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Looking back at the incredible pace of change at BlackBerry in CEO John Chen's first six months

By Chris Umiastowski on 28 May 2014 03:05 pm EDT
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On November 4th, BlackBerry's board of directors made a shocking announcement. The company was officially ending its strategic review and eliminating the plan to go private. Instead they raised $1 billion in convertible debt, fired Thorsten Heins as CEO and brought in a guy named John Chen who was new to CrackBerry readers, but very experienced at technology turnarounds.

The financing closed on November 13th, which marked the first day on the job for the new BlackBerry boss. It has been just over six months since then. When you look at announcements (press releases) individually, it doesn't seem like much. But when you look at the collection of changes Chen had his hands I think you begin to see just how much work there was to be done.

Here's a list of what stands out the most when I look back.

  • November 25th, 2013: It took Chen just 12 days on the job, or three weeks since he knew he'd be in the CEO seat, to determine that his current C-level team was not right for the job. They dumped Kristian Tear and Frank Boulden from their respective COO and CMO jobs. Roger Martin also left the company's board of directors. Remember him? It doesn't surprise me that Chen didn't see a place for these folks given his forward looking vision.

  • December 17th, 2013: John Chen's first hire is a former colleagues, John Sims, who will run the enterprise business. It's clear just how vital Chen sees the enterprise business to BlackBerry's future, and he wastes no time in putting in a known (to him) leader.

  • December 18th, 2013: John Chen continues his rapid-fire new hire process with two new executives. Both gentlemen take EVP titles to handle corporate development & strategic planning (James Mackey) and marketing (Mark Wilson).

  • December 20th, 2013: BlackBerry reports Q3 results where Chen announces a 5-year joint venture with Foxconn, the Asian design and manufacturing giant, so that BlackBerry can better control its cost structure, inventory, and offer lower-cost devices for emerging markets.

  • January 6th, 2014: With a new plan in place to design and build hardware both internally and with Foxconn, Chen wastes no time in hiring a new leader for the device business. This man, Ron Louks, is the former CTO of Sony Erickson and the former chief strategy officer for HTC America.

  • January 13th, 2014: It seems there is no stopping John Chen as he builds a brand new management team. Eric Johnson is hired as the new global head of sales. The changes Chen implements result in long-time BlackBerry executives Rick Costanzo (sales) and Chris Wormald (business development) to move on.

  • February 2014: With Chen's new team in place, the real work begins. On Feb 25th BlackBerry announced the upcoming Q20 "classic" which tells us that Chen's new team listens to what customers want. On the enterprise side, that same day, BES 12 was announced, which gives IT managers some of what they've been asking for including the EZ Pass migration plan and new pricing for BES 10 licenses.

  • April 1st, 2014: BlackBerry severs ties with T-Mobile USA. Chen later commented on how T-Mobile clearly has a consumer focus, which doesn't align with BlackBerry's enterprise focus.

  • April 15th, 2014: BlackBerry makes an investment in NANTHEALTH, demonstrating (in part) how Chen sees BlackBerry playing in regulated and security-dependent markets including healthcare, government, financial services and legal.

  • May 13, 2014: BlackBerry officially announces plans to allow other MDM platform makers to support their hardware. It's clear that Chen's new team believes that MDM capabilities will become a commodity, and BlackBerry needs to offer value far beyond the basics.

  • May 14, 2014: The first Foxconn-designed device, the Z3 (Jakarta), is unveiled in Indonesia at a price of about US $189.

  • May 21, 2014: Project Ion is announced: This is likely a project that was started back when Mike Lazaridis still had an active role, and perhaps was not a major priority in the first months of Chen's leadership since there was so much more pressing work to be done. Yet we're still curious how BlackBerry fits into the world of the "Internet of Things"

As you can see, it's been a very busy six months for John Chen, with an early focus on rebuilding his management team and offloading much of the device building responsibility to Foxconn. From there the effort shifted very quickly towards servicing enterprise customers.

While I'm certainly encouraged by the amount of change that he's led the company through in his first six months, it's still too early to judge him on results. We need to see how the new BES rollout goes later this year. We need to see BlackBerry generate meaningful growth in software and service revenue.

99 comments

TranceRomance

Nice

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  )  ‎BlackBerry Q10...oh wait a sec....its my new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The holy grail of phones! Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! LOL! #longestsignatureever

TranceRomance

Just a little fun with a first.

