John Chen, BlackBerry CEO’s Open Letter

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Chen’s letter in full, below:

To our BlackBerry Community,

As you know, this is a time of significant change at BlackBerry as we accelerate our efforts to transform our business.

I know there has been a lot said about BlackBerry, but let me remind you that at BlackBerry, we are not dwelling on the past. We are looking towards the future.

We Are Committed to Reclaiming our Success

We have begun moving the company to embrace a multi-platform, BYOD world by adopting a new mobility management platform and a new device strategy. We are also leveraging our tremendous assets, including BBM, our network and QNX. While we are proud of these accomplishments, we know there is more work to be done.

I know that it’s going to take time, discipline and tough decisions to reclaim BlackBerry’s success and we are ready for that challenge.

Our Commitment to our Customers Remains Unchanged

We remain committed to delivering high quality products and services to the millions of people who rely on us globally. We also want our customers to know that BlackBerry has significant financial strength for the long-haul.

I believe in the value of this brand. With the right team and right strategy in place, I am confident that we will rebuild BlackBerry for the benefit of all of our constituencies.

We are Excited for the Future and you Should Be Too

Thank you for your strong support and continued commitment.

Sincerely,

John S. Chen
Executive Chair and CEO

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Verizon Will Offer The BlackBerry Z30 in November

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In the USA, Verizon will offer, in November, just in time for the holidays,  BlackBerry’s latest cell phone offering, the all new 5″ super AMOLED,for $199 with a two year contract. We previously provided details on the new hardware, and 10.2 software:

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/?s=z30&submit=Search

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New Z30 (right) shown next to the Samsung Galaxy S4 (left)

One cool feature of OS 10.2 is the “Adaptive Share” where the software on being requested to “share” something, learns your favorite “share” sites like BBM friends, BBM Channels, FaceBook and presents the top share selections as top suggestions with larger icons and top line placement of a users favorite sharing habits.  For a recent media interview see the story below.

BlackBerry introduced the BlackBerry 10 platform in January, and in September showed off the Z30, its final smartphone for the year and one that completes the BB10 portfolio with now two touchscreen-focused options and two QWERTY hybrids, Vivek Bhardwaj, BlackBerry’s head of software, told journalists during a briefing Oct. 28. BlackBerry is hoping to stir up a bit more user interest in several ways. There’s that large, vibrant display; a battery that, in mixed-use scenarios, can last more than 24 hours, according to Bhardwaj; and new antenna technology from BlackBerry-acquired Paratak. “They have a very unique solution we’re using for the first time,” Bhardwaj explained. “Most antennas in phones are fixed, or calibrated for a few conditions. But what the Paratek solution does is re-tune on the fly, depending on the conditions. If you’re in a low-coverage area … it recalibrates the antenna so it’s optimized for that lower-coverage area.”

BlackBerry also gave the Z30 six microphones, which circle its exterior. On a conference call, “you can actually tell where people are sitting, it gives you such a strong spatial awareness,” said Bhardwaj. Called BlackBerry Natural Sound, it can better capture audio in a video at a concert, say, but also drown out ambient noise during a call to someone in a busy place.

On the software side, BlackBerry upgraded the Z30 to BB 10.2. One major change in the OS addresses a challenge so many apps are lately out to solve: sorting through too much email. In the Hub, 10.2 features a Priority Hub. The OS learns, as you use it, what’s a priority to you, though it’s easy to also designate contacts or conversations as Priority.

Also new are notifications that run at the top of the device, enabling a user to see a communication that comes in—a text, or an email, for example—while doing something like taking photos or reading in the browser. Without ever leaving the app, one can also respond.

Another little time-saver is on the locked screen. Where before a user could see, without unlocking the screen, that she had new emails and Tweets, now she can even read them, or parts of them.

They’re nice improvements, but are they enough? And why another touchscreen-focused device, when BlackBerry’s last earnings report made clear the Z10 isn’t selling? (The company sold 3.7 million smartphones during the quarter, the majority of which were running Blackberry 7, and posted a quarterly loss of $965 million.)

“It’s about the complete portfolio, and being able to offer it as a choice,” Bhardwaj said again. Maybe a customer goes into a store for the Z10 but decides he likes the Z30 better, or vice versa. “We’d rather we cannibalized by our own products.”

