From the Editor's Desk: CrackBerry in the Sky

A quick From the Editor's Desk post as we get ready for another busy week ahead... the AT&T launch is behind us - next up is T-Mobile and Verizon!

CrackBerry in the Sky!
By Kevin Michaluk on 24 Mar 2013 11:37 pm EDT

Between setting up our temporary HQ and covering the AT&T Z10 launch, we have been going non-stop since arriving in NYC earlier this week. That's not a complaint though - I love being busy and it's GREAT to have BlackBerry excitement happening in the good 'ol US of A once again.

Getting the Z10 to market in the US was just the first step for the company. BlackBerry has crossed the starting line and is back in the race. There is a lot of catching up to do, and they have their work cut out for them. Of course, CrackBerry will be doing its part to help push the pace. I met so many passionate CrackBerry readers and BlackBerry fans this week - it's clear we made the right decision to come out here and experience the Z10's arrival in the US first hand. 

US Z10 Launch Continues

Thursday afternoon I sat down with BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins. Thursday night had us taking in a BlackBerry-hosted fan event. Late Thursday night we witnessed the 'official' purchase of the first Z10 in America. And Friday we unboxed our AT&T Z10. Expect to see a couple more Z10 unboxings this week. Tuesday we will see T-Mobile roll out the Z10 and Verizon will unleash it -- in both black and white variations -- come Thursday.

Over the past few days we've dropped by a bunch of AT&T stores and retailers in NYC to see what's happening on the Z10 front. As has also been noted in the CrackBerry forums, we have witnessed a mix of things... which we will talk about on Monday. We're recording a CrackBerry podcast and are going to dive into this there. I've also been taking every store visit as an opportunity to "sell like hell"... I'm responsible for a lot of Z10 sales already the past few days, as I'm sure is also the case for many of you reading this.

Brace yourself. It's Earnings Week

This Thursday will also be the day that BlackBerry announces their earnings for the previous quarter, which should be... really interesting, for lack of a better word. The previous quarter will reflect about a month's worth of Z10 sales in Europe and three weeks' worth in Canada. That's not a lot of Z10 sales time, but we should get some insight from management into how well Z10 sales are going. We've heard a few remarks from BlackBerry officials over the last few weeks that the demand has exceeded expectations. Of course, we don't know what those expectations were set at and we know that it felt like demand exceeded supply those first few weeks.

My fingers are crossed that we'll hear good news. We also know there are still over 100 million shorted shares out there, meaning a lot of people have their fingers crossed the results will be under whelming and share price will drop. On a week like this I can't help but wish BlackBerry was a privately held company - I'd rather see the focus be on the products than on the company. One way or another though, you just know in a few days there will be a LOT of talk in the media about BBRY. Of course, we'll be talking about it too, live blogging the earnings call and reporting back with our analysis.

CrackBerry Lab Experiments

So the truth is, earlier today we actually recorded a video for this From the Editor's Desk post. With Bla1ze and David (our Mobile Nations Design Director who is also a new Z10 owner) here, we wanted to try something fun. We recorded up a pretty good video, but in the end decided to scrap it as the audio quality wasn't up to par (problem now solved). Kinda sucks, but that's the way it is. 

Bottom line - expect to see us do some fun things out of this office. We've been rounding out our video gear this week and will be putting it to use. A lot.  

That's it for now... get ready for another busy week on CrackBerry!

Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: CrackBerry in the Sky


Great to see you guys continue the big push behind BB10. I remember the dark days when you were close to giving up on the platform.

Yup. Seeing the mood and tone of the articles and comments on this site over the past year or two has been a roller coaster.

Glad to be a part of this high right now and looking forward to seeing it continue!

Posted via CB10

Enjoyed following your exploits via the vids, and on twitter. Keep it up! Make sure you have fun along with the work.

Posted via CB10

Would have still been nice to see, at least for a laugh or two. Will you be doing the big brother thing here also?

CrackBerry HQ Big Brother camera will make its return Monday night... Adam Zeis will be here and he's the man to run that show (also, waiting for our modem to get upgraded Monday morning - don't have the bandwidth at the moment to push it).

No surprise this time. Waiting until the Z10 hits Verizon... we'll do it a few days after the 28th. I want to let Z10 owners in on the test. We'll announce it 24 hours in advance so we can get as many people online for the kick off of it as possible. Should be fun. Stay tuned! :)

How will it work?
I think we saw from the launch that bbm groups have a hard limit of people who can join.
So will you be using a random bbm pin?

Posted via CB10

many of us have called for this and have been awaiting this since even before official launch day Jan 30th ;) I know I've specifically have posted this request before.

I'm curious how many people can share a BBM screen with each other?

