BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins Says New BlackBerry Has Enough Bling to Get People Back

BlackBerry (the company) is out trying to do some major PR for their new phones, the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10. Part of the PR blitz is them trying to answer questions about what the heck happened – they were cutting edge phones everybody had to have for years, but now they’re an totally an afterthought to the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy.

In the clip below from the TODAY Show, CEO Thorsten Heins tries to explain to Savannah and Matt what happened to the company. He explains it by saying they stayed “static,” and didn’t adapt and change for consumers, even as new competitors were coming up. Plus he claims the new phones will have enough bling (yes he uses the word bling!) to make people interested again, and uses Alicia Keys getting on board as example. Though of course that’s a paying gig for her :)

Take a look at the video, what do you think? Are you interested? Just the fact that they’re offering a keyboard on one phone (the BlackBerry Q10) is enough to make it at least a little interesting! We’ll be doing testing in the next couple of weeks – let me know what Qs YOU wanted answered in the comments!

Are New Phones, a New OS and a New Name Enough to Save BlackBerry?

blackberry q10
the new BlackBerry Q10

Yesterday’s huge announcements from Research in Motion begs two big questions: will the new offerings be any good, and will they be good enough? The company announced that they will officially be changing their name to BlackBerry, showing that they’re willing to put everything they’ve got into the BlackBerry product line, for better or worse. So what did the BlackBerry company show off?

First up, there are two new phones, the Z10 and the Q10. The z10 should look familiar to you, insofar as it could be a phone from any manufacturer, with a 4.2″ touchscreen and matte black finish. Which isn’t to say that the design isn’t nice — it is, it’s just not that revolutionary. The Q10, on the other hand, preserves what so many of us loved about BlackBerry in the first place: it’s a got a physical keyboard (in addition to a touchscreen). That’s huge. Most of the major manufacturers have followed Apple’s lead and abandoned the keyboard altogether, but there may still be a market for that keyboard yet. Unfortunately, we won’t find out for another few months, since the Q10 isn’t scheduled for release till April. The Z10 should be available from all the major carriers (except Sprint) in March.

But what about the OS? BlackBerry (fka RIM) is neither a hardware nor a software manufacturer, and it’s important they get both parts of the new BlackBerry experience right. So far, the most revolutionary idea of the new BlackBerry 10 OS is the notification hub, which aggregates email along with SMS, BB messages, and notifications from apps like Twitter into a centralized “inbox.” The idea is that it is more convenient to respond to all of your incoming communications from one place, and that functionally it doesn’t make a lot of sense to treat emails differently from Twitter notifications.

Why is all this so important? RIM’s market share has been dropping for some time, and most of their offerings seem to be on life support. Their last major offering, a tablet called the Playbook, didn’t get a lot of positive press. It takes a lot of time and money to release a new product onto the market, and these new offerings have already been delayed many times. This could be a last stand for BlackBerry, but we have some time to see whether they will be able to generate enough excitement to make a real comeback.

Austria’s Telekom-Presse Posts Hands-On BlackBerry Z10 Video

hands on with blackberry z10
the BlackBerry Z10 in action


Seems like we were just talking about this, but looks like an Austrian site called Telekom-Presse has a hands-on video with a new BlackBerry called the Z10 well in advance of the January 30th announcement. It’s in German, but the video is embedded below. This video is labelled as “Teil 1” (Part 1 auf Deutsch) so stay tuned for more updates! Via BGR.



BlackBerry 10 Coming January 30th With 15,000 Apps to Choose From

BlackBerry 10
BlackBerry 10

Research in Motion, aka RIM, the company behind the beleaguered BlackBerry, has officially announced that it will bring its latest BlackBerry to the world on January 30. Official press invites have gone out for the unveiling, and there are plenty of rumors and leaks about what we will and won’t see in the new revamped BlackBerry.

In case you haven’t been keeping up, BlackBerry 10, or BB 10, is RIM’s completely revamped proprietary operating system designed specifically for BlackBerry. As part of the release, RIM will also introduce complementary smartphones designed to run the new OS.

BlackBerry faces a familiar problem: it needs apps. One of the iPhone’s biggest selling points is both the variety and volume of apps available for download. Android, while initially lagging, has caught up with a very respectable selection. The less popular operating systems, like the Windows and BlackBerry, have fewer apps because they have a smaller customer base, and a smaller customer base because they don’t have a huge app selection. It’s a vicious cycle that can directly impact the success or failure of RIM’s risky new launch.

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BlackBerry Mobile Fusion Launched – Multiple Platform Mobile Device Management

BB Bold and PlayBook

The term BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) can be a nightmare for your companies’ IT guy who has to ensure that sensitive information being passed around via employee-owned mobile devices stays secure. On the flip-side, allowing employees to use their own gadgets for business keeps hardware and voice/data plan costs down while keeping employee morale high as they get to use the device they want.