While he wouldn’t talk about the company’s pending sale, Bhardwaj suggested it was nothing that should keep buyers away.The average buyer, he said, just wants a great phone, he or she isn’t asking about the company’s financial standing. The idea that people are looking beyond product shelves into the details of companies is wrong, he said. “We have to break some of that distortion.”

 

Source:http://www.eweek.com/mobile/blackberry-z30-exclusive-to-verizon-wireless-coming-in-november.html

BBM Could Be Worth Billions

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BBM Quick Facts:

 

More than 60 million monthly active users on BlackBerry devices with more than 20 million new iOS and Android users  in the last week

More than 51 million daily active users who are connecting with friends or colleagues an average of one and a half hours every day.

BBM users send and receive more than 10 billion messages each day, nearly twice as many messages per user per day as compared to other mobile messaging apps

Almost half of BBM messages are read within 20 seconds of being received; indicating how truly engaged BBM customers are.

More than 60 million monthly active users

A positive article (not even considering the Channels Playcard!)  on Forbes states:

“BBM Could Be Worth Billions if BlackBerry Can Copy The Line PlayBook” –Tero Kuittinen, October 25, 2013, Forbes.

It is difficult to get a handle on what the early success of BlackBerry’s messaging service on Apple’s AAPL +0.47% iOS and Google’s GOOG +0.49% Android platforms might mean. By Friday 3 PM, BBM has become the #1 app in 80 countries. It hit the 10 M user mark on iOS and Android platforms in 24 hours, yet continues performing remarkably well on its fourth day. It seems that the early wave of super loyal BlackBerry users and curious rubberneckers is segueing into sustained interest in the app. But how to value a free download app that currently offers no paid add-on features or advertising that would create cash flow? The best comparison here is probably LINE, the wildly popular text-messaging service that is now closing on the 300 M download mark.

CEO Thorsten Heins introduces the BlackBerry Z10 (Image credit: AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

Here is the tricky part: LINE, one of the most successful monetization cases in the messaging business, only launched its game service in July 2012. At that point, it had hit 45 M users. It seems possible that BBM could build a similar pool of fresh  iOS/Android users in a matter of months. After launching the game service, it took just 9 months for LINE to hit 100 M game downloads. By spring of 2013, LINE’s game and sticker revenue was topping $100 M a quarter. LINE’s strategy of leveraging a free messaging app to build a wildly profitable game marketing platform took just 12 months to execute. The approach is still so novel that it’s hard to evaluate whether it can be copied by other vendors and how the revenue growth patterns might look after two or three years. But it is clear that at least in Asia, possessing a popular free messaging app is the most effective way to promote games. Right now, 19 out of Top 20 highest grossing apps in Korea belong to the KakaoTalk messaging app platform.

By Friday afternoon, BBM still clung to #2 position in the US iPhone download chart – and remained the #1 app in major markets like Turkey, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, UK, Switzerland, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia. It is particularly interesting that BBM is performing so well in markets where BlackBerry never broke through as a smartphone. It is a Top 10 app in countries like Hungary and Italy. It has hit Top 30 even in Sweden and Finland, the European markets that used to be the most hostile towards BlackBerry devices, never even yielding 2% market penetration for BB.

It took LINE 400 days to reach 100 M registered users. BBM currently has around 60 M users on BlackBerry devices and perhaps 15 M on iOS/Android. The BlackBerry user base is likely set to erode relatively rapidly – but the strong early iOS and Android momentum seems to indicate that hitting 100 M users across all platforms could well happen by next summer. Of course, it is far too early to make solid projections for BBM growth. But its success in several key markets in its first week has already eclipsed anything LINE has managed. For example, this past summer LINE could only crack the US iPhone download chart for a single day, peaking at #18. App download market is utterly dominated by games – messaging apps very rarely crack the Top 10 chart of any market and often tend to achieve this in a very narrow spectrum of countries.

