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Posts Tagged ‘Blackberry’

RIM Spends a Ton, Rebrands Itself as…BlackBerry!

BlackBerry rebranding Alicia KeysIn case you aren’t a tech blogger, this morning’s hot story concerned the future of Research in Motion, one of America’s “most hated” brands.

Yes, people still get excited about smartphone companies that have fallen way behind the curve. Need proof? Journalists from every major publication showed up to cover today’s new product roll-out event (while sniggering under their breath). RIM, famous only for producing the BlackBerry, used the event as an opportunity to rebrand itself as…wait for it…BlackBerry.

The public already saw the new BlackBerry 10 before today’s big roll-out thanks to a badly staged PR stunt at a November Lakers game, but right now we’re more interested in the company’s decision to name “longtime Apple userAlicia Keys as its global creative director. What will she do to revitalize the brand? What will she tell her 1.6 million Instagram fans, who still can’t use BlackBerries to follow her account? And won’t she get annoyed when everyone starts comparing her to Beyoncé? We certainly would. She didn’t even play a song this morning, by the way. We feel slightly robbed.


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‘Skepticism’ Is One of RIM’s Many Problems

Research in Motion has got 99 problems and satisfying demand ain’t one. (Ha… groan.) Bloomberg reports that weak sales are leaving BlackBerrys and PlayBook tablets in warehouses to collect dust, the value of that inventory reaching $1 billion last quarter. Layoffs are in the offing. Losses are coming. They’ve hired JPMorgan and Royal Bank of Canada to reassess its strategy. Maybe they can do something about this.

Yesterday, trading on RIM stock was halted while CEO Thorsten Heins delivered some bad news. Anyone who has been paying attention knows that RIM is having a very hard time keeping up with Apple and the other competition.  The company is promising a new strategy, but an underlying issue the company has to overcome may be more insidious than the already huge business obstacles: “skepticism.”

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BlackBerry Takes Cheesy to a New Level With Gawker Ad

BlackBerry has placed a “sponsored” post on Gawker featuring a firm called Small Girls PR, which got its awful name presumably because the founders are short. They list their heights on the homepage of the firm’s website; both are under 5′ 5″.

The second clip in the ad stars another young female entrepreneur (above) telling the story of how she’d be absolutely lost and couldn’t possibly be quite as bold if she didn’t have her BlackBerry Bold with her at all times.


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Best Buy, BlackBerry Promise Change, But It Sounds Much the Same

In the face of changing consumer habits and shifts in mobile technology, two business giants — Best Buy and Research in Motion — have announced changes in their business strategies.

After a weak earnings report, Best Buy says it’s going to close 50 stores and cut 400 jobs. The news comes just a couple of months after a Forbes article ran with a headline “Why Best Buy is Going Out of Business… Gradually.” The article pointed to poor and annoying customer service along with some product flops (like 3D TV) and retail’s move online as reasons for Best Buy’s slow demise.

More recently, CNET called Best Buy a showroom for Amazon. Ouch.

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Four Steps to Get BlackBerry Back on the Positive Path

Photo: Adrian Wyld/AP

News today from BlackBerry is that Research in Motion is offering $100 worth of free apps and a month of free tech support to customers to make up for the outage last week. Apps will be available for download starting Wednesday, and the freebies include the game Bejeweled, photo editing apps, and a radio app.

According to the press statement about the offer, customers in the U.S. experienced one day without service while those in Europe had three days of interruptions.

Along with the video apology from RIM exec Mike Lazaridis, this is a step in the right direction. But a few games of Texas Hold ‘Em definitely won’t solve Research in Motion’s problems. “BlackBerry is on a sinking ship, and this could topple Research in Motion over the cliff of no return,” writes ZDNet. After the jump, we have four tips to help the company start down the long path of reputation recovery.

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BlackBerry Outage is Over, But the Repercussions Continue

Research in Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis has recorded an apology to customers for the global BlackBerry outage that impacted customers this week. In it, he sounds much more subdued than he did back in April, when he stormed out of a media interview because he didn’t like the questions he was asked.

Of course, customers have already taken to all sorts of social networks as well, some re-stating their love for BlackBerry, outage be damned, but more often to declare that they’re buying an iPhone as soon as they can. On Facebook, BlackBerry has racked up thousands of comments; commenters are replying to Lazaridis’ apology video on YouTube; and BlackBerry hashtags had been trending on Twitter.

BlackBerry says things are now back up and running, but the damage from this outage will continue.
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British PM Cameron Threatens to Shut Down Social Media

Photo: PA

In response to this week’s London riots, British Prime Minister David Cameron has proposed a shutdown of social media services including Twitter and BlackBerry Messenger. In a statement, Cameron said, “…[W]hen people are using social media for violence we need to stop them. So we are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.”

It’s a page out of the playbook of leaders like former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who interrupted Internet and social media service when faced with the protests in January that eventually forced him from power. Not exactly the company you want to keep.

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Tools Round Up: Google+ for Businesses; a Secret Facebook App; and More

Google+ will unveil new tricked out features and analytics for businesses sometime around the third quarter of this year. No details yet about what those bells and whistles will be, but VentureBeat warns that if businesses decide to jump the gun with a consumer profile, they won’t be able to migrate their info to the business version. (Google+ is also dealing with a hubbub over accounts that were suspended in order to keep fake profiles at bay. Mashable has more.)

TechCrunch had revealed Facebook’s secret iPad app, but then Facebook shut down access. TechCrunch still has pictures.

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RIM Exec Loses It, Shuts Down BBC Interview

Lazaridis holding a Blackberry Playbook tablet. Photo: REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Faced with a question from BBC reporter Rory Cellan-Jones about Blackberry security issues in India, Research in Motion president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis made like a dropped call and shut down the conversation, pointing to the camera and telling the person behind it to turn it off. You can watch the exec get rankled here.

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