Since 2012, Porsche Design and BlackBerry have worked together on two high-end handsets that offer a retooled exterior and… not much else. That didn’t stop the duo from selling the tweaked aesthetic for over $2,000, though. It seems that the pair is up to its old tricks once more, as the P’9983 (code named “Khan”) phone has unofficially broke from cover. According to N4BB, the second QWERTY device from the two companies will sport BlackBerry 10 on its 3.5-inch touchscreen with 3GB RAM, a dual-core 1.7 GHz processor and 64GB of storage inside. BlackBerry is also set to debut its rather unique 4.5-inch square Passport device soon, complete with its own personal assistant. But this leak begs the question: Why?
If you’ll recall, there was the QWERTY P’9981 two years ago, and then in 2013, the tandem unveiled a pricier version of the touchscreen Z10. Why continue to crank out limited-edition devices with expensive price tags when the company has been on the ropes for quite a while? I reached out to both Porsche Design and BlackBerry on the matter, and while the Canadian handset maker provided the ol’ “we don’t comment on rumors” business, I’ve yet to hear back from the former. One possible explanation is that the high-end retailer wants to keep its shelves stocked with fresh devices, and BlackBerry was happy to continue to help do just that.
Porsche Design only offers one brand of luxury smartphone on its site.
But why would Porsche Design, a luxury brand that appears doing just fine on its own, would still want to associate itself with an outfit that’s having its fair share of troubles? Is there a partnership agreement that has to be fulfilled? Was this device in the works before BlackBerry hit the skids? Well, when the partnership began, the design outfit’s CEO and a few other of its executives fancied BlackBerry devices as their daily communication tools, so the affinity for those handsets is firmly rooted. Also, Porsche Design only offers one brand of luxury smartphone on its site. It’s also worth noting that previous releases were only available in select markets — like the UK and the Middle East — which certainly seems to target a specific customer base.
Take Vertu for example. If it weren’t for the premium materials and design details, those phones sport a rather modest spec sheet. And that’s exactly what you have here with the rumored P’9983: a highly polished exterior with run of the mill internals. We’ve yet to find out any concrete details, but we’d surmise a select few are going to buy this thing when it eventually arrives with a $2,000+ price tag. Unless of course, you really like BlackBerry gear.
Via: The Verge
BlackBerry is taking advantage of reports of iMessage’s vulnerability to spam messages to tout its BlackBerry Messenger app. In a blog post, the company highlights a report from earlier this week that said iMessage users see quite a bit of spam, with accounts run by spammers responsible for more than 30 percent of all spam messages on mobile devices.
BlackBerry suggests that iMessage users switch to BBM to avoid spam and lists five reasons why BBM is superior to iMessage. According to the company, BBM is safer primarily because it does not utilize a phone number or email address and it only accepts messages from contacts.
1) BBM is architected in a way that protects our 85 million users against spammers. iMessage works off of phone number or Apple ID. Anyone who has your number or Apple ID can send you messages whether you want them to or not. With BBM, users have a lot more control due to our “invite and accept” paradigm. In other words, both parties need to be mutually committed to being contacts in order to send and receive messages.
2) BBM gives you control. There’s no spam on BBM due to its self-policing system. Users are in control of their contact list and there is no way to send a message without being contacts. You can’t control someone showing up to your house, but you don’t have to open the door. With BBM someone can request to be added to your list, but you don’t have to accept their invite.
BlackBerry also uses its list to highlight BBM’s encryption that protects messages from “spying or hacking,” its ability to block contacts, and its cross-platform availability.
Despite all of BBM’s apparent perks, BlackBerry has had trouble convincing users to adopt the app due to competition from iMessage and other messaging apps like WhatsApp, Kik, WeChat, and more. In late 2013, BlackBerry users on Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry phones sent and received approximately 10 billion messages per day, while WhatsApp processed upwards 50 billion messages per day.
Listed as number 56 in the social networking section of the App Store, BBM is ranked far below competing messaging apps. BlackBerry itself has also been struggling in recent months as iOS and Android make gains in the enterprise market.
The initial report on iMessage spam pointed towards Apple’s deep integration of mobile and desktop as the reason for iMessage’s popularity with scammers. While the uptick in iMessage spam has been recent, Apple does have some measures in place to combat spammers. There’s rate-limiting on the iMessage network to stop users from sending hundreds of messages and there is a spam reporting protocol in place, but Apple will likely need adopt more aggressive measures in the future to limit spam messages due to the platform’s growing popularity with spammers.
Want to know a big reason why Android smartphones are virtually ubiquitous these days? Because many of them are very affordable, that’s why. IDC’s latest market share estimates show that 58.6 percent of Android phones shipped in the second quarter cost less than $200, many of them from surging Chinese manufacturers like Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi. Simply speaking, many in China and other developing countries can’t (or won’t) justify buying the expensive phones that thrive in regions like Europe and North America. It’s no wonder that Samsung is losing the battle at the moment, then — while the company has budget handsets, it’s heavily invested in high-end hardware like the Galaxy S line.
The influx of low-cost devices also helps to explain year-over-year dips in market share for both iOS (11.7 percent) and Windows Phone (2.5 percent), which pale next to Android’s 84.7 percent slice of the pie. Apple doesn’t participate in the sub-$200 realm to start with, so it won’t compete in terms of sheer units; it’s doing fine profit-wise. Windows Phone, meanwhile, has few bona fide hits in this space outside of the aging Lumia 520. There are new iPhones and more budget-friendly Windows Phone makers right around the corner, though, so it won’t be shocking if there’s a different story in the months ahead.
