BlackBerry CEO John Chen lays down the law for leakers

By Adam Zeis on 26 Mar 2014 11:27 am EDT

Leaks are nothing new in the BlackBerry world — they've been around forever and are just part of the game. Sure, they've slowed down a lot in the last few years, but every now and then we'll see an unreleased device, image or OS show up with some juicy new info to feed the rumor mill.

Until now, BlackBerry hasn't really made any public gestures against leaks or the leakers. CEO John Chen took to the blogs today however to change that and let everyone know exactly where he stands. When it comes to leaks of unreleased products — Chen says "we must take strong action."

We're not sure just what the tipping point was (that 5" screen? OS 10.3?), but it was certainly enough to get BlackBerry HQ worked up.

In my short time leading BlackBerry, I've been impressed by this company's fighting spirit. It's this resilience that is driving us to transform the company and bring the brand back to its iconic stature. And I know that you – our customers and partners – are all in the fight with us.

One of the most frustrating things for all of us at BlackBerry is when a critical and confidential project is reported in the media before we are ready to discuss it. Leaks are, at their best, distracting, and at their worst downright misleading to our stakeholders. The business implications of a leak are seldom advantageous.

This is why I want to make you aware that, right now, we are pursuing legal action against a party who stole confidential information about a future BlackBerry product and made that information public. This person falsely posed as an employee of one of our carrier partners to obtain access to secured networks.

I recognize that, in some cases, the leaks reflect people's genuine interest in BlackBerry. There are a lot of people whose enthusiasm for our company and our products makes them want to know what we will do next — and that can be a tremendous asset for us as a brand.

But, when curiosity turns to criminality, we must take strong action.

We will always take appropriate actions to prevent leaks from happening and in some cases this means prosecuting individuals — internally or externally — who leak confidential information.

This may mean you see a few less blog posts with photos and rumors of the next BlackBerry smartphones. I know those can be fun for our fans, but rest assured that we're committed to communicating our biggest updates to you early and often – when they are ready to be shared.

It definitely looks like BlackBerry will be taking hard action against anyone who leaks unreleased information, but we're still not too sure that it will keep some people from sealing their lips.

Topics: John Chen Apps

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

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BlackBerry CEO John Chen lays down the law for leakers



A few thoughts from me on this one, as I have been involved in hundreds (if not over a thousand) conversations on this top over the years, between CrackBerry members, BBRY employees, other bloggers, etc.

A) First, kudos to John Chen for making the post. I really like that he is a FIGHTER. He's continuously showing that he's willing to go toe to toe with anybody. He's already taken on T-Mobile's CEO, Ryan Seacrest and Typo, Samsung and their KNOX product, employees switching companies and not honoring their contracts and now the leakers. I think a post like this is worthwhile as it reminds people who are leaking stuff that there are real consequences of doing so.

B) To that note, I like that Chen didn't accuse the media of leaking. This was a problem I had with BlackBerry Co-CEO's Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. Not that they ever said to my face (I still have never met Mike L), but I'm pretty sure these guys *hated* me. The reason being, that "we leaked" stuff to the internet and thus sites like CrackBerry were bad and should not be trusted.

Leaking happens AT THE SOURCE. The employees, partners, etc. who have access to confidential information and choose to share it publicly (either directly on things like twitter, in forums or by sending into sites like CrackBerry) are the people who are leaking. A site like CrackBerry will definitely report on a leak, but we didn't leak it. Once a person chooses to leak, they're going to. Period. If somebody wants to leak something through CrackBerry and we for whatever reason refuse to post it or don't post it (something that has happened many times over the years for various reasons — like maybe I wasn't confident that the leak was legit), ultimately the leaker goes to another outlet to leak through. The media outlet is just a pipe to an audience, and a person who wants to leak as no shortage of pipes to leak through.

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

C) Is reporting on leaks good or bad for a company? I've had huge discussions and arguments on this one over the years with people who work for the companies who's products are being leaked, and I've seen people flip flop on their thoughts. Depending on what the competitive environment (timeline of upcoming products coming from another company, etc.), leaks can be very good and strategic. A lot of people believe companies over the years have chosen to strategically leak things in order to build hype and help potential customers wait for their product vs. one read sooner from another company. On the flip side, if something like a future device leaks too early while while the company is still planning on pushing another in-market phone hard for a long period of time, the thought is that can hurt device sales. Looking back at the years of device leaking, for the most part I don't believe it ever hurt BlackBerry. In the past years, the average consumer just picked up their new phone when it was available in store — once the official marketing and sales picked up. And for the enthusiasts waiting and waiting for new better products, the leaks helped keep them onboard vs. jumping ship after waiting w/ no real info for a long period of time. In the case of BlackBerry, we have also witnessed over the years leaking be of benefit to the company by way of turning into a focus group, especially as it pertains to CrackBerry. Sometimes things will leak that are clearly "early", but the outpouring of feedback is noticed by the company and we have watched changes to the product that ultimately launches take place - and I can only associate this being the result of the leak and the feedback given by the community. Ultimately, because of leaking (in some cases), we have helped shape products for BlackBerry, or at least helped people at BlackBerry make a stronger case for change that some were pushing for. We gave them ammunition for change. 

Whether beneficial or damaging on an individual "leak" basis, I come back to what I said in B. Once a leaker wants to leak, it's going to leak. And in general when it comes to BlackBerry leaks, I'd always rather them leak here first as we ALWAYS WITHOUT FAIL give proper context to what has leaked. Over the years when things like early stage device leaks have happened on other tech sites (outside of the BB sites especially), they've often been introduced in very negative way. When CB posts leaks, we always set the stage and educate. 

D) Regarding actively looking for leaks. I'll admit that in my earlier years of CrackBerry'ing, when I was really learning what this whole tech blogging thing was about, I definitely was more eager to seek out situations that might land me something exclusive and awesome from a leaker. Heck, maybe we'll whip up a post with my Ten Favorite CrackBerry Leaks of All Time just for a trip down memory lane (stay tuned). 

