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. Read more

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. Read more

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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. Read more

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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. Read more

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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. Read more

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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. Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

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”. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Facebook, Twitter and BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion have made quite different responses to the prime minister’s call for them to play a greater role in preventing future riots on the British streets.

The three technology companies have been summoned before the home secretary to discuss a mooted scheme to block conspiring riotersRead more

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Groupon has  added new information to the risk section of its IPO filing, Reuters reports, telling prospective investors to ignore comments made by co-founder Eric Lefkofsky. A few days after its original IPO filing, Bloomberg News quoted Lefkofsky saying that: “Groupon was going to be wildly profitable,” the company said. In its updated filing, Groupon said:

The reported statement does not accurately or completely reflect Mr Lefkofsky’s views and should not be considered by prospective investors in isolation or at all

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Instant messaging applications for mobile devices, such as BlackBerry Messenger, are becoming so popular that use of text messages by 15-24 year olds will fall by a fifth in many large markets including the UK, analysts predict.

Mobile Youth, a consultancy, forecasts that text, or SMS, volumes will drop by 20 per cent in the next two years in regions including the UK, Indonesia, South Africa and Brazil, where BBM is particularly popular among teenagers and students.

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  • Google Music, a streaming service that will store user’s existing music library on Google’s servers, is nearly complete and being tested on internally, reports CNet. Greg Sandoval writes, “Negotiations with at least some of the top publishers and four largest record labels are ongoing, according to sources.”
  • Kodak is suing RIM and Apple over an image preview phone patent. Bloomberg reports that $1 billion dollars could be at stake.

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  • Wednesday sees the launch of the latest version of Apple’s iPad. The Cult of Mac blog says it has spoken to a Apple insider who says that while the new model will be thinner and lighter than first iPad and have both front- and rear-facing cameras for FaceTime…

Don’t get your hopes up too high. That’s all I’m going to say. They’ve had a number of problems along the way, and the third-generation iPad is the one to make a song and a dance about.

 Read more

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  • RIM is considering a feature that will allow BlackBerry devices to run Android apps, according to BGR. The company is looking at using a Java virtual machine that would allow the forthcoming PlayBook and other QNX devices to run just about any application built for the Android platform.

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Google’s momentum in smartphones is not likely to stop at just overtaking Apple’s iPhone in terms of global sales, according to analysts from Taipei-based Digitimes Research, who are predicting that Android sales will jump to number two above Research In Motion’s BlackBerry before the end of the year.

Gartner, the research group, last week said Android’s global share in smartphones had jumped from 1.8 per cent a year ago to 17.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2010.  This put it ahead of Apple’s iOS operating system, which had a 14.2 per cent share, but still behind RIM’s 18.2 per cent global market share.  Read more

Paul Taylor

If Research in Motion had rolled out the Blackberry Torch a year ago when RIM first began serious work on the device, it would have been a showstopper.

As it was when Mike Lazaridis, RIM’s co-chief executive, unveiled the device at a New York event on Tuesday, there were few if any surprises though some eyebrows were raised by the news that AT&T which already boasts the iPhone in its smarphone portfolio, would be the exclusive network partner in the US.  (AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega was on stage at the launch event to say nice things about RIM and the new device.) Read more

Paul Taylor

HTC’s Android-powered  Evo 4G – the first Wimax-enabled smartphone which will be offered for sale by Sprint Nextel this summer in the US – was unquestionably the star of the telecoms industry’s CTIA show in Las Vegas this week. (See Chris Nuttall’s earlier post.) But it was not the only smartphone show in town.

Other new smartphones launched at CTIA included HTC’s HD2 which looks very similar to the Evo 4G but runs Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.5 and is available from T-Mobile immediately for $199  – if you can find one. Read more

Maija Palmer

copyrightIt is another change of tactics in a war that has been going on for 50 years. This week, consumer electronics companies led by Apple, HP, Sony, Panasonic and Research In Motion, broke off the latest round of talks to reform the Europe’s convoluted system of private copy levies.

The copy levies are surcharges placed on devices such as MP3 players and printers by 22 European countries, to compensate writers, artists, and musicians for small amounts of personal copying of their material. It is not to be confused with illegal filesharing; the copy levies are intended to cover handfuls of copies in the private sphere, which many countries allow. Read more