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Posts tagged ‘BlackBerry’

24
Jan
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Survey finds 50% of phones activated last quarter came from Apple, 26% from Samsung


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Apple trumped all other smartphone manufacturers last quarter based on consumers activating a device. The usual Android foes were all far behind Apple with Samsung leading the way. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) conducted a survey with five hundred subjects in the United States and aimed to find which phone brands were most popular among activations. The devices, both old and new, were activated between October and December of last year.

Samsung trailed Apple by 24% and that was the closest any company came to catching the clan in Cupertino. After that, the numbers dropped off significantly. The third place company was LG with 11% and Motorola finished fourth at 4%. Rounding out the bottom was HTC (2%), Nokia (2%), Amazon (1%), and “other” with 4%. BlackBerry, who may or may not be facing an acquisition in the near future, had no activations from the survey.

Josh Lowitz, the co-founder of CIRP, explained that the loyalty of Apple customers is far greater than that of Samsung and LG’s. He said:

“iPhones drew from loyal Apple customers, with 86% of buyers upgrading from an older iPhone. Samsung and LG saw far lower loyalty rates, with 25% of Samsung owners and 18% of LG owners who activated a phone in the quarter switching to an iPhone.”

Source: Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (PDF)
Via: Phone Arena

Come comment on this article: Survey finds 50% of phones activated last quarter came from Apple, 26% from Samsung

23
Jan
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Samsung + Blackberry: pros and cons


BlackBerry Z10 review

The persistent rumors about the possibility of Samsung buying BlackBerry have become a permanent fixture in the tech press over the last couple of years. Long before BlackBerry officially went up for sale in 2013, there was speculation about possible suitors. It’s only natural that talk turned to the largest, cash-rich, smartphone manufacturer on the scene in Samsung. But companies like Microsoft, Dell, and IBM were also mentioned.

As it turned out no-one was interested. There was to be no tech giant in white armor to ride to the rescue. In September 2013, BlackBerry announced losses around $1 billion and plans to cut its workforce by 40 percent. At this low point, shareholder Fairfax, with 10 percent of the company, announced plans to acquire the rest for $4.7 billion. The deal later fell through when Fairfax couldn’t raise the cash.

Is Samsung interested?

Back in the summer of 2012 Samsung denied it was interested in acquiring BlackBerry (still RIM at the time) or licensing its new BlackBerry 10 platform. What has changed since then?
If you believe Samsung’s mobile CEO, J.K. Shin, the company still isn’t interested. He was quoted by the Wall Street Journal on Monday.

“We want to work with BlackBerry and develop this partnership, not acquire the company.”

It’s worth mentioning that BlackBerry’s share price soars on the back of rumors like this, so even if Samsung was interested it wouldn’t want that to be public knowledge. Though you do have to wonder about the timing. Samsung could have swooped just over a year ago and acquired the company far more cheaply than the $7 to $8 billion price that’s being touted now.

To complicate things, Canada’s Financial Post reported this week that, despite the public rebuttals of both Samsung and BlackBerry, the Korean company is still very much interested in acquiring BB.

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Samsung’s Knox secure environment is no match for BlackBerry’s products

What’s in it for Samsung?

There are two credible reasons that Samsung might want to acquire or partner more closely with BlackBerry.

  1. Patents – BlackBerry has 44,000 patents covering things like wireless communications and encryption technologies, which could obviously be useful for Samsung.
  2. Enterprise – The foundations of the BlackBerry brand are built on enterprise customers. It’s a market we know that Samsung is interested in.

If the patent portfolio was enough motivation on its own, then you get the feeling Samsung would have looked to do the deal when the patent war was still at its height. It feels as though the litigation is slowing down, but there’s still little doubt that BlackBerry’s patents would be valuable to Samsung.

Samsung’s attempts to break into the enterprise with Knox have not been wildly successful. The perception of Android and Samsung devices in terms of security is not especially good. Samsung’s biggest competitor, Apple, has been making real inroads into the enterprise market and threatening to steal away BlackBerry’s share. Samsung could definitely use some of BlackBerry’s know-how and reputation in the enterprise, and it has a vested interest in halting Apple’s progress.

What about BlackBerry?

