BlackBerry shares rocket on bullish analyst note

Shares of BlackBerry spiked 10 percent on Thursday after a note from Citron Research setting a 24-month price target of $20 per share.

The noted short seller sees new life in BlackBerry as an internet-of-things provider and a key player in the autonomous car market.

Citron is bullish on BlackBerry’s QNX operating system, which it says is a “potential game changer in autonomous driving.” It names QNX’s customers, which include Audi, Bentley, BMW, Buick, Chervolet, Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen and more. Citron compared BlackBerry with Nvidia noting that the two companies are participating in markets with plenty of growth potential.

 BlackBerry shares rocket on bullish analyst note

The firm addressed the bear case, in which BlackBerry’s QNX technology may be quickly outclassed by tech titans such as Apple and Google, which are also investing in autonomous car technology. “Citron believes if anything this validates BlackBerry’s position and makes it ripe as an acquisition target for countless suitors,” it said. “Qualcomm recently purchased NXP for its exposure in Automotive, Internet of Things, security and Networking.”

Citron said it’s also bullish on BlackBerry because of its potential to have a big role in the internet of things, particularly as a company known for its security. Internet of things devices have a long history of being insecure, and BlackBerry is working to change that

BlackBerry expands security role

 

The name BlackBerry may still conjure up images of smartphones, but the company’s enterprise software footprint in Australia and New Zealand continues to expand with the company signing up Optus, Briggs Communications and Mobile Mentor to its AtHoc secure communication platform.

The agreement will see the three parties deliver, deploy and support the AtHoc platform in the region and it is not the only win for BlackBerry, with the company getting one of the latest customers in the region, Bank of New Zealand, to start using the secure crisis communications solution.

The platform can deliver accurate, targeted or en masse information in real time through an encrypted network, if necessary, inside and outside an organisation.

Bank of New Zealand Markets executive manager Katrina Maxwell said that, having dealt with two serious earthquakes in 2013 and 2016, the bank had to think about keeping channels of communications open to its staff and customers and ensuring services stayed up and running in case of future incidents.

“After the earthquakes took place, we wanted to make sure that if it happened again, we would be ready to alert our people around the country, account for where they are and have a system in place to help us maintain continuity of business,” Ms Maxwell said.

BlackBerry’s APAC vice-president, Paul Crighton, said that from natural disasters to cyberattacks, organisations were under increasing pressure to ensure they remained online at all times. It is a difficult task, with research firm Telsyte saying that only half of Australian organisations are prepared properly to quickly communicate to employees in times of crisis.

Telsyte’s latest research says only 10 per cent of organisations have increased their spending on crisis communication during the past two years, while 48 per cent had made no investment or disregarded the need for better communications tools.

“Crises can take many forms from terrorism threats to operational failure, however it’s increasingly critical that companies can inform large groups of people very quickly,” Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said.

Jiah Khan-Sooraj Pancholi Blackberry Messages Unrecoverable, CBI Tells Court

 

As per the chargesheet, Jiah had left the house of Sooraj on morning of the incident.
MUMBAI: In a setback to the prosecution in the actress Jiah Khan death case, the CBI told a Mumbai court that it was not possible to retrieve Blackberry messages exchanged between her and her actor-boyfriend Sooraj Pancholi who is accused of abetting her suicide. Jiah was found hanging in her flat in Mumbai on June 3, 2013. She was 25. Her mother, Rabiya, had moved an application last month seeking access to the Blackberry messages exchanged between her daughter and Sooraj. As per the reply filed in the court by special CBI prosecutor Rajendra Bhatnagar on Monday, Sooraj’s mobile phone was sent to forensic laboratory where experts said the messages could not be retrieved.

Meanwhile, state-appointed special public prosecutor Dinesh Tiwari told the court that Rabiya’s application should be treated as a plea moved by the prosecution.

However, Special judge Shaeeda Razvi said Rabiya cannot make such request as she does not have a locus standi. In October 2013, Rabiya moved the Bombay High Court alleging that Jiah had been murdered and sought a CBI probe, which was granted.