BlackBerry has stopped bleeding — officially, at least. In a memo leaked to Reuters, CEO John Chen tells staff that three years of job cuts are over, and that the former mobile legend can start building itself back up rather than salvaging what’s left of its smartphone empire. But how did it get to this point? And more importantly, how does it plan to bounce back in an era when even many of its corporate customers have moved on to Android and iOS? As you’ll see in our gallery below, BlackBerry is only getting to this point after some grave errors and painful decisions — but it last appears to have a strategy that, while imperfect, at least acknowledges a difficult reality.
[Lead image credit: AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim]
Auto-correct fails can be pretty hilarious, but if you’d rather avoid them altogether (boo!) maybe a litigious phone case’s second coming is up your alley. See, earlier this year Ryan Seacrest’s iPhone accessory company, Typo, found itself on the wrong side of the law when BlackBerry filed suit against it. Why? Because, well, its product looked an awful lot like something you’d find on one of the Canadian outfit’s devices. But, that copyright infringement applied to Typo, not the almost identical Typo 2. As iMore tells is, the American Idol host has added a few new bits and bobs like a lock key, backlight and battery indicator to the keyboard that’ll hopefully distract Chen and Co.’s attorneys. The accessory starts shipping this September, but you can pre-order now for $99 — whether its maker is back in court by then is anyone’s guess.
Have a Windows Phone and crave access to BlackBerry’s famed messaging app? Today’s your lucky day. Announced in a video posted today, BBM is now exiting beta to become available for download in the Windows Phone store. The company said it spent considerable time tweaking the app’s interface to fit with Microsoft’s mobile OS, and the result is a clean UI that looks considerably different than the versions you’ll see on iOS and Android (not to mention BlackBerry OS 10). BBM for Windows consists of three main screens — chats, feeds and contacts — and you’ll have the ability to pin a chat right to your phone’s start screen. Windows Phone users who are new to BBM can pick up a few tips on getting started via the video (posted below). As of this posting, the app wasn’t yet live in the Windows Phone store, but the rollout should begin shortly.
It certainly would appear that today is offering up some pretty good news in the way of social interactions. Moments ago we alerted everyone that Facebook would be pulling the messaging function from the main app and shifting everyone over to the Facebook Messenger app. Now we find out that Blackberry is up to a few things in regards to the BlackBerry Messenger app that is also on Android, iOS and Windows.
During a Q&A session at the BlackBeryy Security Summit in New York, Enterprise Chief John Sims outed a little bit of information about the BlackBerry Messenger app (BBM). John stated that a redesign is coming down the pipeline for BBM for Android and iOS that will give it a more native appearance.
We have seen cross-platform apps in the past that have failed to make app redesign and visual changes prior to porting over. Often times we see iOS first apps that just get ported over to Android and retain the look and feel of an iOS app. It makes it look a bit weird and can sometimes be a little confusing since we do things a bit differently on Android then iOS, Windows or BlackBerry does. Giving their app an overhaul to make it blend with each OS could help boost users and not seem so far out-of-place.
Mr. Sims didn’t offer up a timeline or expected update date for either of the redesigned versions of BBM sadly. At least we know they are working on it though. Any of you guys die-hard BBM users? Do you think a redesign will a welcomed addition if BlackBerry? It certainly wouldn’t hurt in my book, I just hope they are doing their due diligence and working through the Android design guidelines to make it clean and smooth.
The post BBM for Android and iOS to get redesign to look more native on Devices appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
BlackBerry was slow to see the danger of touchscreen phones, which meant that BlackBerry 10 was a year or so too late to arrive. When it did, however, the company launched the all-touch Z10 first, alienating the keyboard-loving faithful that clung to BlackBerry in its darkest days. But when the Q10 finally came, our Tim Stevens found it to be painfully average — and the subsequent year hasn’t been kind to either the device or the company. But lets talk about the hardware itself, talk to us about your experiences and what, if anything would you change? While you’re thinking that way, why not try writing a review of the device, too? Just hit the “Review Device” button and you can add your voice to that of our critics.
OK, so it usually doesn’t cost as much as a car, but a smartphone is still an important lifestyle purchase. And it will probably be at your side 24/7 (if you’re anything like us). There’s always a bit of hemming and hawing, for sure, but we’ve distilled the options down to a short list of the top handsets, with top picks for each OS. Head down to the gallery below for a quick stroll through our selections or check out our full buyer’s guide for the lowdown on the best smartphones, tablets, laptops and wearables that your hard-earned money can buy.
Apple has Siri, Microsoft has Cortana, Google’s got Now voice search and BlackBerry… doesn’t have a virtual assistant of any kind. This morning, however, the Canadian smartphone maker confirmed that it has one in the works and will be showing up on the company’s next major release. Known aptly as BlackBerry Assistant, the new program is a part of OS 10.3 and will be available on the upcoming Passport phone. Assistant is voice-activated and comes with quite a few of the standard features we’ve come to expect on the other mobile platforms, such as the ability to open apps, send messages and tweets, set reminders and change settings. It also is smart enough to learn and adapt to your needs, so it theoretically should become more useful over time as it gets to know you. BlackBerry isn’t revealing all that Assistant can do yet, and it hasn’t offered a firm timeframe for availability aside from the fact that it’ll be part of the Passport, but so far we haven’t seen much to set it apart from the competition. It’s at least a good sign that the company is trying remain competitive, however.