That said, and as many of you have noticed in recent years, we don't post as many leaks (where we are the source) as we used to. There are two big reasons for that:  1) Less people email in leaks than they used to. Over the years, a lot of our leaks came straight up in on the tip line. More people these days will choose to directly leak things (in forums, on twitter, etc.); and 2) We don't really have to. If somebody else posts a leak first, we'll have it blogged up in minutes if we think it's legit (and if it's crap we typically avoid it). Either way, it's up fast and the community almost immediately has a place to discuss it. CrackBerry is the #1 HOME of BlackBerry enthusiasts on the net. It's the place to be for BlackBerry users. So as long as it's up quick and accurate, we're golden. This being the case, I simply don't have to seek out leakers. If it's going to happen it'll happen and we're right there. 

E) BlackBerry used to send us TONS of takedown letters on leaks to the media, but it was comical at the time. Again, going back to the Mike and Jim days, their solution to leaks was to send us legal letters and make our laywers' bills higher each month. It's funny. We even used to get take down letters when posting images of upcoming devices that we didn't leak first, but other sites did. And MANY other media sites got these letters too. If you want to look back at why a lot of media publications out there sometimes seem to be less than friendly torwards BlackBerry, actions like this from BlackBerry are part of the reason. It was a great way to not make friends with the people who cover your products. Thank god this changed, but for a while there I swear we were getting letters every week.

F) In some cases, I have prevented things from leaking. Straight up honesty, in some cases I have had things leaked to me (where the person wanted to leak and/or I could have leaked but the person wouldn't have given it to any other outlet for lack of trust), and I chose not to leak it because in that case I truly felt it was not in BlackBerry's interests at all for it to leak. 

There's one story here in particular I'm thinking about... I'll tell the story one day (it's a freak'n an awesome story), but today is not that day. 

G) Advice for BlackBerry - They always need to assume things will leak. While I like John Chen's stance on leaking, the reality is they almost always need to think about and be prepared that things will eventually leak out. In some cases, it's not thought about early enough. Like we often seen info about future devices buried within OS code about current in-market devices, etc. BlackBerry has to be proactive on that front.

Ok, I think that's a pretty good look at my take on "leaks". I wish them the best of luck with it. And in the meantime, I think if there will ultimately be less stuff for us fans to be excited about, that's OK. I think the trick here is for BlackBerry to be proactive and just make sure they stay engaged with us BlackBerry fans. Keep the dialog going and we're happy. 

- Kevin Out!

PS. Oh yeah, one more thing to add. Also, often times over the years leaks are what kept BlackBerry customers from completely losing their sh!t. Best example: BlackBerry Storm on Verizon. An official OS update came out about a month after launch, but the phone was still horrible. After that, it took another six months for an official update. However, a new OS would "leak" every week or two. If you called a Verizon call center to bitch about your crappy BlackBerry Storm, Verizon support would TELL YOU to go to CrackBerry and download the latest unofficial OS. If those OS's had not leaked, I'm pretty sure there have been a class action suit against BB and Verizon around then.

PPS. We've never broken an embargo when given one.

Worst "first" post ever, ban this guy!

(this comment is going to look dumb when you later edit your post haha)

Posted via CB10

How is this a bad post?? it is such a well thought out comment it deserves its own article.

(this comment is going to look dumb until he later edits his post haha)

Posted via CB10

An important exert from John Chen's article: "right now, we are pursuing legal action against a party who stole confidential information about a future BlackBerry product and made that information public. This person falsely posed as an employee of one of our carrier partners to obtain access to secured networks." I wonder which carrier?

The way things have gone in the last month or so, I'd say T-Mobile US. And it was probably the CEO himself :p

Hell, or Sprint. Still waiting on latest update, and they told mii the end of February. Must've meant Feb of 2015. Smh.

BlackBerry got hacked!

Not by a technological security breach, but one of the oldest tricks in the book, social engineering.

Guys, you gotta tighten up security, make sure you know who exactly you're talking to, double-check before releasing and close that hole.

Zzzzwiped from a Zedevice....

I think Chen is worried about the Osborne effect, which concerns how early leaks of future products can hurt current sales. BlackBerry is about a generation behind some competitors when it comes to certain specs (say screen resolution, for instance). So, if it comes to light via leak that BlackBerry is working on a 1440 screen "2K" device, then people may choose to wait and not be willing to buy their upcoming 1080p device now. Bad News. Or, BlackBerry customers may see BB's competition rolling out 1440 screens now and conclude that BlackBerry is out of the race. Also Bad News.

Apart from the spec/product leaks, I doubt he minds the successful OS leaks that delight customers. No other company gets the privileged treatment that Apple gets regarding mass, simultaneous upgrades of Iphones and iOS. Leaked BlackBerry OS's level the playing field a bit, and Chen needs that badly.

Sent from my BB Z10 running OS

With regards to the os leaks, BlackBerry could just bring them out as betas community would like it give feedback and one could control the leaking. (by taking out coding for Dev devices)

I've never understood why Beta Zone did by extend to OS updates. Its not unprecedented .... Motorola had Soak Tests throughout the Motorola Feedback Network.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Well considered. Many of us on the Verizon Z10 were nearly done by the random daily reboots and would've left were it not for the leak that finally ended the problem.

I'll give Chen that some leaks, like the recent 10.3, was not a good thing for anyone (but for media & speculation), but imagine how frustrated many of us would be if we never got our hands on the 10.2 leaks waiting for freaking carriers to finally give a F#@k about updating BB software.... If it weren't for these leaks, I would have already gone back to a 9900 and a 2nd Android or Windows device!!!


Sorry for shouting :)

There is a difference between a leak and installing another carriers OS. Once 10.2.1 was released for everyone outside of the USA, you could easily install it from a compatible Canadian / European carrier. That is not a leak. A leak was everyone that had 10.2.1 back in November 2013 months before it was intended to be released. See the difference?

I see nothing wrong with OS leaks. We become beta testers and cool new features.

Posted Via CB10 on my Zed 10

Well, when compared to OTA, considering leaks are cumbersome installation-wise just like--maybe not necessarily as much/little--as Sachesi, one could argue that if an official carrier OS shows up on Sachesi (or you do the SIM card switch method, if feasible,) it somewhat mitigates the slowness of carriers in pushing out OSes.

Pretty much anybody who can install a leak can have access to Sachesi. Let's not kid ourselves.

Agree there are tiers.

Leaking a future OS or a future device or a future roadmap is what I get the sense he's more concerned with.

