HTC open to licensing RIM’s BlackBerry 10 OS?

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Sep 072012
 

HTCResearch In Motion has been open about its desire to license its BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system to other manufacturers. While most rumours have focused on Samsung, RIM may have another option: HTC.

Graham Wheeler, director of product management for EMEA at HTC, today told Mobile Magazine,

“‘I don’t have any knowledge but that is not to say we are not looking at it. But from my point of view we are not saying we are closed to a new operating system. We will review each one to make sure it’s the best for our customers.”

HTC’s fortunes have flagged in the last quarters and the company is looking to reverse its fortunes. It is widely expected to announce Windows Phone 8 devices such as the HTC 8X (Accord) later this month. Licensing BlackBerry 10 could be another part of its strategy to differentiate itself from its competitors.

We could hear more about this once BlackBerry 10 launches and HTC and other potential licensees have had a chance to gauge customer reaction to it.

Read more: Mobile Magazine (Source: CrackBerry)

Rumour: Is this the first RIM BlackBerry 10 L-Series device?

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Sep 032012
 

Could this be the first BlackBerry 10 device? The image below, obtained by N4BB, is allegedly the first first BlackBerry 10 L-Series all-touch smartphone. We can see a number of apps, including BBM and three capacitive buttons (Phone, Search, and the camera). The image reveals little of the device itself though aside from its touchscreen front face.

Rumoured first BlackBerry 10 L-Series device

The report adds that the BlackBerry L-Series will come with an 1,800mAh battery. It will be offered in a gun metal colour (which does not really come through in the picture). It looks like there is a front-facing camera as well.

RIM will launch BlackBerry 10 and two devices, first an all-touch device and a QWERTY-keyboard one shortly after, in early 2013.

Read more: N4BB

RIM to standardize BlackBerry 10 on two display resolutions

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Aug 152012
 

BlackBerry 10Confirming earlier rumours, Research In Motion today announced that it will standardize on two screen resolutions for BlackBerry 10 devices. Full touch devices will come with a display offering a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels (16:9) while keyboard devices will sport a 720 x 720 pixel (1:1) display.

The fact that we are standardizing on two main screen resolutions going forward has been largely influenced by you, our community of developers. We are committed to making the BlackBerry platform the absolute best – and easiest – application platform for you develop on in order to innovate and grow your business.

Unfortunately, the very first BlackBerry 10 device that RIM will unveil will come with the slightly different resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels, the same as that of the BlackBerry Dev Alpha device. RIM explains that this is due to the fact that the device “has been in the works for quite some time now with lots of supply chain management and manufacturing tooling to bring it to launch.” It does offer some suggestions to developers on how to manage this first device.

The first BlackBerry 10 smartphones are expected to launch in Q1 2013.

Read more: Inside BlackBerry Developer Blog

RIM begins shopping BlackBerry 10 to carriers

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Aug 152012
 

Research In MotionCarriers are set to begin receiving nearly complete versions of Research In Motion’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices as early as next week. RIM will embark on a five-week roadshow to showcase beta versions of two smartphones to carriers across the world.

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins reaffirmed an early 2013 rollout date for BlackBerry 10. He explained that the hardware design of the upcoming devices is complete and that the software itself is nearly ready. The first all-touch model will be very similar to the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device that RIM has been providing to developers over the past few months. “We’re near the finishing line,” Heins added.

The all-touch model will launch first with the second to follow about 4 to 6 weeks later. While no specific carriers have been confirmed yet, “major carriers” in the US (and likely Canada) are expected to be onboard.

RIM will lead off with two devices, an all-touch model and one offering both a physical QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen (the rumoured L- and N-series?). Eventually, RIM will offer six smartphones, three all-touch designs and three with physical keyboards.

