsa, a prominent Canadian investor, has joined the board.

RIM co-chiefs step down

Research In Motion’s joint chairmen and chief executives, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, have resigned as part of a long-awaited shake-up at the embattled Canadian maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, the FT reports. RIM said late on Sunday that Mr Lazaridis would continue to play an active role as vice-chairman and head of a new board committee on innovation. Mr Balsillie is leaving the company, but will remain a director.  The new chief executive will be Thorsten Heins, chief operating officer for product and sales. Mr Heins, a 54 year-old German, joined RIM in 2007 from Siemens, the engineering group. Barbara Stymiest, former head of the Toronto stock exchange and a senior executive at Royal Bank of Canada, was named chairman. RIM also said that it was seeking a new chief marketing officer. Prem Watsa, a prominent Canadian investor, has joined the board. Reuters says the executives were keen to paint the shuffle as an orderly transition on a succession plan mapped out at least a year ago, and not a retreat in the face of a plummeting share price, shrinking US market share and criticism of their products.

RIM shares rise on new chairman reports

Shares in Research in Motion rose 7 per cent on Tuesday, their biggest increase in two weeks, on a report that the Blackberry maker may name a new chairman, says Bloomberg. RIM is facing demands from investors led by Northwest & Ethical Investments to name an independent chairman, a role currently shared by co-chief executive officers Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, to inject fresh thinking. The National Post said on Tuesday that Barbara Stymiest, an independent director who joined RIM’s board in 2007, was believed to be the leading candidate to replace Balsillie and Lazaridis, citing sources familiar with events.

RIM shied away from Amazon bid

Research In Motion turned down takeover overtures from Amazon.com and other potential buyers, preferring to concentrate on fixing its problems on its own first, says Reuters, citing people with knowledge of the situation. Amazon hired an investment bank this summer to review a potential merger with RIM, but it did not make a formal offer, said one of the sources. It is not clear whether informal discussions between Amazon and RIM ever led to specific price talk, or who else had approached RIM about a takeover. The board wants RIM co-chief executives Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie to focus on trying to turn around the business through the launch of new phones, better use of assets such as BlackBerry Messaging and restructuring. The WSJ meanwhile says Microsoft and Nokia “flirted with the idea” of making a joint bid for RIM in recent months, citing people familiar with the matter, but said the status of the talks remains unclear. RIM shares rose 11 per cent in late trading after the two reports, says Bloomberg.

RIM co-chiefs’ salaries cut to $1 each amid crisis

Research in Motion, the Canadian manufacturer of the BlackBerry family of smartphones and the PlayBook tablet, responded to falling profits, product problems and investor disenchantment by cutting its co-chief executives’ salaries to $1 each next year and pledging a “comprehensive review”. The FT reports RIM also warned on Thursday that its next generation of smartphones running its new operating system, dubbed BlackBerry 10 – which it needs to compete more effectively against Apple’s iPhone and Google Android handsets – will not be available until “the later part of calendar 2012”, or six months later than expected. RIM’s weak earnings pushed its stock to new seven-year lows in after-hours trading, says the WSJ, raising fresh questions about the company’s ability to compete with the likes of Apple and Google.

RIM turns to restoring faith of customers

Research In Motion said its BlackBerry services had been finally restored on Thursday morning after more than three days of disruption to millions of customers on five continents, the FT reports. Mike Lazaridis, founder and co-chief executive of Canada’s RIM, apologised to customers for what he called “the largest disruption we have ever experienced” and did not rule out RIM paying compensation in an effort to rebuild customer trust. The UK’s Daily Telegraph gives an overview of how the blackout happened.

 

RIM says service levels progressing well in the US

Research in Motion said early on Thursday UK time that it was “seeing a significant increase in service levels” for Blackberries in Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. The company was battling to shore up its network on Wednesday as it emerged that an intermittent service outage preventing users accessing email had spread to half of all Blackberry subscribers worldwide, theFT reports. David Yach, RIM’s chief technology officer for software, said there was no evidence of hacking, adding that the problems were global because RIM had to restrict service everywhere due to a backlog of undelivered messages after a core network switch in a data centre in Slough outside London failed on Monday. The company later told some of its corporate clients that it may not clear the huge backlog of messages until Thursday morning on the US East Coast, Reuters says. Some analysts have suggested telecoms network operators may seek compensation. The company has not said whether compensation would be offered, says AllThingsD, but pledged that no emails would be lost. Updates are available on the company’s website.

