BlackBerry 10 Right on Schedule – RIM Stocks Soar

BlackBerry 10 Right on Schedule - RIM Stocks SoarInvestors still have some faith left in RIM. Shares of Research in Motion Ltd. leapt to more than 4% to $8.90 as the company finally announced the debut date of its long-awaited and almost-forgotten new BlackBerry 10 OS. The launch event, which RIM says will be hosted in several countries, is set for January 30. Two new BlackBerry phones are also expected to take center stage at the launch.

The date announced by RIM is months ahead of a Jeffries & Co. forecast that said the OS would most likely launch in March, missing the critical holiday shopping period this year. The delay of the new OS, previously set sometime in the first quarter of 2013, has caused RIM stocks to fall as the BlackBerry brand faced intense competition from Samsung and Apple. RIM has been banking on the sales of BB10 smartphones to resuscitate its ailing shares in the smartphone market. Aside from Samsung and Apple, RIM has Nokia and HTC to grapple with, as both companies also struggle to regain their footing in the smartphone arena. Bloomberg Business Week previously reported that RIM stocks had dropped 5.3% in New York with shares falling to an overall 46% this year. This was the company’s biggest decline since September 21.

Stocks first rallied to 14% after CEO Thornsten Heins pronounced that the Canadian telecommunication and wireless company has moved into the “Lab Entry” or testing phase of the BB10 with 50 carriers. But even with this pronouncement, analyst Peter Misek remained unimpressed, saying that lab testing would usually take three to six months.

RIM was hit hard in mid-October after losing a contract with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) to the Apple iPhone. ICE ditched RIM, which it had been using for the past eight years, because it felt that the BlackBerry platform no longer suited its needs, while the iPhone offered a secure and manageable platform. ICE has around 17,600 employees and its iPhone order is estimated to cost around $2.1 million. Earlier in the year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives also dropped BlackBerry in favor of the iPhone.

RIM Courting Government and Businesses

With the announcement of the official launch date, the company is optimistic that interest in BlackBerry handsets will be fanned anew. Aside from government officials, RIM is also trying to win back employees who use their smartphones as BYOD mobile business phones. Heins, quoted in the New York Times, says of the new OS, “It is stress relief; it doesn’t make you look at all your applications all the time. This is going to catch on with a lot of people.”

RIM Banks on BB10 Flow UI

The new models will have no home button and will include a red LED light that flashes when a message is received. RIM is also expected to launch a model with a physical keyboard. Heins said that home buttons are unnecessary in the new OS, because BB10 will be able to use apps simultaneously without needing to switch repeatedly between them. The result is a more fluid user experience, which enable users to “flow” between tasks and experience seamless navigation. Aside from this, it will also feature BlackBerry Hub, which shows feeds, messages, calendar events, and notifications in one “hub” or area instead of several locations.

Does the prospect of a still-fighting BlackBerry on the market still register on the radar of most these days? How about you? Would you consider using a BlackBerry in the future if it could compete with what other companies have been giving us? Please leave a comment and let’s talk about it!

If You Can’t Beat the Apple iPad on Features, Beat the Price

Apple has always priced its products higher than the competition. Apple’s iPad is no exception. Priced from $499 up to $829, the iPad can be called anything but inexpensive. If you look at the history of Apple computers, the main drawback to all of its products has always been price. This is why the PC running Windows soared in popularity. It is not because a PC is better; it is because it has always been good enough at a lower price.

The Apple iPad currently sets the standard when it comes to tablet computers. While other companies are trying to play catch-up, there is one area they are missing. The Android powered units, as an example, are priced the same as what Apple offers in its selection of iPads. In some cases the pricing is even higher.

The Motorola Xoom has superior features compared to the Apple iPad. Yet pricing is the same as a comparable iPad. If Motorola dropped the price by $100, I believe sales would skyrocket. But at $599, most consumers will purchase the iPad, since the Apple tablet offers more applications than what Google currently offers for its Android OS.