The prospect is much more straightforward for BlackBerry. Shareholders might be glad to take above market price right now if they don’t have faith in a comeback. Even if BlackBerry can turn things around, it would seem like a smart idea to align itself with the biggest smartphone player around. If software and services is truly the future of BlackBerry then a close partnership with Samsung could really help it back into the game.

In fact this is already happening. A partnership was announced in November. It brings BlackBerry’s BES12 enterprise mobility management software and Samsung’s Knox for Android together. There’s no way BlackBerry is going to be able to build back a significant share of the market with hardware, so it has to get its software onto more devices.

BlackBerry CEO, John Chen, said of the deal “We’re not about phones this time – we’re about software.”

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CEO John Chen managed to stabilize BlackBerry, but is he considering an exit?

Why buy the cow?

One other reason we’ve seen offered that Samsung might want BlackBerry is the software. It would be fair to say that software development is seen as a weak spot for Samsung and a strength for BlackBerry. If Samsung wanted help developing a new operating system or building on Tizen it could do worse than look to BlackBerry. There’s also the potential of QNX for embedded systems as the Internet of Things gathers pace.

Ultimately, the idea that Samsung would sink a large sum of cash into acquiring BlackBerry right now seems fanciful. Samsung can get all the potential benefits by working on some kind of partnership deal instead. With all the talk about declining profits for Samsung, the last thing it needs is to acquire a company that’s still losing money.

For BlackBerry’s part an acquisition also seems unlikely. It looks as though the company may be over the worst. The restructuring could bear fruit given time. Shareholders may be prepared to give Chen a fair crack of the whip. The company has enough going for it that we wouldn’t bet against a healthy software-driven revenue within a couple of years.

Mutually beneficial

What we can agree on is that a partnership would be mutually beneficial, and that’s no doubt why it’s already happening. Samsung gets security software and a touch of BlackBerry’s enterprise reputation. BlackBerry gets its software onto loads of Android devices and provides support for the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. It’s an obvious win-win.

Could the partnership go further? BlackBerry services underpinning Samsung’s hardware. A merging of software that would see BlackBerry apps pre-installed on Samsung devices? A joint smartphone project for a Samsung-built BlackBerry phone? Maybe, maybe not. Let’s give it some time. The two rivals are still getting used to working together.

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BBM remains one of BlackBerry’s best assets

Turning things around

In the middle of 2008 RIM was worth $77 billion based on the share price. It continued to claim a dominant market share into 2010. A lethargic reaction to its changing fortunes was what delivered the killer blow, but the decline has been slow and it hasn’t proven fatal. The hardware heights are gone, but BlackBerry could recover in a new form.

Samsung is fresh onto the downward slide from its peak. Talk of the company being in trouble still feels overblown right now, but Samsung has a tough year ahead. There are plenty of reasons that a similarly sharp decline is unlikely for the South Korean conglomerate, not least diversification, but there’s a lesson for everyone in what happened to BlackBerry.

It would be interesting if a partnership between the two, once fierce rivals, is what turns both their fortunes around.



23
Jan
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Daily Roundup: Apple Watch battery life, Russian combat bots and more!


One of the biggest complaints about smartwatches is their mediocre battery life. It sounds like the Apple Watch will be no different. In other news, internet activist Barrett Brown was sent to prison for five years and Russia showed off some “combat robots” that still have a lot to prove, fortunately. Catch up on today’s top stories after the break.

Apple apparently hasn’t solved the smartwatch battery life problem

We still don’t know much about the Apple Watch, but the latest rumors suggest that the Cupertino company’s new wrist accessory will be severely lacking in one department: battery life.

Internet activist Barrett Brown sentenced to five years in prison

Internet activist and Anonymous spokesperson Barrett Brown was sentenced to five years in prison for acting as an accessory after the fact to an unauthorized access to a protected computer.

Russia’s new combat robot shoots guns and drives ATVs… slowly

Russia demonstrated a new “combat robot” capable of autonomously driving an ATV and firing a handgun. However, judging by Vladimir Putin’s reaction, there’s no need to prepare for the robot uprising just yet.

