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Research In Motion disappointed investors with solid — but not spectacular — numbers for its first-quarter earnings yesterday, but analysts are still bullish on the BlackBerry maker.
RIM’s (NASDAQ: RIMM) adjusted earnings of $0.98 per share topped Wall Street expectations by four cents, the company reported a 53 percent jump in sales to $3.42 billion, in line with analyst estimates. But RIM’s 3.8 million new subscribers came in just below expectations.
“We are starting fiscal 2010 with strong financial performance and impressive market share gains, including a 55 percent share of the U.S. smartphone market according to IDC’s latest estimate,” Jim Balsillie, RIM’s co-CEO, said during the company’s earnings call. “The industry-leading BlackBerry product portfolio is driving strong customer demand around the world and our penetration of new market segments continues to expand.”
Peter Misek, analyst at Canaccord Adams, came away from the results with a mixed outlook.
“On one hand, device sales were weak, gross margins could again see the low 40s and enterprise net [subscription] adds were soft,” Misek wrote today in a report. “On the other hand, operating margins were solid and inventory levels remain very low, which could fuel unit upside when carriers start to replenish stock.”
Though he cited some concern, Misek remains optimistic about RIM’s future performance in the fiercely competitive smartphone market.
“In the end, we saw nothing that changes our very bullish long-term outlook on RIM, especially with a series of impressive new product launches on the horizon,” he wrote. “However, we are becoming increasingly concerned by the broader consumer electronics spending outlook. Our checks continue to suggest that the bounce we saw in early spring has begun to fade and, without the consumer tailwind at RIM’s back, we believe it prudent to remain on the sidelines.”
RIM’s earnings report comes amid ever-increasing competition in the smartphone segment, with the new iPhone 3G S going on sale today and the Palm Pre entering its second week of availability.
When asked during yesterday’s earnings call how RIM will fare given the competition — including Apple’s move to cut the price of the previous-generation iPhone 3G to $99 — Balsillie said RIM and the BlackBerry were ready for a fight, though he refused to mention his rivals by name.
“We’ve had very aggressive promotions through carriers, BlackBerries for $49 and so on, and I’m not one to follow these other things too closely, but that one $99 model, that’s a year-old product, so I don’t think that’s a big structural thing happening,” he said. “The other product [the Palm Pre] is brand new, so it’s too early to tell what will happen, but we’ve always focused on our own value proposition.”
“We’ve demonstrated a huge surge of strength recently and we’re not taking our foot off the gas, so extrapolate from that as you wish,” he added.
Balsillie also pointed to the fact that a record 80 percent of RIM’s new subscriptions came from the consumer side. That’s an area the company’s business — which has long centered purely on the enterprise space — that it’s been aiming to expand.
“We’ve made dramatic progress in penetration of new market segments,” he said. “Non-enterprise customers … now represent more than half of BlackBerry accounts.”
Will Stofega, analyst at IDC, said the boost in non-enterprise signals RIM’s success in diversifying its customer base.
“There are some issues related to the enterprise — budgets are being cut, there’s seasonal issues with the buying cycle — but they’re picking up the slack on the consumer side,” he said. “Overall, they’re doing everything they need to be doing.”
And though Apple will be grabbing headlines today with sales of the iPhone 3G S, for its part, RIM just unveiled the BlackBerry Tour, which analysts say will help strengthen its position in the market.
Meanwhile, industry watchers expect RIM this summer to release an update to the Storm, its answer to the iPhone’s touchscreen interface.
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RIM has just announced that it will be expanding its apps ecosystem to include support for Android apps in its upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The tablet is scheduled to launch on April 19, and will support both BlackBerry Java and Android, along with C/C++ development, HTML 5, Flash, and AIR.
Two optional “app players” will be launched that provide application run-time environments for BlackBerry Java apps and Android 2.3 apps and allow users to download the apps to their PlayBook from BlackBerry App World. The native SDK for the tablet will also be released to enable C/C++ development on the BlackBerry Tablet OS.