During the probe, CBI charged Sooraj (25) with abetment of suicide of Jiah.Jiah Khan-Sooraj Pancholi Blackberry Messages Unrecoverable, CBI Tells Court

As per the chargesheet filed in the court earlier, Jiah had left the house of Sooraj on morning of the incident. According to the CBI, Sooraj, son of actor couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, had hidden facts and fabricated information during his questioning.

The forensic analysis of Sooraj’s statements, which is part of the chargesheet, has “established that Sooraj was concealing relevant information about the actual reason behind the incident and the statement given by him is incomplete and fabricated,” the CBI had said.
Sooraj had refused to be part of any scientific tests like polygraph or brain mapping which the agency wanted to conduct on him.

According to the CBI, Jiah had purportedly written a suicide note wherein she narrated about her intimate relationship, physical abuse and mental and physical torture allegedly experienced at the hands of Sooraj.

The three-page note was seized by the Mumbai police on June 10, 2013.

The unsigned letter, however, was not addressed to Sooraj.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

 

BlackBerry Wants to Secure Your Car From Hackers

 

BlackBerry Ltd said on Wednesday it has developed new software for running complex computer systems on vehicles, giving the once dominant smartphone maker a leg up in a burgeoning segment of the technology market.

The company declined to name any automakers who plan to use the technology, but senior BlackBerry executive John Wall said “multiple” car companies have started incorporating it into onboard computer systems of vehicles that are currently in development.

BlackBerry touted the product, the QNX Hypervisor 2.0, as a way to make vehicles more secure from hacking, saying it can isolate multiple systems to run on a single piece of silicon, allowing them to isolate functions critical to safety from systems that are exposed to wireless networks.BlackBerry Smartphones And U.K. Headquarters As 4.7 Billion Buyout Looms

“Think of a house, and a burglar getting into a room. So even if the burglar does get into that room, the door is locked, he can’t get out of that room. And even if he can get into the hallway, the other rooms are locked,” Wall, the head of BlackBerry’s QNX division said in a teleconference with reporters.

QNX has a strong position in the market for internet-connected car infotainment systems, and is looking to boost sales by expanding into more of the vehicle.

The automotive industry is one of the fastest-growing segments of the technology market, as automakers race to add more autonomous features and ultimately seek to build self-driving cars.

Qualcomm Inc said the new hypervisor is compatible with its Snapdragon 820Am automotive processor, enabling carmakers to reduce hardware complexity and costs by putting multiple systems on a single platform.

BlackBerry shares were little changed in morning trade. They have soared about 63 percent since late March on hopes for high sales growth from QNX and other relatively new products.

BlackBerry, a Canadian Icon, Hopes to Ride Trucks to Growth

 

visit to trucking firm Titanium Transportation helps explain why BlackBerry’s stock is once again a darling in Canadian markets, having soared 70 percent in two months.

Nestled in an industrial area some 50 kilometers north of Toronto, the trucker is an early adopter of a new BlackBerry fleet-tracking service known as Radar, which uses $400 (roughly Rs. 25,000) boxes to collect and transmit information on movement, temperature and physical contents of Titanium’s 1,300 truck trailers.

Efficiency gains tied to Radar should allow Titanium to get maximum utilisation of its fleet, positioning it to cut the number of trailers by five percent and also reduce labor costs, company executive Marilyn Daniel told Reuters.

“Time is everything in our world,” she said. “Being able to tell a driver where exactly a trailer is as opposed to having a driver search through a yard for sometimes hours has been a definite improvement.”

Radar is emblematic of BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen’s strategy for turning around the Canadian icon, by steering the company away from consumer electronics and back to its roots of selling products to businesses.

Beyond Radar, BlackBerry is also betting on other types of software for industrial customers. It is leveraging its QNX subsidiary’s software foothold deep inside car infotainment consoles to expand into self-driving technology, while promoting its cyber-security software and services to thwart increased threats from hacking.BlackBerry, a Canadian Icon, Hopes to Ride Trucks to Growth

BlackBerry’s stock rallied after it showed signs of progress in quarterly earnings results at the end of March, followed by news in April of a nearly $1 billion (roughly Rs. 6,430 crores) cash windfall from arbitration with Qualcomm expected to fund future investments in growth. That comes in the face of an expected revenue decline to below $1 billion this year for the first time since 2004. At its smartphone peak, BlackBerry had annual sales of $20 billion.