Awesome!! Are you guys going to try to do another all nighter again? Ahahaha
That view is awesome by the way.

Posted via CB10 - FINALLY

Great work Kevin! BB10 coverage from start to finish has been nothing but stellar. Looking forward to the podcast.

Posted via CB10

Kevin, if u need someone to connect witht he Spanish speaking world I am your man! I mean, I grew up in the good old US of A but I speak Spanish as well as anyone! Can't waint fir the release of the Z10 on VZW! Vamos Pues!

Verizon has the Torch 9850 spontaneously in stock (online) after months of being "discontinued". It's selling for $229 on contract, which is bizarre to say the least (Z10 is $199). Not sure what Verizon management smokes...

Can't say just how pleased I am with the z10, literally miles ahead of Os7 and a very good competitor in today's market. BlackBerry awesomeness in all its glory!

Posted via CB10

Will Umi be in the podcast. During a week like this with the earnings call I hope so as from an any little stand point I really like how he does things and like to hear his rake on things

Posted via CB10

Kevin .... are all the negative news articles out there telling the truth. I have seen some terrible misleading reporting ...

Do you maybe have some examples with your amazing knowledge of BlackBerry that you can share with us?

That's some view you've got there looking down toward 1 WTC. The interview with Thorsten was excellent. Keep up the great work!

Now if only I can get BB Link to run w/o crashing right away before I get my Z10.. Arrrggghhh!!

Keep it up Kevin and CrackBerry! Fight the good fight. I'm doing what I can so you're all not alone. Cheers!

Posted via CB10

Can't wait for the Verizon unboxing as that means it's getting closer until Kevin sends me a Z10. :) Can't express how excited I am over this. BBRY having a successful launch, CB is buzzing like crazy, I'm getting the Z10 and best of all it will be free from the best forums team out there. Team CB thanks for being in the US for our launch.

Thanks Kevin. You have been doing a nice job. Since the Z10 launched here in Nigeria some weeks ago, that's the only smartphone people are requesting from their carriers since then. I'm typing this from my Z10 and most of my colleagues here in Lagos are rocking it too. You should also know that there are no contracts here, you pay for it straight up. But it's all good. Make it happen in NYC.

Posted via CB10

That's awesome. We haven't heard anything about how the Z10 was doing in countries in Africa. Here in NA we tend to forget about the large populations there and how well the BlackBerry brand is known there.

Now we know the Z10 is doing well and that numbers will look good :)

Posted via CB10

The rest of the world doesn't have time for a lot of CRAP in their lives. Blackberry isn't about feeding into the Fake Train that is America. They're about allowing us to the most important thing on this earth... COMMUNICATE. As Americans, we've lost sight of that. That's why I love Blackberry.

Speak for yourself there buddy. I'm American and cannot relate to anything at all in your semi rant. Thanks!

Hit 'em high, hit 'em low, hit 'em hard. Would love to see some more pics of the events or anything interesting you guys witness there. Kill it!

You're not alone on this. I argue with everyone regarding the perception of the brand and how well they will do

Posted via CB10

"really interesting" week? I don't think I'm going to sleep until Thursday.
What's most significant to me -- regardless of the actual numbers and resulting stock movement -- is the conclusions that will be made about so many things... There's a lot of trust on the line (at least for me with respect to BlackBerry as a company). Try not to troll me too badly on that comment, folks. Somehow I've gone all-in emotionally on the whole BB story over the last 6 months.

Kevin you are the best. Hello fellow crackberries, you are all great indeed. I know is going to be another exciting week for us. Keep pushing, I know those of you with BB10 already love your new gadget. Pump it up and lets fire it up this week also with T-Mobile and Verizon. :)

I figured out Kevin's location, based on the cover photo - the Cassa NY Hotel (70 W 45 St, New York, NY 10036). Based on the point of view, I'm guessing the shot was taken anywhere between the 34th and 43rd floors of the hotel.

Google Earth-simulated view:

Proud owner of a Bold 9900 (soon Z10) and a PlayBook

"Where's the back button? Where's the home key?"
- BlackBerry 10 naysayers

I was just curious and bored; I had nothing better to do at the time. (I have no intention of tracking CrackBerry Kevin's whereabouts)

What really caught my attention was how he could get a clear view of downtown Manhattan, in spite of all the tall buildings, from way out there.

Thanks for the update. BlackBerry 10 is a excellent platform and we're going to have to help get the word out if this is going to work. Keep up for great work Team CrackBerry!

Posted via CB10

Regarding Quarterly Earnings comment ...

