BlackBerry Messenger to be preinstalled on some Android smartphones
BlackBerry is rolling out its social network-style content feeds to BlackBerry OS devices today. The announcement that BBM Channels is leaving beta comes at the same time as reports that the company has struck deals with a number of Android smartphone producers to have the messaging platform preinstalled on devices.
CFO Budulka replaced by SVP Yersh, CMO and COO yet to be replaced
BlackBerry has made another set of executive-level changes, with three more members of management being pushed out from their positions. The reorganization, which sees the loss of the CFO, COO, and CMO at the phone manufacturer, comes three weeks after previous CEO Thorsten Heins was let go and replaced by interim CEO John Chen.
Stainless steel and leather casing covers relatively unchanged Z10
Porsche Design has put its rumored BlackBerry smartphone on sale in the United Kingdom, one aimed at mobile phone users looking for a premium and rare device. Just like the BlackBerry P'9981, the P'9982 is available to purchase through London's Harrods department store at a price of £1,500 ($2,400) off-contract.
Company has 90,000 employees, most currently on BlackBerry
Like many federal agencies and other large businesses, Pfizer - one of the world's largest pharmaceutical manufacturers with unprecedented influence in the healthcare industry - has asked its employees to transition away from BlackBerry phones and towards their choice of iOS or Android products instead. The company, in a memo announcing the change, said the transition was due to BlackBerry's "volatile state" and advised employees to make the change as soon as contracts allow.
Minor bug fixes included within updated BlackBerry Messenger app
Just as promised by the company yesterday, BlackBerry has updated BBM for iOS, allowing it to be run on iPads and iPods. At the same time, BlackBerry Messenger receives a number of bug fixes relating to the Android version, with both versions also gaining more options for sharing and connecting with other users on the service.
Updated app brings BBM to iPads without cellular connection
BlackBerry Messenger will be coming out for Wi-Fi versions of the iPad within the next 24 hours. The messaging service, already available on iPhones and cellular iPads as well as Android smartphones, will spread to the tablet as the existing app gets updated, though there apparently will not be a tablet-specific version of the app.
No planned support for Google Play on BlackBerry devices
The Google Play store will not be available to BlackBerry users in the future, the phone producer has confirmed. A spokesperson for BlackBerry has outright denied a rumor that the Android app store would be heading to the platform, a rumor started by relatively convincing photographs of Google Play shown running on a BlackBerry Z10.
Photographs suggest possible Android store on BlackBerry device
The Google Play store could be making an appearance in BlackBerry OS 10.2.1, if new photographs are to be believed. Recently surfaced images appear to show the store running on a BlackBerry Z10, which if true could suggest that owners of recent BlackBerry 10 devices may have more options than BlackBerry World to install their apps from in future.
Tech giants considered picking off parts of BlackBerry
BlackBerry's board of directors rejected Apple, Microsoft, Lenovo, and other tech players' expressed interest in acquiring parts of the struggling Canadian phone maker's operations, according to a new report from Reuters. The news comes days after BlackBerry abandoned its plans to put itself up for sale and dismissed Thorsten Heins from his role as chief executive. The report is the first indicating that Apple was interested in securing portions of BlackBerry, as the iPhone maker was not regularly mentioned among potential suitors for the company.
Android still clearly in lead
Apple and the iPhone's share of the US smartphone market increased sequentially from 39.9 percent to 40.6 percent in the September quarter, according to new comScore figures. The growth is believed to have been spurred by the release of the iPhone 5s and 5c on September 20th; although the devices would've been on sale for just 10 days in the quarter, Apple typically sees a surge of early adopters during any iPhone launch.
National security concerns over telecoms infrastructure nixed buyout plans
Lenovo could have bought ailing smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry, but was denied by the Canadian government. Alleged interference of inter-company discussions by Ottawa government officials made it clear to BlackBerry executives that a takeover by a Chinese company would not proceed, due to potential national security concerns.
Heins' replacement promises to rebuild
BlackBerry's new interim CEO John Chen said on Monday that the company will not be shutting down its handset production unit. This after the company let go of Thorsten Heins as CEO earlier today. Chen's comments came in the midst of an interview with Reuters, and the incoming CEO says that he believes both that BlackBerry can be rescued and that he has the skill set for it.
BlackBerry to drop Heins, raise $1B
BlackBerry has announced that it will drop plans to sell itself and instead replace its CEO and raise $1 billion from investors. The struggling Canadian smartphone maker will sell convertible debt notes to a group of investors, according to The Globe and Mail, with Fairfax Holdings, which initially tried to take BlackBerry private, being among those investors. CEO Thorsten Heins will be ousted after nearly two years on the job, and John S. Chen has stepped into the interim CEO position.