In contrast to LINE, WeChat and Kakaotalk, the early traction of BBM is surprisingly even across Latin America, North America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East and South East Asia. The only major markets where it is really striking out are Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China. This is to be expected – LINE dominates Japan absolutely, Kakao rules Korea and WeChat has a lock on China. But in markets like USA, UK, Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia, BBM has been able to rack up massive early download volumes even against rival services with very high established market penetration. It looks like BBM has a decent chance of vaulting clearly ahead of rivals such as Tango, Kik and Nimbuzz in coming months.

If BBM hits the middle tier between behemoths like LINE and WhatsApp who are closing in on 100-300 M active monthly users and smaller rivals like Tango and Nimbuzz, how would the service be valued? That depends entirely on whether BlackBerry can build an effective content distribution/marketing system on top of BBM. If it can copy the LINE playbook and start offering social games once it has 45 M iOS/Android users, BlackBerry could be hitting the game platform stage already next spring. BBM currently has strong traction in some of the most lucrative mobile game markets in the world, including USA , UK and Germany.

Expecting BBM to match LINE’s $100M  a quarter game/sticker revenue by end of 2014 is a stretch, because BlackBerry has no prior experience in managing this type of business and Japanese consumers are more willing to pay for extras than their Western peers. But a successful BBM network across the globe is a potential marketing platform that could reach revenue of tens of millions a quarter in short order. What BlackBerry needs right now is a clear, effective strategy of rolling out LINE-like content offerings and tailoring them to each major market. If the company can manage this, BBM alone could have a substantial valuation by next summer. LINE is planning a Tokyo IPO right now and its market cap is being tentatively estimated to be in the $8-10 B bracket.

Creating a service that could reach just one quarter of LINE’s success should be in BBM’s grasp – and  could be a major reversal of fortune for BlackBerry. Much is now riding on how the company handles its BBM content delivery strategy.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/terokuittinen/2013/10/25/bbm-could-be-worth-billions-if-blackberry-can-copy-the-line-playbook/

BlackBerry an Alternative Reality, An Alternative Future

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(Check out below the video of the first car to cell call: BBM car to BlackBery Z10 phone call)

By Darryl McKinnon (edited by Fernando Commodari, Ph.D.)

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Recently I penned an open letter to the Canadian Government and members of Parliament regarding the sale of BlackBerry:

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/a-letter-to-members-of-the-canadian-parliament/

My intention was to express my concern over the sale, to explain why I believe it’s not a just reaction to the current circumstances at BlackBerry. I also wanted to provide clear solutions instead of simply addressing the obvious problems. Perhaps understandably the process of writing the letter and the reaction to it from readers, has lead me to believe more needs to be said.

My biggest concern has always been the muted reaction from Canadians to the potential loss of BlackBerry to a foreign bidder and the reputational loss to the Canadian Stock markets & Canada as a competitor on the 1st world stage. It’s a given, if BlackBerry was to be taken over by a foreign company or even taken private, it will not look good upon the Canadian Stock Market, and on their ability to support their listings. Canada will lose a foothold in high tech/high talent jobs and intellectual IP built by Canadians, as happened with Nortel and the Avrow Arrow:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWuZtk8uPP0

The question becomes why? Or a deeper look asks, what’s really going on?

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Previously I gave examples of how Americans support their publicly traded tech companies. How they support their technology companies through their financial markets.

I provided data on how Facebook, Twitter, Netflix and Tesla among others, trade at hundreds of times their earnings. These massive multiples are amassed in part because of how the American financial system is set up to support their technology industry & other listed stocks.

Hedge funds backed up by massive media outlets provide a megaphone to the American population, extolling the virtues of said companies while simply ignoring the potentially dangerous multiples those companies trade at. The hedge funds provide the analysis and the media provide the megaphone.

American TV networks and news media protect and build value for their companies. It is often the same ownership at the helm of the media and companies being built up, with the same vested interests; the same power makers and lobbyists that offer the venture capital.

Once you take a closer look. You see the connected nature of the system. You see how everyone stands to benefit from the consistent positive spin. It’s true that the media players bring out market bears, that give the opposite view of the market and the companies we’ve been discussing. But by carefully controlling the content and ratio of positives vs negatives, the resulting perceptions are built casting a reality; all this gets to carry on as those companies with the massive valuations, far outside their ability to earn money proceed to use those funds to buy actual value.

