From the Editor's Desk: The past month of BlackBerry

By Bla1ze on 21 Jul 2014 12:41 am EDT

Time flies when you're having fun. That's the old saying right? July 19th marked exactly one month since BlackBerry CEO John Chen pretty much fully unveiled the BlackBerry Passport and the BlackBerry Classic. For the most part, much of the focus has been on the BlackBerry Passport. Considering it's the first of the two new devices out of the gate, there seems to be more of them out there in the wild and its admittedly odd look. Even BlackBerry has run with the hype surrounding the device and has slowly been teasing us with more information each week across the Inside BlackBerry Blog.

For all the crap BlackBerry takes for their 'lack of marketing' from even those of us who wish nothing but the best for the company, you have to admit this was all a rather genius move on behalf of John Chen and the teams he has in place. While it's no massive series of TV ads or anything like that, the BlackBerry Passport has been making waves across the internet since June 19th and as even more gets revealed, more people are writing their own thoughts and opinions on the device. Even if some of the opinions are negative they're keeping the BlackBerry Passport and ultimately, BlackBerry, in the news cycle. Take a look:

With all of that in mind, there's interesting stuff happening in regards to the attention the device is getting as well.

First, BlackBerry is listening to the feedback thus far and actually paying attention to it, even going so far as taking comments from those interested in the device and highlighting them on the Inside BlackBerry Blog. Now, I've seen many people say crap along the lines of that being 'desperate'. To that I say, is it also desperate when Tim Cook shows off comments from users during an Apple keynote? Is it desperate when Sundar Pichai shows off comments from users during Google I/O? No, it's not. It's widely accepted as normal and no one gives it a second thought. Only when BlackBerry highlights good comments does it all of a sudden get toted as being desperate. It's nonsense.

Second, again regarding the comments surrounding the Passport, when an article gets written about the BlackBerry Passport, positive or negative, the comments section of whatever article it may be has seen changes as well. For many months now, a BlackBerry article automatically meant there was going to be some negative comments and while those are still there at times, there's a more visible balance happening. People who have in the past not been interested in BlackBerry devices are actually sticking up for the Passport. They are letting it be known that they understand the design of the Passport and are open to giving it a go, or are at the very least interested in how the device turns out. That's good for BlackBerry and shows it's not just BlackBerry fans whose interest has been piqued.

Looking back on it all outside of even Passport news, the past month for BlackBerry has actually been pretty awesome. They launched the BlackBerry FactCheck Portal, the stock is doing much better even after some BS surrounding Apple and IBM, the BlackBerry Z3 has been rolled out to several new regions and QNX is rocking not only in mHealth but they're also ramping up heavily in the IoT arena. The last part is probably the best. People are so focused on what BlackBerry is doing only in the smartphone arena that they can't manage to wrap their heads around the fact the company is being successful in other areas. As much as people like to downplay what is happening, BlackBerry is changing, and I think if you REALLY take a look at the past month it becomes clear.

That's all I got for now but let me just say I'm excited for the next month as well. We're quickly rolling into August and before you know it, September will be here. We'll be going into device review mode at that point with the BlackBerry Passport and that's always fun. Oh, and yes, we'll unapologetically have help and how-to guides for the BlackBerry Passport as well. Excelsior!

Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: The past month of BlackBerry

130 Comments need to drop the "Editor in Chief" title and become the "Commander in Chief" of Crackberry....

More authoritative and if that "Cage" character ever gets out of line you have the right to put a boot up his ass if you are Commander in Chief....

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

50 push-ups and 100 sit-ups for Private Cage, in case of inappropriate comments! :-)

(sure, surname is M.)

Pasted via CB chen

Yes! I haven't hears a single peep. About the classic since it was announced! The Passport is really stealing the spotlight.

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10! 

I agree I can't wait to check out both the Passport and the classic!

I hate my Q10 "double typing" keyboard but I don't want to go without BB10 while I use my 9930 even if it's just a few days; I'm torn.

 BlackBerry Q10  Keep The Faith 

I just got warranty for that same issue, will get a new device later to this week, hopefully it will be better or I will get a Q5

Posted via CB10

To be fair, the Classic isn't out for a few more months. It's also a product that caters to current customers.

The Passport is innovative on a lot of fronts and is intended to draw new users in.

Posted from CB10 running on my awesome Z30 2B6927F7

People like big devices and the Passport looks to be a big device with a lot of power, plus some interesting features like the new touch sensitive keyboard. I hope it attracts a lot of attention when released.