Some companies that are producing tablets have tied their products to companies that require two year contracts, which makes it appear that their tablet costs less. This of course is nonsense and most of us have been the victim of such shenanigans from cell phone carriers before. I will not purchase any device, no matter who makes it, when the device is tied to any type of contractual agreement, no matter how attractive the price of the device is.

Until tablet manufacturers achieve a price point below what Apple is charging for its iPad, I seriously doubt that Apple has anything to worry about. Gartner’s prediction of Apple selling 70 million iPads this year could become a reality, unless companies such as HTC, LG, Motorola, RIM, Samsung, HP and others cut their prices.

Comments welcome.

Bankers With iPads Signals The End For RIM

If I was Research In Motion, I’d be selling the farm. Despite every new phone, every valiant effort they’ve pushed forward to make their phones and devices to look more business friendly that iOS offering, Apple continues to destroy them.

Don’t misunderstand me, I have much love for the BlackBerry devices…of yesterday. But rather than doing something completely new and different like Windows Phone 7, the latest RIM devices feel like a bad replica of something using Android. Worse, was the invention of the app store. Something RIM has to compete against with both Apple and Google now.

The takeaway here is that bankers with iPads is signalling the end of RIM and I am fairly sure the stock market is going to be reflecting this in a strong way here very soon despite apparent gains made today. The problem isn’t so much the devices themselves, rather the walled garden for messaging that is BES and the competition with mobile apps. An area where the biggest competitors were once Palm, Microsoft and RIM has blown up to Google, Microsoft, RIM and Apple. RIM cannot compete and even Microsoft, has their work cut out for them.

At this point RIM’s only prayer in my book is to make a Palm like move and dump the BlackBerry experience as we once knew it. But unlike Palm’s (now HP) WebOS approach, logic would dictate begging Microsoft for access to their wares or at best, look to Android. Why? Simple, because RIM needs a real app market place in order to have a hope in the world of competing. Apps are now defining the success of mobile devices, not just the experience and usability they provide.

RIM – It Was A Good Run With BlackBerry

There should be an image here!“It was fun while it lasted.” This might be what Research In Motion is thinking as it watches its world come crashing down around it.

It seems that Apple is claiming that 80% of the Fortune 500 companies out there are testing out switching their employees to the iPhone. It should be interesting to see how many employees shoot back with “Can I have my BlackBerry back?”

There is no question whatsoever that the Apple iPhone was a massive game changer. Nothing to date has matched the iPhone with its lines of people wanting to buy one down to the integration of syncing things with iTunes. But with all of that said, I firmly believe that unleashing this as an enterprise tool is asking for trouble – unless there is a means of creating a walled garden to prevent users from downloading time wasting games while at work.

[awsbullet:Mike Lazaridis]

BlackBerry Outages Without A Clue On A Fix

No one who uses a BlackBerry wants to hear about the services offered being down. Yet despite this, that is exactly what has happened. Seems that RIM just had a run of bad luck with the messaging systems being out, effectively crippling BlackBerry users all over the country.

The social media Web sites have apparently been running wild with this, undoubtedly doing wonders for RIM’s PR team as it scrambles around to deal with damage control. But I think the biggest killer of all of this had to be not so much the missing email or calendaring, it’s the fact that even browsing the Web was affected!

Suddenly, despite all of the frustrations I have had with it, the iPhone doesn’t seem all that bad. Perhaps it’s the lack of a central service to fall apart that makes the difference here? Who knows for sure? The key thing, however, is that all of us are able to take a note from this and remember. Any mobile product that draws itself from a centralized service like the BlackBerry does is up for potential disruption. Certainly something to consider when purchasing enterprise friendly phones in the future!

[awsbullet:blackberry user]

Recent BlackBerry Update Was Spyware?

If this had happened here in the Western world, the mobile carrier would have had its phones ringing off the hook with angry subscribers. However, in the UAE, one mobile carrier appears to be getting away with it. Apparently the key is to dismiss the issue as a “misunderstanding” of sorts.

