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Blackberry sells million Z10 smartphones

April 09, 2013 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: BlackBerry, Dr Search, smart phones, Technology Companies, Telecommunications Companies, Uncategorized

 Blackberry says it has sold one million of its new Z10 smartphones in the first three months of 2013.
Blackberry sells million Z10 smartphonesThe company reported profits of £65 million ($98 million) for the quarter, after posting a big loss for the same period last year.

The Z10 handset is seen as crucial to the future of Blackberry, which has struggled to keep up with new Apple and Android phones.

It has been on sale for a month in the UK, Canada and other markets.

It went on sale with little fanfare a week ago in the United States, Blackberry’s most important market. The latest figures do not include US sales.

Blackberry was previously called Research In Motion (RIM), but changed its name last year.

Analysts greeted the results cautiously, saying that it was too early to judge the success of the Z10 and its sister device the Q10.

Earlier in the week, Blackberry shares were hit when two major US brokerages expressed disappointment with the US launch of the Z10.

The Blackberry results also showed the company lost three million users over the year. Its handsets are now used by 76 million people, down from 79 million 12 months ago.

In total, Blackberry said it had shipped a total of about six million handsets in the three months to early March.

Blackberry 10 smartphone launched to positive reviews

February 04, 2013 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: BlackBerry, Computers, Customer Service, data security, Email, Messaging, Personal Security, Search Clinic, smart phones, Technology Companies, Telecommunications Companies, Uncategorized

Blackberry have launched two new smartphones- which have been greeted with positive reviews.Blackberry 10 smartphone launched to positive reviewsThe Z10 is controlled via a 4.2 inch touchscreen while the Q10 has a smaller 3.1 inch screen and physical keyboard.

The new operating system had originally been due for release last year.

“Two years ago we had to make a very serious decision,” chief executive Thorsten Heins told a press conference in New York.  “Adopt someone else’s platform or build a whole new one from ground up for Blackberry. And we made the tough call to go it alone.”

“Bringing an entirely new platform to the market and ushering this company through a really difficult transition took careful planning and we absolutely knew it was risky.”

According to data from IDC, Blackberry devices used to account for just over 19% of global smartphone shipments at the start of 2010 – but it suggests that figure had dropped to less than 4% by the end of last year.

The new user interface allows up to eight apps to run simultaneously, four of which can appear in small windows on the same screen – something the firm describes as “true multitasking”.

During a demonstration executives said the intention was to let users “flow” through applications using swipes and other gestures rather than copy the “in and out” nature experienced when navigating rivals’ devices.

For example BB10’s Hub – which brings together emails, texts and other notifications – can be accessed by swiping up and then to the right from any app. The user then needs to reverse the gesture to return to where they were.

The BBM messaging app can now make audio and video calls as well as being able to share what is on one person’s screen with the other user’s device.

The Z10 is not RIM’s first to feature a touchscreen keyboard, but it has adopted new features to attract users more used to physical buttons.

These include a feature which learns the words and phrases the owner most often types and then uses this to suggest words which float above the keyboard and can be flicked into place.

It will also learn to anticipate and correct frequently made mistakes – such as if the user often hits the letter C when they mean to tap space.

“This is not a new Blackberry device, this is a completely new Blackberry experience. For the first time the traditional keyboard Blackberry users will it find easier to type on a touchscreen.”

The handsets also include a mix of features designed to make them appeal as a crossover business-personal machine.

Blackberry Balance sets up a “work perimeter” on the phones so that data belonging to the user’s employer can be limited to approved apps, while photos and other personal information can be used across a wider range of software.

Security conscious companies are also given the option of being able to remotely wipe sensitive files.

Mobile phone charges dropped in eu

July 02, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apple, BlackBerry, mobile phones, Samsung, smart phones, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

New eu mobile phone call and data charges start this month.Mobile phone charges dropped in euThe new charges rule will prevent “bill shocks” when using mobile data in Europe have come into force.

Data will now no longer cost more than 56p (70 cents) per megabyte – which is far less than previous rates.

In addition call charges will be capped at 23p (29c) per minute, plus VAT, under the new rules.

The EU said the regulations were aimed at stopping people building up huge bills after making calls and using data applications, such as maps, while away.

However,  there is no such cap for those travelling outside Europe and networks may not alert users if they clock up huge bills.

From 2014, consumers will also be able to choose a different operator abroad in the EU from the one they use at home, under the EU rules.

It is hoped this “split network” approach will encourage greater competition- and hence price reductions.

