From the Editor's Desk: The next few months of BlackBerry

By Bla1ze on 27 Jul 2014 08:16 pm EDT
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In my last From the Editor's Desk, we took a look at the past month of BlackBerry. This week, we're going to take a look at the next few months of BlackBerry and what people should expect and be on the look out for, because there's going to be a lot happening. Not only for BlackBerry but also us here at CrackBerry. There's actually quite a bit to address when you really think about it, so let's get to it.

  • BlackBerry Passport: The BlackBerry Passport is coming and it's the next device for BlackBerry and us here at CrackBerry. We don't know when the device will officially be rolled out as of yet but what we do know is September is the target month, that's no secret. With that in mind, we've already started planning our review content and like always, we'll be going all out on that device when it arrives. Review, Help and How-To Guides, Comparisons, Best Apps and everything else that comes along with that content. Yes, even another contest or two, but it has to be special and we're not sure yet what that is. If you really want a free Passport and a ton of other goodies, you're likely going to have to work for it. Have a contest idea? Let us know!

  • BlackBerry Classic: We know NOT everyone is excited for the Passport, that's reality and understandable. The thing is, it's the device of focus right now on all fronts and there's been pretty much nothing happening in the Classic area. No device leaks, no hands-on videos, no images or anything really. It'll come eventually, as it always does and if that stuff starts to flow, we'll be glad to get it all posted up. Everyone waiting on the Classic will get the same love we're showing the Passport when the time comes. It's just not time yet. Yes, we'll have contests for the Classic as well.

  • Amazon Apps vs. BlackBerry World: The Amazon / BlackBerry deal for apps is done. Come BlackBerry 10.3 and 10.3.x, Amazon will be officially another home for apps and as some of you have noticed and been very vocal about, we've started pulling a lot of those apps from the Amazon Appstore and highlighting them. For the most part, folks don't really care where the apps come from as long as they work but there are plenty of folks out there who seemingly only want to run native apps. I get that and understand it but the reality is, the level of apps going into BlackBerry World is not as large as it once was and Android apps are going to continue to be highlighted. There's no way around it. Of course, when great native apps appear, we'll cover them as always but no matter what, we're going to have to look at Android apps.

  • BlackBerry OS 10.3 and 10.3.x - BlackBerry 10.3 and 10.3.x are the next major revisions to BlackBerry 10. As we know it, 10.3 will arrive with the Passport and other devices will all get updated to higher version when the time comes. What's the timeframe on that? We don't know but it's coming after the Passport in 'September' and as the releases become available for each device, we'll be rounding up the changes, which means another a review of BlackBerry 10.3 from the Passport and depending on what else has changed, possibly a direct review of BlackBerry 10.3.1. It'll be a fun look at it. BlackBerry 10 has grown a ton since its first incarnation, so it'll be a great look at how things have changed and what all has been improved.

  • BlackBerry P'9983 / Khan - Aside from the BlackBerry Passport and the BlackBerry Classic, folks in the forums have been tracking several other BlackBerry 10 devices. The Porsche Design P'9983 otherwise known as Khan has popped up quite a few times now through images and bit and pieces of info. The device has been noted several times now to be an adaption of the BlackBerry Q10 but then that moved into an adaption of the Classic, which makes more sense anyway given it really started to show up on BlackBerry OS 10.3. According to info from N4BB, it'll be rocking a 3.5-inch display, 3GB of RAM, Dual-core 1.7 GHz CPU and 64GB of internal storage and sport an aggressive look with a noted release in December 2014 for the normal $2,000+ price tag all Porsche Design devices generally carry. Time will tell I suppose, but there's no denying the device exists (or did) in one way or another.

