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'BlackBerry' Articles

BlackBerry Messenger Shutting Down at the End of May

BlackBerry Messenger, aka BBM, is set to shut down on May 31, 2019, BlackBerry announced today. Prior to when the iPhone launched and for several years afterwards, BBM was a key communication method on BlackBerry phones. As BlackBerry devices fell out of favor, BlackBerry aimed to keep BBM alive with an iOS app that's been available since 2013, but with Messages, WhatsApp, WeChat, and other messaging apps, it's been tough for BBM to compete. BlackBerry tried to revamp BBM three years ago as a cross-platform messaging service for chatting, watching content, and using payment services, but it didn't work out.We poured our hearts into making this a reality, and we are proud of what we have built to date. The technology industry however, is very fluid, and in spite of our substantial efforts, users have moved on to other platforms, while new users proved difficult to sign on. Though we are sad to say goodbye, the time has come to sunset the BBM consumer service, and for us to move on.BBM users who don't want the service to end can download BBMe through the Google Play store, as the enterprise version of the app is still available. There is no version for iOS, but CNET says an iOS app is in the

iPhone and Android Duopoly Nears Peak With Estimated 99.9% Market Share Last Year

A record 99.9 percent of smartphones sold worldwide last year were based on either Android or iOS, as all competing platforms have effectively been squeezed out, according to data shared today by research firm Gartner. Android remains more widely adopted than iOS by a significant margin, with a roughly 86-14 percent split between the respective operating systems last year. Android's dominance is unsurprising given the software is installed on dozens of different smartphone models offered at a range of price points, whereas the iPhone primarily caters to the high-end market. Android and iOS have been the leading mobile operating systems for many years now, but the duopoly became so dominant last year that Gartner doesn't even break out BlackBerry and Windows Phone individually anymore. Together, the platforms accounted for less than 0.1 percent market share in 2017. For perspective, Gartner estimates that of the just over 1.5 billion smartphones sold worldwide last year, handsets running BlackBerry OS, Windows Mobile, and all other platforms made up only 1.5 million of the total. The writing has long been on the wall for BlackBerry and Windows Phone, which have been ceding market share to Apple and Google for the better part of the last decade. But with Android and iOS finally reaching 99.9 percent market share, it looks like the platforms will be officially dead soon enough. In the meantime, BlackBerry recently announced it will continue to support its BlackBerry 10 operating system for at least two more years, but it encourages customers to upgrade to

Blackberry Announces New All-Screen 'Motion' Smartphone With 4,000mAh Battery

Blackberry announced its latest crack at an all-screen smartphone during the GITEX Technology Week in Dubai on Sunday. The Motion is the company's third Android phone to ditch the keyboard following the release of the DTEK50 and DTEK60 in 2016. Blackberry also released the KEYone earlier this year, but that device includes a keyboard below the touchscreen. The Motion's 5.5-inch LCD display and Snapdragon 625 system-on-a-chip is powered by a large 4,000mAh battery (the iPhone 8 Plus has a 2,675mAh battery), which Blackberry hopes will appeal to business users looking for all-day battery life. Like all of the company's branded handsets these days, the Motion is actually made by Chinese company TCL Communication. The Blackberry Motion (Image: Evan Blass) The phone will be initially available in Middle Eastern markets for approximately $460, with availability in the U.S. likely further down the line. Blackberry officially discontinued its keyboard-rocking Blackberry Classic in July 2016 and later declared it would cease internally developing its own handsets, relying on partnerships with other companies instead while it focuses on software development. The rise of the iPhone famously wiped out Blackberry's smartphone market share, but the company's pivot towards mobile security has been a profitable one, with its recent quarterly earnings report exceeding expectations. The company reported record gross margins of 76 percent, up from 67 percent last quarter and 62 percent a year ago, despite the fact its hardware market share remains essentially zero.

