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BlackBerry CEO John Chen: You can be an iPhone or Android customer, and also a BlackBerry customer

CrackBerry's exclusive CES 2014 interview with BlackBerry CEO, John Chen

BlackBerry CEO, John Chen
By Marcus Adolfsson on 13 Jan 2014 12:30 pm EST
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John Chen is the new man in charge at BlackBerry, tasked with restoring the company to profitability and beyond.

Among the first steps he undertook was to re-organize the company around four clear divisions.

“We're going enterprise. We're going messaging. We're going devices. We're going QNX,” Chen explained during a recent lunch interview with CrackBerry in Las Vegas. In the past BlackBerry has been very handset driven, but now the other divisions are getting more attention.

"We're going enterprise. We're going messaging. We're going devices. We're going QNX"

“The company has a lot of different assets. Some of them are not well monetized or well invested. Some of them are not well known. I thought it's important that the investor market knows exactly what BlackBerry actually brings to the market”, Chen added.

Enterprise Security

Enterprise is crucial to BlackBerry’s turnaround in 2014.

“We need to get the enterprise customer interested in us again,” Chen said. “That's a tall order. The market has slid very quickly in the last 12 months.” He added that “the good news is that I have talked to enough customers, and they do believe in our security advantage, and they do like to see us win. There's a lot of goodwill out there still. But we have our work cut out for us on that.”

"There's a lot of goodwill out there still. But we have our work cut out for us on that"

Chen plans to use BlackBerry’s multi-platform device management solutions to win back enterprise customers. But to do that BlackBerry first needs to decouple the brand from being thought of as mainly BlackBerry handsets.

“BlackBerry is about security, about productivity, and about communications. I think those could agnostically be put on anything,” Chen added.

Traditionally BlackBerry handsets drove BlackBerry Enterprise Server sales, but Chen wants to turn that approach on its head and push BES first.

“You could be an iPhone customer, and also a BlackBerry customer,” Chen explained. “You could be an Android customer, and also a BlackBerry customer. It's not mutually exclusive. I think that's an important key message of the company going forward.”

Chen acknowledges that BES needs to continue to evolve to meet the needs of the modern enterprise, and he wants grow the server solution into a “enterprise mobility computing engine.”

“BES actually today makes money. It's just not growing,” Chen said. “In fact, as BB7 got retired, it's going the other way. I need to add the features and functionality to go back the right track,” he added.

"There is a need for a very good integrated solution"

“Almost all the enterprises in the world today are dealing with mobility in one form or another. Most of them are doing this somewhat piecemeal, somewhat sporadic. For example: They would develop mobile applications for one platform, then they provision them on a different platform, and then manage it on a third one, and they analyze on a fourth one — and they shouldn't have to do that themselves. There is a need for a very good integrated solution.”

“This is going to be the next BES — so call it BES, 11, 12, 13, 14. But we’ve got to get into how enterprises manage mobile applications — develop, provision, identify, authentication, and so on down — and press a lot more on security.”

To sell BES solutions, Chen plans to build up an enterprise sales force focusing on vertical industries.

"We're going to protect their investment in iPhone, and Android, and everywhere else, even with Windows Phones"

“I could put a sales team on Wall Street. I know how to do this up and down Wall Street …  we will go in and tell them why BES is the best thing for them, and go through the road map, the offerings, and all that good stuff. We're going to protect their investment in iPhone, and Android, and everywhere else, even with Windows Phones.”

Chen also told us that a cloud-based BES solution will soon be available - the BES10 Cloud. Current BES implementations require companies to host and manage dedicated servers, which requires upfront and ongoing investments. By moving BES to the cloud, implementations can be rolled out faster and server management becomes BlackBerry’s responsibility. Several CrackBerry members reported last month that they had been invited to a “Market Preview of BES10 Cloud”, and so far seem impressed by the service.

 

Messaging

"But if you stop BBM, I think that's very shortsighted. I think that's ridiculous. That's my opinion"

On messaging, Chen is very happy with the recent multi-platform launch of BBM messenger. “That was the first time that we de-coupled the brand from the BlackBerry handset, and as you can see, the results are very exciting. You've got 45 million BlackBerry users, you got 40 million Android/iOS users, so 85 million users for social messaging. It's getting up there.”

While BBM is not currently producing revenue, Chen sees it is a long term-investment. “When we monetize it will do very well. Right now it's not, we're losing money on BBM. But it's an investment state. This is why a portfolio approach is important, because if you just purely look at,  - Oh, I've got to make money on everything I do -  then BBM needs to stop. But if you stop BBM, I think that's very shortsighted. I think that's ridiculous. That's my opinion.”

 

Devices

With massive writedowns in the device division, it would be understandable if Chen would be hesitant to keep it going. But from day one he has championed their existence.  “I am never going to give up designing phones. I may not build it, but I'm going to design it. I think it's a very important thing.”

Chen is sticking with BB10. “The future phone is going to be cool and is going to be high-end. For the low-end phones, I'm going to work with my partners to build and maybe, in some cases, design. But they are all going to be BB10. They are all going to be our brand.”

