BlackBerry CEO confirms PlayBook BlackBerry 10 upgrades

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Jan 312013

RIM BlackBerry PlayBookResearch In Motion (now known as BlackBerry) confirmed back last May that PlayBook tablets would be upgraded to BlackBerry 10 shortly after the launch of its first BlackBerry 10 smartphone. No mention was made of this at yesterday’s launch though. Fortunately for those looking for an update, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins yesterday reconfirmed this in an interview with CNBC.

We will provide BlackBerry 10 software updates for all of the PlayBooks that are out there. So, the wifi and the 4G versions, they will all be upgraded to BlackBerry 10.

No timelines for when the upgrade will roll out were provided (nor were they asked for during the interview).

If you want to see more of what Thorsten had to say, here is the video:

Asked about their plans for the tablet market, Heins described it as one that has “special rules” and RIM would look at it from a “profitability perspective” but will “continue to be in it.”

Read more: CNBC

Research In Motion is now called BlackBerry

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Jan 302013
RIM BlackBerry

As part of the BlackBerry 10 launch, Research In Motion today announced that it has renamed the company to reflect its brand. As of today, the company will officially be known as BlackBerry. As Thorsten Heins announced today: “From this point forward — we are BlackBerry. One brand. One promise. Our customers use a BlackBerry, our employees work for BlackBerry, and our shareholders are owners of BlackBerry.”

BlackBerry’s CMO, Frank Boulben, explains the move in a bit more detail in the video below:

BlackBerry will trade under the symbols $BB (TSX) and $BBRY (Nasdaq).

Read more: Inside BlackBerry

Recap of BlackBerry 10 Experience Launch event

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Jan 302013

Research In MotionThe buildup is over. President and CEO Thorsten Heins took to the stage today for the BlackBerry 10 Experience Launch event. Here is a summary of today’s event:

  • Introduction:
  • The most challenging but also most exhilarating year in his life
  • Recognition for the RIM team for their hard work to get to this point
  • Today is not the finish line but the starting line: BlackBerry 10 will keep people moving.
  • Today is a new day in RIM’s history. Two years ago, RIM decided to go it alone with its own mobile operating system (based on QNX).
  • Company rebrands: “From this point forward, RIM becomes BlackBerry.” / “One brand, one promise”
  • Devices and BlackBerry 10:
  • BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 (with physical keyboard) announced
  • Irrespective of which one you choose, it will be the “best keyboard experience”
  • BlackBerry 10: Demonstration of “BlackBerry Hub” multitasking along with “BlackBerry Peek” and “BlackBerry Flow”.
  • BlackBerry 10: Demonstration of “BlackBerry Keyboard” – One thumb to do all your typing
  • Multi-language predictive ability. Able to deal with typos like missed spaces
  • BlackBerry 10: Demonstration of “BlackBerry Balance” to help separate work and personal work but applications coexist to facilitate switch back and forth
  • New features in BBM include BBM Video and BBM Screenshare which lets you share your screen
  • BlackBerry Remember demonstration
  • BlackBerry Camera demonstration with TimeShift
  • Picture Editor demonstration
  • BlackBerry Story Maker: Video creation
  • BlackBerry World: Over 70,000 applications available at launch including Skype, Amazon Kindle, WhatsApp, SAP, Angry Birds Star Wars
  • BlackBerry World: All major record labels, TV and movie studios onboard
  • Availability:
  • US: BlackBerry Z10 coming in March from major carriers
  • Canada: BlackBerry Z10 will be available starting February 5th. Pricing will start at CA$149.99 with a three-year contract.
  • UK: BlackBerry Z10 to launch on January 30th
  • BlackBerry Q10 expected to launch in April in U.S.
  • In closing, Heins announced that Alicia Keys has been hired as BlackBerry Global Creative Director.

And that’s a wrap. Specific details about devices and availability to follow shortly.

BlackBerry Z10 retail packaging revealed?

