Monthly Archive for June, 2011Page 3 of 13

BlackBerry WebWorks SDK for Tablet OS Updated with Payment Service and More

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webworks for tablet os

RIM has updated the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK for Tablet OS to version 2.1. This latest version allows developers to leverage new APIs to create richer applications using standard web technologies. The WebWorks project is also open source and the code can be found on github.com/blackberry.

In this latest update to the SDK, new features include:

  • Support for the BlackBerry In App Payment API
  • Deeper integration with the Camera API for taking pictures/video from within the WebWorks applications
  • Microphone API which developers can use to activate the capability to record audio with the PlayBook’s microphone
  • Identity API provides applications with the ability to retrieve information about the BlackBerry PlayBook PIN
  • File IO API gives developers the possibility to read, copy and write files onto the Tablet OS file system

Click through to read all about it.
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Twitter for BlackBerry Version 2.0 Beta Gets Update – Flip Flops on UI

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twitter

RIM has announced that Twitter for BlackBerry version 2.0 beta has been updated in the Beta Zone. What’s strange is why RIM has both the Beta Zone and the Test Center. You would think that users could simply grab the beta from the Test Center, rather than have to log in via the Beta Zone where only certain members get access. The former is much easier as an end user. In the latest version, the Twitter developers seem to be going back and forth a lot on the UI. This time they’ve changed the color scheme and added “My Profile” to the nav bar, when it was previously taken out. Other changes include:

  • Color Refresh – featuring a lighter color scheme
  • Compose a Tweet – the Tweet composer is “hidden” from the Home timeline but accessible from the new Compose Tweet bar located below the navigation bar
  • Trending Topics with local trends support – a Trending Topics icon has been added to the nav bar and now includes local trends support
  • My Profile – Now users can access their profile quickly and easily from the nav bar (or the Menu)
  • Performance Enhancements to improve the overall usability of the app

Download the app in BlackBerry Beta Zone and read more about it on Inside BlackBerry.

Macquarie Equities Research Gives RIM an Outperform Rating and US$40 Share Price Target

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Macquarie

Analysts for the most part have been parroting each other lately when it comes to RIM and its share price. At least one group, Macquarie Equities Research, isn’t listening to the hype and is giving RIM an Outperform rating and a US$40 per share price target. Kevin Smithen, senior telecom services analyst with Macquarie, believes that while RIM may be seeing some decline in US markets, it is far better positioned internationally than other brands. According to Smithen, international markets are reluctant to adopt the iPhone or Android devices due to fears of their high-margin text messaging revenue being cannibalized. Lower subsidies for carriers in emerging markets also make for higher margins for RIM on each BlackBerry sold.

RIM is doing very well in international markets with a 50% market share in Indonesia where 5.5 million subscribers have actually generated sales of approximately 10 million units. RIM sales in the Asia-Pacific region have nearly doubled in the last year, growing to 1.61 million units in the first three months of 2011 from 817,000 units during the same period last year.

It’s interesting to note that whenever somebody claims “RIM is dead” they won’t touch on some very basic points such as 1) international growth 2) security and 3) the potential roadmap with QNX. These are major advantages for RIM that doesn’t jive with the lazy, half-assed blogging from C-list individuals.

PlayBook Sales Estimated at 429,000 Based on Free Game Downloads

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pixelated

There’s a lot of talk about the PlayBook sales and the issue many had was when Balsillie used the word “shipped” versus “sold”. Estimates on PlayBook sales have been as low as 200,000 and many are curious just how many have actually been sold to date. The problem with these estimates is that they’re not based on anything verifiable but rather based on gut feeling and other reports that also don’t carry any real numbers. Ebscer, developer of the very popular free PlayBook game Pixelated, estimates PlayBook sales at 429,000 tablets. According to Ebscer, “this estimate is based on a lot of assumptions, and guess work but is based on the number of downloads of the free game Pixelated. However, as Pixelated has remained one of the top 10 most popular applications on the PlayBook, I feel that I have better numbers then most people to base this guess on.”

We would agree that basing sales on a free game is a good starting point and many analysts would do well talking to developers rather than retail outlets and supply chains. With a group of very popular developers, you could get an accurate reading of exactly how many PlayBooks have been sold.

Note: these numbers come from a post dated June 15th, 2011, so numbers will have increased since.

RIM’s is Financially Sound and Earnings Are Very Attractive

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RIM corporate

There are a lot of websites claiming RIM is dead and the BlackBerry is out. This isn’t the case when you look at the future device and OS roadmap and it’s especially not true when you look at the company’s financials. iStockAnalyst did a good breakdown of some key metrics. Highlights include:

  • For companies such as RIMM that maintain significant inventories, inventory to sales ratio is a key performance indicator. Inventory to sales for RIMM was 4.41 percent last year, while for this year it is 3.10 percent. Since inventory to sales has decreased from last year by -1.31 percent, RIMM’s inventory management seems to be good.
  • RIMM’s sales of $20.6 billion, based on trailing 12 month sales is higher than the sales for the year ended February 2011, which means demand for the company’s products is increasing (I think this is valid even when we consider price inflation). RIMM’s current ratio of 2.04 indicates that the company is managing its operations conservatively.
  • The long-term debt for RIMM is $0.0 million, while the net current assets are $4.1 billion, this indicates that the company’s financial position is very sound.
  • Currently, the company’s P/E of 4.11 relative to the growth rate of 51.23 percent, based on the average of the three, four and five year historical EPS growth rates, is very attractive.

Read more at “Should You Invest in Research in Motion” at iStockAnalyst.

Do You Suffer from BlackBerry Neck? Get a BlackBerry Facial

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blackberry neck

The latest ailment is called BlackBerry Neck and it comes from looking down at your BlackBerry a lot, causing unsightly wrinkles. The treatment for BlackBerry Neck comes from a Manhattan aesthetician who has concocted the BlackBerry Facial. The treatment involves exfoliation consisting of “a neck cleansing, a peel with sapphire stones, another peel, a hydrating serum, and then some lymphatic drainage.” After your facial, you get 20 minutes of a strange light followed by an oxygen mask. The whole process takes 45 minutes and should revert your neck to its former glory.

Overall, this seems like something we should just file under “only in New York.”