Among the recent BlackBerry bulls are institutional investors such as Nokota Management, which took a new position with almost 4.8 million shares in the first quarter, and Oppenheimer Funds, which added 3.3 million more shares to its existing 4 million share stake, according to US securities filings.

Iridian Asset Management and Connor, Clark & Lunn Investment Management, two of BlackBerry’s biggest shareholders, each raised their stakes by around a quarter as of the end of March.

Nokota did not respond to requests for comment, while the others all declined to discuss their stakes in BlackBerry.

“Hope and promise”
The strategy is not without risks. BlackBerry faces challenges entering the telematics market, where analysts say rivals include Omnitracs, Teletrac Navman, Tomtom NV, Trimble Inc and US telecommunications giant Verizon Communications Inc. Verizon last year paid some $2.4 billion (roughly Rs. 15,433 crores) to buy GPS vehicle tracking firm Fleetmatics Group Plc.

Radar “is not a unique and earth-shattering product,” said Nicholas Farhi, a partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants who advises companies on optimizing logistics operations.

That’s why some investors advise caution, saying it is too soon to figure out how to properly value the new BlackBerry offerings.

“It’s not the type of situation you can justify from a valuation standpoint,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer at Solaris Asset Management, which manages more than $1.5 billion and exited the stock a decade ago, when BlackBerry phones were still dominant. “It is all about hope and promise.”

And yet hope and promise among BlackBerry investors were hard to come by in the aftermath of Apple and Samsung walking away with the consumer hand-held phone business.

Since taking the company’s helm in 2013 to attempt a turnaround, Chen has turned to technology products used inside automobiles and corporate cyber-security services, in addition to targeting the gritty trucking industry with Radar.
He also bolstered the company’s ability to manage rival devices in the workforce – still the single largest contributor to sales – with the purchase of rival Good Technology in 2015. And he outsourced production of handsets last year, meaning the company receives a cut from any devices sold by its partners rather than carrying the risk and revenue on its own books.

With Radar, BlackBerry enables customers to track trailers across country, and drivers can quickly locate vacant trailers scattered across vast parking lots. Previously, where drivers had to walk around those lots, banging on trailers in search of a hollow sound indicating it was empty.

BlackBerry charges $10 to $20 per month for every trailer connected to Radar, a product that an analyst at investment bank Macquarie says could play a pivotal role in a more than doubling of BlackBerry’s sales by 2020.

 

Blackberry, VoxSmart partner to enable banks to monitor WhatsApp chats

 

To enable financial institutions to monitor data on WhatsApp and other encrypted messaging platforms in line with the upcoming European Union (EU) directive, BlackBerry has partnered with the leading mobile surveillance and compliance firm VoxSmart.

Together with BlackBerry UEM (Unified Endpoint Management), which connects and manages endpoints, VoxSmart’s ‘VSmart’ will provide financial services firms with the ability to capture, record, store and analyse mobile voice, text and third-party instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp and WeChat.

“Together with VoxSmart, we can enable businesses around the world to effortlessly capture conversations on endpoints including smartphones, wearables, tablets and laptops,” said Florian Bienvenu, Senior Vice President of EMEA Sales, BlackBerry.

“This joint solution is an excellent example of how BlackBerry is leveraging its software portfolio and developing strong partnerships to secure the Enterprise of Things,” Bienvenu added in a statement.

The companies have partnered to help financial services firms comply on time with the European Union’s “Markets in Financial Instruments Directive” (‘MiFID II’).

MiFID II, which comes into effect on January 3, 2018, demands that all financial services firms in Europe must keep records of all services, activities and transactions for at least five years.Image result for WhatsApp extends Nokia S40, BlackBerry support till end of 2017, drops Symbian support

Records include all electronic and instant messaging communications, telephone conversations and text messages related to or intended to conclude in a transaction, even if one does not occur.

The directive seeks to make financial markets in Europe more resilient, transparent and investor-friendly.

“VoxSmart is the only global mobile compliance solution that can capture, record, store and analyse both voice and third party instant message applications such as WhatsApp and WeChat,” said Oliver Blower, CEO, VoxSmart.

