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I am a Managing Partner, IT. I'm an investor from time-to-time in the technology sector. I made good calls on Worldcom, NetZero, Blackberry and others in my time. I know people in the technology world so I get alot of input from the end-users of technology products on how these technology... More
  • BBRY: AT&T And GM To Bring 4G LTE In-Car Starting In 2014 3 comments
    Feb 25, 2013 7:48 AM | about stocks: BBRY

    AT&T just stole the in-Car wireless contract to bring 4G LTE for GM and OnStar from suddenly-out-of-the-picture Verizon Wireless. OnStar is QNX-powerwed, and QNX is a Blackberry property. Already in pre-market trading Blackberry is up over 4%.

    The Detroit News

    As Blackberry fans may know, AT&T has been by far the most loyal Blackberry carrier, currently listed as the only source for legacy (Bold, Torch) phones, and a prime soon-to-be distributor of QNX-era Blackberry phones (Z10, Q10, et. al).

    In view of the extensive QNX concept cars shown at CES 2012 (Porsche 911) and 2013 (Bentley Continental) and QNX long-established position as a core technology partner to GM OnStar (as well as integration in many other car makes) this naturally will lead to a large uptick in BBRY shares today (predicted).

    Potential market for 4G LTE equipped cars is in the millions. Also, early comments indicate 4G LTE in-car apps will be largely if not totally implemented in HTML5, which Blackberry QNX-based phones already lead (485 score on HTML5 test, compared to 386 for iPhone).

    There is much talk that there will be an Android-HTML5 interface so the news seems to be a big win for BBRY due to it's full ownership of QNX and a peripheral big win for Android. Bodes badly for Apple left out of the picture along with it's buddy Verizon, and also bodes badly for the future of Apple's application store concept, since it is clear now that Blackberry intends to wage a fight based on the premise which they have bet heavily on that seamless app integration across car and mobile device is going to be HTML5 standardized.

    Cheers Blackberry Faithful! This day, we fight!

    Disclosure: I am long BBRY.

    Additional disclosure: Call options, heavily leveraged.

    Stocks: BBRY
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  • gstanden
    , contributor
    Comments (665) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Sr. Engineer, Oracle. Blackberry faithful, not because of blind loyalty, but because it is, imho, the best, fastest reliable platform for business.
    25 Feb 2013, 07:51 AM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (52) | Send Message
    Excellent piece. Read the news early today and thought about the implications. You gave me further clarification and understanding. Nice to have confirmation on the QNX foundation.
    26 Feb 2013, 03:29 AM Reply Like
  • gstanden
    , contributor
    Comments (665) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Thanks BSA BRG. Just for the record I want to state several things. First, I am not affiliated with GM, OnStar, Blackberry or AT&T, although I am a loyal consumer of products from all of these companies, and have significant call option holdings currently in Blackberry. My car, and my wife's car, both have OnStar. Me, my wife, and my mother all use Blackberry Torch 9810's (great phone BTW). My carrier is AT&T for all 3 Blackberry Torch 9810's and also my Acer Aspire One with built-in SIM card (running Canonical's Ubuntu 12.04 BTW - another great "free" product).


    As far as the basis for my claims in this Instablog post which I wrote, I want to state that this is my deduction based on the following facts. Here is the QNX link which establishes their OnStar participation:


    URL for QNX Customer Stories Page (then scroll down to the GM entry):



    Next I will present my evidence for my claim that AT&T is the true Blackberry loyalist of the "big 4" carriers in the US (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint).


    First, when I went to shop for a Blackberry in fall of 2012, I went to my then-carrier T-Mobile and asked to see the Torch 9810 which I saw on display in the store, but was told "we are phasing out the Torch" and imho the Sales Associate tried to steer me to Android products (and did, successfully - I got a Galaxy SII which despite my best efforts over a 6 week period to use for business, failed miserably and was returned for yet another Android phone which also flunked). So in desperation I went to Best Buy and through them got hooked up with a Blackberry Torch 9810 which immediately began successfully solving my business needs with good to excellent results and was a winner. That's the first piece of evidence for the AT&T loyalty to Blackberry claim - my own personal experience.