BlackBerry Hits '0%' Market Share Nearly Ten Years After iPhone Launched

Nearly ten years after Apple launched the iPhone, which completely upended the smartphone industry, the device has effectively helped to wipe out one of its major predecessors: the BlackBerry. BlackBerry has at last fallen to a rounded 0.0% share among smartphone operating systems after shipping just 207,000 smartphones last quarter, following an over seven year decline from its peak market share of approximately 20% in 2009, according to the latest quarterly data from research firm Gartner. The demise of the smartphone that was once the poster child of Canadian innovation has been a long one in the making, but one that was inevitable now that BlackBerry has shifted its focus to software and sold the global rights to future BlackBerry-branded smartphones to Chinese company TCL Communication. BlackBerry actually continued to grow for around two years after the iPhone launched in June 2007, taking market share away from then-leader Nokia. BlackBerry's market share among all smartphone operating systems was 9.6% in 2007, 16.6% in 2008, and 19.9% in 2009, according to Gartner. Then, the decline started. By 2011, the surging popularity of iPhones and Samsung Galaxy smartphones led iOS and Android to leapfrog BlackBerry and Nokia to form a duopoly in the smartphone market that exists to this day. iOS and Android combined for a record 99.6% market share last quarter, according to Gartner. Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 4Q16 (Gartner) Windows 10 Mobile was the only other platform to make any sort of dent last quarter, recording an

BlackBerry Opens Autonomous Vehicle Research Lab in Ottawa, Canada

Former smartphone company BlackBerry opened a new autonomous driving research center on Monday in Ottawa, Canada, according to Reuters. BlackBerry is betting its future on the self-driving car business following its 2010 acquisition of QNX, a company which develops software for multiple in-car infotainment systems and whose software became the foundation of the BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system. Image via Reuters The new R&D facility is an extension of Blackberry's existing QNX operations in the region and is said to be developing advanced driving features like automatic emergency breaking, intelligent cruise, and complete driving autonomy. The company will use Lincoln vehicles from Ford retrofitted with autonomous hardware and software as a basis for carrying out tests, with a direct partnership with Ford also reportedly in the wings. Blackberry is one of three organizations to receive clearance from the government of Ontario to test self-driving vehicles on public roads, having avoided the sort of ire brought upon Uber by Californian regulators regarding nascent self-driving laws. California says Uber needs permits for its cars because they're equipped with technology that allows them to operate autonomously, but Uber has argued that employee drivers are always seated and in full control of its cars. Google has also complained about the situation regarding state and federal laws for self-driving vehicles, but Uber has gone further by completely ignoring authorities' demands. California's state attorney has threatened to sue the company if it

BlackBerry Abandons Hardware Business and Pivots Focus to Software

Smartphone company BlackBerry confirmed today that it will cease internally developing its own handsets and rely on partnerships with other companies "for any future hardware efforts," lining up with company CEO John Chen's estimation that he would know by September 2016 whether or not BlackBerry would continue participating in the hardware manufacturing business (via Recode). Chen said the decision was a monetary one, as the brand's presence continuously dwindles in percentage stakes of the smartphone market, capturing only 0.2 percent of the market as a whole in the fourth quarter of 2015. “The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners,” CEO John Chen said in a statement. “This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital.” “We are reaching an inflection point with our strategy. Our financial foundation is strong, and our pivot to software is taking hold,” Chen said. “In Q2, we more than doubled our software revenue year over year and delivered the highest gross margin in the company’s history.” Over the summer, the company announced the discontinuation of the BlackBerry Classic as a way to pave the way for more "state of the art devices." Since then, it's released the security-focused DTEK50 smartphone powered by Android, and Chen has stated that the company plans to release two phones by February 2017. BlackBerry today also announced a net loss of $372 million on revenue of $334 million, but the company noted that it "essentially broke even, on adjusted revenue of

BlackBerry Classic Discontinued to Pave the Way for 'State of the Art Devices'