Heins also revealed that BlackBerry 10 devices will come with replaceable batteries.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal (Source: AllThingsD)

BlackBerry 10 OS nearly ready for licensing beyond smartphones

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Aug 132012
 

Research In MotionResearch In Motion’s plans to license its upcoming BlackBerry 10 span more than just smartphones, according to CEO Thorsten Heins. Earlier this month, he reconfirmed again that RIM was looking to offer its operating sytem to other handset manufacturers. It turns out that the company’s ambitions don’t end there. In interviews today with Bloomberg and CNET, Heins revealed that BlackBerry 10 could eventually power devices and equipment in a wide range of industries. He cited health care and smart-grids as two fields that have already expressed interest in using the operating system. “Smartphones are a part of our business, but we’re looking way beyond this,” he said.

Heins also revealed that BlackBerry 10 is now in the final stages of testing. It has come far enough already that he carries his own BB10 device with him. As a result, RIM will soon be ready to license it to other manufacturers.

Given that BlackBerry 10 is based on QNX’s Neutrino, the operating system that RIM acquired back in 2010, the news should not come as a big surprise. QNX is used in a variety of devices and industries including cars, military drones, and nuclear plants.

RIM is expected to launch its first BlackBerry 10 devices in early 2013 with an all-touch model and a QWERTY keyboard one.

Read more: Bloomberg and CNET

Rumour: IBM looking to buy RIM’s enterprise-services division

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Aug 092012
 

Research In MotionAmong the strategic options being considered by Research In Motion is the option to sell off portions of its business. Citing “two people familiar with the situation,” Bloomberg is reporting that it may have found a suitor for one of its divisions. IBM has apparently informally approached RIM to buy its enterprise-services unit which includes RIM’s BIS and BES infrastructure.

For its part, RIM has decided to wait until BlackBerry 10 devices roll out before making a decision on any potential sales, including this one. As a result, no further discussions are currently under way. The company has also indicated that it would prefer to stay whole and instead find a partner or license the upcoming operating system. Should BlackBerry 10 fare well upon its debut, it’s unlikely that RIM will move forward with the sale.

RIM is expected to launch its first BlackBerry 10 devices early next year. It will initially announce two devices, an all-touch one and one with a physical QWERTY keyboard (the first L-Series and N-Series devices?) will lead off the launch.

Read more: Bloomberg

Samsung dismisses latest RIM acquisition and licensing rumours

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Aug 082012
 

Research In MotionRumours of Samsung acquiring Research In Motion resurfaced today courtesy of a research note from an analyst at Jefferies & Co. Peter Misek suggests that RIM is close to wrapping up its review of its strategic options. He expects that RIM will conclude that it needs to license its BlackBerry 10 operating system to another company with Samsung being the likeliest candidate. According to his research note:

“Given recent management comments in the press, it now appears that RIM is realizing what Wall Street has been saying for some time: they are a subscale manufacturer and desperately need a partner. We believe RIM is attempting to revive discussions with Samsung regarding a BB10 licensing deal.”

Misek expects that Samsung will not move to acquire RIM until after BlackBerry 10 launches.

For its part, Samsung has once again moved to deny such rumours. A company spokesperson told AllThingsD that “Samsung Electronics has not considered the acquisition of Research in Motion or licensing BB10.” It dismissed similar rumours back in January.

Read more: AllThingsD

RIM to license BlackBerry 10 to offer wider device selection?

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Aug 022012
 

Research In MotionResearch In Motion has in the past hinted that it could license its BlackBerry 10 operating system to other manufacturers. In an interview with the U.K.’s The Telegraph, CEO Thorsten Heins provided one compelling argument for such a move. It would allow RIM’s new operating system to be offered on a wider range of devices than what RIM could offer on its own. As he explains it:

“We don’t have the economy of scale to compete against the guys who crank out 60 handsets a year. We have to differentiate and have a focused platform. To deliver BB10 we may need to look at licensing it to someone who can do this at a way better cost proposition than I can do it. There’s different options we could do that we’re currently investigating.”

Heins goes on to suggest that RIM could get out of the hardware business entirely:

“You could think about us building a reference system, and then basically licensing that reference design, have others build the hardware around it – either it’s a BlackBerry or it’s something else being built on the BlackBerry platform. We’re investigating this and it’s way too early to get into any details.