I especially like the linked article called "I'll wait for Samsung's square phone" One quote hit it right on the head:

"but since 2007, we've been essentially looking at the same design over and over again. Sure, they've gotten bigger and thinner, but the biggest revolution to our phone designs these days is where the Power and Volume buttons are positioned."

Thank you, I'm so sick of the same old slab of glass...

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

Yeah but there has to be a reason for change to what has essentially been the norm. Why not make tv's round and see how they sell??

I wish Chen would come out and explain why a larger square screen is better.

Hopefully the square aspect ratio means you can get more than one screen open at a time on the passport, while still typing (ie. Have a webpage open and write an email... have an email open and respond to it on another email page, etc)

Posted via CB10

Why is everyone stuck on the square aspect ratio? They've been using 1:1 on keyboard devices for years.

Posted via CB10

Not really man, the Q10 and Q5 I think are the first. Their qwerty devices before that, like the Bold 9900 and Bold 9000, had the 4:3 aspect ratio...

Ooh, there goes that super clever "let me name some really impractical shape for something" shtick... Look, just because I want some variety in the things we buy doesn't mean I want things that just won't work. It's like if I'm saying I'm sick of every car looking like a Toyota Corolla and you countering with "oh yes, let's make cars with 1 wheel shaped like a big elephant." Yes, wanting some variety means that's exactly what I want... smh

I'm talking about other styles and form factors in our mobile phones, like I remember when we had the choice between an all-touch glass slab, sliders, fixed physical keyboards, flip phones, etc. And when you look around you see a pretty even distribution of every type. You basically see people buying what suits them the best. I guess this is back when being an individual was actually an important thing. Now, since all-touch slabs are the "cool" thing, everyone has to have one. If you have anything different people look at you like you have an extra limb growing out of your chest...

Would love a feature on the CrackBerry app to bookmark an article, to save for later. Memory will have to serve this time

Posted via CB10

Passport is one of the first devices BlackBerry has released that has the media on fire, nothing I have ever remembered has drawn this much attention.

Posted via CB10 on my blazing fast Z30

I like the idea of that keyboard. think of the Q10 if it had that keyboard it would be awesome. Just don't want a device as wide as the passport. But I hope it's a successful device

Posted via CB10

Great article @ Bla1ze..Good times ahead for US BlackBerrians! I Really like this John Chen guy, and his team. And I like what your doing here @ CB, Bla1ze. Keep up the great job, man.

Posted via CB10

I really hope Blackberry enable email signatures with embedded graphics for the Passport. When I send a business email, I want my company logo to appear in the auto signature along with my name and title. At the moment I am forced to use Outlook in W8. Unless I am missing something, I cannot import a graphics object into the autosignature under BlackBerry 10.2. If the Passport is targeted at thr business exec, please include this feature.

Posted via CB10

Would be nice. And a feature none of the others have. you should post this on the icanmakeitbetter site!

Posted via CB10

As long as it doesn't arrive as an attachment. I find it so frustrating to receive emails that have "attachments", but which really just have a picture in the signature. It's a pet peeve of mine, getting emails with pictures in the signature. Now, if they can do it, without it getting flagged as an email with an attachment, I would be in favour of that feature.

Posted via CB10

Nice post.

Will we see a podcast soon with you running the show? Would like to see some of the new contributors on the next podcast or maybe even some of the regulars from across the pond who never make it on.

Z10STL100-3/ | Bell | CB10

Agree - have been looking out for a podcast. And that's a great idea about including some of the writers from UK and elsewhere.

I am intrigued by the passport and i love the fact that the news about BlackBerry is some good news not all negative. I want the passport but I would really need to try that keyboard and see how easy is it to handle. I am concerned it may be too big. To use with one hand however if that Moise pad function actual works.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

So exciting to see all the great stuff surrounding BlackBerry! Love that the negative stuff is dwindling fast! Go BlackBerry go!

Posted via CB10 Z10STL100-4/

As others have stated, this is a really great article. Putting things into perspective like this is the best way to see all of the positive moves BlackBerry has made within the past month. I think it's also a good idea to put the entire evolution of BB10 into a time line of events starting from the very first day BB10 was released, so that one can better appreciate how far the platform has actually come. While the initial release wasn't perfect, it was a far better product than what iOS or Android was when they first launched. Here we are now with a solid foundation in QNX, 10.3 just around the corner and John Chen seemingly making all of the right decisions. One can't help but be excited for what's in store for BlackBerry.

