Tag Archives: RIM

RIM settles patent infringement case with Nokia, to pay regular royalties

Nokia has emerged victorious once again from a patent case with another company.

Like Apple RIM has agreed to make a one-time payment to Nokia and then pay regular royalties.

“We are very pleased to have resolved our patent licensing issues with RIM and reached this new agreement, while maintaining Nokia’s ability to protect our unique product differentiation,” said Paul Melin, chief intellectual property officer at Nokia. “This agreement demonstrates Nokia’s industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market.”

The amounts involved has been revealed yet, but Nokia managed to secure a patent settlement of $608 million and ongoing royalties from Apple last year, which may give an indication of the windfall Nokia can expect.

Via TNW

RIM loses patent battle to Nokia, either needs to pay up or remove WI-FI from phones

BlackBerry-at-the-end-of-the-dying

RIM suffered a blow today after losing a patent battle that was in arbitration in Sweden.

The venue ruled  ”RIM was in breach of contract and is not entitled to manufacture or sell WLAN products without first agreeing royalties with Nokia,”

In a statement Nokia said:

Nokia and RIM agreed a cross-license for standards essential cellular patents in 2003, which was amended in 2008. In 2011, RIM sought arbitration, arguing that the license extended beyond cellular essentials. In November, the arbitration tribunal ruled against RIM. It found that RIM was in breach of contract and is not entitled to manufacture or sell WLAN products without first agreeing royalties with Nokia. In order to enforce the Tribunal’s ruling, we have now filed actions in the US, UK and Canada with the aim of ending RIM’s breach of contract.

The ruling covers all BlackBerry devices and will only add to RIM’s troubles as it struggles to launch its new Blackberry 10 OS.

Via BGR

Yanko Design tackled the Blackberry Windows Phone (concept)

blackberry_wind

We know Blackberry is currently circling the drain, and has refused offers by Microsoft to license Windows Phone.

This has however not stopped Yanko Design from imagining what such as Blackberry Windows Phone would look like.

The Blackberry Wind (which signifies the “Wind of change” and the new OS “WINDows”) exemplifies elegance and sobriety, featuring a unique Industrial Design, including the chamfered corners (on the top and the bottom) and the wide polycarbonate line on the back, which comes on the front to highlight the speaker and create the Windows Phone OS key.

The specs sees the device having a 1.5 Ghz dual core processor, 1 GB RAM, 4 Inch 1024×600 (I’m sure that can be fixed) LCD display protected by Gorilla Glass 2 and LTE connectivity, and sporting only an 8mm thickness.

The handset as imagined would have an 8 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front camera and sport a unique Sony-style jog dial.

While obviously only a concept, the designer notes the potential of the BlackBerry Wind concept sounds too good, with the ultimate professional phone bearing the security and agility of BlackBerry along with the competence of MS Office.  Makes one wonder why Blackberry could not see the synergies themselves.

See more pictures after the break.

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RIM doomed: Cant make it on their own, Samsung doesn’t want them either

imageRIM has admitted that the company could not survive on their own, and needed to license out their OS to more nimble companies.

“We don’t have the economy of scale to compete against the guys who crank out 60 handsets a year,” CEO Heins said. “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.”

Unfortunately for RIM there appear to be precious few who are interested in the fading smartphone veteran.

Speculation that Samsung was interested in purchasing RIM recently ran up their share price as much as 14%, leading Samsung to once again issue a statement confirming that they had no interest in either purchasing or even licensing Blackberry 10 OS.

"RIM has already lost its initiative in the smartphone market and what is left doesn’t look really attractive to the likes of Samsung," said Lee Sei-cheol, an analyst at Meritz Securities.

The conclusion is therefore pretty logical – with the company admittedly flailing and no rescuers in sight, Windows Phone will soon say goodbye to another competitor.

Via Reuters and Yahoo

Trusted Platform Module–the secret of Microsoft’s attack on RIM

TPM_SLB9635TT

All Windows Phone 8 handsets will come with Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chips, which will oversee the secure boot process and guarantee the security of the rest of the system.

The integrity of the system can also be evaluated by a remote service before granting it access to resources. This process called Remote Attestation will make a Windows Phone 8 handset the perfect client for connecting to secure systems.

Digital Trends notes  that this system allows Windows Phones to effectively replace the Blackberry Private Secure network, allowing them to connect securely using VPN even over the open Internet.

TPM can also be used for data encryption that can keep organizational data safe in the event a device is lost or stolen.

