BlackBerry Stories February 5, 2015

Typo ordered to pay BlackBerry $860k for selling its knockoff iPhone keyboard case

Typo, the Ryan Seacrest-backed company selling an iPhone case with an integrated hardware keyboard, has been ordered to pay BlackBerry around $860,600 in the ongoing case between the two companies, Reuters reports

If you’re unfamiliar, BlackBerry didn’t particularly like the Typo keyboard’s resemblance to its own iconic, albeit obsolete, keyboard included on its dwindling smartphone lineup and covered by its patents. After the court handed down an injunction following an original suit filed in January of 2014, a US District Judge in San Francisco ruled this week that Typo will have to pay the £567,303, or approximately $860,600, fine for violating the injunction and continuing to sell the product.

Despite little interest from anyone and generally poor reviews, Typo plans to keep making its keyboard cases and noted to Reuters that the fines do not relate to its latest generation of Typo 2 products unveiled at CES last month.

BlackBerry Stories January 21, 2015

BlackBerry Messenger for iPhone (it's OK to laugh)
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If you can’t beat ’em, tell the government to force ’em to let you beat ’em. That’s the approach BlackBerry CEO John Chen wants to take to mobile software development. Today Chen wrote in a blog post on the BlackBerry website that he believes the issue of net neutrality requires the government to not only promote and protect neutrality not only among wireless and broadband carriers, but also among app and content providers.

Chen argues that it’s pointless to tell Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, and other carriers that they can’t discriminate against certain data while still allowing applications and content providers to discriminate against certain platforms.

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BlackBerry Stories January 14, 2015

Samsung rumored to be making a ~$7.5B offer to buy BlackBerry…for its patents

Update: BlackBerry is denying the story:

BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB) (“BlackBerry”) is aware of certain press reports published today with respect to a possible offer by Samsung to purchase BlackBerry. BlackBerry has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry. BlackBerry’s policy is not to comment on rumors or speculation, and accordingly it does not intend to comment further.

Samsung approached BlackBerry regarding a possible takeover of the company for as high as $7.5 billion, according to a report from Reuters (via CNBC)BlackBerry stock has jumped 16% following the report.

Blackberry stock skyrocketed Wednesday afternoon after a report that the device maker had been approached by Samsung about a potential takeover… At its high, Blackberry was up more than 21 percent… South Korea’s Samsung proposed an initial price range of $13.35 to $15.49 per share, which represents a premium of 38 percent to 60 percent over BlackBerry’s current trading price, the source said.

The report says executives from Samsung and BlackBerry met last week regarding the possible takeover, but both companies declined to offer a statement to Reuters for the story. The buy would be mostly for access to the patent treasure trove according to the GlobeandMail. 

Smartphone company Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has recently approached BlackBerry Ltd to buy the company for as much as $7.5-billion, looking to gain access to its patent portfolio, according to a person familiar with the matter and documents seen by Reuters. South Korea’s Samsung proposed an initial price range of $13.35 to $15.49 per share, which represents a premium of 38 per-cent to 60 per-cent over BlackBerry’s current trading price, the source said.

Recently Samsung announced a partnership with BlackBerry in an attempt to push its Knox security services and mobile devices to enterprise customers, and it’s likely Samsung would be after BlackBerry’s patents and presence in the enterprise. The companies announced in November that the partnership would include bringing BlackBerry’s BES12 platform to Samsung Galaxy devices equipped with Knox. 

BlackBerry currently develops its enterprise platforms and BBM messaging services for both iOS and Android, but what an acquisition might mean for support on non-Samsung devices remains to be seen.

BlackBerry Stories December 12, 2014

BlackBerry rolling out redesigned BBM for iPhone 6/6 Plus

Previous BBM design (left) and refreshed BBM design (right)

Better late than never, BlackBerry showed off a redesigned version of its BBM app with native resolution support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus which should be rolling out to users soon.

The update also includes some design adjustments, BlackBerry says, adding to the “fresh new look and feel” of the updated version for iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. A preview screenshot of the new version of BlackBerry Messenger for iPhone (seen above on the right) shows the user interface refinements coming to the messaging app.

BBM for iPhone, which first hit iOS just over a year ago with regular updates, is available for free on the App Store. The updated version should be out for users shortly.

BlackBerry Stories November 24, 2014

BlackBerry offering up to $550 for your iPhone through limited-time ‘Trade Up’ program

Itching to “trade up” from your iPhone to a shiny new BlackBerry Passport? Thanks to BlackBerry’s latest promotion, you’ll be able to do just that. The program will let Passport buyers get up to $550 in credit towards the new device when they trade in an iPhone 4s or higher.

In order to get the full amount, you’ll need to trade a brand-new iPhone 6 (or presumably a 6 Plus, though it’s not specifically listed on the chart). The trade-in value for each device is actually much lower (ranging from $90 to $400), but shoppers buying a Passport will get a “top-up” worth an additional $150.

If, for whatever reason, you’d like to take advantage of this offer, you’ll need to wait just a few weeks. The program goes into effect on December 1st and runs through February 13th.

The Passport sports a square 1440×1440 resolution display and a “touch-enabled” physical keyboard. It went on sale earlier this month.

BlackBerry Stories October 31, 2014

iOS and Android combine to capture 96% global market share in Q3

The latest numbers from Strategy Analytics reveal that iOS and Android combined to capture 96% global market share in the third quarter. iOS and Android accounted for 12.3% market share and 83.6% global market share respectively for the three-month period ending September. Those figures arrive just one day after the research firm reported that Chinese company Xiaomi has become the third-largest smartphone maker in the world.

Android continued to be a dominant player in global smartphone operating system market share, increasing its lead over iOS by three percentage points compared to the year-ago quarter. Apple’s mobile operating system held 12.3% market share during the third quarter, trailed by Windows Phone (3.3%) and BlackBerry (0.7%). Other mobile platforms accounted for less than 0.1% market share.

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