RIM says European service improving

Research in Motion said early on Thursday UK time that it was “seeing a significant increase in service levels” for Blackberries in Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. The company was battling to shore up its network on Wednesday as it emerged that an intermittent service outage preventing users accessing email had spread to half of all Blackberry subscribers worldwide, the FT reports. David Yach, RIM’s chief technology officer for software, said there was no evidence of hacking, adding that the problems were global because RIM had to restrict service everywhere due to a backlog of undelivered messages after a core network switch in a data centre in Slough outside London failed on Monday. Early on Thursday, the company’s website  The company later told some of its corporate clients that it may not clear the huge backlog of messages until Thursday morning on the US East Coast, Reuters says. Some analysts have suggested telecoms network operators may seek compensation. The company has not said whether compensation would be offered, says AllThingsD, but pledged that no emails would be lost.

 

BlackBerry email outage hits half of users

Research in Motion, the maker of BlackBerry smartphones, was battling to shore up its network on Wednesday as it emerged that an intermittent service outage preventing users accessing email had spread to 30m-40m people, half of all Blackberry subscribers worldwide, the FT reports. RIM confirmed the problems during a news conference and said its engineers were working night and day to resolve the issue. David Yach, RIM’s chief technology officer for software, said there was no evidence of hacking, adding that the problems were global because RIM had to restrict service everywhere due to a backlog of undelivered messages after a core network switch in a data centre in Slough outside London failed on Monday. Since then the three-day old technical problems have spread to users in the Americas, Europe, India, the Middle East and Africa – the biggest network failure to hit the Canadian company since it launched the BlackBerry service a decade ago.

Blackberry problems dog RIM

BlackBerry smartphone owners across Europe, the Middle East and Africa reported continuing problems with their service for a second day amid indications that the problems had spread to users in India and Latin America, the FT says. Research in Motion, the Canadian manufacturer of BlackBerry devices which also operates the dedicated network for BlackBerry users, had earlier claimed that it had resolved the problem believed to have begun at a company-owned data-centre in Slough. Meanwhile a growing mass of RIM investors backs calls for a sale or break-up of the company, Reuters says, with Jaguar Financial calling for a new, “transformational leader” at its helm.

 

RIM shares slump 20% after missing targets

Research in Motion has suffered a further setback in its attempts to lure customers away from rivals Apple and Google after again missing its earnings targets, the FT reports. Shares in the company plunged nearly 20 per cent in after-hours trading following poor second-quarter sales of its older handsets and warnings of lower margins in the current quarter. RIM sold 200,000 PlayBook tablets – fewer than half of the 550,000 units analysts had forecast in the second quarter – while it shipped 10.6m BlackBerry smartphones – 1m units less than expected.

 

Android-compatible Blackberrys reportedly planned

Research In Motion plans to enable models expected next year to run applications built for Google’s Android operating system, Bloomberg reports, citing three people familiar with the plan. The report says BlackBerrys that run on RIM’s new QNX software, which the company plans to introduce in early 2012, will also be Android-compatible. There are more than 250,000 apps available from Google’s Android Market, or about six times as many as in RIM’s App World.

RIM plunges on profit warning

Shares in Research in Motion, the Canadian manufacturer of the BlackBerry, plunged as much as 11% in after-hours trading after the company issued a surprise profit warning due to growing competition from Apple and Google as well as delays in the launch of an updated generation of smartphones, reports the FT. RIM said on Thursday it had cut sales and profit forecasts for the current quarter due to slowing demand for its ageing smartphones, which are losing ground to the iPhone and other touchscreen- based handsets. RIM said it expected profits this quarter of $1.30-$1.37 a share, down sharply from last month’s forecast of $1.47-$1.55. The NYT says that RIM’s previously robust financial performance is ‘not looking so solid.

RIM shares tumble on PlayBook costs

Research in Motion cautioned that its performance in the current quarter would be affected by costs associated with the launch of its PlayBook tablet device next month, disappointing investors who sold-down the stock in after-market trading, the FT reports. Shares in the Canadian company tumbled as much as 12 per cent in after-hours trading on Nasdaq before settling 10 per cent lower at $57.50. RIM also confirmed that its soon-to-be released PlayBook will be able to run software applications developed for other devices, including Android-based smartphones – a move that could enable it to compete more effectively with Apple’s iPad. Continued strong sales of its BlackBerry family of smartphones, particularly in markets outside North America, helped RIM report a 36 per cent increase in fiscal fourth-quarter revenues and a 32 per cent increase in net profits for the quarter ending February 28.

UAE lifts BlackBerry ban threat

The United Arab Emirates on Friday said it would not go ahead with the suspension of BlackBerry mobile communication services next week, saying they were now compliant with the Gulf’s state’s regulatory framework, the FT reports. The UAE’s regulator had said in August that it would ban BlackBerry’s messenger, e-mail and web-browser services on October 11 because they were operating outside of its laws and raised national security concerns.

