Week in Tech: BlackBerry's ripe for the picking as Apple falls far from the tree

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If we needed to sum up this week in sounds, we ‘d choose 2. One would be a sad clown playing an out of tune piano being thrown down a stairwell, and the other would be a high-pitched whooshing sound.

The sad clown sound originates from Blackberry, the once-proud smartphone giant that’s simply put itself up for sale.

The official phrase is that a special committee will ‘discover strategic options to boost value and increase scale’, however realistically Blackberry is basing on the high street providing three pairs of socks for a pound.

How did it come to this? Gareth Beavis understands: ‘If you don’t relocate with the times, you’ll be overtaken and eaten by technological vultures devouring the juciest littles your once-cutting-edge carcass.’ We understand, we understand, that’s rather dark. You should’ve seen the stories he wrote in primary institution.

It’s easy to blame the iPhone for Blackberry’s demise, but the problems return more: the 2002 Quark combined calling and email, and while it was ‘the future’ it was ‘also the business’s downfall’.

‘The concept ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ should’ve been emblazoned on the walls,’ says Beavis: RIM (as it was then known) ‘eschewed 3G, took ages to include cameras or Wi-Fi to its gadgets as well as handled to ruin the touchscreen when it lastly attempted to equal the iPhone with the Blackberry Storm.’

Blackberry is a company packed with skill, but all too frequently its timing sucks.

Going steady or falling apart?

Guess who else is supposedly in trouble? That’s right: Apple, because nothing states ‘disaster’ like being the most important innovation company in the world. But there’s trouble in paradise.

The board is getting jittery and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison reckons history will duplicate – ‘we saw Apple with Steve Jobs, we saw Apple without Steve Jobs,’ he states. But billionaire investor Carl Icahn states Apple is ‘exceptionally undervalued.’

Who to believe? Kate Solomon concurs that ‘Jobs is a hard act to follow,’ however Tim Cook must disregard calls to do something quickly. ‘No,’ Solomon counsels. ‘Do something great.’ It’s not that Apple is in difficulty, it’s that the world is impatient.

‘Like you, I desire magic,’ Solomon says. ‘At any tech launch, I am hoping for something that’ll trigger my eyes to broaden and an involuntary ‘Oh wow!’ to slip out. I desire it to do something beneficial, I want it to work perfectly, I desire it to look lovely and I desire it to be awesome. And hey, that’s going to take a little time.’

Something else that’s taken a little time is Windows 8.1, however it’s almost done now and you’ll have the ability to get it in October. The cunningly called Windows 8.1 will hit Windows Update in October, and Microsoft hopes it will improve interest in Windows 8 systems.

We hope so too: Windows 8 has not been the stimulus the PC sector wished for, and information stories about Windows RT increasingly sound like broadcasts from the deck of the Titanic.

Down the tubes

And the high-pitched whooshing noise? That’s Elon Musk’s Hyperloop, which may be the future of travel, a billionaire’s folly or an actually efficient means of turning humans into pink mist.

As Michelle Fitzsimmons explains: ‘One day years from now you might discover yourself sitting comfortably in a tube, hurtling from San Francisco to L.a at 800 miles an hour.’

There’s simply one issue with Musk’s idea. He is not really going to develop it. He’s too busy exploring area and things, ‘so don’t expect to be whizzing down tubes to visit your granny any time soon,’ says Duncan Geere. ‘But by the time you are a granny? Don’t rule it out.’