New support from Ideaworks Labs and Unity Technologies, will allow game developers to use the cross-platform game engines to bring more games to the BlackBerry PlayBook. “Supporting a new OS can be a challenge for developers,” says Alex Caccia, President of Ideaworks Labs, “however, integration of the BlackBerry Tablet OS with the Airplay SDK makes this a non-issue. We think this is a far-sighted move by RIM: the BlackBerry PlayBook is a great device for games and applications, and combining this with content distribution via BlackBerry App World brings an exciting new ecosystem for developers.”
The BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK will be available in beta later this year. The new app players should launch sometime this summer.
RIM Expands Application Ecosystem for BlackBerry PlayBook
· BlackBerry PlayBook to support BlackBerry Java and Android apps
· Native C/C++ development support added, in addition to HTML5, Flash and AIR support
· Support from leading game engines: Ideaworks Labs (AirPlay) and Unity Technologies (Unity 3)
· BlackBerry PlayBook becomes a new market opportunity for all the developers who have already created over 25,000 BlackBerry Java apps and more than 200,000 Android apps
Waterloo, ON – Developers wanting to bring their new and existing apps to the highly anticipated BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet will soon have additional tools and options to enhance and expand their commercial opportunities. Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced plans to greatly expand the application ecosystem for the BlackBerry PlayBook. The BlackBerry PlayBook is scheduled to launch in the U.S. and Canada on April 19.
RIM will launch two optional “app players” that provide an application run-time environment for BlackBerry Java® apps and Android v2.3 apps. These new app players will allow users to download BlackBerry Java apps and Android apps from BlackBerry App World and run them on their BlackBerry PlayBook.
In addition, RIM will shortly release the native SDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook enabling C/C++ application development on the BlackBerry® Tablet OS. For game-specific developers, RIM is also announcing that it has gained support from two leading game development tooling companies, allowing developers to use the cross-platform game engines from Ideaworks Labs and Unity Technologies to bring their games to the BlackBerry PlayBook.
Support for BlackBerry Java and Android Apps
“The BlackBerry PlayBook is an amazing tablet. The power that we have embedded creates one of the most compelling app experiences available in a mobile computing device today,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “The upcoming addition of BlackBerry Java and Android apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook on BlackBerry App World will provide our users with an even greater choice of apps and will also showcase the versatility of the platform.”
Developers currently building for the BlackBerry or Android platforms will be able to quickly and easily port their apps to run on the BlackBerry Tablet OS thanks to a high degree of API compatibility. The new optional app players will be available for download from BlackBerry App World and will be placed in a secure “sandbox” on the BlackBerry PlayBook where the BlackBerry Java or Android apps can be run.
Developers will simply repackage, code sign and submit their BlackBerry Java and Android apps to BlackBerry App World. Once approved, the apps will be distributed through BlackBerry App World, providing a new opportunity for many developers to reach BlackBerry PlayBook users. Users will be able to download both the app players and the BlackBerry Java and Android apps from BlackBerry App World.
The BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry Tablet OS are built on the QNX® Neutrino® microkernel architecture with a 1GHz dual core processor and a leading OpenGL solution, which allows RIM to make this incredibly broad platform support possible.
BlackBerry Tablet OS Development Tools
The BlackBerry Tablet OS already supports an incredibly robust platform with support for Web development standard HTML5, through the BlackBerry® WebWorks™ SDK for Tablet OS, and Adobe® AIR®, through the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR. The BlackBerry Tablet OS is built from the ground up to run WebKit and Adobe® Flash® as well, giving developers a fast and true Web experience to leverage.
Other features of the BlackBerry Tablet OS NDK will allow developers to:
* Easily integrate device events like gesture swipes and touch screen inputs
* Integrate the BlackBerry Tablet OS environment into existing code management and build systems using industry standard Eclipse CDT (C/C++ Development Tools)
* Leverage work done in standard C/C++ to make it easier to bring applications to the BlackBerry Tablet OS
* Find and fix bugs quickly with provided debug and analysis tools
“The response to the BlackBerry PlayBook from the developer community has been exceptional. Our commitment to supporting HTML5 and Adobe AIR development has resonated and spurred developers to create fun and innovative applications for BlackBerry PlayBook users,” said David Yach, Chief Technology Officer, Software at Research In Motion. “The upcoming BlackBerry Tablet OS NDK beta will add C/C++ tools to our repertoire and gives developers one of the broadest and deepest platforms to develop on.”