Personally, I would dump my mobile service immediately if I found out that I was being dealt what amounted to spyware onto my phone — BlackBerry or otherwise. There is just no excuse for this kind of thing. What’s interesting is that the spyware installed is developed by a US company that writes software designed specifically for law enforcement. Sort of makes one wonder why the UAE’s mobile carrier was passing this stuff around so willy-nilly in the first place?

At the end of the day, I think it is a safe bet that RIM dodged a bullet here as it very well could have been made out to be something that it had involvement in. Thankfully though, it appears to be something the rest of the world can roll their eyes at. Well, that, and thank their lucky stars we live in a world where this kind of blatant spying without cause is not tolerated.

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What The BlackBerry Storm 2 Needs

Being one of those who opted against going with another BlackBerry and instead, choosing the iPhone, I cannot speak much to what is said in this article on what the author of the article would like to see change in the BlackBerry realm.

Overall, the points delivered in the above linked article seem spot on. Lose the clicking on the touch screen, add the darned trackball, offer a QWERTY keyboard, enhance the BlackBerry App World, and so on. No question in my mind, the needs of the typical BlackBerry user would be enhanced if we found the Storm II offering the changes above.

Unfortunately, I am not all that sure that RIM is getting it any longer. I say this as it seems like they are so focused on what the iPhone is doing, that they are forgetting their base – the typical enterprise level user. The same person who was miffed about the lack of a trackball or that clicking was supposed to replace the QWERTY keyboard.

As a former BlackBerry user myself, if RIM wants me back, stick to what worked before, add-in a better browser and offer things that the iPhone MISSED. It is really not that difficult see, if they would just look beyond Apple.

RIM Crippling BlackBerry Bluetooth In OS Upgrades?

Alex King writes:

I organized a bounty for the creation of a “BlackBerry as a modem” solution for Mac OS X earlier this year. The resulting product (Pulse, from Brain Murmurs) is a solution that allows you to use your BlackBerry as a standard Bluetooth modem. It works great on both Windows and Mac.

Current problem:

The Pulse solution doesn’t run as fast as it should.

Brain Murmurs did a bunch of testing and working with its users and found the problem: RIM has crippled the Bluetooth speeds in recent OS upgrades.

What I want to know is this: is this a “mistake” on RIM’s side that will be fixed? Or did it do this on purpose for some reason?

[tags]RIM, BlackBerry, Bluetooth, OS upgrade, Pulse, Brain Murmurs[/tags]

Google Maps Saves The Day

I had the honor of taking my father’s ashes up to the cemetery in his childhood home of Ayr, Ontario this past weekend. Ayr is about 90 minutes west of Toronto, one of my favorite cities. As somber a task as it was, my wife and I made the most of it, seeing the theatrical production of Lord of the Rings, and having brunch at 1000 ft at 360, the revolving restaurant in the CN Tower.

We flew up on Friday afternoon. That evening, we had dinner with my great Uncle Ric. Uncle Ric is 91, but still very with it. You have to respect a guy who landed with the allied forces at Normandy during WWII. Saturday morning we headed out to the cemetery, but we stopped off at a relative’s home in a nearby town. After all, I had absolutely no idea where I was going.
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Getting Ready To Send/Receive Email On Your BlackBerry Device (Part V)

The last step you need to complete is to configure the software so you are able to send and receive email messages and perform other tasks. Begin by opening the Desktop Manager. Click Start | Programs | BlackBerry | Desktop Manager. The first time the software starts, you will be prompted for credentials. Enter in the appropriate information and click OK.

Next you will need to generate encryption keys. Double click on Redirector Settings. From the Security tab, select Generate keys automatically and then click on the Generate button. Follow the onscreen instructions and click OK once the status has changed to Generated.
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Getting Ready To Send/Receive Email On Your BlackBerry Device (Part IV)

The BlackBerry Desktop Software is required to activate your handheld is wireless activation is not supported. This means you will have to install the software on your computer using the steps listed below. In order to install the software, you must be a member of the local Administrators group on the local computer. Since you are connecting to a corporate Exchange server, be sure the Integrate with enterprise email account is selected.