  • Manitoba - This one. Yes, the Manitoba. Ah, so many rumors, and so much misinformation in the lifespan of this name so far it's honestly hard to even know where to begin. It started life as this magical device of wonderment with specs that would make any lover of technology drool, and then it all came crashing down with specs seemingly showing it was nothing more than a BlackBerry Z3 with LTE. Now, it has taken on a new form and this time around it's being placed somewhere in between a Z10 upgrade and a Z30 downgrade with styling similar to that of the Z3. Perhaps the worst part is there's STILL conflicting info out there. N4BB has info alluding to it being a 5-inch touch screen device with 2GB RAM and a Dual-core 1.7GHz CPU, while the last info I recieved on it was that it would be a 5-inch touch screen, 1.5Ghz Dual Core MSM8960, 2GB RAM, 8MP AF RF, 1.1MP FF with 720p HD recording, 2500 mAh Non-Removable Battery. At this point, I'm not even sure BlackBerry knows what this device is outside of the fact they know people want a 'Z10-like' replacement. tl;dr: This device is in the abyss, when we know more SOLID info like a spec sheet or similar, you'll know. Until then, let the speculation continue. Just don't speculate that it's some drop dead high spec device of wonderment, because out of all the rumors, that one is least likely accurate.

  • IoT, Medical and Automotive - BlackBerry and QNX are totally ramping up their efforts when it comes to the Internet of Things, Medical and Automotive and that's awesome! That said, a lot of that stuff is pretty far out there. IoT is hard thing to explain to people and when you start talking big data, servers, accessing data, tapping into API's and such, most folks will give a blank stare or nod and smile. We'll be doing our best to cover all these things for everyone in ways that are hopefully understandable. It might not always work but we'll be doing it and helping push the fact there's more to BlackBerry than just the smartphones the general media seems to only think about.

  • Enterprise - The Enterprise space is hot and it's one key area of focus for BlackBerry. The Apple / IBM partnership and Google's new Enterprise features in Android L have made it even hotter. Over the history of CrackBerry, we've never really had much of a huge Enterprise focus. Sure, we covered the press releases and noted all the Enterprise stuff when and where possible but really, we could be doing better in that area and helping even more people and that's something we're going to be working on getting better at. Just like our consumer Help and How-To guides, we're going to start doing some of those for Enterprise functions as well.

So, that's my mind dump for this week. It addresses a lot, and looking at it now, it's a lot longer than I expected but that's OK. It gives you all a look at what I'm thinking about, looking forward to and looking to make happen over the next few months.

Next week, I'll try and keep a bit shorter but I make no promises. This seems like a relevant quote to close out on. 'Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it's a plan!' First person to tweet me an image of who said it, along with what it's from wins a free case of their choosing from the CrackBerry Store. Be following, otherwise I might not see it. Update Winner has claimed winnings.

Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: The next few months of BlackBerry

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Awesome, no Z10, Z30 upgrades yet, thank you for keep my cash in my wallet but... I wanna spend!!!

Posted via CB10

...... " Of course, when great native apps appear, we'll cover them as always but no matter what, we're going to have to look at Android apps."

There are still lots a great native apps which have yet to be covered. More often then not it appears that app coverage is based up products of a select few developers. In support of native blackberry developers why aren't.more native apps covered instead of just going through the top XX android downloads. :).

After all isn't this supposed to be all about backberry.?

Classifieds Canada and GeoYeo B4B Apps all the way!!!

Blaize.....you are the Chairman of the Board over there....let everyone know your true identity.

Oh, and nice update.

Founding Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile

Also, Blaize - there aren't any nice Z30 cases that I am aware of.....the fact that Incipio totally blew the Z30 off by not making a Featherlight case for it is disgusting.

Founding Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile

Blaize - last one. Unfortunately, you have missed the most important element of BlackBerry 's surving/thriving.

For you not to mention BES12 coming at the end of the year is an interesting oversight.

Of Chen's 4 pronged approach - BES12 is, probably, the catalyst to turn the ship around and get back to true profitability and relevance.

You are demoted back to Editor in Chief.

Founding Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile

I've got a Roots case for my Z10 that has been great (yes, I bought it from CrackBerry). I was hoping a Z30 version of the case would available, but no such luck. The lack of a good/protective/usable case (like the Roots case) is why I won't risk taking or using a Z30 at work.

I think that's a matter if opinion, I love the z30 leather case from blackberry that I have.

