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After a worldwide outage left many BlackBerry customers without e-mail, IM, and Web browsing from Monday to Thursday last week, Research In Motion today unveiled its peace offering to customers : $100 worth of free apps to subscribers and one month of free technical support for enterprise customers. While the free software and services are nice gestures, the outage, which RIM acknowledged was the worst in its history, seems symbolic of the company’s slow downfall. RIM’s troubles are such that free copies of Bejeweled and The Sims 3 won’t be enough to restore the company to its former glory, to say nothing of assuaging fears that the company could have more outages down the road. In the cost/benefit analysis of going all in with RIM (and that's part of the problem, it's an all-in proposition), RIM has given IT shops plenty of reason to second- and third-guess. RIM’s biggest problem is it is being left in the dust by the consumerization of IT .
In an statement today, Vic Alboini of Jaguar Financial, an investor in RIM, said that the company should consider all options to boost investor’s returns, including selling off the company or its patents, reports Jim Dalrymple of The Loop . “The status quo is not acceptable, the Company cannot sit still,” said Alboini. “It is time for transformational change.
Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg News RIM, the maker of the BlackBerry, has struggled against the Apple iPhone and handsets using Google’s Android operating system. Adding to its problems, the company also reduced its outlook for the second time this year, sending its stock sharply lower in after-hours trading. The company that effectively invented the smartphone market has been battered in its home turf by the Apple and handsets using Google’s operating system. In addition, its answer to Apple’s enormously popular tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook , was introduced this spring with software flaws and without several features.
Digitimes , the Chinese trade publication capable of drawing comments from every industry source close to the worlds largest smartphone manufacturers, is at it again suggesting that RIM will ship more than one million of its BlackBerry Playbook tablets in the first quarter of 2011. It suggests that shipments could mirror those of Motorola, when it launches its Xoom tablet. Reports suggest that the company has already placed 800,000 orders for its Android 3.0-powered device. RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook will debut in March, initially launching with a Wi-Fi-only model before it starts shipping a 3G-enabled tablet in the second quarter.
RIM Details BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) 5.0.3 Features; Launch "Very, Very Soon" | CIO - Blogs and DiscussionBlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) on Thursday officially announced details of its upcoming BlackBerry Enterprise Server update, BES v5.0 Service Pack 3, aka, BES 5.0.3, and the new enterprise software should be available "very, very soon," according to RIM's Pete Devenyi, VP, Communications Platform Group. RIM Slide With Info on BlackBerry Balance Speaking at a Business on BlackBerry press and analyst event in Boston, Devenyi said BES 5.0.3 will be available in early 2011. And the RIM VP also announced details on BES 5.0.3.
Canadian smartphone manufacturer RIM has announced that it has provided solutions that will give Indian security agencies access to the popular messaging and email services used by BlackBerry smartphone owners in the country. RIM also said that corporate email services remained unavailable to authorities, due to the fact the service incorporates a strict encryption algorithm that the company is not able to access, let alone provide access to a third-party. Updating its customers, RIM stated: “The lawful access capability now available to RIM’s carrier partners meets the standard required by the government of India for all consumer messaging services offered in the Indian marketplace.”
Android sales continue to erode RIM's once-dominant position on the biggest U.S. carrier. And with the lackluster reception of Blackberry 6 and an uncertain migration to their new QNX OS, 2011 isn't looking like a banner year for RIM. It must have been interesting to be in Verizon Wireless's C-Suite during the first month of Android sales last year. Up until that point, Blackberry ( RIMM ) all but owned Verizon's smartphone business. But AT&T ( T ) was seeing incredible success with the iPhone and Blackberries weren't going to cut it for competing with Apple's ( AAPL ) runaway success. If Verizon ( VZ ) was going to continue to be competitive in the smartphone industry, it would have to do something significant.
As Research In Motion waits for its PlayBook tablet to counter incursions onto its enterprise turf by Apple's iPhone and iPad gadgets, some of RIM's enterprise sales force have apparently decided not to wait--they've defected to the competition. Stuart Weinberg of The Wall Street Journal did a little sniffing around on LinkedIn and discovered that in the last year and a half, at least five members of RIM's enterprise sales team have jumped ship and joined Steve Jobs and Co. Those onetime Researchers In Motion are:
Research in Motion still has a few months before it launches PlayBook , its entry in the hot tablet market, and the company showed it’s prepared to compete by announcing Thursday it has bought Swedish design firm, The Astonishing Tribe . TAT is a well-known UI team respected for its take on mobile screens. TAT said its concepts and software are in almost half a billion devices and cars ,and in 15 percent of all mobile phones. RIM said it will be using TAT’s design expertise on the PlayBook and smartphone platforms. Both companies blogged about the purchase, with TAT saying it will honor its current agreements and will service existing customers.
The move would instantly allow the PlayBook to have access to Android's library of 100,000+ apps. PlayBook via RIM Gleacher & Company analyst Mark McKechnie, in a note to clients today said that RIM ( RIMM ) may be building into its QNX-powered PlayBook tablet the ability to run Google's ( GOOG ) Android Apps. Our checks suggest RIMM is planning to offer Android apps compatibility which would be a HUGE win IF it worked properly. We are skeptical, however, as even if the API's are made similar or a porting program is made available, an Android application on top of a non-native QNX platform would face compatibility issues and ultimately run less efficient.