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< >

A tale of two BlackBerrys

By Team CrackBerry on 25 Apr 2014 03:43 pm EDT
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It's 2005 and a young man named Erik Slaven, living in Los Angeles, just purchased his very first smartphone, the BlackBerry 7250. Although he was never a fan of cell phones, the addiction was immediate and Erik suddenly possessed mobility power over those still attached to desktop computers. "It was awesome and empowering to be able to email anyone from anywhere." Erik proclaimed. He believed the BlackBerry device changed everything. "I would sometimes email friends just for the sake of emailing. It was that cool." Erik recalls. Although web browsing on any mobile device at the time was poor and sluggish, Erik realized that the smartphone revolution had begun and Research In Motion was leading the way. "I knew it was only a matter of time until the technology was perfected."

Research In Motion, a company that saw its start in a tiny Waterloo office above a bagel shop in 1984, was unusually ran by two CEOs Michael Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. But the two of them were somewhat of a dynamic duo with Mr. Lazaridis focusing on engineering, product management and supply chain while Mr. Balsillie took care of sales, finance and corporate functions. Essentially, Mike developed the devices and Jim sold them. In 2005, RIM stocks were on the rise as well as their customer base (2 million) and sales ($410 million). Their market value was about $14 billion. RIMs competitors were PalmOne, Nokia and Motorola running on software from Microsoft.

"...the smartphone revolution had begun and RIM was leading the way."

Two years later Erik still had his BlackBerry but recalls the debut of Apple's offering, the iPhone. "I remembered showing little interest. It was unsubsidized and unusually expensive for the time, and although Apple had truly developed a modern mobile browser, I was confident that RIM would soon eclipse it. Plus, the iPhone only operated on 2G and had this weird virtual keyboard. How can I knock out emails on that thing?" Erik dismissed the iPhone and decided to upgrade to a Curve 8310. With its modern design, better screen than his previous BlackBerry and trackball, it was serious innovation to him.

For Mike Lazaridis, he couldn't fully understand the iPhone. It prompted him to buy one so he could examine it further. To his shock he saw that Apple had virtually put a Mac computer inside a cellphone. Mr. Lazaridis realized the iPhone broke all the rules as the device used two processors and the OS took up 700 MB compared to a BlackBerry that used one processor and a mere 32MB. The iPhone also had a fully capable web browsing experience something, up until that point, carrier networks didn't allow due to the strain on their systems. "How did they get AT&T to allow that? It's going to collapse the network." Mr. Lazaridis thought. And in fact, some time later, it did.

In 2007, RIM offered services to nearly 8 million subscribers in over 100 countries while also maintaining over 50 percent market share. Their annual sales topped 3 billion dollars.

Erik Slaven had eagerly waited a whole year for the debut of RIMs answer to the iPhone in 2008, the BlackBerry Storm. "I remember seeing a billboard teasing the upcoming Storm and couldn't have been more psyched. RIM had been flawless up to that point, so the Storm was going to be the first nail in Apple's coffin. But then I bought it."

A year before this, Verizon approached RIM to specifically create an "iPhone killer" device. AT&T had exclusive rights to sell the iPhone at the time and its sales were threatening Verizon. If RIM could make a phone that "killed" the iPhone then Verizon wouldn't have to worry about losing customers and sales to its rival. RIMs device would be full touchscreen and Verizon was going to back the U.S. launch with a massive marketing campaign.

However due to deadlines, "the technology was cobbled together quickly and wasn't quite ready," said a former senior company insider who was involved in the project. Because of the pressure and time constraints RIM could not create the phone that Verizon banked on. The Storm was months late and became something customers hated. It was slow, buggy, difficult to use and consumer returns were high.

Despite this, RIMs CEOs publically spoke against the iPhone's short battery life, weaker security and initial lack of e-mail. According to Lazaridis and Balsillie,"That's marketing. You position your strengths against their weaknesses."

The consumer market was becoming the fastest growing segment; an area RIM never had interest in nor paid much attention to.

Months later, Erik decided to purchase an iPhone 3G. "I was very impressed with the browser and overall performance. The touchscreen was very responsive and as they said, 'everything just worked.' I also really liked the form factor. It was clear that this was the breakthrough in the industry." Still though, Erik retained his love for BlackBerry as he preferred the BlackBerry form factor but wanted a blend of BB hardware with iPhone performance.

