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Blackberry users get cloud-based music locker

BBM Music has the blessing of the labels

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.

RIM pins hopes on BlackBerry 7 offerings

The Torch 9850 featuring RIM’s first virtual keyboard

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.

RIM to lay off 2,000 staff

2,000 RIM staff will lose their jobs as part of the cost-cutting move

Canadian vendor Research In Motion has announced that it is to lay off 2,000 staff as part of the cost-cutting programme the firm unveiled in June. The Blackberry manufacturer said that the cuts, which will affect more than ten per cent of its workforce, were “a prudent and necessary step for the long-term success of the company.”

Industry giants gang up on Google to win Nortel patents

A consortium including Apple and Microsoft has successfully bid $4.5bn for Nortel's patent assets

The bunfight for Nortel’s patent chest concluded yesterday, with Chief Strategy Officer George Riedel’s announcement that “following a very robust auction”, the winning bid came from a buyer too big for even Google to take on. Following months of speculation and a $900m kick-off bid from Mountain View, the booty has gone to a consortium that reads like a Who’s Who of the tech industry: Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, RIM and Sony. Even with names like that in the mix, the $4.5bn price paid is still pretty eye-watering or, as Nortel’s Riedel preferred to put it, “unprecedented.”

Mutual Assured Destruction

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There’s a cold breeze blowing past the Informer’s typewriter and, unfortunately, it’s not the air conditioning. It’s the icy wind drag created by a telecoms industry hurtling back to the future by re-creating the glory days of the Cold War.

Dolby to sue RIM over sound compression patents

Dolby is suing RIM over alleged infringement of its audio compression patents

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 opposes Google bid for Nortel patents

Microsoft has joined the queue of tech firms opposed to Google's acquisition of Nortel's patent portfolio

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.

RIM acquires social-gaming outfit Scoreloop

RIM has acquired social gaming outfit Scoreloop

In a clear bid to make up ground lost to Android and iOS devices, embattled Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has announced its acquisition of German social-gaming outfit Scoreloop. With sales of the Blackberry PlayBook reported to be less than stellar, commentators are suggesting that Scoreloop’s in-app billing capabilities played a hand in the deal as RIM looks to play catch-up in an increasingly cut throat apps market.

US DoJ reportedly concerned about Nortel patent bids

The US DoJ is reportedly concered that bids for Nortel patents will be used to reduce competition in the telecoms market

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.

New Order

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There can have been little doubt in anyone’s mind that Nokia Siemens Networks’ decision to buy Motorola’s network assets was more about the customer base than the technology itself. Nonetheless, as the deal closed this week, NSN felt bound to remind us all of its motivations. And it showed precious little sensitivity towards any inadequacy that Motorola might be feeling at the passing of its once sizeable infrastructure business.

RIM beds down with Microsoft for search

Microsoft is gaining traction in mobile search

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.

RIM extends device management to iOS, Android

Blackberry maker Research In Motion is expanding the reach of its enterprise offering known as Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) to more smartphone platforms, including iOS and Android. The development is being supported by RIM’s acquisition of mobile device management firm, Ubitexx.

Google gets the go-ahead for Nortel patents bid; RIM also interested

Google has got the go-ahead for its $900bn bid for Nortel's patent assets

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.

BlackBerry Playbook hits US shelves

The PlayBook launched in the US on Tuesday

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.

Google acquires mobile music synch platform PushLife

Google has acquired mobile music synch-ing platform PushLife

Rumours that Google is planning to launch an iTunes rival optimised for Android will no doubt be further fuelled by its acquisition of Canadian start-up PushLife. Founded by former Research in Motion employee, Ray Reddy, in 2008, PushLife offers software that allows users to synch non-Apple devices with the iTunes platform.

RIM Playbook gets Android apps

Android apps will run on the BlackBerry PlayBook

Canadian handset manufacturer Research In Motion is expanding the application ecosystem for its BlackBerry Playbook with a software toolset that will allow users to run Android apps on the tablet.

Vodafone UK launches enterprise smartphone offering

Vodafone UK wants to offer corporate customers a range of device options

Vodafone UK has launched an enterprise smartphone service allowing corporate customers to manage and secure their data over a range of high end devices. The service, dubbed Smarthphone Professional, uses a solution from mobile security firm Good Technologies, which aims to provide security across a variety of devices at the kind of level that has made RIM’s Blackberry solution so popular with enterprise customers.

Apple breaks into top five handset vendor rankings

Apple sold 14.1 million iPhones during the third quarter

Strong sales of Apple’s iPhone during the third quarter have propelled the Californian vendor to fourth place in the global handset vendor rankings, according to data from IDC. While Apple has had a strong position in the smartphone segment since the launch of the first iPhone, this is the first time that it has made the top five in terms of overall shipments.

BlackBerry-based telehealth system hits UK

Patient in Your Pocket enables mobile healthcare professionals to access and update patient information at the point of care

US mobile systems provider CSC has launched its Patient in Your Pocket mobile system in the UK to enable mobile healthcare professionals to access and update patient information at the point of care using a BlackBerry smartphone.

BlackBerry wins last minute reprieve in UAE

RIM had faced a ban on operating its BlackBerry services in the UAE from next week for being in breach of telecoms regulations

Canadian BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM) has won a last minute reprieve in the United Arab Emirates, after reaching a mysterious compliance agreement with the local authorities.

@telecoms