Category: RIM


‘Critical’ security warning for BlackBerry Z10

A vulnerability in the BlackBerry Protect software built into Z10 smart phones could allow hackers to gain access to the passwords of some devices, according to a security advisory issued by BlackBerry

By taking advantage of “weak permissions” malicious applications will be able to:

  • Gain the device password if a remote password reset command had been issued through the BlackBerry Web site
  • Intercept and prevent the phone from acting on BlackBerry Protect commands, such as remote wipe
BlackBerry said the issue is with the BlackBerry Protect software and not the Z10’s operating system.

“The most severe potential impact of this vulnerability requires a BlackBerry Z10 smart phone user to install a specially crafted malicious app, enable BlackBerry Protect and reset the device password through BlackBerry Protect,” the advisory said.

With the device password and physical access to the phone, an attacker can:

• Access the functionality of the smartphone (including the BlackBerry Hub, apps, data, and the phone) by unlocking the smartphone.
• Unlock the work perimeter on a BlackBerry Z10 smartphone that has BlackBerry Balance technology enabled if the work perimeter password is the same as the device password.
• Access the smartphone over a USB tether with either BlackBerry Link or the computer’s file viewer, allowing access to the smartphone’s personal files, contacts, PIM data, and so on. The attacker could also access work perimeter content on BlackBerry Balance smartphones if the work perimeter is unlocked and access over a USB tether is allowed by a policy that the IT administrator sets.
• Enable development mode after accessing the smartphone over a USB tether, allowing remote access as a low privilege development user.
• Change the current device password, allowing the attacker to deny access to the legitimate user of the smartphone.
• Access any other local and enterprise services for which the legitimate user has used the same password as the smartphone’s password.

An attacker can also gain Wi-Fi access to the phone if the owner enables Wi-Fi storage access on the Z10 and sets a storage access password that is the same as the device password.

Five reasons people will want a BlackBerry 10 Phone

The BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha, handed out to developers in May, provided little information about what the finished product would look like. But a better picture has since emerged.

Will BlackBerry 10 phones, which are expected to arrive early next year, be worth the wait? For months, that question had no good answer.

While Apple’s wildly successful ads calmly wrap themselves around a single have-to-have feature (see SIRI) we haven’t yet had the benefit of a full rundown on BlackBerry 10 specs. So we have been left with what we are normally left with in the space before any anticipated consumer device arrives: speculation, rumour, and the odd grainy photo. It’s right around this time in the launch cycle that an iPhone is “accidentally” found in a Palo Alto tavern and pictures show up on various gadget sites, sending fanboys into a predictable lather.

So far, there has been no Canadian equivalent. To date, not one has misplaced a BlackBerry 10 device at a Tim Hortons in Moose Jaw, or a canteen in a Kitchener rink. But a picture has begun to emerge. New RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has been equal parts helpful and feckless, revealing key details of BlackBerry 10 to select media, then reverting to more vague, big picture proclamations that have sometimes provoked ridicule, such as when he said that with BB10 “We’re here to win, we’re not here to fight for third or fourth place,” after the company had fallen to less than 5% of total smartphone sales in Q2.

If RIM is to regain some, if not all, of its lost market share, BlackBerry 10 devices will need to be great, not just good. The good news for RIM supporters is that early indications suggest devices loaded with the new operating system will give RIM every chance. We break down five reasons people will want a Blackberry 10 device.

1. Its contact manager will be great

Early last year, RIM acquired Seattle-based Gist, a company that focused on integrating social media elements into contact management. The startup was founded in 2008 by T.A. McCann, who formerly worked in Microsoft’s Exchange Server Group. Gist actually received its initial funding from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital.

Now McCann’s team is taking on a key role at RIM.

“BlackBerry has always had this heritage of productivity. We are just going to make it better yet again, when we launch BB10,” McCann told Reuters recently. He says that in addition to the BlackBerry contacts app, Gist has been tasked with the responsibility of everything social at RIM including BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), the Facebook and Twitter apps, instant messaging as well as much of the identity platform, BlackBerry ID.

A Gist user review hints at the possibilities:

“The main idea behind Gist is pretty similar to other social media aggregators like MyBlogLog, FriendFeed, Seesmic and Google Buzz” says Gist user Dustin Luther. “However, there’s one HUGE improvement they’ve made. Rather than forcing you to view updates based on a timeline (i.e. most recent updates first), they allow you to view updates in a “people” mode where you can view all the updates from that person (whether they are on Facebook, Twitter, their blog, foursquare, etc.) based on the importance that you’ve selected. (Facebook has tried to do this with their “top news” feature, but it’s crude at best and doesn’t do a great job finding updates that are important to me)”.