Classifieds Canada and GeoYeo B4B Apps all the way!!!

Rob...check out the Celicious thin Black case on Amazon for Z30..... got mine today....very nice at an amazing price.

Founding Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile

Hmmm, that looks like the calendar from the Passport...amazing how productive one could be with a larger display.

Posted via CB10 on Z10

Loved my Z10. Love my Z30 but would like to see a successor. When the Passport becomes available I will get one as well.

Posted via CB10

damn time flies not so long a go i was saying september was too far away to wait and in reality is closer than it seems

As a current shareholder, I'm excited about the Passport. This device shows that Blackberry understands its target market and has the resources to create a device cut from a completely different cloth. I have a good feeling about this device running the new operating system and being a status symbol for business types. Yes, the form factor could be a flop and it could be ridiculed like the tablet was. But the tablet was outstanding hardware for its time and failed for other reasons. (The speakers actually were functional which I cannot say about my current tablet.)

Blackberry truly has a lot of opportunity because the smart phone business cannot be fully addressed by consumer products. There is plenty of room for business class devices. Things like high performance telephone antennas, telephone audio quality, speakerphone volume and quality, etc. that are very important for business. It was not obvious at first, but now it seems that Chen understands this.

The biggest question for me is whether to upgrade from the Z30 which I really, really get good use out of.

As a long-term shareholder, I'm annoyed by the Passport. Making Passport flagship in my opinion shows that BlackBerry is out of reality and/or doesn't want (at least in the near future) to release devices that growing smartphone market wants.

Really strange strategy. Particularly when Mr. Chen declared his desire to sell 10 mil. devices per year (which is really UNSATISFACTORY target BTW). How many of the devices sold will be Passports? Will the average consumer - or if you want prosumer -want to spend his money for QWERTY, OVERSIZED and probably OVERPRICED BlackBerry flagship?

I personally think that EVERY single day without new reasonably deigned, priced, marketed and distributed full touch device just generates PROFITS for BlackBerry competitors instead of BlackBerry shareholders.

Agree! Especially if the new devices are going to run Android (like native), BlackBerry needs to step up full touch screen models and better come out with a Z30 replacement that rivals any Samsung in specs.

Posted via CB10

I agree. I think that the passport is good but can the classic and release a z30 successor. However, no matter what they release the carriers are not going to push them and BlackBerry will not market it very well. Hard to see what will happen next.

Posted via CB10

That Blaze guy is really a fine geeza! Again, great article! Always good to know what is in the pipeline for the next week. Like in BUSINESS!

Donald Trump would hire you, Blaze!

Sad story about the heavy Android Apps Amazon reviews here, since native apps should be a thing of a normal. But as you stated, thats how it is. Really sad. I won't use pathetic Android Apps on my BB devices. Up to this day. Change completely to Android and enjoy your 1000000 Andorid apps or stick to BB. LOL! Thats just how I am !

Hope to see soon some Classic love. Since I really don't know what to get: CLASSIC or PASSWORT!! I am 50 50 here.

Keep up the good work, Blaze. Many users here admire your sincere and good work!

617....good catch...before I saw your post on this omission - I already reprimanded and demoted Blaize above.

BES12 is the key to the whole shooting match going forward - you are correct, Sir.

Founding Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile

Great post Bla1ze! Have they removed the "interim" from your title yet? If not what's his face should get on that right away.. ( oh ya Kevin ;)

Posted via CB10

Bla1ze, regarding the BES part, why don't CB try to implement it internally like a normal company would do. Then try to work with enterprise apps etc. This way you could have a first hand experience of the pros and cons.

Maybe you could try developing small apps and then share your experiences as a company and compare it with other solutions.

Posted via CB10

I'll hang on to my Z10 till something better comes along . Who's going to trade their Z10/Z30 for Z3 with Z30 specs ? lol nice one BlackBerry I see an Apple move here like with iPhone 5C.

Posted via CB10

Contest idea: BlackBerry trivia question, but have the contestant call in to the podcast, and then ask them a question. They get it wrong, next caller will have a different question to answer correctly.

