BlackBerry announced on Thursday that it will be closing its once-popular messaging platform next month. The company says the consumer-side of the BBM service will officially shut down on May 31st, but it plans to keep the enterprise version online for the foreseeable future, and it will be opening that up to all users.
According to the latest quarterly data from research firm Gartner, BlackBerry’s share of the global smartphone market is now 0.0 percent versus its peak market share of approximately 20 percent in 2009. To be precise, the Canadian company’s global market share in the fourth quarter of 2016 stood at a rather measly 0.0481 percent, Gartner said yesterday.
Of the more than 432 million smartphones sold during the holiday quarter, just 207,900 were BlackBerries running the company’s own operating system (BlackBerry also sells devices that run Android, like DTEK60 and Privilege). The development marks the end of an era, nearly ten years after Apple launched its iPhone.
Following its decision to exit the smartphone hardware business and focus on software, Blackberry today opened a new research and development center in Ottawa, Canada. The facility is dedicated to the development of autonomous driving software. According to Reuters, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the launch.
The facility is being run by Blackberry subsidiary QNX, which makes advanced driver assistance and autonomous vehicle technology used by car makers worldwide.
The ailing Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry has finally admitted defeat: after years of struggling to turn around its phone business, the company said today it’ll stop designing its own smartphones and pivot focus on software. Any future hardware efforts will rely on partners as the company ceases internal development of smartphones, Recode reports.
PayPal is dropping support for its mobile apps on Windows, BlackBerry and Kindle Fire devices, the online payments firm announced in a blog post. Existing users will be required to upgrade to the latest version of the mobile PayPal app for iOS and Android, which in February received its long-overdue makeover. Starting on June 3 through June 30, those on older versions of the PayPal mobile app must upgrade to the latest version, 6.0.
Canadian police have been in possession of a BlackBerry’s global decryption key since 2010, reports Vice. The site says recently released court documents reveal that the key was used in a criminal investigation to intercept over 1 million BBM messages.
The documents were made public after members of a Montreal crime syndicate pleaded guilty to their role in a 2011 murder, and they shine some light on the extent that BlackBerry, as well as telco giant Rogers, is willing to cooperate with investigators.
Research In Motion saw its fortunes spectacularly erased in a few short years following the iPhone’s release in the summer of 2007. Fast-forward to 2015 and the company is now considering putting Google’s Android software on its phones in a complete U-turn for the Canadian handset maker, according to a report Friday by Reuters.
It’s unclear whether the rumored switch would spell the end of the company’s own BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system.
RIM once dominated smartphone sales but now has a market share of less than one percent. Moreover, a former BlackBerry CEO has publicly admitted that Apple’s iPhone has single-handily killed his company’s treasured BlackBerry family of smartphones famed for their enterprise security and clickety-clack keyboards.
There is a new book coming out later this month entitled “Losing the Signal,” and it explores the rise and fall of BlackBerry. The Canadian-based handset maker that once sat atop the smartphone market has spent the last two years fighting off bankruptcy.
On Friday The Wall Street Journal published an interesting excerpt from the book, which tells the story of the iPhone’s debut in 2007 and how it impacted folks inside BlackBerry. It’s clear that they had no idea it was coming, or what they could do to respond.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen announced on Thursday that the handset-maker has resumed its partnership with T-Mobile. You’ll recall that the two companies decided to part ways last year following a smartphone promotion where the carrier targeted BlackBerry users with an iPhone 5s offer.
Chen says the new agreement won’t result in him wearing magenta shirts, but he concedes that it’s the right move for both customers and shareholders. “Expanding availability of BlackBerry’s products and services to T-Mobile’s tens of millions of U.S. customers is an important step for us.”
As promised, Apple on Monday started rolling out a new trade-in initiative aimed at Android phone owners who would like to upgrade to an iPhone. Part of Apple’s existing Reuse and Recycling Program, the non-iPhone trade-in is now rolling out in the United States and several European countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy.
Eligible non-iPhone devices include smartphones running Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone operating systems.
Disregarding for a moment the fact that Apple has never actually made any promises regarding bringing iMessage to other platforms (unlike FaceTime, but that’s a topic for another story), the embattled smartphone maker BlackBerry wants Apple’s messaging platform on its smartphones so badly that it’s calling on the United States government to intervene and do something about it.
It’s not a joke: BlackBerry CEO John Chen penned a post over at the company blog proposing just that.
In a nutshell, rather than let the market dictate what any company should do, he’s demanding that the Cupertino firm make iMessage cross-platform.