Paddy Power profits boosted by mobile phone bets

May 02, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apps, BlackBerry, Customer Service, Ecommerce, internet, Mobile Marketing, mobile phones, smart phones, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

A big rise in online betting via mobile phones has helped Paddy Power to increase it’s profits with a 16% rise annual rise.Paddy Power profits boosted by mobile phone betsThe bookmaker, which makes most of its profits in the UK, said pre-tax profits for the year to 31 December 2011 rose to £100.9 million (121.2m euros).

Paddy Power expanded its High Street network, opening 41 outlets in the UK last year to bring its total to 165.

Online revenue increased by 26%, driven by a 225% rise in turnover from betting on mobile phones to £304.7 million.

The company said that 49% of its online sports betting customers used their mobile phone to place bets.

Online betting accounts for 79% of Paddy Power’s profits and the company said it had increased the number of UK online customers by 50% to 710,043.

“Our class leading mobile product, married to the strength of our brand and strong value offering has driven acquisition and retention, leading to 1.1 million active customers online,” said chief executive Patrick Kennedy.

Although the company now has 165 shops in the UK it plans to open another 35 to 40 each year.

Blackberry cofounders step down from control

January 27, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: BlackBerry, mobile phones, smart phones, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Blackberry maker Research In Motion (RIM) has said its co-chief executives Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have stepped down from control of the company.Blackberry cofounders step down from controlMr Lazaridis, who founded RIM in 1984, will become vice chairman. Mr Balsillie will continue to sit on the board but not have any operational role.

Investors have called for a strategy change as the company struggles to compete with Apple and Google.

The departure of RIM’s co-chief executives was long overdue. Not even troubled computer giant Hewlett-Packard – which lost two CEOs in less than a year – was as bad a technology car crash as Research In Motion.

Here was a company that defined what smartphones were all about; that had cornered the important corporate market; that had made serious inroads into the youth market with cheap entry-level smartphones. And then threw it all away in an orgy of poor executive decisions, lacklustre innovation, unkept promises in delivering new product and – the greatest sin of all – a total lack of understanding that its part of the tech industry was undergoing a fundamental shift.

First Apple, then Google managed to eat the Blackberry pie, and RIM did nothing to stop them. The company’s new boss will have to work very hard to keep RIM in the smartphone game.

Mr Lazaridis, speaking after the announcement, said he recognized things needed to change at the company.

“There comes a time in the growth of every successful company when the founders recognize the need to pass the baton to new leadership,” he said at a press conference at RIM’s headquarters in Waterloo, Canada.

“Jim and I went to the board and told them that we thought that time was now.”

Mr Heins started at RIM in 2007, having previously worked at Siemens Communications. He became the chief operating officer in August 2011, according to the company.

Mr Heins said: “As with any company that has grown as fast as we have, there have been inevitable growing pains. We have learned from those challenges and, I believe, we have and will become a stronger company as a result.”

Barbara Stymiest, who has been on the board of RIM since 2007, has been made the new chairman, a post that Mr Balsillie and Mr Lazaridis also shared.

It had its worst service outage in 2011 and has been losing market share to its competitors in the smartphone markets.

Billions of dollars have been wiped from its market value as shares have tumbled 75% over the past 11 months and sales have dropped.

Blackberry maker RIM delays key smartphone launch

December 22, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: BlackBerry, Customer Service, Ecommerce, internet, mobile phones, smart phones, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Research in Motion (RIM), which makes Blackberry phones has announced a delay to the launch of its new Blackberry 10.Blackberry maker RIM delays key smartphone launchThere was also disappointment at the prediction of sales of between 11 and 12 million smartphones in the current Christmas quarter, down from 14.8 million in the same period last year.

It reported net income of  £171 milion ($265 million) for the quarter to 26 November, down from £603 million in the same period of 2010.

RIM shares fell more than 6% in after-hours trading.

The Blackberry 10 phones were supposed to be on sale in the first three months of 2012, but RIM now says they won’t be available until late in the year.

It blamed the advanced chips for the phones not being available until the middle of the year.

RIM has also taken a charge of £222 million for unsold PlayBook tablets, which were launched with much hype earlier this year.

The new phones will operate the QNX operating system, which is seen as crucial to the company if it is to compete with phones using Google’s Android software or Apple’s iPhone.

The company has had a difficult few months, with a service outage knocking £25 million off its net income.

“As part of our commitment to improving our performance to better meet the expectations of shareholders and customers, we continue to evaluate ways to improve in several areas of the company’s operations,” RIM’s joint chief executives Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis said in a statement.

“It may take some time to realise the benefits of these efforts and the platform transition that we are undertaking, but we continue to believe that RIM has the right set of strengths and capabilities to maintain a leading role in the mobile communications industry.”