Drones: the tech-savvy trafficker’s new drug mule

Innovative drug traffickers are turning to drones to deliver their product. An unmanned hexacopter crashed into a southern California grocery store, loaded with six pounds of meth. Authorities are still searching for those responsible and investigating where the drone was headed.

Forget detention: Illinois students might have to forfeit their Facebook passwords

If you go to school in Illinois, it’s probably a good idea to be on your best behavior. A law that went into effect at the beginning of this year lets school districts demand social media passwords for students that break rules or are suspected of cyberbullying.

BlackBerry’s CEO doesn’t understand what net neutrality is

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has some interesting thoughts on what net neutrality means. He wrote a letter to the US Senate saying that OS-makers should be required to furnish key apps to all of their competitors.

Amazon will stream ‘Transparent’ for free this Saturday

Don’t have an Amazon Prime subscription and missed out on watching the award-winning show Transparent? The company is giving you a free chance to see what all the fuss is about this weekend.

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22
Jan
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Report: Samsung is actively pursuing BlackBerry despite rebuttals from both sides


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According to the Financial Post, Samsung is still trying to take over or buy a significant stake in BlackBerry, even though both sides have categorically denied the rumor.

The Financial Post has managed to get its hands on a document which outlines the business case for a take over and even suggests a possible structure for such a purchase. The document is purported to come from a New York-based independent investment bank, Evercore Partners, and was prepared on Samsung’s request.

Although the document was prepared during the last quarter of 2014, the Financial Post writes that a source familiar with the take over plans has said that Samsung is still interested in buying BlackBerry.

Last week, the news of a potential takeover from Samsung caused BlackBerry’s stock to rise temporarily, but it quickly returned to its nominal levels once the rumor was denied by both parties. “BlackBerry has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry,” the company said at the time. Likewise a Samsung spokeswoman told Reuters that “media reports of the acquisition are groundless.”

The main reason why Samsung would want to buy Blackberry is because of its back-end services and servers.

From the outside Samsung wanting to buy a failing smartphone maker, that has little in common with its own business model, seems like a dumb idea. Samsung already has Android, and Tizen. It doesn’t need a third mobile operating system to maintain. However there is more to BlackBerry than just its handset business. It is probable that the main reason why Samsung would want to buy Blackberry is because of its back-end services and servers. Many corporations, especially in North America, rely on BlackBerry for device management. Its BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) has about half the mobile device management market. BlackBerry has also added support for iOS and Android devices.

Back in November 2014, Blackberry and Samsung announced plans to work together to bring Samsung’s Knox security platform to BlackBerry’s business customers. The partnership is designed to bring together BlackBerry’s cross-platform BES12 enterprise mobility management software and Samsung’s KNOX security for Android devices. The partnership was, in part, a reaction to Apple teaming up with IBM to create a set of iPhone and iPad “enterprise apps” aimed at corporate and government customers.

However, $7.5 billion is a lot of money for Samsung to spend to buy its way into the enterprise. I am sure we haven’t heard the last of this story yet, so stay tuned to Android Authority for more coverage as it develops.

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16
Jan
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This isn’t the last we’ve heard of Samsung buying BlackBerry


How does that old song go? Everything old is new again? I’m reminded of it every time Samsung and BlackBerry get wrapped up in some will-they-won’t-they acquisition intrigue like they did yesterday. In case you somehow missed all the fun, Reuters reported that Samsung offered a cool $7.5 billion to BlackBerry as part of a potential buyout deal. In the hours that followed, BlackBerry balked, Samsung shot the notion down and investor hope — seen in the form of surging BBRY stock prices — all but evaporated.

Samsung and BlackBerry have an interesting history together, at least as far as rumored business tie-ups go. In very early 2012, a poorly sourced acquisition report from a tech blog caused BlackBerry (well, RIM at the time) shares to surge in price. Samsung denied it was looking for a deal. Then, later that year, Jeffries analyst Peter Misek released a note to investors fingering Samsung as the company most likely or most interested in licensing BlackBerry 10 for its own phones. Considering how fervently Samsung’s been trying to make its alternative Tizen platform a thing, that scenario doesn’t seem all that outlandish. So what’s different this time around? Why would Samsung want to envelop BlackBerry in its many folds? Well, a bunch of reasons, really.

