RIM rumored to be planning Apple TV competitor

RIM rumored to be planning Apple TV competitor

Summary: Research In Motion is reportedly going into the home entertainment business with a rumored set-top box in the works intended to rival Apple TV.

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Research In Motion is reportedly going into the home entertainment business with a rumored set-top box in the works intended to rival Apple TV.

Nerdberry is reporting that RIM is developing a BlackBerry OS-based media box similar to Apple's set-top box that will be dubbed as the "BlackBerry Cyclone." Expected features include HDMI, Wi-Fi connectivity, and access to Netflix, YouTube and more unspecified channels.

Not much else is known at the moment except that we should be seeing this device this fall - if it is really going to happen.

As Boy Genius Report points out, it would definitely be a twist from RIM. It also remains to be seen what kind of media file manager that RIM would use to compare with iTunes. Nor has RIM ever shown much interest in developing strictly consumer/non-business and entertainment products.

It has, however, tried to go head-to-head with Apple before. There was the BlackBerry Storm that tried to compete with the iPhone, and that failed. And then there is the PlayBook, which was also received very tepidly by consumers, to say the least.

Although, like the HP TouchPad and even Sony's upcoming tablets, the BlackBerry PlayBook was not touted as an iPad competitor. Nevertheless, that's the way consumers shopping for either business or personal motives will see it.

That same principle could be applied should it actually launch this fall. However, there are other set-top boxes (especially from Roku and Boxee) that are far more popular in their market than the TouchPad and PlayBook are in theirs.

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Topics: BlackBerry, Apple, Hardware, Mobility, Security

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25 comments
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  • Wait a dog gone minute here!!!

    NonZ has been saying for at least a couple years or more that AppleTV has been or is a proven failure so why on earth would RIM want to compete against a failure? Well it is RIM so OK:P

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • RE: RIM rumored to be planning Apple TV competitor

      I can't quote sales, but I do think that the concept of the AppleTV is starting to pick up in popularity. This is because of the fact that, with recent iOS versions, you can sync everything.

      I could definitely see potential for the same sort of integration for RIM, if they do it right. Then again, I still think they should make a 10" PlayBook.
      Michael Alan Goff
    • Because maybe RIM will offer features that Apple doesn't?

      @James Quinn
      Just because Apple's version isn't flying off the shelves doesn't mean no ones interested in the concept - it could likely mean that Apple just didn't or can't get it right.

      Maybe RIM has a better way of doing it that will get people interested and buying these types of devices.
      William Pharaoh
      • I guess that's just it

        @William Pharaoh

        EVERYBODY is interested in the concept, yet no one is really selling a lot. Fry's has a whole shelf with about a dozen variants of the "media streaming" box. Unless RIM's device is going to do something that these don't what's the point?

        As far as this being any competition for the Apple TV, it's not. Unless RIM is going into the music and digital movie selling business this won't even cause a hiccup in the Apple TVs lackluster sales.
        oncall
      • oncall, that is my point

        @William Pharaoh
        I've been interested in the idea, just not a fan of the cost and effort it takes to do it.
        William Pharaoh
      • RE: RIM rumored to be planning Apple TV competitor

        @William Pharaoh Cost and effort? Have you actually priced an AppleTV and set one up? I am not saying it's perfect (I don't have one) or that it's the best option but at $99 it pretty cheap and very easy to setup.
        non-biased
    • RE: RIM rumored to be planning Apple TV competitor

      @James Quinn
      RIM is always behind and slow to figure things out. Apple tv is and has been a afailure as its pointless as you can do the same for free with a laptop, xbox ,ps3, or home computer so to buy one means your stupid or real real lazy. RIM as usual is following another failed idea which in their minds is a good idea.
      Fletchguy
      • RE: RIM rumored to be planning Apple TV competitor

        @Fletchguy Most people I know can't even connect a DVD player to their TV set-up without hours of fiddling around. People simply aren't technically competent enough to choose a cobbled together solution using a PS3 and duct tape, as you suggest. It's not laziness at all. AppleTV hasn't been a failure if you understand what the company's objectives are for the device (see my comment above).
        oriorda
      • RE: RIM rumored to be planning Apple TV competitor

        @Fletchguy [i]Apple tv is and has been a afailure as its pointless as you can do the same for free with a laptop, xbox ,ps3, or home computer so to buy one means your stupid or real real lazy.[/i]
        So the laptop, Xbox, PS3 or home computer are free? Where are you getting these for free? Each cost more than an AppleTV so they are not free. If you already have an Xbox or PS3 already hooked up to your TV then you can go that route cheaper but if not which is a better route to go? For the vast majority (the none tech public) spending $99 on a small AppleTV is far more appealing than having your desktop or laptop sitting next to your TV on the entertainment center or running cables. You would do anything to avoid giving any credit to an Apple product so you obviously are not the target market.
        non-biased
    • RE: RIM rumored to be planning Apple TV competitor

