BLACKBERRY – Lenova Takeover Rumors

TORONTO (Reuters) – BlackBerry (BB.TO) (BBRY.O) shares rose more than 3 percent on Monday after a news website said Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group might offer to buy the Canadian technology company.

Benzinga.com, citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter, said an offer $15 a share could come as early as this week.

Lenovo and BlackBerry said their companies did not comment on rumors and speculation.

Rumors of a Lenovo bid for BlackBerry have swirled many times over the last two years. Senior Lenovo executives at different times have indicated an interest in BlackBerry as a means to strengthen their own handset business.

The speculation reached a crescendo in the fall of 2013, when BlackBerry was exploring strategic alternatives.

Sources familiar with the situation however, told Reuters last year that the Canadian government had strongly hinted to BlackBerry that any sale to Lenovo would not win the necessary regulatory approvals due to security concerns.

BlackBerry’s secure networks manage the email traffic of thousands of large corporate customers, along with government and military agencies across the globe. Under Canadian law, any foreign takeover of BlackBerry would require government approval under the Industry Canada Act.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told Reuters in February 2012 that he wanted BlackBerry to grow “as a Canadian company.” And in December 2011, then-Industry Minister Christian Paradis referred to the company as a “Canadian jewel.”

Analysts also have said any sale to Lenovo would face regulatory obstacles, but they have suggested that a sale of just BlackBerry’s handset business and not its core network infrastructure might just pass muster with regulators.

BlackBerry’s long-struggling handset business turned a profit before special items in the last quarter, after the Waterloo, Ontario-based company concluded its three-year restructuring program.

However, BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer John Chen has said he sees the handset business as core to the company for now, as it will foster sales growth over the next few quarters until the software and services business begins to generate new revenue streams in the first half of 2015.

Shares of BlackBerry were up 3.4 percent at $9.81 in early Nasdaq trading. Its Toronto-listed shares were up 3.1 percent at C$11.03.

You Can’t Buy a BlackBerry Passport – ‘Being Sexy’

It’s a good thing that some people can’t buy BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY)’s Passport phone, Chief Executive Officer John Chen said.

That means it’s popular.

Disclosure : Blackberry remains one of Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts largest long positions.

Shortages of the business-focused smartphone show that efforts to turn around the unprofitable company, formerly known as Research In Motion Ltd. (BB), are taking hold, Chen told an MIT Enterprise Forum event today in Hong Kong. Demand for the phone — the first major new device released globally since Chen took charge in November — has exceeded the Canadian company’s expectations.

“I’m glad to have inventory issues. It shows that people want the phone,” said Chen, 59. “We took a very conservative approach and didn’t order too many.”

In his attempt to return the company to profitability by 2016, Chen is focusing on products such as the BlackBerry Blend feature that appeals to corporate customers because it helps them merge work and personal information. BlackBerry’s smartphone shipments sank to 13.7 million units last year from 52.3 million in 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as it struggled to compete with touch-screen devices produced by Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co.

‘Being Sexy’

The Passport pre-sold 200,000 units in the first two days, selling out in six hours on BlackBerry’s website and within 10 hours on Amazon.com. The square-screen smartphone is designed for business users who write e-mails, study spreadsheets and read documents on their phones.
BlackBerry was focused on the 30 percent of the market that sees their phones as a tool, not as an entertainment portal, Chen said.

“That is not a space that we can afford to be in now. Being sexy and being a workhorse are two different things,” he said.

Chen, a Hong Kong native, said he doesn’t yet have a strategy for expanding into China. The company got 16 percent of its sales from the Asia-Pacific region during the fiscal year that ended in March, compared with 19 percent from the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Chen said he hopes to get ideas when he attends the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing next month, his first trip to the country as CEO.

“China is too big a market to ignore,” Chen said. “It is clear that BlackBerry needs to and should be in that market.”

Shares of BlackBerry rose 1.3 percent to $9.42 at 9:37 a.m. New York time.

BlackBerry’s Passport will win fans — but mostly among the faithful (review

Love it or hate it, you have to hand it to BlackBerry — the Passport is different.

Whether it’s a good kind of different or a bad kind of different is still being hotly debated, but at least the company that has been roundly criticized for doing a poor job of playing me-too to Apple, Samsung and others, is attempting to break free of the pack and blaze its own trail. You have to respect that.

The real question is, can we respect the Passport, with its odd, square-ish shape, heavy weight, and its unusual implementation of the physical keyboard? Perhaps. Here are the top good and bad aspects of the latest BlackBerry.