Posted via CB10

Great idea, but perhaps the opposite would be even more interesting, have the contestant call in and ask CB a question, if CB gets it wrong then bingo..

Classifieds Canada and GeoYeo B4B Apps all the way!!!

Good summary!

Shame about the Manitoba. Disappointed.

I guess BlackBerry just doesn't have the economy of scale to release a device that isn't almost a year or more out of date.

They have never yet in their company history released a top-spec'd phone.

Posted via CB10

The Passport will be more current than BlackBerry handsets usually are.

Posted from CB10 running on my awesome Z30 2B6927F7

Great post! Reminded me of the things to look forward to.

Particularly excited on the release of the Passport and Classic. I wish the company would properly market these devices.

Oh and I can't wait for 10.3 since it will be a big update for my Z10.

Posted via CB10

So, no high-end full touch device planned at this time? I remember Kevin M. and Bla1ze talking about how John C. would get giddy talking about a future touchscreen slate. I think we all speculated it would be a kind of "Z50," although, I'm guessing that the Z and Q line product names are pretty much done with...

Posted via CB10

For a contest, CrackBerry should see if the sales volume for the Z3 will be available at the next Quarterly call. If so then have people guess on the number and the one closest without going over wins!
I would love to see BBM add video chat for other platforms and find a clever way for the closed walled, ios to work better with BBM ( for family members who have made the switch). I am still puzzled on how the Amazon BlackBerry deal will work. There are so many apps that seem to require Google services to run. My understanding is that the Android apps see BlackBerry 10 as a rooted device and thus won't allow it to work.
Lastly the Internet of things for BlackBerry can't come fast enough in my mind. I truly see the "New BlackBerry" the most on this front. While others are concentrating on the hardware, BlackBerry is working on the software and security side. This to me is the real win but not sure how they will monetize it.
Still lots of people saying they are imploding and dead. I say they have finally found a way to turn things around. Largest challenge still seems to be to find a way to prove it to the media and the general public.
Long Live BlackBerry!

Posted via CB10

Good point. I get APK's from snap and from the Amazon app store. My point should have been more general in that the apps I have wanted have not run well or at all on Z30STA100-5/10.2.1.3247

Posted via CB10

Excited. Interesting things happening at blackberry would not let me get bored during the gloomy Fall and Winter days.

Posted via CB10

Pfft. Android apps. I downloaded the Starbucks app today and it wasn't until after I downloaded and installed it that I realized it needed access to my files, pictures, etc...

Forget it. Android apps might as well be the NSA's feature presentation.

Nice Avatar :) Swiping up and down was way cooler to accept calls. At least BlackBerry should gave option to choose.

But BlackBerry doesn't care what customers want

RedBerry Z10 #00167 10.2.1.3247

It was unique. That's one thing I liked about it. Now it looks like any old crapdroid phone. Michael Clewley insisted that it was a necessary change, but I don't see how or why.

It was a "think point " I think they called it and some people actually had trouble using it, that's one of Blackberry's reasoning.

Posted via CB10

I like this. Why are we not hearing much about the Classic? Is the Passport the only device creating chatter? If so, that's crazy!

Posted via CB10

Ladies and gentlemen, the show is about to begin!!!!

BBM channel: C0040FF4D..... Proudly Z10 owner...

I would really love a Passport.

I'm pretty dang sure I won't be able to afford one.

Throw us (another) bone?

Regardless, I'll keep checking crackberry!

Posted via (hopefully) a passport A10

Good write up Bla1ze. I am confident that a lot of new good things are on their way. We need a proper website that addresses all the news both fair and critical. I also like how you are finally focussing on the Enterprise site more. If this is really a BlackBerry related website, the entire BlackBerry spectrum should be reported on.

Perhaps Umi can do the enterprise sector? I really like his view on things..

Bla1ze, one question, regarding the settings bar on the top of the calendar app, do you have to swipe down from the top or is it always on? Just something I realized.