In the case of 10.2.1, it's technically already out there in the public. The US customers are technically grabbing something that someone else already has officially. Different than say - 10.3 or whatever.

This is how it's a bad post: The head geek at CB is implicitly endorsing a questionable -- and I feel incorect -- interpretation of Chen's post. Chen was very clearly referring to a hardware leak, not an OS leak. I think it's unreasonable to generalize this admittedly vague statement as applying equally to OS leaks. After all, as I commented on Chen's blog post directly, OS leaks are good for BlackBerry; they create and sustain interest, buzz, and passion about BB as a brand and as an innovator. (I just plagiarized myself. It feels weird.)

I believe the major thing some ppl are missing, whether these leaks are os/hardware or whatever, it isn't so much the leak, but the readiness to support or inform of such leaks.

It's one thing to start this great idea and new features, have ideas for them then suddenly everyone knows about it, or the hardware mock-ups before anything is even concrete or fleshed out. As opposed to ok, we know what's going on, how to present it, functionality, when is a plausible release window and other talking points. And possibly some things competitors may not be aware of or possibly not working on themselves.

But someone mentioned the litigation bit, which should be obvious if ur pursuing action against someone for stealing info, it becomes laughable when the info is freely given from within anyway. Imo.

I dunno.. maybe leakers aren't all bad... I mean who would you blame a botched BBM launch on without them?

Posted via CB10

Every post with "first" in it is a bad one. Everyone who does it should be blocked from posting for a month.

Nah. First posts are hilarious and indicative of an engaged user.

Posts that ask for free apps are the worst. They imply a customer sentiment that will not help bbry or their 3rd party developers.

Posted via CB10

First posts are engaged users? It shows they hit refresh a lot on CB and all they do is post one word mainly. That isn't engagement. It's childish behaviour and should be left for YouTube and not forums like CB.

That was polite. First posters are annoying and stupid.

Posted via CB10

I had the first position (not necessarily posting the controversial word) a few times without hanging out for hours hitting refresh as you imply. It just happens.

Leaks can be fun, but also a problem for the company in certain circumstances, same goes for first posts, some are cool, witty and fun, some are downright annoying or laughable (if done badly) as you say.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Kevin this definitely seems like it has to do with the device information pulled from the 10.3 leak. It gave almost the full specs of most of the rummored devices that haven't been released yet. Even the Q20.

Posted by Antoniius via my sexy white Q10.

Leaks are the full result of a frustrated clientele; which surely includes BB insiders. Kevin has addressed part of this previously. Regular software updates and regular 'honest' communication with end users is key. I know there is a balance here, but shareholders have no loyalty and will flee at the drop of a hair, if end users abandon BB. In fact this has taken place over the last few years. Leaks, may not be advantageous under most circumstances, but if Chen is honest with himself, and truly understands the history here, MUST accept that leaks have kept Blackberry afloat the last 2 years. Many corporate users in the US stuck on 10.1 would have fled to IOS if 10.2 and 10.2.1 leaks had not come along so early. Even if they were buggy, they gave some hope. And in many cases the leaks were far less buggy that the official OS. Same holds true of the devices. It was way too long waiting for their release. The leaks kept many hanging on waiting. Sorry if anyone can't see it. But having lived in the forums much of the last 6+ years, I fully believe it to be true.

I agree with 1magine. 7+ year member here...

Without leaks, people would be left frustrated and angry. Not to mention how carriers here in the US do not release anything on time or at all, further tarnishing the brand with outdated and buggy software. Try explaining that to buyers and see if they have the patience for it - I certainly don't.

@1magine...Very very true,I'm sure he has a valid reason though and could be he is talking about, let's say, when Kevin mentioned he saw a glimmer in the eyes of one of BB's guys who actually knew about the new phone they have coming ,I think something is coming and he just wants to emphasis that ANY leak will not be tolerated.Can't wait.

+ 10.3 ... let this comment to be official response from crackberry member to chen's statement.

Posted via CB10

Leaks are the only reason why I haven't jumped ship. Seeing what's in the pipeline and could possibly see the light of day makes you want to stick around a little longer.

Posted via CB10

couldn't agree more. Mr. Chen, please don't alienate your most loyal following.

if leaks must go away, then offer some other form of "early access" to new versions so the hardcore can continue to engage and evangelize!

I couldn't agree more. If not for leaks, side loading, and the ability to install official OS from other carriers, I wouldn't be here.

I mean, AT&T is still on 10.1...!!! When I walk into the store, they have nothing - I mean nothing - in the store related to BlackBerry.

If not for the activity and help with leaks, etc., provided on this site, I would have gone back to a WMD a long time ago.

Mr. Chen, thank God for leaks; they're saving your clientele.

Posted via CB10

You hit the nail on the head. I want to remain loyal to BB, but I'm on AT&T and it's just sooo painful. I keep wanting to use work-arounds (leaked OSs) but my phone is just to valuable to undergo any sort of screw up that I just have to sit and wait. Last week I was going to order the Z30 direct from BB, but I wasn't sure if it came with 10.2.1 (still not sure). Now I'm just thinking of chucking it all in and getting the new HTC phone (although I don't like Android much). Just so tired of delay delay delay.

The Z30 from Verizon came with 10.2 on monday when I got it in the mail. Not sure about BlackBerry store

Posted via CB10

If you order from BlackBerry the Z30 should come with 10.2.1, and since it's carrier neutral you should be able to go to BlackBerry Link to upgrade with the latest BlackBerry has.

Go for it!!

You won't regret it, the Z30 is a fantastic device!!

