Mobile Industry on the Move April 5

— April 05, 2014

Breaking up, brawling and letting go—here’s just some of the mobile action from last week that you might have missed.

BlackBerry Limited will not renew the T-Mobile U.S., Inc. license to sell BlackBerry products when it expires on April 25, 2014.

The official statement: “BlackBerry has had a positive relationship with T-Mobile for many years. Regretfully, at this time, our strategies are not complementary and we must act in the best interest of our BlackBerry customers. We hope to work with T-Mobile again in the future when our business strategies are aligned,” said BlackBerry CEO and Executive Chair, John Chen. “We are deeply grateful to our loyal BlackBerry customers and will do everything in our power to provide continued support with your existing carrier or ensure a smooth transition to our other carrier partners.”

BlackBerry said that customers on the T-Mobile network should not see any difference in their service or support and customers purchasing devices from T-Mobile’s existing inventory, will also be supported. BlackBerry is also working closely with other carrier partners to provide consumers and business users with alternatives should they decide to transition to another carrier and remain with BlackBerry for their long-term device and service needs.

Yankee Group Senior VP of Research Wally Swain commented, “Like spouses that fight over a mother-in-law at family parties, this divorce was inevitable. After T–Mobile's ‘dump your BlackBerry’ campaign and John Chen’s vigorous defense of the brand, it was somewhere between imminent and eventual that the relationship would come to an end. They may have tried therapy, but it’s more likely only the lawyers talked to each other.”

He noted that the direction of the two companies means they probably were no longer suited for each other anyway. T-Mobile focusing the consumer market, and BlackBerry the enterprise. “Call it irreconcilable differences. At least there were no children to fight over; not even a dog,” said Swain.

In the never ending court battle between Apple and Samsung, Apple attorneys told a jury in California that the company believes its owed $2 billion for “copying the iPhone.” In particular, Apple is accusing Samsung of copying its patented technology for data tapping, unified search, asynchronous data synchronization, its slide-to-unlock image and autocomplete.

Samsung has turned the tables and accused Apple of infringements as well.  Yankee Group VP of Research Carl Howe commented, “These legal battles contrast two opposing views of the role of intellectual property in technology companies. Apple believes other companies shouldn’t be able to copy technology it developed and patented. Samsung believes copying technology from other companies is simply a technique for making a better product. In between are the courts that interpret the thousands of pages of patent laws that apply in countries around the world.”

Howe argues that no one should expect this case to resolve anything. “While Samsung has yet to win an award against Apple in any court, it simply chalks up those battles as a cost of doing business. Further, even though Apple won a nearly US$1 billion judgment against Samsung last year on a set of older patents, Samsung has yet to pay a penny of that award and has not had to stop selling any of its products. In my view, Apple has no choice but to continue pursuing this case because competing products today use its touch-screen mobile technology with no costs except legal fees. Samsung, on the other hand, must pursue the case because Apple’s patented touch-screen features are those that consumers perceive as must-haves in a modern smartphone. Given how little is likely to change in the near future, this worldwide legal battle increasingly echoes Macbeth’s lament: 'It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Juniper Networks
According to varied reports, Juniper Networks, Inc. is cutting 6% of its workforce. Reuters stated that most of the cuts would impact middle management and that the company will also consolidate facilities, and abandon the development of the applications delivery controller technology.

The Wall Street Journal noted: “Juniper had 9,483 full-time employees at the end of last year, implying about 569 jobs will be cut by the company. The company said the cuts were necessary as it aims to take ‘a balanced approach to cost management and prioritizing and strengthening our focus on the innovation that matters most to our customers.”

CA Technologies
CA Technologies has named Anna Griffin as senior vice president, corporate marketing, effective April 21, 2014. Griffin will be based in New York City, reporting to Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Lauren P. Flaherty. “We are reshaping how marketing contributes to CA’s business objectives and Anna’s strengths are a great complement to key areas of focus for our team,” said Flaherty.

With more than 20 years of marketing experience in both agency and corporate roles, Griffin has led the full spectrum of global corporate marketing disciplines including advertising, marketing communications, sponsorships, thought leadership, social, demand generation and events. Griffin has held marketing leadership positions at Juniper Networks and Nortel, and has driven global programs on behalf of recognized companies such as Saturn, Apple, Sony and Bank of America.

Xplore Technologies
Xplore Technologies Corp., manufacturer ultra-rugged tablets, has appointed John Costello as vice president of marketing. The new leader is tasked with supporting the continuing growth of the company by overseeing the development, planning and execution of Xplore’s global marketing initiatives. The new appointment is effective immediately.

Mark Holleran, president and COO for Xplore Technologies, said, “With John at the forefront of our marketing team, we have full confidence that Xplore will continue to expand its share of the rugged market.”

Previous to Xplore, John provided strategic direction and spearheaded the execution of marketing and eCommerce initiatives for Guthy-Renker, JCH Industries and Simpson Digital. John also has a wealth of technology-focused marketing experience with Acer, Gateway Inc., AT&T Mobility, Vodafone, Go America and Dell Inc. For Xplore, John will strengthen and grow key brand, product and channel marketing initiatives and support sales activities for strategic pursuits.



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