Now that RIM has announced plans to “focus on its strengths” (a.k.a. the enterprise), look for RIM to offer more options to aid large corporations and small businesses alike with their mobile device solutions. Case in point, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion – A mobile device management solution built on renowned BlackBerry Enterprise Server technology that allows IT departments to manage company & employee-owned BlackBerry, Android, and iOS devices under a unified web-based console.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server is one of RIM’s crown jewels, so companies interested in deploying BB Mobile Fusion can do so knowing that their data is protected under the same BES 256-bit AES encrypted technology, as well as easy over-the-air app and installation capabilities for BlackBerry devices. Read More

What’s Good? Mobile Device Management Tools with Military-Grade Security

In case you’ve been under a rock, modern mobilty is all about being productive everywhere.  As we also know, one of the greatest concerns in any business is security.  It’s obvious that these two forces work against each other in some ways.  Empowering your staff to be productive while on the go means the increased potential of exposing your company secrets.

For a long time, RIM’s Blackberry had a stranglehold on this market segment.  If you wanted secure email on the go, Blackberry was the answer.  However, the Canadian mobile maker has lagged behind the tech curve, and it looks like the market is finally catching up with them.  Increasingly, employees want to use their personal device for mobile productivity, but using personal devices for work presents a security risk for the business.  So, how can employees stay secure without having to carry a bunch of devices around with them, doing tasks based on which device can get the job done?

Enter Good for Enterprise.  Good for Enterprise is a suite of mobile device management tools with military-grade security for data loss prevention. Their collaboration features for iOS, Android, and Windows phone enable productivity without keeping your IT team up at night. Read More

BlackBerry OS 2.0 For PlayBook – Native Email FINALLY!

For all the BlackBerry folks who waited (and waited, and waited…) RIM has announced the official OS 2.0 update for the PlayBook that finally brings native email to the tablet. As long as you have a access to the Internet, you can now you can perform triage on your inbox, sans a BlackBerry smartphone.

In addition to native email, OS 2.0 for the BlackBerry PlayBook also brings native calendar and contacts, as well as the Android App Player that gives you more app choices, something that BlackBerry is lacking big time.

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Charge Anywhere Provides Mobile Credit Card Processing for BlackBerry Devices

In other BlackBerry news

The Charge Anywhere service has released a new version of its Audio Jack Card Reader that is compatible with BlackBerry smartphones to add to its arsenal of devices that already support iOS and Android devices. Similar to the Square credit card reader, the Charge Anywhere reader connects to a BlackBerry via the 3.5mm audio jack for easy access. Here are just some of the data BB users can capture with Charge Anywhere POS:

-Signature capture
-Invoice number
-Employee number
-GPS location Read More

Financial Management on the Go with Freshbooks and ReportAway! app for BlackBerry

Do or Die, I love the cloud. The reason being is that all of my gadgets can access information I store in the cloud. One of the services I use to manage client financial information is FreshBooks. I can manage clients and projects, track time spent on jobs, and create invoices and whole host of features I can’t begin to mention. More importantly, FreshBooks ties into my other financial software services (also cloud), and I can download apps that I can use to access and manage FreshBooks account information from my smartphone.

I’ll give you another little tid-bit about me – Even though I am an Apple supporter (I’m too grown to be anybody’s fanboy), I really want BlackBerry to come out on the other side of this “funk” they are in. So when I found out that ReportAway! offers BlackBerry users access to their FreshBooks account, I made sure to spread the news.

Similar to MiniBooks for FreshBooks for iOS, ReportAway! for BlackBerry smartphones allows you to create invoices and track time to your FreshBooks account. Read More

RIM CEO Shakeup: Meet new President and CEO, Thorsten Heins

Thorsten Heins

RIM’s big announcement on Sunday, where they named their former COO of Products and Sales Thorsten Heins as President and CEO, may not be the seismic change that Blackberry fans have hoped for.  Many voices of the blogoshpere are openly wondering about the decision to appoint someone who has been long ingrained with the RIM culture, especially with many speculating that what RIM really needs is a big shake-up to stay competitive with “the other fruit company”.

It’s no secret that RIM has lost substantial market share recently. Some have switched to Google’s Android, but even more have swapped for Apple’s sexy consumer-oriented iPhone 4S.  The Blackberry interface has publicly lagged when compared to Apple’s slick and user-friendly features (like Siri, for example).  Apple is known as the master of the “big show”: updates to the popular iOS and hardware are released regularly and with much fanfare, and their fans wait with bated breath.  RIM’s OS fiasco has been just the opposite; if people have been holding their breath waiting for a Blackberry 10, they‘re likely turning purple as the product has missed its shipping date several times.

Additionally, Apple and Android have embraced open platforms that allow millions of developers to create apps for the platform, and RIM’s closed system seems geriatric in comparison.  To be competitive in this market, RIM should embrace the developer community and leverage their as-yet-untapped creativity.

With all this said, is RIM dead?   Read More