2. It will have a cool camera

When new RIM CEO Thorsten Heins offered a sneak peak at some of the features of its new BlackBerry 10 operating system, the things that got the biggest oohs and aahs from the crowd at BlackBerry World were the new camera features. A tidy demo that followed showed the new camera will allow the user to “go back in time” using a circular timeline slider to pick the perfect moment. While the phone looks to be a marked improvement over what is on the market today, it is unlikely that it will present a distinct business advantage, as the technology behind it is licensed from a Swedish company called Scalado that was acquired by Nokia in June.

3. It will have better battery life

The new BB10 devices will feature an OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) screen that, unlike its LED counterparts, doesn’t require a backlight. While some budget devices, such as the Toshiba T-02D and the Samsung Exhilarate, have employed OLED, RIM has the opportunity to bring it to the mainstream. Other details reveal that RIM is extremely battery focused with BB10. The new BBM, for instance, will feature a darker screen that will save battery life by as much as 25%. And for real road warriors, Thorsten Heins told the Wall Street Journal recently that BlackBerry 10 phones will include a removable battery, so heavy users can swap a fresh one in, rather than traipse around an airport for a power source.

4. It will be fast

RIM acquired QNX, which became BlackBerry 10 after a legal spat, in April 2010. The Ottawa-based company was founded in 1980 and acquired by Harman International in 2004. QNX developed an operating system called the QNX Neutrino, which is more familiar to those familiar with OS’s used in mission critical environments, such as high speed trains in Europe and Japan, nuclear power plants, even the Canadarm. Neutrino employs a micro-kernal structure in which each application runs in its own memory space on this operating system, allowing the device to multi-task like nothing that is currently on the market.

5. Lack of apps won’t be an issue

One could argue that many apps built for the iPhone were necessary because the device’s browser did not support Adobe Flash. But that’s a story for another day, especially now that that fence has been mended in the post Steve Jobs world. A persistent critique of BlackBerrys has been BlackBerry App World, which is dwarfed by Apple App Store. But Alec Saunders RIM’s VP of developer relations, says the image that BlackBerry is bleeding app developers is simply false. BlackBerry App World, he points out has grown its vendor base by 157% in the past year, and just passed the three billion download mark. The QNX Neutrino operating system, which provides support for Adobe Flash and Air, Java, HTML 5.0 and C++. makes it inherently developer friendly, insists Saunders.

“I have been receiving a lot of feedback from developers personally and I can tell you that I am hearing again and again that developers are amazed by how easy it is to work with the BlackBerry 10 tools, ” he said recently, adding: “They appreciate the open nature of our platform, which allows developers to bring their work and their skills and find a toolset that will work for them.”

Among BlackBerry App World’s more than 90,000 apps, you’ll now find all the regular battery monitoring and texting ones, plus brands such as Pandora, Angry Birds, Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Source: Cantech Letter

Next-Gen BlackBerry Products Don’t Work, Source Says

Bad products, horrible software and no cohesive vision have seemingly turned Research In Motion into a company without motion at this point.

Throw in a huge delay before BlackBerry 10 smartphones start shipping, and it’s clear why people are losing, or have lost, faith in a company that played a tremendous role in making the smartphone industry what it is today. Thanks to one of our most trusted sources, BGR now has new information on what’s going on inside Research In Motion, and the picture isn’t pretty.

Our source has communicated to us in no uncertain terms that PlayBook 2.0 — the next-gen tablet operating system RIM is developing — is a crystal clear window into the state of BlackBerry 10 on the upcoming smartphones RIM is building.

And the view is none too good.

“Email and PIM [is better] on an 8700 than it is on BlackBerry 10,” our contact said while talking to us about RIM’s failure to make the company’s upcoming smartphone OS work with the network infrastructure RIM is known for.

We also have more background on why RIM’s BlackBerry 10 smartphones are delayed, and it has nothing to do with a new chipset that RIM is waiting on. Our source told us that CEO Mike Lazaridis was lying when he said the company’s new lineup was delayed for that reason.

“RIM is simply pushing this out as long as they can for one reason, they don’t have a working product yet,” we were told.

