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RIM Offering Free Voice Calling In Attempt to Remain Competitive

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the last-ditch-effort dept.

Blackberry 134

zacharye writes "In version 7, RIM has added a voice calling feature that will allow BBM users to speak to each other for free when connected to Wi-Fi networks. While similar third-party solutions like Viber exist and extend the free calling feature to cellular data connections, an integrated solution that will eventually be baked right into the BlackBerry OS offers clear advantages over third-party options. It also can be counted as an advantage for RIM’s platform over Android and iOS, at least until RIM’s rivals begin to roll out similar solutions."

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Impression attempt (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41980535)

Failed...

Facetime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41980539)

Doesn't Apple offer that in their iOS platform? And many Android vendors offer that already!

Re:Facetime? (3, Informative)

firex726 (1188453) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980765)

Do they?

Many of the Android ones I have dealt with offer calling over WiFi, but it still counts towards your minutes, even if it's going to someone on the same network, also on WiFi.

*Unless you use a third party app.

Re:Facetime? (3, Informative)

Tr3vin (1220548) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980805)

I read it as something only available between two BBM users, so it is basically Factime or Google Talk. In that case, RIM's two main rivals have had very good solutions in place for quite a while.

Re:Facetime? (2)

MrHanky (141717) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981053)

Incorrect. Like this BBM thing, Google voice and video chat, and Facetime, are free as in free data. Google's solution even works on other platforms (like Nokia).

Re:Facetime? (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981803)

indeed, GrooveIP uses Google voice to do it all seamlessly. I'm 100% satisified w/ it right now.

I'm wondering how long until Verizon freaks out about this...

Re:Facetime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41981477)

Republic Wireless has android phones thats doing this

http://republicwireless.com/

Re:Facetime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41981761)

Or you can use the native SIP client in Android with a cheap/free sip account and have the ability to call ANYONE over WiFi OR mobile data rather than being restricted to Blackberry users over WiFi.

Did you hear that? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41980541)

If a tree falls in the forest, does anyone hear it?

So what? (1, Informative)

torkus (1133985) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980549)

It's hard to find a cell plan without unlimited minutes unless you're buying a minimal-use, no-frills line...in which case you won't get a BB anyway. Might as well give a corpse a gym membership to stay healthy.

I can see it being somewhat useful in corporate situations where you have many BB users - but you still need to have everyone on WiFi. Sorry RIM, find a better way to stay relevant.

The carriers probably won't care - much - given above but I can't image they will be thrilled about it either. Everyone will just bake the cost into the "blackberry data plan" anyway.

Re:So what? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980643)

Bingo. Useless.

Re:So what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41980671)

Where you live perhaps.

In other countries unlimited minutes is practicly unheard of even for land-lines, but data-plans of several gigabytes / month for cheap is no problem.

Re:So what? (2)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980705)

I have a smartphone, and only 450 minutes. There are, in fact, people who don't talk on the phone enough to justify the cost of unlimited minutes, but still want the connectivity of a smartphone.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41981395)

And as such, you got a plan that reflects your usage. Free wifi calling doesn't benefit someone who doesn't talk on the phone much anymore than it does someone with unlimited talk time. Really, the only people this would benefit is people who want a smartphone, talk a lot and can't afford a plan that matches their usage. You know, people who probably aren't in a position where they should be buying a smartphone to begin with. What's worse, this won't even attract those buyers because they're the types who would have little to no interest in a Blackberry. They're looking for the "cool factor" of an iPhone or the flashy looks of a giant Android.

Cell phone calls (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about a year and a half ago | (#41982315)

Okay, my family is a bunch of luddites, I'm the only one with a cell phone. Brother would have one, but he's unemployed and had to give it up. Thus, all of my calls are to landlines, thus charged minutes. I do get the standard 'free weekends', and even with my small plan I always have excess minutes.

Unlike AC, I could see somebody 'trading down' plans if they're virtually always within range of wifi good enough for their voice. A number of the points close to me(such as the food court or bowling alley) are usually super-saturated to the point it's quicker and easier for me to use my cellular data than theirs.

Exactly, carriers already cut of Apple at the pass (4, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980857)

It's hard to find a cell plan without unlimited minutes unless you're buying a minimal-use, no-frills line.