RIM was still very profitable in 2008 boasting double the revenues and profits, to $6 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively than the year prior but this is also where their growth started to wane. The consumer market was becoming the fastest growing segment; an area RIM never had interest in nor paid much attention to.

"RIM was coming back and I thought they'd remedy all of their previous missteps. After all, sometimes you just need to learn from mistakes. But in 2010, the iPhone 4 debuted with its all metal and glass design, and a fit and finish that put every other smartphone to shame." Erik remembers.

It was during this time when Mike Lazaridis understood that in order for RIM to remain relevant and competitive in an ever-changing market, it had to change its DNA. This is the year where RIM acquired QNX. But this posed more challenges to the company who were already struggling to compete in the consumer market especially with a major new competitor, Google.

"The problem wasn't that we stopped listening to customers," said one former RIM insider. "We believed we knew better what customers needed long term than they did. Consumers would say, 'I want a faster browser.' We might say, 'You might think you want a faster browser but you don't want to pay overage on your bill.' 'Well, I want a super big very responsive touchscreen.' 'Well, you might think you want that but you don't want your phone to die at 2 p.m.' "We would say, 'we know better, and they'll eventually figure it out.'" But this never happened as consumers didn't care about battery life or security features. They wanted apps. RIM in response created BlackBerry App World to accommodate the growing trend in the consumer market but found itself split. On one end there were corporate users who didn't want apps, cameras, music, etc. on their devices and on the other end consumers were demanding these features. RIM, despite all its efforts, couldn't satisfy either set of customers.

A confused and frustrated Erik Slaven admits at the time, "Apple and Google had outstanding, reliable and fun-to-use phones at this point, with amazing apps and 4G data speeds. It was hard to justify using a BlackBerry." Consumers were not aware that RIM on the back-end was divided between the developments of a QNX based OS and the well established but technically complex Java-based OS they were currently using. Delays and mounting difficulty became common as there were never-ending debates regarding direction and vision among management. Mr. Lazaridis wanted to build from scratch while others wanted to transfer over some of its former Java-based applications on top of QNX. The debates over decisions were time consuming and discussions among the senior leaders in Mr. Lazaridis' organization dragged on for a year.

"RIM was like the old athlete that continued to play well past its prime, simply getting embarrassed by the new generation."

"The browser on all RIM phones had fallen so far behind, that I couldn't use one on a regular basis until there was a radical change. I thought BB6 would finally catch up to Apple and (now) Android, but the browser was still very inferior and the software was buggy. RIM was like the old athlete that continued to play well past its prime, simply getting embarrassed by the new generation." According to Erik.

In 2011, RIM offered their strongest phone to date, the Bold 9900.

"It wasn't until the Bold 9900 and BB7 that I took RIM seriously again. It was an amazing phone with an iPhone-like build quality, and the browser was finally usable. There was a touchscreen and a replaceable battery, and even a micro-SD slot. I couldn't have been more excited but then I realized the camera didn't have autofocus. I also tried the all-touch Torch 9850 but the screen was made out of plastic, not glass." In the same year, RIM fell from being a leader in the smartphone industry. Their stocks plunged at an alarming rate and shares were down at their lowest level since January 2004. Rumors began to swirl about the company's future while a strained RIM struggled to develop the Playbook and BB10. "Buying QNX was the right play ultimately," said Patrick Spence. "But we didn't make the turn fast enough. Everyone underestimated the complexity involved in building the new system."

A constant issue was that a new team was created to build BB10 and also for the Playbook but those who helped build the original system were also still working on BBOS 7. Everything became delayed and RIM ended up rushing out unfinished products to meet expectations. "We had bought a powerful operating system and needed to move to it. But the BB7 was late," Mr. Lazaridis said. "Every week, I was getting requests for more hires, more resources. The conundrum was how do I pull resources off the BB7 to rewrite all the apps on top of QNX?"