"But they are all going to be BB10"

However, Chen makes it clear that handset division needs to become profitable again. “I need to make sure that I don't lose money on phones, because that's the biggest piece. That's what I am number one focused on. You can't really make a profitable company and lose money on phones.”

One way Chen is trying to limit the losses is to partner with Foxconn, making them an non-exclusive manufacturing partner for BlackBerry’s emerging market phones. According to Chen, they “have the volume purchase power that I would never come close to getting, for the typical common parts that the industry uses, probably 75 percent of our phone. We can make it a lot lower cost, same price, same standard, and I think that's just a win-win for everyone.”

"I love to partner with a lot of people to go after a lot of different markets"

Chen hinted that he is looking for additional partners as well. “I love to partner with a lot of people to go after a lot of different markets.” He added “Foxconn can't go everywhere, because they're not a sales engine, but they do have relationships in a lot of places, Indonesia being one, China being one, India, Vietnam, and Malaysia, and a number of African countries.”

John recently hired Ron Louks to lead the handset division. Ron has been in the mobile space for a long time, including as Sony Ericsson's CTO and as HTC’s Chief Strategy Officer. With Louks appointment,  Chen feels he now has “good phone people with good phone experience” on his management team.

“I truly believe the phone is like the movie business, you are one hit away from being great again”, Chen added.

 

QNX — BlackBerry outside the traditional mobile space

“The easiest thing to talk about is QNX,” Chen boasts. “QNX is a market leader in the automotive competitive industry — a lot of design wins, a lot of model cars, getting royalty, high-margin, but has been kept reasonably small. I think that the whole vision of machine-to-machine mobile computing is going to be the future. I think there are a lot of verticals that need QNX, and there are a lot of devices needing QNX outside of phones.”

"By the way, when it comes to royalty, it's pure margin"

At CES last week NVIDIA among others announced their increased efforts with automotive tech, which Chen sees as validation of the space. “It's going to be a huge industry, and we have 40 OEM wins, so we're well on our way to being the number one leader. Everybody recognizes that.”

Chen added that “QNX makes money. We're not making enough. But three years out, who knows? You get enough design wins, this thing is going to go far up. By the way, when it comes to royalty, it's pure margin.”

 

Still looking for a turnaround

The ideal North American customer in 2014 “is going to be more towards the regulated industry,” Chen said. “They will be the banks, the insurance companies, the health care, the governments, state and federal.”

Consumers are still on the radar, but Chen said BlackBerry has to win the regulated industry first.

“My number-one objective is for the company to generate cash again — cash-flow positive — and start making money while investing in these areas we talked about. Once we get there and we are getting a good engagement model in the regulated industry, after that I think then the opportunity really opens up.”

Chen didn’t dwell on the BlackBerry 10 launch and lack of carrier support, specifically in the critical retail store experience. Many CrackBerry members reported that they had trouble finding BB10 phones in stores, and that retail store staff often attempted to talk members out of buying a BB10 handset.

“I do understand why and how it happened, I'll let that speak for itself. … When I go after the consumer through these stores again, it's not going to happen the same way again. When I'm ready to make that move, we're going to have another conversation.”

When asked to reconcile the somewhat conflicting positions of focusing on regulated industries yet introducing new low-end devices in emerging markets, Chen felt it was crucial to continue to build brand awareness in those market.

Chen also told us he has no problem recruiting new talent for BlackBerry: “There are a lot of good talents who would love to help us to do this turnaround. Everybody knows with their eyes open, this is not a slam dunk. But this is a big enough deal, when we could turn this around, that's a big deal for the market, for the individuals, for everything.”

 

BlackBerry loyalists

Chen had one important message to CrackBerry readers.

“Keeping the faith is very important, because it'll get better.”

"Keeping the faith is very important, because it'll get better"

Without loyalists, Chen feels it would “make the job about 10 times more difficult.” Internally, he is also telling employees that "we're going to fight a good fight."

“I hate to use this as an example, because I'm not trying to imply anything. But when Apple ran into trouble, Steve Jobs went back to the company and he focused back on the loyalists.” Chen paraphrased a speech Steve gave when he returned to Apple: "I'm going to go back. I don't have any announcement to make. I'm just going to say that my customers are important."

 

Staying On

While introduced as an interim CEO, Chen has decided to stay for the long-term.

"I am now the chairman and CEO"

“Now that I recruited a team, I need to make sure that the vision and the strategy laid out are on its way to get executed, and I also need to make sure that our financial footing is strong. I am now the chairman and CEO, and I'm going to do this until we see the results of what I'm talking about.”​

 

PART II: Read Five Important Observations from having lunch with BlackBerry CEO, John Chen for Kevin's takeaways from this interview

 

132 comments

flexja

A man with a decent plan, I'm just holding tight to see what 2014 and beyond will bring for us don't wanna jump the gun like when we got thor.

Posted via CB10

mauro316

Gotta keep having faith. Can it get worst than now? Probably yes, but I believe things will only get better.
This guy seems to have a very clear picture of what he wants and expects the company to be in the next couple years. Let's just wait and see what's the outcome here.

Posted via CB10

IJKBB10

True gotta keep faith.