The two chief executives said they had reduced the cash element of their pay packages to $1 per year.

Blackberry says sorry with free apps

October 18, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apps, BlackBerry, Customer Service, Ecommerce, internet, Messaging, mobile phones, smart phones, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

To try to compensate and say sorry for the bad service to it’s users last week Blackberry has announced that it will give away a dozen apps for free.Blackberry says sorry with free appsClassic games such as Bejeweled and The Sims are being offered free to Blackberry owners. The games, plus personal productivity tools and utilities, are an attempt at compensation for the three day global blackout.

A faulty switch at a data centre in Slough left millions around the world unable to use messaging and web browsing services on their handsets for three days.

In a statement announcing the giveaway, Mike Laziridis, chief of Blackberry owner Research in Motion, apologised again for the three day service stoppage.

“We are grateful to our loyal Blackberry customers for their patience,” he said. “We are taking immediate and aggressive steps to help prevent something like this from happening again.”

In total, 12 apps are being offered to customers and RIM said more would be made available in the coming weeks.

As well as games such as Texas Hold’em Poker and Bubble Bash 2, users can get Photo Editor Ultimate and DriveSafe.ly pro.

The programs, which Blackberry claims are worth more than £66, will be free until 31 December 2011.

The software is available via the Blackberry App World store.

RIM faced serious criticism over the stoppage. Thousands of people turned to Twitter and other social media networks to express their poor opinion of the company and its stuttering efforts to fix the problems.

Business customers are being offered a free month of technical support. Those who already have a support contract will be offered a month of Blackberry’s enhanced support service.

Mobile operators are also mulling compensation packages for customers. Spanish telecoms firm Telefonica, which owns the UK’s O2, said it would offer a package to customers but it is not clear what form it will take.

Blackberry BBM services down in Europe, Middle East and Africa

October 11, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: BlackBerry, Computers, Customer Service, Email, mobile phones, smart phones, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Millions of Blackberry owners across Europe, the Middle East and Africa have been left without services following a major message server crash.Blackberry BBM services down in Europe, Middle East and AfricaOwners of the smartphones were unable to browse the web, or send email or instant messages.

The problem appears to have originated in a data centre in Slough which handles Blackberry services for the affected regions.

Blackberry UK said it knew about the problem and was “investigating”.

In a tweet sent around 14:42 BST, the company said: “Some users in EMEA are experiencing issues.”

A subsequent statement said Blackberry was: “working to resolve an issue currently impacting some Blackberry subscribers in Europe Middle East and Africa.”

It apologised for the inconvenience that the ongoing problem was causing its customers.

Earlier on yesterday mobile operators in the UK, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar and other nations pointed the finger at Blackberry owner RIM when replying to tweets from customers complaining about the problems.

Many corporate customers said they had not lost service, suggesting that the problem was with Blackberry’s BIS consumer systems, rather than its BES enterprise systems.

Such a major outage will still come as unwelcome news to Blackberry’s owner RIM, which has been losing market share to smartphone rivals – in particular Apple’s iPhone.

Many corporate clients have switched to the device after Apple made a concerted effort to improve its support for secure business email systems.

The first signs of trouble emerged about 11:00 BST but seemed to have escalated with tags about Blackberry and its BBM service trending on Twitter.

The only functioning service on Blackberry seemed to be text messaging, prompting many users to voice their frustration online.

Others lamented the loss of the free BBM network saying they did not know what to do without it.

Blackberry maker RIM’s profits fall sharply

September 20, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: BlackBerry, mobile phones, smart phones, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has seen its second quarter profits more than halve- hurt by low demand for its older modelsBlackberry maker RIM's profits fall sharply RIM shipped 10.6 million smartphones between June and August but expects a pick up in sales during the next quarter.

The firm started to roll out new smartphones but only late in the quarter.

Net profits fell to £208 million for the three months to 27 August, from £498 million in the same period a year earlier.

In July, the company said it would cut 2,000 jobs – 11% of its workforce – as part of a shake-up of its operations.

Revenue for the second quarter fell to £2.65 billion, a drop of 10% on the same three months last year.

During the quarter, RIM shipped some 10.6 million Blackberry smartphones and about 200,000 Blackberry PlayBook tablets, which was well below analysts’ expectations.

Following the results announcement, RIM’s shares fell by as much as 10% in after-hours trading in New York.

The Canadian firm said it expected business to improve in the third quarter though, forecasting shipments of between 13.5 million and 14.5 million smartphones and revenues of between £3.31 billion and £3.5 billion.