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Jan 292013

We’ve seen plenty of pictures of the all-touch BlackBerry Z10 that RIM is expected to unveil tomorrow (along with the BlackBerry X10 with QWERTY keyboard). Now comes a picture of the retail box you can expect that BlackBerry device to come in:

RIM BlackBerry Z10 retail packaging

The contents of the box were not revealed. Aside from the smartphone itself, it will likely contain the battery, a charger and USB cable, earbuds and the usual manuals (quick start guide and warranty).

All will be revealed very soon now. There is now less than 24 hours before RIM takes to the stage to unveil its new BlackBerry 10 devices.

Read more: CrackBerry

RIM to livestream its BlackBerry 10 launch event

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Jan 282013
Research In Motion

There is good news today for everyone who will not have the opportunity to attend one of Research In Motion’s BlackBerry 10 launch events on Wednesday, January 30th. The events will be livestreamed:

The event will happen simultaneously in New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Dubai, Johannesburg, Jakarta and Delhi. This day will mark the official launch of its new platform – BlackBerry 10, as well as the unveiling of the first two BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Details on the smartphones and their availability will be announced at the event.

The live webcast will start at 1000 ET at

Keep it locked here; we’ll bring you all the details of RIM’s announcement.

Read more: RIM

Humour: Rick Mercer shows off BlackBerry 10 “Reversal of Fortune” app

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Jan 282013

With all the BlackBerry 10 rumours swirling ahead of the official announcement this coming Wednesday, one new BlackBerry 10 has managed to stay out of the limelight until now. Revealed by Rick Mercer, “Reversal of Fortune” comes with the tag line “We’re out of the shame and into the light.” It comes with a stock tracker that lets you see how much RIM stock is climbing while Apple’s is tumbling, Smug Wipe which lets you watch the smirk disappear from iPhone users’ faces, and Waterloo StreetView which lets you see web designers flock back to Waterloo from California.

The app even reveals the truth behind Apple’s Siri app.

It’s not the first time that Rick Mercer has had a bit of fun with RIM. Back in October, he revealed the BlackBerry Outàge and before that, dealt with the impact of RIM’s troubles on average Canadians.

Read more: The Mercer Report [via YouTube] (Source: @RickMercer) [via Twitter]

Lenovo downplays RIM acquisition story

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Jan 282013

Lenovo CFO Wong Waiming last week suggested that the Chinese company was open to the idea of acquiring Research In Motion in an effort to grow its mobile business as PC sales slow down. A statement sent to TheNextWeb by the company today suggests that certain statements may have been taken out context during the Bloomberg interview. Lenovo explains that Waiming’s comments were meant to be more general in scope:

In general, we do not comment on M&A rumors or speculation.

We are aware that Lenovo’s CFO [Wong] Waiming was speaking broadly about M&A strategy in a recent interview. RIM was raised as a potential target by the journalist and Mr. Wong repeatedly answered in a manner consistent with all of our previous statements on M&A strategy: Lenovo is very focused on growing its business, both organically and through M&A. When inorganic ideas arise, we explore them to see if there is a strategic fit.

With RIM open to various options to “create new opportunities, focusing on areas where we will be more effective partnering rather than going it alone, and ultimately maximizing value for all stakeholders,” it is likely that some level of discussion is happening or has happened between interested parties (including Lenovo). Such talks are likely on the backburner this week as RIM prepares to launch its BlackBerry 10 devices on Wednesday.

Read more: TheNextWeb

BlackBerry 10 headed to the Super Bowl

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Jan 252013
RIM BlackBerry

BlackBerry 10 is going to the SuperBowl! Following the unveiling of the first BlackBerry 10 devices on January 30th, RIM will be hitting the airwaves on February 3rd with its first ever Super Bowl ad.

“A Super Bowl commercial, is a great opportunity to show the re-designed, re-engineered and re-invented BlackBerry to tens of millions of consumers on the largest advertising stage of the year,” said Frank Boulben, Chief Marketing Officer, Research In Motion. “BlackBerry has 30 million social media fans, and we’re looking forward to continuing to encourage them and all NFL football fans to see the power of BlackBerry 10 for themselves.”