You're 100% correct Bla1ze, the Passport is creating a buzz like no other. The initial oddness turns out to be the biggest asset from a marketing stand point. Contrary to some tech sites remarks, BlackBerry didn't set out to be different for the hell of it. In reality, they set out to make the best possible experience for anyone's day to day life. Once anyone witnesses the genius of the Passports design, specs, productivity and quality, the only thing odd is if you don't seek out and purchase it.

Some said this would be a boring year for BlackBerry. Not for myself. I've enjoyed every minute of it. It's fun to witness the makings of one of the biggest comebacks in tech history. Yes, I said it.

Great work Bla1ze. You've really proved yourself in the drivers seat. All the best moving forward.


Bla1ze you are spot on it has been a great month for BlackBerry with more good things to come. I personally don't feel that the press realizes how important QNX is to the future of BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

Another great article Bla1ze. You're the reason why I read them :) No to detract from Kevin M and the others of course!!

Looking back on it all outside of even Passport news, the past month for BlackBerry has actually been pretty awesome. They launched the BlackBerry FactCheck Portal, the stock is doing much better even after some BS surrounding Apple and IBM.

Great editorial Bla1ze!
Time flies when we're having fun, just like that? 30 days went by to notice that any BlackBerry diehard fan was on cloud #9 .
How John Chen turned any thing into a media frenzy and take the brand to a higher level shows how he knows his way around media, to the point that any thing said in news/social is still positive advertisement for BlackBerry, even in places i wouldn't expect.

STL100-1 ( STC

Now that is a cool write up Bla1ze's gotten me all pumped up..can't wait to get my hands on the passport!

Posted from my SuperHuman Q10

That's a great article. I am totally excited about this devise. I have waiting for a long time for blackberry to come out with a show stopper. I believe this is the one that will do it for blackberry, but it needs some recognition behind it. A another huge CEO besides Chen or a mega star like Drake or an actor needs to be the show off person at huge events like samsung does.

BlackBerry has to get back on that wagon when people ask, is that a BlackBerry? and they know what it is yet so intrigued they just need to say it.

I remember those days and have a feeling there soon back.

Posted via CrackBerry App

Never stop moving forward.

Posted via z30 STA100-5 the only high end business device on the market

Bla1ze, with all the good news you included in the article, you forgot to mention the beta release of BBM on Windows Phone 8! Hopefully a public release very soon and BBM's user base is sure to benefit from that. :]

Via CB10 on Z10 | T-Mo |

Loving the positive press! I salute John Chen for turning around the negative perception of BlackBerry, something that most people saw as an impossibility. The momentum is quickly reversing, the stocks will jump in September!

Posted via CB10

While I can openly say there are many things I still thing BlackBerry can improve, the Passport does truly seem to be a well thought idea from many perspectives.

Very excited to see how it turns out.

Posted via CB10

After the success of the keyboard Passport, then we are going to have a Passport all touch version.

We are here to conquer all competition.

Posted via CB10

For me I would like to see a tablet, probably 8'' and why not square with keyboard ah ah... the tablet world, more and more, becomes a working traveler world. BlackBerry should go in this way to complete the BlackBerry OS Experience, maybe with a partnership with Foxconn (don't forget that Apple is not really happy for the job done by Foxconn) and some Productive app (why not with OpenOffice or Libreoffice... ).
BlackBerry should announce something when Passport will be delivered.... to keep in mind that BlackBerry is on the move, for enterprise segment, but with the realistic needs. actually we don't need Windows PC or Mac *animal*

The only thing from preventing the Passport or the Z30 from truly being a mobile computing platform are:
1. The inconsistent displays available across hotels and offices (Miracast, or DLNA, and HDMI are not always available).
2. The office suite (Docs to go) needs to be the equivalent of Microsoft Office. This paired with the ability of having other application available through your BlackBerry (most likely they already are, such as SAP, salesforce, expense reporting etc.); would eliminate the need for a tablet or laptop.

Can you imagine the value proposition of selling a single device (especially to enterprise) to perform the task of multiple devices. Their CAPEX budget would be greatly decreased over time. With a 13 mp camera (and improved software in 10.3), you can reduce the need for a tablet, laptop and a camera.
I feel as though BlackBerry is really close to getting it right.
Wishing the company al the best.

