BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) up for sale.. but are there any buyers?

It is now official: Research In Motion (RIM), maker 0f the popular BlackBerry smartphone and Playbook tablet has sunk to a new low

RIM can RIP

today that it is now up for grabs, provided it has any takers. The company, who shook the world with its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), has been hammered left, right and center in the past year by Android and iOS devices who have gone on to become more and more popular among the masses. This has finally prompted some drastic measures being taken by the company, including getting rid of former Co-CEO and current board member Jim Balsillie and its CTO and COO as well, with the company saying it is looking for “strategic business-model alternatives.” When asked directly about selling RIM, the CEO replied: “we would consider it.” That’s great… but are there really any buyers for RIM? Not on the current value, i think.

 

BlackBerry services down in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina, won’t be back up until tomorrow

Just when things were getting better for RIM, their luck runs out. BlackBerry services are down again for some users in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina and don’t look like coming back up for at least another few hours. RIM issued the following statement:

Media statement – October 11
Some users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, India, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina are experiencing messaging and browsing delays. We are working to restore normal service as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

BlackBerry Services Live Again

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has said that all the services pertaining to BlackBerry, which were down since yesterday in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) owing to a technical glitch, are back again and running as usual. The widespread service outages were faced by BlackBerry users all over the world, including here in India, as people were unable to use BBM, internet, chatting, receive or send email, use instant messaging, etc., though the problems did not appear to be the same for each user, or affect all users.

The Canadian company said in a statement that all services had been restored and apologized again for any inconvenience.

The company did not comment on what caused the problem.

The company’s share price fell 0.56 percent to $23.23 Monday after the outage news, and was down 60 per cent from the beginning of the year. Buck up, RIM!

RIM launches BBM Music, for the love of the “BlackBerry Boys”

Blackberry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) has given some more love to the fruit-flavored phone owners in the form of BBM Music, just days after launching the BB Curve 9350/9360/9370 — the last of the 5 devices they launched recently. BBM Music is an addition to the highly popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service offered by RIM to its device holders. A Spotify-esque service, BBM Music allows users to get and keep up to 50 songs in their personal library upon payment of $5 per month. What’s the big deal, you might ask. Well, as with their BBM (messenger), RIM have added the social element to the BBM Music as well. You can add BBM Music friends to your circle and access their 50 songs as well (so RIM wants you to add strangers, eh). Not enough? You are also allowed to swap up to 25 songs per month for new ones to refresh your music library with the latest tunes, with your current library being stored locally on your handset.

The service was built by British music services company Omnifone, which has licensed 10m tracks across all music genres from classical to contemporary rock and pop, with new music generally available on the day of release.

The music, licensed from Universal Music Group, Sony, Warner Music Group and EMI, is essentially rented – it can be downloaded onto phones and listened to when the handset is offline, but cannot be transferred to other devices.

BBM Music

The new service begins today in closed beta for residents of the US, Canada and the UK, but more countries will be added down the road.

Show Press Release

RIM Announces BBM Music – A New Social Music Sharing and Discovery Service

New Cloud-Based Music Service Makes Music a Social Experience

Waterloo, ON – Research In Motion (RIM) today announced BBM Music, a new BBM (BlackBerry® Messenger) service for socially connected music fans.

BBM Music is an easy-to-use cloud-based service that enables social and viral music discovery by allowing users to build an evolving, community-based music library that is shared amongst their BBM Music friends. The size of the music library continues to grow as new friends join the community and each user can select music from a catalog with millions of songs from leading music companies – Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI.

“More than 45 million customers already love the social communication benefits delivered through BBM and we are thrilled to be extending the experience into a uniquely social and interactive music service,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “We have partnered with leading music companies to provide a „full track‟ music sharing and discovery experience that will provide users with quality music on demand and allow them to connect with friends on a whole new level.”

Key features of BBM Music include:
– Music made social – BBM Music is a cloud-based, social music service that allows you to share and discover music with your friends, creating a continually evolving music library:
– Build a personal music profile with 50 of your favorite songs. You can refresh your profile by swapping out up to 25 songs each month.
– Invite your BBM friends to subscribe to BBM Music and to join your BBM Music Community.
– With each friend that is added to BBM Music, you grow your music collection since the songs from the profile of each BBM Music friend are available to you at any time.
– Up to 50 tracks from your personal profile are shared with your BBM Music Community, and each member of your community shares up to 50 songs from their profile with you.
– Enjoy a truly social community-based music experience – the more friends who join your community, the more songs you can listen to.
– Easily discover music that your BBM Music friends are listening to, and comment on your friends‟ songs and playlists.
– You can create multiple playlists from music in your profile as well as all of your friends‟ profiles, and with one click you can shuffle the entire collection of music from your BBM Music Community. You can even see which friend contributed each song while it plays.
– Within your BBM Music app, you also see a visual timeline that shows the recent updates of all users within your community. It gives you a chronological view of community updates, including who added new friends, which songs were added or removed, which playlists were created and what comments were made by your BBM Music friends.
– Listen to Full Tracks – BBM Music subscribers can listen to full tracks from their friends‟ profiles – not just previews.
– Offline Listening – Music can be saved to smartphones for offline listening, allowing users to access songs even when they don‟t have wireless coverage.
– Topping the Charts – Keep track of how many friends are listening to your tracks.