Yes - I think the carriers did this in response to skype on mobile devices gaining popularity. They jacked up the prices for all smartphone data plans and gave you basically unlimited calling.

It's the same thing for texting, iMessage on iOS gave you the ability to send messages to other iOS users over data, not SMS. So again they just baked unlimited SMS into the price for every smart phone plan.

USA != world (5, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980933)

Outside the US, it is very easy to get cheap contracts with limited voice time. RIM is actually expanding outside the US - I suspect some of their problems there are caused by the carrier monopoly. I'm amazed that US customers put up with the restrictions on the phone models they can use, and the inability to get a decent SIM-only contract.

Re:USA != world (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41981129)

But Canada == a shit hole. At least when it comes to how carriers are allowed to advertise.

They all loudly announce that they have plans with UNLIMITED VOICE MINUTES and UNLIMITED DATA. Then, in teeny, tiny print, smaller than fly shit, they define unlimited as 100 minutes of voice and 1 GB of data. Telus is a Canadian carrier that is particularly good at lying about the terms of their contracts.

Re:USA != world (3, Informative)

stefancaunter (1198951) | about a year and a half ago | (#41982631)

Canada is worse than that, the carriers are not forced to invest in decent infrastructure, so they can cherry pick markets and coverage, and invest their massive profits from price gouging into the sports teams they all own, bought so they can monopolize content on their TV plans.

Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41981099)

Actually, a lot of corporate plans have limited minutes. Ours, for example, has 700 minutes + unlimited data. Fuck Verizon.

Re:Wrong (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981253)

Mine is 200 min per phone, available as a pool, and 250 SMS; more than we need given iMessage and all other communication forms, and with unlimited data it's less than $50 per handset. The only thing is misses is tethering.

Re:So what? (1)

Marc Madness (2205586) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981509)

Even if you have unlimited minutes, do you still pay long distance charges? In the affirmative case, this could probably save you money if you have many far away friends/partners/clients.

Re:So what? (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981759)

It's hard to find a cell plan without unlimited minutes unless you're buying a minimal-use, no-frills line...

This is not the case in RIM's home country. That said, this is not a huge selling point; you can do this with stuff like FaceTime, although that's video, or third party apps, although those don't integrate as smoothly (they can on Android though). Apple already did it with text (where when you text a phone number of somebody with an iPhone it automatically uses the free iMessage instead of SMS), they do it with video (where any call can be converted to a data-only video call), it's probably only a matter of time before voice gets a similar treatment.

Re:So what? (2)

deadweight (681827) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981917)

Exactly - does ANYONE care about voice minutes anymore? Hello - 1999 called and they want their cell phone plan back. Never mind, even then intra-company calls were usually free. Make that 1989.

Re:So what? (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41982245)

It's hard to find a cell plan without unlimited minutes unless you're buying a minimal-use, no-frills line...in which case you won't get a BB anyway. Might as well give a corpse a gym membership to stay healthy.

I can see it being somewhat useful in corporate situations where you have many BB users - but you still need to have everyone on WiFi. Sorry RIM, find a better way to stay relevant.

The carriers probably won't care - much - given above but I can't image they will be thrilled about it either. Everyone will just bake the cost into the "blackberry data plan" anyway.

Unlimited plans on major carriers like Verizon are extremely expensive. Like close to $200/mo after all the fees get tacked on expensive. That's why most people I know aren't using unlimited plans unless they're with some company like MetroPCS that has lower quality but much cheaper service.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41982731)

It's hard to find a cell plan without unlimited minutes

Come to Canada. You won't have any trouble finding a cell plan without unlimited minutes.

Until they roll out similar solutions? (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980555)

So facetime and gtalk are just figments of my imagination?

Re:Until they roll out similar solutions? (4, Insightful)

BlueBlade (123303) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980625)

I think it's mostly about integration, as in, you'll still go through the wi-fi connection even if you dial the number, as long as the target number belongs to a BB. For those other apps. the other user needs to be using them, along with a separate account, etc.

Re:Until they roll out similar solutions? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980721)

For gtalk at least it comes with every android phone and logging into the market I think logs you in to gtalk as well.