The Good

The Screen

Though it lies at the heart of the Passport’s atypical dimensions, the 1,440 x 1,440 screen is superb. Not only does it provide plenty of contrast, brightness, and off-angle visibility, its pixel density (at 453 ppi) is better than that of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and the Samsung Galaxy S5. It’s so good that, even though it’s a phone, you’re tempted to view the desktop version of websites (something the browser lets you choose if you want).

Unlike typical rectangular screen phones, there’s no real-estate benefit to rotating the Passport sideways because it’s a perfect square, but since the keyboard is touch-sensitive and can be used to scroll, a sideways orientation allows for scrolling without impeding your view of the screen which is a nice touch.

The Passport’s extra wide and super-high ppi screen means desktop web page design is viewable with few compromises.

 

The Speaker

BlackBerry made a big deal about the Passport’s internal speaker at the launch event, claiming it had significantly better specs than both the HTC One M8 and the Samsung Galaxy S5. There’s no doubt about it, it sounds good — really good. It’s easily the best BlackBerry speaker so far. Which is to say it’s now as good as the iPhone 5s.

 

The Keyboard

Let’s assume for the moment that you actually like physical keyboards, because if you don’t, you probably wouldn’t even consider the Passport. If you do like them, you will — with a little bit of learning curve — like the Passport’s keyboard a lot.

Its three-row layout takes some getting used to, as does the fact that extra keys appear on-screen immediately above it along with predictive word suggestions. But as with all other BlackBerry keyboards, the tactile feel is superb, as is its responsiveness.

But the part you will learn to love is the way BlackBerry has made the keyboard touch-sensitive, allowing it to respond to gestures. While typing, swipe up with your thumbs to select suggested words as they appear, or swipe to the left to delete an entire word. When on a scrollable screen, swiping up and down scrolls the content. None of this is groundbreaking — these are the same gestures BlackBerry has used on its Z10 and Z30 BB10-based devices — but it marks the first time a physical keyboard has been more than just a keyboard.


The Camera
I’ve always felt a little sorry anytime I’ve seen another parent trying to snap photos or video of their kids with a BlackBerry. I just know they’re not going to be super happy with the results. That changes with the Passport. For the first time, a BlackBerry now has a camera that is equal — and in some cases superior — to any smartphone on the market. The specs just can’t be denied: 13 megapixels, OIS (optical image stabilization), a 5-element lens, f-2.0 aperture (a full f-stop faster than even the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus), and backside illumination. Compared to the iPhone 5s, the Passport produces photos with greater detail, richer color, and better contrast.

Amazon App Store

Though it was possible to access Android apps via the Amazon App Store prior to the Passport and its 10.3 version of BB 10, it wasn’t officially supported. Now it is, and it works well. For the first time, BlackBerry users can dispense with the awkward “side-loading” technique for installing Android apps. Of course, the degree to which these apps are compatible may vary, but at least BlackBerry verifies that every app downloaded via Amazon has been checked for viruses and malware, which goes a long way to making BlackBerry users feel secure. And we know you like security!

 

BlackBerry Blend

This might just be the most exciting thing BlackBerry has produced since the original BlackBerry Bold. BlackBerry Blend is a software suite that lets you access the contents of your Passport from any PC, Mac, or tablet (iOS and Android) with a free app — a brilliant way to bring your phone’s capabilities onto a bigger screen and to provide productivity-insurance for those times when you accidentally leave your device at home or the office. Blend will let you access your Passport from anywhere in the world. You can also manage and transfer files to and from the Passport. The software isn’t bullet-proof yet, but it will be, and it’s amazing.

The Bad

The Size

Let’s just state the obvious: The Passport’s dimensions make it among the least pocket-friendly phones on the market. And while it’s steel-I-beam-inspired construction pretty much guarantees it won’t bend in your pocket, that’s not going to be much help if you can’t get it into your pocket in the first place. It’s just too wide to make it into the front pocket of most pants or jeans, and even if you were to cram it in there, its squared-off shape means that it won’t be able to shift around as you move to accommodate standing vs. sitting positions, which most rectangular phones do automatically.

Interestingly, this is the first BlackBerry I’ve ever seen that doesn’t come with some kind of holster or protective sleeve. Maybe BlackBerry figured the Passport was big enough without making it bigger still with an accessory. The bottom line is, if you don’t carry a purse, where the heck are you going to keep this thing? The inside breast pocket of a jacket seems to be the most logical choice, but how many buyers wear a jacket all of the time?