The Ideaworks Labs Airplay SDK is expected to include support for the BlackBerry Tablet OS soon, making it easy for publishers and developers to use their existing code to bring their games and apps to the BlackBerry PlayBook.
“Supporting a new OS can be a challenge for developers,” says Alex Caccia, President of Ideaworks Labs, “however, integration of the BlackBerry Tablet OS with the Airplay SDK makes this a non-issue. We think this is a far-sighted move by RIM: the BlackBerry PlayBook is a great device for games and applications, and combining this with content distribution via BlackBerry App World brings an exciting new ecosystem for developers.”
RIM has also been working closely with Unity Technologies, providers of the highly popular, multi-platform Unity development platform and Union, the firm’s games distribution service. Through Union, dozens of high-quality Unity-authored games are slated to make their way to BlackBerry App World for the BlackBerry Playbook.
“With a sharp focus on the multimedia experience, very powerful hardware, and fantastic games in the pipeline, the BlackBerry Playbook has all the right ingredients to be a mainstream hit,” said Brett Seyler, GM of Union at Unity Technologies. “Through Union, Unity developers have an opportunity to reach a new audience and grow with another great new platform.”
The new app players for the BlackBerry PlayBook are expected to be available from BlackBerry App World this summer. More information and demonstrations of the new app players will be shared at BlackBerry World. The BlackBerry Tablet OS NDK will be available in beta later this year and will also be showcased at BlackBerry World.
Visit the BlackBerry Developer Zone at chúng tôi for the latest news, information and updates for BlackBerry developers.
Visit the BlackBerry Developer Video Library at
Sign up for the BlackBerry Developer Newsletter at
About Research In Motion
Even in a world where business reviews no longer contribute to aggregate star ratings in SERPs, there are plenty of reasons to include them on your website.
In mid-September, Google made a significant change to the way it displays business websites in SERPs. Prior to the update, first and third-party reviews on a business website could have structured markup applied to them that would result in the average review rating appearing alongside the web page in Google SERPs, like so:
Since Google’s update, which the local SEO community dubbed “Starmaggedon”, these sorts of business reviews no longer lead to these stars appearing. This is due to what Google called the “self-serving” nature of business reviews on business websites (i.e. the people controlling the website and business have control over the content and, therefore, the reviews displayed).
But further to this, some have even suggested that there’s no longer any point in showcasing customer testimonials and reviews on your local business website at all. I’m here to set the record straight and provide evidence to show that displaying this valuable form of social proof on your website is still critical.1. People still visit local business websites
Despite the growing importance of Google My Business and Google Maps as highly visible steps in the modern consumer’s search journey, research carried out by BrightLocal shows that people still value and visit local business websites.
Over 50% of the consumers surveyed stated that they tended to visit local business websites over half of the time they searched for businesses online.
This shows how critical the business website still is to the research phase of the modern consumer journey. If people are still visiting local business websites, it’s still worth taking the time to showcase customer opinion there.2. Reviews are a valuable form of social proof
Today, 78% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. While this figure has dropped in the last couple of years, it still highlights the importance of having third-party voices contribute to the ways you build trust through your website.
Showcasing this social proof isn’t just about finding a handful of good testimonials and reviews and placing them on your site, though. It’s about timing and location. You want the visitor to see the social proof at the exact point it will help them to make a decision.
For example, testimonials and reviews that specifically talk about your exceptional customer service are a perfect fit for your ‘Contact Us’ page. After all, this could well be where an unsatisfied customer goes to make a complaint. Hearing the positive experiences of others will put them in a positive mindset and likely result in a more positive outcome.3. Consumers are less likely to use businesses without testimonials or reviews on their websites
This is a very important point: 22% of consumers surveyed in the aforementioned research gave a lack of testimonials and reviews on the business website as a reason for being less likely to use a business.
