Frank Boulben and Dr. Juergen Gessler launch the BlackBerry P'9982 in the US

By Adam Zeis on 22 Nov 2013 09:47 am EST

I had the pleasure of attending an event at the Porsche Design store in NYC last night to kick off the US launch of the BlackBerry P'9982. There were plenty of fans on hand to see BlackBerry CMO Frank Boulben and Porsche Design CEO Dr. Juergen Gessler introduce the P'9982. 

The P'9982 launched exclusively at Harrods in London on Wednesday, and last night marked the launch of the device in the US. The P'9981 was one of Harrods biggest selling devices ever, so we're hoping much of the same for the P'9982.

The Porsche Design store has plenty of luxury items on display including watches, shoes, sunglasses and even knives -- and the new P'9982 fits right in. While some people may not understand or appreciate the design of the P'9982 (or the P'9981 for that matter) when you're surrounded by other Porsche Design items it's easy to see how a BlackBerry fits into the mix. 

At the event there were some devices on display so everyone could get their chance to see the P'9982 first hand and the responses were great. There were even some accessories on display including the custom leather P'9982 pouch and three different color battery doors in red, blue and beige (though I still like the black). Overall the event was a big success - there was great food and drinks, loads of conversation and BlackBerry's galore. What more could you ask for?

Check out some shots from the event in the gallery above and let us know what you think!

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

Reader comments

Frank Boulben and Dr. Juergen Gessler launch the BlackBerry P'9982 in the US


Frank still works there? That explains a Porsche phone and launch haha.

Look forward to seeing what you're going to do with the z10,q10 and z30 launches in the USA Frank ... or are you saving up your stellar magic for the superbowl?.

Posted via CB10

I would like take 30% of Frank's pay and do 90% of his CMO work. I promise, I will not be worse than his performance if not better.

Bottom line is, BlackBerry can pay much less for the same bad marketing if they hire me as CMO, other than Frank. Lol.

Posted via CB10 with Q10.

Marketing is just fine.

Crackberry users appear to complain because "Marketing" is the easiest scapegoat to why BlackBerry isn't eating up market share. If they spent another billion on marketing, with you at the helm, they would simply be a billion dollars in the hole further than they are now.

At this point it should be certainly noted that all dramatic Operating System refreshes have to go through growing pains:

-- Windows Phone. yes... their marketshare from Windows Mobile took forever to gain ground - Windows Phone 7 can literally be considered an utter failure, very few manufacturers from WinPhone 7 stayed to 8... and of those who did, saw losses. Nokia would be dead without being bought over.

-- Palm OS literally died coming into the market. HP had no willingness to go through the growing pains

-- IOS didn't change on purpose, and focus on bringing the most devices into the next gen so they don't have to start fresh. I suspect this is catching up to them as the market growth has diminished acceleration.

-- Android still looks like a convoluted pile of nerdgasm from inception. I have no business case for this O.S.

I would even suggest that Boulben might be making a wise choice with marketing by not draining the checkbook like HTC, waiting for the 7s to trickle out of the mind-scape. And, perhaps, been one of the biggest proponents for purchases a social media advertising company. (I say this, because I can't imagine any of the other C level executives pursuing this)

I suspect that Blackberry will announce a quarter of gains before starting another wave of marketing, toss the notion of "BlackBerry is dead" amongst the street. Then, push a new underdog message out, similar to Nokia's brilliant advertising.

I can't imagine this not being the case, as, a write down of the z10 over production was blackberry fast tracking losses (rather than spreading out the production losses) in order to create a contrast from one quarter to the next. A stock turn around will then ensure that people won't hum, "but blackberry is dead," every time a BB device is mentioned.


The difference is I truely believe if BlackBerry had spent the money that HTC has just on the One on the Z30, they would be a player right now, I say this because I am a convert from Android and the experience isnt even comparable, get the phone in front of people, and in their hands, and they will convert by the masses. But you have to get the device where people dont envision a curve everytime u mention Blackberry. I can only blame marketing at this point.

Posted via CB10

+ 1,000,000 for me too!

Get rid of that guy! Waste of money spent on his salary and marketing campaign s

They need him to waste even more money on ridiculous ads of people sliding across the screen and flying on carpets, while not explaining any of the phone's features.

I'm not convinced people care about the features. People want a flashy device. When i point out what my Z10 can do that Android devices cannot do, the owners of said devices are not swayed because it is not trendy or fashionable to own a BlackBerry. I think Frank was trying to put some flash back in the Berry.

This post was crafted in a couple of seconds on the awesome BlackBerry Z10 keyboard

I think people do care about features. The BlackBerry YouTube video that first showed flick typing has 3.75 million views while the one with the camera with Time Shift has 1.5 million views. Clearly those are features that intrigue people and should be front and centre in any TV ad campaign.

The features were shown in the ads...and the ads were hip with an excellent(can't get it out of your head) song and international flair.

Then for the Q10, the ads were ALL business..."It's Time".

And the tagline is the best for a Mobile Technology company..."Keep Moving"

Compared to LeBron shooting hoops & goo morphing into a mePhone...they were GREAT...just slightly ahead of their BB10.

Peugeot 505 STI» Peugeot 405 Mi16» Honda s2000»...Chevrolet Corvette C7

Maybe in a different matket but in the us which heins said was very important they made no damn sense....and the current market share relfects that.

Posted from a phone....

Uhm, yeah... I thought he would have been trimmed out with Thorsten... one can dream I guess *Shrugs shoulders and rolls eyes*

Frank needs to be launching a search for a new job and not launching a new phone...

And I was next to there last night!

Sent from my Z30 on Verizon through CB10 running

I think many of us agree with you on that! I'd rather see Thor still with the company than Mr. Boulben! I think a group of elementary school kids could've thought up better marketing promos. Sadly i guess it's a waiting game till BlackBerry decides they do in fact need some decent marketing!

Posted via CB10 on my  BlackBerry Q10

Don't really care about the event, but I'm curious whether you got to interview the CMO Adam?

Posted via CB10

So when does CrackBerry contest for giveaway begin? *nudge nudge* lord knows thats the only chance I have of getting my hands on one...

Posted via CB10

Yeah, why would they have chosen the Z10 when Z30 was known back end 2012 as the high end phone for BlackBerry in 2013. Seems an odd choice.

Swiped with one thumb from the virtual keyboard of my awesome Z10!

"What more could you ask for?" . . . How about Frankie B doing some real marketing of the mainstream phones we need to sell?

They should have released the z10 with a more premium build from the get go. It would have definitely given the wow factor and status as well.

Nothing pricey as the porsche design but something that feels like it's got premium build status. As much as I like the z10.

Posted via CB10

Just refreshed my software updates on my Q10, and I see the update as well. Appreciate the unrelated comment ;-)

I could have asked for better marketing of the event.....who knew that this was taking place in NYC? Sure it was no doubt an exclusive event, but did any main stream media cover it? Doubt any network will pick up on it on the day commemorating JFK's death, 50 years.

Posted via CB10

Frank gotta go... Either that, or he has to give some kind of explanation as to why he hasn't done a thing worth talking about since he's been behind the marketing wheel. I've been waiting to see his name attached to a 'management let go' message. Is it possible he had his hands tied during the TH tenure?
Even if that is the case he needs to be let go to get some new creative juices flowing, or have his role diminished.

I am really hoping that his role is already diminished,for him to promote such small events on the 50th anniversary of the JFK,is just keeping him busy and letting him hold his head up when he makes an appearance in the compound.I think his contract is good for another year and a half.God help BBM which has so much potential.

Although I will never be able to afford one, I would have liked to see more differentiation between this and the Z10. I believe the only differences are the build, the clock and the price.. why not have a default grey and black theme, keep the normal Z10 theme as an option. Redo some of the other apps as well to fit in.

I think even if it were a couple hundred more than a Z10 in its current state I still wouldn't buy one.

Posted via CB10

It's incredible that this is his first public appearance in months and it's for this niche product. How about focusing your efforts on the Z30 launch? You know, on a device that has potential mass market appeal? smh

can someone SACK mister French baguette Boulben?
please... He did not deliver, he's not delivering, he will not deliver..

and btw launching this shtty device in the US will only make the press bash on the company even more than is doing now..

this device is ridiculous, they might as well jsut write them off before the launch

ridiculous blackberry, I freaking hate Boulben trou du cul

That's great. BlackBerry fat cats eating and spilling drinks all over new porsches all the while shareholder onlookers stare in disgust. How stupid do you think we are? This event should be looked at as shameful and embarrassing. For goodness sake, wake up.

Posted via CB10

Exactly! Absolutely what they should not be focusing on is a device that 99.99999% of the population can't afford!

Never, but Never, Question the Engineers Judgment!

I think BB's marketing sucks in part because cash conservation was also a big concern during the BB10 launch, so not as much $$$ was allocated for an effective marketing campaign. Sponsoring Mercedes in F1 probably wasn't cheap either.

That said, the Superbowl commercial was stupid, as were several other BB10 commercials after that.

The Superbowl ad was about awareness. The devices weren't even launched in the US.

However bad you think the ad was, imagine if they'd shown a load of features, only for you to be told you can't have one till May when your turned up at Verizon or AT&T.

BlackBerry marketing failed because they did not have carrier involvement.

And they didn't have carrier involvement because when BB10 launched the carriers were well down on their iPhone sales targets. Verizon for example, was likely to owe Apple 14 billion for unsold devices.

That's why BB10 failed. Any other reason is relevant but not critical.

I agree with many of the comments about Franky B. Not sure if his hands are tied with the marketing piece or he just lacks the knowhow to get it done right....but either way, he needs to go as BBRY's marketing has been poor (not as bad as it used to be.....but that isn't saying much).

Posted via CB10

Why is Boulben still working at Blackberry? He's totally useless In his role. Any other company he would have been fired for being an utter failure.

If the interm CEO is any good Frank should be walking the plank real soon. I don't think frank could even market a hamburger let alone a phone.

As for the porche designed phone. It's a waste of money and isn't helping blackberry. It's a distraction. The end of the day it's just a z10.

How are 500 remade Z10s a distraction? Is it a distraction for Ford to sell a limited release of the Shelby Mustang? All of them are going to be sold and for multiples of what the components cost.

Posted via CB10

the rich people, buy the stock and sit on it .I am very long BB,and I'm not faint of heart.I am a Canadian and am conditioned to cold winters,I am positive that something innovative will arrive soon and rescue the longs.I think I'll double up when it goes to 3 or 4 $ ,Thanks Frank,trou de cue!!excuse my French.

Adam - since I am not on the "CrackBerry Team" .... could you please explain to me how this is "more significant" than being able to buy a BlackBerry Z30 from ATT or Tmob in the States?

To me... this appears to be just another "ego driven waste of resources and time" by the BlackBerry executive team and I expect much more under Chen.

Lastly, for the very fact that Frank Boulben is still working for BlackBerry - they haven't learned a damn thing yet....

Oh, and if you have not noticed - the "USA Apple/Android Bash BlackBerry Media" has been having a field day with this goofy 9982 launch - regardless of "how cool" some at Herrods think it may be...

I really couldn't care less seeing as how I'm still waiting on 10.2 and I can't get a z30 *rolls eyes*.

Posted via CB10

Can someone explain how this guy still has a job at BlackBerry?
Someone should have asked him what he has done in the marketing department for the last 9 months, why he has not done any marketing whatsoever for the z30, but he wants to show his face at an event launching a phone that no one in the States will want???
This guy seriously needs to GO!!

Posted via CB10

As far as I can see the Z30 has received more marketing than that of the Z10 or the Q10 - including in the USA or if you just isolate in the USA.

Stop complaining about anyone else's job ... unless YOU can actually do far better or better! If you cannot then it's just an armchair discussion and should be posted in the correct forum threads for this.

Really? Frank is that you? Come on already...Let me spell it out for you:

USA Only - the Z30 is on ONE CARRIER only. How long will it take to sink in that Carrier exclusivity agreements are BAD. You can't even buy it directly from BB in the US yet, or arguably ever. There has been ZERO marketing over this device in the US. The Z10 and Q10 had a global launch event, whereas this one was launched in Asia with no coverage in the US. As bad as the commercials for the Z and Q were, they did exist. This one is in the Abyss. I may be one person living in a very large bubble called NYC, but from here, NADDA.

Globally - are there sell outs? steady streams of people buying them? Are there ads? Have there been local launch events in each country carrying this phone? Is there physical marketing material in stores to inform customers? Have sales staff been trained on these devices? None of this exists or has been confirmed.

I'm sorry but you are either delusional or Frank in disguise if you think the Z30 marketing was a success.

I'm not delusional because I've Never Ever stated the Z30 is successful. Actually neither of us is delusional, but you're clearly heart broken because you complain over and over about Frank like dome whiny little girl.

As I said you NEED to stop complaining about someone else's job until you can do or prove you could do better: I'll bet you don't have a marketing degree nor understand marketing 101, along with Frank.

Financial Times, New York Times, and The Financial Post all available at major newspaper stands or major distribution at corporate offices have placed Z30 ads! Start reading stop complaining. Youtube is also another start since it's pretty much global besides China

Posted via CB10

Lol I was waiting for someone like you to give me the "armchair ceo" label. Open ur eyes to all the comments! This guy is totally shit!

Posted via CB10

Thanks Adam for the report and picture highlights. Any notable stars show up by chance? If not that would've been a shame. That alone provides incredible buzz.

Some need extra informations, I believe ...
Over 130,000 Porsche Design P9981 Devices Sold : Best Selling Item at Harrods in 2012.

Time for Mr Chen to have 'The Talk ' with Frank Boulben.

He is most probably on borrowed time.

He just has to fulfil certain obligations which have been planned months ago.

After that Mr Boulben is no more.

There will be no BlackBerry Marketing Department.

This will be outsourced to an agency. There's a certain kudos with reviving a fallen brand and get more clients this way.

The competition starts here.....

Posted via CB10

Take Frank Boulben's $7 million "Golden Parachute" and go give it to an advertising firm that knows what they are doing and you will have much better results....

OF COURSE this is what Boulben would be spending his time doing... focusing on the 500 people that can purchase the P'.

We don't hear a word from him for months and then THIS is what we find out he's doing? So unimpressed. Frank should have left with Thor.

Why are they spending time on this foolishness. They should be investing it in Z30 awareness.

Posted via CB10

Adam should have kicked Frank Boulben to express our collective disgust with his performance as CMO.

Posted via CB10 from the BlackBerry Z10

I also can't believe Frank Boulben is still with BlackBerry considering that a lot of my old colleagues and friends recently lost their jobs at the company! And what are they doing launching what is essentially a disguised Z10 in Porsche clothing? Who actually buys this device, I'd love to know because the word 'Ostrich' springs to mind!

BlackBerry should really be concentrating on building the most kick ass ultra specced out device that will kill the competition. Why are they always behind? Also, this talk of the Z50 coming in Q3 of 2014 is not going to do them any favors if the rumours hold begs belief sometimes.

I'd like to hear's opinion of this man and his terrible decisions...are you guys afraid of stepping on toes?

Posted via CB10

@ ferm - you don't get invited to parties if you piss on the hosts.. also, Z30 has some pretty nice specs - but you can only get it at one carrier in the USA.... did Frank cut that pathetic deal with VZ????

Or was it Thor????


For sure man. I actually use the Z30 and love it, it's not a cutting edge device but the OS is way ahead of all the others and everyone on our BES 10 POC are really enjoying BB10. I just think it's about time BlackBerry bring something out with the WOW factor, if at all possible...I hope this new CEO brings about much needed change...

