RIM’s BlackBerry service is offline once again, just hours after the service was restored earlier on Tuesday. During the earlier outage, the reasons for which were not explained by BlackBerry, millions of customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa were left without access to the internet or its BBM instant messaging tool. According to reports and commentary on Twitter, the same has happened again today.
RIM Founder and Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis has apologised to BlackBerry users around the world for the outages that its service has experienced over the week in a YouTube video. The message comes in the fourth day of service disruption, which has affected millions of users around the world.
UAE operator Etisalat has teamed up with MasterCard Worldwide to launch cashless mobile payments programme in the country. The system uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to authorise everyday transactions via a smartphone.
RIM has announced that its BlackBerry services have been restored. The company had a service blackout yesterday, leaving millions of customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa without access to the internet or its BBM instant messaging.
RIM’s has seen its profits slide to less than half of what it generated in the previous quarter, and to little over 40 per cent of what it made in the same quarter last year. The company’s quarterly earnings for 2Q11 revealed that its net income for the quarter was $329 million. This marks a steep drop from the $695 million it recorded in 1Q11, an even steeper fall from the $797 million made in 2Q10.
Vodacom, the pan-African subsidiary of Vodafone, is reducing connection speeds for some of its BlackBerry users in South Africa “from 3G to 2G levels”. The company said that it studied the usage patterns of its customers to better understand the causes of congestion at peak times and found that more than 95 per cent of BlackBerry data usage was attributable to less than 5 per cent of users.
As device platform providers seek to build out their feature arsenals, Blackberry vendor RIM has come up with an innovative cloud-based music locker. Released on Thursday, BBM Music allows users to build and share music libraries with support from big name labels including Universal Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music and EMI.
Troubled Canadian BlackBerry vendor RIM is betting on the souped up BlackBerry 7 operating system to turn its fortunes around. On Wednesday the company unveiled three new models – updates to its Bold and Torch lines – all running the new flagship OS.
Research in Motion (RIM), already under massive pressure from declining sales and a pending class action suit from disgruntled shareholders, is being sued by audio giant Dolby for alleged patent infringement. The lawsuit, which was filed jointly in both America and Germany yesterday, centres around patents for audio compression technology.
Microsoft has joined HP, Motorola Mobility and Nokia in a growing line of tech companies opposed to Google’s proposed $900m purchase of Nortel’s patent assets. According to Redmond, a 2006 deal means that Microsoft has a “worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free licence to all of Nortel’s patents” and that this agreement is binding regardless of who buys the intellectual property.
As interest in defunct kit maker Nortel’s patent portfolio heightens, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) is reported to be taking a close interest in the bidders. Apple is the latest company reported to be interested in making a purchase after Google opened bidding with a $900m offer in April. Now the DoJ is said to be concerned that the patents will be used to stymie competition in the telecoms sector.
Microsoft seems to be on a roll at the moment, this week adding Canadian Blackberry maker Research In Motion to its lengthening list of partners. The deal announced this week makes Microsoft’s Bing the default search engine and mapping tool on Blackberry handsets, but the appearance of Steve Ballmer alongside RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis at the Blackberry World conference in Orlando, set tongues wagging.
Google’s bid to buy $900m worth of Nortel patents and patent applications was approved on Monday. The planned sale required the approval of courts overseeing Nortel’s bankruptcy proceedings in Canada and the US. Under the terms of the auction, other parties may submit bids until June 13th, with the auction taking place on June 20th. Nortel filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009.
South African incumbent operator Telkom is to offer ‘free’ mobile YouTube streaming to Blackberry devices in an effort to “Shake up the market.” The fixed-line player’s move into the mobile space took place last year, when it launched its 8ta division. Since then, the unit has pursued an aggressive pricing plan in a market previously known for high tariffs, not least for mobile data packages.
Research In Motion (RIM) began its foray into the tablet market late Tuesday, as the BlackBerry Playbook hit shelves in North America. The tablet met with mixed reviews, initially targeted at the large and small enterprise space (much like the original BlackBerry), yet at present lacking full email, calendar and contacts functionality. RIM said a software update is due in a few weeks.