First up, there’s the patent angle. The folks in Waterloo have nearly 44,000 patents tucked away in BlackBerry’s global coffers (about 10 percent were granted in the US), including a set of recently awarded ones that protect concepts like a wearable that lets users access their phones without punching in a code first. Fine, that one in particular is hardly intriguing, but make no mistake: BlackBerry has some really juicy ones. Law360 did a deep dive back in 2013 and found that of the lot of them, 2,500 BlackBerry patents pertaining to “Security, Email, Messaging [and] Data Delivery” provide the backbone for the company’s standout security and networking features.

Those patents — and their analogs filed in different countries to afford BlackBerry global intellectual protection — are worth a small fortune alone. Still others pertaining specifically to information encryption (mostly owned by a BlackBerry subsidiary called Certicom) are being licensed for use by the United States government because the elliptic-curve cryptography techniques they outline are just that good. What happens when other security-minded organizations bite the bullet and decide they need to use that tech too? They pay up, big. Cha-ching for BlackBerry, and that revenue stream could be Samsung’s too.

And hell, let’s just get really pragmatic here. Remember Nortel? We can’t blame you if you don’t, but the former communications juggernaut sold off over 6,000 of its patents and patent applications in mid-2011 in exchange for around $4.5 billion. Even if all Samsung wanted to do was flip BlackBerry’s huge store of intellectual property, it’d still have a somewhat decent chance of turning a profit. Oh, and that’s not to mention the extra ammunition that IP would provide if/when Samsung gets wrapped up in another giant legal kerfuffle like it did with Apple. Patents are power, protection and profit all rolled into one.

But let’s take the legal nitty-gritty of patents out of the mix for just a moment. Despite a shift to alternative devices and platforms, BlackBerry’s phones and services are still being used by businesses, conglomerates and governments the world over. That’s a level of enterprise savvy and infiltration that Samsung hasn’t yet been able to match, even with its Knox security initiative on the books and some promising momentum — why, just last year the NSA gave Knox its blessing for governmental use… after a handful of security researchers managed to poke disputable holes in the fabric of Samsung’s security. If Samsung wants to truly own the enterprise space, picking off one of its most notable (and most vulnerable) competitors is a great way to do it.

And hey, it’s not like BlackBerry has a huge hand in making phones now anyway; its deal with Foxconn allows the company to essentially offload not just the manufacturing, but also the distribution of future BlackBerrys straight to the Chinese company. Design work is still done in-house, but Samsung could easily take over those teams and keep a quiet stream of new BlackBerrys flowing if it wanted to.

So yes, there are a few perfectly plausible reasons why Samsung would (and arguably should) snap up BlackBerry. But why now? It’s all about the shifting market, friends. The Samsung we have now isn’t exactly the same, old “let’s throw everything at the wall and see if it sticks” company we’re so used to watching. It’s not selling as many of its flagship phones as it thought it would, and you can’t really deny that those devices have been a big driver of growth for Samsung these past few years. In order to please all those finicky shareholders, Samsung’s got to keep the gravy train going, and when growth in one direction slows, you’d better believe the company will try to find a catalyst to make sure things move.

On the flip side, BlackBerry’s starting to dust itself off a bit now that former Sybase chief John Chen is sitting at the head table. It’s cutting costs. It’s retuning to the company’s mission. It’s pushing ever closer to profitability. Hell, it just might get there (Chen says it’ll happen sometime in 2016), and by then, it’ll be that much more expensive a target for anyone looking to buy. By kicking off these talks now, Samsung just might be trying to buy low.

Even now, some might balk at the price Samsung reportedly offered — after all, the deal involved paying a hefty premium on each of BlackBerry’s shares. And BlackBerry’s reported $7.5 billion price tag stands in stark contrast to the relatively paltry $200-ish million Samsung paid for SmartThings, an originally crowdfunded hardware company that the Korean titan gobbled up not too long ago. Here’s the thing about the Internet of Things market: It’s young. It hasn’t solidified yet. There’s no clear market winner. You can think of Samsung’s $200 million as a ground-floor investment. But BlackBerry? That’s a company with rebounding clout, and one of the most ardent, devoted and possibly craziest fan bases you’ll ever see. Alas, both companies have buttoned up on the matter, so we might not ever know what they saw in each other. One thing’s for sure, though: This isn’t the last time you’ll hear these rumors. Everything old is new again.

Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Samsung, Blackberry

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15
Jan
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Reuters: Samsung considering $7.5B purchase of BlackBerry


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If the rumor is true, Samsung may be considering the purchase of the Ontario-based BlackBerry for as much as $7.5B.

According to Reuters, who have seen documents and who has a source familiar with the matter, Samsung is considering purchasing BlackBerry seeking its valuable patents as it battles Apple.

Reuters comments that Samsung’s strength as the No. 1 global smart phone marker has been built on making devices for the consumer market, which has become crowded in recent years, but with a takeover of Blackberry, it could help the Korean-based Samsung with the corporate market.

Not straying too far from it’s current business model, BlackBerry just launched its long-awaited Classic model on Wednesday, hoping to help win back a share of the smartphone market share. The smartphone resembles its once popular Bold and Curve handsets with its classic physical keyboard.

BlackBerry issued a released on the matter and said that while it’s aware of certain press reports published Wednesday with respect to a possible offer by Samsung to purchase BlackBerry, it “has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry” and that “BlackBerry’s policy is not to comment on rumors or speculation, and accordingly it does not intend to comment further.”

VIA Reuters, BlackBerry 


The post Reuters: Samsung considering $7.5B purchase of BlackBerry appeared first on AndroidGuys.

15
Jan
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Samsung offers to purchase BlackBerry


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In the surprise news of the day, Samsung recently made an offer to buy BlackBerry for $7.5 billion. Reuters is reporting that Samsung set the initial price range of $13.35 to $15.49 per share, which translates to a premiumof 38 percent to 60 percent over the current trading price.

So what would Samsung want with such a failing company? According to Reuters, it’s all about the patents. BlackBerry owns roughly 44,000 patents, worth approximately $1.43 billion in net book value. However, a lot of analysts think they are worth much more. Unfortunately BlackBerry isn’t interested in selling only the patents, so Samsung would need to buy the whole company in order to obtain them.

The other problem is getting approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), as well as the Canadian government. Samsung does think that if they were to acquire less than 100 percent of the company, the CFIUS approval process would be much easier. However, Samsung doesn’t think they could “accomplish its strategic objectives” without owning 100 percent.

BlackBerry said they have “not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry.”

This could get very interesting so stay tuned.

source: Reuters

Come comment on this article: Samsung offers to purchase BlackBerry

14
Jan
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Samsung reportedly in talks to buy Blackberry for $7.5 billion


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According to a new report from Reuters, Samsung is in talks to buy Blackberry for $7.5 billion. The South Korean electronics company is interested in the company for Blackberry’s patent portfolio, according to unnamed sources associated with Reuters. Samsung didn’t offer a flat rate of $7.5 billion, though they put in an offer to buy individual shares for $13.35 to $15.49 per share. As long as currency conversions change over correctly, Samsung could end up paying anywhere from $6 billion to $7.5 billion for the company, as long as the $1.25 billion in debt transfers over as well. Reportedly, this represents a premium of 38% to 60% over Blackberry’s current trading price.

This isn’t really anything surprising, though. Blackberry has been struggling for quite some time to get the company out of the red. After countless failed smartphone attempts and US carriers refusing to carry their products, Blackberry has been dead in the water for quite some time. If you can remember back to November 2014, Samsung and Blackberry were in talks to improve Android’s enterprise security through Samsung devices. Now, Samsung devices might get even more security-centric if this sale goes through. Remember, this is just a rumor so far, and nothing is confirmed yet. Stay tuned to Android Authority for more coverage as this rumor develops.