 

Canada lacks the global reach of the American Media, and often the Canadian media just tows the line on what is fed via the American news outlets. With all levels of media being controlled by a select group of  lobbyists/venture capitalists/owners at the top, almost as a single entity, it can turn that perception machine into a force against a company. This negative analyst/media frenzy can destroy or devalue a company like BlackBerry to the point where it can be sold at “auction”  with the same nay sayers being able to buy up the pieces at half of book value.

 

All we have to do is look at the American system and how it creates value in very junior companies, even if not public yet.  As an example, PATH, a newly formed instant messaging service, started by an early Facebook employee,  someone who knows the system, knows the venture capitalists and how the media outlets can be manipulated.

PATH recently reached 10 million users of their service, some say with illegal means:

http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/14/path-is-on-the-path-to-new-funding-approaching-1b-valuation/

The financial system in the USA values PATH at $1Billion; they recently received additional venture capital funding.  Yet the book value of the company is nowhere near $1 billion dollars, most of the valuation is based on future earnings potential.
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By contrast, BlackBerry has an instant messaging system, BlackBerry Messenger. Many would argue BBM is far more feature rich than PATH. Plus, they had 60 million users previous to BBM launching on Android and Apple over the last week, when BBM was downloaded 10 million times in the first 24 hours! It was downloaded over 20 million times before the first 3 days. As I write this, millions more people are about to get started using BBM, now that there is no “line”. Yet with the current Fairfax offer that’s on the table for BlackBerry, at one half of BlackBerry’s book value, BBM is receiving a value of $0. That’s to say that BBM has zero current value or future potential value given to it by the market and analysts.

BBM Quick Facts:

 

More than 60 million monthly active users.

More than 51 million daily active users who are connecting with friends or colleagues an average of one and a half hours every day.

BBM users send and receive more than 10 billion messages each day, nearly twice as many messages per user per day as compared to other mobile messaging apps.

Almost half of BBM messages are read within 20 seconds of being received; indicating how truly engaged BBM customers are with the platform.

 

Source: http://blogs.blackberry.com/2013/05/bbm-ios-android/

BBM has recently topped the charts on iOS and Google Play world-wide!

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/top-ios-apps/

Let’s have a look at another social media company that has yet to go public, Pinterest. Again this company is strictly funded by venture capital. They call it “venture capital” at the early stages but all venture capital is hedge funds & large bank investment arms, often the same funders that have analysts on pay rolls to “review” the market. They’re able, through their market position and ability to promote start ups, to gain early access to the companies in the US. Pinterest is valued at $3.8 billion by the US venture capital system. They have recently reached somewhere between 25 to 50 million users, depending on who you listen to, but they have yet to ever earn a dollar. They admit to not having an actual plan to make money and aren’t even worried about that, at this time.

http://allthingsd.com/20131023/pinterest-does-another-massive-funding-225-million-at-3-8-billion-valuation/

If you take these two examples alone & compare, not BlackBerry as a whole, but only BlackBerry’s social arm, BBM, and the forthcoming Channels network, I ask how is it possible that the market gives BlackBerry’s efforts zero dollar value? BlackBerry’s BBM alone, as we speak has better than 85 million users. It’s currently growing by millions a day, with users being spread over 180 countries.

BBM Channels will be an independent arm of BlackBerry’s Social Networks, although every BBM user will have access to channels through its chat feature. Channels is still in late stage beta. As a beta tester and channel owner, I can tell you that BlackBerry is on to something big here. Channels will provide businesses, consumer brands, celebrities and everyday individuals a fantastically colorful and secure and private (if chosen to go private) way to interact. The future potential is clear & valuable. Yet, the market gives Channels + BBM zero worth in the current sale of the company at half of book value.  Prem Watsa and Fairfax will get a company at “auction” with much more future earning potential than the share holders will be paid.

