Research In Motion unveils the BlackBerry 10 today amid the greatest degree of anticipation and scrutiny in the company’s history. At events in New York, Toronto and London, the Canadian manufacturer is launching a new operating system and two smartphones.
The company and CEO Thorsten Heins are betting it will secure RIM’s future – and even its survival – in a tough marketplace where it has lost share to Apple’s iPhone and Android-based devices. Read more
Tech news from around the web:
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has become the centre of bid speculation. The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft and Nokia had, in recent months, considered the idea of making a joint bid for RIM, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper. Meanwhile, Reuters says that online retailer Amazon had hired an investment bank in the summer to review a potential merger, but did not make a formal offer. Read more
How long should Microsoft sit by while Research in Motion and Nokia burn?
That question has become increasingly urgent amidst the stock market meltdown of the one-time smartphone leaders. With nearly enough cash parked outside the US to buy both companies outright – and the risk that rivals will pounce – Microsoft may finally have to make some sort of move. Read more
The realignment in the tech world triggered by the smartphone wars continues apace. The latest installment: Microsoft and RIM, which will make Bing the default search engine on the BlackBerry. It may only be a distribution deal for search and maps at this stage, but the appearance of Steve Ballmer at a big RIM event was striking. Read more
It’s been apparent for some time that the spate of touch-screen smartphones now hitting the market will dent profit margins in the hottest part of the mobile business, but Wall Street seems only now to be digesting that fact.
The slumping share prices of Research in Motion and Palm over the past fortnight make this case eloquently. Two weeks ago, not coincidentally, was the weekend that Verizon began its guerrilla marketing campaign for Motorola’s Droid (see Chris Nuttall’s first impressions last week). Since then, Palm’s stock is off 35 per cent and RIM is down 20 per cent, while Motorola is up.
It’s clearly ridiculous to think that one handset can cause this much damage: what is sinking in are the implications of the much bigger wave of competition that is about to hit. Read more
Yesterday Microsoft and Nokia announced an alliance meant to challenge Research in Motion’s lead in the corporate mobile phone market. The FT’s Lex column writes that “the battle is hotting up because this year the smartphone market is the only game in town.”
Shipments of phones that allow web surfing, e-mail and run other popular software applications rose 27 per cent in the second quarter – while overall handset sales remain on track for their first full-year decline. Even during the recession, consumers are abandoning dumb phones when, for just a little more money, they can get a pocket-sized computer instead.
The FT’s John Gapper says the most influential piece of personal technology to emerge in recent years did not come from Apple, Amazon or Research in Motion. Instead, he points to the Asustek’s Asus Eee PC, which created the category now known as “netbooks”.
Few analysts grasped the significance of the Eee because they did not think that people in the developed world would buy a not-very-powerful device with a tiny screen and a small keyboard. Meanwhile, US companies from Dell to Microsoft and Apple gazed studiously elsewhere. Read more