7
Jan
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Dear BlackBerry, Ryan Seacrest isn’t done with the QWERTY keyboard


Maybe you remember the bizarre collision of worlds at last year’s CES when Ryan Seacrest touched down in Las Vegas to introduce the Typo, a physical QWERTY keyboard case for the iPhone 5/5s. If you do, then you may also recall the controversy and legal tussling over the original Typo’s striking resemblance to BlackBerry’s Q10 keyboard. One court ordered a sales injunction and another Typo revision later, Seacrest and his partner Laurence Hallier are back at CES to debut another physical keyboard accessory, this time it’s the Typo2 for the iPad Air and iPad mini lines. The pair carved out some time during the madness of CES to speak to me about Typo’s bumpy start, the impact of customer feedback on product design and the boldfaced names that swear by their QWERTY case.

So you guys debuted the first Typo at CES 2014. I have to ask, “Why not just use your BlackBerry? Why did you make the Typo?”

Ryan Seacrest: Well, we made the Typo because we had a couple of devices sitting on the table for many, many dinners. Laurence and I are good friends, and we decided that we wanted to be a little more efficient with ourselves and our lives. And we liked the iPhone, but we couldn’t type on it well. So we wanted to create a physical keyboard where we could use our iPhones with speed and with efficiency.

Laurence Hallier: Honestly, we thought it was a hobby.

Were you guys aware prior to the launch that there was a striking resemblance and that it was potentially going to bring legal troubles?

LH: No, we did our homework to find out what was out there, what wasn’t out there. And we didn’t just do this haphazardly. So we looked at what was out there and we certainly got [outside] opinions and all that. But the lawsuit itself… we can’t comment. It’s an ongoing thing, but it doesn’t affect any of our current products that are out: the Typo2 for iPhone 5, the Typo2 for iPhone 6 and, of course, our iPad keyboard.

Do you think since that design kind of mirrored the familiar look of the physical QWERTY keyboard that people were familiar with from BlackBerry, that helped attract a target base for this… for people that crave a physical QWERTY keyboard?

LH: I mean, I think that a lot of people are fans of the physical keyboard. BlackBerry was definitely one of the companies in that space. But before that there was the Treo; Motorola made [a physical QWERTY with] the Droid 4…

RS: When I was in elementary school, the Commodore 64. I mean, we typed WITH KEYS on keyboards. Growing up, that’s how we did it. And that’s what we wanted to create to be able to attach as a case to the iPhone.

How involved are you in the design, Ryan?

RS: For me, Laurence would make all of the trips overseas to Taiwan and he’d sit with the engineers and designers. And then he’d bring back the prototypes and we would use them ourselves… you know, for 24/7 for months and months and months. And give each other feedback about how they were working, what was working, what was going well, what was not going well. And that was how we incorporated the notes.

LH: The best answer to that is to say that for 12 months, we had prototypes going back and forth, back and forth. We just couldn’t get it to a place we wanted it to be. The goal was not to have a product out to market; it was for us to be able to type at the speed that we want to type at accurately. Hence, the “Typo” name. I think Ryan was always our number one tester.

RS: For me, this is my office; this is how I work. I do everything mobile-y because I’m in so many places every single day, every single week. This was a lifesaver for me. This was a game changer for me to be able to have something that I could really type an email out that looks as if it’s coming from a computer.

As for the name, it’s catchy definitely. Typo is catchy, but it’s a bit counter-intuitive. Do you have any regrets attaching that name to it… calling it Typo?

RS: Do you know no one mentions that to me? NO ONE. No one. And I talk to a lot of people. No one says anything to me about the name. They say… when they see it sitting on a table, whether it be in a meeting or at a lunch or something, they see it sitting on the table and they say where they can get that. And you tell them typokeyboards.com. And they never say, “Why’s it called Typo?”

LH: We just wanted a very simple name people would remember.

In terms of customer feedback, the original Typo wasn’t on the market very long due to the injunction. And then the Typo 2 was announced in mid-summer and shipped in September. How much of that feedback was coming in — was it unsolicited? Were you actively polling them? And what were some of the refinements they suggested if any?

LH: On our website is info@typokeyboards.com. We read every single email we get in. So we get feedback very quickly. When you develop a product… and I would say our product is very unique in that… 84 percent of our buyers from the surveys we’ve done, say they keep it on the phone 24/7. So they give you feedback. They’re not shy. And if they have a problem, they let you know. So for us the feedback is easy. We get a lot of feedback. And listen, this is not the perfect product, nor is any product. But it’s as close as we’re ever going to get being able to type super fast on a phone.