That’s nearly a quarter of your visitors looking for, and failing to find, social proof on your website and choosing to do business elsewhere instead. It’s not considered as crucial to purchase as other aspects, as you can see, but for the minimal effort it takes to showcase reviews on your website, I’d say it’s definitely worth it.4. You can get specific with products and services
One of the things you can do with your own website that’s near-impossible to achieve on third-party business review websites is tying service/product-specific reviews to the pages that feature the services and products mentioned.
The ability to drill down to and feature individual social proof points per product or service gives you the opportunity to make the most of these types of reviews, which might otherwise litter reviews sections of third-party sites, where the focus is generally more on overall reputation and experience.
Of course, placement is key. There’s no point having happy customers raving about your range of handmade jewellery on pages devoted to showcasing your stationery items, so make sure the testimonials and reviews fit the product and service and place them near key decision points, such as checkouts, for a boost to conversions.
Download our Individual Resource – Successful SEO guide
If you get it right, SEO can be a fantastic, relatively low-cost way to drive quality visitors who want to do business with you to your site.
Access the Successful SEO guide5. Consumers only trust the average star ratings of businesses with dozens of reviews
In earlier research performed by BrightLocal, we found that, on average, consumers don’t believe the average star rating is reflective of the business quality until the number of reviews reaches 40.
For younger people (18-34 years old) this number was far higher (51 reviews), which suggests that review quantity is only going to get more and more important as the prevalence and visibility of online reviews increase.
Your business listings on third-party review sites are only ever going to show how many reviews have been left on those particular sites, so your website is the perfect place to highlight your cumulative review quantity. This is particularly important if your business is in an industry which naturally gathers reviews at a slower rate due to the infrequency of consumer need (e.g. law practices).6. A standalone reviews page can be optimized for key terms
When a potential customer is considering using your business, it’s very possible that they’ll seek out user-generated content and reviews for it using standard search, with terms like ‘mahoney’s restaurant middletown reviews’.
While it’s obviously important to have listings on the review sites, such as Yelp, that are likely to appear high in the search results, there’s nothing like getting your own optimized reviews page in there alongside them.
Simply create a page of your website dedicated to showcasing reviews and testimonials for your business and optimize it to the hilt for ‘reviews’ in the usual ways (headings, meta descriptions, schema, keywords) for a chance to appear alongside these behemoths in search and to take back control of your reputation.Conclusion
It’s clear from the data and examples above that, even in a world where business review ratings don’t appear in SERPs, there’s plenty of potential to be found in the showcasing of reviews on local business websites.
Consumers want to see lots of reviews on your website as well as out there on third-party listings sites that you have less power over, so it makes sense to control the message being shared by your website with handpicked testimonials and reviews.
Is COBOL programming good for a long-term career, making for a high-paying job for developers?
A job in programming language COBOL conjures up images of thin ties, white shirts, spinning tape drives, and all of the glory and pain of the mainframe era. COBOL stands for Common Business-Oriented Language. It is a high-level programming language for business applications. It was the first popular language designed to be operating system-agnostic. It was similar to English, which is widely used to develop business-oriented applications in the commercial data processing.
COBOL was merely eclipsed by the explosive growth of the other languages and technologies. This only makes sense because the language first appeared in 1959 and it was one of the dominant ways to code in the 1960s. COBOL didn’t fade away, though. Recently, the program COBOL helped the state deal with a 1,600-percent increase in unemployment. Specializing in COBOL could translate into solid compensation, even before the COVID-19 crisis. Other languages for other roles grabbed the spotlight, riding the technology boom as computers proliferated.Why COBOL is a good option for developers:
Cobol Programmers mainly work for corporate businesses, since about 80% of business apps run on COBOL. There is a growing corporate need for skilled programmers to support and maintain critical COBOL systems. These programmers in the US commonly hold degrees in Computer Science, Computer Systems Security, and Management Information Systems. COBOL-related jobs don’t demand a lot of specialized education, with 83.8 percent of the jobs asking for a bachelor’s degree.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Cobol Programmer. There are certain skills that many Cobol Programmers have to accomplish their responsibilities. No COBOL-related job wants applicants to only know COBOL. Here are some of the top skills that crop up alongside COBOL in these job postings. These are COBOL, JCL, SQL, CICS, Java, Software Development, VSAM, Oracle, and Project Management.
