By Cody Lee on Apr 2, 2014
In a rare, but perhaps not-so-surprising move, BlackBerry announced late last night that it will not renew the T-Mobile (US) license to sell its products when it expires later this month, effectively ending the 10 year (or longer) partnership between the two companies.
The announcement comes after a spat broke out between the sides following the carrier’s iPhone offer that suggested BlackBerry users trade-in their phones for Apple handsets. T-Mobile tried to reconcile the matter with the Canadian firm, but it obviously didn’t work…. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 1, 2014
The Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry is launching a new version of its BBM instant messaging software for iOS, Android and BlackBerry.
As previously reported, this BBM edition enables popular stickers and includes a couple feature additions, such as the ability to share images with multiple parties in multi-person chats and send larger files to others.
Various sticker packs can be purchased from the new BBM Shop, with some stickers like the legacy BBM emoticons offered free of charge. It’s interesting that BlackBerry partnered with brands on themed sticker packs like CosCat, Gilbert’s Tales, Bubble Bot and many more.
The new BBM 2.1 will be launching in the App Store later today… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 29, 2014
BlackBerry won a key victory yesterday in its fight against Typo. A federal judge agreed with the Canadian company that the iPhone keyboard case likely infringes on their patents, and issued a preliminary injunction late Friday to halt sales.
For those that missed it, back in January BlackBerry sued the makers of the Typo iPhone case over patent infringement. The case features a built-in battery, and a physical, backlit keyboard that looks nearly identical to those used in BB devices… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 26, 2014
You don’t hear this everyday: BlackBerry has filed a lawsuit against its own SVP of software following his letter of resignation in December of last year. The company claims that Sebastien Marineau-Mes’s attempt to leave for a new ‘VP of Core OS’ position at Apple was a violation of his employment contract.
According to a ruling from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Marineau-Mes is being sued over the breach of contract terms that stipulated he must provide at least six months notice before leaving BlackBerry. So since he submitted his resignation in December, the court says he must stay through June… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 9, 2014
BlackBerry’s newly appointed CEO John Chen isn’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers. Last month he penned an open letter regarding T-Mobile’s ‘ill-conceived’ iPhone promotion, and this past week he went after the iPhone users themselves.
Speaking at the Oasis Montgomery conference, Chen was asked for his thoughts on the surging popularity of the iPhone. And his response was ‘I call you guys wall huggers,’ suggesting the handset is unable to last a full day on a single charge… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2014
Monday, at the Geneva Motor Show, Apple’s in-car system previously known under the ‘iOS in the Car’ moniker got formally announced and rebranded as CarPlay. Launch partners Volvo, Ferrari, and Mercedez-Benz backed the feature as dozens of vendors pledged to support CarPlay in their upcoming vehicles later this year.
Volvo confirmed that CarPlay’s connection and video mirroring functionality is based on a streaming H.264 video feed, prompting watchers to speculate that the feature is based on AirPlay, an Apple-designed media streaming technology.
In a rather surprising find earlier today, N4BB was able to confirm that CarPlay runs on QNX, an operating system the embattled Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry acquired Harman International Industries back in 2010… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 24, 2014
The embattled Canadian smartphone maker, BlackBerry, has confirmed plans to bring popular virtual stickers to its cross-platform messaging app, BBM. The stickers will be available for purchase through a new BBM Shop section that will be made part of a forthcoming BBM app update. BBM, a free download from the App Store, has recently been updated with voice calling, BBM Channels, location sharing and other features… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 22, 2014
The Air Force Times is reporting this week that the US military branch is replacing 5,000 of its BlackBerry devices with smartphones from Apple. The move is part of a broader strategy to exchange the legacy devices for modern handsets.
Eventually, the outlet says that all Air Force mobile users will be required to trade in their old BlackBerrys for Apple’s iPhone, or other approved devices. This will be in addition to the 18,000 iPads the branch purchased in early 2013… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 20, 2014
BlackBerry users on T-Mobile who want to upgrade to a new device will now receive $250 towards the purchase of any BlackBerry phone, or $200 toward any other smartphone. The deal follows backlash from both BB loyalists and CEO John Chen regarding a recent promo offer.
For those that missed it, T-Mobile sent out an email to its BlackBerry-using customers suggesting they switch to an iPhone 5s. Loyal BB users took to Twitter to voice their outrage at the insulting offer and BlackBerry’s Chen penned a blog post calling the whole thing “inappropriate.”
And here’s how T-Mobile has decided to respond… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 19, 2014
It looks like T-Mobile’s targeted iPhone offer didn’t just upset BlackBerry fans. The Canadian handset-maker’s CEO John Chen says that he and his team are also outraged, especially since their long-time business partner didn’t contact them beforehand.
For those that missed it, T-Mobile has been sending out iPhone promos with the text “great offer for BlackBerry users,” and it caused quite the backlash on Twitter and other social networks from loyal fans. Here’s what Chen had to say about the ordeal… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 17, 2014
After T-Mobile CEO John Legere recently advised BlackBerry fans to switch to Apple’s iPhone 5s, all hell broke loose as diehard fans deemed the offer insulting and took to social media to express their distaste for T-Mobile’s sleezy direct marketing tactics.