Re:Until they roll out similar solutions? (1)

lexman098 (1983842) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981857)

I see gtalk as a big problem for Google right now that's gone seemingly unnoticed. People will more and more be switching to free VOIP services as carriers more and more become dumb data line providers (it's coming whether they like it or not). In trying gtalk, people are probably experiencing what I've experienced which is utterly crappy service, especially for video chat. They're going to have a lot of catching up to do if it isn't fixed quick. I think BB is on to something if they can produce a *quality* free VOIP solution that works out of the box on BB phones and is also compatible with other phones via an app.

Re:Until they roll out similar solutions? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980749)

Awesome, if you get everyone BB user online at once you'll have ... a three way call.

Re:Until they roll out similar solutions? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980841)

No, that's basically how FaceTime works, too. You call someone on the phone, and if the other end is an iOS device, there's a button you can push to switch the call over to FaceTime. It might require an iCloud account (I'm honestly not sure), but they're free, so that's not particularly important....

Re:Until they roll out similar solutions? (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981579)

No, that's basically how FaceTime works, too. You call someone on the phone, and if the other end is an iOS device, there's a button you can push to switch the call over to FaceTime. It might require an iCloud account (I'm honestly not sure), but they're free, so that's not particularly important....

By default FaceTime uses (on iPhone) the phone number and Apple ID as keys to determining if a user can use it. So no iCloud/Apple ID/etc account is required (though I think you need one anyways when you set your phone up).

But phone-number alone works (and you can add additional phone or email keys if you wish).

Re:Until they roll out similar solutions? (1)

carlosap (1068042) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980647)

and facetime works with 3G, LTE

Re:Until they roll out similar solutions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41980853)

You missed Google Voice [google.com] .

like BB Messenger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41980569)

Will this be as unused as BB messenger?

Re:like BB Messenger (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41980947)

Actually, BBM is the top selling point for BB phones in Latin America, more than email. Where I live "give me your PIN" is a catchphrase/joke and the junkie picking up the phone every 15 seconds is most likely engrossed in several BBM chats.

it's the fine print.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41980589)

"RIM Offering Free Voice Calling In Attempt to Remain Competetive"
vs:
"allow BBM users to speak to each other for free when connected to Wi-Fi"

Yeah, when connected to Wi-Fi.
Such an innovative piece of technology, never heard of before. What year is it, again?

Who needs free voice? (4, Insightful)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980593)

Even with a teenager on our family cell plan, we never use up our monthly allocation of voice minutes. Now, if RIM could figure out a way to convert that voice to data bandwidth, then we might have something to talk about.

Re:Who needs free voice? (3, Funny)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980831)

Perhaps someone could invent a way to modulate a data signal into something that would fit onto a voice channel. Then your phone could call that device and use this voice link for data transmission. Surely one day such a technology will be invented.

Re:Who needs free voice? (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981109)

I don't think anyone under the age of 40 will have a clue what you're talking about. It would be funny to see a coupler for cell phones like we had in the rotary phone days! :)

Re:Who needs free voice? (1)

CimmerianX (2478270) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981247)

OMG - I feel so old now.

Re:Who needs free voice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41981279)

I'm under 30 and I know exactly what you are talking about.

We don't need a coupler for cell phones because they can already act as modems with electronics that are in it. I had a cell phone that has modem functionality built in to a dumb phone--this was 10 years ago. I'm pretty sure you can find apps that convert your phone into a soft-modem too. But this is of course obsolete as it is completely unnecessary anymore.

Re:Who needs free voice? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981311)

You must live in a populated area. There are still lots of places with voice cell service but practically no data. Then again, as heavy as most web stuff is (400-500k of CSS before the page even loads), there's really no sense in having a 4-10kb acoustic line. You would die of old age before the first page of a google map loaded.

Re:Who needs free voice? (1)

valkraider (611225) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981793)

There are still lots of places with voice cell service but practically no data.

As we found out in the Presidential election, there are not many people there.

Wait, there is possibly a correlation to be had!

There are not many people using BlackBerry.

Therefore my conclusion is that rural residency causes BlackBerry use.

**Yes, I know this poor attempt at humor is US centric. Forgive me, I will work on my international humor for my next appearance.

