blackberry

One of the UK's police forces is planning to replace thousands of BlackBerry smartphones with 8,000 Windows Phones. Cambridgeshire Constabulary is expected to roll out hardware including the Nokia Lumia 1520, Lumia 930 and Lumia 635 later this year. According to Ian Bell, head of ITC at the police force, Windows Phone 8.1 itself was a major factor in the decision to move across to Microsoft's mobile platform.

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In case you still didn’t agree that Windows Phone is the third ecosystem in the smartphone industry, the latest validation comes from comScore’s report of the U.S. smartphone subscriber market share ending January 2014.

While Blackberry's market share is on the decline, Microsoft held steady and found themselves holding the third spot in the latest survey behind Android and Apple.

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Ford is reportedly ditching Microsoft for Blackberry’s QNX platform in their integrated in-vehicle communications and entertainment system. According to Bloomberg, using QNX will be less expensive than licensing Microsoft technology and will improve the flexibility and speed of the next Sync system.

The decision hasn’t been made public yet, but sources close to the situation have told us the report is accurate.

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In an exclusive interview with our sister site CrackBerry.com, the new CEO of BlackBerry John Chen confirms that BlackBerry Enterprise Server support is headed to Windows Phone. No ETA for the popular backend service was mentioned, but Windows Phone, like Android and iOS are certainly on their radar.

Considered middleware, BlackBerry Enterprise Service (or just BES), is an industry leading and trend setting messaging service that also support calendar and contact support. Similar in nature to Microsoft’s Exchange, which it also supports, BES has been the backbone of BlackBerry’s success in the past. The company is hoping to reinvigorate their enterprise offerings by refocusing on what made them strong in the first place.

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Windows Phone moved 9.3 million handsets in the third quarter of 2013, according to a report from the IDC. That’s an increase of 156% for the same period year-over-year. Nokia was responsbile for 93.2% of those shipped. 

The current status of Windows Phone’s market share is always interesting. We’ve never really received solid numbers from Microsoft, instead we rely on third-party data from market researchers and analysts. We’ve seen some recent data from comScore, Kantar, and Strategy Analytics. Now we’re getting some new data from IDC. The big takeaway? Windows Phone saw shipments grow 156% year-over-year for the third quarter. Details below.

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Mobile Nations 22: State of the mobile

Kevin of CrackBerry, Phil of Android Central, Daniel of Windows Phone Central, Derek of Mobile Nations, and Rene of iMore talk about the state of mobile. How many platforms is Android, what's happening with BlackBerry, can Microsoft deliver, and what's next for Apple?

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With both the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C announced already, just how good is Apple's iOS 7? We've been using it for a short while and we'll admit that it doesn't feel half bad, but Pfeiffer Consulting has taken a rather in-depth look at how Apple's new OS ranks against Windows Phone 8, BlackBerry 10 and Google's Android (note the firm used Samsung's implementation of Android over the stock version).

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Along with the other big news from Microsoft today, troubled smartphone company BlackBerry was snapped up by Fairfax Financial—or at least they have signed a letter of intent to do so. That means any dreams (or nightmare) of a Microsoft acquisition can be put to rest.

We won’t go too deep into the news, as we have a sister site called CrackBerry for that, but for now we’ll just summarize what it all means.

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The latest predictions from the analysts at IDC see steady growth for Windows Phone, picking up 10% of the global market share by 2017

Windows Phone is on the up, even if not everyone agrees. Microsoft and Nokia have been working hard to build market share in multiple markets, including the all-important US. Recent data collected by Kantar Worldpanel claims increasing sales for Windows Phone, especially in emerging markets like Mexico. But the bigger picture of market share is a different story since numbers are relative.

IDC has released its predictions for how it sees the smartphone market to be shaped in 2017, putting Windows Phone comfortably in third and closing the gap on Apple's iOS.

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As if 2013 could not have been a more pivotal year for Microsoft and Windows Phone, news tonight coming from Bloomberg claims that Redmond is still considering buying out BlackBerry.

BlackBerry has publicly revealed that they are seeking “strategic alternatives” for the company, including a merger or selling off the entire company (or pieces of it). In and of itself, that is big news although BlackBerry did do the same in 2012 and nothing came of it. Could this round be any different? Perhaps, as their new operating system, BB10, is not exactly setting the mobile world afire.

Microsoft has always been rumored to be interested in BlackBerry, but they are perhaps waiting for the right time. That may include waiting for Waterloo to shed some of its 17,000 employees and become a leaner purchase, or for BlackBerry to become cheaper and more desperate.  

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Heading into the last quarter in 2013, it is becoming increasingly clear that Windows Phone is now solidifying itself as the third alternative for smartphones (see the latest IDC report). While sales are still miles behind iOS and Android, Windows Phone as a platform is finally being treated more equally by retailers and consumers.

Part of that apparent victory, in typical Microsoft fashion, is due to missteps by Redmond’s competitors. Years ago, BlackBerry (then called RIM) basically owned the enterprise market. Fast forward to 2013 and with BlackBerry 10 on the market with a handful of new devices, it’s becoming clear that it’s just not enough to regain that momentum.

The site IT Wire has performed some store-checks for the new BlackBerry Q10 and Z10—two devices we actually own and occasionally use ourselves. The site tried to get a statement from Australia’s telco’s Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone but received no comment about those BlackBerry sales. Not hindered, IT Wire then spoke with Harvey Norman, Optus and Telstra franchises for their opinions on BlackBerry’s prospects.

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So far the Nokia Lumia 520 has been a sleeper hit. It’s the cheapest Windows Phone to date and it is constantly topping charts for in emerging markets. It seems we hear stories weekly on how the device is selling well in market after market. Here in the United States it’s available for AT&T as a GoPhone and T-Mobile sells a variant called the Lumia 521.

So how’s it going to fare against further attacks in the low-end smartphone market against competitors like Samsung and Apple?

Over at Forbes, Tero Kuittinen outlines a brinkmanship scenario where Nokia comes out on top. Don’t worry, I wasn’t familiar with the term either. Brinkmanship is the situation where you push dangerous events to the verge of disaster in the hopes that your opponents will have to make concessions and/or back down. In this case, Nokia is in a position to own the low-end smartphone market because companies like HTC, Blackberry, and Apple won’t be able to make appealing devices at low prices.

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Nokia has been taking enterprise that much more seriously since moving across and supporting Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, aggressively drawing up plans with businesses in multiple markets. The company doesn't appear to be showing signs of holding back in the near future with Adrian Williams, director of business sales UK, going into some detail about what plans Nokia has drafted and how BlackBerry will also be targeted.

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