Micro Focus, a company that writes plenty of COBOL code, sponsored a survey run by Vanson Bourne. To meet the need for more modern COBOL developers, Micro Focus created a free academic program to help educators teach this valuable skill and equip students to learn the ins and outs of COBOL within the familiar surroundings of a modern IDE such as Visual Studio or Eclipse.
Micro Focus has more than 40 years of COBOL experience, servicing more than 15,000 customers and over a million licensed users with its technology. The Micro Focus COBOL Academic program currently supports over 400 global academic partners with a focus on creating greater engagement between educators, students, and the business community.
The COBOL language running today is very different from the one programmers encoded in punch cards. Many popular platforms don’t do a good job of ensuring that code continues to run longer than a few years. The COBOL community is devoted to avoiding this kind of problem. Right now, there are more active lines of application code written in COBOL than in any other programming language. The average Cobol Programmer in the United States earns a yearly salary of $85,000. In India, it’s ₹49,761 per month.More Trending Stories
It has been no Santa Claus rally for Ethereum due to the token’s historical holiday performances
It’s no Santa Claus rally for Ethereum cryptocurrency. As we approach the end of the year and the Christmas holiday, it’s a good time to reflect on the Ethereum token’s historical performance during the holiday season and forecast how it will perform in 2023.
According to historical statistics, Ethereum had had a constant year-on-year (YoY) rise during the previous three Christmases, reaching US$4,093 on December 25, 2023. Based on several technical analysis (TA) indicators, Ethereum’s Christmas positive trend will not continue the Santa Claus rally in 2023, with the asset expected to trade around US$915 on December 25, according to chúng tôi Ethereum price is now at US$1,255, implying a 23% drop if the forecasts come true. Only time will tell how closely Ethereum and Bitcoin will adhere to the holiday season predictions. Ethereum crash might soon be a reality for investors.
Notably, Christmas 2023 saw a 400% gain from 2023, with the first cryptocurrency changing hands for US$125 on December 25, 2023, followed by another jump on the yearly chart on December 25, 2023, when Bitcoin traded 543% higher than US 626 the previous year.
However, market shocks such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the widely publicized collapse of the Terra (LUNA) ecosystem, as well as inflation and the recent crash of FTX, once one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, have significantly altered the landscape, making it unlikely that this year will be a merry Christmas in terms of year-on-year growth.
Indeed, the price of Ethereum has plunged 69% since last Christmas, and it is currently trading at US$1,255, with little sign that this trend will reverse by Christmas 2023. With a total market cap of US$153.6 billion, the current ETH price is 0.84% down on the day but up 3.88% over the past seven days.
Observing the ETH technical analysis, it is evident that it is leaning to the sell side, with the summary on the 1-day gauge indicating ‘sell’ at 10 vs ‘buy’ at 7 and ‘neutral’ at 9.
Moving averages (MA) are in the sell zone with 8, according to a thorough examination of these indicators. Meanwhile, oscillators are at 8 indicating a ‘neutral’ attitude. According to a bottom fractal observed by independent market researcher Wolf, Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency, Ether, is poised for a significant bullish reversal after falling 25% from its November high of US$1,675.
Wolf contrasts Ethereum’s multi-month downturn from May 2023 to March 2023 with a comparable but shorter correction after July 2023. According to the researcher, if the trend continues, the price of Ether will have bottomed out in November 2023.