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  )  ‎BlackBerry Q10...oh wait a sec....its my new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The holy grail of phones! Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! LOL! #longestsignatureever

freddysrevng3

Umi...nice "recap"....

How is QNX going to be monetized as the underpinning for project ion, Carplay etc?

I may have missed it monetary impact to BlackBerry on the earnings calls I have listened to - since BBRY bought QNX, but I don't think so.

Trance..."Congratulations on the Z30"....your "Club Z30" membership papers are in the mail.

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

TranceRomance

Dope! I was going to ask you when I could become a member!

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  )  ‎BlackBerry Q10...oh wait a sec....its my new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The holy grail of phones! Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! LOL! #longestsignatureever

BGK

What?? There's a club for Z30..... huh how about that. :)

bldshd

Where's my membership? I rep the ultimate Z30 all day

Posted via CB10

TranceRomance

Your photo with Kev should catapult you into the club.

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  ) new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The Thor's Hammer of phones! Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile. Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! #longestsignatureeverthatishortenedabit

mandony

Sad but true, since there is a new President the BB sales of handsets have dropped from somewhat under 3% of the market (or as projected by some analysts today) to less than 0.9% of the market (perhaps less than 10M BB smartphones sold this year).

There is a perception that BB=handsets.

While we at CB have been made aware, the direction of the company is toward business services not hardware. For stockholders this should be positive. Uncharted territory, for generalized stock analysts this likely sounds shaky for the company.

IMO, it sounds good on paper that the 'classic' will bring rewards and new positive sales. In history however, OS10 has not revived the status of the company.

playbookdrew

Less than 10M this year? I don't think they've sold 10M BB10 devices since launch!

Personally I don't think he's done much as far as the general public is concerned. He has announced some products 9 months to a year before they're ready for market, causing confusion and frustration.

mandony

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-28/blackberry-market-share-to-fall...

"BlackBerry’s global shipments are projected to fall almost 50 percent this year to about 9.7 million smartphones, according to a new forecast today from research firm IDC. BlackBerry’s worldwide market share will slide to 0.8 percent in 2014 and may slip to 0.3 percent by 2018, IDC said."

Yasch22

BB has sold 5 million BB10s since the launch in late January, 2013.
The directions of sales numbers is indicated by the last two quarters:
Q3/14. 4.3 million sold through. 1.1m BB10; 3.2m BB7.
Q4/14. 3.4 million sold through. 1.1m BB10; 2.3m BB7. Also, approx. 700,000 BB10s were sold as part of what the company called "Inventory recovery", or phones that once had been written off but were subsequently discovered to be quite sale-worthy.

KingOfQwerty

IMO, moving legacy BES customers to BES10/12 shall be the priority so as to generate revenue and also shutdown legacy BES ops to cut down cost. BBRY cannot ride a dual horse to profit.
Consumers, though are in no way in sight to cater except lip service.

BionicKris

Oh, boy. Just wait 'til you know who sees this and goes off on ya. ;-)

 Lovin' my Z10! 

Oglon3r

2 slow for me.

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

ArcPlug

I see what you did there. Nice.

TranceRomance

Lol!

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  )  ‎BlackBerry Q10...oh wait a sec....its my new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The holy grail of phones! Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile. Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! LOL! #longestsignatureever

freddysrevng3

Trance. Thanks for turning around your "Club Z30" paperwork so quickly and prepaying your dues for the entire year.

Welcome to "Club Z30"....

Be sure to put - Member of "Club Z30" the most exclusive club in mobile - on your CB tag line.

Congratulations

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

TranceRomance

I think I speak for all of us when I say we are behind Chen and his vision for BlackBerry. He has made a lot positive headway for the company and like I said before....the more you speak about your goals the better chance you have of achieving them.

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  )  ‎BlackBerry Q10...oh wait a sec....its my new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The holy grail of phones! Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! LOL! #longestsignatureever

Observation Junkie

Top remarks TranceRomance.

 Posted by the Crackberry Pirate  ‎

BlackberryFan777

You don't speak for me. Chen is eloquent and I like the way he talks, but his initial strategy was based on a view of the market -- particularly, the "enterprise" market -- that's just wrong. I'm not sure what he really believes because he's frequently contradictory in his statements, but I think his views and understanding are improving. And, I like that he understands that the present needs competitive devices, but I don't like his failure to deliver. If he blows 2014 and doesn't release the Windermere, I'll probably start a grassroots movement to request the board fire him. But, really, it'll just be too late by then.