With over 100 million people expected to tune in (many for the ads as much as the game), that’s a lot of eyeballs (including many in Canada) that will be catching a glimpse of BlackBerry 10. And with 30 million social media fans, RIM also promises to be fully engaged with “pre- and post-game on-site, digital and social activities, including real time engagement with BlackBerry social fans on Facebook and Twitter, as well as extending and amplifying exposure and fan engagement through Promoted Posts and Sponsored Story ads.”

Buried in the press release is a hint that RIM has the next-generation PlayBook waiting in the wings. It describes BlackBerry 10 as the “new mobile computing platform that will power the next generation of smartphones and tablets” (our emphasis). While all the attention has been on the smartphones, a new tablet hopefully not be long in coming.

Two more BlackBerry Z10 renders surface? (Updated)

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Jan 242013

With days remaining before Research In Motion unveils its BlackBerry 10 devices, two more renders of its all-touch device have surfaced courtesy of @evleaks:

Rumoured RIM BlackBerry Z10

The BlackBerry Z10 has been leaked more than a few times and it’s quite likely to be one of the two devices that RIM will unveil on January 30th. The second is expected to be the BlackBerry X10 with physical QWERTY keyboard.

Rumours earlier today suggest that at least two Canadian carriers, Bell and TELUS, could launch the BlackBerry Z10 on February 5th for CA$650 contract-free.

Update: And here is another showing the BlackBerry Z10 in both black and white?

Rumoured RIM BlackBerry Z10

Read more: @evleaks [via Twitter] and @evleaks [via Twitter]

Lenovo considering RIM acquisition

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Jan 242013

Rumblings that Research In Motion could be acquired resurfaced today courtesy of Lenovo. Company Chief Financial Officer Wong Wai Ming said that such a move was under consideration during an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland:

“We are looking at all opportunities – RIM and many others. We’ll have no hesitation if the right opportunity comes along that could benefit us and shareholders.”

No final decision has been taken yet but Lenovo has held talks with RIM and its bankers to discuss various options. The story coincides with comments made this week by RIM CEO Thorsten Heins that selling the company’s hardware unit remained an option.

With its PC business waning as worldwide sales decline, Lenovo is looking to other sectors to maintain its profits. Both the smartphone and tablet markets are strong and RIM happens to offer both. While organic growth remains the priority, acquistions would certainly help Lenovo establish itself in new markets.

The acquisition would not be without its challenges. RIM stock has been on a tear ahead of its launch and would likely continue their climb if the BlackBerry 10 launch is strong. It could end up being pricier than Lenovo is willing to pay. The deal would also require approval from both Canadian and U.S. regulators as well as a review by the Canadian government to determine whether it would be of “net benefit” to the country.

Lenovo is not the first company to have expressed an interest in buying all or parts of RIM. Samsung has been mentioned a few times and IBM, Microsoft, Nokia and even Amazon have all been rumoured interested parties in the past.

Read more: Bloomberg

Rumour: Bell to offer BlackBerry Z10 for CA$650 with no contract starting February 5th

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Jan 242013

We are now only days from Research In Motion announcing its BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Along with the new devices, we expect to learn when they will launch and what pricing will be like. Ahead of the announcement, HowardForums has learned that Bell will launch its first BlackBerry 10 device, presumably the all-touch BlackBerry Z10 as the QWERTY-keyboard model is set to launch a bit later, on February 5th. Available in black or white, it will sell for CA$650 with no contract.

Dealers are expected to start receiving stock on January 30th, the day of the announcement itself.

A separate rumour earlier this week indicated that U.S. carriers would offer the BlackBerry Z10 for US$149 or below with a two-year contract. Canada could see it for a similar price but with a three-year contract instead.

The BlackBerry Z10 is expected to come with LTE connectivity, a 4.2-inch HD display (1280×768), 2GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage, an 8MP rear camera, a 2MP front camera, and a 1,800mAh battery.