GSM AMR does not pass v.90 for a reason (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981407)

And perhaps cell phone companies could apply lossy compression to the audio stream, so that they can carry more conversations on one frequency band, and fine-tune their codecs for voice so much that your "acoustic coupler" concept would become unworkable.

Re:Who needs free voice? (1)

rwise2112 (648849) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981411)

So... let me get this straight. modulate at one end and demodulate at the other. That's so crazy it might just work. I wonder what such a device could be called?

Re:Who needs free voice? (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about a year and a half ago | (#41983031)

How about "A device for sending digital data down a telephone line"? Sounds like a catchy title to me.

Re:Who needs free voice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41982155)

I'm baud of such blatant sarcasm on slashdot.
This place needs more puns.

Re:Who needs free voice? (1)

Mechanik (104328) | about a year and a half ago | (#41982705)

Perhaps someone could invent a way to modulate a data signal into something that would fit onto a voice channel. Then your phone could call that device and use this voice link for data transmission. Surely one day such a technology will be invented.

Yes... some sort of MOdulator/DEModulator. Now all we need is a catchy name for it.... (sorry, my capslock got stuck)

Re:Who needs free voice? (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980873)

Now, if RIM could figure out a way to convert that voice to data bandwidth,

Bell 103 modem modulation with acoustic couplers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_103_modem [wikipedia.org]

This was what my first modem around 1982 used to connect to compuserv. It was a TRS80 "modem 1" direct connect modem and I remember the answer/originate switch. Yes I'm a noob compared to some real old timers.

Re:Who needs free voice? (1)

erikscott (1360245) | about a year and a half ago | (#41982423)

I had to check to make sure you and I weren't the same person. I remember the dial string just because, in particular case, it rhymed.

**ODT5499403X

So I'm probably a couple years younger than you, because the modem was given to me. I stuck my Radio Shack Model 4P (the luggable with the handle on the top) onto a rolling desk chair, put the modem on top of that, and rolled down the hall in the dorm to get to the payphone. Unlimited local calls for a quarter, right? Worked pretty well.

I'm becoming everything I used to despise. :-)

Re:Who needs free voice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41981213)

perhaps someone could not get a cell phone plan at all and simply use wifi for everything. Then just buy a cheap as fuck pay-as-you-go plan for emergencies or when you're out of wifi

Re:Who needs free voice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41981501)

I have my original Droid set up like that for fun. My Google Voice number is ported through GrooVeIP so I can use it for free calls and texts anywhere there's WiFi. The emergency dialer works without a plan (FCC mandated) so I always have a backup 911 dialer if my Nexus dies.

Re:Who needs free voice? (1)

grumpyman (849537) | about a year and a half ago | (#41982217)

I actually thought about the exact same thing: why is there a boundary around voice/data? Based on my rough estimate, the 'voice minutes' translate to very little data.

Only over wifi (1)

Evro (18923) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980637)

Only over wifi, so this isn't much of a feature. And it's only to other Blackberry users who also happen to be on wifi, making it even less useful. And in general, voice is on the decline which is why some carriers are moving to unlimited voice & tiered data. Personally I've had over 4,000 rollover minutes from AT&T for 3-4 years, and that's with many expiring each month and with my wife and I sharing their smallest plan (500 shared minutes/month).

So this is cool, but I can't imagine this will sway anyone's opinion about buying a Blackberry or not.

Vonage app... (1)

ZiakII (829432) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980651)

*Disclaimer I work for Vonage*

The Vonage app allows you to call other app users over 3g/4g/Wifi for Android and iOS and make free calls to US numbers. So color me unimpressed.

Re:Vonage app... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41982201)

So troll, does the Vonage app work for BB devices which this new app was intended for? Yeah, that's what I thought.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41980675)

My android runs gtalk over wifi just fine. Free calling to ANYONE (almost) regardless of what device the reciever has...

Just yet another example of WHY rim is going down the bowl. They're always behind the curve, never reach feature parity, and still fairly expensive.

Also Free Data! (4, Funny)

dnahelicase (1594971) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980677)

Rumor is that internet browsing will also be free while on wifi, and will even support pandora streaming! You can use that wifi data in nearly unlimited ways!