At the end of our conversation, our source communicated something shocking for a high-level RIM employee to say. He told us that RIM is betting its business on a platform and ecosystem that isn’t even as good as iPhone OS 1.0 or Android 2.0. “There’s no room for a fourth ecosystem,” he stated.

 

Source: BGR / Fox News

BlackBerry maker RIM offers its software for Android, iOS users

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has allowed apps Google’s Android operating system to run on its BlackBerry Playbook tablet thanks to an emulator. Now it seems to want to return the favor by offering its software to Android and Apple’s iOS users.

According to a story from Ars Technica, RIM is offering its device management software to both its major competitors. The company made the announcement today that it would make the software available to Android and iPhone owners, which would allow users to manage those devices alongside BlackBerry devices using the software.

The new software is called BlackBerry Mobile Fusion and gives a lot of the same device management controls that BlackBerry customers enjoy (like remote phone locking and wiping and security features) to non-BlackBerry phones. It’s an acknowledgment on RIM’s part that it’s slowly losing its dominance in the field of business. While BlackBerry devices are still used heavily in enterprise, companies are also allowing employees to bring their own phones and use them.

BlackBerry Mobile Fusion allows RIM to continue to support its devices among businesses, even if its users also have other devices. RIM is aiming to become the “de facto platform” for device management among enterprise users, according to Alan Panezic, VP of enterprise product management at RIM. So while BlackBerry devices might be losing their market share, RIM doesn’t intend to be forgotten: it may just have to change the way it does things.

RIM has its work cut out for it, though. Its BlackBerry devices still curry a lot of favor among the government and businesses, but it’s losing traction to the widespread popularity of Android, and Apple’s iPad is popping up more and more in business settings. It probably didn’t help that BlackBerry devices suffered a worldwide outage in October. But the popularity BlackBerry does enjoy, as Ars Technica points out, largely comes from its management capabilities. Now Android users are going to have access to those same capabilities, which could help RIM maintain some popularity, especially if those capabilities become as popular on other devices as they have been on BlackBerrys.

On the other hand, if RIM gives up the things that make its handsets unique – by allowing millions upon millions of Android users to have those same capabilities without buying a BlackBerry – it could very well have a huge negative impact on the BlackBerry. We’ll have to wait and see if RIM’s gamble pays off, but in the meantime, Android users are going to have access to some potentially cool new software.

RIM says it’ll be releasing BlackBerry Mobile Fusion in the first quarter of 2012.

Source: Appolicious

BlackBerry 7 sales sputter after strong start

After some initial excitement for the new line of BlackBerry 7 smartphones and a strong launch–both unusual for RIM for the past year–sales are starting to sputter. That’s according to Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley, who said his checks indicate a slowing trend for BlackBerrys.

It’s likely sales have been blunted by the release of the iPhone 4S, as well as the lower price of the legacy iPhone 4 and 3GS models as well. The coming release of the Galaxy Nexus and phones running on the recently unveiled Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system is expected to provide additional pressure, while Nokia may take some shine off RIM’s growth overseas, Walkley said.

“We anticipate increasing competition across all tiers of RIM’s products in 2012,” he said in a research note sent to clients today.

RIM had hoped for its upgraded BlackBerry 7 operating system to inject some life back into the company’s prospects and get it back on track as it migrates to a slicker next-generation platform. With that platform, BBX, expected to be delayed until the middle of next year, it’s more important than ever for its current BlackBerry 7 phones to have a strong showing.

A RIM representative wasn’t immediately available for comment.

But aside from the flagship Bold 9900 smartphone, which has generally received favorable reviews, its other BlackBerry smartphones haven’t sold so well. RIM was suffering from weaker sales to consumers at Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and Sprint Nextel, as sales were dominated by the iPhone and Android devices, Walkley said. Even the Bold has lost its momentum following the launch of the iPhone 4S and subsequent price cuts to the older models, he added.

Overseas, Walkley said he was more bullish on Nokia’s prospects as it prepares to roll out its first Windows Phone devices in a few European markets. He expects Nokia to make more of a run in emerging markets where RIM has seen recent strength, which could cut into RIM’s growth. He added that RIM’s lower-tier BlackBerry devices that had been popular are slowing considerably in the face of new Nokia phones and sub-$200 Android smartphones showing up in Latin America and Eastern Europe. Nokia, meanwhile, is seeing more interest in its Asha series of phones in markets such as India and Indonesia, he added.