Qualcomm may team with equity firm on BlackBerry buy
Qualcomm may be in talks to partner with Cerberus Capital Management to enter a bid to take over struggling Canadian smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry. A report in The Wall Street Journal pegs the chipmaking giant and the private equity firm as latest parties to be considering a takeover of BlackBerry, which has been stuck in a downward spiral in the face of tough competition from Apple and manufacturers of devices running Google's Android operating system. The deal would lash Qualcomm tighter to one of its customers, as BlackBerry already relies on Qualcomm to supply chips that go into its underperforming smartphones.
Apple, Microsoft part of 'Rockstar' patent holding company
The patent "supergroup" Rockstar that includes Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson, and Sony is suing Google, Samsung, and Huawei over seven patents. The patents were purchased at auction by Rockstar, and involve technologies that helps to pair Internet search terms with advertising related to the search.
Windows Phone climbs to four percent as Android dominates
Google's Android platform continues to dominate the worldwide smartphone market, according to new figures from Strategy Analytics that put Android at 81.3 percent of the global smartphone market. Android and Apple's iOS platform together account for nearly 95 percent of smartphones shipped worldwide, though Apple's share has declined year over year. One beneficiary of Apple's slippage may have been Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, which has seen a year-over-year increase.
Audio and video calls coming within months, BBM Channels also due
BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iPhone will have voice and video calling in the future, according to a company executive. The extra communication options for the app comes at the same time as the phone manufacturer removes the queue from the app, allowing anyone that has downloaded it access without having to wait any longer.
SAP doesn't see BlackBerry as strategic fit
The chief financial officer of SAP has dismissed the idea of the German business software group buying BlackBerry. Werner Brandt made the statement to a European magazine this week, according to Reuters, saying that acquiring BlackBerry would not fit in with the company's vision, as SAP does not have any gaps that need filling with regard to mobile solutions. Along with Google, Samsung, and others, SAP was seen by some as a potential bidder to buy some or all of BlackBerry.
iOS bug, fake Google Play reviews mar BBM app launch
BlackBerry's second attempt at launching its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app for Android and iOS has run into issues again, after a promising start. Suspicious reviews on Google Play are suggesting some form of review shilling is taking place, and the phone manufacturer is also looking towards fixing an issue found in the iOS version of its messaging client.
BlackBerry OS update brings Priority Hub, BBM Video
BlackBerry on Wednesday announced that BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2 would begin rolling out to customers this week through carriers in Europe, Canada, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific. Owners of the BlackBerry Z10, Q10, and Q5 will begin seeing the update as a download possibility in the very near future. The new operating system version brings multiple new features, including improvements to the on-screen keyboard for the Z10. The update has been available on the larger-screened Z30 since that device launched in September.
Majority of BBM downloads on iOS, users still waiting for access
BlackBerry Messenger has been downloaded more than 10 million times in its first 24 hours of availability. The app for Android and iOS, free on both platforms, is said by the company to be the top free app in more than 75 countries, including the US, UK, and Canada, which BlackBerry calls one of the "best single-day openings for a mobile app to date."
BlackBerry post says BBM coming for Android, iOS in hours
Monday saw the long-awaited launch of BlackBerry Messenger for smartphones on both Google's Android and Apple's iOS platform. BlackBerry confirmed the release of BBM for the world's leading mobile platforms today in a post to the company blog. The app is already live in Apple's iTunes App Store, and it is said to be live in Google's Play Store, but some users have reported difficulty in downloading the Android version.
Examination performed under non-disclosure agreement
Lenovo has reportedly signed a non-disclosure agreement to take a close look at BlackBerry's finances, unnamed sources have told Wall Street Journal (sub. required). The leak is the second report pointing to such talks, fueling speculation that the Chinese company is still considering a potential bid for the struggling smartphone maker.
Claims customers can 'continue to count on BlackBerry'
BlackBerry has issued a letter to its customers, advising "You can continue to count on BlackBerry." The letter is an attempt by the company to put its customers at ease following the large number of negative headlines in the media in the last few months, ranging from the poor sales of its smartphones, to the ongoing potential breakup and sale discussions, to the massive job losses.
Lazaridis and Fregin said to be in talks with investment firms
BlackBerry founders Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin are reportedly considering a takeover bid for the company, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing submitted Thursday. The pair, which together already hold an eight-percent stake, have teamed with Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners to "explore the possibility of submitting a joint bid" to buy the rest of the outstanding shares.
