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BlackBerry

  • Can BlackBerry really find stability, lock up enterprise? [CES2014]

    On the fringes of the world’s largest technology showcase, CES in Las Vegas, BlackBerry’s new CEO laid out his plan for the ailing former giant of mobile communications. Addressing journalists from a number of emerging market countries, which are key for Blackberry, as they are the only ones showing any growth, John Chen appeared comfortable and confident. “I like the keyboard”, Chen stated before revealing that we will likely see some high-end devices from the Waterloo-based company soon. That one sentence clearly highlights the disconnect at BlackBerry. Keyboards are good, keyboards are fast, and keyboards are almost obsolete as an...

  • Is 2014 the year BlackBerry makes its big comeback?

    To many, BlackBerry is well and truly dead. While the company still exists in the same form it has in its heyday, it's a mere shell of its former self. The media consensus is that the Canadian smartphone maker is on life support and with BlackBerry having gone up on the block for a hot minute, it appears as though its C-level is wistfully tugging on the cord. It's all true. The company is in bad shape, but that's hardly news to you, is it? BlackBerry's demise has been relentlessly prophesied for years now, and yet miraculously, it's not heading...

  • Here’s the problem with research that shows BlackBerry is still growing

    The Mobility 2014 survey, released at the end of November, showed that BlackBerry had overtaken Samsung in South Africa. BlackBerry users had increased from 18% to 23% of the market since 2012, while the number of Samsung users had stayed pretty much constant at 19% (up from 18%). Of course, this has elicited some proper OMG/WTF-type reporting from sites like BGR and ZDNet. That kind of dramatic market share increase is actually logical and easy to explain. Any research of this type is – by definition – backward looking. The fieldwork for this survey would’ve surely been done closer...

  • Looks like Lenovo really did want to buy BlackBerry

    Looking back at BlackBerry's rapid descent into ignominy, there are plenty of could have beens. The biggest of all them all -- interest in a buyout from Lenovo -- was long dismissed as rumour. It turns out though that the Chinese tech giant may actually have been interested in acquiring the embattled Canadian mobile manufacturer. As AllThingsD reports, at one stage, Lenovo actually signed a non-disclosure agreement that allowed it to see BlackBerry's books with an eye toward acquisition. But, reports the Globe and Mail, the deal was hamstrung by the Canadian government's fears around security. Lawmakers apparently feared...

  • Feed the CEO to the wolves! Raise $1bn! That solves everything for BlackBerry! (except it doesn’t)

    Let’s be honest. Fairfax was never going to be able to raise the US$4.7-billion it needed to take BlackBerry private. And let’s remember: the buyout didn’t really solve anything. BlackBerry wasn’t suddenly going to be on the front foot overnight. It would’ve only served to take the painful surgery out of the public eye (much like Michael Dell’s smartly engineered Dell buyout). As the death spiral now accelerates, BlackBerry’s followed the playbook perfectly (excuse the pun)... it's thrown its CEO to the wolves. Of course, the biggest irony in this move is that Thorsten Heins had very little to do with the...

  • BlackBerry’s $4.7 billion buyout bid fails, CEO Thorsten Heins steps down

    Well, there goes that potential acquisition... and the CEO. Embattled smartphone giant BlackBerry announced today that its buyout plans with shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings had fallen through, after the agreed upon deadline expired. Instead of its proposed US$4.7-billion acquisition plan, BlackBerry will be looking to raise US$1-billion in funding through the placement of convertible debentures -- US$250 000 of which will come from Fairfax. In addition to that, Thorsten Heins will resign both from his seat on BlackBerry's board and as CEO once the deal is finalised in around two weeks. Former chairman and CEO of enterprise software and...

  • Here’s the problem with BBM for Android and iPhone

    BlackBerry is understandably making a big deal about the 10-million downloads of BBM for iPhone and Android it saw in the first 24 hours. That’s a massive number. Compare it with the previous unofficial record set by Angry Birds Space, which saw 10-million downloads over three days when it was released in 2012. Welcome BBM for #Android & #iPhone users! More than 10 million downloads in the first 24 hours: http://t.co/Mft7h6PFtq— BBM (@BBM) October 22, 2013 But, there are a few problems with the 10 million number... It doesn’t yet put BBM as a platform back into a strong growth position....