Chen looks promising because of his previous experience at Sybase turning it around and making it profitable again.
I am hopeful with him taking the helm and leading BlackBerry.

seascape

I agree. Speaking for myself, I'm sold. This piece by Marcus convinces me that Chen knows what he is doing. He's refocusing BlackBerry and committing to diversifying the company so it's not reliant on the success of handsets. What a huge relief. The BES cloud offering is *exactly* the kind of product they should be looking at debuting. Once the bleeding stops and the company shows it can innovate again, BlackBerry will win back some respect. Handset sales may even pick up. The BB10 software is only getting better. That Android runtime is crucial... when I tell people about it, they're just shocked. They can't believe it. Their smugness evaporates when they realize how powerful BB10 really is.

jojo beaconsfield

If you observed, and listened to, two different salesmen make their pitch,which one do you think would win?I'm glad Chen is selling BB and is the team captain.

flexja

Well like I said I'm sitting tight to see what this year bring I been here for 6 years now kept my family on board, why leave now I'm going down or rising high with this ship, this is the most positive leader I've seen so far for bb and also the most public about all aspect of the business thank you mr chen

Posted via CB10

abwan11

He will bring the missing link to blackberry, cohesion.

Posted via CB10

Killjoyhere

Working BlackBerry Link.

Posted via CB10

Plazmic Flame

"decent plan" ?

I didn't know you were such a super successful CEO, they should've hired you for the job.

AriUncut

I juts hope he can pull through will his plan and pull a complete turn around. Blackberry deserves to be at the top for all of the ground breaking innovations they made. Hats off to you Chen

Posted via BB-Z10. OS 10.2.1.

axllebeer

Agreed. I still feel, as much as I liked Thor, BBRY is in better hands now.

Posted from my CB10 via the power of "Q"

darkehawke

He says the right words. I'm looking forward to the actions to back it all up.
This has not damaged any confidence I had in Chen but I'm not going all in yet

Posted via CB10

mauro316

My math didn't add up to that number either, have we missed anything here?

Posted via CB10

DatMisterB

It probably is 45M Android/IPhone BBM users.

insurancebroker

Blackberry issued a press release on October 29, 2013 and said "What a week it’s been! With the addition of more than 20 million new users on BBM, we are now at over 80 million monthly active users* of BBM across BlackBerry, Android and iPhone, and #teamBlackBerry is thrilled." Either BBM lost 15 million Blackberry users or those 15 million moved to Android and iPhone and are part of those 40 million.

insurancebroker

Sorry, it wasn't a press release, it was a blog article by Andrew Bocking.

Wolf35Nine

Hey man can you move your thumb out of the way and repost the picture? :)

Anilu7

Lol I'd love to have his Twitter - even Obama has a Twitter, although it's managed by staff unless you see his initials like ^BO but still - it would be nice to follow Chen and see what he and BB are up to.

tinochiko

Part 2 link doesn't seem to be working..

TechCraze C0008DDD1 :)

Rockland63

Speaks a wonderful speak but he needs to walk his talk. Blackberry can ill afford anymore faux pas. I have stood by them since 2005. I currently use a Q10, Z10 and Z30 along with 2 PlayBook.

Posted via CB10

Troy Tiscareno

BlackBerry can ill afford another Klendathu!

wpSteven

Okay, that made me laugh out loud. That was perfect.

sahil jain07

They might not have the last shot, but will definitely have a good fight under John

Posted via CB10

Maal628

A lot of my questions and concerns were answered in this article. Good interview fellas. Let's hope Chen words comes into existence.

#PoweredByBlackBerry

Whyareallthegoodnamestaken

Finally.

Thank you very much Marcus. This brings all the disparate pieces of Chen's statements into a single place and gives us some much needed clarity on what's going on and the direction of things to come.

This will help clear up a lot of misconceptions. Thanks again.

Your work on this is much appreciated.

Posted via CB10

Rockland63

IPhone should not be his concern. Go hard on taking care of the millions of BlackBerry users and focus on the repatriation of the millions of users lost including enterprise users.
Apple should be left to their own devices to secure iOS.

Posted via CB10

notinbeta

I don't expect to see BlackBerry as a leading brand in the mobile consumers market for a very long time (forget 2014), but I do feel that this is a strong road to go on in order to give the company the rebirth it desperately needs. Refocusing and committing will be key elements for this to work, but Chen is clearly confident in his goals and expectations.

rongkie

Faith indeed!!!

Posted via CB10

Ebscer

When did BlackBerry go back to using white business cards?

hassan boutabssil

Chen is pragmatic saying anyone using iphone can use blackberry at the same time. I'm using samsung and using Q10 at the same time. It's good approch; not to exclude any customer and accompany him. On daily basis I'm saying people with two devises so why not blackberry and another devise. What offer Q10 for me in my daily work is unique but I enjoy also having samsung. What is needed now more and more applications. Good luck Chen we are with you

Posted via CB10

Troy Tiscareno

You're misunderstanding what he's saying. He's not talking about using 2 devices, he's talking about iPhone (or Android or WinPhone) being able to use BB *software* for various purposes: BBM for communication, BES10 for security, etc. He is acknowledging that BB is a tiny fraction of the smartphone market, and that in order to be profitable, BB has to provide services that people on other platforms will use too. Plus, he has to have a Plan B in case BB10 is ultimately unsuccessful, which is still a very real possibility.