 

A positive article (not even considering the Channels Playcard!)  on Forbes states:

“BBM Could Be Worth Billions if BlackBerry Can Copy The Line PlayBook” –Tero Kuittinen, October 25, 2013, Forbes.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/terokuittinen/2013/10/25/bbm-could-be-worth-billions-if-blackberry-can-copy-the-line-playbook/

  QNX 

The  real value of BlackBerry, includes a world with machine to machine connectivity, a world with its subsidiary, QNX, playing an intricate role:

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/space-grade-m2m-tech-in-the-palm-of-your-hand/

A world where smart phones will become the entry point of the connected devices. It’s early but this new world is coming up around us, more and more so, every day. First on the agenda would be automotive infotainment and drive train diagnostics.  The hands down leader in this brave new world is QNX.  The software code, Real Time OS (RTOS), behind the new BackBerry 10 OS cell phones is present in over 300 million current automobiles and their future products. QNX Car2 is already gaining mainstream acknowledgment as the industry standard. QNX is not just in automotive either. Many fail safe industrial systems rely on the QNX RTOS as the only system reliable enough to stand up to their difficult tasks. Military, nuclear and aerospace are counted among them. The F35 Lightning the Abrahams tanks the International Space Station and many of the world’s nuclear power plants rely on QNX. These vastly important BlackBerry customers are not the point though. They are an example of the power and reliability of the BlackBerry, QNX RTOS.  Again, very little press or value is given to this ownership by BlackBerry.

 

“We Aim To Be The Leading Provider of Machine to Machine Embedded Systems” -Frank Boulben- March 16, 2013

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/we-aim-to-be-the-leading-provider-of-machine-to-machine-embedded-systems-frank-boulben/

Take QNX and couple it with BlackBerry’s Network Operations Centre (NOC) and we understand that this is one of the world’s largest networks which is connected  to over 650 mobile carriers worldwide. The bigger picture starts to emerge. BlackBerry holds the key to the largest private “secure” network there is and which is relied on by the likes of NATO the DOD the DND and many national governments around the world for its unmatched level of security. BlackBerry10 operating system & BES10, BlackBerry’s latest MDM or “Mobile Device Management” solution has recently been employed by all of them. Recently, BlackBerry launched their cloud based #MDM solution. That adds unmatched cloud integration. BlackBerry has also secured Android & IOS with BES10.

Everything ties together, BlackBerry is a vertically integrated secure mobile platform & business solution. From the hardware to the software, through the services, that include transfer of data via the NOC & BlackBerry’s network. They have spent the last 2 + years rebuilding the suite of offerings, rewriting the entire architecture of how everything communicates through the network. The foundation is now in place, and it is built for security first.  The future is at hand. The QNX RTOS has the ability to communicate with its own kind or other systems that run QNX RTOS through their “transparently distributed processing”:

http://berryflow.com/portfolio/tdp/

The connected world is coming and BlackBerry’s technology, whether Canadian or not will be at the forefront of this massive new market including military, industrial, medical and other segments.

Now is not the time for Canadians to be selling BlackBerry for half the value of their hard assets. Now is the time that Canadians should be investing in BlackBerry and investing in Canada’s future, to be at the forefront of a super-connected world.

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The American system is the land of what they call “Activist Investors”.  These men and women can be worth billions; they are the venture capitalists that offer money, the key industry leaders that sit on several boards, from bank to media. They make it their business to invest in struggling companies and inact change long before the management of a company can fall so far behind in the perception game. They fully understand how a company’s perception becomes its reality.

Activist investors step in and fight to change those perceptions. At times, just the information that an activist investor has got involved in a company is enough to enact change. Sadly, Canada appears not to have any activist investors of the magnitude, technical knowledge and/ or will needed to complete the change started at BlackBerry.

In my letter to the Government of Canada, I recommended that the government request Jim Balsillie to return to BlackBerry as the CEO  to fight for the company he once owned. The company he built into a worldwide $20 billion behemoth!  Here’s hoping that Jim Balsillie or some other Canadian steps up and fights for BlackBerry to remain Canadian and public. The current CEO does not appear up to the  task of completing the BlackBerry transition.  Thorsten Heins, top management, and the Board of Directors appear to have lost their resolve to keep BlackBerry moving. That doesn’t mean that someone else can’t!

