Tag Archives: blackberry

Blackberry Announces Cortana Competitor, BlackBerry Assistant

Blackberry Assistant

As all the major smartphone OS vendors Microsoft, Google and Apple have come up with their own version of digital assistants, Blackberry too has now joined the party by announcing Blackberry Assistant. As you can see in the image above, the logo looks similar to how Cortana is depicted in Windows Phone 8.1. As far as the functionality is concerned, it does all the actions which you expect from a modern day digital assistant.

I spend a lot of time behind the wheel and am often switching between multiple vehicles. Having an app that’s designed to be compatible with any Bluetooth device is key for vehicle safety. Just this week, I used it to remind me about a car appointment, a vet appointment and my anniversary. Then, it helped me send an ever-so-romantic BBM note from the car on my way home (all hands-free, of course). It was also my go-to when I needed to find the lyrics to “Soft Kitty”.   Continue reading

Screen shots of BBM for Windows Phone

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Blackberry Messenger for Windows Phone is currently in private beta in the Windows Phone Store.

The app is expected to be published by the end of July, and the beta is currently fully subscribed.

So far we have not seen what the app will actually look like, but BerryReview have posted some screen shots of the app in action.

The app consists of 3 pages in a panorama, with Feeds, Contacts and Chat sections.

BBM has turned into somewhat of a social network, with a feed section as can be seen in the first screen shot, showing updates from your friends.

The second screen shot shows the chats page.

The app is still missing features such as stickers, BBM Voice, Channels, and Location Sharing via Glympse but BerryReview expects these to arrive in the coming months.bbmwp1

The app fortunately uses the Windows Phone Modern UI, which is more that can be said of BB’s icon, which looks rather out of place on Windows Phone.

What do our readers think of the app, which still has more than 100 million users and growing? Let us know below.

Via PhoneArena.com

BBM Open Beta closed to further registration

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It seems, despite some derision, there is quite a bit of enthusiasm in the Windows Phone community for Blackberry Messenger on Windows Phone.

The company is currently running an open beta, and started taking registrations last night.  In less than 24 hours the beta has been fully subscribed, with users now being asked to register for a waiting list.

BBM  currently has more than 100 million active users, which is certainly a lot more than the actual number of people who still use Blackberry, which I guess means we should really welcome another real competitor to the messaging app race.

Join the waiting list at Blackberry.com here.

Via Crackberry.com

BBM to hit Windows Phone 8.1 soon?

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According to a poster spotted at retailer by redditor ziyadgamal BBM should be available to the Nokia Lumia 630 when it launches.

Indonesia is one of the few strongholds left for Blackberry and BBM, and support for the messaging service is currently a strong selling point in the region.

The app is expected to hit Windows Phone in early June.

With all the troubles we are having with WhatsApp, will our readers welcome the arrival of BBM? Let us know below.

After the Nokia purchase, now is the time for Microsoft to buy Blackberry

imageMicrosoft is just about to conclude their purchase of Nokia’s handset division this Friday, which will leave the company with a loss-making mobile phone division which sells more than 50 million dumb phones each quarter and close to 10 million Windows Phones.

The $7.2 billion purchase will take a while to pay for itself, but there is another company which Microsoft should be looking at snapping up before Google or Apple gets their fingers in.

That company is Blackberry, who still owns 26% of all phones used in enterprise, and who is one of the largest mobile device management companies with a service which can manage Blackberry, iOS, Android and soon Windows Phones.

Even more than Nokia, purchasing Blackberry will be synergistic – giving Blackberry new credibility and removing uncertainty about their future, while instantly giving Microsoft a strong foothold in enterprise with a cross platform solution.

Of course Blackberry will have to ditch Blackberry 10, but given that less than 10 million of those handsets have been sold ever this is no big hardship.

Getting rid of Blackberry’s loss-making handset division will allow Microsoft to reap the pure profits from its high margin MDM division, and for Microsoft to cross-sell Windows Phones in areas where Blackberry handsets still matter.

Given that Blackberry is worth less than $4 billion at their current share price, the deal would be a steal which will soon pay for itself.

Do our readers agree? Let us know below.

BBM confirmed coming to Windows Phone in soon

At Blackberry’s Q4 conference call the company’s CEO John Chen confirmed that Blackberry Messenger for Windows Phone is coming soon to the OS.

He revealed the app will be coming to Windows Phone in Blackberry’s Fiscal Q2, or between May and July 2014.

He also revealed that the software will come pre-loaded on some Lumia handsets in some markets.

BBM is currently installed on the handsets of 113 million users, and has 85 million monthly active users.

Via NPU

Now even Canada drops Blackberry phones

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Blackberry’s best markets were actually in emerging markets, but their other western stronghold has been in Canada, where they had the home-field advantage.

Unfortunately for the stumbling company, which only had 0.6% worldwide market share in Q4 2013, their handsets have become unwelcome even in their home town. We have seen this earlier, when Rogers initially declined to carry the Blackberry Z30, and now Canadian carrier Fido has completely dropped Blackberry’s range from their line up, offering only iPhone, Android and Windows Phone smartphones.

The clarity of the line up is certain to help Windows Phone, when the OS will be positioned as an undisputed alternative to iOS and Android.

Three UK to increase support as Windows Phone is “here to stay” while Blackberry may be out of the door soon

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Speaking to MobileNewsCWP,  carrier Three UK’s head of devices Brendan Arndt said that they intend to increase their support of Windows Phone, which included increasing the floor space dedicated to handsets running the OS.