    The second piece of evidence is that I went to and clicked on the "Where to Buy" link and then the "Smartphones" link and when I selected Blackberry products such as Bold or Torch, the only American carrier that was returned (other than Box stores like Best Buy) was AT&T. That's piece of evidence #2.


    So far, I claim that the above establishes that (1) QNX benefits directly from any expansion of OnStar service offering; (2) QNX gets the super bonus benefit when that expansion is happening under the AT&T umbrella because AT&T has shown the strongest Blackberry support of the Big 4 American carriers. (3) There is good reason to believe that QNX and AT&T will hatch a plan to integrate Blackberry mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets running QNX into the new in-car 4G LTE offering since (a) the 2 companies have a long-standing and currently-ongoing relationship and (b) because QNX-based mobile devices naturally will complement a QNX-based in-car system (OnStar that is).


    More evidence: QNX has been demoing OnStar QNX-based apps on the Blackberry Playbook tablet (a product which while it flopped in round 1, is, imho, poised for a reboot). Here is the link where QNX demoed their OnStar app (video - interesting how they were demoing this and now we have the AT&T - GM - OnStar announcement):



    Then there are the 2012 and 2013 CES QNX Concept Cars (the Porsche 911 and Bentley Continental, respectively, with the former having won a CES Best of Show award).


    So I claim the above evidence, plus recent articles about QNX working to integrate their product with AT&T Watson (just search on QNX and AT&T Watson) provides more evidence that the evidence was always there that this AT&T GM OnStar QNX Blackberry hookup was in the cards.


    Lastly we have my claim about HTML5. This I will admit is based on circumstantial evidence, but I think it has a strong basis for several reasons:


    (1) The carriers do not want to be held hostage to a particular device or OS by any one company's "App Store" (cough Apple)


    (2) The manufacturers do not want to have to grease the palms of and cajole and beg developers to support their latest hardware, OS, etc.


    (3) Therefore in view of (1) and (2) above, both the carriers and the manufacturers are in favor of standardized apps so that both the devices and the apps are commoditized making margins, while thin, much more predictable, per device.


    (4) The Mozilla initiative, and other upcoming initiatives, suggest a push to browserize the application experience on the smartphone. We already know that this is a valid trend because it already happened once, which was during the PC evolution: custom applications were replaced almost universally by a requirement that all apps be browser-based. It is reasonable to assume that this is going to happen in the smartphone world too, and we already have evidence from the Mozilla initiative, and also from Blackberry's focus on making their HTML5 compliant browser on the QNX-based phones (Z10 and Q10) score the highest of any commericially available smartphone (485 for Blackberry vs. 386 for iPhone). Add to this that we already know that QNX Car 2.0 platform is going to be all HTML5 apps, and imho we definitely see a strategy crystallizing from the up to now rather inscrutable moves Blackberry has been taking - the focus on the HTML5 browser, and, despite their fanfare about the 70K apps at launch of Z10, I would still say they are banking on an HTML5 standardization revolution which the automative deal that is the subject of this article is going to help to establish, and that the apps thing is already a legacy issue it's just many just don't know that yet.


    This would also explain why some popular apps are not going to port to QNX. Perhaps they also see an HTML5 revolution on the horizon and say, let's just wait and roll out HTML5.


    The above does not explain why NetFlix is blocking HTML5 access to their offerings over Z10 vial the Blackberry HTML5 browser. Maybe someone could explain that one to me - or maybe someone could try to shoot down the evidence I have just presented. What I am after is the truth ahead of time, because I have money at risk. At this point, I believe Blackberry to be an excellent opportunity to invest. But if you think I am wrong, then prove me wrong, anyone?
    26 Feb 2013, 09:13 AM Reply Like
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