The combination of features makes Blackberry’s strongest selling point in enterprise entirely redundant, and may be the final nail in RIM’s coffin. While the company’s consumer appeal has rested entirely on BBM, its corporate raison d’etre has always been its security.

Of course the TPM module is likely also be one of the reasons Windows Phone 8 could never come to current generation hardware, but given the benefits going forward I guess this can be forgiven.

Nearly 20% of leaving Blackberry fans planning to switch to Windows Phone 8

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The news that RIM was pushing out their new, modern OS even further into Q1 2013 has left many Blackberry fans fuming and vowing to leave, often never to return.

According to a poll at Crackberry.com, the leading Blackberry community site, out of 10,123 votes at the time of writing, a full 52.33% are planning to buy handsets from other operating systems and only 8.92% are planning to come back if RIM ever rights their ship.

Of those deciding to jump ship permanently, 47% are going iPhone, 34% Android and 19% are planning to buy a new Windows Phone 8 handset.

The news is significant, not because Windows Phone 8 could pick up 20% of the small 5% Blackberry US retail market share, but because 10% or around 10 million US subscribers still own Blackberry handsets, and 1 million of them picking up a Windows Phone 8 handset in Q4 2012 will give the OS a pretty good opening boost.

See the survey at Crackberry here.

RIM rejected offer from Microsoft, but 60% drop in share price may prove convincing

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Information Week reports that Microsoft has approached RIM earlier this year proposing a Windows Phone partnership, but that the offer was rejected.

The talks occurred after RIM co-chiefs Jim Balsille and Mike Lazaridis were forced out in January and would have seen RIM drop their OS in favour of Windows Phone.

RIM in the end decided to go it alone. That decision was however made when RIM’s share price was still a lofty (in hindsight) high of $17.84, rather than a low of $7.44, down close to 60%.

The company is said to be under renewed pressure  to seek other alternatives in the wake of the company’s announcement that BlackBerry 10 would be delayed until 2013.

RIM shares plunged almost 18% in morning trading Friday, to $7.94.

"They need to get to a strategic decision soon," said Wedbush Securities analyst Scott Sutherland. "Even though it may cause some near-term pain if you separate the business, it might be the best course of action," he said, according to Reuters.

Do our readers think RIM will come crawling back? Let us know below.

Microsoft once again fingered as potential buyer as RIM death spiral continues

Taking our minds for a minute of Nokia’s woes, it seems the results of RIM’s strategic review, undertaken by JP Morgan and RBC Capital, is in, and the board is soon to be confronted with some stark choices.

The Sunday Times reports that RIM may either sell of a large portion of the company to Microsoft, or split the company in two parts, selling off the handset business to Facebook and Amazon, and the messaging service to Apple or Google.

RIM management has made it clear that they prefer to run the company themselves, but are facing increasing share holder pressure to unlock the value of the company, whose market cap at present of $5.17 billion is less than the book value of the company. The company has $1.7 billion in cash, meaning the rest of the company is barely valued more than 3 Instagrams.

At such a low price Microsoft must be sorely tempted, simply for the value of the enterprise contacts RIM has, not to mention the patents.

Similarly one could easily imagine Microsoft buying the company and passing the handset division on to Nokia while keeping the enterprise network.

DO our readers think a deal is likely? Let us know below.

Via The Verge.com and Reuters

RIM imploding, may be looking for a buyer

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It has taken a while for the penny to drop, but today RIM has pre-announced that that they expect a loss in their current financial quarter, due to “lower volumes and highly competitive pricing dynamics in the marketplace”

As the Statcounter graph clearly shows, the company has been losing market share sharply and steadily for more than a year now, as their competitive position in terms of operating system and ecosystem gets rapidly eroded.

The company also announced they would be making significant cuts in staffing (up to 38%) and have “engaged J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and RBC Capital Markets to assist the Company in reviewing RIM’s business and financial performance and to evaluate the relative merits and feasibility of various financial strategies, including opportunities to leverage the BlackBerry platform through partnerships, licensing opportunities and strategic business model alternatives.”

The company’s current range has been selling slower than expected, with their internal inventory increasing by two-thirds in the past year because of slumping sales of Blackberries and Playbooks.

“Clearly this stuff isn’t selling,” said Monga, who maintains a buy recommendation on RIM’s stock in anticipation of the company being sold. “Despite all the writedowns they’re taking on the inventory, these inventory levels are not dropping.”