"My fingers are crossed that we'll hear good news. We also know there are still over 100 million shorted shares out there, meaning a lot of people have their fingers crossed the results will be under whelming and share price will drop. On a week like this I can't help but wish BlackBerry was a privately held company - I'd rather see the focus be on the products than on the company."

you can forget the focus on the product(s) vs the company ... that ALL changed forever since the name of the company now reflects the company. This is something I've not agreed with because another future chance for RIM, yes RIM (not the new BlackBerry) was to split Business products from Personal and make a clearly defined set of products/services and marketing to suit each. The benefit is even many analysts had a hard time recalling that Research In Motion made BlackBerry's - not to mention it was RIM that created BB10 not BlackBerry.

Either way this earnings report we'll see the following:
Subscribers drop in numbers - provider subscribed Blackberry services.
Subscribers shift in numbers - from BBOS to BB10 users so expect a 5 million fluctuation.
Users of BB per provider increase (Canada & UK).
Do NOT expect significant growth numbers since only 45 days of launching BB10/Z10 in Canada, UK will be reflected with less weeks of launch in other countries - USA may not even be counted at all.

Another aspect I'm seriously worrying about was the odd play of "vacation time" between Mr. Heins & Mr. Bhardwaj during the last presentation of BB10. If anything can seriously hurt BlackBerry as a company or even BB10 is some serious $$$ in the millions offering Vivek Bhardwaj to leave BlackBerry to hone his skills for a competing brand or leave outright for new adventures. So Mr. Heins ensure his expenses during vacation are WELL covered and not hassled by Finance team; short of buying a yatch - we all know he's deserved it. Not just in perception but also many of the Indian nations could see that as a serious omen. He's like a superstar in India.

Those are my thoughts and opinions alone but we'll see how close I get. This week will be a very interesting one. Should the stock drop considerably then BlackBerry's buyback program will get them for cheap, like myself and well ... "stock up"

Kevin said: "My fingers are crossed that we'll hear good news. We also know there are still over 100 million shorted shares out there, meaning a lot of people have their fingers crossed the results will be under whelming and share price will drop."
And the corporate types holding these shares, and their mouth pieces, will stop at nothing to spoil the party! They cant stand that fact that BB is like the nerd who brought the most beautiful girl to the dance. She may not be perfect but gosh, she has a lot of potential. The naysayers are many so BB must push on, polish the OS, and continue working with developers to bring very good/excellent/indemand native and ported apps to the platform.

I think we'll have to wait for another quarter to really see how the BlackBerry 10 devices are performing. The Samsung launch and the US sales are going to show us the real picture and I hope it will be a nice one.

Z10 sales off to a slow start so far from AT&T this week. I have a feeling though that it is a slight calming before the storm effect and that as the other carriers launch, AT&T stores along with the others will see the blackberry flood. I'm hoping and rooting for blackberry here and can't stop obsessing over my Z10. It is amazing and I'm glad blackberry is back!! I've used iphones, androids of all types, windows phone for a while now and for the last week have been using my Z10 before we launched it Friday. If any AT&T employees are reading this, join me in spreading the word and getting this amazing device to customers! There is so much potential for blackberry that consumers will be missing out big time if they don't know about it. Go blackberry!!!!!!

Posted via CB10

Way to go Kevin!! you mentioned,you were responsible for a lot of Z10 sales the past few days,that's great ,i am pretty sure it was u that made the order for 1 million Z10's, all the pieces are falling into place. Where's your stash Kevin.

Loving my Z10 and all the great things coming from the site. Keep up the good work guys

Posted via CB10

Crackberry in the sky, you can soar twice as high it's in a Playbook a Z10 take a look. A Crackberry Rainbow. It can do anything. Apps to show, Peek and Flow, The Crackberry Rainbow.

Right "ON" Kevin!!! I imagine your important and enthusiastic BlackBerry commitment and work is being felt throughout the World. I envision a world in number of sales forever becoming stronger for BlackBerry, including BlackBerry being more significant in the good ol' U.S. of A. That is my affirmation for BlackBerry. Continued innovation, and Inspiration which will lead us into Exciting New Heights of Communication Throughout the Mobile World and World in General. I can't believe how much I feel for BlackBerry's calculated success with BB10. First the Z10 and the others that will follow. I feel the freshness and BB10 youth and how it needs (everyone of us) to help it through this Transformation, this Transaction. I am excited to be here, to see, and be part of it's growth, and have been talking to everyone around me with ears to hear about this excitement. Live "ON" BlackBerry BB10... and to borrow befitting words and new slogan from none other than Mr. Heins himself : (BlackBerry BB10) "S E L L" " L I K E" " H E L L" !!!!

Keep up the great work guys! I know my infatuation with the Z 10 has gotton me in a few serious discussions to convince the masses to at least be informed and take a chance on the BB10 platform. Even managed to convince a few relatives and friends in the states to check it out! Great phone and lightning fast for me! Go BB!