Research In Motion Ltd (RIM) is teaming up with Microsoft Corp to handle the growing amount of data its customers are using on mobile devices and said it plans to release its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet “very soon.”
The Microsoft partnership is designed to make it easier for customers to use what’s known as cloud computing, or servers offsite that store data and can be accessed over the Internet, said Jim Tobin, an RIM senior vice president. Microsoft will take over management of some RIM customer information under the deal.
TO THE CLOUD
“It’s a more efficient model for everyone,” Tobin said in an interview on Wednesday in Toronto. “As the smartphone starts to handle more of the work effort versus a desktop, and now you add the tablet, that’s the time” to move away from storing information on computer hard drives and local servers.
Tobin said he sees about a quarter of RIM’s large corporate customers shifting data into the cloud by the end of this year, with half making the shift by next year. Data stored in the cloud currently represents about 5 percent of the US$1.5 trillion in corporate information technology spending last year, according to industry data supplied by IDC and Gartner Inc.
He declined to give any estimate of how much money the shift will save RIM or its customers.
RIM is looking for ways to enhance the PlayBook’s appeal as it prepares to challenge Apple Inc in the tablet market. Apple, which sold 7.33 million iPads last quarter, has said more than 65 percent of Fortune 100 companies are testing or deploying the iPad, including Procter & Gamble Co, Lowe’s Cos and Hyatt Hotels Corp.
RIM has shown the PlayBook to a “significant” portion of Fortune 100 companies and interest in the device is “very high,” Tobin said.
RIM plans to introduce the PlayBook this month or early next month, co-chief executive officer Jim Balsillie said last month. Tobin declined to elaborate other than saying it will be very soon. Apple’s iPad went on sale in April last year and the company has since sold more than 15 million of the devices.
‘DEAD ON ARRIVAL’
With the PlayBook yet to appear in stores, consumers have been buying the iPad and tablets like Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc’s Xoom, which went on sale last month. Both have screens that measure about 10 inches (25cm), compared with the PlayBook’s smaller 7-inch screen. Balsillie and Apple CEO Steve Jobs exchanged barbs late last year after Jobs said smaller tablets are “dead on arrival” because they are too small to compete with the iPad.
“One other tablet is making some inroads and lots of noise,” Tobin said. “The PlayBook is the only other relevant game for enterprises right now and for enterprises that have embraced BlackBerry, it’s a natural game to jump on that bandwagon really quickly.”
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into
O2O BICYCLE SHOW: The Taiwan Bicycle Show next year is to be online to offline, with forums, audio-visual conferences and livestreaming of the offline events Local bicycle makers expect demand to continue outpacing supply due to orders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some companies seeing orders back up through next year. “Next year is all full in terms of orders. Our lead time on components is one year,” Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd (巨大機械) chairwoman Bonnie Tu (杜綉珍) told a news conference in Taipei organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to announce next year’s Taipei Cycle Show. The pandemic has reduced bicycle supplies and increased demand around the world, Robert Wu (吳盈進), chairman of KMC (Kuei Meng) International Inc (桂盟國際), one of the world’s