From my Zed 30 running

You'll enjoy the best and latest OS on a BlackBerry from BlackBerry than any other person on a carrier device and you will never be limited to carrier support or OS update! I'm getting my Z30 from BlackBerry directly. And I do believe the support ALL bands so not missing 1700mhz for t-mobile or Wind in Canada. So Rogers one day and wind Mobility the next and still get lte instead of 2g

Posted Via CB10 on my Zed 10

I felt the same thing four months ago! I'm on AT&T, too. I was kinda scared to load up a 10.2 leak onto my Z10 thinking maybe it could f**k it up during the process, etc but went ahead and did it anyway. For some reason, I had a feeling AT&T was not gonna release the 10.2 for a long time, and it turned out I was right. Man, was I ever thrilled when my phone went smoothly with the 10.2 leak. So unbelievable! I smiled from ear to ear big time for days. It's been almost 4 months now. So far, no problem at all. Of course, I made sure to get everything backed up from my phone via the Link first. Blah blah. blah. Now 10.3 leak just came out, and I am not in a hurry becuz right now I'm perfectly happy with what I have at the moment. Maybe I will wait for a couple of months or so for something better than "early stage" of current 10.3 leak. Plus I have 1Mobile Market as well as Amazon App, and downloaded some popular Android apps without any problem lately, thanks to 10.2! :-) If you are still thinking about getting the new HTC, go for it. If you are thinking about loading 10.2 leak again now so that way you won't have to wait for ages for AT&T, go for it, and you won't regret it! :-)


Posted with a Verizon Z30 running and CB10. [URL="bbmc:C0004F9BB"] My channel with zero subscribers [/URL]

If they want to avoid people downloading leaks, they have to make sure the OS updates are available to everyone at the same time. Some people (in the U.S.) have to wait 4 months after Blackberry releases an update to get them. I know many people (in the States) that would have abandoned Blackberry if it wasn't for the leaks.

Please do not blame on Blackberry. Blame your Carrier for holding the release just to save money.

I think Blackberry shares some of the blame. I don't see people waiting months for iOS updates. iPhone users get updates at the same time cause the updates come from Apple. Blackberry needs to start bypassing the carriers like this. How hard would it be to put some links and a disclaimer on their official website?

You think carriers will support BlackBerry if they were to do that.
They need the carriers support. Especially more so now.

Posted via CB10

Carriers dint don't currently support BlackBerry, so what do they have to lose?

Posted via CB10 from my Z30.

AFAIK, there are legal agreements in place that require BB to distribute OS updates through the carriers, so to get around that, it would take new contracts.

But please answer this question: Why is it that Apple is the only company in the world that can release an OS update and it's available worldwide, for everyone?

Side question: How does holding the release of an OS update save them money??

Because Apple retains total control over their products in order to provide Apple customers with a uniform experience. This has been their MO since the 90s. It didn't always work for them in the beginning but when Jobs came back he didn't give an eff. If a carrier, retail outlet, or other does not want to play Apple's game then Apple will go to the next guy. Simple as that.

Besides, and I could be wrong, but aren't most iPhones sold outside of the U.S. sold off contract?

+ 1000000. Thank you. People (including Kevin) going apeshit about something that never happened.

Again, once an update has been released by a carrier, it is no longer a leak. BB10 users in the states can easily install an OS update from any of the Canadian carriers that are compatible with theirs.

Kevin Michaluk 41 min ago
Reserved for me.... comment coming shortly!

^ thats awesome! Great tip Kevin, thank you! :D

I once worked for a game company and we stratigically leaked "easter eggs". It kept the sales up as the insiders had a reason to show off their knowledge to their buddies. I consider things like the Porche clock to be on that order. I mean really who really cares what the clock app looks like.

Things like the virtual assistant in 10.3 on the other hand are a big deal and if BBRY isn't planning on having it out for 6 months it gives Samsung a huge heads up on what to get cracking on. ... as if this was some big secret with Siri from iOS out there already... It just takes some fast hardware and a fast connection... LTE4.

As for a 5 inch screen.... seriously? as if the Samsung devices aren't already in the market.

BBRY has a huge problem in the US, the carriers are dissing the hardware and the old timers running pre OS10 devices aren't buying the new ones. That has to change. First if the carriers won't support the hardware Scr*w'm... sell on line at a decent price. Forget trying the MSRP so you don't underprice the carriers. Go all internet sales. It means all internet support but that's the future of retail. Make it dam easy to get a new phone and transfer your data from one to another. Make it trival to get the new OS's so your customers are loyal to you. Make it easy to switch carriers... ie don't make me buy a new phone to switch from T-mobile to AT&T and Verizon. yes it means I need hardware I may not use but we are talking telephone war here. Also make it easy for my to use Wi-Fi calling on all carriers... if they won't play ball, cut them off where they make their money ... charging me for minutes on their hardware. (push to talk, so I can call anyone with my device within range...) etc etc.

John Chen Rocks. And I am glad he spoke out, and now we know where the New Management stands on "Leaks".
That said, LEAKS are a major factor in buffing up a company. By way of people's thoughts on the leaks. Such as do people like what they see? What do potential customers want changed via these leaks?

BlackBerry can learn a lot about what people think about potential products. Anyhow, I do admit it's a distraction to the company.

Regarding leaks? M$ for example loves them...

Well said Kevin. I definitely think it is better for a website like yours to report on a leak than one that is already anti-BB. At least if the leaked info has anything that can be interpreted in a negative light, you would definitely put it in perspective and at least show both possible sides. While a site like BGR or CNET will probably only focus on the negative aspects...

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

Face it Kevin, you are a sleaze bag who only cares about the money you are making from this website.
You profess to love BlackBerry but you are giving a platform for leaked software to be found out about and used.
Chen says it is bad for the company. Are you going to stop or blame someone else?
Being knowingly in possession of stolen property is a crime.
Scum bag.

I notice no1 is focusing on what Chen said about an 'impostor' stealing info and making it public...if that's how I must hear of BB info so I can become excited for the brand, hell no thanks!...that's the crux of Chen's argument and for that I support him is unethical and wrong and I'm uninterested in the proceeds from such an act. Falsely assuming another's identity and the attendant actions cannot be justification for all the other side arguments being spewed all over this forum! Let's talk about that first and foremost....

Hibby_CB10; Z10STL100-3/

Good read and I agree. Especially with the "losing it" part at the end. If it wasn't for a leak I would have thrown my Z10 out a window because of random reboots.

Hello everyone! I truly think that BlackBerry should ask Crackberry, at least now and then, about how things should be functioning. I think also, that BlackBerry have to establish a large base of beta testers which are capable to spot ALL the bugs in the OS, BEFORE the launch date of the final version!! Those guys are to be found in Crackberry's fan base. And, for those reasons I believe that " NO MORE LEAKING! " policy is just as dumb as " LET'S LEAK TOGETHER, IN SWEET HARMONY..." . Howgh!