Despite the fans wanting BB devices, and despite Chen's commitment to trying to make phones financially relevant, he has to have a plan for BB's overall survival should BB10 phones prove to be a lost cause.

00stryder

+1 this was for the financial market and enterprise customers.

paulie_iwin

Hey... just wondering. when you are at lunch with a CEO. Who pays for lunch? You or he or 50-50?

Posted via CB10

hassan boutabssil

They can put it in credit card and pay one year later!

Posted via CB10

BBPandy

Marcus is the CEO of Mobile Nations so it was 2 CEOS & a CMO (Kevin) at this lunch....plus any other unmentioned people

Posted via CB10

DaedalusIcarusHelios

Marcus' first article! Will we be seeing more articles from Marcus, or was this more of a special case?

Marcus Adolfsson

Not sure yet, depends on my schedule. But it was fun putting it together.

Anilu7

Good write-up, Marcus! I like to see the interviewee's words so glad to see your article.

just_luc

Agreed! It was a good read, and it's always nice to hear thoughts from the boss!

fanisk

Thanks for the article!
Looks that he has the right strategic plan!

Sent from my Z 30

Schmurf

After reading the article, I come away feeling that Chen is a good strategist and implementer. Those are two areas that BlackBerry needs improvement on. So, if he can deliver on what he is saying (and I like what he is saying), then there can't help but be an improvement in their fortunes.

Posted via CB10

Shanerredflag

And another good read...well done.

Posted via CB10

ynotbme

I like his style.

Posted via CB10

Plazmic Flame

Me too, he has a plan, he's assembling his (experienced/successful) team. Definitely has a better shot than the last team did. Can he fail? Yup, definitely a possibility but I'm definitely more confident about him than Thor and the team he put together.

m1kr0

He is giving BB at least a realistic chance to fight back.

STL 100-1 OS 10.2.1.1925

BerryRipe

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

rickster2611

I'm still waiting for the new handsets at both ends of the market.

The price of these devices are all important

Here in the UK the 'sim only' market is about to explode.

The amount of Carriers complaining about the cost of subsidising costly devices will only increase.

The decrease in share price of Apple and Samsung as the market becomes saturated in the US .

The budget device in expanding market will be an all important revenue stream for alot of companies in the next few years.

Posted via CB10

BB10orEffOff

Curious if there will be a Z30 upgrade phone or not. I like my Z10 a lot, but the battery is bleh. Z30 is best battery I've seen, a few friends have one. And the speakers are kick ass.

Been holding off on the Z30 just in case an improved version gets released. Z30 with a better screen and better internal storage would be great. Not saying Z30 screen is awful but the Z10s is better.

Posted via CB10

seascape

Get a Z30. Like you say, it's a terrific device, and Chen's recent comments indicate his focus will be on creating more QWERTY smartphones. BlackBerry took a real bath on the Z10. Just glad they didn't repeat that mistake with the Q10 or Z30.

just_luc

"Chen plans to use BlackBerry’s multi-platform device management solutions to win back enterprise customers. But to do that BlackBerry first needs to decouple the brand from being thought of as mainly BlackBerry handsets."

I agree with this strategy, but it's also exactly why I cringed when the company was renamed.. wouldn't it have been easier to decouple the MDM business from BlackBerry handsets when the MDM business was offered by a company called Research in Motion then it will be when the MDM business is offered by BlackBerry?

That said, a lot of great stuff in this article.. it leaves me feeling positive and confident that the company is in the right hands, will move forward, and while we all want new phones..I'll be happy to plug away with my more then adequate Z10 while Chen gets his ducks in a row, returns to profitability and then hits the high end consumer market with a great product.

Troy Tiscareno

Absolutely. I've been saying from the beginning that it was a HUGE mistake for RIM to have renamed itself to the name of a failing product line. Other companies have had failed product lines, or lines that simply ran their course, so they came up with new products and continued on. What they DIDN'T do was embrace the name of the failed product line as the company name! THAT is something you CAN blame Thor for - it was incredibly dumb and short-sighted.

seascape

Thorsten wanted to go all-in on BB10. Hence the renaming. They could revert back to RIM if they wanted to. But having one main brand has its advantages.

Troy Tiscareno

I understand his motivation, I just vehemently disagree with it. It wasn't necessary, and it wasn't smart, even if you don't consider the brand identity damage, but when you add that in, this decision was amazingly stupid. It's probably Thor's single worst decision.

You don't see ApplePhone or SamsungPhone or GooglePhone, right? There's no reason a company can't have one or even several strong brands under the company name. Being RIM certainly didn't hurt the BlackBerry line's successes in the early 2000s, did it?

craigdh1

. . The future is BlackBerry if we can get past the government controlled media. They want to think for the people and want device that they can easily monitor. Just do some research and find the information for yourself.

oystersourced

BlackBerry like any other company have to abide by the laws of the country in which they are operating. That includes sharing information with law enforcement bodies if required to do so.