“A major component of online music continues to be about community, and the ability to discover new artists and music through word of mouth,” stated Rob Wells, President of Global Digital Business for Universal Music Group. “BBM Music dynamically and elegantly integrates the excitement of this social music discovery process with a high quality music service, enabling tens of millions of BlackBerry users to experience new music and to share those experiences with their friends virtually anywhere and at anytime.”

“We are pleased to be partnering with Research In Motion on their BBM Music service. RIM and its large base of BlackBerry Messenger users represent an exciting platform for expanding the reach of commercial digital music around the world,” stated Thomas Hesse, President, Global Digital Business, U.S. Sales and Corporate Strategy, Sony Music Entertainment. “The combination of a premium music solution and instant messaging will enable viral music discovery and emphasize the social power of digital music. It also offers an effective way of serving younger consumers by integrating music into the fabric of an important hub of their digital activity.”

“A dynamic social music experience is a powerful way for our artists to connect with fans and also for fans to discover music by interacting with each other,” said Michael Nash, Executive Vice President, Digital Strategy & Business Development, Warner Music Group. “Addressing more than 45 million BlackBerry Messenger users with a service tailor-made for its mobile community, BBM Music has the opportunity to reach a broad and engaged audience.”

“We are very excited to work with Research In Motion to bring our artists‟ music to BBM‟s huge and very loyal user base,” said Mark Piibe, Executive Vice President of Global Business Development at EMI Music. “BBM Music‟s unique social discovery experience offers fans a great new way to discover music, share their favorite tracks with their friends and build a stronger connection with the artists they love.”

“The widespread adoption of mobile devices provides the perfect foundation for consuming and sharing music. Brands that want to deliver a unique interactive experience must create services that are mobile, social, and contextual,” said Maribel Lopez Principal at Lopez Research and Constellation Research Group.

A closed (limited) beta trial of the BBM Music service is starting today in Canada, the United States and the UK. The BBM Music service is expected to be commercially available to customers later this year for a monthly subscription of $4.99 USD* in Australia, Canada, Columbia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, the United Kingdom and the United States.

RIM lines up 5 new phones, to run on the new BB 7 OS

Research in Motion (RIM) have rolled the last dice in hope of making inroads and regain their lost market share with the announcement of five new smartphones this evening. The phones, two of which will be an addition to the BlackBerry Bold line (Bold 9900 and 9930) along with three revamped versions of the BlackBerry Torch (9810, 9850 and 9860), will launch sometime later this month, and more importantly will run on the new BlackBerry 7 OS.

The two new Bold ‘berries will feature a touchscreen display, traditional BlackBerry keyboard and built-in support for Near Field Communications (NFC), which could open the door for options such as mobile payments.

Coming to the Torch, the 9810 will feature a larger touch display and slide-out keyboard, while the 9850 and 9860 models will sport slightly bigger screens powered by Liquid Graphics technology.

Quoting USA Today:

All five devices will run RIM’s new BlackBerry 7 operating system, which will offer an improved browser, voice-activated searches and a host of personal and productivity apps.

Wireless carrier AT&T will launch the Torch 9860 in August, while the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Torch 9810 will debut later this year. All three smartphones will run on AT&T’s 4G network.

With the announcement of these five new phones, RIM expects to provide some sort of competition to the rising glory of Apple and it’s iPhone, and to the wide army of Android smartphones floating in the market.

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In case you are fed up of RIM’s BlackBerry and are among those to jump ship to iOS/Android devices then here’s something for you: Life After BlackBerry…

 

 

 

RIM sells 250,000 PlayBooks in first month, still can’t beat the iPad

Research in Motion (RIM) has managed to offload 250,00 units of its BlackBerry PlayBook to consumers in just its first month, but it still lacks behind the craze that is the iPad. RBC analyst Mike Abramsky believes RIM is on track to sell 500,000 PlayBooks by the end of the quarter, but Apple managed far better success with its iPad and iPad 2.

“Checks at 180 Best Buys show 14% of the 16 GB sold out, 71% of the 32 GB sold out, and 84% of the 64 GB sold out; however, 32 GB/64 GB stockouts appear allocation-related,” he wrote. According to him, the PlayBook units we saw returned are just “nominal” and nothing more should be read into it.

Is the BlackBerry PlayBook better than the Apple iPad/iPad 2?