Sorry but you don't get a free pass just because you yourself didn't start the leak. If you publish something fully knowing it is a leak and nothing official from Blackberry, you are part of the problem. Would you buy a car from someone if you knew it was a stolen vehicle? You wouldn't. Unfortunately, you're in the business of getting the scoop, much like most of the players in the media. I'm not blaming you but I don't agree with your rationalization that you didn't start the fire. You may not have started the fire but you sure are fanning it.

Awesome comments / post. I have mixed feelings about leaks. But I would have scrapped my Z10 if it were not for the random reboot fix leak back on 10.1. It was really passed off about it prior to installing the leak.

FWIW, if BlackBerry is serious about cracking down on OS leaks they should take full control of the release process and stop depending on carriers to roll out OS releases. Apple does this. Why not BlackBerry?

As far as device leaks go, as much as I love seeing what the future may hold, I think my main concern is that hardware leaks may weakened patent idling and enforcement claims. I'm not an OP lawyer, but I think it is feasible that until the patent is filed, I think it is best to be quiet about innovative ideas that may come to market.

Posted via CB10

I was all on board till you threw OS leaks in to the mix. Chen avoided that area for good reason, lousy carrier support for OS updates, but you jumped in the pool. Just wonder why you ventured into that area on your own when this site feature OS leaks quite a bit.

Chen needs to not be a super douche about leaks. Bottom line is -look how long everyone would have suffered in pre 10.2 misery had there not been leaks. Without leaks I just would have gotten 10.2.1 just last week. That's bull$hit.

Get your OS out quicker and you won't have an overzealous leaky consumer base.

Posted via CB10

Kevin, nice sound off. The only part I take issue with is this theme I hear often in media matter the subject matter:
" If you want to look back at why a lot of media publications out there sometimes seem to be less than friendly torwards BlackBerry, actions like this from BlackBerry are part of the reason. It was a great way to not make friends with the people who cover your products. Thank god this changed, but for a while there I swear we were getting letters every week."
The media is NOT entitled to privy information. The media DOES has the right to free press...well at least here in the states. That right does not mean entitlement, so if I don't want information about me to be shared and someone has gathered it and willing to share it, its not my obligation to "LET" the media do so. Sending a cease and desist letter is not about making friends as it is about protecting my information. Key part..."MY" information, not the medias, or anyone else NOT privy to said information. It is not the obligation of BB, or sports teams, celebrities, politicians etc to willfully allowing private information to go public unchallenged on your behalf. The media should understand the information they are sharing publicly does not belong to them nor the public at this moment. Since the media decides to air it anyway there is obviously going to be backlash from the people who legally own the information or who privacy has been violated in the name of journalism...or breaking the story.
Its a fine line the media walks...and the overwhelming work serves the common good of the public. But having the right to do something, doesn't make doing so, right. Nor obtaining information that is not yours to have give you the unfettered right to air it unchallenged. I'm 99.99% certain that you and everyone else including myself would not be too happy to just allow private information about ourselves be aired in the public sphere, or any place "we" do not want for that matter. Doing so, would certainly bring a quick and strong response....not a "Kevin, so glad you told my business on your site today. How bout a beer afterwards old buddy".
Sorry for the rant but I hear this theme often....had to add my 2 cents for whats its worth.

Strange always thought it was approved at a higher level.. don't see the problem it keeps the crackberry community happy.

Posted via CB10

It will be sad if we don't get OS updates. But I agree with device rumor mills.

I didn't upgrade my 9700 even when I was able to through carrier offer waiting for BlackBerry 10. I'm sure that hurt BlackBerry if another 20% of users though like I did.

I finally gave when my 9700 was just too messed up and got a used 9900. So I would agree with Mr. Chen on hardware leaks

Posted Via CB10 on my Zed 10

Held onto my 9800 until the 9810 showed up in a Rogers store off contract for $150 (missing battery). Refused to upgrade to the 9900 as BB10 was due out shortly. Little did I know that was going to be a year and a half.

I think that your estimate on 20% is a lot higher and that doesn't include the ones who got tired of waiting and jumped ship.

I kind of agree too. It's motivational. It's like they dangled the carrot of the Q20 but want us to wait till Christmas for it? With no news?

Posted by Antoniius via my sexy white Q10.

This could be related to hardware leaks and the photos of screens and/or devices... and not necessarily software leaks. or it could be the other way around. or both.... or something else entirely.
It could just be the information about the media portal device...

This definitely has to do with the device info berried into the 10.3 leak it gave almost all the specks of rummored upcoming devices.

Posted by Antoniius via my sexy white Q10.

No company wants to be caught with its pants down when unfinished business is exposed.

Motorola V3xx -> Nokia E63 -> Nokia N900 -> Nokia N9 -> BlackBerry Z10

My optimistic interpretation: 10.3 leak was cool but nothing earth shattering. Still, it got Chen and co thinking about leaks again. I bet they have something really cool in the wings that they really DON'T want leaked and this is a fair warning based on the 10.3 event. Chen's phrasing makes me very curious...

Posted via CB10

I and a whole lot of Crackberry members enjoy testing the leaks of unrealized software. If you take that from us, you taking our fun away. That's not cool at all.

Posted via CB10

This is really just protocol. What's Chen supposed to say..."I love leaks I hope there are more"..?

Posted via CB10

Leak must run to keep the fans happy an critics on the edge

Taste the Fruity Goodness of a BlackBerry

I would be okay with that stance if they could get the official OS releases pushed out timely by the carriers. As it is, leaks may be the only way to get my OS updated.

Posted via CB10

I completely agree with this!! If something that is beneficial to all users/supporters of the platform, isn't given to all the users/supporters of that platform, then that's just hurting the platform. To roll out an OS in pieces, is only leaving holes for people to get frustrated and jump ship for something more consistent and beneficial to it's users.

You do realize that it's only Apple that can get around carrier pushes right now right? Steve Jobs did wonders when he got carriers to agree with his terms. Everyone else is held at ransom to the carriers demands when it comes OS updates.

Not impossible sure. Improbable? Most likely. They are not in the position or have the klout to get to that point right now.

I guess there's some irony to the fact that the most secure mobile platform can't keep its own secrets.