Both Google and Microsoft are using a similar model to different levels of success. RIM and its financial advisers are looking closely at this model to determine if it is viable.

It remains to be seen if any manufacturers would be interested in licensing BlackBerry 10. But with an established BlackBerry user base nearing 80 million, there is a potential market that most new operating systems simply do not have.

Read more: The Telegraph

BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour headed to Vancouver and Kitchener-Waterloo

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Aug 022012
 

RIM BlackBerryResearch In Motion has added two additional Canadian stops to its BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour along with an additional one in Europe:

Based on your feedback, we’ve been able to add three additional stops for the BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour. First, we’ll betaking the tour to the home town of Research In Motion – Waterloo, Ontario – on August 23rd. Then we’ll be heading to the west coast of Canada with a stop on August 28th in Vancouver, British Columbia. Finally, we loved the energy of the developers when we had BlackBerry DevCon Europe in Amsterdam this past February, so we’re bringing the BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour there on September 18th.

These events are geared towards application developers and allow them to find out more about BlackBerry 10 development:

  • Get a snapshot of the new things you can do with the BlackBerry 10 development platform. Learn about the unique capabilities of BlackBerry 10 to set your application apart.
  • Collaborate with your community. Learn, share and network with your peers. Make valuable connections that will make you even more successful with BlackBerry.
  • One-on-one expert guidance. Jam with BlackBerry platform experts and build a better app.

As at other BlackBerry 10 Jam events, a limited number of BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha devices will be available. You can apply to receive one during registration.

BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour is a free event. Registration for all three cities (Vancouver, Kitchener-Waterloo, Amsterdam) is now open.

Read more:

Rumour: BlackBerry 10 devices to use 720 pixel width as base resolution

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Jul 292012
 

Research In Motion appears to have decided to make a 720 by xxxx pixel resolution the standard for its upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices. A leaked document obtained by N4BB indicates that RIM has decided that “moving forward our device portfolio will be based around 720 px screen widths.

720 pixel resolution for BlackBerry 10
Click for a larger version

The slide indicates that the N-Series will have a resolution of 720×720 (1:1 aspect ratio) and the future M-Series (a keyboard slider if past rumours hold true) will have a resolution of 720×1280 (16:9 aspect ratio).

The only exception to this rule will be the first BlackBerry L-Series device with which RIM is expected to launch BlackBerry 10. It will sport a display with a resolution of 768 by 1280 pixels, the same as on the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device. It’s not clear why this first device will not follow this rule but it could be that the rule came into being only after the resolution of the L-Series was established.

The rule would suggest that any future BlackBerry devices with a resolution width lower than 720 pixels will come with BlackBerry 7 rather than BlackBerry 10.

Read more: N4BB

RIM to announce BlackBerry 10 touch and QWERTY keyboard models simultaneously

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Jul 162012
 

Research In MotionIn an interview with CrackBerry, Research In Motion CEO revealed that the company will announce both the all-touch BlackBerry device as well as one with a physical QWERTY keyboard (the first L-Series and N-Series devices?) at the same time:

“We will announce them together and not in sequence. We’ll just come out and say full touch available at (this date) and full QWERTY available at (this date).”

While the devices will not be available simultaneously, it appears that the window between both launches will be quite small. RIM will be able to market both simultaneously.

Heins also explained why RIM, famous for its physical QWERTY keyboards, will launch BlackBerry 10 with an all-touch device. He provides two reasons. First, as he says, “without being arrogant, I think we own the full qwerty market.” Second is that the all-touch device is actually more complicated and RIM wanted to get it ready first to clear “the pipeline for the platform,” suggesting that RIM wants to quickly follow up these first two devices with additional ones.

Speaking about the launch date which slipped to Q1 2013, Heins was adamant that there would be no further slips:

“I’m very confident about the first quarter, whether it’s January or February,” Heins told me. “You’ll see lab entry and technical acceptance already kicking in, in Q4. Just the ramp up and launch with carriers will happen in Q1.”