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We live in a gloabal society and there can be alternative views fostered and developed by alternative thinkers/companies. BlackBerry has invented the global communicating hardware, championed and used by so many of industries’ titans in Canada, the USA, all over the world! There can be a real alternative to Apple, Android (Google) and Microsoft. There can be intellectual creativity from different nations shared globally! The market space is large enough to foster healthy competition! Innovation cannot happen by assimilation! To all my friends, all over the world, on #TeamBlackBerry, who fight the perception campaign daily, as best they can, I encourage you to support many of us in our bid to keep BlackBerry alive as a public, and preferably Canadian,  company. Anything can happen in a sale. You can do your part to help BlackBerry #KeepMoving, by supporting this movement. Repost this and re-tweet it by clicking on the “Twitter” or “Facebook” “button” below!  Or, copy and paste this 140 character tweet:

 

Imagine @BlackBerry M2M Tech @CTV @CBC @PMHarper @JustinTrudeau @GlobeandMail @AJAM @CNN @ABC @CBS @IndustryCanada http://wp.me/p381yl-SJ 

Here’s hoping that you will get on board with this movement and support a titan of innovation, BlackBerry, an alternative reality, an alternative future, before it’s too late. Going private will weaken the brand and the biased/unbiased media scrutiny would remain! BlackBerry needs a serious marketing strategy, and perhaps putting BBM on iOS and Android devices is the beginning of a game-plan?!

We can do this!

BlackBerry-An Alternative Reality, An Alternative Future

Darryl McKinnon.

getdjmac@hotmail.com

@getdjmac

C0007CCC8 Channels

 

Check out our most recent post on the prospective partners for BlackBerry here:

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/blackberry-looking-for-a-mutually-beneficial-partnership/

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Space Grade M2M Tech in the Palm of Your Hand

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Imagine ———— see the video below and re-tweet by clicking on the twitter button at the end of the page 😉

{UPDATED November 1, 2013}

OR Tweet (copy and paste):

Save @BlackBerry from going way of Avro Arrow! @pmharper @IndustryCanada @JamesMoore_org http://wp.me/p381yl-SJ  pic.twitter.com/zETemm5A12

OR Tweet (copy and paste):

Save @BlackBerry from going way of Avro Arrow! @pmharper @IndustryCanada @JamesMoore_org @JustinTrudeau @CBC @CTV http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rGW76JB90Ro …

Learn more about what can be done to save BlackBerry: as easy as 1, 2, 3–CHECK OUT THE VIDEO BELOW FIRST, and then read these posts!

1)A Letter To Members of The Canadian Parliament 

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/a-letter-to-members-of-the-canadian-parliament/

2)BlackBerry an Alternative Reality, An Alternative Future

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/blackberry-an-alternative-reality-an-alternative-future/

3)BlackBerry: Looking For a Mutually Beneficial Partnership

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/blackberry-looking-for-a-mutually-beneficial-partnership/

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Globe & Mail:Inside the fall of BlackBerry- How the smartphone inventor failed to adapt

“Inside RIM, the brash Mr. Balsillie had championed a bold strategy to re-establish the company’s place at the forefront of mobile communications. The plan was to push wireless carriers to adopt RIM’s popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) instant messaging service as a replacement for their short text messaging system (SMS) applications – no matter what kind of phone their customers used.”

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“My reason for leaving the RIM board in March, 2012, was due to the company’s decision to cancel the BBM cross-platform strategy,” Mr. Balsillie said in a brief statement to The Globe and Mail, his first public comments on his departure. He declined a request for an interview.

Mr. Lazaridis, who declined to speak about board matters, resigned as a director this past March after delaying his retirement by a year at the board’s request.

Now, BlackBerry’s future is in doubt. This week, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., a Toronto-based investment company, announced a plan to lead a $4.7-billion takeover of the company. The offer is conditional, and requires a group of so-far uncommitted institutional investors to back Fairfax and provide financing.

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The company’s near-collapse is a painful situation for Mr. Lazaridis, a gifted engineer who co-founded RIM in a tiny Waterloo office above a bagel shop in 1984.

“It’s really hurting me,” he said in an interview. “I can’t imagine what the employees must be thinking. Everyone is talking about the most likely scenario being that it will be broken up and sold off for parts. What will happen to the Waterloo region, or Canada? What company will take its place?”