The troubled PlayBook

Walkley was also bearish on the prospects of the PlayBook, saying he only expects “soft sales” of the device. The PlayBook has been heavily discounted in recent weeks, with Black Friday specials pulling the price down to $200, but sales have still been anemic. The missing core features of the device–e-mail access, messenger services, and calendar–won’t arrive until an update next year. Walkley dropped his fiscal 2012 estimate for unit sales to 900,000 from 1.5 million units. In total, RIM has only sold 700,000 units to its retail partners through the August quarter, an extremely disappointing number.

The competition is only going to get worse with the $199 Kindle Fire out and Ice Cream Sandwich-powered tablets hitting the market in the coming months.

All of this bodes poorly for RIM, which has a rough year. Even its traditional stronghold of enterprise customers is vulnerable. A recent study by iPass found more corporate users on an iPhone than a BlackBerry. IPass was quick to note that the change in market share may be more due to the extreme growth of iOS, as opposed to RIM losing customers.

But it can’t be good if iPhone is beating RIM at its own game.

Source: CNET

PlayBook has a Flash-filled future; RIM’s worst decision to date?

Summary: Now that Flash has had its day in the sun, the PlayBook may now have a chance to quietly sail off into the deathly sunset.

Research in Motion plans to continue supporting Adobe Flash, days after it emerged that the platform was not only on its last legs, but that it was to be taken round the back of the stable and beaten over the head with a rusty spade.

In a statement on the company’s corporate blog, the BlackBerry maker said:

“Earlier today, Adobe announced plans to stop investing in Flash® for mobile browsing, and focus more efforts on HTML5. As an Adobe source code licensee, we will continue to work on and release our own implementations, and are looking forward to including Flash 11.1 for the BlackBerry PlayBook.”

At roughly 10am this morning, a collective face-palm slapping sound was heard across the United States and Canada.

It is as though the BlackBerry maker is purposefully trying to continually do things to deliberately lower its stock price. I’m serious; is this some game show that I’m not aware of, where contenders win a vacation to the Bahamas if they successfully cripple their company within the space of a year?

The PlayBook has hardly been the most popular tablet the market has seen in recent years. In fact, come Christmas, I would place money that out of the ‘major players’, including Samsung, Motorola, and obviously Apple, that Research in Motion’s tablet will still come bottom of the pile.

But to continue to support an already dead platform on a dying tablet is like throwing salt in the wound of an already squashed slug.

It’s not the best analogy I should have come out with, but you get the idea.

Granted, the PlayBook does support HTML5, at least giving the tablet a break from a major software update that would be necessary to effectively replace the world’s most used web plug-in. It saves on a lot of headaches down the line, which from the perspective of future proofing was not a far off move.

The Ontario-based company will have the ability to continue to develop Flash on its own moving forward, keeping a ‘healthy’ following of developers interested and supported — that is, if you considered the aforementioned slug analogy to be healthy.

The PlayBook never really stood a chance, stood in line like the nerdy, glasses-wearing kid next to its prom-queen older sister. Even when the PlayBook had a chance to shine, in its secure emailing client that emulated the BlackBerry enterprise encryption, the tablet launched without it. In effect, its most favourable feature was left behind its launch.

But the linchpin to the PlayBook has always been its less than desirable advertising.

Nearly all of the company’s advertising and marketing efforts have been on the fact the PlayBook, unlike the iPad, as the supreme competitor to all other tablets on the market, will support Flash-based content. Though it still will, and Flash will not suddenly drop off the edge of the planet in the next few months, the BlackBerry maker is going to have to think of a brand new marketing strategy.

At least now Research in Motion can advertise the PlayBook as something it should have been marketed as a long way back: “The most expensive paperweight you never needed in the first place”.

Source: ZDNet

Android climbs to 43% in US, iPhone still at 28%

Android is still growing in the US, but is taking all its share from non-iPhone rivals, Nielsen found on Monday. Google was up from 40 percent in July to 43 percent in August, but Apple was still at the 28 percent it has held since June. Most of that decline came from Microsoft, which took the “other” category down from 13 percent to 11 percent.

RIM’s BlackBerry also lost a point to 18 percent. It may have been helped by a slew of BlackBerry 7 phones shipping the same month, such as the Bold 9900 and 9930.