By 2013, Former CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie were gone, RIM was renamed BlackBerry, BB10 launched and later in the year, the company was up for sale. With about 1% of the market share in the United States and less carrier support, BlackBerry's market value currently sits around 4 billion dollars. "RIM just couldn't get it right and everything was late. They were unable to deliver anything on time. Not even close. From the original Bold 9000 to the PlayBook to the BB7 phones to BB10, everything was severely delayed. When products finally hit the market, they were often half-baked. The PlayBook didn't have email (which almost seems like a joke), the BB10 software lacked many basic features from BB7, and so on. It got to a point where I wasn't going to miss out on the post-PC revolution because of a sentimental attachment to BlackBerry. They simply let me down." Erik says.

Today, Erik Slaven owns a Q10 and an HTC One (M8). He remains an active member of CrackBerry (Camera531) and still follows BlackBerry.

I would like to personally thank him for sharing his story. I hope this write-up inspires everyone (and BlackBerry) to never lose sight of your identity, always focus on your vision, follow your passion, never compromise and no matter how difficult things may be, never give up. BlackBerry still lives and as long as their story continues, CrackBerry will be there to tell it.

"A house divided against itself, cannot stand." – Abraham Lincoln.

Article Written by Jubei Raziel

Image Source: Jonathan Keegan

Source: The Globe and Mail, CNN Money, CIO, Business Insider, Time

Reader comments

A tale of two BlackBerrys

421 Comments

Haven't seen anything this CrackBerrily for a long time now.

Posted via CB10 with Z30 on 10.2.1.2234

I'm sure he's a good addition to the CrackBerry team, but personally I can't be bothered to read these - I lose interest when I see how long they are!

Posted via CB10

It's not your fault actually. Average human beings attention span lasts only for 6mins, that's what I read somewhere. So I can understand that you can't read long articles.

Posted via CB10

I'm the biggest grammar Nazi I know, but grammar (and punctuation, and vocabulary, etc, etc) errors are so ubiquitous on the internets in general and CB in particular that I have finally learned to read past them. It's still infuriating that CB provides no proofreading services to their contributors, but I try to remind myself that it's the author's task to generate the content; not to be a grammar expert.

"Thanks for wasting our time with your input there."

Thanks for your defensive and retaliatory attempt at broadly dismissing my argument without addressing it. Please note that it is perfectly possible to discuss differing opinions -- even on the internet -- without resorting to such defensiveness. Such insulting language only hurts your position, as it makes you look childish, desperate, cornered, and out of logical points to make. I'm sure you are bigger than that.

I've heard this too...however I don't mind spending time reading something I'm interested in, but I come to this site to get quick news on what's happening in the world of BlackBerry / Crackberry - don't typically want to read novels here :)

Posted via CB10

Yeah, Jubei is one of the better quality writers on CB, but I completely agree that his articles are way too long. Consistently. Good article though.

Nothing wrong with long article!

Rather have a long article about something good than a short useless article!

 Posted via CB10 on my  Z30

It's a balancing act though. I agree that I'd rather read a longer quality article than a lackluster short article; but these articles are to the point that when I see the authors name I might choose to skip over it unless I have a lot of time on my hands at that particular moment.

To each their own though. I read this blog religiously, usually from my phone. I want short, sweet, and to the point. And to that point, I've stopped reading Alicia's App Roundup of the Week post as well. Why? Because it's cumbersome to read on my phone. They changed it from all apps on one screen to a system where I have to click 'next' 10 times to see the next app. Pass.

I'm with you. Crackberry articles are sliding from good content to just "click bait." They've separated the App Roundup to multiple pages for more clicks. It's an absolute pain to read them anymore, and I just don't. Jubei is new and I expect his writings to fall more in line with [what used to be] typical Crackberry. For now, though, his articles do tend to be excessively wordy with little content. I read this article, and just like his others, I've come away wondering what I just read and what its point was. As lengthy as Jubei's articles are, they always seem to be leaving something out; as though the point gets left out somewhere. It could be me, though. Maybe I've flushed my memory buffer by the time I get to the ends of the articles.