Posted via CB10

TranceRomance

I hear ya but you have to admit that something has to be done and yes they're baby steps but at least he has a game plan. Some might agree and some won't. But doing something is better than hiding under the rocks. If....big IF he fails at least he did what he felt was best to move the company forward. For that I can't and never will knock him.

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  )  ‎BlackBerry Q10...oh wait a sec....its my new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The holy grail of phones! Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile. Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! LOL! #longestsignatureever

ArcPlug

If what he's doing keeps high end BlackBerry handsets in my hand, he's got my vote.

BGK

Amen to that - Mr.Chen has my very happy vote - he's turning this mess around as far as I can see.

TranceRomance

That's what I'm saying. From this article and the way it's outlined we can see positive changes. I think some people want the success to be fast like over night fast. I've said this before too....Chen is getting all his chess pieces moved into place for his check mate. Chess is a very strategic game that takes patience and time. Chen knows he's up against other skilled players so he is taking his time.

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  )  ‎BlackBerry Q10...oh wait a sec....its my new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The holy grail of phones! Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile. Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! LOL! #longestsignatureever

PatrickMJS

He is making a lot of significant moves. Time will tell if he can pull a rabbit out of his hat.

At some point in 2015, I assume IMHO they will have to put a major focus on the consumer sector. And release a touchscreen successor to the Z30, itself an awesome device but by this time next year, the Z30 replacement should be out with a kickass marketing plan.

Posted via CB10

georg4BB

He stated that BlackBerry is working on a new full touchscreen device. Should be out this time next year.

Posted via CB10

trsbbs

Way too long of a wait. Again, JC dies not seem the customer buying cycles.

I will not wait that long. Period.

I feel I'm not alone. Oh, maybe I am. Everyone else already left BlackBerry.

Using a BlackBerry Z10! The "UnDroid"!

Andy321

if you need a new berry sooner...why not upgrade from you z10 to Z30? Seriously, do we need 3 new 'flagship' all touch handsets in a year?

dejanh

Because the Z30 is barely an upgrade. I know, I own it, a Z10, and a Q10.

Posted via CB10

THBW

Your living in la la land. I actually own a Z10, have access to a q10 and have worked with the z30. If you can’t see the difference, there is frankly something wrong with your senses. I might suggest a visit to the doctor.

Posted via CB10

Andy321

I had a z10 for 10 months and now a Z30 for the last 2 or so. I get your comment to a point, but I do think the Z30 is a material upgrade from the Z10. Just my opinion.

Posted via CB10

Prem WatsApp

I wish I could play with one, Andy. Daily, I mean.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Graheem

Wish he'd been there instead of Thorsten Heins but sure glad he is here now.

TranceRomance

Right?! I feel we would not be in this mess if Chen had grabbed the keys and been the designated driver.

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  )  ‎BlackBerry Q10...oh wait a sec....its my new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The holy grail of phones! Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! LOL! #longestsignatureever

BGK

I agree with you TranceRomance.

Prem WatsApp

Trance is back and on a roll!

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

NamelessStar

Chen has done some amazing things, as an IT guy I can't wait to see how BES12 works that is their golden ticket for the future.

Posted via CB10 on my blazing fast Z30

scalemaster34

I'll agree that he isn't Mike and Jim's lackey like Thor was.....

Not sure he knows what he is doing or that the company is in a position to get to where it needs to be. But at least he is making changes and trying to focus on what their best options are.

DaSchwantz

Yeah, the real question is why the hell they didn't lead off with BES 12 right from the get go.

Posted via CB10

Prem WatsApp

Because anyone, even the smartest fella, needs time to evaluate the situation. Then you really realize what's needed, and BES12 was one of the things.

You just walk into a place and immediately know what's missing? I don't quite believe ya, mate.

Time to take the Birkenstocks off, put the steelcaps on and kick some ...

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

wincyUt

Unease lies the head that wears the crown but IMO John Chen is really doing his very best for BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

New_Z10

Fired! I thought he left the company to spend more time with his family and pursue other exciting endeavors!!

Posted via CB10

rickster2611

After a very harsh winter, Mr Chen is now looking to plant the seeds that will germinate into shoots of financial stability.

