CrackBerry 107: Breaking it down with the new CEO

By Adam Zeis on 8 Nov 2013 12:12 pm EST

Kevin, Adam, Bla1ze, Chris, Simon and Marcus talk about the weeks news on BlackBerry including new CEO John Chen, Thorsten Heins stepping down, BlackBerry marketing, Android on BB10 and what's coming now for the company. Check it out and let us know what you think!


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Kevin Michaluk
Adam Zeis
Simon Sage
Chris Umiastowski


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

Reader comments

CrackBerry 107: Breaking it down with the new CEO


I agree with you. It was very informative for someone like me who loves BlackBerry and enjoys the use of Google products. Enabled me to get a better understanding at how a marriage/relationship between the two would or could work one day. We have an uphill battle, but as we all know all it takes is one good product, or innovation to get things rolling. We have something great in BB10. We need to figure out what to do with it, how to take it up a notch.

Hey...Kevin forgot to say "first"!!! :)

Is there a way we could get a transcript of the discussion? Since most of us (as prosumers) :) are in meetings during the day or unable to watch videos, would be great if we could read it and catch up on late breaking news and discussions

Yer that would be very useful as I could not watch but would of been able to read ;-)

Posted from my Z10 (very smart phone)

Great podcast as always. Keep up the good work. Very informative on the new CEO. His ideas sound promising for us...A step in the right direction

Trusted Member Genius

I hope the company continues with BB10. If they ever go Android...bye long for me. Android's security is garbage. Period.

If they can ever get out a new BB10 PlayBook, that would be great.

BlackBerry...............Stay with BB10. Keep yourself out of that Android crap.

Posted via CB10

They won't go with Android but I sure hope BlackBerry does have Google Play integrated into BlackBerry World. That would actually be awesome.

Posted via CB10

I would love to get all the apps IN The Google play store, yes. But as for the platform...For god sake....stay away! Too susceptible to hackers, unsecured. Plain "All purpose crap", is what Android is. Never again.

Posted via CB10

Chen is a software guy so maybe he will build out BlackBerry's cloud services thereby leaving Google in the dust. A major misstep for BlackBerry OS 10 application development has been support for Google Android applications.

Posted via CB10 from the BlackBerry Z10

It is pretty obvious what BBRY has to do. Get a credible CEO that Wall St. takes seriously and believes.
They have the products, find a way to sell them in the US, either through web sites or bricks and mortar stores in major cities.
Push on with BES10 and BBM.
Keep looking for ways to monetize the NOCs with other usages like secure transmissions of corporate or governmental data.
Push the M2M and SEM angles too.
So many verticals. Try to push them into the mainstream so they can monetize them.

The main issue is letting everyone know that BBRY has the funds and plans to be around for a long time so they will not worry about being left hanging with a product and no support.

If these developers that already have android apps would stop being lazy, & go on & take 10-15 minutes to port their app over using the tools BlackBerry has already provided for them, we wouldn't have to worry about the "app gap" as much. I mean if you don't want to take the time to make a native app in fear of BlackBerry's uncertainty I can understand, but why not get as many people using your app as possible when it is so easy to port your existing android app to bb10?

Posted via CB10

I'm not a techie but surely it's a given that an Android app would be secure on a BlackBerry phone?

Plus, wouldn't Google want tens of millions more users on their ecosystem? It would be great for both parties.

Hopefully you are being sarcastic. Google Android applications on BlackBerry OS 10 are not secure.

Posted via CB10 from the BlackBerry Z10

There's a lot of rumouring in the forums about Google Play coming to BlackBerry 10.2.1.
I am usually sceptical to believe such rumours but firstly, the rumour is backed by more than one person with different sources, and secondly, the forums reported the Z30 pretty accurately before it was even announced. The people that were reporting it were ridiculed for a while but their information was accurate to the letter.

I want BlackBerry remain BlackBerry! If I will smell a trace of Android in...I will bite an apple :)

Posted via CB10

Too late mate, better go get an itoy now. It's only a short stretch away and I for one welcome it if it helps the company, but essentially remains a BlackBerry product.

Posted via my sexy white Z10 STL100-2/

BlackBerry going Android should be put to rest. Won't happen. BB10 is far superior than anything out to date. QNX is awesome.
What I would like to see is some sort of Google Play Integration within BlackBerry World, where you can use Android apps on BlackBerry Devices along with BlackBerry World apps. This IMO would be a great plus.

