RIM

BlackBerry stepped up its smartphone game this week with the unveiling of two new devices, the Z10 and the Q10, and its latest operating system, BlackBerry 10. While BlackBerry hopes the reinvented devices and a rebranded name will mark a turning point as it seeks to increase sales, many reviewers suggested that the company could be near the end of the line. 

BlackBerry 10Research 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. 

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Ultra-thin notebooks and tablets to rival Apple’s MacBook Air and  iPad 2 respectively are expected to take centre stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which officially opens on Tuesday. 

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Research In Motion, the company behind the BlackBerry smartphone, is rolling out a new system that aims to help its corporate customers maintain and manage the security of their employees’ BlackBerrys as well as rival devices such as the iPhone, according to The Wall Street Journal. The new system, the first from RIM to incorporate competitors’ products, is seen as a tacit acknowledgment that an increasing number of employees are calling on their employers to allow work e-mails to be pushed to smartphones other than the Blackberry. 

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Research In Motion has run into a problem over its BBX operating system – the blending of its QNX and existing BlackBerry software, PaidContent reports. Basis International, which makes software-development tools, has sent a cease and desist letter and a threat of further legal action to RIM on the basis that the new operating system’s name is too similar to Basis’s flagship product, BBx. 

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Research by Barclays has found that the Amazon’s Kindle E-readers will outsell the full-colour Kindle Fire in 2012, PaidContent reports. Barclays estimates that Amazon will sell 15.3m Kindle Fire tablets and 23.5m Kindle e-readers next year. 

Things are heating up again in the world of tablets. While talk of a tablet war is buzzing, with the latest player soon to be Microsoft, existing tablet makers are struggling to catch up with the iPad.

This week, Microsoft showcased its Windows 8 operating system on tablets at the Build conference and RIM announced its Playbook tablet sales had fallen far below expectations. 

Tim Bradshaw

Facebook, Twitter and BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion might have been forgiven for thinking that the British government’s interest in their technologies’ role in last month’s riots had waned, after it abandoned plans to block social media during disturbances.

Not so. 

Tim Bradshaw

The British government appears to have shelved plans to block rioting teens from using Facebook and Twitter or even shutting down Research in Motion’s BlackBerry Messenger network during times of crisis, in response to this month’s violent disorder.

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth at the idea, Thursday’s meeting between the three technology companies and the Home Secretary passed calmly and without incident. 

Tim Bradshaw

Research in Motion is attempting to bolster its popular BlackBerry Messenger service against a raft of competition from Facebook, Apple, Google and WhatsApp by bolting on a new subscription music service.

BBM Music will offer tracks from all four major music labels which the BlackBerry owners can share on their “profiles”.