Re:Also Free Data! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41981275)

Unless you happen to use AT&T DSL (see thread above)

Dell Voice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41980687)

Dell Voice does the same thing and is available on all OS's now.

Yay! More bad quality VoIP clones! (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980713)

Just want business customers wanted, lower sound quality and congestion issues they can't control!

No one on the planet WANTS VoIP over the Internet, it absolutely sucks. They only use it because some sales person or TV commercial convinced otherwise. When I can't tell within 5 seconds that you're on a VoIP connection, I'll change my mind, but thats not going to happen anytime soon.

Stop trying to produce more low quality crap to retain customers, thats EXACTLY what put you in the position you are in RIM.

Upgrade a closed shop to open standards. (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980733)

RIM did a great job for the time in which they really were market leaders.

Now, the market has moved on. The proprietary technologies of yesterday have open and Windows equivalents.

RIM needs to find a way to bring its unique interface, reliability and software experience to an open smartphone.

I think that smartphones are what they do well, and they should continue to make them, instead of hoping they can make a tablet that will keep them "relevant."

Do what you do. Do it well. Make it open, or Windows-based, because either one is a market already waiting.

Re:Upgrade a closed shop to open standards. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41980839)

Now, the market has moved on. The proprietary technologies of yesterday have open and Windows equivalents.

You gotta be kidding. The iphone has always been about closed, proprietary lock-in. People still buy iphones despite that.

Apple is a special category, I agree. (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981651)

The iphone has always been about closed, proprietary lock-in. People still buy iphones despite that.

That's true. However, much of what it is based on are tools derived from open source or desktop computing. I think over time this model will be less responsive than, say, a Linux-based model.

Is Windows-based a big enough market? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981437)

Make it open, or Windows-based, because either one is a market already waiting.

Since when have phones running Windows Phone sold in numbers even close to those of the iPhone or even a single major Android manufacturer, let alone the entire Android ecosystem?

Windows would be a future option. (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981681)

Windows would be a future option that would allow RIM to offload the OS portion of their product onto Microsoft, including maintenance. As to whether Windows phones sell, I don't know. I think I know one person who owns one and they seem to enjoy it.

It has to be asked. (1)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980735)

Will this be a new form of rim to rim communication?

Surely it's a niche market at best.

How is this different than: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41980783)

Fring/Skype/Google Voice/Facetime/etc/etc/etc.

Nothing new here, except an app which is installed by default - much like Google Voice.

Re:How is this different than: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41982273)

It works on a BlackBerry?

Android integration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41980835)

Google voice anyone?

What RIM needs to do to remain competitive (1)

j-turkey (187775) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980845)

Ugh - this will do nothing to help RIM.

The only thing that I can imagine RIM doing to stay competitive is to license their Blackberry software while they still can. Dump (or severely reduce) the hardware and OS business, it's clear to everyone (and it should be to RIM) they can no longer compete with manufacturers offering Apple, Microsoft, and Android-based devices.

While RIM still has some foothold in the corporate managed mobile messaging arena, take that software and port it to Apple, Microsoft, and Android devices; allowing those devices to connect to BES servers. This will allow IT to have the manageability and security offered with Blackberry devices. It will allow RIM to survive as a company. However - if they do not make this move soon, it will be too late. The same manageability will become ubiquitous among competing devices, and any competitive advantage that RIM might have had will disappear forever.

Re:What RIM needs to do to remain competitive (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980923)

BES servers are already disappearing fast. The BES server is a big part of what is killing RIM. Why have another crap product between you and your email?

No one wants to resend servicebooks or have to reboot the BES and disconnect all users when one stops getting his mail.

Re:What RIM needs to do to remain competitive (1)

j-turkey (187775) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981205)

They are disappearing, but IMO, this is mostly due to user demand moving toward other devices. The BES is now the last vestige for RIM - IT managers and administrators still like the centralized management and security that BES provides. You're right that the BES is kind of a whore, but why can't this be fixed (so it works like Good does) - or fixed and licensed and/or integrated into an MTA (like how Microsoft has been slowly been rolling these services into their MTA)? It's only a matter of time until the market completely surpasses Blackberry. No need to throw the baby out with the bathwater on this one.

