Wednesday 27 June 2012

Blackberry Bankers: RIM Edges Closer to a Sale,

Ahead of Thursday’s closely-watched earnings report, Blackberry-maker Research in Motion brushed aside a weekend story saying the company would separate its handset division and messaging network. The report came from the Sunday Times of London. (Subs req’d.) Waterloo, Ontario-based tech giant RIM issued a statement to TIME re-affirming the ongoing “strategic review” of its business. RIM has hired JPMorgan and RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) to help evaluate “strategic options,” which is often corporate-speak for a sale. RIM’s market value: $5 billion.

The British paper doesn’t cite any sources in the report, but it says that Facebook and Amazon are both “potential buyers.” As part of this plan, RIM would either keep its enterprise-friendly messaging and data network in-house and license them out, or it would sell the division outright. The Waterloo-based company has been working with RBC and JP Morgan since earlier this year to conduct a strategic review, and The Sunday Times says the plan is one option drawn up during the process of the review. Another option, short of splitting the company in two, would be to sell a large stake to a corporation like Microsoft.

A RIM spokesperson emailed: “RIM has hired advisers to help the Company examine ways to leverage the BlackBerry platform through partnerships, licensing opportunities and strategic business model alternatives. As CEO Thorsten Heins said on the Company’s fourth-quarter earnings call, ‘We believe the best way to drive value for our stakeholders is to execute on our plan to turn the company around.’ This remains true.”

Today, RIM is losing money – and market-share. Google’s Android accounts for 48.5% of smartphone owners, while the iPhone has 32%, according to research firm Nielsen. The Blackberry, by contrast, accounts for only 11.6% of the market, down from over 50% in 2007.

In March, RIM posted a quarterly loss of $125 million, compared to a profit of $934 million for the same period last year, as sales decreased to $4.2 billion, down from $5.6 billion. It was the company’s first loss in seven years. RIM’s market capitalization has dwindled to just $5.2 billion, a shadow of its former $80 billion value in 2008. With $2 billion in cash and a patent portfolio worth at least $1 billion, RIM is not at risk of going bankrupt any time soon, but its days as a standalone company may be drawing to a close. RIM reports quarterly results Thursday.

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Monday 18 June 2012

Blackberry Bold 9780: A Force to Be Reckoned With,

The 9780 is a well-made phone, there’s no doubting that, but on the outside, it’s the 9700 all over again. The same casing, same great keyboard, and even the same screen survived the jump from 9700 to 9780. It might sound like a bad thing to reuse old parts, but why make something new when the old is near perfection?This is certainly one of the easiest to use phones in production right now. The 9780’s keyboard is brilliantly accessible for any use. Many people find themselves writing novel length messages on it simply because it is such an ease to type smoothly and quickly without discomfort becoming an issue. The screen is also nice, featuring a perfect size for its function and never makes you feel like it’s too cramped.Carrying the Bold 9780 certainly garners a bit more respect than many other smart phones. Blackberry is, of course, the classic business phone. Its soft-touch exterior is not only a comfortable fit in your hand; it’s also a great, sleek looking phone.This is a phone for professionals, or at least for people who like to look like a professional. When someone sees you using your Blackberry, there’s a good chance they think you’re doing something important. Maybe you’re finishing up that report for your boss, or looking over your client’s proposal, who knows? All you know is, you’re not having any trouble doing what you need to do with the 9780.
It’s What’s On The Inside That Counts: BlackBerry Bold 9780
The 9780 may be a near carbon copy of its predecessor, but believe it or not you’ll find a few improvements on the inside that all work, and work well. The 9780 has a new camera, double the flash memory of the 9700, and higher resolution video recording. Also included is the newest Blackberry OS firmware, a great and welcome addition, but not a good incentive for upgrading. Let me explain why Blackberry 6 OSThe Bold 9780 shipped with Blackberry’s latest firmware, Blackberry 6. This firmware is a great upgrade from 5, and features a much easier to use interface, better performance results, and a massively upgraded web browser.Blackberry 6 was RIM’s response to users saying their firmware felt aged. 5 was growing old faster than expected, and it was time for change. The overall interface of 6 improves over its predecessor in nearly every way. The interface looked fresh, and was much less clunky than 5, allowing users to do almost everything in a smoother fashion with fewer problems.The biggest upgrade in RIM’s OS is the web browser. Before upgrading to 6, most people did little more than check email on their Blackberry. However, since 6 was released, these same people often stay up for hours at night surfing the web with RIM’s seamlessly integrated browser.Though Blackberry 6 is a great operating system, and works in near perfection with the 9780, it’s not a reason to upgrade if you currently own the 9700. Why? Well, because you can already upgrade to 6, and better yet, you can do it for free. Blackberry 6 was released as a free downloadable upgrade for both the Bold 9700 and the Curve 3G in April of 2011. So one of the biggest reasons to go ahead and upgrade to the 9780 is already lost as RIM released it for free. Probably not the best marketing decision made by Research In Motion,
but certainly a great one for the customers.Say Cheese!The Blackberry Bold

9780 features a new, better camera that shoots with a resolution of 5 megapixels, quite an upgrade from the 9700’s 3.2 megapixel camera. This 5 MP resolution is perfect for the average person, and still holds up well against competitors almost two years after release.Video on the 9780 isn’t too shabby either, recording all of your life’s happenings at a whopping 640x480 resolution. OK, so you won’t be doing any camera work for James Cameron, but you will have a decent looking video to share with your friends and to post on Facebook, which is pretty much all you can do with a video phone no matter how good it claims to be.Want to play a game?Well, too bad. Blackberry never has, nor ever will be a phone made for game enthusiasts. At best, a large franchise, such as Need for Speed, occasionally makes a decent port for Blackberry to advertise their console or PC game.The biggest problem for game developers on this smartphone is that the Bold series of phones do not support Open GL graphics rendering.Long live the charge!Blackberry’s aren’t quite known for their battery life, but it looks like RIM decided to change that with the Bold series. The 9780 features a great long life battery for a smartphone, boasting up to 6 hours talk time, and 408 hours of life while in standby. Unless you use the smartphone almost constantly, you can plan on seeing the battery meter over 50% even after a long day’s use.
BlackBerry Bold 9780: In a Few Words
It’s hard to go wrong with this phone, in fact, it’s nearly impossible. With this sleek design, the easy to use keyboard, and even the incredible web browsing, the Blackberry Bold 9780 is a force to be reckoned with. Unless you already own the 9700 or want to play many games, I highly recommend this phone as a reliable, professional alternative to childish smartphones plaguing the mobilemarket.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Research In Motion woes worry BlackBerry users