  1. Locate the BlackBerry Desktop Software on your computer. Double click the installation file.
  2. From the Welcome to the BlackBerry Desktop software dialog box, click Next.
  3. Use the drop down arrow to select your country or region. Click Next to continue.
  4. Review the License Agreement and click Yes.
  5. Type in your first and last name along with the name of your company. Click Next.
  6. When you are prompted to select one of the Email Integration Options, select Integrate with enterprise email account. Click Next to continue.
  7. When prompted to select an email system, click Microsoft Exchange (typically used with Microsoft Outlook clients). Click Next.
  8. Click Redirect email using the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. If a BlackBerry Enterprise Server was not installed, you would select the Redirect email using the BlackBerry Desktop Redirector option. Click Next.
  9. Choose a location for the installation files. Click Next.

Continue reading “Getting Ready To Send/Receive Email On Your BlackBerry Device (Part IV)”

Getting Ready To Send/Receive Email On Your BlackBerry Device (Part III)

Once you have received your BlackBerry device, you need to contact your administrator or IT department for your wireless activation password. The password is set using the BlackBerry Manager and communicated to you using a secure method such as the telephone or email.

You should know that for security purposes, the activation password becomes invalid after five unsuccessful activation attempts. The activation password is also only valid for 48 hours. If not used within this timeframe, the password will automatically expire.

The next step is to launch the enterprise activation program on the BlackBerry device. From the home screen, click Options. From the list of options, locate and click Enterprise Activation. Beside the Email field type in your email address (such as [email protected]). Next to the Password field type in the activation password provided to you by the administrator.
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Getting Ready To Send/Receive Email On Your BlackBerry Device (Part II)

Before a user can begin sending and receiving email from their BlackBerry device, some configuration must be done on the server side of things. First, the Microsoft Exchange Extensions must be installed. You can accomplish this by selecting Install Microsoft Exchange Extensions from the BlackBerry Enterprise Server Setup program. Once this is complete, you will notice a BlackBerry tab added to the Properties dialog box for each user’s mailbox.

Next, you must launch the BlackBerry Enterprise Server Setup again to install the BlackBerry Enterprise Server Files. After you have installed the BES the rest is actually fairly simple. From the BES management console you just pick the Exchange user from the Global Address list and add them to the BES. Once that’s done, the user must pair the device with the BES. With BES 4.0 you can do it wirelessly, but prior to that it involves hooking the device up to the BlackBerry desktop software via a USB cable.
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Getting Ready To Send/Receive Email On Your BlackBerry Device (Part I)

BlackBerry devices are quickly growing in popularity for both business and personal use. It is a perfect way for individuals to stay connected with their Exchange email and calendar from any location that provides wireless network support. If a user has a mailbox on an Exchange server, messages can be relayed from the user’s mailbox to the BlackBerry device. When the BlackBerry is connected to your computer, any messages, contacts, and so on can be synchronized. A BlackBerry can also keep track of an Exchange calendar. Any new appointments in your Exchange calendar can be automatically sent to your BlackBerry device.

There are three methods of getting email to a BlackBerry device. The method you choose will depend upon factors such as cost and network configuration. The three methods include:
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BlackBerry Woes – Where Do We Turn?

If you’re a frenzied, gray-haired corporate IT-type like me, you’ve probably already been approached by a client inquiring about the fate of the BlackBerry. For those who haven’t heard, Research in Motion (RIM), BlackBerry’s manufacturer, has been fighting patent holding company NTP in NTP’s claims that RIM infringed a group of patents on the use of wireless communications in e-mail devices. NTP filed a lawsuit in 2002, which was settled in March 2005 in a tentative settlement of $450 million, but the deal fell through a few months later.
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