Monthly Archive for June, 2006Page 3 of 23

Orange to offer email services

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Reuters is reporting that French telecomm company Orange announced today that they are expanding into mobile email services for small to medium-sized enterprises. This isn’t so much an attempt to take a slice from RIM’s business so much as it is an attempt to expand the pie.

Today, only around 10 percent of small and medium enterprises use mobile e-mail and it’s often seen as an expensive business tool reserved for senior executives in the company. Our research indicates that this limited uptake is due to barriers such as cost, complexity and the need for specific devices… Our aim is to open up mobile email to a much wider base of business users,” said Philippe Bernard, executive vice president of Orange Business Solutions.

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Analyst’s take on RIM’s earnings

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Research in MotionThe Associated Press has released an earnings preview for RIM’s fiscal first quarter report that’s happening at 5pm EST today. The preview gives a nice retelling of the events surrounding RIM in the past few months before getting down to the juicy bits. RIM released a first-quarter earnings forecast in April expecting earnings of 60 to 65 cents per share for fiscal Q1, with with revenue of $580 million to $610 million USD. Based on a poll by Thomson Financial, analysts expect the company to report, on average, earnings of 65 cents per share on $602.1 million USD in revenue.

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Jim Balsille Says: a new BlackBerry will have “image capture”

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BalsillieThis isn’t that big of a deal, seeing as we already knew that RIM was working on BlackBerrys with MP3 playback, video, memory expansion and image capture, but in light of a recent BlackBerry Cool editorial, it does make us feel good. eWeek.com is reporting that RIM CEO Jim Balsillie, speaking at the C3 expo yesterday, told the crowd that future BlackBerrys would feature “image capture” — i.e. a camera.

Balsillie also said that RIM would be introducing new features to BlackBerry devices, including MP3 players, video, memory expansion and image capture, very soon. In addition, he said that GPS would be included in virtually all BlackBerry devices, except for some that would work with a Bluetooth GPS receiver.

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Jim Balsille Says: RIM to expand BlackBerry Connect to CDMA carriers

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All you Verizon Wireless customers rejoice. During the same C3 Expo keynote, RIM CEO Jim Balsille also said that they’re expanding BlackBerry Connect to work with CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) carriers. Right now BlackBerry Connect only works with GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) devices — the reason? CDMA isn’t really found outside of North America and, as Balsille said, “providers want to be able to sell their devices to 200 carriers in 100 countries.”

As a side note, Balsille said that 20 non-BlackBerry devices are now supported by BlackBerry Connect, and you can expect another 20 more by the end of the year.

Jim Balsille Says: security is RIM’s “long suit”

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Echoing earlier statements made by his co-CEO, Jim Balsille also mentioned that while RIM is expanding its role in several areas of enterprise activity, “The most important thing in wireless data is security.” Calling security BlackBerry’s “long suit,” Balsille said that RIM’s focus on security is what has made them the darlings of government agencies like the NSA, adding “we’re very active in the military.” Balsille also criticized other wireless companies that have added security as an afterthought.

Jim Balsille Says: no comment

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At the C3 Expo yesterday, RIM CEO Jim Balsille refused to comment on the rumors that RIM is in discussions to buy Palm, which they could announce today. He would only say that he saw RIM as “one in a plurality of wireless device providers.”

Update: The Toronto Star has a more lengthy quote that puts Balsille’s comments in a slightly better context. Following the statment above, he said: “We don’t have grand ambitions to consolidate the hand-held business any more than we have ambitions to exit the hand-held business.”