Re:What RIM needs to do to remain competitive (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981669)

My IT dept led the charge to kill the BES. We will not support any Blackberry device. We justified this via the man hours spent dealing with the BES.

Re:What RIM needs to do to remain competitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41982513)

BES servers are already disappearing fast. The BES server is a big part of what is killing RIM. Why have another crap product between you and your email?

I am quite fond of another product between me and my email that is audited, certified [blackberry.com] , provides AES encryption and real push email.

No one wants to resend servicebooks or have to reboot the BES and disconnect all users when one stops getting his mail.

Dude, if that's what you were doing then you aren't doing it right.

That's like wiping an entire computer, reinstalling the OS, and reinstalling all the applications when a print driver malfunctions. Far more efficient to remove the print driver and add it again.

You could read the BES documentation or you could take a course in BES administration.

Re:What RIM needs to do to remain competitive (4, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981155)

Fortunately for them, I guess they have a real CEO and not someone who plays one on Slashdot.

Did you give your advice to Apple back around the year 2000?

Blackberry hardware isn't bad when you consider where and how it would be used. Non-replaceable batteries and shiny fragile cases are fine for first world people who regard gadgets as disposable. Sub-one day battery life is fine if you are always near a socket. But in large emerging markets, phones are an expensive purchase, long battery life and easy replacement are still important, a degree of drop-proofness is very desirable and the Blackberry data compression represents a significant reduction in outgoings.Putting a BB OS on some generic smartphone hardware is going to result in something that might be a bit cheaper but will cause customer dissatisfaction.

It took too long to get the new CEO on board, but at least RIM has a coherent strategy and a target market - the middle classes in South America, Africa and Indonesia, business users, and people who just do not like giving up all their data to Apple or Google. They may be about to go tits up, but they are at least avoiding your suggestion - which worked so well for Leo The Pharmacist at HP, and which was sensibly avoided by Apple.

Re:What RIM needs to do to remain competitive (0)

j-turkey (187775) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981753)

The reality is that RIM is not building hardware that people actually want. Further, they are not able to develop on a competitive cycle. You mention two features which are nice (sturdiness and battery life). However, in my opinion, these two hardware features alone do not make a company competitive in this marketplace. This is not what made Apple a commercial success, and is not what caused HP to fail; I do not find these to be analogous. I guess that we'll find out soon enough if what you suggest is a competitive market strategy. I know where my money is.

Out of curiosity, what motivates you to post with such a snarky tone? Do you feel that this will help you "win" the internets? Do you actually talk to people like this? If so, do you have any friends?

Re:What RIM needs to do to remain competitive (1)

narcc (412956) | about a year and a half ago | (#41983071)

The reality is that RIM is not building hardware that people actually want.

Sorry, are you from the past?

Re:What RIM needs to do to remain competitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41983209)

Except RIM hasn't made rugged phones in years. Even my 9000 circa 2009 was fragile compared to iPhones at the time. They haven't been solid since the 8700 and prior.

Re:What RIM needs to do to remain competitive (1)

yabos (719499) | about a year and a half ago | (#41982515)

I used to think it'd be a good idea if Apple integrated with BBM, assuming RIM would allow it. Now that they have iMessage, I don't think they care at all about BBM even if RIM offered to do all the work.

Re:What RIM needs to do to remain competitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41982719)

The only thing that I can imagine RIM doing to stay competitive is to license their Blackberry software while they still can.

They actually did do that many years ago, it was called Blackberry Connect:

http://us.blackberry.com/company/blackberry-connect.html [blackberry.com]
http://www.blackberryfaq.com/index.php/BlackBerry_Connect [blackberryfaq.com]

Maybe a dozen handsets offered it.

What is the security model? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41980921)

This actually might be quite interesting if it provides more secure voice communications similar to BBM. Rather than poo-poo'ing on RIM again because it is in fashion, maybe it should be looked at as an alternative to cell communications that the Patriot Act seem to be able to stomp on without any consideration for the rights of citizens. If that is the case, I welcome the alternative.

Re:What is the security model? (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981021)

You mean the company that gladly hands over the encryption keys to every tinpot dictator?

I guaranty they already gave the keys to all the three letter agencies.