Wolf takes inspiration from the March 2023 Ethereum price fall, which was precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic – a black swan event. Similarly, the bankruptcy of cryptocurrency exchange FTX in November 2023 pulled down the price of ETH. Furthermore, Cold Blood Shiller, an independent market analyst, observes an “obvious breakthrough point” on Ethereum’s daily chart, namely its Awesome Oscillator (AO) and Relative Strength Index (RSI) (RSI). Both indications look to have lately turned bullish.
Nonetheless, Ether is already down 75% from its peak in November 2023, with the market experiencing many bull traps since then.
Aditya Siddhartha Roy, a market analyst, observes the possibility of a similar bull trap forming in the current micro rally, which he believes risks exhaustion at a multi-month descending resistance trendline.
A substantial pullback from the declining trendline would bring Ether toward $700, which Roy describes as a “potential bottom.”
However, following the March 2023 drop, ETH/USD rallied strongly, aided by the Federal Reserve’s rate cuts, which pumped more money into the economy, some of which went into the crypto market.
Similarly, Ether’s slight comeback post-FTX “black swan” in November 2023 aligns with increased anticipation of the Fed halting its rate rises. As a result, Ether is likely to repeat the March 2023 fractal to new monthly highs.
Google announced this week that it won’t launch a Facebook-killer social network, but would instead add a “social layer” to existing products, right? Well, not so fast.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt said this week that Google intends to add a “social component” to “Google’s core products.”
He said if Google knows who your friends are, the company can improve search quality. “Everybody has convinced themselves that there’s some huge project about to get announced next week. And I can assure you that’s not the case,” he said.
At least one site even reported the news under the headline: “Eric Schmidt: We’re Not Making A Facebook Rival.”
Really? He said that?
In fact, Schmidt didn’t say anything new at all. Let’s break down what Schmidt actually said:
• Google will make existing projects more social.
• Knowing user contacts improves search relevance.
• Google is not going to announce a huge project next week.
Schmidt’s “announcement” announced nothing. Google has been socializing services for years. Google Reader has social elements. Gmail has been Buzzified. Google Search has acquired various social elements.
Adding social elements is just what companies do nowadays. Apple even added a social component called Ping to its iTunes music service. That Google plans to do what many other companies are doing — add social features to existing services — is something anyone could have guessed.
In fact, if Google were to announce that it would never add any social elements to existing products — now that would have been truly shocking and unexpected.
Obviously Google is on a mission to improve the quality of search by sucking in contextual data. And obviously social network awareness helps the effort. Everybody already knows that. Even Schmidt said this is “obvious.”
Schmidt’s statement that Google won’t announce a big project next week technical doesn’t preclude the possibility that Google will do so week after next.
Most importantly, Schmidt did NOT say Google won’t launch a social network to compete directly with Facebook. Yet this is what reporting implies.
We still have every reason to believe Google will launch such a social network. Here’s why I still believe in a Google Me social network:
As Facebook proved with its deadly combination of walled garden destination site with “Like” buttons sprinkled all over the Internet, the killer strategy is social everywhere combined with a specific destination site.
A social layer on top of conventional services is compelling, but many ordinary users want a service that feels like a “private space” to interact with loved ones and friends. Facebook dominates the social scene for a very short list of reasons, and one of these is that it feels closed, which it is, and that it feels private, which it is not.
Google does not have a constitutional opposition to a closed social network, as the continued existence, support and improvement of the Orkut social network proves. Google has demonstrated many times, most recently with Wave, that it won’t hesitate to kill services that don’t achieve the company’s objectives. Yet the company has recently overhauled and improved Orkut.
I believe Google has decided internally to build a Facebook-killer social network site, and will wait until it has all the pieces in place before announcing anything. However, even if I’m wrong about this, there’s no reason Google wouldn’t change its strategy later. What Google will never do is give up and cede control of the Internet to Facebook.
Until this week, the consensus rumor was that Google would launch a Facebook-killer social network called Google Me. And nothing has happened this week to disprove that rumor.
Of course, nobody knows what Google or any company will do in the future. But I still believe in Google Me.
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