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
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 22, 2013
Less than eight hours after officially hitting Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play store, the BlackBerry Messenger app (free download) has seen more than five million active downloads on iOS and Android combined, BlackBerry announced in a tweet.
The messaging application is a staggered rollout which employs a reservation system to prevent the kind of a server strain seen after the Android build had leaked out prematurely. According to some repots, there’s a workaround that could let you use the app without waiting… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 21, 2013
After months-long back and forth, the horribly embattled Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry, formerly Research In Motion, has announced that its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) software has finally rolled out to iOS and Android devices today.
Announced as a staggered roll-out for Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play store, the secure instant messaging software employs a reservation system.
That’s bad news for those who haven’t signed up early at BBM.com as they will be forced to wait in line before they can use the app. On September 22, BlackBerry was forced to halt the planned roll-out of BBM for iOS after a leaked Android build had caused its servers to fold… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 14, 2013
You can tell the end is nigh when a company buys full-page print ads to post an open letter making the case for its future. In the case of Canada’s BlackBerry, formerly Research In Motion, the writing has been on the wall ever since Steve Jobs took the stage at the January 2007 MacWorld Expo to introduce the world to the iPhone.
Given its former co-CEO’s state of denial and just plain stubbornness, I’d written off BlackBerry in my book long before first signs of trouble became public knowledge. Of course, BlackBerry continues to defy critics by insisting that it’ll find a way out of the hole it’d dug for itself.
Starting tomorrow, the BlackBerry feel-good aimed at customers, developers and investors will appear in over 30 major print newspapers across nine countries, including The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal in the United States.
Here’s the crux… Read More
By Cody Lee on Oct 10, 2013
With the future of BlackBerry up in the air, it’s no surprise that the company’s more talented employees have begun looking for a new home. And apparently, Apple is hoping that at least some of them find their new home in Cupertino.
According to a new report, the iPad-maker has begun poaching BlackBerry talent via a recruitment drive near the BlackBerry offices in Ontario. And it’s offering up both relocation and immigration assistance to hirable candidates… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 7, 2013
Breaking all of the preconceived notions about the cyclicality of the iPhone, a new survey shows Apple’s iOS gaining on Google’s Android and the embattled BlackBerry during a three-month period ended August 2013. The iPhone gained 1.3 percentage points ranking as the top smartphone vendor in the United States with a cool 40.7 percent share of the nation’s smartphone subscribers.
Although Google’s Android led with a dominating 51.6 percent share, its slice of the smartphone platform market actually shrank by 0.8 percentage points. What’s really interesting about Apple’s growth is that iOS outsold Android without the new iPhones. The full breakdown is after the break…