Re:What is the security model? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41981383)

I don't have a bb, but I used to support some. If you have your own BES, RIM doesn't have your encryption keys so they can't hand them over. Sure, if you're using the telco provided BES, they will hand stuff over, but that's a given. If you run your own bes, you have end to end encryption controlled by you.

Re:What is the security model? (3, Informative)

narcc (412956) | about a year and a half ago | (#41983109)

Wow, you're just impervious to facts, aren't you?

If your a BES user, RIM can't hand over the keys because they don't have them.

As always, RIM is the ONLY option for the security conscious.

Go find some new talking points, preferably some with facts behind them.

Nail in the coffin of the fat cat telcos (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year and a half ago | (#41980971)

They've been raging and stamping their feet, because their bloated margins have been propped up by ripoff voice and text traffic charges, and criminal scams like international roaming charges. They wanted to avoid, at all costs, to be a "dumb pipe" where they'd have to live with fair and reasonable margins.

The chickens have come home to roost, the consumer wins, and the telcos get their long-coming, richly-deserved comeuppance.

As usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41981015)

RIM does something - BGR puts a negative spin on it. moving on.

Re:As usual (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981439)

Just not seeing the positive here I guess. Unlimited voice plans have been available on all major Telcos in the US, and they don't require WiFi.

Re:As usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41982307)

Just because it doesn't help you doesn't mean it doesn't help a good chunk of their target audience -- heavy BBM users in the developing markets in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Re:As usual (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year and a half ago | (#41982525)

But they could do so much better by not buying RIM.

"voice calling"? (0)

mcmonkey (96054) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981107)

What is this "voice calling" of which they speak? You mean there's now a way to project voice by cell phone? Stop the presses!

(Not really. Don't stop the presses. This isn't news. Other cell phones have had this "voice calling" feature for years.)

wif-fi and physical keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41981219)

It is hard to find a smart phone around here with a keyboard, except RIM devices. That alone puts them near the top of my list of considered phones. Something like free wi-fi calling would probably cause my next phone to be a Blackberry. I tend not to use the phone in limited bursts when I'm on the go and do most of my big calls at home, so this would be ideal for people like me who want very small data/voice plans _most_ of the time, but want to lock in to wi-fi occasionally.

Queue the FanBois (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41981435)

And yes queuing the fanbois!
This is brilliant news to 80 million users.
Sorry - oops how dare i! How many people do you have in your company? No? Not 80 million monthly paying customers? Oh who cares! 80 million is nothing, phah! The Newspapers and fanbios tell us its nothing so I apologize and welcome my new found masters who tell me the few hundred customers I make money off from as ants to a boot.
Sweet BB! Yes I will be buying one when it is released.... and I have checked it out - techie news critics are a bit..... wrong!

Through wifi networks? (1)

aglider (2435074) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981459)

What does this mean?
The users can talk each other if they are connected on the same WiFi network? Don't think so.
The users can talk each other if the application sees a non-public IP? Don't think so either. Operators can provide you with non-public IP to be NATed as public.
Only over WiFI? Why? Why not doing that over any IP interface of the mobile handset?
That statement by RIM looks like: let's do something, whatever, to move the water. Then we'll see ...

Meh (1)

moonwatcher2001 (2710261) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981643)

Considering RIM's small and declining market share hard to see how this helps.

First of breed? (3, Funny)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | about a year and a half ago | (#41981905)

It also can be counted as an advantage for RIMâ(TM)s platform over Android and iOS, at least until RIMâ(TM)s rivals begin to roll out similar solutions."

Well, if you want free wifi voice calling from iPhone to iPhone, start FaceTime, and put your thumb over the camera.

How about this to remain relevant (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year and a half ago | (#41982371)

Release a new product already.

What a headline! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41982665)

So it has come to this. I suggest we start using it for all aspects of life, after all it's true..

"Microsoft Releases Windows 8 In Attempt to Remain Competitive"
"Google Introduces New Gmail Interface In Attempt to Remain Competitive"
"Obama Gives Policy Speech In Attempt to Remain Competitive"
"Radio Station Plays Led Zeppelin Tune In Attempt to Remain Competitive"
"Hockey Star Goes To Practice In Attempt to Remain Competitive"
"Slashdot Publishes Story In Attempt to Remain Competitive"

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