The Typo2 for iPad Air/2.

What about products? Was there anything from the customer feedback where they requesting, “I want it specifically for the iPad Air and the mini?”

RS: Yes, for every mobile device from the beginning. We want it for everything.

LH: No doubt. And it’s difficult because the Android market is fragmented. So it’s very difficult for us. We wanted to bring a product out for Apple. We’ve now come out with iPad products. We intend to build a keyboard for the Samsung Note line. That’ll be out in a few more months.

Starting just with the latest Note or going back?

LH: No. The 4. What’s being announced at CES and what’s coming out in a few months.
We’re gonna look at the Android market… that’s probably the number one thing we get by email is, “Do you have one for the iPhone 6 Plus and do you have one for blankety blank Android?”

I’m glad you brought up the 6 Plus. Is it too unwieldy the size? Is that why you didn’t do it?

RS: It became top heavy, bottom heavy… it seesawed.

LH: The core of this business is that if the product is not a lifesaver and if it doesn’t work really well for the consumer, we’re not going to come out with it. So we prototyped the 6 Plus. We tried it. You know, it’s a big phone.

RS: It was hard to perfect it.

A close-up look at the Typo2 for iPad Air’s full QWERTY layout.

How different is the Typo2 case for the iPads here as opposed to the one for the iPhone 6, other than the layout?

LH: We looked at the products out there. We didn’t really take any inspiration from this because it’s thumb-typing. We really took inspiration from “what does the consumer wants that actually wants a keyboard for their iPad?” And there was three basic things that everyone wanted that wasn’t being served. Obviously, being as thin as possible, as small as possible. Add no bulk no weight to the iPad. Detachable was important only because people don’t like the single angle. So if you’re in Southwest, you’ve got an angle this much. If you’re in first class, you’ve got a bigger angle. So we really felt this was an integral part of solving this problem of what do you do with an iPad. We’re finding so much good feedback on this. People want to buy this [the hinge] on its own. So this hinge actually was developed by the same company that did the MacBook Air. So it’s a pretty revolutionary hinge. And we had to re-engineer it be much much smaller.

What about wearables? Is Typo just a one-off for you guys? Is there a more of a vested interest in tech? Would you be interested in pursuing something like a tracker..?

LH: I think both Ryan and I have a the philosophy that unless the product really enhances your life, it’s not to our interest. Our business is that we really want to improve people’s lives… with the keyboard, we feel we have something to add. … I just don’t think we have much to add to there. … These are not easy things to do.

The media mogul and tech entrepreneur Ryan Seacrest talks Typo2.
Last thing I’ll ask you guys. I noticed on the site there’s a quote from Arianna Huffington… you mention your target user is that prosumer, but do you find that other media personalities and celebrities are adopting the Typo 2 because they were so addicted..?

LH: Yes, but they won’t let us use their name.

RS: I was at GMA (Good Morning America) three or four mornings ago before New Year’s Eve and all Amy Robach could talk about was, “How can I get that Typo2 for my iPhone 6? This is going to change my life.” And I’ve talked to a few [journalists] who have refused to get the iPhone 6 until they can get the Typo 2 to make the jump for the phone.

LH: Arianna was one of them. She emailed me…

RS: I think the whole GMA cast another group too.

LH: We have a ton of celebrities, but they won’t let us use their name.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

[Image credit: Will Lipman Photography]

Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Apple, Blackberry

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3
Nov
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BBM now lets you set a Snapchat-style time limit for messages


BBM timed messages

BlackBerry isn’t shy about borrowing features to keep BBM relevant in the messaging world; it added stickers to challenge WhatsApp, and now it’s taking a page from Snapchat’s book. The latest version of BBM introduces a timed messaging feature that lets you determine when messages and photos expire, so you don’t have to worry that spies (or just nosy friends) will see what you said. To top it off, you can also retract messages outright — you won’t have to worry about accidentally sexting your boss so long as you delete the evidence in time. The privacy-minded upgrade probably won’t get you to switch to BBM by itself, but it may be worth a look if you’ve wanted a slightly more sophisticated take on disappearing chat services.

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Source: Inside BlackBerry

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