Blackberry maker launches tablet device

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion is expanding beyond the smartphone to take on Apple’s iPad with its first tablet device – the BlackBerry PlayBook, the FT reports. RIM unveiled the tablet with its seven-inch screen and dual high-definition cameras for video conferencing at its annual developer conference in San Francisco. The device was described by RIM’s CEO as the “first professional tablet” and will target a business audience, according to RCR Unplugged.

Invitation to Tea@theFT

A once in a life time offer. Unlikely to be repeated.

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India delays BlackBerry crackdown

India’s government and Research in Motion agreed on Monday to extend talks by two months over India’s demand for RIM to open its BlackBerry services to scrutiny by intelligence agencies, reports the FT. The agreement came before a Tuesday deadline for mobile operators in India to shut down the Canadian company’s corporate email and messaging services if it did not agree to the demand. Bloomberg adds that the final outcome may set the tone for how India deals with services it says it wants to monitor.

India gains partial BlackBerry access

Research In Motion has assured Indian authorities limited access to its BlackBerry Messenger services by Sept 1, and will hold talks this week on giving access to enterprise mail, reports Reuters, citing an Indian government source. The Canadian company faces an Aug 31 deadline to give Indian authorities the means to read email and instant messages sent over the BlackBerry. New Delhi has said it will suspend BlackBerry services if RIM does not comply.

India eyes Google after Blackberry warning

The Indian government’s threat to block Blackberry messaging services if it cannot access them is set to be extended to Google and Skype and other communications networks as well, according to a government document seen by the FT. Blackberry’s maker RIM has meanwhile warned that it will not cut specific deals with individual countries even despite the Indian government’s August 31 deadline for changes to encryption in its software, Reuters reports.

India sets BlackBerry deadline

Research in Motion, the Canadian maker of the BlackBerry, has said it will not cut deals with specific countries amid threats from governments around the world about blocking its services, reports the FT. RIM was responding to India’s threat on Thursday to block encrypted BlackBerry corporate e-mail and messaging services if its security agencies were not granted access to them by Aug 31. RIM is already facing a similar threat from the United Arab Emirates and is negotiating with Saudi authorities on security issues. Reuters adds that for RIM, any compromise could jeopardise its appeal to business executives and politicians, who require air-tight communications, and complicate its position in other countries.

RIM to share BlackBerry codes

Canada-based Research In Motion has agreed to hand over user codes that would enable Saudi authorities to monitor its BlackBerry Messenger, reports Reuters, citing a source close to the talks. In efforts to stop the kingdom from silencing the service, RIM plans to share with Saudi Arabia the unique pin number and code for each BlackBerry registered there, allowing authorities to read encrypted text sent via the device’s instant Messenger service to and from Saudi-based users, the report adds.

Saudi follows UAE BlackBerry ban

Saudi Arabia has ordered its main mobile network operators to block unspecified BlackBerry services from Friday, intensifying a dispute between Research in Motion, the Canadian maker of the devices, and governments such as the UAE which is moving to ban BlackBerrys due to security concerns, reports the FT.  In a separate report, the FT says the impact of a ban would be considerable, with an estimated 500,000 BlackBerry users in the Emirates. The real loser, it says in an editorial comment, would be the UAE’s relatively liberal image and reputation as a place to do business.

Gulf executives fear BlackBerry ban

The United Arab Emirates’ threat to block BlackBerry services has left businesses in the Gulf’s commercial hub baffled and frustrated as they tries to come to terms with the implications for their local operations, the FT reports. The effect of a suspension would be considerable. Though figures vary, it is generally accepted that there are about 500,000 BlackBerry users in the UAE. Almost half of all such subscriptions in the Gulf state are corporate, according to some analysts’ estimates.

UAE to block BlackBerry services

The United Arab Emirates is to suspend BlackBerry mobile communication services from October because, it said, the devices operate outside its laws and raise national security concerns, the FT reports. Saudi Arabia could follow suit, after an official at Saudi Telecom said the kingdom was banning BlackBerry messenger services. The moves come after India raised similar concerns about Research in Motion’s network in recent weeks. Canada-based RIM is behind the BlackBerry brand. AFP adds that Paris-based media watchdog Reporters without Borders accused the UAE of “harassing and arresting users of BlackBerry Messenger who allegedly tried to organise a protest” against rising petrol prices. In a separate analysis the FT notes how the spread of borderless technologies is increasingly setting western countries against widely varying national policies.

UAE: BlackBerrys won’t be picked on (yet)

Good news for businessmen in the United Arab Emirates: your BlackBerrys are a little closer to safety, the FT’s beyondbrics blogs reports. On Sunday the country’s telecoms regulator warned that the smartphones currently operate “beyond the jurisdiction of national legislation”. But it rowed back on Monday, claiming to have no plans to introduce a ban. In an interview with Al Arabiyah, a Dubai-based  news channel, an official at the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said that the UAE is “studying all options to regulate the services…but we don’t have plans to stop them.”