News Scan: Finally, a way for BlackBerry to make money; Has mobile made Office obsolete?; more
>> BlackBerry works to make money off of BBM
BlackBerry is working on a number of ways to generate revenue from its popular BBM messaging service in the next 12 months, reports Re/code. For example, the company plans to charge firms for a more secure and audited version of BBM for employee use. BlackBerry also plans to add "sponsored channels" as an option for brands that want to market directly to consumers. "There isn't a single monetization model here that needs to ubiquitously work or be forced on things," says David Proulx, senior director of BBM business development. Read more on the monetizing of BBM.
>> Has mobility made Office obsolete?
While Microsoft is expected to launch Office for the iPad at the end of this week, James Kendrick of ZDNet wonders whether mobility has made that suite obsolete. "With iPads entering the workplace in ever greater numbers, Microsoft must get Office for iPad released ASAP. It can't afford for iPad owners, and especially corporations, to discover that alternative mobile office suites can handle most, if not all, of what they currently use Office to do," Kendrick writes. Read more on the time crunch Microsoft faces.
>> Non-trucking commercial fleets adopting telematics
Adoption of telematics by non-trucking commercial fleets is expected to equal adoption by the trucking segment by the end of this year, according to ABI Research. By 2019, almost 50 million non-trucking commercial fleet vehicles are forecast to be equipped with telematics. The non-trucking sector includes vehicles used by services firms, utilities, private transportation firms, construction and mining companies, the government and public sector, emergency services, public transportation and delivery firms. Read more on the further integration of telematics.
>> Wearable device battery revenues to jump tenfold by 2018
Wearable electronics are expected to fuel a tenfold growth in revenues for wearable device battery vendors over the next four years, with revenues reaching $77 million by 2018, predicts IHS Technology. Annual shipments for wearable electronic devices are forecast by IHS to reach an estimated 56 million units by 2018. "The tremendous expansion in store will come thanks to an increase in the shipments of smartwatch products, wearable health monitoring devices and smart glasses--products geared toward an active lifestyle combining advanced technological trends in miniature computing with newly smart consumer imperatives in fitness and fashion," says Thomas McAlpine, power supply and storage component analyst for IHS. Read more about the expected jump forward for wearable device batteries.
>> Shipment of tablet hybrids to reach 50M by 2018
Tablet hybrid devices are forecast by Juniper Research to reach nearly 50 million units shipped by 2018, up from 9.5 million units in 2013. Juniper explains that tablet hybrids "are designed to achieve additional or improved tablet functionality through the use of accessories or can be in the form of an Ultrabook that can have the screen removed to perform as a slate." The firm notes that retailers are increasingly offering low-cost tablets as a gateway to online services using widgets and pre-installed features. Read more about tablet hybrids.