Posted via CB10

It is not being stolen from their phones, it is being stolen by people who have been granted access to their network for legitimate reasons and then go and steal something else.

I always felt leaks were not advantageous to BlackBerry. While I myself have part take and benefit from a few leaks, I believe he is correct in saying that it can be more harm than good to the development of the product. For one it gives competitors a heads up on the development of Bb10. Secondly, while feedback is necessary, the armchair CEO, software architect, UI Designer, etc, do more harm than good.

On the fast Z30


Feedback can be developed internally in the Beta phase. If they want external feedback I am sure they will ask.

The catch-22 is I dont know if when it gets to Beta or external testing if some things are too far along to be changed. At the same time, leaking things too early can give away proprietary info.

If I was in BB shoes I would not want leaks out there.

the position wright now in which blackberry is they can not afford leaks as they show they have new devices in work which can be really bad from share market view as again those rating agencies will say blackberry is wasting money by building devices sell their shares now or loose your money

I thought they might be use the leaks as better testing. This is too bad I just go into the leaking fun.

Posted via CB10

I can understand why they don't want their upcoming/ canceled devices out in the wild, everyone has an opinion as to what blackberry should be focused on, seeing canceled devices can only fuel the "leave the hardware" side of the argument. I think like people above have said it was probably the 10.3 leak that prompted Mr Chen's remarks. It like someone walking in on a room you have started to pain and saying " You're going to paint it that colour?" I like seeing upcoming features that may be in the next OS update, it would be great if they would do some more press " Here's what's next" like they have been with BBM.

Proudly posted with a Z30 via CB10

Yes, go after leakers, sue them, and see what happens to blackberry then.
If there was no leak of 10.2.1 a lot of people would have abandoned BB long ago. If Chen wants to go after someone, he should go after carriers for not updating their miserable old versions.

I remember back in the day when I had my Pearl, and then my Storm, leaks weren't even allowed to be discussed on CB. I have always wondered what happened to allow the shift of philosophy regarding them.

BlackBerry is the only company that has leaks. I've never heard of or seen anyone get their hands on an early build of OS8 or Android (insert candy name here)...

I like the leaks because it keeps me interested in what BlackBerry is developing but at the same time it doesn't seem like a good thing because it basically "shows the cards in your hand" so to speak.

I will also say that the build up and speculation leading up to an apple IOS update is Significantly higher/better than BlackBerry because no one leaks the updates before they happen.

Posted via CB10

I think the bigger threat is that BBRY loses competitive edge because others get to copy new features.
There's a lot in iOS7 that was copied from BBRY, the new HTC uses a *new* thing called gestures, etc.
Having said that, I'm all for *leaks* of OS revs that have been released to at least some carrier/market.

I can't imagine still being on 10.1 on AT&T.

Posted via CB10

I don't care much about leaks! As long I can get official OS at the same time with everybody else!

Especially with 10.2.1 leaks are unnecessary

Posted via CB10

umm they are talking more about devices and specs leaking out, not OS leaks even though that could be counted as well.

LIke QuIcKsilV3r, I read and understood the letter to be more about the devices and specs rather than leaked O.S.'s. I really hope leaked O.S.'s aren't part of Mr. Chen's (understandable) ire.

I hope so!!! Because we all know US will take months to release the OS or not even release it... depending on their mood!

Posted via CB10

Four words: Sebastien Marineau-Mes and Typo. They will take people to court.

I used my Q10 to create this CrackBerry madness!

I believe leaks and rumuors keeps a lot of customers of blackberry from drifting to other platforms like IOS/ android.
Of late there have been leaks of upcoming devices like PlayBook and this has excited many leave alone q20, windmere-etc

Posted via CB10

Someone went as far as tricking BlackBerry as being a partner/carrier personnel ... and had access to confidential information??

Chen, something is wrong with BlackBerry security. Is BlackBerry ISO 27001 certified company? Perhaps you should have not leaked this information.

Posted via CB10

+1 it's true, as nice as it is to know what's coming, your letting everyone else know, even the people you don't want to know.

Posted via CB10 on Q10

He's threatening fan sites too

"We will always take appropriate actions to prevent leaks from happening and in some cases this means prosecuting individuals — internally or externally — who leak confidential information."

Posted via CB10

Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft and the list goes on and on and on, all deal with leaked images, prototypes etc, it can't be stopped. Every company in the world has that 1 or 2 employees or people that work close with the company that will always snap pics or write something up saying what they saw. It's nothing new, but I'm not sure how Chen is going to stop leaks.

I'd rather see real BlackBerry info that "leaks" but blackberry needs to do more for "their fans" to keep us in the loop... then leaks would be irrelevant. As much as I would like to know what's new in 10.3, I wanna see it in my hands... not get a post about what could be in the works. I want end user products not a world of what if...

I ultimately think blackberry needs to hype us and the rest of the world up for what's next!

I still find people don't know bbm is cross platform, or even know the Z30 exists!

Posted via CB10

I have to agree with John Chen ......... I have never use leak & never will !!! doesn't really works & is not right thing to do ,that is my personal opinion .
Blackberry forever

I think it was 10.3... As exciting as that leak is, its not ready, its not stable, and it wasn't really meant to be seen. The features would be best suited for a CB forum post about "rumored" updates. If anyone takes that leak seriously and starts formulating opinions or harassing BB about the changes, they need to calm down. The last thing BB needs is some reporter saying "Look! BB is in the tubes, have you seen 10.3?! It's trash!" when it may look or behave nothing like what we have seen recently.
Good for Chen, I just hope they are able to resolve the demand for leaks by working with carriers to push out updates as quickly as possible. As a CB community we are able to find bugs quickly for them and test things, but that might be best left to a BB Beta community, not just everyone who knows how to download an autoloader or load a bar file...

Kiss my backside JC. We should charge you for the free testing of your buggy, feature poor software.

Stop whinging and give your customers something worth buying.
Get your dang carriers to release timely OS updates.

This guy us really starting to bug me!

All mouth! All show and no go.

Posted via Verizon Z10 - OS v10.1.2.2174

Seems to be a bit "sue happy" doesn't he. The hard hitting mighty Chen is definately overusing the legal department. Next photo leak, and he will let lose the Zapperstein team on them.

This will help to sell phones.