Posted via CB10

Can't believe all the hype and marketing for a handset that's only available in limited numbers and costs a fortune. Here in the UK you can't even get a demo of the Z30 every Carphone Warehouse I've tried say they don't have any demo models. I've even been told by more than one salesperson that the Z30 is exactly the same as my Z10 but only bigger???. Don't know if this is down to BlackBerry or Carphone Warehouse for insufficient staff training but its a problem that needs to be addressed.

Posted with my Z10 via CB

I could have asked for better marketing of the event.....who knew that this was taking place in NYC? Sure it was no doubt an exclusive event, but did any main steam media cover it? Doubt any network will pick up on it on the day commemorating JFK's death, 50 years.

Posted via CB10

Hey Crackberry. Why don't you ask for an interview with Mr Boulben and get some background (so far as he's allowed to say) on BlackBerry marketing?

It's pretty clear BlackBerry expected the carriers to push BB10 devices but now we find AT&T and Verizon hardly show the devices.

Something happened to damage the relationship. It's about time BlackBerry told its supporters and shareholders the truth - regardless of what that does to their carrier relationships. Not like they could be any worse than they already are.

Why is Frank "The Boulb" Boulben still working for BlackBerry?! That dipstick is one of the reasons the company is where it is...

Damn it! They have to clean house completely! No more vestiges and dead weight from the past! It's bad enough we are stuck with The Cryptkeeper aka Pringle Watsahisname, why do we still have this dingleberry anchoring around our necks?!

Call me when The Boulb had burned out and been replaced...until then, be prepared for more of the same!

Cartman says: Screw you guys, I'm going home!

Frank needs to go already. I'm a shareholder and I don't care if he's responsible for the anemic bb10 launch (ie, he wanted to do things differently but was not allowed). It's the perception that matters.

Posted via CB10

Let me get this straight the head of marketing made an appearance in new York united States of America???
The,same place they have non existent advertising?
The same place where one carrier has their new flagship and its not even stocked in stores???
The same place where they launched the platform worldwide and didn't have any ready stateside for sale???

And he's here to announce the release of a few hundred phones that will barely make back what was spent designing and building them????

Yeah if there was ever a moment for a picard wtf meme this is it.....

Posted from a phone....

Frank,when are you going to get your department to produce? I'ts your baby and you are responsible for it.Enough of the I'LL MILK THE POSITION attitude!! Hurts EH!!

I'm happy to see BlackBerry isn't shying away from relationships, while the Porsche design is impractical for my needs, it's nice knowing there's another niche out there not dominated by the competition.

Sent from my BlackBerry Z30

Well... the competition seems more interested in market share and profits than distracting vanity projects.

So yeah, they let bbry play in the shit niche markets by themselves. Wouldn't you?.

Posted via CB10

This company never, I say NEVER ceases to amaze me! Frank went because he works out of the NYC office, not Waterloo. Also, his pal Chen told him to go. This event is simply a pompous and arrogant display! This guy wanted to chill with "his people" not the other 99.9% who pay his salary. I agree with one post, the 4500 watch this in disgust. Bet watching the Corporate Jet circle Waterloo every morning feels good too! Prem and Chen want to complete collapse. BB will NEVER get it.

Why is that useless git Boulben still around?





Is doomed. :(

My ZeeTen strikes again! (Z10STL100-3/

How can BlackBerry retain this guy after all the marketing failures? Not a good sign!

Posted via CB10

Marketing has been lame. As much as people laugh at me when they hear me say how good my Z10 is, once they have it in their hands for a few minutes, they have pretty much all said that it is a really good phone and they would buy but they never got to try it out in stores or hear about it anywhere.

I'm in the States btw.

Posted via CB10

That's a great idea, blackberry should make that app, Angry Advertiser, launch frank into a stacked pile of Z10s.

Posted via CB10

They could have outsourced entire marketing department and do a better job cheaper than this french bureaucratic overpaid nitwit. And the phone is ugly. Standard black Z10 looks much sleeker. This looks like 80s RCA TV.