“There’s their own inventory buildup and then there’s the inventory with carriers and retailers,” said Sameet Kanade, an analyst at Northern Securities Inc. in Toronto, who recommends selling RIM shares. “It’s more than likely there will be a writedown.”

Sales will not have been helped by RIM’s announcement that current phones will not be upgradable to their new operating system, effectively Osborning their current range.

“Until you have a new product, there’s nothing to transition to,” said Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners LP in New York , who advises selling RIM’s stock. “It’s still very much in the early stages.”

RIM’s current performance mirror’s Nokia’s from last year, and it is likely even when their new range is released they will also face a long battle back to relevance, all the time providing an opportunity for competitors to feast on their still-breathing carcass.

Via TNW and Bloomberg Business Week.

Awkward Microsoft video makes business case for Windows Phone, targets Blackberry

After Blackberry 10 was unveiled, Microsoft must have smelt blood in the water (RIM’s share price tanked after the event) and they have released the above video, making the business case for Windows Phone and portraying Blackberry as a rather ancient operating system that is really behind the times.

While the acting is pretty cringe inducing, the points are pretty sharply made, and I am sure will be acutely felt in Waterloo.

Do our readers think Microsoft needs more aggressive advertising like this? Let us know below.

YouMail drops RIM support–“on many days we’re now getting fewer BB users than Windows Phone 7 users, and we don’t even have a Windows Phone 7 app!"

imageYouMail has announced that it is dropping support for the Blackberry OS, the platform where it found its “1st million.”

The company called the decision "bittersweet," but added that over the past year it has seen its BlackBerry audience steadily shrink, "with a steady exodus of those users moving to the iPhone and to Android."

"And we’ve also seen the number of BlackBerry users/day plummet while Android and iPhone users have soared," the company noted, adding that "it’s sad, but on many days we’re now getting fewer BB users than Windows Phone 7 users, and we don’t even have a Windows Phone 7 app!"

RIM has seen its US market share plummet in recent years,  and has been struggling with multiple delays to the launch of its QNX-based BlackBerry 10 platform, upon which the company plans to base all future smartphone models.

Microsoft has already usurped its position as the 3rd ecosystem with more applications it its marketplace, more developer support and increasingly more mind share.  Now with developers fleeing the platform the company is looking increasingly like the walking dead.

Via Wireless Week

Trend Micro rates Windows Phone behind iPhone but ahead of Android for enterprise security

Trend Micro has compared four mobile operating systems, Blackberry 7, iPhone, Windows Phone 7 and Android for suitability for enterprise use, scoring them on a combination of factors including built-in security, application security, authentication, device wipe, device firewall, virtualisation, and many others.

The final outcome was  BlackBerry 7.0 scored highest across the board (2.89), ahead of (in descending order) Apple iOS5 (1.7), Windows Phone 7.5 (1.61), with Google’s Android 2.3 scoring the lowest at 1.37.

On Windows Phone they said:

Windows Phone - Microsoft has learnt the lessons of the past and created a reasonably robust and secure smartphone operating system in Windows Phone. The OS uses privileges and isolation techniques to create sandbox processes. These “chambers” are based on a policy system that, in turn, defines which system features the processes operating in a chamber can access.

Android was criticized for not having a central means of providing Operating System updates, meaning that many users remain unprotected from critical vulnerabilities for a prolonged period, having removable storage and allowing the user to give apps privileges which can easily compromise security.

Windows Phone 8 is expected to increase Enterprise support tremendously, which should vault the OS over the iPhone, if not completely up to Blackberry territory. Maybe buying RIM will solve that problem ;) .

Read the full report here.

Rumour: Microsoft looking to take a 50% stake in RIM

The persistent rumour has surfaced once again of Microsoft looking to invest in Canadian telecom company RIM.

Fuelled by a post on finance site Bezinga.com, the rumour  simply states:

Hearing Renewed Chatter of Microsoft Interest in Research in Motion Acquisition

The Rumor:
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT)is prepared to make a $3.5 billion investment in Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM), according to sources. The two companies have been frequently mentioned in potential deals over the past few months.

$3.5 billion would be about 50% of the current $6.85 billion market cap of RIM, and would presumably give Microsoft a controlling stake in the company.

The rumour has found some support at Financial Post, but then they do note it has been around for ages already. Microsoft and RIM are already working closely together, with Bing for example being the default search engine on Blackberry handsets.

As we have seen however from Nokia, simply getting a company to transition to Windows Phone does not instantly or automatically give you their market share, and it seems at this stage investing in Windows Phone development and promotion would be a more profitable route.