  • BlackBerry says it didn’t post all those positive BBM reviews, promise

    Thought all those reviews thanking the BlackBerry team for the "user friendly and smooth" BBM app for Android were a bit suspicious? You're not the only one. BlackBerry has been quick to distance itself from any shady suggestions after some journalists and tech bloggers raised questions about the volume and type of reviews its app was racking up on Google Play. As one blogger pointed out, the official BBM app for Android seems to be gathering not only a high number of high 5-star rankings, but the descriptions accompanying those reviews look very similar... in fact, almost as though...

  • 4 reasons why BlackBerry will die in Indonesia, but BBM will survive

    While the rollout of BBM for iOS and Android is great news for a lot of Indonesians who can now communicate with their BBM-using friends on Android and iOS, the same cannot be said for the fate of BlackBerry’s hardware. BBM can retain crown Despite its late arrival cross-platform and many other setbacks, I still believe BBM can retain its title of Indonesia’s king of messaging apps. The three reasons are simple: First, BBM is still the number one messaging app in the country, and that can still draw in new users from the ‘network effect’. Second, BBM is used by many merchants...

  • In one day, BBM for Android and iPhone was downloaded 10 million times

    Yes, we knew the launch of BlackBerry's popular chat app on Android and iPhone was going to be big -- c'mon, the unreleased version had more than a million users and it was just a leak -- but 5-million downloads eight hours after the official apps were released is seriously impressive. Even crazier? The fact that BlackBerry saw 10-million downloads in the first 24 hours after the launch. Yes, that's the latest figure out of Waterloo, with BlackBerry Messenger head Andrew Bocking revealing that the company has already clocked more than 10-million downloads of its cross-platform messaging app (which...

  • BlackBerry: 5m people downloaded BBM for iOS, Android in first 8 hours

    As a company, BlackBerry might be in dire shape, but it's clear that people are still incredibly hungry for its proprietary messaging system BBM. In the first eight hours after the company announced that the chat app was ready to be released on iOS and Android, it announced on Twitter that five-million people had managed to download it. Next 5 million in line - your turn! Open up BBM and click "I got the email" to get started on #BBM right away!— BBM (@BBM) October 22, 2013 If that tweet is to be believed meanwhile, there were at least...

  • BlackBerry finally rolling out BBM for Android and iOS today

    Guess what BBM fans? After many toils it seems BlackBerry is ready to roll out its messenger service for Android and iOS. "This is the news you’ve been waiting for! I am thrilled to tell you that we are about to officially resume our rollout of BBM for Android and iPhone customers around the globe," posted BBM head Andrew Bocking on BlackBerry's official blog. Last month the mobile manufacturer halted its scheduled rollout of BBM for Android and iOS due to a leaked version that apparently caused havoc with its service. The delay could not have come at a worse...

  • BlackBerry goes with newspaper ads in bid to reassure world of its future

    All the doomsayers are wrong. Everything's fine, promise. That's the message BlackBerry's been trying to spread with a series of full-page newspaper ads placed in titles around the world. The ads, which take the form of an open letter, are a bid by the Waterloo-based company to reassure customers, carriers and partners that it actually has a future. “These are no doubt challenging times for us and we don’t underestimate the situation or ignore the challenges,” it says in the ads. “We are making the difficult changes necessary to strengthen BlackBerry.” The ads acknowledge that "these are no doubt challenging...

  • Massive risks for operators, consumers as BlackBerry faces a death spiral

    The only certainty about BlackBerry’s future is that it's completely uncertain. Yes, there’s a buyout offer on the table from Fairfax Financial Holdings under Canada’s ‘Warren Buffett’ Prem Watsa, but that bid itself is filled with questions. The problem is not whether BlackBerry is going to be taken private or not. Rather, its whether it’ll exist at all in its current state in 12 months time. First, the facts. Watsa and Fairfax are insiders. He was on the BlackBerry board until a month ago! And aside from the nearly $1bn write-down of unsold Z10 devices, there are some serious questions about...

  • BlackBerry delays release of financial information amid Fairfax negotiations

    For all the trouble surrounding BlackBerry, its management is not made up of fools. A conference call scheduled for Friday with analysts and investors, to discuss the company's quarterly financials, has been cancelled. The smartphone manufacturer is likely delaying the public release of financial information so as to not negatively impact the negotiations of a potential takeover from its largest shareholder: Fairfax Financial Holdings. BlackBerry said that it would still release the quarterly results, but the cancelled call buys it precious time while Fairfax completes its due diligence. According to the New York Times, a written report from BlackBerry's management...