Monthly Archive for September, 2009Page 4 of 19

RIM 2nd Quarter Fiscal 2010 Financial Results Overview

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RIM’s 2nd quarter fiscal 2010 financial results conference call began at the close of the markets, at 5pm, Thursday, September 24th, 2009.

Before we begin a breakdown of RIM’s 2nd quarter fiscal 2010 financial results, there are a few BlackBerry Cool articles worth reading:

Rearch in Motion’s 1st Quarter Fiscal 2010 conference call

Lessons for App World – Keep your Market Open For Developers

App Store Numbers are Deceptive – Beware of Bulk Apps RIM

Improving the App World Experience

RIM vs Carriers – Balsillie and Lazaridis Strategies to Push App World

The reason these links are important is because RIM talked a lot about how BlackBerry is becoming “mainstream.” This is because RIM is seeing a tremendous growth in the consumer market. It’s not that the enterprise market is shrinking, but that the consumer market growth is so large, it is basically overwhelming the enterprise market.

As per usual, Jim Balsillie took the call and updated investors on the 2nd quarter for the fiscal year ending 2010. Revenue was very strong at 3.5 billion, up 37% from last year.

This quarter saw 2 new smartphones introduced to the market, the BlackBerry Tour 9630 and the BlackBerry Curve 8520. While the Tour was an important addition to the BlackBerry lineup, it was not the focal point of the conference call. The BlackBerry Curve 8520 was the center of attention during this quarter’s report.

Net subscribers for the 2nd quarter were at the lower end due to the nature of the devices released. The Tour in particular is an upgrade device and not necessarily a device that brings new subscribers. The 8520, on the other hand, is the ultimate device for bringing in new BlackBerry subscribers. The device appeals to consumers as well as international users, due to the low price point. BIS users have steadily increased, and RIM’s customer base is seeing over 80% come from non-enterprise subscribers.

This doesn’t mean that RIM has forgotten about enterprise users. Keep in mind that enterprise is what provides RIM with a competitive advantage and while consumer may become a larger share of revenue, enterprise is still crucial to the brand. The BlackBerry MVS system as well as some upcoming enterprise features will help stimulate a steady growth in enterprise users.

One of the more interesting discussion points surround this conference call was the focus on the international component of RIM’s business. About 1/3 of RIM’s new subscribers were located outside of North America. With 9.2 million devices expected to ship in the 3rd quarter, this will likely come from North America as these devices are in the higher end of the price and feature spectrum. On the other hand, this figure of 9.2 million will become significantly increased in future quarters when RIM launches more low end devices that appeal to an international market.

ASP, or average sale price, is another focus of RIM’s conference call. Many of the investors who called in with questions wanted to know more about this. RIM continues to lower the ASP while marketing campaigns and great partnerships with carriers further lowers the cost of owning a BlackBerry. Jim Balsillie hinted towards some upcoming “integrated marketing campaigns” which sounds interesting, but is too vague to comment on.

As previously mentioned, the Curve 8520 was the focal point of this conference call. The Curve 8520 for GSM networks is the first with the touchpad and is the first BlackBerry to offer the standard BlackBerry services at a pricing point that is more “international.” In Europe and Latin America, the 8520 has seen incredible sales because its pricing point makes it competitive in local markets. Latin America has seen double digit growth!

The 8520 exposes the new face of RIM which is an international company. More so than any other quarter or year, RIM is seeing sales of BlackBerry devices all over the world. Countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Venezuela and Mexico, are all purchasing the 8520, the affordable BlackBerry.

Not only is the 8520 exposing an international side of RIM, but it also brings to light the fact that RIM is becoming increasingly a consumer smartphone manufacturer. As the smarpthone industry progresses, we’re seeing the line blur between enterprise and consumer, and a device that has been traditionally meant for business users, is now a device for the average user.

Back to School promotions were very effective due to this shift. Back to School during this fiscal quarter have been the most successful yet. In France, 3 carriers had a special rate plan and a lower pricing point for the 8520, making it more attractive for a larger market. Students are a real opportunity within the consumer market, and RIM is reaping the rewards of this consumer/enterprise split.

We can all agree that a smartphone is nothing without a solid developer community. RIM knows this and has invested heavily in their developer community. It seems RIM believes web application development is the future of smartphone applications, and the developer community is being given tools and resources to help further this type of development. According to Jim, web application development brings together the best of Java and the best web development.

In terms of popular applications, social media is on top. BlackBerry users have downloaded over 20 million social network type applications including MySpace and Facebook. Second in line came radio applications such as Slacker and Pandora, which have seen over 7 million downloads.

The news about the Torch Mobile acquisition was minimal, and RIM only mentioned that the acquisition would be beneficial for developers and provide a platform that was on par with the market. Something that has not been mentioned, is that RIM has bought into the development of Webkit. By purchasing Torch Mobile, RIM now owns developers who are part of the core contributors to the open source technology that drives much of the smartphone web browsing technology. If they wanted to, RIM could leverage these contributors to insert code into the open source platform that was beneficial to the BlackBerry platform, but not necessarily to the other smarpthones. This is purely conjecture on the part of BlackBerryCool.com and was not part of the conference call.

We’ll bring you more on the questions posed after the RIM 2nd quarter fiscal 2010 conference call soon. Feel free to comment your thoughts and opinions about RIM’s situation in the 2nd quarter, and we’ll discuss.

WorldMate Live goes 3.0 with new location aware features

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WorldMate Live is a must have application for any traveler. It takes the stress away from managing itineraries, converting currencies and staying on top of meetings while in a foreign country.

WorldMate Live 3.0 has just been released and they have added some great features to their essential travel tool.