Posted via CB10

Tablets in my opinion will fade away for most businesses. There is nothing I can do on a tablet that I cannot do on a phone. Heck, tablets and phones share the same OS. I feel hamstrung using them and now carry a modern laptop ultrabook and a BB10.

Posted via CB10

Let's do this BlackBerry! I've been a BlackBerry year since day one of owning a cellphone and I'm still proud of sporting one. It's a head turner. " what kind of a phone is that" I get asked. I tell them and everyone wants to take a look at it.

Posted via CB10

You won't. Thanks to them all but saying screw the consumers they don't know what they want.

Posted on my Z30

First class business tools by BlackBerry. BlackBerry are still top if you're not looking for a toy

Tapping and flicking on my Zed 10

can't wait for 10.3,and I hope we will have options for the background lighting in the hub.and you know,colors are fun and people get Happy when they see them,on their phone.

Well put! It sure seems to be a great strategy, I hope they sell like hell...

Posted using the best phone ever, the Z30!

Looking at it in slowMo, with every details pointing out in the right direction.
Excitement is back, expectations are high.
From September to end of 2014, we will see numerous planned releases (devices, BES) and I'm quite sure we might also ear about company related news too.
2015 is next door; can't wait !

Great article Bla1ze: ripp that "Interim" thing already !

Blackberry is building some value for a sale, that sale will be to Microsoft. All the work they are putting in to enterprise and iot are making them a attractive buy.

Posted on my Z30

Great article, nicely done. I think you should celebrate the month of exciting BlackBerry news with a month of exciting Passport giveaway contests, lol.

Posted via CB10

Currently the Smartphone market is predictable when it comes new physical designs. A typical All-touch device is rectangular in shape, has a screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio, some buttons, a couple of cameras...etc, essentially they are all the same, and it reminds me of the Laptop market. However, this is not the appropriate approach to take with the Smartphone market because its diversity of usage is much different. Compare it now to the automotive market, you have small compact carts (Fiat 500), and then you have pick-ups (GMC Sierra), both are automotive and are in essence similar (point A to point B) but each serves a different purpose. This is the approach BlackBerry appears to me making with its new Passport, it is essentially very much the same as other devices but serves a very specific purpose. This device is to be the workhorse for the Professional (Business, Engineering, Medical, Education to name a few), much like a pickup, it can handle more load yet still compact enough to manover through our contested streets.

Z30 on 10.2.1 in Kitchener (Canada)

I share your enthusiasm! and judging by how twitter reacts i can see a lot of people ready to try BB10 with the Passport!
Now that a certain buzz is on don't let it wane Blackberry!
Around 60 days to manage and as we all know in tech environment newness is a concept very fickle, novelties succeed one each other and the former buzz is easily tossed onto the garbage heap of hype's history.
Really curious to see how they will maintain the interest in the device (even if i am already sold for some weeks now!)

I dunno. Attention for BlackBerry is one thing. Sales is another. Passport may be different but will people buy?

Z10 got lots of press when it came out and sales were well short of expectations.

Posted via CB10

Z10 came out in 2013 under different circumstances and management ; Passport is coming out almost 2yrs later under different circumstances and management. So I don't understand your comparative analysis.

Posted via CB10

Please have BlackBerry pay more attention to the consumers market for the BlackBerry new devices and softwares. I would like all the popular Apps that Android and IOS have in the BB10. I guarantee BlackBerry that you will win back a bigger market share that you loss. Hoping for something better!!!!

Posted via CB10

This is a totally different aspect of marketing. BlackBerry is actually proving to the world that they are Not going out of business and are very much changing the way the company is run. Having being put in the spotlight just from the Passport making headlines is extremely Genius. Samsung may be sporting their bazillion products in Ads that everyone knows about, but BlackBerry is saying "We are still here and ready to help you get things done"

I guarantee you that hardware itself don't answer the sales of the device. It's the App that makes the device more interesting. We might judge the device specifications when we buy the phone, but whether the user will love it or hate it depends on the Apps it can download. Make more Apps available like Android and IOS then BlackBerry device might find it's way back in the game!!!!!

Posted via CB10

The biggest problem is, those who don't currently use a BB10 device believe you need apps. The browser on these devices are so quick and efficient, it makes many apps look like a half-assed attempt at a mobile tool.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30!