Overall, though, Crackberry is becoming like BGR; sesationalist article titles with no content. WTH? :(

Interesting points you make. I just remember there being more original content researched and not plagiarised. I also hate the Chen brown nosing. They've made this guy a God at CB. He might be a good businessman and I hope he pulls it out of the bag and turns the ship around as I love BB. However i'll tell you one thing he has CB in his pocket right where he wants them. Basically threw them a couple of bones and they come with their tails wagging now. It's ridiculous and bordering on the Apple sheep following cult. Hasn't the last few years taught them anything? If this is a serious tech new outlet they should be challenging Chen and his board. Every decision should be questioned. Why hasn't anything big been made out of the fact BB10 sales are shocking and legacy sales outsell it? Putting him up on a pedestal like this isn't healthy and it's all being done out of blind loyalty. That lunch Chen had with Kevin & co was the biggest brown nosing monstrosity I've ever seen. Where are these guys being challenged? Not on CB it would appear.

Posted via CB10

Yup. Same with Thorsten Heinz too, and what did he ever accomplish? Think about it though...no BB = no CB. I agree that the blatant fanboyism from the CB is over the top. If I didn't know any better I would think CB is on the BB payroll.

I wonder if Erik is going to comments on this article.
Also I have not seen Erik on lately

 Slicing using my 

Sorry to ruin it but Jim Balsillie joined RIM in early 1990's or something.

The original founders were obviously Mike L and Douglas Fregin.

 Posted via CB10 on my  Z30

Exactly!!! That's why BlackBerry is where it is now. BB 10 should have launched in January / February of 2012 at least instead of 2013.

Or instead of developing the PlayBook OS they started working on BB 10 and it launched in 2011 BlackBerry probably would be in a better position with its market share!

 Posted via CB10 on my  Z30

The "Biggest Mistake" RIM made was when Thorsten and Frank Boulben completely blew the relaunch of BlackBerry with BB10...

These guys were so ignorant that they thought that just renaming the company "BlackBerry" was going to make everything ok...

I used to show people my Z10 and they had no idea BlackBerry made phones that cool....same with my Z30....

My fear is that BlackBerry has not learned it's lesson....

Someone in CB Nation show me one piece of BlackBerry literature talking about easily loading and using mist Android apps "flawlessly" on 10.2.1....

Show me....you can't do it...

BlackBerry may be the worst company in the world when it comes to telling the world "good news about BlackBerry"....

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

+ 1,000,000,000

Yes those two ruined the relaunch of the new BlackBerry 10 Platform by making it so boring and lame!!!

They should have demonstrated the everything about the OS that makes it so fresh compared to the rest on the market.

 Posted via CB10 on my  Z30

I agree. The most exciting thing that they could show was the screen un locking. Thor was so uncomfortable trying to be hip and exciting it was painful. I love my z10, and am always showing what it can do. But unfortunately, no one really carries them.

Posted via CB10

There's another possibility... they showed what was new (saw plenty of marketing examples of hub,.time shift, gestures, bbm, a fast browser, work spaces, predictive text) but consumers didn't care. "No apps = not enough reason to switch"

Posted via CB10

There it is! Great phone, but without Intagram, Vine, or Snapchat, no one wants it. And yes, we can side load, but consumers can't.

Posted via CB10

I'm tired of hearing how BlackBerry failed at marketing the new BB10 phones...they marketed the hell out of them towards the business community.

You couldn't go more than 5 minutes without seeing a commercial on CNBC or Bloomberg showcasing the unique attributes of BB10. It is why I own a BB10 phone...the BIG problem was the wait from March to mid-June to purchase my Q10...it was so worth the wait, but wow I can't believe how long I had to wait for my Q10.

The commercials only taunted me and probably many others...the USA should have been a top priority for the launch of BOTH the Z10 & the Q10...the commercials should have been shown just prior & during the launch in the USA.

Murray Squire Marr

I feel that a conquest sale because of a superior OS was going to take a lot of time regardless of the marketing...it is what intrigued me, but for so many, I know it is all about the apps and the perception that BlackBerry phones are lacking in them.

I think getting past the "lack of apps" perception is STILL BlackBerry's biggest hurdle and hopefully they can get past it because the BB10 OS is excellent.

Murray Squire Marr

I agree. The huge delays for the Q10 (and big delay for the Z10) in the US killed any chance it had. You can't debut a phone in January and expect great results when it's delayed until June. HTC, which is in a lot of trouble itself, managed to sell the new M8 on the same day on 3 major American carriers (and in Verizon stores). So a major veteran like BlackBerry can only make so many "carrier" excuses... IMO

One other thing, BlackBerry's decision to market in Formula 1 is...WINNING!!!