The carrier invited customers via email to switch to an iPhone 5s for $0 down as a “great offer for BlackBerry customers” because the Apple handset has the right tools “to do more”.
Judging by the amount and the intensity of backlash, it wasn’t T-Mobile’s finest moment: after all, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the struggling Canadian smartphone maker owns one of the most loyal and ardent following out there, the types of people who are especially sensitive to anything related to Apple… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 13, 2014
Following a minor refresh recently which brought out a handy new Find Friends feature, Canada’s struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry is today rolling out a new BBM version 2.0. The release contains a few new features such as free voice calling, BBM Channels, Dropbox integration, location sharing and more.
The free update is rolling out today so keep an eye on the App Store and don’t panic if it’s not live yet as these things take time to propagate.
The full breakdown is right below the fold… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 5, 2014
Troubled handset vendor BlackBerry today issued an update for its cross-platform messaging software, BBM, bringing out a new Find Friends feature.
Whereas previously you had to punch in a person’s BlackBerry ID or email address to add him or her to your list of BBM contacts, today’s update simplifies the process by detecting which contacts in your iPhone’s Contacts are already using BBM, so you can quickly send them an invite to join your BBM contact list.
The free update is going live in the App Store later today so make sure to grab it (if you’re still using BBM, that is)… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 3, 2014
Last month, we told you about an interesting new accessory coming out this year for the iPhone called the ‘Typo.’ It’s a case with a built-in Bluetooth keyboard that bills itself as the perfect solution for the folks who still carry both an iPhone and a BlackBerry.
Well, as you can imagine, this hasn’t sat well with BlackBerry. And today the Canadian handset-maker announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Typo, co-founded by TV personality Ryan Seacrest, for “blatantly” copying its iconic QWERTY keyboard design… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 24, 2013
In 2011, Apple teamed up with a number of tech companies including Microsoft and BlackBerry to form what many called the ‘Rockstar consortium’ to purchase a collection of over 4,000 patents from Nortel, a communications company that went bankrupt in 2009.
Bloomberg is now reporting that the consortium is currently holding discussion regarding a potential sale of a portion of the patents—which it paid in upwards of $4.5 billion for—after several attempts to land large licensing deals from other companies have failed… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 20, 2013
Good news out there for the handful of you that are using the iOS BBM client. BlackBerry has announced that it is working on a major update for the app that is going to add a number new features and improvements.
Among the new features are BBM Voice, which will let you make free voice calls to any contact, anywhere in the world, and something called Channels, which are like little mini chatrooms. More details after the fold… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 9, 2013
Apple gave physical keyboards the finger (literally) when it introduced the all-touchscreen iPhone back in 2007. Skeptics were quick to dismiss the device, saying a touchscreen could never replace a physical keyboard, but it has since become the norm.
But for the folks who still long for a physical keyboard, there are several options to choose from that allow you to keep your iPhone. And today we’re adding a new one to the stack for all of you BlackBerry fans: the Typo Keyboard case for the iPhone 5/5s… Read More
By Cody Lee on Nov 15, 2013
Earlier this month, BlackBerry announced plans to receive an investment worth over $1 billion in the form of a debt sale and to fire its CEO Thorsten Heins. Instead of sell out, the company has decided to try and rebuild.
Of course, that’s much easier said than done. Not only has BlackBerry lost nearly all of its consumer marketshare, it’s also lost most of its major enterprise accounts, and word has it that another one—Pfizer—is on the way out… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 8, 2013
Although tech titans Apple and Microsoft both sought to buy parts of BlackBerry, the board shied away from breaking up the company, according to a report Friday by Reuters. The ailing smartphone pioneer has determined that selling the company in pieces isn’t in its best interests, despite bids from Apple, Microsoft, Lenovo and others.
I’m not sure the board has necessarily made a wise choice. First and foremost, a full-blown instant comeback is literally impossible this late in the game. And while still profitable, BlackBerry is burning through its cash fast, unit sales are falling off the cliff, users are defecting to other platforms in droves and, worst of all, there are no cool new products on the horizon to be excited about.
And with the iOS-Android duopoly and Microsoft competing for the #3 slot, it’s indeed too late to turn BlackBerry’s fortunes around. Seems to me they should have just sold off parts of the company to become a competitive niche player, as one analyst suggested in August… Read More
By Cody Lee on Nov 4, 2013
As a long-time competitor of, and what many believe to be a casualty of, the iPhone, we’ve been keeping a close eye on BlackBerry’s situation over the past several months. The last we heard, the company had agreed to sell itself to Fairfax Financial Holdings for $4.7 billion.
But apparently that’s no longer the plan. In a bit of a surprise move, BlackBerry announced this morning that it has given up on its effort to sell itself to a large investor, and that it will be replacing Thorsten Heins with former Sybase chief John Chen as interim CEO… Read More