When Mr Chen has been in the job a full year then we will know if his plans have worked.

I'm just confused that with the implementation of BB10 back in January.

Why didn't BlackBerry change the design portfolio of the devices to a a more aesthetic feel. My reasoning is that BB10 is a brand new operating system built from scratch. If it was a continuation of OS7 I would understand.

Do you remember the early Nike training shoes, they had the name and the 'swoosh ' in the early days. Now just the swoosh saving millions.

Apple have done the same from the multi coloured symbol to a more cleaner look.

BlackBerry has failed to capture the imagination of the public and business.

If you were to put a an OS7 device and BB10 device side by side and ask someone which the device has the newest operating system.

I am sure that they would get it wrong.

BlackBerry needs a brand reinvention.

BlackBerry needs to show that this is brand new device range.

Lose the lettering and adopt just the BlackBerry symbol to the Power of 10© in the start up sequence and the back cover.

BlackBerry...Get it done!!!! ©

Posted via CB10

TranceRomance

I like the re-branding idea!

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  )  ‎BlackBerry Q10...oh wait a sec....its my new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The holy grail of phones! Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile. Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! LOL! #longestsignatureever

Edders1964

I agree with Patrick....a lot of us, who got the Z10 when released, will be out of contract early next year...where is the next high end touchscreen??

Posted via CB10

eyesopen1111

I'm an American consumer on T-Mobile who prefers all-touch, high end smartphones. There are millions like me. What is Chen doing for us? Not a whole lot from what I can see.

Chen's T-Mobile meltdown was foolish and counter-productive. The explanation that T-Mo is "consumer focused" as a reason to break distribution ties when BlackBerry needs to improve carrier relations simply doesn't cut it. And how fast can Chen get out of the Z30 exclusivity deal with Verizon? It's probably too late to much matter, but I hope that the lesson is learned and that future exclusivity deals are avoided.

Chen's device priorities are also suspect to my ears. They have been heavily hinted at to down-prioritize known popular form factors, like the all touch form, and to up-prioritize long-shot form factors like the Windermere. We'll see how that goes, but I'm on the side that thinks the Z50 should be the immediate priority.

Posted via Z-10 100-3 running10.3.0.296/442 hybrid

DoryGuy

You should be thankful that T-Mobile and Blackberry have severed ties. Now you can get the latest OS direct from BBRY, you are free from those terrible two year contracts where you pay 2x the actual cost of the phone. You can upgrade anytime, both the OS and the phone.... cry me a river. <Big Red customer having made a terrible mistake in upgrading vs dropping them.>

BerryRipe

I have always and will always believe in Mr. Chen!

 BlackBerry Q10  Keep The Faith 

todparsons

Sounds good so far just hope blackberry makes its comeback. People haven't even heard of bb10 phones and even if they have most of them just say they're rubbish not knowing anything. I just think that if bb10 was released better in the first place we wouldn't be in such a bad position. But I'm no pro.

Z10 on T-mobile running 10.2.1.2947

1magine

We (meaning BBRY) are in this position because BB released the Tour and the Storm and its progeny. Cheap - low end hardware with a heavily outdated OS. They focused instead on bringing the Playbook to market despite the incessant pleas of insiders and others who tried to explain that consumers wanted I-pads, not necessarily tablets and that the QNX OS used on the Playbook should first be brought to a higher end BB device. Instead as their position and market share faltered they made cheaper and cheaper devices with an OS that then co-CEOs had already determined was well out of date (hence why OS7 was not used on the Playbook) hoping to make money on handset sales. Instead, they poisoned the well. Enterprise users who were locked in to a BES learned to hate BB and continually voiced their frustration with lack of apps, device resetting, hourglass spinning etc.. until BYOD took hold.

The path back.. more complicated. The first shot they had was with the release of BB10. Rather than a Tylenol or Dominoes type ('We messed up, we delivered bad products, we're sorry, this is how we 're fixing it') campaign, they screwed the pooch and blew the funds on a ridiculous Super Bowl commercial that is only known as being one of the worst, ill conceived disasters in the genre. The second shot was with the Z30. A great device released at a time with other great devices with higher specs, more apps and lower price tags. To this day, the Z30 is still $499 off-contract at Verizon.