Google still had added momentum in the Nielsen research. Among those who had bought a smartphone in the past three months, 56 percent were buying Android. Apple still wasn’t under threat with a static 28 percent, but there had been extra pressure on Microsoft and RIM, which collapsed to about six and nine points. Both audiences may have been in holding patterns for most of the summer as they either waited for later BlackBerry 7 launches or for Windows Phone 7​.5 (Mango) in October.

Android may see a rare share reversal in October. The year so far has been unusual as Apple’s first where a new iPhone didn’t ship in the summer. Possibilities exist that iphone sharecould start growing again as Apple fills pent-up demand, most of all if a Sprint iPhone 5 ships and eliminates another shelter for Android.

Smartphones should also still be on track to become the dominant cellphones in the US, researchers said. They were now up to 43 percent of total ownership and at 58 percent among those who had bought in the past three months. Ownership is expected to cross the 50 percent mark before the end of the year as the iPhone 5, and more Android devices like the Galaxy S II tip the balance.

Source: Electronista

Research In Motion: PlayBook Tablet In Deep, Deep Trouble

This afternoon truly terrible financial results from Research In Motion nicely demonstrated just how little the world needs or wants the company’s nascent PlayBook tablet.

While the device has a reasonable user experience, the company fatally tied use of the PlayBook to the BlackBerry handset – you need a BlackBerry to read your email on a PlayBook. In the face of the Apple iPad juggernaut, the PlayBook has been simply steamrolled. There’s simply not much interest in buying it. Research In Motion shipped just 200,000 of the tablets in the August quarter, sharply below the Street consensus of around 554,000, according to the investment news service StreetAccount. Handset sales also fell short of expectations, at 10.6 million units, versus a Street consensus at 11.6 million.

The company conceded on the post-earnings conference call that sales of the PlayBook were lower than anticipated, while asserting that a major software upgrade for the device is coming that will “deliver highly anticipated new capabilities and applications” which RIM thinks will reinvigorate sales.” The new version of the software will have built-in native e-mail calendar and contacts, the ability to run Android Apps and a new video store with 10,000 movies and TV shows available for download, among other things.

But will any of that really give users pause as they decide which tablet to buy? The truth is, at this point there isn’t really a a tablet market – there’s an iPad market. And improving the current version of the PlayBook’s software is not especially likely to drive substantially higher sales of the PlayBook.

Source: Forbes

RIM Planning a Music Service on BlackBerry

Research In Motion is planning a music service for users of its BlackBerry device, according to media reports.

The music service will be offered as part of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), its instant messenger service, according to the reports. The service may be launched as early as next week, said The Wall Street Journal.

A source familiar with the plan confirmed on condition of anonymity that the service was indeed being launched, but did not provide details.

Subscribers will get access to around 50 songs at a time, which they can listen to on their phones and share with other subscribers through BBM, the reports said.

RIM is not intending to compete with other music services like Apple’s iTunes or Spotify, WSJ said. Instead it is focusing on making its devices more attractive to younger users who would like to customize their phones and share music, the newspaper said.

RIM said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday that its “standard policy is to decline comment on rumors and speculation”. BBM is one of the largest mobile social networks in the world with over 45 million users, it added.

RIM is said to be in negotiations with four major recording labels for licensing deals, and may have closed some of the deals, according to the reports. The labels it is said to be negotiating with are Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and EMI Group.

Source: PC World

BBM 6.0 Brings Social To Mobile Apps

Research In Motion announced BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) 6.0, a significant shift that takes one of the BlackBerry smartphone’s most popular native applications, and turns it from being a mere instant messaging service into a social platform for other BlackBerry applications that take advantage of the new BBM SDK. RIM demonstrated some of the new BBM capabilities at BlackBerry World this spring, and while this may not cause a developer stampede to write BlackBerry apps, it sure could benefit those who already do.

RIM says that there are 45 million BBM users, and that it activates 2 million new BBM accounts each month. The company says 70% of BBM customers use it daily and that those users send more than 100 billion messages each month. In other words, it’s been an overwhelming hit. Now RIM is wisely leveraging that popularity in a way that will not only make mobile app developers happy, but also create new app-embedded social experiences for its customers. Real-time instant messaging may not be the bedrock of your day, but this is a feature other mobile platform vendors will want to emulate. It is also further demonstration of RIM’s desire to create an ecosystem around what it calls Super Apps, or applications that become part of the underlying system infrastructure on a BlackBerry device.

