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end of an era

BlackBerry Looks to Exit Consumer Market with $4.7 Billion Sale to Fairfax Financial

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 23, 2013 04:53 PM

Once the dominant face of the mobile marketplace, BlackBerry has experienced a most epic tumble from the top as it has continued to bleed cash and market share at the hands of major mobile manufacturers Apple and Samsung.

In a last-ditch bid for survival, the company announced Monday that it has signed a letter of intent to be sold to its biggest shareholder, Canada's Fairfax Financial Holdings, for USD $4.7 billion. The sale comes on the heels of the company's Sept. 20th earnings report that it lost an astounding $1 billion in one quarter, and related plans to shed one-third of its global workforce.

“BlackBerry has fallen on hard times recently, but we have every confidence it will be successful again,” Fairfax chairman and CEO Prem Watsa, the Canadian billionaire who resigned from BlackBerry's board before the announcement, told the Globe and Mail. Fairfax, the paper reports, “has put together an equity consortium” that aims to take the company private for $9 per share. A final agreement is expected by Nov. 4.Continue reading...

mobile brands

BlackBerry Makes Surprise Profit While T-Mobile Continues to Evolve Brand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 29, 2013 07:01 PM

Mobile companies are in a tough battle for market share and survival, and brands including Blackberry and T-Mobile are anxious to increase their piece of the pie.  

BlackBerry, the one-time darling of smartphone users has struggled to re-discover its place in the market next to stiff competitors like Apple and Samsung. The brand pinned its hopes on the Z10 that it introduced in January, and so far, results look good as it helped the company to its second consecutive quarter of profit. 

The phone has only been on the market for about a month and hasn’t set the world aflame but while it continues to roll out, the company formerly known as Research In Motion has announced that it will soon produce a few more mixed-price phones, the Wall Street Journal reports.

"I don't think anyone expects BlackBerry to dominate like they once did," said Al Hilwa, an analyst at industry consultancy IDC, to the Journal. "But the company can survive and even prosper with a microbrew of a platform, with 5 percent to 10 percent market share, if it can execute well and at the right scale."Continue reading...

mobile brands

T-Mobile Unleashes 4G, iPhone in Latest Bid for Mobile Market

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 27, 2013 11:28 AM

In the past week, two second-tier mobile companies have made their move to get to the top. Blackberry (the mobile company formerly known as Research In Motion) just released its Z10 smartphone in the U.S, which didn’t cause too much fanfare out on the open market. That isn’t good news for the company, whose stocks tumbled after the debut flopped. 

T-Mobile on the other hand, is hoping for a much better return on its latest brand efforts. Long the resident of fourth place in the U.S. mobile market, the German company not only announced this week that it will offer bargain plans with no contracts but also started to roll out is 4G LTE service and announced that it will start offering the iPhone 5 to consumers on April 12.Continue reading...

mobile brands

BlackBerry Popularity Rises in Wake of BB10 Launch

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 15, 2013 02:37 PM

Since the rise of the iPhone and Samsung’s cooler-than-thou pursuit of Apple’s marketshare, BlackBerry has been the butt of plenty of jokes. Once the industry leader, BlackBerry suddenly had users who weren’t excited about showing off their mobile to their pals.

Lately though, things are looking up for BlackBerry Nation. A celebrity endorsement, the change in the company’s name from Research in Motion to BlackBerry and the unveiling of the BlackBerry 10 version of the phone last month has many of those who own BlackBerrys looking to upgrade.

The latest YouGov BrandIndex report finds 43 percent of BlackBerry owners surveyed planning to purchase a new phone in the next six months, up from 18 percent last year, and plan to stick with the brand. “This is the most popular the company and its products have been in the US since September 2011,” Agence France Presse notes.

BlackBerry execs can crow about such loyalty metrics with excitement a little, but only briefly. “A year ago, it looked like their customers were going to flee, but now [loyalty] has more than doubled,” Ted Marzilli, SVP and managing director of BrandIndex, tells Marketing Daily. “But what this [data] doesn’t say is if BlackBerry is attracting people from other brands.” The big question, Marzilli points out, is if this number can sustain itself or if it’s just a brief uptick.

Apple is still kicking BlackBerry’s butt with 85 percent of its smartphone buyers looking to upgrade within the brand in the next six months, YouGov notes. Slightly more than half of Samsung smartphone owners plan the same move.

Another metric that YouGov measures is brand perception and marketing buzz, asking survey participants if they’ve heard anything about the brand in the previous two weeks. Through its own scoring system, YouGov has had BlackBerry at near zero since December, but it has now gone up to seven. Samsung is at 16 and Apple is only one point higher. The latter has actually been falling on the list since its high of 38 in October when the iPhone 5 hit store shelves.

So, BlackBerry is pulling itself back up and getting back into the fight, right? It’s preparing to play the part of Rocky and take on the seemingly unstoppable machine of Ivan Drago (ad played by the iPhone). Well, it’s got a lot of work to do.Continue reading...

brand r.i.p.

RIM Shot: BlackBerry CMO Boulben Explains Why Company is Rebranding

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 31, 2013 09:32 AM

BlackBerry CMO Frank Boulben explains why Research in Motion is no more and the company is rebranding in a video taped during Wednesday's BlackBerry 10 launch in New York.

Also at the event, as you can watch below, Grammy Award winning singer Alicia Keys explained in an on-stage chat with CEO Thorsten Heins why a self-described "iPhone junky" is taking on the global creative director title at the company.Continue reading...

super bowl

Super Bowl Ad Watch: A Crucial Play for Research In Motion's Blackberry 10

Posted by Dale Buss on January 25, 2013 06:10 PM

Above: Tracy Morgan in a teaser for Kraft's Super Bowl ad for its Mio water mix-ins.

There's no doubting the need or the stakes. That's why it isn't too surprising Research in Motion revealed on Friday that it will air a 30-second advertisement for its new BlackBerry 10 smartphone and operating system during the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.

BlackBerry's market share has dwindled, of course, in the wake of the onslaught by Apple, Google and Samsung on the smartphone market. Yet RIM executives have been maintaining that the 10 — with an all-new modus operandi and hardware — is not only the company's last chance, but also a game-changer. They're scheduled to reveal details on Wednesday.

"A Super Bowl commercial is a great opportunity to show the redesigned, re-engineered and reinvented BlackBerry to tens of millions of consumers on the largest advertising stage of the year," RIM CMO Frank Boulben said in a statement. The company already staged an ad takeover of the home page of the New York Times website in December.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Citi, Yahoo, Foxconn and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 16, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit and COO John Havens quit unexpectedly; board elevates EMEA CEO Mike Corbat to top spot.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, back from two-week maternity leave, poaches new COO from her previous employer Google.

RIM sees its once-iconic BlackBerry slip into black-sheep territory.

CBS extends CEO Les Moonves for two more years to 2017.

Chrysler opens availability of natural-gas-powered Ram pickup to retail sales.

Facebook opens UK engineering hub to focus on mobile.

Foxconn admits to breaching child labor laws.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: iPad Mini, Getty, Barclays and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 4, 2012 08:55 AM

In the News

Apple plans smaller iPad to compete with Google Nexus, as Nokia gets touchy too.

Getty Images bidding nears $4 billion.

Barclays ex-CEO Diamond faces UK MP grilling as Bank of England faces tough decision.

Asian tourists flock to Europe for luxury bargains.

Asus aims to help athletes "find their zen."

Branded content shown to have limited impact in US.

China bans shark fin consumption in luxury crackdown, as mainland slowdown affects Hong Kong luxury spending.Continue reading...

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