Apple

The Informer

Business

3 Comments

PHOTO: BlackBerry tries to get in on the Raptors’ goodwill

blackberry-raptors

This is what the National Post’s website looked like as of Monday afternoon. BlackBerry is an official team sponsor, so we suppose a little brand synergy is to be expected, but there’s something about the phrasing here that reads less like a shot in the arm and more like a cry for help. If ever Apple starts telling people to buy iPhones because they’re American, it might be a good idea to start shorting Apple stock.

The Informer

Politics

9 Comments

The latest participant in Rob Ford’s unfolding crack scandal? Apple

(Image: Christopher Drost)

(Image: Christopher Drost)

Torontonians have grown used to seeing Rob Ford on late-night TV and on foreign newscasts, but the latest measure of the mayor’s international infamy is, if possible, even more bizarre. Apple—yes, that Apple—is reportedly helping Toronto police access cell phone data related to Project Brazen 2, the ongoing investigation into Ford’s hidden life.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Business

2 Comments

BlackBerry is suing Ryan Seacrest

(Image: Courtesy of Typo Products)

(Image: Courtesy of Typo Products)

Having broken up with one celebrity, BlackBerry is now suing another. The Canadian Press reports that the Waterloo-based smartphone maker has filed a lawsuit against Typo Products, a company co-founded by all-purpose personality delivery system Ryan Seacrest. Typo’s product is a snap-on keyboard for Apple iPhones, designed to mimic the very same QWERTY keyboard that, by some analyses, ruined BlackBerry’s future. (It’s available for preorder.) BlackBerry’s allegation is that the mimicry is so close that it constitutes intellectual property theft. Sorry, Seacrest.

The Informer

Business

Comments

BlackBerry 10 makes some high-profile RIM doomsayers eat their words

Research in Motion’s recent hot streak continues with a pair of endorsements from unlikely sources. This morning, Reuters reported the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency—which dumped the BlackBerry for the iPhone a few months back, along with a pair of other spooked enterprise clients—will test run BlackBerry 10 devices early next year. And yesterday, Ironfire Capital’Eric Jackson, a long-time high-profile RIM pessimist, publicly reversed his position, arguing that RIM’s 80 million global subscribers could keep the company afloat. Add in a soaring share price and rave reviews for the latest leaked BlackBerry 10 photos, and RIM’s future is looking more promising that it has in a long, long time. [Reuters]

The Goods

Shopping

Comments

The Find: eight functional iPhone 5 cases that are also stylish, playful and cool

Anyone who has felt the stomach-lurching anguish of dropping an iPhone and shattering the screen can appreciate the value of a well-made protective case. Happily, swift-moving retailers have already released a range of whimsical, stylish and sleek options for the iPhone 5—and, given that Apple’s latest starts at a whopping $700, we imagine demand is high. Here are our favourites, which range from cute to kickass.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Business

3 Comments

A BlackBerry outage strikes during iPhone launch week—for the second year in a row

Earlier today, Research in Motion’s U.K. branch acknowledged that users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa were having service problems, which is poor timing, since the company is competing against iPhone 5 launch mania this week. We imagine the outage will spark a few oddball mutterings about sabotage by Apple—especially since the Great BlackBerry Outage of 2011, which wiped out email, texting and browsing services around the world, happened last year in the same week that Apple launched its iPhone 4S. The problem appears to have been fixed within a few hours, which means RIM probably won’t be offering free downloads of Bubble Bash this time around. [h/t Globe and Mail]

The Informer

Business

Comments

BlackBerrys are disappearing from U.S. retail shelves

Research in Motion is struggling according to nearly every conventional measure of business success: its stock price has plummeted, its market share is waning and its earnings are dismal. Now, BlackBerrys are losing space on retail shelves. According to James Faucette, an analyst at tech investment firm Pacific Crest, U.S. wireless carriers are downsizing their BlackBerry inventories and displaying fewer of the smart phones in their stores (the snazzy new iPhone 5 and upcoming Windows 8 phone will likely only exacerbate the problem). Faucette also noted, “We found a meaningful number of carrier retail locations which had not sold a single BlackBerry in over a month.” Though it’s unclear whether that’s the cause or an effect of being squeezed off the shelves. [All Things D]

The Informer

Business

1 Comment

Why Apple’s victory over Samsung is a potential boon for RIM

With Apple’s billion-dollar legal victory over Samsung dominating tech news this week, we wondered how the outcome of the patent lawsuit would affect Research in Motion. Turns out we weren’t alone on that front. Here’s the consensus: the ruling potentially benefits RIM, Nokia and other companies that don’t use Google’s Android operating system. Basically, Samsungs U.S. market share could falter as it faces a court ban on selling eight of its models there; moreover, other Android manufacturers will need to take extra time before releasing new products to ensure they don’t infringe on Apple’s patents (although, to be fair, most of the infringements were Samsung-specific). Finally, the ruling reinforces the value of tech sector patents, of which RIM owns a large portfolio. The main point of uncertainty for the Canadian tech giant is the same one that’s been plaguing RIM for months—namely, whether the company can get BlackBerry 10 out quickly enough to capitalize on this opportunity.