For example, developers can add the ability to use BBM from within an app to invite a friend to download that app, with a mere line of code. RIM calls this viral distribution. Apps can also take advantage of BBM profile information, including the user’s name, avatar, and status, for a more customized application experience. Similarly, an application can update BBM profile information. For example, if you’re listening to a song in a music app, that song can become part of a BBM status update that all of your BBM friends can see.

Apps can also take advantage of a custom profile box. This box allows for more frequent updates, say for when you’re reading items in a news app. BBM friends who view that update can use that information to take them to the same application and read the news item as well. RIM calls this “inherent viral distribution,” which is Canadian for “nifty.” The idea here, then, isn’t just to create more rapid updates, but to do so in an application context, explained Brian Zubert, RIM’s team lead for developer relations.

Any and all of these application-context situations can also trigger BBM friends to download apps they don’t have; another boost for developers. Zubert said that most applications experience an initial usage spike when the user is enamored of the new app. Usage then levels off or disappears altogether, presumably as the user moves on to the next shiny app. One of the goals RIM has with BBM 6.0 is to change that behavior. “Nothing breeds retention like friends driving you back to apps,” he said. In many ways, Zubert said, the BlackBerry push service was all about driving content to users and driving those users back to an app. The same concept applies to BBM 6.0.

Apps can also leverage BBM’s chat features. Zubert offered the example of a virtual book club, where two BlackBerry users are reading the same book, and chat about it through BBM, right from inside the e-book app. These chats can happen anonymously, meaning you don’t have to be BBM friends to use BBM within apps, say for game playing or discussion boards. “Friends of convenience,” RIM calls this. Those guys have a phrase for everything.

RIM also believes these capabilities will drive people to extend their BBM world (or social graph, in cool kids’ parlance). Apps can also attempt to bring friends together, based on knowing who the app users are, and what their BlackBerry IDs are. This strikes me as a little creepy, but Zubert reminded me that you can go into permissions management and disable this sort of thing on a per-app basis; for instance, you can restrict an app from accessing your contact list. Zubert assured me that an app would have to get your permission to even send out a new BBM friend request.

BBM 6.0 has been in beta since January, and is available now in the BlackBerry App World. Several applications take advantage of these new capabilities, including FourSquare, Wikitude, Poynt, Huffington Post, and Backgammon King, among others.

Here’s a demonstration of BBM functionality in FourSquare:

 

Ryan:  I’m still waiting for BBM to be ported over to Android and Apple devices.

Source: InformationWeek

 

RIM Slashes 2,000 Jobs on Market Losses to Android, iPhone

Things are looking grim and grimmer for Canada-based Research in Motion, who said today they’d slash 2,000 jobs to counter sales declines. “Slash” would be the correct verb, too, since 2,000 equals roughly 11% of RIM’s global workforce, reports Reuters.

The logic behind the job cuts: RIM says it’s zeroed on “eliminating redundancies and reallocating resources to focus on areas that offer the highest growth opportunities.”

What sort of growth opportunities? Probably the company’s new Blackberry OS 7 and PlayBook tablet (as well, the Unix-like QNX operating system that powers the latter). Not that the PlayBook’s fared terribly well since it launched unspectacularly mid-April—at least one “major big box retail” source claimed in May that the tablet missed its sales targets by over 90%, and in mid-June, UK wireless carrier O2 said it was scuppering plans to carry the 7-inch tablet on its network.

Jared Newman of Techland surmises the reason wireless carriers haven’t picked up RIM’s tablet could be because it “lacks native e-mail and calendar apps, which could be a big turnoff to customers, and there aren’t a lot of third-party apps available right now.” Also: “Because the PlayBook’s BlackBerry Bridge feature, which lets users tether their BlackBerry phones to check e-mail, messages and calendar, undermines carriers’ ability to sell additional data plans for tablets,” something Newman says might explain why AT&T’s blocked the Bridge app—it connects Blackberry phones to the Playbook tablet—on its BlackBerry phones.

RIM’s job cut announcement this morning isn’t exactly a surprise, but analysts say the numbers of jobs eliminated is higher than expected. RIM shares fell on news of the cuts in pre-marketing trading, probably also no surprise, though analysts have framed the job cuts as crucial to a corporate rally.

“This is not totally unexpected,” Jefferies & Co analyst Peter Misek told Reuters. “I think this is obviously realigning the cost structure to a new growth, or sales, reality.”

Ryan: It’s not like I didn’t see this one coming.  This last year for RIM has not been so innovative as in previous years.

Source: TIME