People buy BlackBerry because its a BlackBerry, not an Android.

BB10 Rocks Hard.

I have been saying to many people that for the consumer market, BlackBerry needs to get integration with Google play to have all android apps run through the Android player. People can then have the best of both worlds: BlackBerry security (android apps will likely be locked only to the consumer side) and broad bases app support.

One issue though is that Google is looking to switch the virtual machine from Dalvik to ART ( I am pretty sure BB10 will be able to run that runtime, but it will be significant work to add support.

Posted via CB10

Kevin, forget the Nike Fuel Band and the Fitbit Flex...the Fitbit Force is here! And it's awesome. 5102 steps and counting.... :-)

#IchooseBlackBerry10 (BBM#25)

Great cast, serious, fun and real exchange. I was missing a talk about Samsungs OS Tizen. A lot is going on in mobile these days. Thanks crackberry and greetings to Paris.

Being able to run Android apps (via Google Play integration) on BlackBerry sounds like a good idea; however, how does BlackBerry maintain the BB10 user experience going this route

I don't think so.. his point was clear. Give him Google services and he'll be happy. But the benefits of BB10 hub and gestures don't outweigh his loss of Google services and specific apps. Make that happen one or the other and he's happy. Whether take Android and customize the heck out of it, or get the services running (and apps easily ported) to BB.

Marcus's point is exactly absolutely the point. They have to get android apps seamlessly into bb10 without having to sideload. There has been so much talk about native consumer apps for bb10. That is a zero sum game. Better to put every effort into working with Google. The blackberry CEO should be camped out outside Google. Give them whatever they want to get direct google play access.That in the only way for BlackBerry to get consumer play. I have been saying this from bb10 day one. Forcus on trying to get certain native business apps if they want. Our company is a full google services company. It would be a no brainer to get our guys on BlackBerry if we had android Google services on the blackberry.

We all should buy some stock..a lot of people buy a little bit. That's how you can become part of it. Become an you believe. I will be buying a little BB so should you.

Posted via CB10

Your Android and BB10 discussion was most interesting and deserves to be heard by people like Chen and others who will have to rethink strategy and long term execution. Get a copy of your podcast to him a.s.a.p.
I'm a long time Blackberry fan who is seriously thinking about moving to Android but am trying to hold out to
see what happens with Blackberry and it's devices.

BB10 on android would never work!!! BB10 with google services integration. Some BB10 services(scoreloop) already allow applications to integrate into them.

Would it be too far fetched to think that 10.3 might just be an andriod OS with the ability to run cascades apps. BlackBerry will purchase the necessary licenses to offer all Google services just like Sony, HTC and Samsung.

It certainly was interesting to hear the rumours about Google Play on BlackBerry 10. That would definitely erase one of the major problems right now with the ecosystem, since BlackBerry just doesn't have the size or resources to create one of their own from scratch.
I had a thought that BlackBerry and Google could both benefit from having Play on BB10, and this stems from how I think Google approaches Android: as a content delivery system. Android makes no money for Google on its own; how it profits Google is by delivering the Google Services that Google can then monetize through metrics and ad content. What Blackberry could do is make Blackberry 10 the Google Services content-delivery system for Enterprise.
This means BB10 could benefit Google by bringing Google Services to previously off-limit enterprise users, at least when they're off work and being consumers. As we've seen with Samsung and their attempts with KNOX, companies still have misgivings about Androids when compared to BlackBerries or now more often iPhones. If BlackBerry could leverage its Balance software to sandbox Google Play apps (not all of which are trustworthy) on the consumer side and only offer vetted QNX apps on the enterprise side, this would allow companies to offer phones with Google Services in the enterprise market without compromising enterprise security. This benefits Google since its services can now be provided to enterprise customers who might have otherwise asked their company to issue iPhones at work because they want consumer services but can't use off-the-self Androids at work: every Blackberry provision contract would not only extend the Google Services that are the real profit-driver for Google but deny Apple the same business. BlackBerry 10 becomes Google's enterprise service delivery platform and expands the available market for Google's services.
This benefits BlackBerry because no matter how much they focus on enterprise, every enterprise worker is also a consumer and expects consumer-level services when off the clock. A phone will be a hard sell to consumers or enterprise if it has no consumer features. So adopting Google Play would actually fit into a strategy of focusing on enterprise, since the app and ecosystem situation would sort itself out and keep enterprise users happy with the consumer side provided by Google while BlackBerry can focus on satisfying the enterprise providers/managers. And pure consumers would be free to enjoy the phones still, even if they're not the focus, so they wouldn't be entirely abandoned.
I'm sure BlackBerry would have to give up any app and media revenue by using Google's store, but their money doesn't come from their app ecosystem so much as enterprise services and hardware anyway. Not only that but they wouldn't have to divert money towards licensing deals with record companies and studios to make media content available on BlackBerry World: They save money as well. All in all a small price to pay in the big picture for potentially getting Google behind them. Make BlackBerry 10 a benefit to Google, not a competitor.
And of course this is only possible if I'm right about how Google sees Android and Google Services. If I'm not, than Blackberry 10 would be a competitor in any light, and getting Play would be really hard.