The QNX team’s first assignment was to work on an operating system for the PlayBook, RIM’s answer to Apple’s successful iPad tablet. Mr. Lazaridis saw the work as a precursor to the BlackBerry 10 line of smartphones and was impressed by what the team brought to the product. “It helped our developers experience the power and elegance of QNX,” he said.

But the QNX team was overwhelmed and needed to draw heavily on the company’s other resources to complete the PlayBook. Similar issues arose later on the BlackBerry 10. The tablet, originally slated to come out in the fall of 2010, didn’t appear until April, 2011, and it failed to sell. It was an awkward accessory to RIM’s smartphones, and lacked e-mail, contacts and apps. Once again, RIM had missed the mark: Tablets that sold well worked as standalone devices, which the PlayBook wasn’t.

Some questioned the wisdom of launching the PlayBook in the first place, feeling it was a needless and costly distraction. And the decision to isolate QNX also created tensions and morale problems: Those who weren’t on the team worried about their future.

‘To me, the most logical thing would have been to integrate the operating system organizations into one,’ said one senior executive who was caught up in the fray. ‘Then you’d have a whole team, not 150 people sitting around saying, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do next,’ and another 150 people saying ‘I’m over my head.’ ”

“Meanwhile, RIM’s lack of an advanced smartphone meant that it continued to bleed market share to Apple and Android, especially in the United States. In December, 2010, Verizon Wireless announced it would invest in fourth generation (4G) LTE technology to accommodate the growing demands of customers who wanted to surf the Internet on their phones. It signalled to device makers that it would look to feature 4G smartphones in its marketing.”

“As it turns out, both Mr. Balsillie and Mr. Lazaridis were proven right. It was hard enough to compete in a commoditizing smartphone market. Leading with the wrong product on top of that only made BlackBerry’s task more hopeless. Mr. Heins’s strategic errors only compounded the challenging situation he had inherited.”

web-blackberry-balsillie-lazaridis-heins

 

Image Source:http://m.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/the-inside-story-of-why-blackberry-is-failing/article14563602/?service=mobile#!/

 

“The product was difficult to sell for other reasons. One company insider said it could take close to an hour for young sales staff to demonstrate the product in dealer stores.

And many long-time BlackBerry users found that the new system was too different from the classic BlackBerry experience for their liking. Many of the little “moments of delight,” as they are called in the company, were forgotten or overlooked by the QNX developers who lacked ties to the company’s past. For example, users can’t hit “u” and look at the last unread message in their inbox, nor can they easily shift to the next or previous e-mail, as they could on older BlackBerrys. Pocket-dialling is a constant hazard.

Meanwhile, the company was slow to provide service to business users – such as helping them to transfer applications they had written for the old BlackBerry system. Software developers were left with dead-end investments after learning they would have to rewrite their apps for the new system if they wanted to remain part of the BlackBerry world. Many simply didn’t bother.”

“’The decisions we made over the last two years were made within the context of a volatile, competitive and ever-changing marketplace – and always with the goal of delivering the vital technology that our customers need,’ Mr. Heins said in a written response to questions about the success of the BlackBerry 10 launch. While he called the launch ‘a significant accomplishment and one that involved the reinvention of our company,’ he acknowledged it “did not meet our expectations.”

Check out the full article here:

http://m.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/the-inside-story-of-why-blackberry-is-failing/article14563602/?service=mobile#!/

QNX at The Core of Many Machines,Machine to Machine COMS &BB10

On March 25, 2013,  I discussed a March 16, 2013, interview with the Francophone:”LE GRAND JOURNAL DE NEW YORK” published on March 18, 2013, CMO of BlackBerry, Frank Boulben stated that “BlackBerry aims to be the leading provider of machine to machine (M2M) embedded systems”, using QNX and BlackBerry 10 devices.  The company has as a goal to be the leading innovator in mobile computing, not necessarily the biggest seller of cell phones like Samsung and Apple. With QNX in everything from slot machines, cars, home appliances, medical and other devices, BlackBerry can offer novel solutions and applications with these embedded systems.  Check out this new video from BlackBerry:

You can find my original March 25, 2013 post here:

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/we-aim-to-be-the-leading-provider-of-machine-to-machine-embedded-systems-frank-boulben/