Monthly Archive for April, 2006Page 4 of 21

Mobile Video: Who’s Watching? Who’s Going to Watch? And Why?

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Watching video on mobile devices has a long way to go before it becomes a ubiquitous practice among mobile phone users, according to a new report published by The NPD Group. According to the report, while 28% of all mobile phones in use in February 2006 were capable of playing digital video, only 1% of subscribers currently did so; however, 12% of wireless subscribers report that they are “likely” or “very likely” to use mobile video in the next six months. Although few in number, mobile video users show very positive usage behaviors – just over half (51%) watch video on their phones at least once a week.

“Premium services for mobile phones have only recently become big business, but video has a way to go before consumers are ready to sign on in a big way,” said Drew Hull, research director for mobile content for The NPD Group. “At this point, it’s especially important for wireless operators, service providers and video content companies to understand the mindsets of mobile phone users if they want to position themselves well for future success in marketing video for mobile phones.”

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RIM co-CEO’s Chosen as Canadians of the Year

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Canada’s leading speakers’ forum has chosen the co-CEOs of Research In Motion, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, as Canadians of the Year. This is the first time the century-old organization has named two people to this honour since the award launched in 1992.

“These men have exhibited an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit that makes them role models,” commented Canadian Club President Rod Phillips. ” BlackBerry has become a business staple in the few short years since its creation.”

“I’m grateful to call Canada my home and honoured by the Canadian Club’s recognition,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at RIM. “BlackBerry is one of many Canadian success stories and I believe Canada’s collective commitment to technology, science and education will secure many more victories in the decades ahead.”

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Push Weather Information Right To Your Blackberry

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Push Weather
In a demonstration of the “push” capabilities of the Blackberry technology, RIM has released a push weather information service. You can register for the service to get weather information pushed directly to your handheld either once or twice a day. This service is not new, it’s atleast a year old but use to only function on a limited amount of carriers but it now seems available on most carriers and handhelds running OS 4.0+.

What we’re hoping for are additional push services like sports results and possibly stock information.

To sign up to get weather pushed to your handheld, just visit the following website on your Blackberry:

http://mobile.blackberry.com/mss/category_push

RIM To Launch Blackberry Service in Japan by end of year?

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According to an article in the National Post, RIM may be launching the BlackBerry in Japan at the end of this year. Robert Dennison of UBS Securities said “We originally expected a Japan launch in 2007 but now believe pilots may start this calendar year with a commercial launch in the fourth quarter.” Mr. Dennison said the Japanese BlackBerry will look like the 8700 high-speed device introduced in North America earlier this year.

RIM declined to comment. The tech company wants to sell wireless e-mail service through another 100 carriers this year. RIM has already been eyeing the far east, with supposed a launch of Blackberry service in China sometime this year.

Microsoft Developing Next Mobile OS: Crossbow

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Microsoft, which has been carving a larger slice of the mobile device OS market, is developing a new product, code-named “Crossbow,” which will incorporate features such as instant messaging, a Microsoft executive confirmed Monday.

Crossbow will have strong links with Office 2007 and Exchange 12, Microsoft’s pending new office application suite and e-mail server, said Pieter Knook, senior vice president for the mobile devices and telecoms sector. Crossbow would be the successor to Windows Mobile 5.0, released in May 2005.

Crossbow will take aim at the Symbian and BlackBerry operating systems. The OS will contain a new mobile version of Office Communicator, an Office 2007 enterprise communications application, which includes instant messaging on public and private networks, Knook said.

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Standard & Poor’s Upgrades RIMM To “Strong Buy”

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Standard & Poor’s Equity Research upgraded shares of Research In Motion to “strong buy” from “buy,” citing a more favorable valuation. Analyst Ken Leon said shares of RIM are off 13% in the last 30 days, leading him to believe that there’s an enhanced buying opportunity ahead of stronger expected earnings growth in 2007.

The S&P Equity Research analyst said the lifting of the NTP-patent overhang will allow the Canadian handheld device maker to focus on driving BlackBerry customer activations.

“Based on their first-quarter results, we do not believe Motorola and Nokia are serious threats to RIM’s strong position with carriers and enterprise customers,” the analyst noted.

He reiterated a 12-month target price on RIM of $100.