Interesting....I just read an article in which, in the opinion of a "mobile architect at a Top 50 global company based in the US", that BlackBerry "is not doing a good job in explaining it, advertising it, and targeting the audience that needs to have it" in regards to BlackBerry Balance. Transmission for 12/06/2013 (UserUniverse: 585803)
Imagine if they could market Balance and utilize it the way you describe......

I'm not sure I agree with Mr. Umiastowski about employees. BB does a lot of research into new technology and new ideas. As long as they can effectively manage the design and implementation of their devices, having people develop new and exciting technology is great for BB. I agree that they may not need huge numbers for their device teams, but supporting research is great!

will there be a Z50 device? 5' inch screen like the Z30 with a better resolution, camera, battery...etc i have read an article that there will be a device after March 2014 i'm willing to wait if there will be a full touch smartphone if not i guess i am going to buy the Z30 even though its not even a real upgrade if compared to the Z10

I think that Chris's comparison with Facebook isn't really applicable. For the following reasons...
1). Facebook essentially has a single product. BlackBerry has many different products. Not just the devices, but the software and the services. BlackBerry has to maintain a relationship with the consumer, Businesses, & carriers. Facebook has to maintain a relationship with users and advertisers. From a Marketing, sales, and customer service perspective, that makes BlackBerry much more complex.
2). The software that FaceBook delivers is purely in their hands. the control all the servers that it runs on and all of the variables. Obviously, it has to work on different web browsers, but it's not like they are creating the web browser. The software that BlackBerry has runs on multiple smartphone operating systems as well as customer sites. BES runs on customer's servers in customers environment. This inherently creates a different support situation.
3). The data that facebook handles is pretty straight forward - pictures, video, and text. On their servers in their environment. You look at the types of data that we send through email, connectivity back to the corporate network for web browsing and fileshares, MDS based applications, etc. The BlackBerry solution has to carry so much more information.

Ultimately, I think that (even under a software only scenario) BlackBerry has a much more complex business model than Facebook. It's easy to say, "well that's the problem, they are into too many different things" but that is also their strength. The way that the BES works with the phone is extremely important from a enterprise perspective. If they just chose one angle and dropped all the other pieces, they would just get lost in the shuffle.

BTW - As an IT professional, I really feel that BlackBerry Support is top notch. We also use a (top rated) mdm solution for iPhones and find the BlackBerry support head and shoulders above them. I think this distinction is important and I hope it doesn't get lost as they restructure and refocus the company.

I think that they Blackberry should do to every major enterprise application what they did to email. Take it mobile. Voice, Conferencing, web applications, fileshares, Microsoft Dynamics Clients, SAP clients. They have done a lot of already, but they need to do more, make it more of a single family of products, and market it. Deliver more functionality and have it come from a single vendor. But, that's going to take staff and overhead.

One comment was absolutely spot on, BlackBerry should be taking full advantage of the BBM take up on android and iPhone. This is one big opportunity for free advertising.

Posted via CB10

I'd be down-to-Earth too with such a package; hell I'd be anything you want me to be. Watch out for more John "down-to-Earth" Chen and his 45-85 million package; i'm sure he'll be a sweetheart too. Where are the guys who just get rewarded by success and doing the right thing? ain't 10 million enough? why does Chen get 45 million even if stock tanks 50%??????

Hey Kevin,
Im just curious why can't you directly ask John Chen in your next interview the challenges and possibilities of getting lenovo to make the hand sets? I would have thought this might have been a top question to ask him or is there something that are just off limits?