Posted via CB10

craigdh1

BlackBerry say:

It is not for us to comment on media reports regarding alleged government surveillance of telecommunications traffic. However, we remain confident in the superiority of BlackBerry's mobile security platform for customers using our integrated device and enterprise server technology. Our public statements and principles have long underscored that there is no 'back door' pipeline to our platform. Our customers can rest assured that BlackBerry mobile security remains the best available solution to protect their mobile communications.
http://crackberry.com/report-claims-nsa-can-access-data-blackberry-andro...

Obama says he's not allowed iPhone for 'security reasons'
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/05/us-usa-obama-apple-idUSBRE9B40...

alan510

Nicely written article. I now have a much greater understanding of BlackBerry's direction and strategy. It will be interesting in the extreme. Looking forward to tracking the progress over the next few quarters.

Posted via CB10

christoph77

2014 will be extremely important for BlackBerry!

C0038297E Quote of the Day (BBM Channel)

bigsuededog77

BlackBerry BB10 & QNX is the best thing cause iPhone & Android user don't know bout BlackBerry it security software & hub they both move fast & smooth just like there keyboard The QNX is the next technology in car system with the snapdragons chips 604A

Posted via CB10

Holted

Great article!! So excited for BB, ashamed to say I've put down my Z10 in favour of 5s for the apps but I miss it everyday. Looking forward to BB's great resurgence!!

parthokarki

Wow just wow, I really appreciate this article. And I believe BlackBerry will definitely be back.

They seem all worked up, its just executions.

And bbm integration coming to BlackBerry link?? I just filled a survey from beta zone app and voted for it.

Posted via CB10

bigsuededog77

Mean snapdragons chip 602A in car system technology some people don't know what goes inside or understanding phone & cars or home computer & how they run or what they mean like the QML is just like It's like JavaScript that runs all of the web apps that you see and use. It's a good thing, yes. Makes better apps possible.

Posted via CB10

edu3110

I really like this guy. He brings a different vision to BlackBerry.

Xayinn

The interview at last! :D
Although I did like Thorsten Heins, I have the feeling that John Chen is the better man for the job. He has a fresh outlook on how to get things going again, and so far the investors at Wall Street seem to like him as well. Let's just hope he pulls through.

kastortroy

This is one of the best post of the new year. Kudos Mr. Chen. Blackberry is definitely poised for a strong comeback this time. I don't hate Heins for what he tried to accomplish although keeping Boulben on still stings.

Seems like all the right people are in their places. Its exciting to watch all these changes, its like watching them play chess. I bet he's a chess player and a good player sees moves ahead. All we have to do now is see how well his executions plays out.

Blackberry, my proverbial middle finger

freedomx20a

Ahhhhh excited about a new z30 sized phone with a physicall keyboard slapped on the bottom. Screen should be about 4.2inch.

Q10 ~ 10.2.1.1925

kastortroy

Its funny when he said in NA customers are mostly from the regulated sector, since Americans seems to have deregulated everything. Sorry. Had to throw that in.

Blackberry, my proverbial middle finger

lnichols

So what is Chen going to do for the Loyal BlackBerry users in US? Does he even consider the person who buys a BlackBerry phone for their personal device a loyal user, or is the Loyal BlackBerry user a corporate entity? This is the only thing that concerns me is that with focusing on Enterprise without giving the personal user in the US an Avenue to purchase the phone. I should be able to go to an online BlackBerry site and buy an unlocked Z30 for any GSM carrier in the US (Sorry Sprint and VZ users), in any available color they offer, and have the option to add a breakage warranty like I did with the PlayBook. Add in financing options too and/or monthly payments. GSM Nation isn't what I'm talking about, something official.

Posted via CB10

BBPandy

You already can. After the terrible carrier support in the US BlackBerry started selling their phones unlocked online. The best part about the online phones (from what I understand) is that they get updates immediately. No need to wait for AT&T ect. to release the update.

Posted via CB10

lnichols

Wrong. Bought my son an Unlocked phone directly from BlackBerry and he is still stuck to the T-Mobile OS. Also you can only buy the Z10 and Q10 from BlackBerry, not the Z30.

Posted via CB10

00stryder

For now... keep in mind that the Z30 is a Verizon "exclusive" for however long they agreed to. In addition, the AT&T-compatible Z30 passed through the FCC maybe a month or two ago, which by definition would be the *technical* GSM-compatible Z30 in the US. Shop BlackBerry only sells GSM-compatible Z10s/Q10s (the Q5 wasn't announced for the US) so you might be getting a nice surprise soon. ;)

seascape

It's a Verizon exclusive until another carrier is willing to sell it.

There is no such thing as a "T-Mobile OS". There's a BlackBerry 10 release for the Q10 and Z10 that's certified to work with T-Mobile's network. That is probably what you meant. But you can use software like Sachesi to load other versions of BB10 on your device(s) if you wish.

00stryder

"There is no such thing as a 'T-Mobile OS'. There's a BlackBerry 10 release for the Q10 and Z10 that's certified to work with T-Mobile's network. That is probably what you meant."

