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Mobile News & Analysis

Shake Up at BlackBerry: Fairfax Deal Crumbles, CEO Out, More Cash In

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Trading in BlackBerry shares was temporarily halted this morning, as the company put out a major announcement. Because of the failure to close a deal with Fairfax Financial Holdings — and perhaps emboldened by the success of the BBM launch for iOS and Android — the company has abandoned plans to find a strategic partner. Instead, it is setting out details for new funding. 

Is this the start of a much-predicted move to a software and services company? Certainly a shake-up of the board is just the start, with incumbent CEO Thorsten Heins to be replaced by John Chen, and other executives on their way out.

Although Fairfax failed with its original bid, it will take part in the $1 billion investment that should help the company refocus and restructure under the new management. 

Social Media Briefs: Snapchat Wins, Facebook Loses, Instagram Gains

Snapchat is worth billions. Facebook loses teens. Instagram gains brands. Thinkr uses only #hashtags.

November Brings the Perfect Storm for Tablet Buyers

generictablet.jpgOctober saw its traditional raft of mobile device launches, but November is when the sales will really fly. It's when all those buying for the holidays enter the market.

With Black Friday looming, expect buy buttons to be clicked and registers rung at record speeds. And it is likely to be tablets all the way as second and third screens become the norm in homes and among the most requested tech gift ideas. 

With so many high-class models to choose from, the field has never been more open. So which will win in the battle for sales?

Nexus 5 Officially Launches With Android 4.4 KitKat, Sells Out

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Those tasty fingers of chocolate biscuit take on extra meaning today as the latest version of Android arrives to add flavor to the new range of devices and upgrade those that were losing their bite. 

Google's $349 Nexus 5 smartphone has also been made official, challenging rival devices to a major selling fight over the holiday season.

What else does the company have to offer fans and users increasingly tempted by less-expensive Apple devices, a wide range of Nokia Windows phones and others? 

File Share Won't Solve Enterprise Content Management Problems

The fragmenting Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems market has file share vendors eager to take the place of production-ready ECM suites. But agile and effective as they may be, file share applications fall flat when compared with an Enterprise CMS for securely managing content.

The Next Big Social Networks Aren't Social Networks Yet

shutterstock_134112389.jpgGrowth for big social networks like Facebook and Twitter will inevitably flatten as users look for options that better match their needs.

Enter the likes of Steam (a PC gaming service stretching out to TVs) and BlackBerry's BBM (a popular app looking for bigger things). Steam has more than 60 million users and BBM has more than 80 million. What else could come along to shake up social networks in the near future?

New Mobile Marketing Guide Covers Trends, Tips, Traffic

Email will soon be designed primarily for mobile devices, mobile native ads are the way to go and Mobile Real Time Bidding (RTB) of ads will reach nearly half of all mobile ad buys by next year. Those are just some of the mobile trends and advice offered in a new guide to mobile marketing, which also includes a directory of traffic sources. 

Mixpanel Debuts Mobile In-App Survey Platform

Mobile and web analytics provider Mixpanel has added a mobile survey platform that it claims makes things easier for both the marketers analyzing survey results and the users taking the surveys. Today it launched Mixpanel Surveys — free for existing People Analytics product subscribers — which it says allows anyone inside an organization to quickly create, target and send mobile surveys directly to people as they use an organization's app. 

BlackBerry Attracts 20M New BBM Users on iOS and Android in a Week

bbm_android.jpgIn just one week, 20 million new users signed up to use BlackBerry's BBM service through a free app available on the iPhone and Android stores. 

But even that good news has a caveat for the struggling Canadian handset maker, which is pivoting to software and services and still looking for a buyer. The app rates only 2.5 stars on iOS and garnered a reportedly suspicious four stars on the Android store.

Nokia Back in Smartphone Game with 8.8 Million Units Sold in Q3

Customer Experience, Mobile, Nokia Back in Smartphone Game with $8.8M Quarterly SalesNokia's play to stay in the smartphone game is paying off as buyers flock to its wide range of Windows Phone 8 devices packing great camera technology. 

With its upcoming acquisition by Microsoft, the $7.2  billion deal looks to be a good value with sales increasing by a million per quarter and some hot new models on the way. 

Citrix Speeds Up its XenMobile MDM

citrix.jpgWith everyone bringing a mobile device of choice to work, mobile management has become critically important. This week, Citrix is out with the latest version of its enterprise mobile device management suite, XenMobile. It features several time-saving functions.

XenMobile MDM provides a unified, role-based management of mobile devices, apps and data with integrated email, browser and data sharing. It also offers Citrix’ Worx Mobile Apps, which Citrix says is the industry's largest collection of business-specific apps, including WorxMail for email, calendars and contacts, WorxWeb for Net and Intranet access and ShareFile for file synching and sharing. 

Apple Releases Strong Q4 Earnings on the Back of iPhone 5S Sales

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Apple has just announced storming sales of 33.8 million iPhones for its latest fourth quarter results, with iPad sales down a bit at 14.1 million, as buyers awaited the latest models, a similar fate that affected the Mac line-up.

On the money side, the company saw $37.5 billion revenue, quarterly net profit of $7.5 billion, adding an extra $9.9 billion to its cash mountain. We'll listen to the earnings call and follow up with any details.

Google Nexus 5 Looking All White, Phone Just Days from Release

nexus5_300.jpgWe've already seen the the Nexus 5 phone in black, thanks to leaks last week from Google. Now images are floating around of the phone stylish white, with the chatter coalescing around a Nov. 1 release date. More scurrilous chatter also suggests a full-size tablet, a Nexus 10 model, is also on the way.

Meanwhile, LG has shown off another curved smartphone for Korean users, suggesting that curved will be an option in most price ranges next year.

Microsoft Commercial Business Thrives, But Ballmer Still Remains a Question

Microsoft's sales and profits are up. In the first quarter since the company announced a major reorganization and shared the news that CEO Steve Ballmer is retiring, the Redmond, Wash.-based technology giant reported a jump of 17 percent in net income in the fiscal first quarter to $5.2 billion or 62 cents per share.

While the company's commercial wing grew revenues by 10 percent to $11.2 billion, consumer revenues, including devices, grew only 4 percent to $7.46 billion. 

Apple vs. Microsoft: the Buyers Will Decide

A row is brewing between the two tech titans, initiated by Apple's' comments about "confusion" among its rivals during the recent iPad unveiling. Microsoft shot back, claiming "standardization" and "productivity" are on its side. Who do you think is right  — or should both companies shut up and just let consumers decide? 

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