 

The Weight

If you like your devices to feel super meaty, the Passport’s curb weight of 196 grams — which is 13 percent heavier than even an iPhone 6 Plus — might be a good thing. However, given how much time we spend holding these things, I’m going to argue that lighter (all else being equal) is better.

Slim Port

So far, all of BlackBerry’s devices that have run BB 10, including the PlayBook, have come with two ports: USB (for data and charging) and Micro HDMI for video output. The Passport is the first to eschew the multi-port design for a single USB-based Slim Port. Slim Port is similar to MHL in that it can use the Micro USB port to output video via one of three adapters, but it can’t act as a device access link the way MHL does. In other words, you can’t browse the contents of your Passport via your TV’s navigation system. Slim Port certainly works as well as the cable-based solutions that attach to the iPhone’s Lightning dock connector, but MHL would have made a lot more sense.

The Keyboard

Yes, I know I put this in the “good” category, but the design is so radical that it may irritate even long-time BlackBerry users. Though the keys are well designed, backlit, and very accurate, there are only three rows, which means there are plenty of times when the OS has to supplement the physical keys with soft keys on-screen. This hybrid approach may be the logical way to preserve as much screen real estate as possible, but from a usability point of view, it’s painful – at least until you get used to it. After playing with the Passport for five days straight, I am still far from used to it.

 

Bottom Line

The Passport probably won’t win over many converts from the iPhone or Android camps, but it won’t be for lack of trying. This BlackBerry does more to address the shortcomings of previous handsets than any model so far. The size, shape, and weight will no doubt give many buyers pause, but those who take the plunge will be rewarded with the best BlackBerry experience the company has ever created.

Simon Cohen | October 2, 2014

Blackberry Jumps with Movirtu

BLACKBERRY LTD.

BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY) has acquired mobile technology company Movirtu Ltd., shoring up its smartphone management features as it targets business users.

London-based Movirtu uses a virtual SIM card enabling customers to connect more than one phone number to a single device. The service lets employees who use one phone for work and home to switch easily between business and personal profiles with billing clearly separated, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company said in a statement today.

As BlackBerry’s share of the smartphone market has diminished, the company has shifted focus to selling software-based services to businesses and governments and exploiting the bring-your-own-device trend, where employees use work-related apps and features on their personal phones. Gartner Inc. predicts half of employers will ask workers to use their own phones for business by 2017.

We’ve been very clear as part of our turnaround strategy that we had full intention to not only manage BlackBerry devices but to manage iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices,” John Sims, head of BlackBerry’s enterprise services business, said in a phone interview. “It’s a sizable market opportunity.”

BlackBerry plans to start offering the phone-splitting software to customers early next year, Sims said.

The company’s shares rose 4.9 percent to $10.78 at the close in New York, the biggest daily gain since July 24.

Founded in 2008, Movirtu is run by CEO Carsten Brinkschulte and has 22 employees. It received $5.5 million in a 2010 funding round.

Disclosure BBRY is the largest long position in Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts

Performance ! Guaranteed !

Guaranteed Investment Performance Or You Don’t Pay

In the same way that I urge investors to use an adviser I too have a business coach. This week I complained that my performance of a 31% gain in 2013 was not gaining me the respect or new clients to which I thought I was entitled.

He challenged me :
a) I was not ” entitled ” to anything more than I earned by performance
b) My performance allowed me to guarantee an annual 12 % return or I will forfeit the 1 % annual fee and the 20 % performance fee.

The Challenge – a guarantee for your annual investment return despite all risks to our performance and our costs .

Investors and pensions need efficient methods to screen, research, perform due diligence and monitor managers in their quest to deliver returns. They need to know the data they are using is accurate and fresh — and represents the best options available worldwide across every asset class. They must take into account their own assets and liabilities and the impact to portfolio risk while screening strategies and tracking exposures. They also need polished reports and presentations to provide evidence of a sound, inclusive selection processes for regulators and committees.

Placing these decisions in Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts removes the work from your hands to ours .

Meeting the Challenge

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Contact Information

Information must proceed action and that is why we offer a no cost / no obligation inquiry service if you are not already a client.