“Our partnership with BlackBerry has already led to additional proofs of concept exercises from other global investment banks and financial services firms, who are seeing the MiFID II Directive as a chance to refine their approach to mobile security and compliance,” Blower added.

Already successfully deployed to several global investment banks and trading houses, VSmart provides a perfect balance between user experience and compliance, securing and enabling regulated users, all while adhering to stringent global regulations.

 

BlackBerry is leveraging its most popular assets to tackle enterprise communications

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On Monday, BlackBerry moved its BBM Enterprise SDK out of beta and is now offering the service to Android and iOS apps, according to VentureBeat.

Developers can use the SDK as a messaging infrastructure, allowing them to focus on building additional parts into their apps. The announcement is in line with BlackBerry’s recent services focus. The company’s turbulent relationship with hardware has forced it to shift focus to software and services over the past 18 months.

BlackBerry is leveraging its messaging app experience, from BBM, to give it an edge over rival enterprise communications companies, such as Twilio. BBM was once the crown jewel of the BlackBerry ecosystem, supporting a wide range of features including read receipts, file sharing, and message editing, as well as voice and video chat. The chat app has been touted as one of BlackBerry’s stickiest offerings.

Moreover, BBM’s strong ties to security could make it an appealing option for businesses. Encryption and cybersecurity continue to be hot topics in the enterprise, particularly as messaging becomes an increasingly important mode of communication, both between businesses and businesses, and businesses and customers. For example, Tundra Core Studios used the BBM SDK to build a messaging function into its app, something possible only due to BlackBerry’s stringent security features, VentureBeat notes.

Cloud computing — on-demand, internet-based computing services — has been successfully applied to many computing functions in recent years. From consumer-facing, web-based productivity apps like Google Docs to enterprise database management suites, the tools businesses rely on are increasingly moving to the cloud.Image result for BlackBerry is leveraging its most popular assets to tackle enterprise communications

But developing a cloud strategy is no easy task. Public cloud solutions will likely come to dominate the market over the next decade, but business constraints, such as security concerns and the limitations of existing infrastructure, make it difficult for companies to fully adopt the public cloud right now.

That means that hybrid clouds, in which multiple cloud implementations (including public and private) are connected, will remain popular for the time being, at least until these constraints are addressed. The tech giants that dominate the IaaS market — Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, and Google — are constantly expanding their offerings to address current business constraints as they compete for market share.

BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on cloud computing that:

  • Explains the different cloud computing strategies and benefits of cloud computing.
  • Evaluates key business considerations – security needs, demand predictability, existing infrastructure, and maintenance capabilities – for enterprises choosing between cloud implementations..

 

BlackBerry KEYone goes on sale in Netherlands

BlackBerry’s latest Android offering – the KEYone – is now available to purchase in the Netherlands. Multiple third-party retailers like belsimpel and mobiel.nl have the phone listed on their website for around €600.

Of course, the handset is also available on contract, with pricing starting as low as €0.

The KEYone is already available in a handful of key markets, including the US, UK, and Canada. Recently, Canadian carrier Telus starting selling the phone to its consumer customers as well. Over in the UK, Carphone Warehouse has also started offering the handset.

 

WhatsApp extends Nokia S40, BlackBerry support till end of 2017, drops Symbian support

 

In a good news for Nokia S40 devices owners, WhatsApp has extended support for Nokia S40 devices until the end of 2017. But support for Symbian and S60 devices will not be extended and will be dropped on the pre-announced date of June 30, 2017.

Apart from Nokia S40 devices, WhatsApp has also extended support for BlackBerry OS 7+ and BlackBerry 10 devices. This has been informed by WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton to Whatsappen.nl.Image result for WhatsApp extends Nokia S40, BlackBerry support till end of 2017, drops Symbian support

Though the WhatsApp FAQ page about support for older operating systems has not been updated yet and it still shows support for Nokia S40 devices ending on June 30, 2017. In this article, you can find the list of Nokia-branded S40, Symbian and S60 devices impacted by this decision.

Nokia has launched new feature phones like new Nokia 3310 (2017) that run on S30+ OS and don’t support WhatsApp. You can however go for a new Nokia Android Phone like Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 if you want to keep enjoying Nokia quality.