This sponsorship program is just starting to pay dividends. It has to be credited to the previous management AND credited as a smart move.

Murray Squire Marr

One last thing, BBM for all...previous management & excellent decision...rollout a bit shakey but gosh...BlackBerry did so many good/great/excellent things in 2013---pivot point/pivotal year.

Murray Squire Marr

The problem may also be that they were paying TOO much attention to Crackberry and the like. I'm sure they didn't want to show off the product so early but if they didn't give us something there was likely to be a riot out there. They could have waited until a week before, but would most have still cared then? Instead you would have heard more horror story rumors about the product never coming. I don't think they could have won either way.

Z10

What a tough business to be in...it is the ULTIMATE "What have you done for me lately?---business".

Though, it's like all business...just rolls and rolls but at such high technical and $ stakes...I think they are on the verge of threading the needle and making it through to the other side.

Murray Squire Marr

It's there...cater to the base/niche and then start to grow the ranks.

I hope it happens, I hope this is the bottoming out portion of BlackBerry's business cycle.

Murray Squire Marr

Your latter point, that BB has never advertised effectively, I can agree with. Everything up to that point, however, is way off base. Nobody thought changing the name would turn the company around; if that were the case, they would've done so at the time they released BB10 or sooner. As it was, they did so afterwards; a clear afterthought, and not a strategic decision of any kind. And the biggest mistake BB ever made was not blowing the BB10 rollout, it was, as Jubei quoted Erik as saying (and as I have said for ages), the pervasive corporate conviction that the market was wrong about what it wanted, and that consumers would buy what they didn't want because they'd eventually realize that they were wrong and RIM was right. This driving component of their corporate vision explains almost every strategic mistake they've made over the last decade.

We have a record number of speed readers. There's one in every article, lol.

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

Adam
..what were you and Kevin and the rest of the clan doing while BlackBerry was falling apart?

I have my own theories...

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

Correct and never challenged the executives at BlackBerry When things were going in the toilet because they were afraid to not be invited to all the reindeer games.

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

What position is Crackberry in to "challenge" what BlackBerry does as a company? You don't bite the hand that almost literally feeds you. Without BlackBerry, there would be no Crackberry. Kevin is an entrepreneur and opportunist. His allegience doesn't run THAT deep to BlackBerry. Hence, why there is now Mobile Nations. Kevin saw the writing on the wall and made a Plan B for himself and his enterprise. As much as many of us would like to, you can't fault the man for wanting to eat.

Ah, a sad but true story.

What is the future?

Abandon the phone market?
Build a BES that only supports other makers (Apple, Google, MS)?
Build OS for other than phone networks (like cars and med eq.)?

It looks like things are going in those directions.

The future is already here!... QNX in your auto, that connects seemlessly with BB10 in your phone!

A multi-tasking secure OS is the future and BBRY has it! Now they need to build the things that are missing for true mobile and Business computing. >>> Miracast to a projector >> Miracast to a display device you can hold in your hand and use as an input device to a web page, show a sales sheet, input an order form, read a book. With all the network communication going through your phone not this device. (maybe a MicroSim slot for cache memory) but run QNX on it and use it as an extension of the phone.

Yes..that was great..He told truth..
BlackBerry is always behind of other companies and update late. For example, a simple problem such as caller id, have not solved and still we have problems with showing name of caller.

Posted via CB10

Ouch! But maybe not that far off the mark... even though I enjoyed the read, I heard a voice saying "Didn't Kevin write something like this around the time of that Globe and Mail article...?"

Sent from my iPuh-lease-as-IF

Yeah, I kind of thought the same thing... There's been quite a few write-ups in the press that have been similar to this--the rise and decline of RIM/BlackBerry--over the last year too...

I'd like to thank the following for this story: SEAN SILCOFF, JACQUIE MCNISH AND STEVE LADURANTAYE
- Reporters at THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Posted via CB10

Qten, your criticism is way off base. There's nothing wrong with repackaging information from one source and regurgitating it elsewhere; it's the basic model of news aggregation. In the CB format, it's more of a "bloggregation," but the principle is the same, and it is a common way for the reader to find news in which they're interested without reading everything published everywhere. Jubei referenced the same article you're citing in his article, so there's no basis for a claim of plagiarism, and no basis anywhere to critique the validity of the business model of news aggregation.