Sends private invites through LinkedIn
On September 26th, Apple hosted a recruitment event aimed explicitly at BlackBerry workers, says Canada's Financial Post. The event took place at the Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre in Cambridge, Ontario, a little over 14 miles from BlackBerry's Waterloo headquarters. To attract people the company is said to have sent out invitations to BlackBerry employees via LinkedIn.
Fairfax may be forced to pay fee
Talks surrounding a potential BlackBerry breakup have reportedly resumed, as Fairfax Financial Holdings is said to have encountered trouble finding funding for its $4.7 billion buyout offer, unnamed sources have told Bloomberg. Advisers from the struggling handset maker are said to have approached companies including Cisco Systems and Samsung, however the potential buyers reportedly expressed interest only in partial assets such as patents or the company's enterprise network.
BlackBerry today launched a new cloud-based, multi-platform mobile device management (MDM) service. The technology lets organizations manage BlackBerry, Android, and iOS devices simultaneously on their networks, tackling functions like security policies and app distribution. Administrators can create catalogs of "public" apps culled from BlackBerry World, Google Play, and the iOS App Store, and track both distribution and usage.
5c close behind in some cases
The iPhone 5s was the top-selling smartphone at all four major US carriers during the month of September, according to data from Canaccord Genuity. The iPhone 5c, moreover, came in second place at AT&T and Sprint, taking third at Verizon and T-Mobile. Filling in the top three at each carrier was the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Rogers will not carry BlackBerry Z30 over limited store space
Canadian carrier Rogers is refusing to carry the BlackBerry Z30 in stores, citing that it can only "pick what we think are the biggest winners" to display on its limited shelf space. The Globe and Mail reports that it will still stock the Z10 and Q10 smartphones, suggesting it won't be going as far as T-Mobile, but a BlackBerry spokesperson revealed that competitors Bell and Telus will sell the Z30.
Company may be selling off real estate prior to ownership transfer
BlackBerry has had a mixed day of news -- the same day it announced that it has to take a larger-than-expected $400 million write-down for its 4,500 layoffs (which was expected to only cost $100 million), reports have surfaced that there are additional suitors for the company. Private equity firm Cerberus, specializing in beleaguered company acquisitions, is reportedly looking at bidding for the company -- complicating the bid by Fairfax Financial. Should the bid collapse, Fairfax would be owed over $100 million by BlackBerry.
BlackBerry smartphones in website sales supplied unlocked
BlackBerry is attempting to improve the sales of some of its smartphones by making them available directly. The manufacturer is selling the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 through its website, with the incoming BlackBerry Z30 also being seen at the FCC ahead of its expected release on networks in Canada in the near future.
Gartner to recommend enterprise buyers find different option
Industry analyst firm Gartner will recommend to its enterprise customers that they find a different mobile solution to go with instead of BlackBerry. In an email interview picked up by Computerworld, Gartner analyst Bill Menezes gave a six-month ideal window for clients to find alternatives to the struggling Canadian manufacturer's platform. A full report from the analyst firm is expected in the coming weeks.
Low revenues, high losses confirmed, conference call cancelled
BlackBerry has released its quarterly financial results, on the same day as its Z30 smartphone goes on sale in the United Kingdom. Just as it expected, it managed to earn $1.6 billion in revenues for the second quarter, down from the $2.9 billion in the same period last year, though the operating loss is marginally less than the $1 billion predicted, reaching $965 million.
If company leaves, BlackBerry left with one manufacturer of devices
The bad news for BlackBerry keeps accumulating. Reports are circulating today that the Canadian cell phone company's manufacturing partner it shares with Apple, Jabil Circuit, is looking to break ties. Jabil Circuit CEO Mark Mondello claimed in a disappointing quarterly earnings conference call for his company that BlackBerry's continuing financial condition is causing the executive to have serious doubts about the long-term viability of the partnership.
Waterloo expansion could take advantage of BlackBerry layoffs
Motorola will be opening a new office in Waterloo, Ontario, the effective home of competitor BlackBerry. The new engineering hub will be expanding on the existing Google Kitchener-Waterloo office occupied by approximately 200 staff, and will apparently be just a ten-minute drive from the doors of BlackBerry's main headquarters.
VP notes poor sales, 'inefficient' keeping retail stock
Potentially adding to beleaguered Canadian cellphone manufacturer BlackBerry's woes, US wireless carrier T-Mobile has revealed that it will no longer carry the new devices in its stores, leaving order fulfillment to its online arm. Executive Vice President for Corporate Services David Carey remarked that "keeping stock in the retail distribution system was inefficient" as consumer demand for the BlackBerry phones has been very weak.
Leaked Android BBM app had 'issue,' swamped servers
BlackBerry will probably not be rolling out its BlackBerry Messenger app to iOS and Android for the rest of this week. A blog post by Andrew Blocking, head of BBM at BlackBerry, went into more detail about the Android leak and why the company decided to temporarily pull the app from distribution just hours after it first launched on iOS.