Uh... are you sure you meant to reply to my comment? Don't see where I wrote "T-Mobile OS" anywhere. But since you seem to be in a "calling-you-out" mood, allow me to reciprocate: Clearly, Inichols was referring to the BB10 OS build that T-Mobile *officially* supports as a member of the ever-disappointing US carriers, at least when it comes to pushing out OS updates that don't start with an "i" (lowercase intended). And I didn't even agree with what Inichols wrote; at the same time, I'm not going to be obnoxious about it.

As to the "Verizon exclusive," given VZW's lukewarm (at BEST) support of the Z30 to date (can you purchase one in-store like the latest iOS/Android/WP8 device?), do you REALLY think they would take it upon themselves to capitalize on the technicality of the GSM-compatible Z30 not yet passing through the FCC regulations, which it hadn't at the time of their announcement? That could very well be the case, of course, but typically if a carrier is going to go out of its way to brag about device exclusivity (outside of the iPhone, of course), it's typically because they *actually* have a formal deal in place with the OEM to be exclusive sellers of that particular device in a certain geographical region (you know, kinda like the first few iPhones on AT&T. Oh wait...)

Pam Pam Naraidoo

Can someone tell Mr Chen the I want the Q5 and the Z30 for AT&T in New York. That one little thing. Not the hole U.S AT&T network just NEW YORK.

Parma

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00stryder

Lol! I'm sure he'll get RIGHT on that... but on a serious note, take a look at my post above. Just speculation, but something tells me I'm right in this case.

newfie1974

I can't wait for the day we all can sit back and laugh at those people who said BB was dead.

jhumel23

What a nice article thank you for this Marcus. Time to move on and keep the faith! We are with you Sir Chen! We will work this altogether. Long live BlackBerry! ;)

smnlcm

Used BB bold user. Switch to apple and android and back apple again. BB need cool good looking phones. And tablets Much more App's. My banks doesnt provide bbm app. only ios and android. Why is a big questions. Answer should be give by BBM i guess. Need proper cloud service.
What CEO promises in 2014 seems be goint to be true. Then they can count on me. I have 2device in use daily. One of will be Blackberry. We will see.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

jwyoungy

I have a lot of faith in this guy!

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John Timothy

I wouldn't say that people who said BB would be dead were wrong. At the time when BB was going through all the turmoil, when the company was for sale and TH and the BOD was screwing up big time, it was a real possibility. Now that John Chen has taken ever, thing have vastly improved.

Whyareallthegoodnamestaken

They were wrong because it still hadn't happen yet. "Dead" has a certain finality about it don't you think?

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Dave Bourque

Yes they were dead wrong.... as simple as that.... you are either dead or you are not...

Z10STL100-3/10.2.1.1925

edu3110

Anybody want to take a guess at the email address? I'll start, jchen@blackberry.com.

Post via my AWESOME Q10! BBM Channel: C12140D

Dave Bourque

Podcast ?? Kevin ?

Z10STL100-3/10.2.1.1925

ThommyGun

This is all good and high level but if BB is going to move ahead it has to get to the streets. Just last week a good friend dumped his i-phone because he got tired of the non-keyboard and doesn't need a computer in his pocket. He has a Mac at home. He wants a communication device and he actually loves it, a Q5, believe it or not. But the real story is that when he went to Fido, the sales people told him that Blackberries were for losers. He insisted that he wanted to dump his i-phone and get a BB. He finally got it and even mentioned to me "what kind of carrier support is that when the sales people can insult their clients and product, it would never happen at an Apple store. Same thing happened to me when I wanted to buy a Z30. Went to a Telus store and was told there were no display models. My response was how can I make a real decision and then they recommended a Samsung. I said I WANT a BB. The carriers have done a miserable job. I have actually turned numerous people on to the Z10 because I walk them through it. In my business, flipping from English to French is crucial on the key board and nothing does it like a Z10. And the HDMI is a real surprise for people. Blackberry should demand that the carriers train their staff better or open a store at the Eaton Centre or on Bloor Street next to Mont Blanc, or hire a marketing company that is grassroots and can change minds one person at a time through participatory engagement. My good friend's company has a lot to do with getting Harper in years ago against all odds. Grassroots. Face to face.

Playbook007

BlackBerry needs Kiosks in the malls. It is the only way to reach consumers imo. The carriers are definitely anti BlackBerry and totally uneducated.

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4ron

The right person for the job! Go BlackBerry!

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Gonzalez33

No BBM PIN on his card? :D

BBRRYISBAC

Hey Mr Chen? can we start a New World Wide Commercial Campaign,and title it The New BlackBerry! And make The United States the Focal Point! Since the media over here is publicizing so much negativity about BlackBerry!

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BerryRipe

Mr. John Chen for U.S. Presedent!

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

Francois1988

I saw this post on Android central. The Android fanboys are ludicrously rude and mean...

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Whyareallthegoodnamestaken

I've also noticed this. The Apple fans Iver on iMore are actually very nice and totally undeserving of being called iSheep. But the Android Central people are incredibly rude and aggressive.

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shadlom

Like you guys don't do the same over here...