Email info@jackbassteam.com

or Call Jack direct at 604-858-3202 – Pacific Time 10:00 – 5;00 Monday to Friday

Ranking the Top Smartphones

from Business Insider
RANKED: The Best Smartphones In The World

#14 BlackBerry Q10
Up five spots from last month

 

Link to full rankings http://www.businessinsider.com/                 RE Best-smartphones-2014

BlackBerry’s ‘cloud’ difficult to hack, analyst say – could have saved Jennifer Lawrence from “Bimbo ” status

Businesses using BlackBerry’s cloud-based services should not be spooked by hackers who stole nude photographs of celebrities out of the Apple iCloud, says an independent technology analyst.

London, Ont.-based Carmi Levy said Apple’s iCloud was built for consumers and BlackBerry’s suite of cloud services are for the corporate and enterprise world.

“That has significant implications for the kinds of security features built into the service,” Levy said. “They are two very different animals.”

On Sunday, hackers posted hundreds of nude photos of celebrities stolen from their personal Apple accounts. Apple says the hackers made targeted attacks against select celebrities.

“This incident uncovered a fundamental weakness in Apple’s security infrastructure for the iCloud that it has since resolved,” Levy said.

Apple users have a security code that is four digits by default. Such codes can be cracked by regular computers using programs that run all possible combinations in a short period of time.

This is known as a bruteforce attack.

In addition, the iPhone app called Find My Phone had no limits on how many times a user tries an incorrect password. Users or hackers are locked out of most other systems after three incorrect attempts.

That made the Find My Phone app easy pickings for a brute-force attack.

“It was all too easy for hackers using a certain piece of software known as iBrute to bypass the alarm that would advise a user that someone is repeatedly trying to break into their account,” Levy said. The security standards in the enterprise sector are far more stringent, and information technology professionals there would respond differently, he said.

“An IT decision maker would know full well to implement two-factor authentication on all devices, right out of the gate,” Levy said. “Whereas in Apple’s case, consumers don’t necessarily think or act that way.”

The cloud became a popular term in the digital world around 2010. It is marketing jargon for third-party data centres where information is stored, rather than on individual phones, laptops and tablets. Earlier this year, BlackBerry made it clear it would expand its offerings of cloud-based services for enterprise customers as a key part of its turnaround strategy.

“You cannot shut down investments in technology, including mobility, including the cloud, every time someone suffers a breach,” Levy said. “The Apple iCloud experience gives us an opportunity to learn some very important lessons about mobile security, but it is not a reason to write off the entire space.”

Nobody should be too hard on Apple for being hacked, he said.

“It is somewhat unfair to single out Apple, given the fact that any technology company can be victimized on any given day,” Levy said.

“It is almost impossible to find a major vendor that has not been compromised in some way, or whose name has not been dragged through the mud by hackers.”

DISCLOSURE:  BBRY is the largest long position held by Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts

 

A Passport To Success For BlackBerry?

BlackBerry has sent out invites to three simultaneous events to be held in London, Toronto and Dubai on September 24 where it is expected to unveil the Passport, potentially its most innovative smartphone in the best part of a decade.

What makes it special is that BlackBerry has decided that the rectangular screen that is a standard feature on essentially all smartphones made by everyone from Apple to Samsung and beyond is actually a bad idea. It limits productivity and forces you to keep rotating a handset from portrait to landscape in order to accommodate different content

According to BlackBerry, academic research shows that the optimal number of characters on a line in a book is 66 characters. Because rectangular smartphones lack screen width, they can only manage 40 characters.

However, because the Passport has a perfectly square 4.5-inch high definition display, it can display 60 characters per line, making it great not just for reading e-books but for using spreadsheets and Instagram, and all without having to rotate the handset in order to fit elements on the screen.

As well as a square screen, the Passport has a physical keyboard so that the user’s fingers don’t obscure the display. But as well as being good for typing emails and messages, the keyboard is touch-sensitive, meaning that it can respond to swipes and taps too. So it becomes like a trackpad on a notebook allowing you to navigate around the screen without touching it.

Although the phone isn’t going to be officially revealed until the special September event, BlackBerry has been very open about the device and has been publishing new snippets of information about its capabilities over the past two months.

So as well as screen size and resolution, we know it is going to have a best-in-class battery life and offer sufficient security for use in finance and healthcare. In fact, all that still isn’t clear about the device is when exactly it will be in the shops and how much it will cost. Expect that to be revealed, along with the device, on September 24.

As such September is going to be a very busy month for premium smartphone launches. Sony, Samsung, Motorola and, of course, Apple will all be announcing new flagship handsets in the coming days.

DISCLOSURE : BBRY is the largest position in Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts

Shares of iPhone maker Apple fall after rival Samsung unveils new phones

by Irene Kuan

NEW YORK – Apple shares are getting bit by a rival.