BlackBerry has announced that it will no longer manufacture the BlackBerry Classic, meaning that the touchscreen smartphone will no longer be available once remaining stock is depleted through official sales channels.For many years, Classic (and its BBOS predecessors) has been in our portfolio. It has been an incredible workhorse device for customers, exceeding all expectations. But, the Classic has long surpassed the average lifespan for a smartphone in today’s market. We are ready for this change so we can give our customers something better – entrenched in our legacy in security and pedigree in making the most productive smartphones.BlackBerry Classic, equipped with a physical QWERTY keyboard, was unveiled in December 2014 with a design similar to the once-popular BlackBerry Bold smartphone series released between May 2008 and November 2011. BlackBerry's dominance has shrunk considerably since then, however, with iOS and Android smartphones now combining for some 98 percent of worldwide market share. BlackBerry said it will be updating its smartphone lineup with "state of the art devices," presumably with an Android focus like the BlackBerry Priv. The company will continue to support BlackBerry 10 with software updates, including version 10.3.3 due next month and a second update to follow next year. The BlackBerry 10-powered BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry Leap remain available for

PayPal to Discontinue Apps for Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Kindle

PayPal recently announced that it plans to pull support for its apps on the Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Amazon Kindle Fire mobile platforms, as the company doubles down on its new and updated apps for iOS and Android (via CNET). Users on the three operating systems in question have until June 30 to access the PayPal app. In the blog post announcing the impending sunset of PayPal's app on Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Kindle, the company mentions that on each platform users will still be able to access the money transferring service, through various internet browsers on PayPal's mobile web experience. PayPal said it hopes this move will help it put all its focus on "creating the very best experiences for our customers." It was a difficult decision to no longer support the PayPal app on these mobile platforms, but we believe it’s the right thing to ensure we are investing our resources in creating the very best experiences for our customers. We remain committed to partnering with mobile device providers, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our customers. In addition to internet browsers, those with BlackBerry devices can still send peer-to-peer PayPal payments through the BlackBerry Messenger app, and Outlook users can enable the PayPal add-in feature to deliver payments within the email client. PayPal's announcement comes a few days after Microsoft confirmed the company is scaling back its mobile phone business. Both Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices have been in a last place competition behind Android and iOS for the past few years,

Kantar: iOS Adoption Rises in China as Android Grows in U.S. and Europe

Kantar Worldpanel has released new smartphone operating system market share data for the third calendar quarter of 2015, providing a regional breakdown of Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and other mobile platform adoption in the U.S., Europe, China, Japan and elsewhere during the three-month period ending October. In the U.S. market, Android led the third quarter with 62.8% market share, compared to 33.6% for iOS. The U.S. smartphone market continues to be virtually a two-horse race between Apple and Google, with iOS and Android combining for 96.4% market share in the October quarter. Windows Phone was a distant third place with just 2.7% market share."With 33.6% of the U.S. smartphone market, Apple's share remained down year-over-year, but up quarter-over-quarter, as iPhone 6s became the third best-selling smartphone," Milanesi added. "Samsung retained its leading position in the U.S. smartphone market and, for the first time in 2015, the South Korean brand was able to show year-on-year growth."Android continued to have the highest market share among mobile platforms worldwide, experiencing 1.6% year-over-year growth in Europe's big five markets -- United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. iOS adoption grew in China and Japan by 7% and 3.5% respectively compared to the year-ago quarter. Kantar Worldpanel data shows the iPhone 6s accounted for 24% of all iPhones sold in the U.S. in the three months ending October, compared to 33% for the iPhone 6 in 2014, and 22% for the iPhone 5s in 2013. Kantar says "overall volumes are pretty much identical to