Posted via CB10

Here is an idea for a contest: you post a series of reviews about the passport and ask questions regarding that weeks review and do that a couple of times and the one with the most correct answers will get the passport and it's goodies, just a thought....

Posted via CB10

"rolled out as of yet, but what we do know is September is the target month,"
No we don't... That's the date it will be unveiled. I don't expect it until October and the roll-out will probably be similar to the one of the Z30 (take months).

Khan in 10.3.0 had the old 8960 SoC found in the Q10, so let's see what the next OS brings us...and yes, Manitoba is a 5" Z10 with a bigger battery. Too bad they had to go 5" to get decent battery life out of that old SoC.

Nice article. Good to keep looking forward. It will be interesting to see how BlackBerry fares in the next few months. I expect apples next phone will also have to be revolutionary. I do not see good news for BlackBerry. I understand the strategy of "retreating" from the consumer market to focus on enterprise. But I think its a mistake to ignore the consumer needs of enterprise users. BlackBerry's app strategy is very poorly defined. Apps which are not native do not work as well, and their availability and smooth integration is paramount. Enterprise users are also consumer users. System integration is a must and is the key for Apple. As a result it's profit margin is huge. So keep track of app development and strategy in the next months.

Posted via CB10

I call it now that IF the classic and passport make it to the states the classic will out sell the passport hands down. I'm not saying the passport won't get any attention but every time I see a blackberry it seems to be a legacy device. It only seems logical that it would happen that way.

Posted via my sexy Note 3. Big hands ;-)

Please give more screen space to P9981, P9982 & P9983. They are the priciest phones from BlackBerry but updates are limited.

To many models...the next should be a breakout model that blows the competition out of the water. Until then OS improvements should be the order of the day.

Posted via CB10

Why isn't the date for cross platform BBM not listed. This is one of the major things holding BBM back and not setting it apart from Whatsapp.

Posted via CB10

Would have rather seen a Google Playstore partnership over Amazon app store. Amazon still has a long way to go to catch up with Android and iOS. The new Amazon Fire phone is in its own class when it comes to its ecosystem. But leaves a lot to be desired on the app store front. I wouldn't be surprised if the sales numbers for the Fire phone are less than disappointing once released.

Blackberry 10 + Google Playstore= SUCCESS!!!!

Posted via CB10

Contest idea..

I'm finding that lots of new bbm users don't use channels or even know they are there. You should leave a trail of bread crumbs inside channels via posts and comments, all leading to the hidden easter egg. First to find it wins

Posted via CB10 on Z30

On the Enterprise front, maybe add BES12 with WP support (same timing than Classic) and BES in the cloud "at the cost of a coffee/user/month" at the end of the year (vague timing for this one)?

Perhaps BlackBerry needs to consider licensing BlackBerry 10 to Samsung,...I would imagine that folks would consider buying a Samsung,...with BB10,...just as folks are willing to pay the huge price difference for a Range Rover overall Ford Explorer,...(...since the new Range Rover is based on the Explorer's chassis). This would be a BlackBerry based on a Samsung device hardware. BlackBerry needs to develop more partners!

Thoughts???

Z10, *.3175, 3500 MaH Btry - Posted via CB10

Was BES 12 and eBBM mentioned on this? I don't think so but I guess it's fine given how much there's to cover. A lot yo look forward in the following months. Thanks B1aze, great write up

 Z30 STA100-5/10.2.1.1925 2B6DE7D0 

Passport = LG VU3 plus keyboard. I mean screen size. LG VU3 not successful because apps android not support the screen size.
Hope passport will support with BlackBerry apps.
10.3.x for other devices wait until launch of passport for its advantage. Then after passport selling success then maybe BlackBerry will launch the IS for other devices.
Ha ha ha just amateur predictions.
Cheers for update waiting for other devices for patients.

Posted via CB10

For me much depends on what the Classic's specs look like. If it has Passport level specs AND a removable battery the Classic will be the clear winner! If it doesn't have Passport specs but does have a removable battery dead heat between the two! Anything else and the Passport wins!

Posted via CB10