WorldMate Live is a free application with premium services available to Gold level members. With the free membership, you get the WorldMate Live Outlook Add-In, WorldMate Live Website services including itinerary management, world clocks, weather, currency converter, and a world map.

One of the best new features includes location based services from Yelp. Now WoldMate can find you great restaurants, shopping venues and nightlife including ratings and reviews powered by Yelp.

Another feature with 3.0 includes the ability to automatically add rail bookings to your itineraries. This feature is great for those traveling Europe, as it’s the easiest way to travel between countries. Now you can forward your bookings on Amtrak, Eurostar, TheTrainLine and other popular long-distance rail providers and automatically have them added to your itinerary.

Purchase a year’s subscription of WorldMate Live 3.0 for $99.95 or on a free trial. If you’re already a Gold Member, upgrade now.

Citysearch for BlackBerry updated with social features

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Citysearch have updated their BlackBerry app with more social functionality. The app offers relevant information for over 75,000 neighborhoods nationwide.

Key features of the app include:

  • Instantly submit user reviews from a BlackBerry smartphone.
  • Browse Citysearch editorial picks to help your weekdays and weekends.
  • View editorial, user reviews and advice from business owners and bookmark your favorite listings.
  • Calendar Integration: Send immediate Outlook calendar invites to multiple friends and coordinate party planning, meals, or impromptu get-togethers from your BlackBerry Contacts list.
  • Twitter: Post to your followers by tweeting reviews, tips, and more to friends, directly from any listing page.
  • Tip Calculator and Split the Bill: Avoid awkward calculations by determining your ideal tip and easily splitting the bill among friends when dining.

Citysearch is one of many LBS applications for BlackBerry and depending on where you live, some may be better than others. Download Citysearch for BlackBerry by visiting their site.

BlackBerry MP3 Ringtone Creator is almost half off

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The next week has some great software deals. For the next 7 days, certain software is 40% off and today MP3 Ringtone Creator is 40% off.

MP3 Ringtone Creator is a simple way to create ringtones for your BlackBerry and is has some of the following features:

  • Simply choose a song, select a starting point and save your new Ringtone file.
  • Use any songs stored in your BlackBerry or on a media card to create your Ringtones.
  • Ringtones can be stored on your BlackBerry or media card.
  • No computer software is required.
  • Only MP3 files are supported.

MP3 Ringtone Creator is $3.47 (normally $6.95).

Stay tuned because we’ll have BerryBuzz, MemoryUP and Leave it On for a similar deal.

RIM launches the new BlackBerry Alliance Program

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Basic CMYK

The new BlackBerry Alliance Program has launched, eight years after the first iteration of the program. The newest addition to the Alliance Program is a paid tiered member system with a rewards program to encourage participation. The new point system offers members points in exchange for being active in the program and members are then rewarded with greater access to RIM tools and resources.

According to RIM, the new program offers your organization:

  • Choice and Flexibility. The biggest change with the Alliance Program is the introduction of a tiered membership structure. There will be 4 tiers which are differentiated through specific BlackBerry Alliance Program Requirements and accessibility to specific Program Benefits. The BlackBerry Alliance Program Requirements will be tracked through a measurable points system. The new program structure allows you to choose the program tier that best aligns with your business objectives and requirements from membership with the BlackBerry Alliance Program.
  • Uniformity. Under the existing structure, members are grouped based on the type of BlackBerry applications and/or services their organization provides. Moving to a tiered structure, the new program will deliver a more unified approach and experience. Overall the program becomes more streamlined, effective and efficient for our members.
  • Transparency. Using a BlackBerry Alliance Program Requirements tracking system, we have the ability to measure our members’ performance across a variety of areas including: Sales and revenue, customer references, marketing initiatives, programs and competencies. When members are provided with a clear outline of the performance requirements by tier, they gain an understanding of how to become successful in the BlackBerry Alliance Program, and how to access additional benefits and resources that help drive their businesses.
  • Improved Member Experience. With the introduction of a new portal technology, members will benefit from an enhanced user experience to access the relevant information and programs that align with their program tier. Members have a centralized resource that allows them to easily view and monitor their membership status, progress and participation in the program. The portal connects members to technical, marketing, sales and certification benefits including networking programs with other Alliance members and supporting BlackBerry resources.

One of the interesting points of this program is how points are awarded. It seems that the program is geared towards larger organizations as a company can easily accrue a large number of points for simply having a larger organization upon registration. It will be interesting to see how many Alliance Members actually attain the point goals set by the program and how difficult it will be for members to increase the number of points they are earning relative to previous quarters.

While RIM has launched the new BlackBerry Alliance Program, it seems as though it isn’t yet official. The site is rumored to be located at BlackBerryAlliance.com but this URL still redirects to partners.blackberry.com/web/guest. This is reminiscent of the sort of domain restructuring that went on before Inside BlackBerry launched.

More details about BlackBerry Desktop Manager for Mac

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macdm1

Inside BlackBerry has more details about the BlackBerry Desktop Manager Software for Mac. The latest post includes screenshots as well as details on some key features.

According to the site, the upcoming release is “just around the corner.” This is fairly good news and many of us are anxious to get our hands on this.

Some key features described in the post include:

  • A Welcome Sheet: Users can customize settings such as where your data is synced and at what security level.
  • The Summary Screen: Users get a quick overview of the connected BlackBerry.
  • Updates: Updates can be done via the Desktop Software.
  • Backups: Data can be backed up partially or in full with the ability to encrypt the data.

See the Inside BlackBerry post for a walkthrough of these features and what to expect from the BlackBerry Desktop Software for Mac.