BlackBerry Confirms Android Smartphone Plans on iPhone Launch Day

BlackBerry today confirmed that the company will be making an Android-based smartphone, with a launch date aimed for the end of 2015, even as it reported a greater-than-expected annual loss (via Re/code). The company reported that its latest quarterly loss was 13 cents per share on revenue of approximately $490 million, with analysts expecting 9 cents per share loss on revenue reaching closer to $600 million. Still, BlackBerry believes that its new handset, called the Priv, will boost its quarterly earnings as it heads into 2016. “We are focused on making faster progress to achieve profitability in our handset business,” Chen said. The company also announced plans earlier this month to acquire rival Good Technology for $425 million. “From these initiatives, we anticipate modest sequential revenue growth in each of the remaining quarters of fiscal 2016.” Confirming a previous rumor from June, the smartphone will have a slide-out keyboard and will combine "the best of BlackBerry security and productivity" with Android's robust mobile platform applications, according to BlackBerry CEO John Chen. The company confirmed Priv will launch by the end of 2015, and that the BlackBerry 10 OS will still be supported, getting a software update around March. Chen also mentioned that he has been aware of the company's steady decline, and that he'll stay in the business as long as there's money to be made. “If I can’t make money on the phone, I will be out of that telephone handset business,” Chen said. “There is a timeline; I won’t tell you when.” BlackBerry hopes

BlackBerry Considering Releasing Android Smartphone

BlackBerry is considering releasing an Android-based smartphone for the first time in an attempt to regain market share and promote its cross-platform BES12 device management system, according to Reuters. The report claims the embattled Waterloo, Ontario-based smartphone maker will likely release an Android-based slider device with both a touchscreen and physical keyboard in the fall."BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen is banking on the company's new device management system, BES12, that allows corporate and government clients to not only manage BlackBerry devices on their internal networks, but also devices powered by Android, Apple's iOS platform and Microsoft Corp's Windows operating system."BlackBerry, once a pioneer and market leader in the smartphone industry, has struggled to compete with the iPhone and several popular Android-based smartphones over the past eight years, and now has less than 1 percent market share among mobile operating systems. Comparatively, iOS and Android combined for 96.3% market share in the fourth quarter of 2014, while Windows Phone powered 3 percent of devices. BlackBerry hopes to fill a niche in the smartphone market by releasing a device with both a large touchscreen and physical keyboard, aimed at customers that still prefer using the iconic BlackBerry keyboard but want access to the expansive Android app ecosystem. Nevertheless, the company ensures that the move to Android does not necessarily signal the end of the road for BlackBerry 10 devices. "We don't comment on rumors and speculation, but we remain committed to the

Typo's Smartphone Keyboard Business Comes to an End Following BlackBerry Lawsuits

BlackBerry and Typo Keyboard have reached the end of a lengthy lawsuit over Typo's BlackBerry-esque iPhone case that adds a physical keyboard to the Apple product (via The Verge). The lawsuit dating back to January 2014 argued that Typo, which saw significant publicity due to Ryan Seacrest's backing, willfully infringed on patents and "blatantly copied" BlackBerry's keyboard design. Today's settlement brings the news that Typo now essentially is prevented from making keyboards for any smartphone in the future. While neither company released the full settlement terms, a brief press release from BlackBerry notes that Typo has agreed not to produce keyboards for devices with screens smaller than 7.9 inches. This essentially precludes Typo from making keyboards for any smartphone, but leaves the door open for keyboards for tablets or any other device with a screen larger than 7.9 inches.As part of the settlement, Typo Products LLC, Typo Innovations LLC, Show Media LLC, Hallier Investments LLC, and Laurence Hallier have agreed to permanently discontinue selling anywhere in the world keyboards for smartphones and mobile devices with a screen size of less than 7.9 inches. Typo Products LLC, Typo Innovations LLC, Show Media LLC, Hallier Investments LLC, and Laurence Hallier may continue to sell keyboards for devices with a screen size of 7.9 inches or larger. Other terms of the settlement are confidential. Thanks to BlackBerry's constant pursuit of a lawsuit against the company, the Typo Keyboard for iPhone faced a very rocky road since its debut in January of 2014. Typo kept