The iPhone maker’s stock fell more than 3 per cent Wednesday after Samsung unveiled two new smartphones at a trade show in Berlin.

Samsung announced the Galaxy Note Edge phone, which has a side display for quicker access to Twitter, the flashlight, news and other apps. It also showed off a new Galaxy Note 4 phone and a virtual-reality headset for the phone called Gear VR to watch concerts or play games.

The Samsung unveiling comes less than a week before Apple is expected to reveal its new products, next Tuesday in Cuppertino, California. A larger iPhone, and possibly a computerized watch, are expected.

Apple’s stock drop comes a day after its shares hit an all-time high of $103.74. That same day, Apple said that the theft of private photos from celebrities was not because of a security breach of its iCloud system. Instead, hackers took user names and passwords for the accounts, Apple said Tuesday.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Shares of Apple Inc. fell $3.55 to $99.75 in afternoon trading, erasing more than $20 billion of its market value. The stock is still up more than 24 per cent so far this year

 

Blackberry / MCAFEE Story

go to Bloomberg TV
or my Facebook page has the video :   Jack Bass – placed on Facebook today)

McAfee: Dump Your Smartphone to Protect Privacy: Video
Antivirus Pioneer John McAfee discusses his internet privacy concerns on “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg TV)

Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) — Antivirus Pioneer John McAfee discusses his internet privacy concerns on “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg)

 

 

John MCAFEE gives Blackberry A Big PR Push

http://www.rtphone-on-privacy-concerns-m_NBADwgTsWDLonopLMLfw.html

http://www.rtphone-on-privacy-concerns-m_NBADwgTsWDLonopLMLfw.html

Video on smartphone lack of security.

 

McAfee: Dump Your Smartphone to Protect Privacy: Video
Antivirus Pioneer John McAfee discusses his internet privacy concerns on “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg TV

McAfee: Dump Your Smartphone to Protect Privacy

 

With Blackberry For The Double

Stocks to Hold Forever

Buy them, forget about them, and never sell them
Three months ago, Marketocracy Master Mike Koza told us what Blackberry (NASDAQ:BBRY) needs to do to deliver a double. The following week, I published the second half of the the article and included the Marketocracy community’s thoughts on how Blackberry can produce the double within the next 2 years. Since our last article, Blackberry has been volatile but the stock has risen appreciably, a bit over 28%, and Mike is not selling.
. In a press release dated June 19, included these highlights:

• Cash and investments balance of $3.1 billion at the end of the fiscal first quarter, up from $2.7 billion in the prior quarter

• Adjusted Q1 gross margin of 48%, up from 43% in the prior quarter

• Reduced adjusted operating expenses by 57% year over year and 13% quarter over quarter

John Chen, Blackberry’s CEO, seems to have stemmed the negative cash flow and thereby reduced the risk that the company would have to accept a bad deal for shareholders in order to raise cash. Stabilizing the company’s cash flow is a great first step on the way to a double and in my view justifies the increase in the stock price we’ve seen so far.

The next item on Mike’s list is for the company to start growing again by focusing on the services that a security conscious professional needs in order to conduct real business.

Blackberry will never sell as many phones as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) because its products are not geared for users whose mobile messaging needs are mostly 3 character text messages or 140 character tweets. But while Blackberry’s core users are not as numerous as Apple’s, they value their mobile messaging service highly and are willing to pay a premium for it because it enhances their ability to conduct business.

Apple recognizes the attractiveness of the security conscious professional market because they recently announced a joint venture with IBM (NYSE:IBM) to go after it. The threat of Apple and IBM taking market share away from Blackberry in their core market is a new development that needs to be monitored.

It is too early to tell if John Chen will be successful in growing the business, but he is already taking some needed steps. On July 21, Chen hired Marty Beard (who he worked with at Sybase) to be his new COO. John Chen can’t rebuild Blackberry on his own. His success depends on getting great people to join his team. The fact that someone with Marty Beard’s background and credibility would risk his career to join Blackberry at this time is a big vote of confidence for John Chen’s plans for Blackberry.

When a stock moves up 28% in a few months, it is tempting to sell it and lock-in a gain. But the stock market does not offer many opportunities for doubles so routinely selling stocks just when the market is starting to agree with your investment thesis is a sure way to cut your winners off before they come to fruition thereby generating a poor long-term investment track record.

Great value investors like Mike Koza do their homework so when events start to play out in their favor they have the confidence to hold on for bigger gains, and the track record to back up their confidence.

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