A French TV look at BlackBerry (featuring a few minutes spent with CrackBerry Kevin)

By Kevin Michaluk on 11 Feb 2011 02:28 pm EST

Here's a fun video for a Friday afternoon as we head into the weekend... Back in late October 2010 two members of the production crew for the France-based television show Capital (that airs on station M6 on Sunday evenings) came to Canada to do a segment on Research In Motion and BlackBerry following the success RIM has had in that market. Capital hit up RIM's Headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario, first, but like most big tech companies RIM doesn't easily open their doors up to the press so the crew jumped on a plane and flew a couple hours west to Winnipeg and hung out with me for the day to get another perspective.

Check out the video above which takes a look at the history and success of BlackBerry, and also looks at some of the side stories to the big RIM show. In addition to seeing me at my daily CrackBerry blogging routine Capital also spent some time with Eric from Allerta, who's manufacturing the InPulse Smartwatch for BlackBerry. The video is in french, but if you listen carefully you can still hear the english underneath the french dubbing in most parts (if anybody wants to translate the narration in the comments that would be awesome!). My segment hits at the 4m45s mark. I hope you enjoy the show! 

Reader comments

A French TV look at BlackBerry (featuring a few minutes spent with CrackBerry Kevin)


I feel bad for the french people, that they only know the blackberry, they should try the iPhone or androids.

The need to realize that every blackberry is a same dinosaurs. every single model... sorry but they don't even impress me at all. (including the playcrap, ups sorry the playwhatever.

By the way, no offense

I feel bad for all those people stuck in the Apple distortion field. but we cant save em all now can we.

and oh yah. no offense.

non taken, but i could tell you that i or we have a better devices than y'all. again no offense.

I'm glad that i got out from the dark world of RIM. (i only had blackberry for 9 or 10 moths). thanks god.. i never going back..

I feel sorry for y'all. because you don't wanna open your eyes and see what POS you guys have.

And also i come here because this is a open website for all, and this is america and freedom is my right, like or no.

You get an iPhone or droid, and then you will see how POS is that blackjunk that you have..

By the way how many times a day you have to pull the battery to reset you blackjunk.

No offense, that was 1 of the too many reasons that rim loose a customer.

Everybody's entitled to their own opinion, but I came from Apple, and found my Torch much nicer. Also, for the times that I actually HAD to reboot at that time, iPhones and iPods are worse (actual experience). My BlackBerry usually only needs a reboot for installing/deleting certain apps and switching themes, and for none of them (except for installing some apps that need access to your core functionality) does it matter much whether you reboot right away or in a week... So enjoy your iPhone/Android, and take comfort in the fact that if you got an iPhone you can easily make it unusable until you plug it into iTunes by doing a simple key combination.

you must be venezuelan, because they are the only ones thing blackberry is the S**T.

i think you are lying, you never have an iPhone. and yes you have to reeboot you junkberry, 5 or 6 times a day plus anytime you install any app.

And also i see you are with bb, for the bbm.. (PIN in venezuela).

Boy open your eyes.

no offend at all boy.. but my english is not perfect but i got your attention.

Too bad for you don't like iPhone but every blackberry lover is like that (blind).

No offense.

iphone users are blinder than anyone else. They're all in love with Steve Jobs and drinking the kool-aid. They put out a device that had a defect in the antenna and Apple shut every up by offering a free case. talk about POS phones.

iPhone the best? Cmon boy! That phone is bullshit... There is tones of limitations on the phone... Can you watch a movie without converting? Can you download a song from the net (media fire, 4shared... ) or even a movie!? No you cant. Go down to a basement and tell me how your reception is! Sure you have lots of apps but seriously give me a break! There is millions of useless apps in that store... You cant do shit without iTunes... My BB torch syncs my music wireless from my pc automatically... And it never gives me any errors or I never need to do a battery pull! The thing just works... I had an iPhone 4 and the reception was getting on my last nerves... The iTunes dependence is bullshit... And not being able to have a file manager on the phone!? And you call that a smartphone??? I call it an iPod with the call app installed cuzz thats what it is! I am French a and believe me, we are not blind or anything! Alors je te dit une chose! Merde au iPhone =P

you can go wherever you like and give your opinion, that's your right as a human being. but please, dont be a racist. what does him living in another country have to do with anything. you made a few other crappy comments but im not going to reply to them all. point is if you have criticism about a device, then be a little more constructive and dont act like a two year old with a new toy (your computer).

and for the record, i dont have to battery pull everyday even if i install an app. and if you are going to go after the battery pull issue, at least we have a battery that we can pull. what happens when your iphone freezes?

people will have a million points defending their position for the device they chose. dont go calling them liars if you dont like what they have to say and have nothing constructive to say to it.

Trollers gotta troll, its who they be. But I gotta feel sorry for someone who gets their kicks from insulting a phone & the ppl who love them. At the end of the day, they're just phones, whether you like bb, iphone or droid. Get a life.

great video! its nice to see crackberry behind the scenes hah. also sweet place you got there man =]

Thanks! The one good thing about living in Winterpeg is that the real estate is pretty reasonable. Cold winters and mosquitos in the summer tend to make that happen.

lol well with a place like that i'd be staying indoors if i was in the neighborhood.. no need to worry about the cold or mosquitos!

BlackBerry :
My Mobile Office

They appear just before the break of dawn as the office lights turn on.
In Paris it is possible to find them in the subway, and at first nothing seems to differenciate them from their counterparts but there is one key difference.
They are all looking down staring at a particular cellphone. They have yet to arrive at the office but already they are working.

What are you doing now?

"I am replying to yesterday's work emails"
"I am contacting a collegue"

Emails Internet and Phone a device that allows its owner to work everywhere at any time.
Everyday it gains new fans who wouldn't give up their favorite phone for anything else.

Are you really addicted?
"Yeah, I struggle without it"
" It is hard to stop using it once you have tested it"

Today the BlackBerry has invaded the business world.

After the Tuxedo it has become the new symbol of the succesful manager.

With a keyboard simular to those found on PC's and a screen on which you can see your e-mail in real time. A true pocket office. The first of it's kind. It has changed the life of millions of office workers so much that some are regretting having layed hands on one.

Here is the story of a cellphone like no others aiming to make you more productive.

YEAH YEAH YEAH, the cellphone business is been good since the first iPhone came out on 2007, and people have been buying the iphone as crazy..

Look the droids, with 28 different devices, and they are claiming the mount.

Look blackberry is behind, in sales and they don't care about what you guys want.

And if you love a lot RIM, so why the hell you have a mac book? what kind of loyalty is that.?

you must be more human than anyone else. you seem to make a lot more mistakes (that includes your opinions).

You are saying he has a mac computer... Whats the point when we talk about phones? Are you that retarded? damn trolls LOL

To my limited knowledge, 'boy', RIM has not yet made a PC or Laptop device. Your poorly phrased and childish opinions have also clouded the notion that brand loyalty doesn't mean you won't buy another company's product, 'boy'. For one to say they like RIM's products, is not to say they don't like Apple's, HP's, Trojan's or Durex. But, judging by your arguments, you're in middle school at best, so you might not be familiar with those last two, 'boy'.

These days reading an e-mail on a mobile phone is nothing special, but at first it was revolutionary.

It all started on the other side of the pond
in Canada, one hour's drive from Toronto in the Waterloo region.
At first sight a wild land where few vehicles mix with horse drawn carts in a community living isolated from the world and from modern life. But however we are here in Canada's "Sillicon Valley". Here people work for NASA, giant computer or internet companies. In total more than five hundred high tech companies and a local star: A telecom "guru" who is held in high regards by his city.

Despite appearances we are in the very serious Waterloo city council building, and today it's haloween.

And there are certain topics that the director of economic affairs does not joke with.

Mike is the guy with glasses on the left the inventor of the BlackBerry. 1984 he was 23 and was studying engineering in Waterloo. He was studying wireless data transmission and got intersted in an up an comming technology e-mails which at that time was not known by the general public.

Because at this time internet was just pionneers sending messages from computer to computer. This would later become what is now known as e-mails.

But Mike already felt that it would revolutionize our lives.

Wireless transmissions, electronic messages. The idea for the BlackBerry started blooming in his mind

RIM (Research In Motion) Mike Lazaridis (the BlackBerry's eventual inventor)'s company.

Today 13 000 people work for him.
One of every ten smartphones sold worldwide is a BlackBerry.
A company as prosperous as it is secretive. Despite our multiple requests they refused to let us in. So to learn more about RIM we went out and met one of the most respected men in the BlackBerry universe.
In Winnipeg Canada the first thing that Kevin does in the morning is turn on his computer and go hunting for news.
(Release of the Bold 9780) Segment
The reason Kevin is so happy is that he is going to be one of the first one to announce the news to the world on his website dedicated to RIM's products.

A site on which you can find articles on the brand cellphone reviews and even an accesory store.
Kevin site is the most popular when it comes to talking about" the canadian phone manufacturer" with 15 Million monthly visitors.

A succesful site which enabled him to finance his beautiful flat as well as a big 4x4 vehicle.

And his favorite object(his BlackBerry) is never very far it never has time to cool down.

This small house used to belong to his grandfather.
It is from there that he manages his team and made a name for himself by realizing blockbuster movies in his small studio.

And today it is a europe bound model that he is presenting to the fans.

As soon as Kevin lays hands on a new BlakBerry model he records a video for the website's faithfull viewers.

Videos that in total have been seen more than 10 Million times.

But the heroes of Kevin's movies look nothing like the first BlackBerry that Mike Lazaridis launched twelve years ago when sending e-mails started to take off.

Here is what the first ever BlackBerry looked like.
It had a black and white screen and a keyboard for writing messages, but couldn't be used as a cellphone. It was called the RIM 950.
This plastic handset was however revolutionary

It was the first device on which you could send and receive e-mails where ever you were.

But this device sold poorly because it had something missing.

4 years later Mike unites two inventions in one handset and the Smartphone was born.

He just had to find a name for his device

An employee remarked that the keys on the keyboard looked lke a strawberry but that name didn't sound very good so he chose BlackBerry.
A small mobile office that would be used by millions of people from the general public to celebrities.
Singers and actresses have made it into a fashion icon
The queen of England and even Obama admits being unable to live without it so much that his spokesman had to speak about it publicly.

Millions of people use it last year bringing in 15 Billion in revenue to the canadian firm. It is mainly companies who are willing to dip into their pockets because Mike Lazaridis made them a promise. His cellphone was going to make employees more productive than ever.

In Waterloo Canada, RIM's CEO is not the only one with good ideas.
Eric setup his company because he had a bike, a BlackBerry and a problem.

Eric had to dismount from his bicycle to find out what was happening with his cellphone this was not practical.He had an idea, and like it is commonly done in north america he setup a startup company at home with a couple of friends.
Here is what Eric and his university mates came up with 18 months ago. A watch linked with the wearers mobile telephone.

It displays e-mails and when your phone rings it displays caller ID.

It took Eric 18 months to complete his invention which he now sells for 149 dollars.

But he develloped his first model at an engineering school for much cheaper.

The watch is now shipping in North America and if it is successful these young canadians are hoping to earn a few hundred thousand dollars with theri BlackBerry watch.

A new gadget that is bringing you even closer to your office.
Not making everybody happy, some are already starting to crack and peopla are resisting smartphones.
In the United States some employees have even sued their workplace asking for payment of the "BlackBerry Overtime."

i think Adam (Tonusso) bit the devil's apple. He's now the devil's advocate, STAY AWAY FROM HIM!

Anyway, nice video Kevin :)

I had tons of BlackBerries, then I switched to the iPhone4, after 2 months, I sold the iPhone and now I'm delighted with my Torch, waiting for the much anticipated new devices..... BB Forever!!!

Chouette! J'aime bien ma Blackberry! Je vais avoir une Blackberry a toujours! That was great to hear it in French. I actually used to be able to speak it really well when I lived in France, but it's been so many years ago now. I actually understood probably 75% or more of that, so that was good. Though I don't think I'd be a very good translator. I'm sure there's a BB app for that? LOL!

Your French is good man, in France, finding someone who speaks English in the streets is hard... challenge accepted!

Tonusso, I'm free to make the combination I want: I'm French, I have a MacBook and I have a BlackBerry Torch. Everything is running well so far and I'm not gonna be loyal to BlackBerry or Apple because I think that these two companies are specialists in their own fields. End of story. The guy needs to wake up, he still thinks it's Middle Age in here.

Quite a nice video! Congrats Kevin! I am sure the number of hits on CB have increased after this one :) And nice to see you in person ;)

Nice place Kevin, cribs, car, I didn't know you were so whealthy :)

By the way we can barely hear you talking. The French producer lowered your voice a bit. But since I speak French it was easy for me to understand. I guess you're going to be well knowed in France now. The producer said that you were the most respected man in the galaxy

Nice vid.

my gf is french, so Ill send this to her

But Kevin, why isn't THIS on the front page of Crackberry! I wanted to post it, but I don't think I am allowed to post news.

Need a boost in your AT&T Rollover Minutes account? Simply text "Yes" to 11113020 and AT&T will add 1,000 minutes to your Rollover Minute total.
It appears this began as a AT&T promotion where iPhone customers received an AT&T text offering the free minutes. More than likely an iPhone owner shares the info with an Android user who shares it with a Windows Phone user. Then someone blogs about it and the next thing you know everybody is taking advantage of the offer.
So far we haven't seen any strings attached to this offer but the reply does state it'll take up to 4 weeks to process (the minutes will probably appear on the next billing cycle. According to the iPhone text original distributed by AT&T, the offer ends on March 31, 2011. However, with everyone taking advantage of the offer we don't know how long it will take AT&T to catch on and pull the rug out from under this offer.
Source: Engadget