New Book Explores How the iPhone Contributed to BlackBerry's Downfall

Over the past several years, BlackBerry has gone from one of the top smartphone manufacturers to a company that's struggling to stay afloat in an increasingly competitive market. BlackBerry is hemorrhaging subscribers and losing revenue quarter after quarter as it attempts to turn the tide by focusing on marketing secure devices and software to its enterprise customers. An upcoming book by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff, Losing the Signal, explores the events that led to the rise and fall of BlackBerry, and an interesting excerpt was shared by The Wall Street Journal today, covering the iPhone's contributions towards BlackBerry's (then known as RIM) failure. As we've previously learned from Google execs, the launch of the iPhone, which stood apart from all other smartphones on the market at the time, took everyone by surprise. Not only was the iPhone incredibly different from its competitors, it also had features that carriers had previously denied other manufacturers like a full web browser and later, an App Store that had no carrier ties. Image via CIO One of RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis' first comments was "These guys are really, really good," but despite that fact, RIM failed to see the iPhone as a threat due to its lack of security and the fact that it had no keyboard, features RIM execs thought would make it unappealing to RIM's core consumers.If the iPhone gained traction, RIM's senior executives believed, it would be with consumers who cared more about YouTube and other Internet escapes than efficiency and security. RIM's core business customers valued

Android Switchers Drive iOS Adoption in Europe During First Quarter

Kantar Worldpanel has released new smartphone operating system market share data for the first quarter of 2015, providing a regional breakdown of Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and other mobile platform adoption in the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, China, Japan, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico during the three-month period ending March. Android continued to have the highest market share among mobile platforms worldwide, as expected, although the continued success of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus helped drive iOS adoption higher in the first quarter. Kantar Worldpanel claims that 32.4% of Apple’s new customers in the five big European countries surveyed switched to iOS from Android during the first three months of the year. The regional breakdown for each platform per country: United States: Android: 58.1% iOS: 36.5% Windows Phone: 4.3% BlackBerry: 0.4% Australia: Android: 52.3% iOS: 38.4% Windows Phone: 7.3% BlackBerry: 1.6% United Kingdom: Android: 52.9% iOS: 38.1% Windows Phone: 8% BlackBerry: 0.7% France: Android: 64.6% iOS: 19.4% Windows Phone: 14.1% BlackBerry: 1%

Apple's Smartphone Trade-In Program Launches in United States, Canada and Europe

Apple has expanded its Reuse and Recycling Program in the United States, Canada and several European countries to cover eligible Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone smartphones. The new trade-in program is available online and in-store and provides customers with the option to mail in eligible non-Apple smartphones, including certain Samsung, HTC, LG, Nokia, Sony and BlackBerry models, for credit in the form of an Apple Store gift card or bank transfer. The smartphone trade-in program has gone live in the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany and Canada in partnership with third-party device buyback and trade-in company Brightstar. Apple is also accepting various PC models by certain manufacturers as part of its expanded Reuse and Recycling Program, handled by third-party vendor Dataserv. Apple confirms new trade-in program is up and running today in US, UK, Canada, France, Germany and Italy.— John Paczkowski (@JohnPaczkowski) March 30, 2015 Apple's Reuse and Recycling Program launched in August 2013 and was previously limited to trading in qualifying iPhones, iPads and Macs for immediate credit towards the purchase of a new Apple device. Apple also offers a traditional recycling program for disposing of devices such as iPhones, iPads, Macs and other smartphones and computers that are no longer eligible for trade