Unless the reference was added later; then I'd take back SOME of what I said.

Now that you and I along with others before me have acknowledged them, perhaps you want to acknowledge it in the actual article rather than claiming it to be all of your work, with the exception of some obscure footnotes. Don't you think it's misleading not to mention the sources in the actual content of your piece given how much has been directly lifted from it word for word?

Posted via CB10

No, that's all thanks. Credit due for engaging in comments section. Purely as a suggestion, it would be an interesting follow up article if you did a ground up investigative piece into why BB10 has been in terms of sales for BB, a total disaster - even though it is superior to competitors for certain features. What went wrong at BlackBerry since, analysis of their marketing (a lot of chatter saying they do zero marketing when in actual fact they do) etc...

Posted via CB10

I have a couple of questions. If you wouldn't mind.

You are quoting /putting some information/words into mouth of the nice and straightforward looking person which is, probably purely by coincidence, long-time Crackberry member.

Some information is -let's say- inaccurate. Some formulations are - as other people mentioned- remarkably similar to formulations used in The Globe and Mail articles.

The Globe and Mail is, as far as I know, widely known for publishing authors bashing BlackBerry on purpose.

My questions for you, Mr. Raziel are:

Can you tell us little bit more about your relationship to Mr. Chen? Can you tell us little bit more about your relationship to Blackberry major shareholders and competitors? Do you own shares of Blackberry competitor/s? Do you know someone who writes for The Globe and Mail, Reuters, Bloomberg, MarketWatch, Cnet, Engadget, The Verge, BGR, Phonearena or TechCrunch? Who pays you - officially and unofficially- for your articles?

Thank you in advance for true answers.

I'm sorry for all blatantness and haziness of my inquiry. It may arise from my English which is everything but not perfect. I really didn't mean to cause offence.

Thank you for your answer and readers feedback engagement which is unfortunately not common in the media industry.

You forgot to ask him what size underwear he puts on.

That is the most unclear, asinine and foolish comment I have read so far. I am confident there are more to come below!

Posted via CB10

Oh, come on guys. Are you about to go online to all the other BlackBerry-related blogs and other websites and ask the authors of those blogs for their particulars? SMH..

Posted via CB10

My goodness, what's with all this nitpicking? Like seriously, why don't you try writing your own article.

Exactly! I enjoyed it as I hadn't read it before, he sourced it at the end so what is all the fuss about!

Posted via CB10

Some of this seems to be drawn from special globe and mail report on business article from a while back. I don't see sourcing.

Posted via CB10

Most was plagiarized from Globe and Mail.

Still an incredible story. This case will be studied for years in business schools.

These CEOs should be ashamed of themselves! Imagine, from Frank to Jim, they were all rewarded gazillions for their efforts, successfully destroying a once great company.

I feel for the unemployed engineers who worked night and day on BB10, only to be let down by these arrogant fools!

Shame! Shame!

The Storm was a decent product, just like the PlayBook. Both served what they were meant to do well. But both were overpriced and half baked.

The infighting at RIM is compelling. To take 12 months to come to an agreement on strategy indicated a very broken company. Many people here praise Mike Lazaridus. I appreciate his innovation and initial vision. But he was an abhorrent leader. Thankfully he didn't buy the company last Fall.

That's because it is from there. At least until the end of the article.

Powered by my BlackBerry (Z10). Join my #BBM Channels C001227CF, C00476C37, C003829C9, C002454C9,C002190AC, C00120CE3

There are in fact sources at the bottom of the article. And I didn't know a lot of this history, so for me it was a great read.

Posted via CB10

For a piece that is copy and pasted as much as this sources should be acknowledged in the content of the article, not hidden as a footnote. I was reading it and getting such a deja vu to that Globe & Mail investigative summary piece a while back. You can't just do that.

Posted via CB10

Deja vu of the Globe and Mail piece immediately as I started reading! Think we could simply be told to go fetch that piece instead of hearing it virtually verbatim all over!!! Unlike others here, I don't see the "great write-up" in this piece!!!

Hibby_CB10; Z10STL100-3/10.2.1.2228

Some of us don't care.

A good read is a good read. This was insightful for those that were unaware.

I doubt the Global and Mail will be suing, so just enjoy the article for its worth then.

It was indeed a good read. That said, it should have been made clear that it was not primary researched investigative journalism.

Seriously why such a big deal? Regardless it's a good read. Some people have nothing better to do...

Thanks very much!

Posted using the best phone ever, the Z30!

It wasn't presented as such. It was presented as the descent of RIM/BB from the time they ruled the market, as seen through the real-world experiences of Erik.

Even if that were true -- which of course it isn't, as has been pointed out already by others -- that would be fine with me; I wouldn't be the first person to express an opinion (or fact) that's in the minority.

I'm as much of a fan of BlackBerry as the next guy, but some of that stuff I didn't know, mostly the details. I knew the general history, but it's nice to see a little of what was going on behind the scenes.

I enjoyed the article as it was very well written. Story-like pieces like this are the best, in my opinion. I did, however, feel it ended rather abruptly.

Nifty Foods! C003262E5

It ended abruptly because it caught up to "now".

This story is still being written.

I too understood the gist of it, but the filling in of details paints a much better picture (for me).

Keep up the great work, nice to read relevant posts instead of fluffy hype re: Android apps.

CDN

Camera....good article...I have had about 8 BlackBerry's over the years and can relate to your tale....

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

I'm willing to bet that when you say we you don't include a majority who would benefit from the read.

Posted via CB10

You mean, there are people reading CB who have been fanatically following the course of the company for less time than me? Ridiculous!

"In 2007, RIM offered services to nearly 8 million subscribers in over 100 countries"

Only 8mm in '07?

The original quote is actually not by Abraham Lincoln (same with the Dalai Lama one, if that was the case), but it's a re-quote from the Bible:

And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
- Mark 3:25 (KJV)

Shared from e-Mmanuel Bible Reader for BlackBerry 10

Not a drama. Good quote anyway. God bless.

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

Cool story bro. Seriously though, BlackBerry isn't done yet! I'm loving my Z10 and I just hope they can get updates out quickly and get more app devs on board. Also some more high end devices for later this year? We can do this BlackBerry! With Crackberry behind you, we've got a real shot.

So what's new? We could all have told you this. Not news, just the reality we all know. RIM/BlackBerry just didn't/don't listen to anyone but themselves!

Careful! Z10 in action!

Good writeup but painful to read and re-live the fall of BBRY.

I'm not sure they have changed much though. The same lack of execution problem continues till today. Z30 is still not available on at&t. I'm okay with that so long as they tell us WHY or WHEN.

When I first got my z10, smtp was broken and I was shocked that they would release a phone that didn't have rock solid email. I was so frustrated at not being able to email customers that I almost abandoned BlackBerry altogether!

Thankfully I was not alone and the CB community had workarounds to use the at&t smtp servers.

When I see 10.2.1, I can't help but feel that this should have been the initial OS release out of the gate!

Posted via CB10

Nb....get a Z30....no comparison between Z10 and Z30.... I owned both.

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

Freddy, I hear you so much.

Regretting not spending the extra bux for the bigger screen, full-day battery, AMOLED, faster CPU, quadcore graphics, USB OTG, Miracast / Wifi-Direct, FM radio, Paratek antenna, glassweave back, 10.2 OOTB, and if I forgot something, feel free to add it.

Just writing this list was painful...

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

Actually.......And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. Mark 3:25.....waaaaay before Abraham Lincoln by a couple of thousand years!

Good to see a post from the coolest avatar on CrackBerry.

BTW - Loads of Hollywood movies cut and paste from the Bible.... shows the legitimacy of the Word.

If Lincoln said it, it is a valid quote. You can still attribute a quote to something someone said even if it isn't the original source though it is preferred that the original primary source be used, if known.

Posted via CB10

Didn't scroll all the way down before firing off similar post. Good to see people still know, and hopefully, live their scripture. Thanks!

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

Chen under Watsa will rebuild BlackBerry. The medical partnership is the first of many that will breathe life back into this company.