“Currently there is not a lot of space in store for Windows Phone but this year this will change, and we will stock a WP tablet, probably an eight-inch one,” he said.

He said the carrier will increase floor space, offer more tutorials to get buyers up and running and also offer dedicated support.

Speaking on the Windows Phone 8 platform, Arndt stated: “The customer experience is great, the customer feedback is great on Windows Phone and is higher than some of the Android stuff.”

He added: “It has done really well at the mid and low end for us, the top end is still needing that killer product to make it a big success and I hope that is coming and coming soon.”

He opined that “Windows Phone will take time to compete in the high-end as well as lower price points, but it is here to stay.”

Unfortunately he could not say the same about Blackberry, revealing that the carrier is considering dropping all Blackberry handsets by the end of the year, like EE , O2 and Phones4U  have already done.

“The Windows Phone market is good for us. We’ve chosen that as our third ecosystem now that BlackBerry is dying off slowly,” Brendan Arndt, Three’s Portfolio Manager said speaking with TrustedReviews.

“We will know by the end of the year whether to drop BlackBerry. We are not ready to make that decision yet, as there is still demand, but it is mainly for the keyboard devices [Q10, Curve 9320] as it is the only manufacturer still making them,”Arndt said.

Currently Windows Phone is holding around 10% market share in the UK, while Blackberry only has around 2.6% and dropping, according to recent Kantar surveys.

Windows Phone set to overtake Blackberry in their best market

imageBlackberry is rapidly retreating from the world stage, with the OS estimated to have only 0.6% worldwide market share in Q4 2013 by the IDC.

There are some countries where the OS still reigned supreme until recently however such as Indonesia, where 17% of worldwide Blackberries was said to be in use early last year; the company’s biggest market.

Times they are a changing however, and with the rise of Android we have also seen Windows phone moving into the same arena, displacing the Canadian fruit phone.

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Small victories: Windows Phone are now used by more people than Blackberry in USA

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According to the latest data from Comscore, Windows Phones are now used by more subscribers than Blackberry handsets in USA.

3.2% of 159.8 million US smartphone owners use Windows Phones, or 5.11 million people, vs 4.95 million Blackberry owners.

This is up around 330,000 people from 3 months ago, indicating the effect of the Christmas season on sales, likely due to great Nokia Lumia 520/521 sales.

Blackberry is down another 0.5%, after losing 0.7% 3 months earlier, which is unsurprising when the operating system only holds 0.5% of the US smartphone sales.  A recent promotion by T-Mobile saw 94% of Blackberry users taking part upgrading to handsets running other operating systems, despite a $50 incentive to stay Blackberry by T-Mobile.

Of course 3.2% is still well in the range of irrelevance, so we hope for actual growth in the market, which I think we will only see if Microsoft release a low-cost handset on Verizon.

See the full report at Comscore here.

Enterprise increasingly dropping Blackberry in favour of Windows Phone

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UK publication Computerweekly has been talking to some IT folk in business and government in UK and found they are increasingly planning on ditching moribund Blackberry and moving to Windows Phone.

Andrew McManus, IT director, NEC Group, has around 250 BlackBerrys which he wants to replace with Nokia Lumia 625s and 925s in the Spring.

“Now I find the Windows devices more compelling,” he said. “You get seamless connection into our back-end Microsoft systems, so a tablet that looks pretty much like an iPad gives you access to Exchange, all of our systems, ERP [enterprise resource planning]. As well as all the nice tablet functions people like,” said McManus.

“Price-wise, it is about the same too. Why wouldn’t we go down that route?”

McManus also said he was planning to replace previous deployments of Apple iPads with Windows 8-based tablets.

“What I want to be able to do with Windows is to give people access to data in real time so events managers can see everything happening at their show. You can do that on iOS, but trying to grab something out of a SQL server is a lot more complicated,” he said.

“I think we will end up with Windows through and through for all of our tablet uses.”

Rob Bamforth, principal analyst of business communications at analyst firm Quocirca, notes Blackberry handsets lack the productivity features of Windows Phone.

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Kantar: T-Mobile USA is Nokia’ strongest US carrier with 45% of its sales

KANTAR-150Kantar has been teasing some numbers from their Q4 2013 report which provides some insight into Nokia’s performance in USA and abroad.

According to their research 45% of Nokia’s sale were on US’s budget carrier, T-Mobile. As can be expected, the vast majority of these sales were low-end Windows Phones, with 68% of Nokia’s Q4 2013 Lumia sales being the Nokia Lumia 520 and 521, which was retailing for as low as $60.

This leaves only 32% for handsets like the Nokia Lumia 925, 928, 1020 and 1520, and given the usual relatively small volume of the US market suggests sales of some of these handsets could be measured in tens rather than hundreds of thousands of units.

Still, 9 million US residents would prefer a Nokia over any other handset, while 39 million would consider one.

This pales in comparison to China, where Nokia is the top choice for 57 million Chinese, with 123 million willing to consider one.  The implication to the Lumia range of losing the Nokia brand remains worrying.

Kantar reports Windows Phone users engage about the same amount as Android users with their handsets, which is less than iOS.  This is likely the consequence of targeting the lower-end market.

Lastly, they revealed that while 36% of new Windows Phone users switched from feature phones in UK, an increasing amount were also switching from Blackberry.

See Kantar’s tweets after the break.

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