The Goods

Shopping

4 Comments

The Find: earphones that are as much about style as they are about sound

The Find: headphones

(Image: Urban Ears)

There was a time when you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting someone listening to music on Apple earbuds, but times have changed from the days of the first-generation iPod nearly 11 years ago. Those white earbuds, free with purchase, have a tendency to fall apart rather quickly, so we went looking for good-looking options with high quality sound that lent themselves to four distinctly different ways of listening: lying poolside relaxing to Frank Ocean; strutting down Queen Street West; lounging in an open-concept loft space on a Barcelona chair listening to Massive Attack; and travelling comfortably (the pair we’ve selected is also for those who don’t really care about how their headphones look).

Read the rest of this entry »

The Goods

Shopping

Comments

The Thing: the Olloclip, a super-cool iPhone attachment

The Thing

(Image: Shanghoon)

Why buy a camera? It’s just another gadget that only does one thing—a fatal flaw in the age of multi-tasking, especially when our smart phones take pretty good pictures (the new iPhone 4S includes an embedded camera with a screen-shattering eight megapixels). But that doesn’t mean they can’t be better. Enter the Olloclip, a lens attachment that lets iPhone users go full-Karsh. Developed about a year ago by an amateur photographer in California, it features three interchangeable lenses—fish-eye, wide-angle and macro—in a tiny, pocket-friendly design. Clip one on, and the iPhone camera gets a range of shooting options otherwise available only with a professional photo kit. Because the action’s all happening on your phone, these amped-up pics can be Instagram-ed and posted to Pinterest immediately. Let’s see a DSLR do that.
$70. Apple Store, 220 Yonge St., 647-258-0801.

The Informer

Business

Comments

Research in Motion takes a beating in Australia

Research in Motion’s embarrassing flash mob outside a Sydney Apple store was a sign of worse things to come for its Australian operations. Last week, RIM’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand left the company after less than three months in the position. Then this week, Qantas Airways announced it would start using iPhones instead of BlackBerrys for its 1,300 company-issued phones — in part because the company expects to save more than $1 million through simplified infrastructure and data agreements, but also because a survey suggested employees would rather have iPhones than BlackBerrys. So, basically, RIM is struggling to hold on to executives, corporate clients and consumers. Not good.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Business

Comments

A new gadget turns your iPhone into a BlackBerry (sort of)

Seattle-based tech company SoloMatrix has created a physical, fold-away keyboard for the iPhone and is more than halfway to its funding goal of $75,000 on Kickstarter. The retractable device, called Spike, fits directly onto the iPhone and provides a tactile typing experience in lieu of the phone’s virtual (and sometimes frustrating) keyboard. While not perfect—The Verge reports that the keyboard adds bulk to the phone when folded away—Spike is another draw to the iPhone for remaining BlackBerry users, many of whom have only stuck with Research in Motion’s smartphone because they like its physical keyboard. As if RIM didn’t already have enough to worry about. [The Verge]

The Goods

Stores

6 Comments

Microsoft set to open its first Canadian store in Toronto

An example of a Microsoft store in Houston (Image: Ron Stinnett)

The Toronto Star has just reported that Microsoft has applied for building permits to open its first retail store in Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall. While the fact that Microsoft even has stand-alone stores is news to us, it seems they are already pretty well established in the United States, with 20-odd stores set up across the country. News of the store opening comes soon after Microsoft launched its new tablet, the Microsoft Surface, earlier this week, stating that the product would only be sold through official Microsoft channels. A storefront in Toronto means Canadian customers won’t be restricted to purchasing the Surface online, a strategic move for Microsoft as it attempts to draw customers away from other popular tablets, like RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook and Amazon’s Kindle (but really we suspect that it just wants to stick it to Apple’s iPad).

The Goods

Shopping

Comments

Vain Glory: a his-and-hers medicine cabinet stocked with everything you need

A his-and-hers medicine cabinet loaded for the kind of people who need more than Ivory and Crest to get through life

Vain Glory

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Business

Comments

RIM headache number 4,572 (or thereabouts): Nokia is suing for patent infringement

Despite the fact that Nokia and Research in Motion have each seen their smartphone profits eviscerated by Apple and Google, there’s no sign of an underdog alliance. In fact, Nokia just filed several lawsuits against RIM (as well as HTC and ViewSonic), saying the companies infringed on up to 45 of its patents for features like dual-function antennas, multimode radios, conversational message display and data encryption. It’s yet another legal hassle for RIM, which is already dealing with one patent lawsuit over swiping and double tapping technology and another for design and data transmission patents. And though tech companies spend a lot of time suing each other over patents, Nokia has already proven its courtroom chops, having won a patent dispute against Apple. Given RIM’s tumbling stock price following its BB10 preview, the last thing the company needs now is a pricey day in court. [Reuters]

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement