From the Editor's Desk: Waiting (for BlackBerry 10) is the Hardest Part

Waiting is the Hardest Part
By Kevin Michaluk on 25 Jun 2012 11:22 am EDT
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Time is tight for me today as I'm off to San Francisco tomorrow for the week and have a million things to get done, so I'll go Phil style on this one with a list of what's shaking in the world of CrackBerry, Mobile and my life.

Let's start with the photo above...

  • Top Left: There's nothing sexier than a hot girl with pretty hands pounding out a BBM on a white Bold 9900! I spotted her yesterday cheering on Italy in the EURO2012 as I was busy being stupid and having some fun buying an overpriced Vuvuzela app.
  • Bottom Left: I'm not cutting my hair until I own a BlackBerry 10 phone. Hurry RIM!
  • Bottom Middle: I hit up a Janelle Monae concert this past Wednesday. She's amazing
  • Right: John Anastiasdis' full qwerty BB10 phone concept has our thumbs twitching, and looking at this newly-leaked document which points to a BB10 qwerty shows we may not even be that far off.

OK, photo collage out of the way, let's talk about some other stuff...

  • Waiting (for BlackBerry 10) is the Hardest part: RIM kicks off each of the BlackBerry 10 Jam events with a music video parody of Tom Petty's The Waiting. RIM's VP of Developer Relations, Alec Saunders, takes the lead on vocals in this one. No video has ever surfaced of it, but everybody who attends and witnesses it says it's #PUREWIN. I definitely agree that waiting for BlackBerry 10 is the hardest part. Over the years we've waiting for a lot of new BlackBerry phones to hit the market, but never before have we been waiting in anticipation as much as now. I'm glad summer is here - it'll help cause a bit of a distraction from the waiting. But once fall hits every day is going to feel like an eternity. I hope #TEAMBLACKBERRY goes light on the holidays this summer and puts every ounce of time possible into work. No time to relax now until after BlackBerry 10 successfully launches.
  • RUMORS on RIM potentially splitting: I wasn't around the phone or computer yesterday morning when the story started going around about RIM potentially splitting up their hardware / software division. Adam and Umi covered it on the blogs. RIM was quick to issue a statement:
    "RIM has hired advisers to help the Company examine ways to leverage the BlackBerry platform through partnerships, licensing opportunities and strategic business model alternatives. As Thorsten said on the Company's fourth-quarter earnings call, ‘We believe the best way to drive value for our stakeholders is to execute on our plan to turn the company around.' This remains true."
    As much as historically I have loved rumors, these days I sort of hate them as far as RIM is concerned, mainly because more and more they seem to be wrong and based on nothing. I'm glad RIM is being quick to take control of the message when this happens. It's still not ideal as the story is "out there", but doing something is better than nothing. As we've said a lot of times now since the day Thorsten Heins took the role of CEO, his goal for the company is to bring BlackBerry 10 successfully to market. RIM is of course going to look at back up plans (plan b, c, d, e, f), but splitting up divisions isn't something they would actively want to do. So long as BB10 is on schedule, RIM still has time and money in the bank to execute on plan A. If that changes, I think it'll be RIM that lets us know. Until then, things are holding course.
  • Lipstick on a Hot Chick: That was the title of Friday's CrackBerry podcast. Why? It's a reminder that BlackBerry 10 is not a brand new operating system. It's an evolution of the PlayBook OS. The underlying platform is there, and BlackBerry 10 is building on it. What we're seeing with the BlackBerry 10 phone demos to date is more of a look at the new skin and UI they're putting onto that OS to make it work for phones. The PlayBook's QNX-based OS is a hot chick. The BlackBerry 10 UI we're seeing is lipstick on that hot chick. This is a good thing. I've seen some panicked comments from people pointing to the fact the BB10 demo we're seeing is more of a packaged demo than a look at the live running BB10 OS. Yes, while it would be better to see the full thing running, I don't think it's a cause for panic just yet. We know BB10 runs. The PlayBook uses it. RIM knows these demos are going to get out there so wants to contain what they're showing off. The way they're doing the demo does just that. This actually makes me really excited, as we know there's a lot more progress behind the scenes than what we have seen to date. 
  • Inform / Englighten / Entertain: I love reading the comments to blog posts where I do stupid things like buying a $500 clock app or $200 Vuvuzela. I know before I hit the publish button that a bunch of you will love it, and a bunch of you will think I'm an idiot. And I'm ok with that. When it comes to our content across our network of sites, my goal is for us to Inform, Englighten and Entertain (I also like to give back - aka contests and giveaways). Every post we publish should accomplish at least one of these things, and if it can do all of them, well, that's even better. And as dumb as buying a $200 Android app might be, it actually does fall in line with my goals. I'm always trying to do things that keep it fun - for myself, and for our readers. You can't make everybody happy with every post, and that's fine. Like I always say... if you don't like a post, just scroll down. Tech blogging can become boring.
  • Google I/O: The Mobile Nations World Tour continues and I'm still on Android for another week or two before I move onto Windows Phone. Google I/O is happening this week in San Francisco, so I'm jumping on a plane tomorrow to join Phil, Alex and Jerry on location. They'll be busy as heck working to report the news so I'll try and not to get in there way during the day, but I'll make sure we have some fun at night. Watch for it.

Ok, that's it for this week. Let's hope it's a good one for BlackBerry!

47 comments

Abrante

Good one!

Love that white 9900... Wonder why T-mo (USA) didn't get that one. I got the black one though.

VaDMoore757

*DROOL!* @ qwerty concept!

rickbansal

Kevin, I appreciate your enthusiasm but it doesn't look good for RIM right now. The stock in trading down nearly 8% today (around $9/share) and everyone on the Street(s) is negative.

I have personally lost nearly $500K on the stock. I don't see anyway of getting back any of my money because even if BB10 is the best thing since sliced bread, it's, unfortunately, way too late for them. They have squandered every opportunity and react to things way too slowly.

I would love to be wrong about this.

Kevin Michaluk

$500k is a lot to lose on the stock. :/

Wonder how many folks around here are holding RIM stock and where they're sitting... maybe will do a poll on that this week. 

You're definitely right though - even if BB10 is awesome, it feels like it would likely take a couple of quarters of promising sales before things start to swing up again - lots of negative sentiment to work against.

When it comes to getting the most value for the shareholder, I guess that's the question. There may be a quick return in doing something crazy (splitting up the business, etc. and selling bits), but for longer term value getting the business rocking again seems like the only solution. 

I'll keep the enthusiasm coming - that's what I do... hopefully it'll help. If nobody is enthusiastic, then it's hard to be hopeful.

rickbansal

Yeah, $500K is a lot money (at least it is to me). Took me a long time to make it and only a very short period of time to lose it. Anyways, that's my cross to bear.

I don't think there is any way for RIM to succeed on its own. They will have to partner with someone. I've always proposed Amazon (in fact, I might've been the first to suggest that on this board). RIM doesn't have enough content or a big enough retail footprint on its own. I wish they did but they don't. I don't believe in Facebook but I do believe in Amazon. Bezos is a visionary along the lines of Jobs. Maybe what he does is not as sexy as Apple but Amazon has been a major innovator in the maturation of the Internet and on-line retailing.

If I was RIM, I'd be begging Amazon to partner up with me - whatever the cost.

Thanks for keeping the faith.

hispanola

That's way too much to lose and you should have gotten out sooner. I'm in total agreement with you in regards to RIM partnering with Amazon though.

rickbansal

Obviously I should have gotten out earlier. Because I thought more of management at RIM than I should have, I became an investor rather than a trader.

jason8957

Don't invest in individual stocks, no matter how confident you are in the company. You can't have enough information and you are over-exposed to risk. Mutual funds.

jd914

He might as well get a haircut, things are getting worse.

Rootbrian

Let it GROW!!
I'm growing mine until next summer after I get it cut in late-august.

npunk42

Im still happy with my 9930. I'll wait as long as I have to for a better Blackberry.

Trini-34

I come to CB for BB upliftment and now everyone seem gloomy... SAD
I do not want to switch to any other device (in my whing baby voice), but it is what it is...

Peace!

koool1

Its so depressing that I have almost bought a droid phone a couple of times. I ended up buying a used 9810 instead and I love it, 4G and processor upgrade are amazing. I think I can now hold on for BB10. Bring it RIM!!!!!

Rootbrian

Only the trolls are gloomy. Upgrade to an OS7 device and you'll LOVE IT

houshinto#IM

Gotta say Kev, your hair is about long enough to do the Fonz. AYYYyyyy!

revtech

Rats, hate reading the tech news these days . . Maybe this is the real reason kevin is trying out the competition so he knows where to go when its all said and done at rim -- I hope they're all wrong!

(thats all tongue-in-cheek btw)

roderickwill

Wow, Much respect and big up's Kevin for being a Jonalle Monae fan is a great great artist whom has yet to get her just do!! I'm riding with BB until they are on four flats without any spares in the back!

xicoxicao

Just so. Janelle is the best. And she brings down the house when playing live

Liquid_Revolver

Its 2012 they should be in the third version of this phone/OS not have a coming out party when the stock is dry and everyone is scream "fire sale" ....But yet they are rolling the dice on a new everything that from a distance does not have any WOW factor STILL....Going from early Oct to September is a big mistake....I would not be surprised if they push it back to December.

SMH...RIP RIM for your lack of concern for the consumer.

houshinto#IM

Bitter, jaded and vindictive. You sir, need help.

BruvvaPete

At no point was anything mentioned that these are the new devices to be released. They've re-done everything to do with their OS (compared to iPhone that has the same design since inception) and you want RIM to push out a product before it's ready, before sales people can be trained, before call centre CSA's can be trained, before the proper web site can be designed, before getting the device to as many places as possible for launch. Come on man. A couple more months is not that long to wait before a proper device is in your hands.

Only people really yelling "fire sale" are the reporters who have been misrepresenting what is actually going on with RIM and readers who believe those reporters without doing their own fact checking.

axllebeer

I know it's make or break time for RIM here and they need to get BB10 out the door ASAP, but other than the occasional hourglassing there is nothing more I need or even desire that my Bold 9930 cannot or does not provide me with.
If there is something I want to do that I would prefer not to do on my BlackBerry then I whip out the PlayBook and go to town :)
I do think that it would've been good to support Java apps from the BBOS platform on the PlayBook however because most of the apps I have on my phone would be gone and I would just run them on the PlayBook instead. As we all know, the fewer apps on the BBOS, the faster and better it runs.

canuck_67

I wont buy a bb10 without a querty. I am spoiled by my torch. So it looks like I will be waiting for awhile.

aega7

The next hardest question is...would my carrier (i.e. Sprint) will carry the BB10?

konic

Ppl, look at what was Apple 10 years ago or so - almost dead!
But only nice nice wrapper for iPod brought it back to the market.
Was it as good inside as outside ? I doubt.
In case of RIM we have opposite - it is good inside and needs only nice wrapper.
Hey, I do not thing it is too much. Look at this new concept for example.
Yes, it is not official but already competitive to other devices.
And more.
Yes in North America RIM's life looks bad but it is quite good in other parts of the World!

ashiluv

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/10-brands-that-will-disappear-in-2013.html...

Every article on the web shows RIM will be dead by next year. So what will happen to the crackberry team if Blackberry10 fails to resurrect RIM?

BruvvaPete

It's clear that reporters have been regurgitating what they hear without doing their own fact checking. Just listen to the last crap about RIM discontinuing making phones with a physical keyboard; that's just the latest example in a long line of nonsense the mainstream media has been pushing out.

lexisnight

Kevin, if you grow your hair any longer you could copy Janelle Monae's do. Great taste, btw.

mavricxx

I like the look of thie mockup but I'd like to see a bigger screen, perhaps longer in size.

jason8957

Seems really big. Almost a small tablet. But the QWERTY is nice when you message and email on your phone a lot.

tonusso

Sorry but the Rimtanic ship is sinking faster than the titanic was. ROFL.

Rootbrian

Go fuck a moose with an android socket.

gnirkatto

I am a 10+ years BB user. Here is what comes to my mind, in a random order:

If they partner with Facebook, then I'm outa here.
I want to buy a new BB phone with a physical keyboard, soon.
Slider preferred, but ok with an enhanced 9900.
I will not buy a touchscreen only phone.
I am very concerned over rumors of RIM getting splitted. Too many bad examples.
Partnering with Amazon? I just don't get the rationale...
Partnering with Samsung? Well, that sounds more interesting...
Outside of this site, RIM/BB is not even mentioned any longer. E.g. on GSMARENA, when discussing the latest WP8 announcements, the only talk was about how A, iOS, WP will share the market in the future. Not a word on RIM. Scary.

I keep my fingers crossed that RIM does the right things, very soon.

Darlaten

I'm always amazed at the optimism shown by Crackberry when compared to other media organizations. For example, this is a snippet from the Canadian Press and News1130 in Vancouver. The article title, alone, speaks much: RIM down after Morgan Stanley calls BlackBerry maker "essentially broken":

"At Morgan Stanley, Gelblum noted there are BlackBerry users that will continue to remain loyal to the company for security or personal reasons, but the number is relatively small at 10 million to 20 million. 'To reach break-even, at those revenue numbers, we calculate the company would have to eliminate 90 per cent of its 16,500 employee base,' he said, speculating on what a scaled-down RIM would look like. 'Getting to this niche operating state, however, is not likely RIM can do itself, and we believe would require a third party partner and likely as a private company.'"

http://www.news1130.com/business/article/376859--rim-down-after-morgan-s...

Depending on how things go over the next few weeks, perhaps the song that will be played for RIM will be "The End" by the Doors (1974).

dony71

Kevin, stop dreaming to wait
I suggest you better start to plan for new website, maybe like faceberry or amazberry

bbwalkers

I almost make a new post for the same comment. Yeah, I am afraid that you are right. I think Kevin must start a new website. This crackberry just reminds me of 1src, zune scene, etc. 1src was a good place for hang-out with a good community which each member helped others.

Rootbrian

Just ban and delete the accounts of all the trolls and paid bashers after post/comment checking. Seems fightful enough.

danifunker

Hi Kevin,

I posted last week in the "reasons I still use a Blackberry" post, as I have been a former Blackberry lover (I also lived in the 'Peg for a few years, hehe).

BB10 has been spoken about and has been in the works since BBOS 5. That was like 4 years ago. I really wonder at what point RIM will begin to ditch everything. Once you take away the data center from RIM, they really don't have that much to offer. The Blackberry devies were basically directly connected to their data centers. With BB10, they aren't anymore. Nobody really needs to be connected to the datacenter anymore, and if they do, there should be some type of software solution you could load on your iPhone, Android or Windows Phone to get the blackberry functionaltiy. Unfortunately the market share for that isn't as large as it is for the full handset/phone solution, in which case RIM will be shrinking big time.

I have said for the last 6 months that by the end of the next fiscal year, there will be no more RIM.

As it stands right now, your website is really great, but I honestly think you should start incorporating other technologies than RIM devices on it. Blackberry might be dead soon, but you've built up a great website and community and it would be a shame to see it go to waste. Unfortunately, I can tell you that I no longer subscribe to this sites RSS feeds since I find the news irrelivant to me anymore (although I do carry a Blackberry 9900 for work purposes).

Good luck! Hope to see more of you in the future

Jaredius

That QWERTY concept is the truth!

9of13

RIM isnt dead. All of these 'journalists' 1) forgets about the 'fact checkers' on staff. 2) allow poor, misquoted and source-lacking articles pass as 'real news' and 3) forgets what Apple went thru back in the 90s.

The worst case scenario i see IMHO is RIM abandoning the NA market and focusing on the rest of the planet (i call it 'plan Y').

The fact is, Rome wasnt built in a day nor did it rebuild in a day.

ferre_kun

you know, it hit me when i was reading an article about nokia launching 808 pureview and the review comment was 'unfortunately it runs on symbian'. then i realised. symbian is no longer supported or developed by nokia. the same was with bada. now it hit me hard. that all these black/negative campaign against BB&RIM is just about taking BB OS out by force and replace it with one of those big players (since logically no one will want to put BB OS on their product if they have to build it from scratch with no guarantee it will run better than when BB OS was inside a BB). reeeeally dirtee. and i'm writing this on a windows pc, while thinking it would be nice if i can get an android.

if you are supporting those big players who want to get rid of BB OS out of the picture and replace it with anything, whatever, you can blame your decreasing stock value to previous RIM CEO and all of those vultures wanting pieces of RIM. and sacrificing all of their users, should RIM really collapse. if you are still wanting to tear RIM apart, you are my enemy. i loathe negative/black campaign.

ghostzapper

If Heins had a backbone we would not have to continue reading articles such as this published today in the Star.

http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1217187--blackberry-maker-rim-s-...

TheYalier

Not cutting your hair. Sorry but you can't afford to do that, Kevin. Not based on the photos I've seen of you.

ghostzapper

I'd rather he (Kevin) grab some stones and call out Heins on the dialogue he's having with RIM's customers and shareholders on the aspirational merits of RIM, its products and services. How on God's green earth can a company that is hoping to build an aspirational (Heins' word not mine) smartphone when it is so incapable of carrying out such a conversation with its customers and investors? It will have dug such a deep hole it will have a hard time digging out of it. Investor sentiment has been decimated and Heins continues to fiddle with his fingers just as Jim and Mike did. It's downright shameful. Stymiest and gang on the board fiddle with their fingers as well. Not a darn peep out of them either. The whole lot should be ashamed of themselves. It's downright shameful. Intuitively how could one ever imagine an aspirational product coming from such corporate paradigm?