Xiaoyuan Wang

if you care about a couple of loyal customers here, could you push ATT a little to release 10.2 updates soon?

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BBUniq01

Keeping the faith for sure. Which is so easy to do since there is no other device I would rather be rocking than my Z10.

BB Uniq BB Bold -Z10 with 1925

NotGoodIMO

OK, so BES is already making money, QNX division is making money as well. That leaves us with devices and BBM. BBM is growing and is yet to be monetized. With low end devices business outsourced, I think Blackberry has minimized its risk. In high end market, Blackberry is primarily going to target enterprise. 2014 looks promising for Blackberry, no wonder shorts are running scared.

nabil114

Line messenger was successful to monetize its users

Me2

All good, apart from one sentence which rang alarm bells with me.

"We can make it a lot lower cost, same price, same standard, and I think that's just a win-win for everyone.”

Uh-oh, same price? Isn't that _exactly_ why the current BB10 handsets have lost out to everyone else's cheaper and better spec'd hardware, and remained (and been ultimately withdrawn from) the shelves resulting in their current woes?

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GTiLeo

see that ex BlackBerry heads, a man that knows how to sell his work and instill confidence in the brand.

BlackBerry didn't fall so far because they are inferior they fell because of a lack of guidence, BB10 didn't take off because the upper management were a bunch of tards that couldn't sell crack to a crack head

ZackMeC

“The future phone is going to be cool and is going to be high-end." I got a chill and reached for my wallet. Also, i think that QNX and M2M could be huge and lucrative.

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nabil114

I want an interview with Ron Louks

mehofmann

The key to winning in enterprise is having integrated solutions and apps.

For example, every medical EMR has an Apple or Android app but no bb10 app, to access the EMR. How can one compete if there are no bridging apps.

Nuance which powers voice recognition had an app for bbos but not bb10!?

Epocrates and Medscape had apps for bbos but not for bb10. Again how can you compete. There are many in the business world that need the apps that they know and love in order to function.

BlackBerry needs to gather the top 15 to 20 apps in every category, that everyone has on the iPhone and Android phones and either make the apps themselves or contract to do so. Companies like SAP, Oracle, IBM and even Microsoft and Apple could partner with BlackBerry. It's a win win situation for all. Even Samsung would partner with BlackBerry as they are looking to have options other than Android and Windows.

Cloud based bes is great if you need that but if BlackBerry wants to get and retain even more customers then they need to offer 50 gigs of cloud based storage that can be accessed by the phone as well as your PC. Similar to box, dropbox, skydrive etc. If they are able to do that then many people will switch. They have this with BlackBerry drive but it's only with the bes. Heck, if they really want to make that happen then buy box or dropbox.

Once they do that then they will garner the enterprise and non enterprise consumer.

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00stryder

Oh my goodness... it's like you read my mind and articulated my thoughts more eloquently here for the CB world to see! I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said. I too agree that *this* is where the real power lies when it comes to deploying a viable and attractive mobile deployment platform for regulated industries like the healthcare field. (P.S. Are you in the healthcare field yourself or just very astute with what's going on with Apple?)

Regarding your comment about a BlackBerry-based cloud solution, I do believe they bought a cloud storage company a year or so ago, but I can't remember if they recently let them go or not. It was suspected at one time that BlackBerry would eventually do exactly what you suggested.

swtnotZ10

I appreciate his candor and honesty. To be honest, I feel a lot better of staying with BlackBerry. I do wish him and BlackBerry all the best.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

Nine54

I wish that all MDM vendors, including BlackBerry, would consider the value prop to the employee and not just the employer. If I'm a BYOD employee and am willing to have corporate email on my phone, I have to accept all these security policies giving the company the right to control my device. What's in it for me?

When the BYOD trend began emerging, the general thought was that it is a benefit to consumer: they get to use a device of their own choosing. But the reason they wanted to use their own device is because it was less restrictive and more capable--not locked down. And if companies don't have to pay for the device yet employees are still willing to have their corporate email on it, the benefit is to the companies. If having corporate email on my device means locking it down and giving full control over to IT, then what's the point of having my own device? Give me a company phone if you need me to have mobile email and I'll keep my phone as a personal device.

I think BBRY had an advantage here with Balance, but it only ever plays up the corporate benefit. IMO, MDM should be as much about keeping user's personal data safe from corporate control as it about protecting corporate data.

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ken Ontae

One problem that blackberry os up against is that the carriers or atleast verizon DO NOT push bb10. When i went in to get my bbz10 i told them what i wanted but shes still trying to tell me about android and iphone. My story isnt the only one someone else told me that their dad had a BlackBerry went in for an upgrade for another blackberry only to come out with an apple aftet the sales rep pushed him in that direction. Its unfair and for someone reason they are being pushed to do this. I hate it sooo much.