This will effect how long I will stay with BlackBerry. Att still no release of 10.2.1 relied on leak fo 10.2.1. If no more leaks Chen better really step up to carriers. Or there will be no blackberry, because carriers don't support BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

What a little winning baby this guy is turning out to be.

Posted via Verizon Z10 - OS v10.1.2.2174

Whining you mean.

Right. Here it we go. Thor was supposed to be BBRY's savior, and nearly everyone was hyped up about him. Then the bashing started.....

I'd rather see BlackBerry take ScrApple and Scamsung by surprise, say no to leaks for the next few months until the new phones are out, and see the company succeed with growing sales of desirable devices.

Zzzzwiped from a Zedevice....

Winning is yet to be seen, but not whining if that's what you were after. He needs to stop negative sentiment in the public with leaked specs and especially hardware components. In terms of product leaks, they need to actively control that and keeps their cards as close to the vest as possible to improve the company's image with the public.

If leaked information was done right, I think it might be helpful. Look at all the comments that leaked articles get. I know we are only the general public and not hardware or software engineers but we are buying the product at the end of the day. Maybe something BlackBerry didn't think off will come up in the posts.

Posted via CB10 on Q10

A Lot of the leaks being used are because of us carriers, AT&T haven't even released 10.2.0 yet when was the last time BlackBerry posted a tweet about 10.1. They should have to release updates in a timely manner.

Posted via CB10

Maybe BlackBerry should offer a 'Beta' programme like they do with apps.

Would stop people throwing toys out of the pram then

Posted via CB10

Reading the blog post, I think I can safely say he's talking about hardware leaks. I think we all know that by the time we get a "new" OS leak it's already old internally.

From a business perspective it is absolutely the right course of action to take. From a fun perspective, it sucks.

Posted via CB10

As ceo he can take any position on this he chooses. The question is why go public about it? I suspect it's more about ego and public posturing than any real purpose.

I think Chen is correct. The leak some information may prejudice the ongoing improvement of the company, but unfortunately it is impossible to control this type of leak, unless it creates a unique and reliable for this company within the industry, only the trust could be responsible for leakage, ie, a certain X employees within the BlackBerry and are, in this case, developing new versions of the systems will be liable for the leak of information. Then I want to see if there will be new leaks.

Of him to do this internally. But until you have a type of administration about it internally will not get to make the leaks be freed.

I think he is doing the right thing, it's quality control. BlackBerry has an image problem right now and I think Chen wants to keep everything close to his chest and not show his cards right now.

But i'll agree on either getting carriers to release OS updates or releasing them directly from BlackBerry. If I didn't unlock my phone and get a Bell and Rogers sim I would stuck on 10.1 from at&t for my Q10. Or Sochesi like I used last time to get T Mobiles release of 10.2.1.

The one thing that leaked devices and specs can do is disappoint the faithful...if a leak shows up for a device running a really fast processor but in the end it has a really fast processor but is one step down from the leaked specs, all kinds of people will be complaining etc.

I love the leaks as they sometimes give me hope that there will be another bb10 phone for me to buy...

But with the state that Blackberry is in right now, I can see them wanting to keep everything under wraps...because for them, if they launch another phone and it has specs etc. to blow people away, a lot of thunder will already be gone...

It is nice sometimes to have a phone launched that makes you go wow...

Being with Verizon leaks are what kept me from going to Apple.

JC should shut up and put up!

Posted via Verizon Z10 - OS v10.1.2.2174

Bingo. If he is referring to software as well, he can shove it. A year ago I was THIS close to ditching my Z10 and BBRY for good because of the reboots the VZW phones had out of the box. Were it not for leaks, I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Loose lips sink ships. Happy (past?) member of the BlackBerry External Beta Test Department. Leakers gotta leak but it looks like Chen is going to be slowing the leaks to a mere trickle.

Leaks also played an important role in actually making the Z10 usable, we don't want to forget the condition that Verizon's version shipped in.

Posted via CB10

Funny thing about leaked pictures of the 'yet to be announced' devices.... At the time, everyone is drooling and tripping over themselves about the specs and what they like or don't like. But then it soon fades into obscurity and everyone has their eye on the next latest and greatest. If I was a developer/manufacturer and information got leaked out about my next prototype before I was ready, I wouldn't be too happy about that. On the other hand, leaks can be a sort of advertisement showing we are working on something new and what you might expect in the near future. Perhaps a controlled public news page of sorts would end the problem with leaks?

I guess that's what happens when you lay off so many engineers involved in new product development....

Small point: Adam might want to fix the last sentence. I think he was trying to conclude that some will likely still leak OSs, so he might want to say "...keep some from 'un'sealing their lips," or something like that.

Via CB10 & Z10 or Q10

Instead of fighting it (negative), BB should put up an official Beta program where all people are under NDA. Problem solved!

I wonder if these will now be banned on CB?

Will Kevin cave into JC tantrum?

Posted via Verizon Z10 - OS v10.1.2.2174

Leaking hardware plans: not good
Leaking software features: not great
Leaking OS autoloaders: critical to maintain what is left of the US market

'Bout time he cracked down. Leaks impact consumer confidence as well as stock prices (I'm an investor--BlackBerry long--and the only investor that loves misleading leaks are the short-sellers who win when stock prices plummet). It may be fun for some, but it can be disastrous.

Posted via CB10

Some barrage balloon leaked the photos and we are the ones who don't get information... but at least let us get the latest leaked OS.

Posted via CB10

Hopefully what Mr Chen is trying to say, is that under his leadership, updates will be released quicker, and there is no need for leaks! :)

I think that his statement hold true because it does expose the secrets of the company before they are ready and other companies can copy

Hmm, I'll be honest,...had it not been for the leaked BlackBerry 10 OSs, I'd be planning my exit strategy.

Looking back, we all can agree that When the Z10 was released,...the OS really wasn't ready for prime time! The most significant issue amongst all were the Random Restarts (RRs). I for one started getting RRs about 3 weeks into ownership of my new Z10.

Thank God for the leaked OSs.

I can understand Mr. Chen's concerns about leaks,...but there are times when leaks are a must!

Good luck!

Posted via CB10

And still can't get the apps that were updated for 10.2.1 support only. Don't update apps if we can't F ing use them!!!!!!!!!!