After reading the articles one after the other, they can be summed-up as follows:

The Passport is a stupid idea, and possibly the biggest piece of junk, because it's not a Samsung or iPhone.

What a bunch of brainwashed losers. They need to get their heads out of their asses.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30!

Just give it second thought..

"To that I say, is it also desperate when Tim Cook shows off comments from users during an Apple keynote? Is it desperate when Sundar Pichai shows off comments from users during Google I/O? No, it's not. It's widely accepted as normal and no one gives it a second thought."

Is it desperate to sell overpriced hardware and sell/share user/buyer/business personal data to the/with third parties or american government (NSA)?

Is it desperate to censor search results/information when you are dominant search provider?

Is it desperate to sell/share user/business e-behaviour patterns, geolocation and other personal/business sensitive data to the/with third parties or american government (NSA)?

Is it desperate to use information given in good faith to short-sell/devaluate/acquire other (competeting) companies?

If something is widely accepted as normal it does not mean it is not desperate, unethical or even illegal. Moreover what is widely accepted as a norm in one country (US) is not necessarily a norm in the rest of the world. Especially now - in post Snowden era.

I just hope BlackBerry won't go way of Google and Apple.
Because these practices belong (or should belong) to the past.

I've heard of cups half empty types, but you're sounding like a 10% filled tea-cup... o.o

Why so gloomy?

This is looking like a very interesting and dynamic time for BlackBerry. I one for myself feel it's a great opportunity for them and appreciate what they ventured doing. I applaud Mr. Chen. And also applaud Bla1ze. Great article, I knew you had it. Keep Smoking.

Great article Bla1ze!

On the Passport: I'm surprised myself. All I see is "I like the idea of the keyboard" (as in, double up as a trackpad).

I did NOT see this coming!

Nice post, I too am excited for the passport to make it out to carriers. Its so drastically different, unlike the Storm(s), this will be the device that brings me back!

I just want to know when it will be available in the USA. Will we have to wait for a year extra to get it?

Posted via CB10

Any word on carrier support for the passport? I'm on Rogers and I need them to carry it so I can do an early upgrade. This device needs to be in stores for it to be successful.

Posted via CB10

Will the Z30 have an update to 10.3 someday? Wanting to upgrade from 10 to 30. BTW, great article, thank you.

Posted via CB10

Passport - intended to be a flop? Without handset business BlackBerry sale price will be definitely lower for potential acquirer.

Odd you say that. I find that hard to believe. In regards to what defines a flop, if you think it will not sell as much as the icrap 6 then maybe you are correct.

Posted via CB10

What a POWER post here again from Blaze!!!!

Man, your articles are interesting and it makes me crazy about getting the Classic or Passport right here, right now!!!

I wonder what my fella Slagman5 and Austriker are buying. Because I am 50 50 here.

Again. Great article. The tech world will get trolled by BlackBerry. Because BlackBerry is back.

Screw the same design we do have since 2007. Pathetic chocolate bar glass design. It is time for a POWER TROLL device with a functional design. Big, qwerty and just nice to hold.

I am ready!

Posted via CB10

Excellent article Bla1ze. Love the passion and drive for this great company -- BlackBerry push forward!

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry is getting attention from the Passport and Classic, that's a good thing. Finally!!!

Posted via CB10

I read this article and I start drooling all over again....damn I want a passport like RIGHT NOW....what a device!

Posted via CB10

Changing, multiplying, advancing, moving forward and impressing people beyond just smartphones. :D

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

If the Passport can fit into the breast pocket of a suit blazer it's going to be a hard one to ignore.

Sent from my BlackBerry Z30

Still lots and lots of promises. Let's wait to see how they execute with the Passport, the Classic (not that hard), Blend, BES 12 and BES Cloud.

I don't think the words 'interim' and 'Bla1ze' should be allowed in any sentence.

Posted via CB10

Great article Bla1ze! Next time you talk to JC, can you ask him to talk to the big wireless leaders? Their sales people are bashing BlackBerry every chance they get. No device will ever have a chance to really be a true success if the salesmen are pushing customers away from BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

What the heck happened to jubei razei? He hasn't posted anything for a while now! Where the hell is he?

Posted via CB10

Bla1ze, thanks for taking over Crackberry, not only is this article gold but also well it was starting to seem quiet for a while... and even, dare I say, negative - thanks for changing things back to what I feel is a relatively normal / awesome Crackberry