BlackBerry Enters Music Streaming Market: Too Little, Too Late?
May 1, 2012

BlackBerry Enters Music Streaming Market: Too Little, Too Late?

John Neumann for

Research In Motion (RIM) seems to be sailing through some rough seas at the moment. Apple and Android are eating up its Blackberry market share like a pair of hungry sharks and they show no signs of slowing.

Hoping to stem some of the bleeding and to give its loyal adherents hope that it can turn its fortunes around, RIM has released the BlackBerry Music Gateway at the BlackBerry World 2012 conference.

The Gateway is a compact Bluetooth box that allows a BlackBerry phone — or, indeed any Bluetooth-support mobile device — to play music through your home or car speakers.

Just like Apple and Android have been doing with third-party devices for the last several years.

The Gateway uses Near-Field Communications (NFC) short-range wireless technology, users can pair and connect their BlackBerry smartphones with the Gateway simply by tapping them together.

If you´re using a non-NFC device, or a non-RIM handset, you can pair via Bluetooth as normal.

After this simple exercise is done, any audio output from the phone or tablet will be shuttled out of the Gateway instead. It´s all controlled from your device, too, meaning you can manage playlists from across the room, writes Kate Taylor for TG Daily.

“Customers can sync their personal music library, purchase albums and songs from the BlackBerry Music Store or stream music from the numerous BlackBerry App World music apps such as BBM Music, Pandora or Slacker, for a rich multimedia experience,” says the company. “Getting music on your BlackBerry has never been easier.”

Just like Apple and Android have been doing for the last several years.

Your Blackberry can then be used as the remote for complete control of playback, track changes, and volume, and it can carry out other tasks, such as surfing the web, at the same time. Music automatically pauses when an incoming phone call is received and continues when it ends ℠without skipping a beat´, says RIM.

Just like, well, you get the idea.

No major devices are expected to be released until at least the end of the year and along with ongoing high-level personnel shake-ups, RIM needs to do something at the conference to drum up a bit of market enthusiasm, especially with no sign of its new operating system on the horizon.

Market share for the former enterprise leader in personal devices is estimated at a current 10 percent or so, and has been steadily falling in the face of more responsive, quicker-reacting technology companies such as, well, you know.