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Wellingborough, UK - BlackBerry has today announced the release of their highly anticipated BlackBerry 10 operating system, as well as their first BlackBerry 10 smart phones, the Z10 and Q10, which come outfitted with 4G connectivity, in addition to Bluetooth Smart and NFC connectivity. The inclusion of Bluetooth Smart and NFC follows the trend we have seen from other smart phone providers such as Samsung, and HTC that have also utilized these technologies in their recent handsets.

The utilization of Bluetooth Smart in the BlackBerry 10 platform will open it up developers who will be able to take advantage of a growing market of connectable devices such as health and wellness monitors, sports and fitness monitoring equipment, in addition to a range of other devices such as home automation equipment that also utilizes Bluetooth Smart. According to an IHS study “Wireless Opportunities in Health and Wellness Monitoring – 2012 Edition”, more than 69 million Bluetooth low energy health and sports monitors will ship between 2012 and 2017.

Phillip Maddocks, market analyst at IHS, states, “By incorporating Bluetooth Smart into the BlackBerry 10 platform, BlackBerry will be able to provide a platform that is renowned for its enterprise use, in addition to meeting casual users needs who might want to use their device to monitor their health or sports performance, or in some instances, turn a light off inside their house using their phone. Several sports and fitness vendors such as Nike, Polar, Garmin and Wahoo Fitness have already either released or announced products that utilize Bluetooth Smart.”

BlackBerry has followed a trend set by other smart phone manufacturers on the hardware side by providing up-to-date connectivity, in addition to providing 4G support and support for future mobile payment platforms. Near Field Communication was previously included within the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 and enabled users to make payments using their smart phone. Other platforms such as Android have also been offering the same functionality, utilizing Google Wallet on NFC enabled phones. According to IHS, more than 75 million NFC enabled cellular handsets were shipped in 2012, and with today’s announcement, and the expectation that other major phone manufacturers incorporate the technology, this will continue to grow.

“The incorporation of NFC in smart phones has been increasing, with functionality such as mobile payment being the main use case for the technology in the BlackBerry 9900 which also featured the technology,” Maddocks continues. “This is expected to continue to be the main use case; however, the technology can also be used for simply the pairing process with other devices that utilize both NFC and a technology such as Bluetooth Smart, which is also another area which will be an added benefit for accessories that provide this functionality.”

BlackBerry’s announcement today brings their handsets in line with where the industry is heading, despite being delayed, and later to the market than expected. The incorporation of Bluetooth Smart and NFC highlight that BlackBerry is not only looking after the enterprise market, but are also address the consumer space where its main competitors such as Samsung and Apple are already addressing the possibilities that these technologies can bring to their respective platforms.

About “Wireless Opportunities in Health and Wellness Monitoring – 2012 Edition” report

IMS Research’s latest report “Wireless Opportunities in Health and Wellness Monitoring – 2012 Edition” assesses the uptake of 10 connectivity technologies (Wired, Classic Bluetooth, Bluetooth low energy, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, DECT ULE, ANT, NFC, 5 kHz, and Proprietary & Others) in five consumer health monitoring devices, with addition segmentation between consumer medical devices, and telehealth medical devices (blood pressure monitors, blood glucose monitors, pulse oximeters, implantable devices, and others), five types of dedicated health hub (dedicated/standalone hubs, cellular handsets, PC/Laptop/Tablets, residential gateway, and others), and five sports and fitness monitoring devices (heart rate monitors, pedometers, footpods, speed & distance sensors, and cycling computers). Additional segmentation is also provided for the uptake of consumer health devices in three major regions (Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific). This report was published in March 2012.

About IHS 

IHS is the leading source of information, insight and analytics in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 165 countries around the globe rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is committed to sustainable, profitable growth and employs more than 6,000 people in 31 countries around the world.

About IMS Research  

IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS, is a leading supplier of market research and consultancy to over 2500 clients worldwide, including most of the world’s largest technology companies. Established in the UK in 1989, IMS Research now has dedicated analyst teams focused on the factory automation, automotive, communications, computer, consumer, display, financial & ID, LED & lighting, medical, power & energy, solar PV, smart grid and security markets.  Currently publishing over 350 different syndicated report titles each year, these in-depth publications are used by major electronics and industrial companies to assess market trends, solve marketing problems, and improve the efficiency of their businesses.



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