Z!0, Nothing Compares

mangob0y

Anyone else slightly bothered by the writing? Putting in chen's quotes then just quoting it again on a separate paragraph seemed quite redundant.
Seemed like fluff and filler to the article.
How that I got that out of the way. I could only imagine how the company would have been if it was Chen from bb10 launch
I hope it pans out as he plans. I've been a BlackBerry loyalist for a decade....but i even find myself wanting to jump ship to another platform. easy to see why so many people left. But i'm willing to give it one more year to try to win me back

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thanhvx

Then suggest you read the quoting only. It saves your time :D

~ it's not a phone, it's a BlackBerry

00stryder

It looks much better when you read the article from the website-based source than the CB10 app, either with the in-app browser or the BB10 Browser. It's the way it's formatted in articles that are shown in the app itself.

agarwal.apar

JC .. Seems to be a smart ass

thanhvx

Im glad that the focus in on emerging markets too as he sees this is where can help to make the brand popular. Interesting he does mention Vietnam :)

~ it's not a phone, it's a BlackBerry

00stryder

"The ideal North American customer in 2014 'is going to be more towards the regulated industry,' Chen said. 'They will be the banks, the insurance companies, the health care, the governments, state and federal.'

Consumers are still on the radar, but Chen said BlackBerry has to win the regulated industry first."

By jove... he GETS it!

Note that I'm a personal consumer that's never used a BlackBerry or any other smartphone on an enterprise server. But I can see that trying to beat Apple and (Google)/Android at their own game isn't going to work. BlackBerry has to do what it does best and establish themselves as essential not only for today's world but ingrained in the future of mobile services as well.

Put it this way: Yeah, we may all know who the biggest rock/pop/hip hop stars are right now, but who's making the billions off those stars' millions as their representive recording labels? Those are the people with the real power and influence, whether the public realizes it or not.

christoph77

Well written piece ;) go BlackBerry

C0038297E Quote of the Day (BBM Channel)

DaSchwantz

As armchair CEO, I have no further comment.

crumbonthefloor

Great interview indeed! I love it!

It makes me feel hopeful about BlackBerry and where's heading.
I can back up what Mr. Chen said as I have seen some of the BES 10 Cloud; it's really easy to use, deploying apps for BlackBerry, Android and iOS devices is the easiest it can get, BES 5, BES 10 and BBCS are nothing compared to BES 10 Cloud, I liked it a lot the first time I saw it and wanted to learn more every day, it does look promising. BES 10 Cloud is/should be the future and I bet if any administrator gives it a chance, they'll want to switch immediately.
The one thing I wish they could change is the Licensing mess with BES v10 10.x, it creates a lot of among IT administrators. Other than that, it seems like BlackBerry is heading in the right direction. Once they go strong in the Enterprise side of things, it will be a matter of time to go back on their rightful place on the Consumer market.

My best wishes are with BlackBerry. BlackBerry by choice

Plazmic Flame

From a consumer standpoint, I'm just waiting for some killer hardware to drop. Looking forward to that high-end QWERTY device... ready to drop my iPhone of 3+ years when you are ready Mr. Chen.

smarcuzzi

Mr Chen sounds perfect for the BlackBerry culture. This is exactly the type of personality BlackBerry needs for success.

I love how he endorses all types of the business. I really am impressed by the fact he is sticking to the core (handsets) and it's a perfect time in the smart phone evolution, it seems as things are starting to get stale out there. I mean there making a typo case for the iphone! I thought apple die hards hated physical keys? Hmm!

If rumors stand true, the Q30 looks amazing! And that will be my upgrade. As for Z50 I am sure there will also be a large number of fans that want the 5.2inch screen.

Here's another one! Does no one get tired of that iphone? Man that phone is the same it's always been. Really I thought I should add that. I go from my iPad to the iphone so boring!

Samsung! Ok not bad but nothing to brag about as well. Without apps what is that devise.

Well that's how I feel for now. Thanks CB family for letting me write these rants about my feelings on BlackBerry. Hope people do read them as I do.

Take care.

Real Querty!

Christian Brunette

Great plans huge ideas, and perfect posture. Not looking at the past is key look to the future and focus on the positives. I only have two suggestions if I may for future Readers And CEO, don't cheap out on your phones a great price point for all affordable maket levels is $650CND make them solid use gorilla glass Please use gorilla glass and a sweet metal uni body frame nickel cheap solid durable. And 2nd security is a great asset to everyone but you also have to realize that the buyers market age range is 21-40 years of age and the versatility for apps is highly required, it shouldn't be all business, "Don't live to work, work to live and have fun doing it" the phone is a piece of us all now and our down time we want to enjoy it not stress over it. Friend follower and strong supporter

Ronstermadness

I'm liking this guy. Starting to trust him. Hope he loves BlackBerry the way I do. He's getting things done fast.

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pkcable

Nice blog Marcus!!!!!!!  I almost feel like I was at the lunch!

gatorboi352

BlackBerry fans are the smallest, loudest, most loyal fan base I've ever witnessed.

But most importantly, they are the smallest.

Claude Mouawad

I am holding the Z30 but i think that BB is still behind despite some spread technology. In some countries the BB disappear from the retails shop and they are not bringing newest ones because of the low demand. If i am wrong, please proof for me the opposite.

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Rootbrian

Great article. :)

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inurfacecomedy

What's your email John ?

Have something to discuss :)

chefkrick

why be anything else than an apple customer.
There is no reason to have anything else.
Steve Jobs rules_Still