Full purchase by largest shareholder
BlackBerry has finally signed a formal agreement with a potential buyer, Fairfax Financial Holdings, which has agreed to pay a total of $4.7 billion for the struggling smartphone maker. The Fairfax consortium is currently the company's largest shareholder, holding a 10 percent stake, with the remaining shares to be purchased for approximately $9.
Leaked BBM Android app blocked, iOS app unaffected
The launch of BlackBerry Messenger on platforms other than the company's smartphones has hit a roadblock, after both the Android and iOS versions of the app were pulled from the relevant app stores. A leaked version of its Android app apparently caused more than 1.1 million users to try out the service within eight hours, before the app was even released.
BlackBerry starts regional release of BBM app on iOS
BlackBerry Messenger for iOS is now available to download. The BBM app from the troubled smartphone manufacturer, heading to Android in the near future, has appeared in a few regional versions of the App Store in Asia and New Zealand according to The Next Web, with other regions expected to go live soon after midnight in each area.
C-Series BlackBerry said to use Z10 styling, Q5 specification
Shortly after BlackBerry revealed the new Z30, a photograph of another incoming smartphone from the manufacturer has allegedly surfaced. The codenamed "Americano" smartphone, claimed to be under the "cafe series" or C-Series of device, is said to be a low-tier BlackBerry 10 device, and would be an entry-level device combining the touchscreen design of the Z10 and Z30 with the same kind of specifications found in the Q5.
Stock trading suspended for company in Toronto exchange, Nasdaq
Beleagured BlackBerry does not appear to be able to recover from its financial condition any time soon. Amid reports of its stock sales being stopped in Toronto and on the NASDAQ exchange, the company confirmed rumors that it will be laying off 4,500 workers in what may be a last-ditch to improve company finances. The move is necessitated by an expected second quarter operating loss of nearly one billion dollars on revenue of $1.6 billion from sales of 3.7 million phones and the attendant subscription fees.
Microsoft opens trade-in scheme to more devices, larger credits
Microsoft has expanded its buyback scheme to include other devices. The Clover Wireless-managed program, which offered $200 gift cards for iPad trade-ins, now offers up to $350 for a range of smartphones and tablets, including the iPhone. Notably, while Microsoft is pushing participants to buy Windows-based devices with their funds, the form does not appear to allow users to select the Microsoft Surface for trade-in, though the Nokia Lumia range is still tradeable.
Android on Saturday, iOS on Sunday
The Android version of BlackBerry Messenger will go live on Saturday, September 21st, followed by an iOS release on Sunday, BlackBerry has confirmed. The launches may be timed to coincide with a rumored Friday event in Jakarta, Indonesia. Regardless, the apps will mark the first time BBM has expanded beyond BlackBerry devices.
Layoff report follows Z30 introductions
BlackBerry is reportedly planning to reduce its workforce by approximately 40 percent before the end of the year. The report comes on the heels of the company's latest device announcement, the Z30 handset, and ongoing talk of a potential buyout as the company continues to struggle in the smartphone market.
New BlackBerry larger, faster than Z10, adds tunable antenna
BlackBerry has added another touchscreen-only device to its BlackBerry 10 OS range, as reported previously. The follows on from the BlackBerry Z10 in losing the physical keyboard, but with a larger 5-inch Super AMOLED display with a 1,280x720 resolution and a dual-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro with 2GB of RAM and an Adreno 320 GPU.
Three-month Samsung exclusive for BBM denied by BlackBerry
BlackBerry Messenger could be launching at the end of the week, with Samsung Galaxy smartphones being its first outlet, according to a report. The BBM app is said by Samsung Nigeria's Twitter feed to go live on Friday, though it is not clear if it will be also going live on other Android devices, or even through iOS, at the same time.
BlackBerry aiming for the large handset market with new 5-inch Z30
The BlackBerry Z30 is expected to launch in Malaysia next week, reports Pocket-lint. The new 720p 5-inch device, also known by its A10 codename, is also expected to reach India and France next week followed by a US launch two to three weeks later. The rumor aligns with BlackBerry special events scheduled for September 18 in each of the named countries.
BlackBerry buyers could split operations
A number of potential bidders for troubled Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry are weighing the possibility of carving up the company's operations into smaller portions, according to reports. As Reuters notes, no one appears to be interested in taking on the whole of BlackBerry's operations, which have failed to produce a profit for some time and continue to lose market share. The firm is currently worth roughly $5 billion. In 2008, its value peaked at around $84 billion.