BlackBerry DevCon Europe Keynote w/ new RIM CEO Thorsten Heins! [video]

By Kevin Michaluk on 7 Feb 2012 08:34 am EST

Here it is folks, BlackBerry history! CrackBerry was on hand in Amsterdam to witness (and record) the first BlackBerry event keynote presentation by newly-minted CEO, Thorsten Heins. You can hit play on the video above to watch his full 25 minute debut at BlackBerry DevCon Europe.

On the announcement front, there wasn't really anything in the way of BlackBerry news. But honestly, we didn't go to the show expecting any. Mobile World Congress is coming up at the end of this month, which makes a much more strategic time and venue to officially release PlayBook OS 2.0 (and maybe announce some PlayBook models with radios inside). And as for learning more about BlackBerry 10 phones, knowing they won't hit until later in the year it makes sense that BlackBerry World in May may be where we get a bigger glimpse. 

Being the first BlackBerry developer conference held in Europe, Heins took the opportunity to address the crowd of almost 2,000 European developers in attendance. Heins kept the focus on the region and reaffirmed RIM's pledge to developers to ensure the ecosystem and support that developers need to be successful is there. Speaking to some conference attendees following the keynote, it definitely felt like Heins did a good job of getting developers re-engaged with RIM.

As for Heins' presentation and presentation style itself, I thought he did a solid job for his first go as the BlackBerry Chief. No, he's not an over the top personality like Microsoft's Steve Ballmer nor a straight up smooth talking exec like Nokia's Stephen Elop. And that's ok. Heins comes across as very straight up and real. He's likable and personable, and as I noted in a tweet, he makes you feel very comfortable being in the audience (which I hate to say it, is a welcome contrast to RIM's previous Co-CEOs.). You can tell in addition to being smart, Heins is a calm, cool and collected kind of guy. Even during a slight demo malfunction, Heins took it in stride and never missed a beat. He definitely came across as confident over his duties of being the new leader of Research In Motion.

Enough typing though. Watch the video above and sound off in the comments with your reactions to the BlackBerry DevCon keynote!

Reader comments

BlackBerry DevCon Europe Keynote w/ new RIM CEO Thorsten Heins! [video]


buddy walked out of bluetooth range when taking the photo >:(. OS 2.0 looks great though. My fiance wants to upgrade from an iPhone 4 to a BB10 device when they're out.

Thanks Kevin! I like his low-key style. His CEO persona will develop very quickly. I am very excited about the future of RIM with Thorsten at the helm.

Don't let that low-key style fool you. He probably walked off the stage and slapped the schnitzel out of Vivek!

I haven't had a chance to see the video but if I read the article correctly there is no mention of a release date for OS2.0. I am not saying that RIM should cater its release dates for the news of the world / bloggs but surely given the current climate they should be using every platform they get to remind us it is coming and will be on time (for a change)!

I have to agree. I content using the Beta version so it's not like I'm going to die without this update. Even with that said, the beta version is spotty and for the price i paid for the two that I own I would like some confirmation on this update.

I'm not bitter but I feel like I should be.

Mister CEO did, in fact, say "later this month" wrt the release of 2.0. From the horse's mouth at 11:39 into the video.

Dear Hamza, patience. We'll get there. It's improving day after day. Lets have it complete rather than half backed.

Yeah clearly he walked out of Bluetooth range. That is a big stage and Thor had to take a few steps.

I love the remote capability, that is gonna be badass indeed.

Just showing how much they listen to the public, last dev con they had apple computers on stage, this time it look they they covered the apple with blackberry logo. No more free advertising for apple at blackberry dev con...LOL

Vivek was not prepared for the presention, thats why he could not upload the pic; and that's what always differentiate Germans (CEO) ifrom others; sorry if it is a harash statment, but this is the reality!

well he shouldn't have walked so far away to take the picture, or taken the PlayBook with him. It works though, I've seen other demonstrations of it.

Right... So you're telling me you could do a better job than that? I hate seeing discriminatory comments like this and besides what did Heins present?

Two things happened there: the browser did not load the content and bridge did not work. It can be that vivek walked out of the transmission range but then he tried again close to the PB..
Not a good impression.. If you are not sure is woking.. If only there is a chance that it could not work..Do not show it live!!!

Anyway.. Release this 2.0 !! Email and calensar experience look AMAZING!!!!

The browser was loading the content as per the loading bar, and im confident open on PlayBook wouldve worked great if he didnt walk out of bluetooth range. The demos at CES went much smoother.

Well I watched the pres con of the Galaxy Nexus and a number of things didn't work properly namely the highly touted face unlock feature so lets not get carried away!

Thanks for the excellent video Kevin, did you shoot that with your PlayBook?

I am pretty excited about what Heins has to bring to the table, I like his Oprah-style for the Devcon:

"Everyone here is getting a PlayBook!"

OS 2.0 is going to be released this month (god may help them if not!), how hard can it be to specify a date! if it's coming in 2 weeks, they should know right now!
just tell us when, and we are happy to wait.
i know, this is a devcon, but even developers want to know when they are going to earn money with their ported android apps.

I am at chomping at the bit for the 2.0 update like the next guy but as much as it pains me I think RIM is doing the right thing by not providing a date. If anyone works in Software or IT in general knows is that you just dont know what will happen. If they find a huge bug/problem 1 day before an announced release date they have backed themselves into a corner. That is, if they release with the bug the masses will riot and if they dont release on the date that they said, the masses will riot. So under this scenario they are screwed. By not announcing a date they can continue to work diligently towards an internal date and not disappoint anyone.

The impression I got after watching the video is that rim's top management don't use their smartphones except to call and type email. Look at apple's presentations. They deliver their features flawless. They come prepared for the presentation. I couldn't believe at what Vivek did. If I were Heins I will ask Vivek to submit his resignation and find some place to retire. Atleast use your phone's full set of features and feedback into developer teams pointing at weaknesses in ease of use. Heins' first job should be to find such non-performers and find some tech savvy leaders

So when you're doing your job and not everything goes 100% smooth your boss requests your resignation?

Come on, don't you think that's going a tad overboard? I've seen Apple presentations where their computers crashed. Heads didn't roll then why should they now?

Nice keynote, obviously Thorsten needs time and space to create the vision that has been put in place, shame that he is/was flanked by a person who lacks the basics in live presentation, drill,test,rehearse and don't muck up the bosses stage.

This is the kind of schoolboy error that RIM have been making over the past couple of years it is time his staff get the point Thorsten is making, dont bring the product to market until you know it works properly and will be well received, then market the hell out of it.

He needs his team to emulate his energy and conviction if he is going to turn things around.

Mistakes are not Accidents ask any child!

I really like this CEO he's doing a much better job than Mike at presenting. Mike was a bit awkward for some reason. Thorsten looks comfortable in his new position :)

U can do millions of good and awesome things, no one will remember, but as soon as you do One mistake millions of people will notice!

Technology this days eh?

Amazing update for the playbook os 2.0....oh wait....
I can't open up the picture I just took on my blackberry...Lol
Way to go RIM. that really drove up the confidence in your brand.

Was not boring, it was a little bit embarrassing.

RIM have a chance to make a comeback Thorsten just needs a real team effort and that was not it.

RIM employees need to get with the program which means on stage as well as behind the scenes we are now in an audio visual age the show and tell times are over!

Thorsten looks the part the late and great Steve Job would be concerned,QNX and the seamless approach to mobile computing is the way forward for sure and it looks like RIM have an edge lets see if they can make it count I hope so love my PB and my 99xx.

RIM’s enterprise problem: Halliburton latest to switch to iPhone

Toronto— The Canadian Press

Published Tuesday, Feb. 07, 2012 10:22AM EST

Last updated Tuesday, Feb. 07, 2012 2:27PM EST

4500 BB's ditched in favor of iPhone. Way to go BB!!

Out of 75 million users that a 0.006% decline. Not saying it isn't important just saying does it warrant your !!!!?

Keep Clam and Be Bold!

Honeslt if the BB10 phones are good. I couldn't give a flying F what other people use.

And while I'm at it.

Apple made over $13 billion dollars profit in one quarter and still managed to kill some workers in China. Way to go Apple!!!!
- and if you don't give a crap about that, go look in the mirror.

BlackBerry left out in cold as U.S. weather agency cuts costs

NOAA replaces 5000 BB with iPhones..

And the decline continues .......

I don't know if this is just me but this looks a lot better then when it was shown off at CES 2012.
I hope apps like facebook are much better with os 2.0

I just want to be able to use my PB as a bluetooth headset. It is great that I get a caller ID pop-up, but it would be much more useful if I could answer the call in speaker mode. Just an idea. I'm sure it could be added.

I'm frankly a little tired of the negative comments about RIM. People b*tch about the dumbest things... OOh the photo demo didn't work the first time. WHO FRIGGEN CARES? Yes, I realize that it doesn't look good when you are giving a presentation.. but hey, they are electronic devices and it happens. My IBM work laptop (from a trusted brand) has it's occasional hiccups.. get over it. And don't get me wrong, I want OS 2.0 on BOTH of my PlayBooks NOW!!.. but I also would rather wait a few more week and have it fully tested and functional.
Some of you need to relax... there are bigger things in this world to worry about than whether or not RIM releases an actual date for the OS 2.0 release..

I'm just so amazed to see some of the comments on the little technology skip that happen. Microsoft has gone to kernel panics several times during their demos.

Apple has skips all the time. You can start by watching at least 5 mins worth here:

This is technology... there's no articulate way of putting this but sometimes "shit happens!" - deal with it.

Vivek - Thanks for the follow up video, you Rock!

OS 2.0 looks amazing.. People need to relax about the hiccup with the demo. It is an electronic device... crap happens.. get over it. And for those of you complaining about an official release date.. either way, you won't be satisfied so just sit back and be patient. Frankly, I feel like a kid 2-3 weeks before Christmas...

Quick: The Superbowl in which Janet Jackson performed the halftime show. Does anybody remember who played, what the final score was, or, most likely, only the wardrobe malfunction?

I wonder if the engineers of rim do read our posts....

The new rim's ceo introducing the blackberry 10 .... At the same time OS 7 and the company's flagship bisnes device bold 9900, is talking less bisnes. No matter what causes the drain, young os 7 or any hardware part.... it drains since the first day until now, six months later.

RIM I love your devices but come on, wake up !!!! Forget about a new hat when there is water on your shoes !!!
Do something simple, you're not the first !!! Make some bigger batteries, some bulkier battery caps. I want to buy an official one. I don't mind if my lovely bold gets thicker, I think is easier to type on keyboard if the phone is a bit thicker (bold 9000 like). Such a small phone with such a small lcd should handle 4 days with one charge. Only after that it will be called a bisnes flagship.

yawn...this thing was so boring and lacking in enthusiasm. the intro where no one knew to clap or not when he was telling us Kuwait loves their BlackBerries. then there is Thorsten staring at the cue screens at the bottom on the stage. He even deadpans lines like "that's exciting..." then the tech flaw. this is not exactly an impressive performance people...