The next move(s) are far more difficult and lengthier. More likely than not a multi tiered- multi year approach to reintroduce the world to BB top end security features, re-capitalizing on low end markets and rebuilding some consumer presence by introducing higher end phones with lower price tags and far better marketing. If BB ever gets back, it will be a very long road. They did not go from $120 a share to $7.00+ overnight. They won't get back to 20% market share and $70 p/share for at least as many years.

The_Alpha_Geek

John Chen has been doing a wonderful job, given the circumstances. He has a plan and is acting on it.

I do think that focusing on enterprise in the near term is the way to go to build back up to profitability, but also echo sentiments felt by the "regular consumers". There is a segment of the BlackBerry faithful that want an all touch, high-end device and I believe that BlackBerry should meet these needs. However, this will cost money and take up resources. If it is more profitable for BlackBerry to go the enterprise route until sales are back up, then they should do that and then focus on high-end "consumer" all touch devices when the money is there.

As long as the high-end "enterprise" w/ hardware keyboard is readily able to be purchased by consumers, should they want it, it's all good to me.

Whatever it takes to keep the company going.

Posted via CB10

trsbbs

Jury is still out on JC. So far all words and no real show.

I fear he will kill the cell phone side of things.

Not impressed yet. In fact getting concerned enough to start looking at other brands of phone.

JC has done nothing to calm my nor anyone else's nerves.

6 months down.

The clock is ticking.

Using a BlackBerry Z10! The "UnDroid"!

DoryGuy

I'm hoping his next move is to sell the Z3 through Walmart with the mo/mo contracts that Walmart offers. It's a competitive phone at $180

trsbbs

I don't think we will since JC seems to be killing the consumer side of things.

Using a BlackBerry Z10! The "UnDroid"!

KingOfQwerty

Exactly. By the way why he should, where every link in that line is broken. BBRY-carrier relations are stagnant, huge money in bringing new devices, the unsatisfied consumer, OS support cost, APPS or lack there of, varying demographic wants of consumers, marketing costs, blink you missed a new Android phone release, steady and strong release and marketing of Apple.....Phew.
If you carefully see, all the other device companies have finance flowing from their other businesses. So let BBRY focus on enterprise to generate revenue and re-focus on consumer later with strong device, brand and marketing.

Sorg644

Great things will come to Blackberry! Just wait and see! Long Live Blackberry!

Posted via CB10

John Kastanes

As an owner I am happy with his performance, honesty and intelligence. If your management is competent and trustworthy that is all you can ask for to be successful.

Posted via CB10

jpvj

I assume some of the work was initiated way before Mr. Chen was CEO. Cost savings being one example.

Management replacement is normal. The existing C-level made some bad decisions and it was time to let a new team try. Of course the new CEO would have a lot of influence on the new members.

What I like most about him is the way he faces the media: He presents his plans and visions for the company in such a way that people don't doubt him. Whether he is only presenting the solutions or he makes 100% of them is not important: He is the captain of the ship and his job is to give the orders and make everything work as good as possible.

He is very open and does not try to hide. People like that.

But he should support an open beta program for OS testing ;-)

Posted via CB10

Papadesaoud

John chen is amazing and doing a great job for that matter.

Posted via CB10

RayGTX

I commend Mr. Chen for his efforts and agree that enterprise is the best route for BlackBerry. I also agree that blackberry should focus on markets that are gonna generate revenue (which they have been). But I'm getting the notion that the end user isn't the priority. How did I come to this conclusion? Where are the apps. I still don't see some high banking apps on bb10. Or some of the utilities and productivity tools that are on android or apple products (what good is a good sports car w/o performance parts). Yes they have new devices coming down the pike and the new Jakara is out in Indonesia. But where are those crucial apps. BlackBerry needs these asap. The young generation see blackberry as an old timers phone. Good for business (questionable by today's youth) but not good for social or so it may seem. Some may say, "Apps don't matter " or " Who care what the youth of today think" but these are the people who will be shaping the future and if all they know is the perception that BlackBerry is dead, then BlackBerry will be dead for consumers when it comes to end user mobile platform. Don't think so? Why would blackberry need to make a handset if they control the MDM that allows all devices and not just blackberry s to connect. BlackBerry will survive but at corporate levels in the background managing devices such as windows, android and apple. If they can get that revenue stream at the backend, why would they waste resources on their own mobile device and lose money (food for thought)?

Once blackberry get their foothold on enterprise completed, they should go full force after mobile computing but the correct way. Not this half baked effort like of not having a dock that connects BlackBerry devices to a monitor. BB10 is supposed to be a mobile computing platform right? And where are the printing capabilities? Android phones can print w/o using a third party app. It's baked into their devices. These are just some of the things that can make BlackBerry more attractive to end users in the work force and more productive in the field.

Also, BlackBerry needs to market the hell out of this product. Push it until everyone knows what it can do. Get positive with all consumers (focus on the youth) and in the long run, BlackBerry will be able to compete with the likes of Android and Apple and just may possibly win this war.

Getting those ties with app developers is also important and if BlackBerry doesn't sway other developers to look and commit some apps for BlackBerry, it will hurt them in the end. The new generation only sees apple and android. Those are the flavors for the past couple of years.

Posted via CB10

TranceRomance

I don't think Chen is trying to kill the consumer side of things....its killing itself so he is shifting focus to what he feels will plant the seed for consumer growth down the road. I feel once BlackBerry regains the enterprise side of things that it will boost the consumer end. I mean, we got two new devices coming out soon. That's movement. Plus, in my personal opinion we need to be doing our part as consumers to spread the word or even promote BlackBerry. I do it a lot on my facebook and other social networking sites. Not to the point where I start getting de-friended but just enough to plant some seeds or get people to remember their love for BlackBerry.

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  )  ‎BlackBerry Q10...oh wait a sec....its my new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The holy grail of phones! Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile. Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! LOL! #longestsignatureever

KingOfQwerty

The consumer they are focusing right now are fan boys. Just to keep a linage to decide later on making a come back or scrap altogether.

TranceRomance

Haha! I can agree with that.

How's that signature you crybaby?! Waaaa!

johnm137

He is doing great with enterprises but he is hardly paying attention to consumers who are asking for high end touch screen phone and tablet.

Posted via CB10

Andy321

what is wrong with the Z30 (as a high end touch screen phone)?

Brayan Morales

Great job to our new ceo john!

He is really pushing blackberry into the spotlight that it should be in

Posted via CB10

opwave

I'm sorry, but I'm not seeing a lot to cheer for yet. All of Chen's achievements I'm this article can be summed as : 1. He fired a bunch of people and hired some other people. 2. He built a cheap phone for a super low end market that does nothing for N.A and enterprise market. 3. He severed ties with a cellular provider that is gaining popularity rapidly in U.S, limiting influence of BlackBerry in U.S even further.

I'm not saying those lives don't have a potential down the road, but we are still losing time versus big boys who are only getting farther ahead in both consumer and business world.

BlackBerry marketing is still horrible, and is one of the leading problems why devices don't sell. BlackBerry z30 is an amazing phone with more capabilities than most Apple and Windows phones, but no one I know has even heard of the device. And developers have little reasons to move their feet as a result as well.

Posted from my Blackberry Z30 on T-Mobile

ubeda92

Speaking as a TMobile customer running a Z10 on that company's network, severing ties with TMobile didn't strike me as all that bright.
I live less than a mile from a TMo store, which I visit about once a month. That store was prominently displaying the Q10, Z10, and at least one OS7 device right up to the bitter end. Based on what the salespeople repeatedly told me, that store wasn't moving the OS10 devices. However, most of this took place under the pre-Chen Blackberry regime--whose marketing for the OS10 devices was horrible and which never dropped the price on those devices at TMo--or if it did so, barely did so.
By the time Chen arrived, the OS10 devices at TMo had been stagnant for a long time. I still believe that Chen should not have severed ties with TMo.
Of course, based on what I see TMo doing with its Lumia Windows 8.0 (soon to be 8.1) Phones, Chen may have been dealing with a TMo regime that was 99% committed to Android and Apple software, which may have largely forced Chen's hand.
Despite Nokia constantly rolling updates to its apps for the past 1/2 year and recently rolling out a major Lumia "Black" (I believe it was called) update to its Lumia subsystem, TMo hasn't rolled out one new Lumia Windows 8 phone for over half a year. (TMo's Lumia "Monarch" low-mid end phone should be coming out in the next month. I don't know if TMo has announced any new high-end Windows 8 phones coming out soon.)
I would believe that Microsoft would have pushed TMo much harder to move the Windows 8 phones than Blackberry did with its phones, yet I don't see TMo "giving Microsoft much love" either.

TranceRomance

Some of that non movement I blame on both reps and BlackBerry. I'm doing my part though....

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  )  ‎BlackBerry Q10...oh wait a sec....its my new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The holy grail of phones! Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile. Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! LOL! #longestsignatureever

Z10NIZED

Can't wait to see the timeline in a couple of years!

I hope

Posted via CB10

brunolovesbrit

I love John Chen!!!!
He's making Heins' work blush

Posted via CB10

adonesc

While Chen has been quite busy over the past six months, trying to put his own imprint on BlackBerry, and establish his own team, we are not out of the woods yet, not by a long shot...

The most I can say about BlackBerry today under John Chen's leadership is that it seems more stable. He seems to have been able to calm the waters and the company is no longer in that anxiety prone posture it found itself under the leadership of Thorsten Heins Ketchup and definitely not that of Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsilille...the ass clowns that where responsible for BlackBerry's meteoric rise as well as its precipitous fall.

So, things are clearer and more stable. I should take that as a minor victory from a company that about one year ago seemed on its deathbed. If it was terminal last year, now it is stable, but still very critical...

For one I still don't trust Pringle Watsahisname aka The Cryptkeeper. BlackBerry's share of the market is still at 1%, and not growing...its actually shrunk more, not as fast as before, but still...not much to celebrate on that account.

BB10 while a tremendous and versatile OS that can only mature and grow, and whose applications could be exponential, has yet to make any headway, ditto for the devices, Q5, Q10, Z10 and Z30...great in all aspects, but no one seems to be aware of them , as BlackBerry continues the same horrible tradition of nonexistent marketing and promotion.

Still no love from major app developers...

The abandonment of the PlayBook by BlackBerry, while quite clear to all those tech experts and industry insiders, was not so for the average consumer, who had been promised a BB10 upgrade, including myself. For a company that seemingly fails to promote it's own products, this was a pretty costly mistake and a lesson in negative publicity.

The continued reliance, promotion and even upgrades for BB legacy devices and the BB7OS is not very encouraging and definitely not a good sign, especially when legacy devices not only outnumber the sales of BB10 OS devices, but actually make up the bulk of all devices sold by the company. A year and a half from the launch of BB10, the rate of upgrades among existing customers has been dismal to say the least, not to mention it's adoption by new customers, which is pretty much nonexistent...

Compare that to how fast and how many customers upgrade to new devices and changes in the OS for Apple and Android...and the differences and numbers are shocking...even Microsoft with its Windows platform and phones is ahead...then you realize the steep and almost impossible climb BlackBerry faces...

BlackBerry has yet to reap any significant or at least notable benefits from QNX. While full of possibilities, QNX more resembles a treasure trove of future promises but pretty much an impotent heap of maybes and perhapses at present.

The enterprise side of the company has gotten a lot of IOUS and promises, but has to yet be adopted on a large scale...BES 10, BES 12 anyone?!

A decent start for Chen but a very, very long and difficult time ahead...Good luck!

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

KingOfQwerty

This^^^
Nice summation. Way better than Chris' all-praise article.

Prem WatsApp

Good points, mate.

Zzzzwiped from a Zedevice....

world traveler and former ceo

Great confidence in his leadership....

Posted via CB10

tushargkwd

And we need to see how much BlackBerry can cut on losses and gets on path to recovery....
Only numbers will help me... though I'm optimistic this time around!
But due to thor I'm extra cautious! ;)

Posted via CB10... and my awesome Z10

parthokarki

Nice article here, we are positive on Mr chen's movements .

Posted via CB10

christoph77

Doing a remarkable job! Well done

C0038297E Quote of the Day (BBM Channel)

timmsy

I just read all that and was still glad I jumped ship, HTC one m8 all the way life is better now without BlackBerry in it anymore.

TranceRomance

M8 is a dope phone actually. I don't see it moving off our shelves though. But...enjoy that awesome phone.

How's that signature you crybabies?! Waaaa!

Prem WatsApp

I believe HTC is kinda doomed. More so than BBRY.

Simply no proper differentiation possible in a sea of Androids, everyone firing out of all barrels in the merciless specs war. And the Korean Goliath right in the midst of the brawl, but no David to challenge him anywhere in sight?

Zzzzwiped from a Zedevice....

timmsy

its upsetting to hear when people are blind to the rest of the smartphone market, the htc one old phone was the best selling android device last year bar the S4 and this years the HTC One M8 is the best selling android device, so I think you may take too many drugs, try reading something other then crackberry and you might have more of a broader playing field, I do.