iPhone Keyboard Maker 'Typo' Ordered to Pay BlackBerry $860,000

Typo Products, a company that developed a BlackBerry-esque keyboard case for the iPhone, must pay BlackBerry $860,000 for continuing to sell its Typo case despite being ordered to cease sales in March. The Typo keyboard was first announced in December of 2013 and was backed by media personality Ryan Seacrest (of American Idol fame). Seacrest reportedly invested $1 million into the product, which was the result of a desire to introduce a physical keyboard for the iPhone. According to Seacrest and his partner Lauren Hallier, they saw many of their friends carrying two phones -- one for typing and correspondence, presumably a Blackberry, and an iPhone for everything else. The keyboard that the duo developed, which snapped onto an iPhone, bore a marked resemblance to BlackBerry's signature keyboards, a fact that did not go unnoticed by the company. Original Typo iPhone case next to the BlackBerry Q10 Just a month after the Typo keyboard was announced, BlackBerry filed a lawsuit accusing Typo Products of "blatantly" copying the BlackBerry keyboard and infringing on BlackBerry patents. A judge agreed with BlackBerry, handing down the aforementioned injunction that banned the Typo from selling its keyboards, despite Typo's argument that it was not harming BlackBerry as BlackBerry was already losing market share. Typo ignored the injunction and continued selling its Typo keyboard cases, leading BlackBerry to file a contempt of court order in August, which resulted in today's $860,000 fine. BlackBerry had initially asked for $2.6 million in penalties, plus attorneys'

BlackBerry CEO Says U.S. Government Should Force Apple to Expand iMessage to Other Platforms

BlackBerry CEO John Chen yesterday published a blog post adaptation of a letter in which he presses U.S. government officials to support not only net neutrality but also "application/content neutrality". In Chen's view, all apps and content should be available on all platforms, and he points specifically to Apple's iMessage and Netflix's streaming services as examples of discrimination against BlackBerry. Unlike BlackBerry, which allows iPhone users to download and use our BBM service, Apple does not allow BlackBerry or Android users to download Apple’s iMessage messaging service. Netflix, which has forcefully advocated for carrier neutrality, has discriminated against BlackBerry customers by refusing to make its streaming movie service available to them. Chen believes BlackBerry is a leader for content and application neutrality and pushes U.S. government officials to require these same neutral practices from the Canadian company's competitors. "Neutrality must be mandated at the application and content layer if we truly want a free, open and non-discriminatory internet," writes Chen. Chen's comments have unsurprisingly been met with ridicule by developers who don't wish to be forced to create apps for platforms where they do not expect worthwhile returns, and many observers have suggested BlackBerry should focus its efforts on creating a compelling ecosystem that would attract users and apps organically. Apple has historically been quiet on broader issues of net neutrality. The Cupertino company was noticeably absent from a list of more than 100 technology

Samsung in Talks to Buy BlackBerry for $7.5 Billion [Updated]

Samsung has recently been in talks with BlackBerry about a potential takeover, reports Reuters. The South Korean company has reportedly offered to buy BlackBerry for $7.5 billion, in the hopes of acquiring BlackBerry's extensive patent portfolio. Executives from both companies are said to have met last week in order to discuss the potential deal.South Korea's Samsung proposed an initial price range of $13.35 to $15.49 per share, which represents a premium of 38 percent to 60 percent over BlackBerry's current trading price, the source said.The offer price would imply an enterprise value of $6 billion to $7.5 billion for BlackBerry, assuming conversion of $1.25 billion of convertible debt, according to the documents. BlackBerry has struggled with flagging sales in recent years, and in 2013, the company received a takeover bid worth $4.7 billion from Fairfax Financial, but the deal ultimately fell apart. BlackBerry went on to receive interest from both Apple and Microsoft, among others, but was uninterested in breaking up the company to sell it piecemeal. Ultimately, the company accepted investments and aimed to re-establish itself in the smartphone market, which led to the launch of the Passport, a large square-shaped phone, and the Classic, a throwback to original BlackBerry designs. BlackBerry holds quite a few valuable patents, which are estimated to be worth $1 billion to $3 billion. In 2012 alone, its patent portfolio grew by 986 patents, many of which are relevant to competing smartphone companies like Samsung. Update 2:40 PM PT: BlackBerry has issued a