4 Reasons Why Apple Could Well Go The Way Of BlackBerry

 

My sister thinks that I am almost primitive for not having switched to an iPhone. She was even more surprised when she saw my reluctance to make this switch when she recently bought an iPhone7 for all family members while visiting us recently from the US of A.

Till about a year back I was terribly happy with a BlackBerry (BB), until it became clear that many convenient apps did not make versions compatible with this device. So, I switched to Android. As I mentioned in one of my posts that went viral, BB lost the plot when it failed to take a few significant decisions in its product lifecycle. Even while Apple is likely to be the first company ever to achieve a US$ 1 trillion market cap, its fate might be similar to BB if it doesn’t change course.

If you see someone struggling with a tangle of battery packs and wires, you can bet they are iPhone users.

It’s a given that until recently Apple used to make the most beautiful phones and laptops on the planet and yet a statistic that I came across pleasantly surprised me. Give or take, Apple has less than 20% market share of the smartphone industry but pockets 90% of the entire profits of the smartphones sold across the planet.

And that’s why the smartness and iconic status of Apple in every aspect makes it the most talked about brand in the world.

But here are some buts.

Product efficiency must be far better than the rest of the competition

If you see someone struggling with a tangle of battery packs and wires, you can bet they are iPhone users. It’s hard to imagine that Apple hasn’t been able to get its battery right. And on top of that they aren’t even apologetic about it. If someone was to have a long working day from 5am to midnight, Apple would probably pack up by noon sans assistance. It’s a shame to see iPhone users nervously struggling with chords and chargers. Apple must do something about its batteries or it’s in trouble.

 

For one-sixth the cost of an iPhone, [a] Chinese brand gave me far superior efficiency in terms of interface, battery and response.

Further to substantiate my belief I used a US$200 Chinese phone along with an iPhone7 for a fortnight. For one-sixth the cost of an iPhone, the Chinese brand gave me far superior efficiency in terms of interface, battery and response.

A position of supremacy can neither be taken for granted not can it last forever

A brand like Apple must consolidate its present position and try and capture a much larger market share. Customers are conscious and no brand in this ever more connected and efficient world can charge a 4X premium for just a little more beauty and efficiency.

The saga of success that started in early 2000s, when iPods took over the world, must continue into a new product or invention. For how long can Apple continue to play with just different sizes and shapes of the iPhones? Customers will eventually wise up to the fact that it’s vinegary old wine in a sleek new bottle.

Product evolution in line with customers’ demand/desire

Every other phone comes with a two-SIM slot that is really the most practical functionality to have for people who travel and are sometimes in need of alternate numbers (or simply want to have separate work and personal numbers). Apple has conveniently avoided providing this most desired functionality. If India and China with multiple GSM service providers at multiple GSM frequencies are to be Apple’s next serious countries of growth, it must start providing two-SIM phones sooner rather than later.

A starter two-SIM phone costs as little as US$40, and it’s terribly surprising that Apple hasn’t thought of it as its top priority while singing paeans to its India and China potential.

Greed is good but put a stop somewhere

As Gordon Gekko says – Greed is good and Apple has brilliantly realised its greed to an extent that its cash reserves of US$250 billion are more than the GDP of many countries in the world, But all of it can quickly disappear if the most powerful engine of this growth feels short-changed—and that engine is the customer.

All it would take is a few quarters for Apple’s castle to come crashing down. It will happen if the customer—who is king—realises, what a “Charlie” Apple is making out of them.

Microsoft strategically and conveniently allowed piracy of Windows in all second and third world countries for the longest period of time but captured a significant market share. The only sustainable ecosystem of programs and software across the planet is aligned to Windows. The world today is reluctant to switch off from Windows even if there are better and cheaper alternatives available. Apple seems to be losing this plot somehow.

Forget the profits and the success and the iconic status of Apple as a company—with just 20% market share at five-six times the price of similar products, all it would take is a few quarters for this castle to come crashing down. It will happen if the customer—who is king—realises, what a “Charlie” Apple is making out of them.

WhatsApp wouldn’t have existed today if BlackBerry had opened its