Update: According to CrackBerry, TELUS will also launch the BlackBerry Z10 on February 5th. If the rumours are accurate, it is likely that Rogers (and possibly other carriers) would also launch on this date.

Read more: HowardForums and CrackBerry

WIND Mobile now taking BlackBerry 10 pre-registrations

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Jan 232013

WIND Mobile is among the Canadian carriers that have already confirmed plans to offer BlackBerry 10 devices once they launch. With a week to go before Research In Motion unveils its new devices, the carrier has begun to accept pre-registrations. Anyone interested can sign up to receive future communications about WIND Mobile’s plans for the devices.

WIND Mobile BB10 pre-registration

The pre-registrtation page sheds no information on launch date and pricing details but those should be revealed next week. Or sign up to get them directly to your inbox when WIND Mobile announces them!

Read more: WIND Mobile

RIM rebrands its app store to BlackBerry World

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Jan 212013

Research In Motion today announced that its BlackBerry App World web store has been rebranded and is now known as BlackBerry World. The move comes as RIM gets ready to broaden its app store’s catalog to include videos and music (and movies in the future) as well as apps sot that it can become a ” one-stop shop for all of your mobile entertainment needs.”

With BlackBerry World, there are various ways to browse, download, buy, and manage apps using a BlackBerry smartphone, BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, or desktop or laptop computer,— inspiration is at your fingertips. And if you find something you love and want to tell the world, you can easily share it with your friends over BBM, Facebook and Twitter. Also, you can simply tap smartphones together and invite your friends to download it — just like that.

BlackBerry World

The change is first coming to the web storefront. It will be rolled out to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and BlackBerry smartphones “in the coming weeks.”

Read more: Inside BlackBerry Official Blog

BlackBerry Z10 pricing revealed along with more BB10 information?

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Jan 212013
RIM BlackBerry

With a little over a week to go before Research In Motion launched BlackBerry 10, BGR has landed new details about the pricing of the BlackBerry Z10 all-touch device. If accurate, it appears that RIM and its U.S. carrier partners will offer it for US$149 or below with a two-year contract. That could translate to about the same here in Canada but likely with a three-year contract.

BGR has also obtained from a “close source” about 100 screenshots of the BlackBerry 10 operating system in full detail. It’s a comprehensive overview that covers everything from device setup including an introduction to its gestures, the BlackBerry Hub and built-in apps, and the Siri-like voice assistant. Here is just three of them:

RIM BlackBerry 10 screenshot
Click for a larger version

RIM BlackBerry 10 screenshot
Click for a larger version

RIM BlackBerry 10 screenshot
Click for a larger version

Will RIM have anything left to announce next week with all these leaks?

Read more: BGR

Kitchener to deck out city for BlackBerry 10 launch

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Jan 192013
RIM BlackBerry

Research In Motion’s Corporate Head Office is located in Waterloo, Ontario, not far from Kitchener, its sister city. Despite recent downsizing, it still employs thousands in the local area. It should come as no surprise then that the Kitchener-Waterloo area is getting in on the BlackBerry launch celebrations. Normally, Kitchener has a bylaw that prevents private companies from using publicly owned property for self-promotion (Waterloo does not). But the city has decided to make an exception for RIM and will allow it to put up banners and promote its BlackBerry 10 launch with skating parties and refreshments.

The city council vote was nearly unanimous with only one councillor voting against the exception. For his part, Councillor Berry Vrbanovic who brought the motion forward said, “If we look at how much this company has done for the community and how important this launch is globally, it only makes sense for us to be supportive of it.”

Both city mayors were equally supportive. “There are very few companies that have had the kind of influence over this community in terms of the local economy,” said Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr. Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran added, “It just makes sense for us to be supportive of RIM and to allow them to put their banners up. We believe in RIM.”

Thanks in large part to RIM, Kitchener-Waterloo is widely seen as a world-class centre for technology and innovation. It has been influential in setting up institutions such as the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Centre for International Governance Innovation. It is well known for its philanthropic contributions to the local area.

It could be quite the party in K-W in just over a week!

Read more: CBC News