All in all, a very interesting interview and a good read…

Read more: CrackBerry

RIM BlackBerry 7 to coexist with BlackBerry 10

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Jul 112012
 

Research In MotionResearch In Motion yesterday held its annual shareholder assembly. While there was not much that was new, one interesting topic that came up was what would happen to BlackBerry 7 once BlackBerry 10 came out. It appears that retirement is not in the cards just yet for the older operating system.

RIM did not provide many details on this dual-strategy. Expect BlackBerry 7 devices to occupy low- and mid- pricing tiers and continue to be a big part of RIM’s offering in developing markets. BB10 devices will become RIM’s new flagship devices (hopefully without a price premium).

It’s not clear how long BlackBerry 7 will live on. A leaked BlackBerry 10 device roadmap suggests a number of devices will be released next year. These will gradually push BlackBerry 7 out to pasture. It’s also not clear if we will see new BlackBerry 7 devices and how much (if any) additional development RIM will put into the OS.

First BlackBerry 10 device coming in January according to RIM CEO

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Jul 092012
 

Research In MotionResearch In Motion recently announced that the launch of BlackBerry 10 devices would be delayed to Q1 2013 to allow it to ensure that it was ready for release. In an interview with CIO, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins shed a bit more light on the delay and on exactly when we will see the first BlackBerry 10 device, an all-touch one possibly to be known as the L-series.

Heins explained that the delay in getting BlackBerry 10 out is due to all the integration required between software groups:

The delay of BlackBerry 10 is not because we added stuff to it. The delay is because our software groups were actually so successful in coding the various feature components and building blocks that when we put them into the main “trunk line,” as we call it, when we wanted to build the first main release, we got overwhelmed by integration efforts. I had to make a decision. I could actually have kept the schedule, if I had made a sacrifice on quality and on platform stability. And I decided not to do that, because I need to make sure that when we deliver a BlackBerry, it is best quality.

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Rumour: BlackBerry M-Series to be third RIM BlackBerry 10 device series

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Jul 072012
 

RIM BlackBerryRumours have already suggested that RIM will have two lines of BlackBerry 10 devices, the L-Series and N-Series. Multiple devices will be offered eventually in both series. It also appears that the Milan slider, which had been cancelled some time ago as RIM focused on a smaller number of devices, will be resurrected as the BlackBerry M-Series.

The BlackBerry M-Series is scheduled for release in 2014 at this point as RIM plans to focus on devices (including the Nevada, Naples, and Nashville) in the first two series initially. The timeline certainly aligns with the leaked BlackBerry 10 2013 roadmap spotted on days ago.

Little is known about the M-Series but it will apparently sport an HD (1280×720) display like the N-Series. With a release so far out, that could well change before then.

Read more: N4BB

Rumour: RIM BlackBerry 10 2013 roadmap revealed

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Jul 022012
 

Research In Motion last week announced the delay of the launch of its first BlackBerry 10 devices to Q1 2013. A leaked roadmap now gives us a sense of what RIM has in mind for the balance of 2012 as well as 2013. It looks like a busy year for BlackBerry 10, especially with devices with codenames we’re already heard of showing up!

Rumoured 2013 RIM BlackBerry 10 roadmap
Click for a larger version

Things will get started in Q4 2012 with the launch of the 4G PlayBook (Winchester 2). These will launch with the current BlackBerry Tablet OS and will be upgraded to BlackBerry 10 (like all PlayBooks) in the Q1/Q2 time frame.

As widely expected, the BlackBerry L and N-series smartphones (respectively codenamed London and Nevada) lead things off in Q1. Both will launch in Europe about 3 or 4 weeks before their North American debut. The decision is attributed to European markets and media outlets being more receptive to BlackBerry than North America is these days.

The rumoured 10-inch PlayBook codenamed Blackforest is set for a Q3 launch, likely preloaded with BlackBerry 10.

The rumoured BlackBerry Nashville and Naples are set for Q2/Q3 and Q3/Q4 releases respectively. Both could be additional N-series devices (based on their codenames) but little is known about either still.

Read more: BlackBerryOS (Source: N4BB)