Posted via CB10

Sounds to me like Chen is talking about the 10.3 leak - and "posing as a carrier employee" suggests they've downloaded the OS from the existing carrier beta network, possibly using a program like Sachesi.

This gives interesting insight into where leaks come from - it doesn't appear employees of BB are leaking software, but rather people are helping themselves to them with a carrier's username and password.

Posted via CB10

Stop saying coming soon and release whatever you have faster and we wouldn't need a leak.

Powered by BlackBerry!

They leak because that is what the people want!!! And BlackBerry doesn't know what their customers really want even tho we blatantly tell them.

Posted via CB10

All I wanted was a Playbook leak, lol. That being said, there's probably only one guy working on Playbook updates now so he'd put a pretty big target on his head if something got out lol ;)

Posted via CB10

From a business standpoint, totally agree with Chen. The word confidential has to stand for something for their partners and employees. You think a football (Am.) team could send their playbook to their opponent and expect to win. No.

And people shouldn't complain about this. He's doing what a CEO should. He's protecting the company from misconception and misinformation. He's actually trying to help BBRY win.

This is going to be a very interesting development unfolding here. Can't wait for Kevin's reply.

Z10 STL100-1, OS

Here, is the way I see it.

As CEO, This is part of his job. He must come down on leaks. I'm am sure is know that leaks are partner of the game. It is a show or more of a stance for those shareholders to know that unless it is "officially" made public by BlackBerry it is a rumor.

Leaks are going to happen. IMO, it give the consumer something to salivating over new toys that could come out.

Posted via CB10

I think they must balance "Osbourne Effect", the notion of pre-announcing a better product which will kill the funding for it... with "Reverse Osbourne Effect" or the notion that there's not much progress that people will shy away from the product.

They probably should Beta Zone OS's on certain Milestones. In this way, the can hold back features and at the same time show that there's progress. Similar to the PlayBook 2.0 early builds.

If there are no leaks,BlackBerry won't be in news and media. The leaks in crackberry is a great thing as it gives a lot of hope for the BlackBerry enthusiasts. We live everyday in hope.The leaks are required else even BlackBerry loyalists will stop caring about the brand

Posted via CB10

Honestly Leaks are what keeps me excited with my device, if they stop then BlackBerry becomes boring like the Android and IOS and I like many more people may jump ship

Open letter to Mr. Chen,

John... I see you trying to right the ship, but Blackberry isn't Apple so lets not act like it. The leaks are keeping BBRY in the game as users NEED a lot of the leaks to keep their devices viable and running. The carriers (in my honest opinion) are being bullied by your competitors and thus they are slow playing release of your software updates.

The leaks bypasses the carriers and comes at little or no risk to your company. Basically, you have a user community here that is willing to try your dogfood before it gets packaged for general consumption. What that means is that you do not have to pay for alpha, beta, or pre-prod UATs. Furthermore, you do not have to incur the liabilities associated with the aforementioned software cycles.

"Speed to Market" is the clear requirement in this smartphone game. It should be a watch phrase you are emphasizing to your direct reports and subordinates. Otherwise, your chances of turning around BBRY drop significantly.

These leaks are not a result of industrial espionage, they are the result of a starving user community who is very loyal to your brand.

How about updating the Playbook and doing it fast? Then we can validate your genuine concerns about malicious leaks.

Yours in BBRY,

Well, in reading Chen's blog post he says the following after the quote that Adam posted:

"This is why I want to make you aware that, right now, we are pursuing legal action against a party who stole confidential information about a future BlackBerry product and made that information public. This person falsely posed as an employee of one of our carrier partners to obtain access to secured networks. "

I would take that as the screen we've been seeing lately pop up. The don't interpret the OS leaks as a 'future BlackBerry product' itself because they run on all the phones. I take 'product' as either the Q20 or, more probably, the large screen that we're thinking is Windmere's.

On an off-note, I agree that they should re-introduce beta testing the OS's in the Beta Zone. It seems pretty bare bones lately for us BB10 users...

Chen. J should immediately release official 10.3. xxxxx.for all blackberry 10 devices by way of bypassing all carriers and thereafter CLOSE / SEAL the loopholes for leaks for ever

Posted via CB10

the 10.3 that leaked is approx. 2 months old. Considering we just got 10.2.1, i think they are working diligently, and 10.3 is probably very close.

I figure that he has to make this statement because in reality all leaks come from BBRY as they are signed and if it's dev's who are leaking it they could cut them off at the lawsuit. Hence the timing of the 10.3 leak was in preperation for the earnings announcement. And that it was designed to show that even though they've had massive layoffs, they are still inovating new products and for the shareholders to stay the course. But then I don't work for BBRY...

Still yes it's good to let folks know that a product is on it's way, but it can dry up current sales as everyone waits for "the next great thing." which puts a severe damper on your cash flow. On the OS leaks however it's less likely as you can always upgrade your OS to the latest version...(except you AT&T folks!!) And if BBRY ever gets their act together and demands that they control the OS releases then all the better for them if a couple thousand of us all volunteer to be beta testers.... (and yes I'm 100% sure those leaks are intentional and help BBRY flush out bugs and get valuable feedback.)

Just curious, how was someone able to successfully fool or trick BlackBerry? Charity begins at home, so I think John Chen should make sure that the Internal Controls at BBRY are really tightened.

Devise leaks and specs harm the launch unless done by BlackBerry on purpose to capture true voice of the customer

Posted via CB10

Wow! It seems everything is working against the resurgence of BlackBerry! I see the powers that be! are really concerned about BlackBerry's return to Dominance! I'm no Genius, but I say it's time for BlackBerry to sink a ton of money into Advertising! And let's get this BB 10 train steam rolling Globally!

Posted via CB10

BB cannot afford sinking money into advertising, they are busy sinking money into the "Legal Team"

Not sure leaks are a bad thing, many times it makes a difference as to whether people stay or move on. In the case of Blackberry over the years we have been loyal and patient needing something to look forward to, leaks without harm aren't a bad thing. Besides, I don't like surprises.

Of you can't get carriers to release more frequently you are going to start passing off your base by not allowing leaks.

I've already read posts by iOS and Android users saying 10.3 is going to bring them back to Bbry. How can this be a bad thing?

Posted via CB10