      @James Quinn I do not think AppleTV has been a proven failure at all. It is, after all, defined by Apple as a 'hobby' which we might see as the company getting a toe in the water, some skin in the game. The issue Apple defines that stops it going for this market in a comprehensive way is not so much technology, but a go-to-market problem. The customers for any solution are not free agents who can decide what is best for them in isolation. They are in contracts with their current cable suppliers, who supply set top boxes for free. It's going to be hard for ANY company to break open this effective monopoly. Content providers are largely in control and until this is broken down, it's hard to see how Apple or anyone else could burst through to explosive growth.
      oriorda
      • RE: RIM rumored to be planning Apple TV competitor

        @steftheref I agree. I think AppleTV is a proof-of-concept device for Apple to use to get TV set mfgs. to incorporate its functionality in future sets. At this point, they can say look, we've got MILLIONS of iTunes customers who could stream media to YOUR set from their iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Given the cost of AppleTV is US$99, the cost to manufacture the thing is probably around US$50. Incorporating the chipset into an existing chassis should drop the price from there. I know plenty of people who would consider having built-in AppleTV functionality a major selling point when evaluating a set purchase. These are the kind of people who don't want to futz with cables, configurations, etc.
        MichaelJMotal
      • RE: RIM rumored to be planning Apple TV competitor

        @MichaelJMotal At $99 the AppleTV is a low to no risk item that has potential. My concern is that if it is added to a TV, let alone an Apple branded TV that the additional feature will drive the cost up much further than $99. I think AppleTV in it's current for or built into TVs won't hit it's true market potential until they allow access to the App Store. Access to the App Store with the inclusion of iCloud could make a world of difference in the AppleTV's appeal.

        As far as the topic of the article, I can't see RIM being very successful in this venture. If maybe they were know for their consumer devices let alone media devices it would be a different story.
        non-biased
    • RE: RIM rumored to be planning Apple TV competitor

      @James Quinn Hehe, quite <a href="http://www.us-djs.net">DJ agency</a>
      mrswilliamson
  • RE: RIM rumored to be planning Apple TV competitor

    Straight out of the the "answering a question nobody asked" department...
    Playdrv4me
  • Hmmmm

    Think RIM should first clean house before venturing into something different. It's good that they [or any company] doesn't put all their eggs in one basket, but still....
    Like the story of releasing 7 new smartphones this fall? Way too many. Two or three is enough. Easier to support.
    Gis Bun
  • RIM needs new managment. The current management is RIMs enemy of success.

    Like they were purposely trying to drive it into the ground. Now this disaster in the making. Look up "focus" in the dictionary guys! Holy crap.
    Johnny Vegas
  • RE: RIM rumored to be planning Apple TV competitor

    This could make sense if it was an IPTV box. There's lots of phone carriers that would like to get into the "cable TV" type of business. It's likely that the QNX people already had this type of product in there plans pre-acquisition. Combine RIMs relationship with carriers, the TAT people to do a UI and they might have new product.
    darbuthnot@...
  • Wow, this has got to be false.

    Even RIM isn't stupid enough to go into the STB business without a huge media store.
    matthew_maurice
  • media boxes are a good idea. but...

    I'd rather have a small htpc attached to my tv instead, as it has all of the functions of a media streaming box wifi etc and a lot more. Plus having a full Os W7 I can put just about everything on it instead of just apps from 1 store. Plus if necessary i can upgrade certain components.
    It even boots up quicker then my virgin media cable box and is about the same size.
    For me apple tv, google tv, net inabled tv's etc are a bit of a fad and there are too many different products in the market place that all have the exact same services netflix/youtube iplayer etc
    SFF HTPC and a subscription to lovefilm, a small bluetooth keyboard/ mouse is all i need.
    I know HTPC's can be expensive but if a big corporation started really getting into the amrket then maybe the price could be driven down. Ok my set up is more then an apple tv, but it has more functionality
    eatingacheesepastieforlunch
    • RE: RIM rumored to be planning Apple TV competitor

      @eatingacheesepastieforlunch [i]I'd rather have a small htpc attached to my tv instead,...[/i]

      I can understand where you are coming from but what you need to understand is that what you want and would do don't match the vast majority of the consumer market that these devices are targeted at.
      non-biased