I worked for blackberry and o2 and was a user of BB for 9 years, I finally took the plunge, and I have to say everything is better, including email and keyboard which everyone is all like BB is the best at that, its not anymore unfortunately.

I had a z10 broke came to upgrade and my only options, Q20 or Z30 and they are both backwards in specs anyway, I am not buying old crap because blackberry cant cut it anymore, the BB10 os is better, but its still pretty rubbish, active frames are annoying, swipe gestures were good but it was only the hub.

there is no eggs left in that basket whether they think there is or not. this time next year BB will be a software house like oracle but for the mobile and business market, or they will be sold out and gone.

timmsy

and the only real positive on crackberries own Z30 review is media playback and that is still better on the M8 with its boomsound and dual stereo speakers.

There is nothing positive or good about them anymore. nothing unfortunately I had blinkers on, at first I was like its going to be so hard to move over. HTC sense bluetoothed my BB to my HTC with all its settings, linked all my accounts, blinkfeed is integrated and organises all my news, email and notifications into one place like the hub, go look outside at reality, its changed. you really think with BB10 being out over 2 years now others haven't copied it? smell the coffee!

Prem WatsApp

HTC still posted a loss in 1Q 2014, and now they hope to DOUBLE their revenue for 2Q?

http://investors.htc.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=148697&p=irol-reportsOther

Is that realistic? Any comments on that?

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

timmsy

yeah loads of comments, they have 8 different phone models coming out all at the same time, what has blackberry done? talked a bit and then done nothing oh yeah. also best selling android device in 2014 = better revenue...what has blackberry got? oh yeah more millions of loses.

next...

TranceRomance

But that's where you start getting into hot water. I've used every OS and have worked in cellular for a long time, I hated BlackBerry until last year when I took the plunge (not by choice). The spec war is crazy in my opinion. It just to keep up with consumerism. Sure.....my Z30 doesn't have a 16 or 20mp camera, quad core processor, fingerprint scanner, but after using iPhone, windows and Android, I come to realize that all that spec really doesn't get used and Android is so big that these devices need all that just to handle the OS. This Z30 can go toe to toe with any device out there. The OS is smooth and doesn't need all that tech jargon.

How's that signature you crybabies?! Waaaa!

quizm

Nice article to take stock of actions. Seeing a clear strategy is important. What I do not understand is : a) continued weakness in product promotion, b) lack of clarity on android future, c) lack of system approach to end to end integration of software.

Posted via CB10

TranceRomance

See.....these are the things that should have been brought up during this so called interview.

How's that signature you crybabies?! Waaaa!

MobileZen

The biggest thing outside of stopping the bleeding and move towards cash +ve and growth in marketshare (correlated with improved reputation) is culture change. BlackBerry's culture was shaped by Mike L and Jim B and the people they surrounded themselves with. It's wasn't quite a good and positive one based on some information I received from there. So the "resignations" from key execs were actually good things rather than being viewed as jumping ship. Watch some of Chen's past interviews when he was with Sybase and culture change was a top priority. Heins set out a 2-year culture change plan and I think his personality was good for that, but lost sight of BB's strengths (enterprise) and could not roll with the big boys in the consumer market. Chen looks to have the right personality and ability to execute and bring positive change too. He has some self-interest in bringing BlackBerry back so he gets a 2 thumbs up for what he's done so far and hopefully, we'll hear about what culture change within BlackBerry that we aren't hearing about.

Posted via CB10

martinjdub

The dude is a Chenpion!

Posted via CB10 & my killer BlackBerry Z30

Prem WatsApp

Can I have some ChenPie then?

With BlackBerry jam and ultra-dark chocolate? Maybe with some Qream on top? Finger-clicking good... Zee you soon...

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

TranceRomance

Haha! Genius!

How's that signature you crybabies?! Waaaa!

Prem WatsApp

Hi Umi, it's Sony Ericsson (?) and Frank Boulben, please correct.

Not a spelling Nazi, me, but you're a quality writer and this is for sure not the first time you type these names....

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

zambanini

Die in peace RIM.

Posted via CB10

heri16

Good luck Chen

Posted via CB10

milo53

Way too many "Chengasms" here. I expected a little more by now.