Posted via CB10

The medical partnership will take years to come to fruition, if ever. BB does not have years. This partnership does not guarantee instant profit.

This will cost them money. Most of this work will be software related with maybe some hardware specific for the medical industry (not for the average consumer). Again this will take years and then they will need this to be certified before it gets implemented. Then they have to sell this to the medical industry and unless BB makes a miraculous turnabout, this is going to be a tough sell. This will NOT happen overnight. This is NOT a magic cure for all that ails BB.

Markf is spot on! I'm in this business, most CB folks don't understand how competitive and difficult this industry is.

Sorry to say, most comments regarding this subject are simply inaccurate.

Chen's strategy: Let the devices kill themselves. Propose Saas as lifesaver.
Watsa's strategy: Gain as many bucks as possible
BB Fan's strategy: Whine Whine Whine

It's still a valid quote as Lincoln did say it. You don't have to find the original quote from all of history to quote what someone said.

Posted via CB10

@TBone4eva, I'm not disputing the fact that is a valid quote. However, just as Jubei noted other credits, this one especially should receive it's due credit. The words quoted by Abraham Lincoln (incidentally, upon whose Bible President Obama laid his hand during his first-term inauguration) were words spoken by the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As a follower and believer, it is my obligation to bring truth to light when it is presented to me. My comment was not made to start a debate, but rather to give credit where credit is due.

Someone else made a comment about people needing to "go back to their Bible", and referenced Luke 11:17. We can be reminded that the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) all give their individual accounts of some of the exact same Biblical events, so the same scripture, though worded slightly differently, will be found in each of these four books.

I didn't mean to turn this into a Bible study, but in order to address the comments I've received, felt my commentary necessary.

Not ashamed of the 'Berry I carry. BlackBerry by choice!

More to the point, stop quoting presidents, religious leaders, Jesus and whoever else on a tech fan club site please. It's disrespectful and OTT.

Posted via CB10

I can agree with the objection to quoting religious figures, both real and fictional, but I see nothing wrong with quoting past historical figures. Such a reference can be both relevant and appropriate -- as well as persuasive, in that it leverages the long-standing wisdom of the respected.

Interesting historical overview. I originally had a simple Auditor flip phone, which was decent, but then realized I needed something which could do everything (email, text, Web Access, and phone), but I wanted a keyboard. The BlackBerry Torch (9800) slider came out. There were a few complaints about speed, so I waited for the Torch 2 (9810), an that's when I got my first BlackBerry, which served me very well for nearly three years. In December, since my contract was ending, I researched for a replacement. I wanted to stay with BlackBerry since I had been very impressed with my first one, and I had heard that the premium Z30 was available. I was unsure about giving up the physical keyboard, but the large virtual keyboard with auto correct and predictive text ability had me sold. I have had the Z30 for four months now and it's the best electronic device I've ever owned.

Posted using my Z30

Do I get a little credit for sending this article to the crackberry team to dissect for all crackberry members?

Posted via CB10

My same view when I read it in the Globe and Mail. I thought to myself, oh a journalist has put some serious effort into this and should be commended.

Posted via CB10

Brilliant piece of writing just waiting for the next chapter ... quality, innovation, style & a degree of exclusivity and the future is bright!

Quote at the end should have been "A George divided against itself cannot stand." -George Costanza, Seinfeld ;)

Great write up!

We all want to see the third act. Blackberry, after being banished to the wilderness, and suffering the slings and arrows of an enemy bent on their destruction, we're left for dead. Now, as dawn breaks on a new day, they return to civilization, lean and hungry for a chance to prove they still have what it takes to compete and win.
Everybody loves a comeback story but the end of the show isn't written yet...

BB10 4 ME

Z30 should have been the z10 and q10 released. We would have been in a much better shape right now.

Posted via CB10

Good stuff. Third act not yet written.
One can't help but wonder what might have been had RIM Acquired QNX In '07 and released BB10 when they did. The extra time building out the OS would have put them far ahead of the game. (contrary to what many seem to believe, building a new OS is not an overnight undertaking - Apple and Google had the advantage of very low expectations at the time. And they still had been working on that at least 3 years longer than BlackBerry had to get out BB10. I applaud BlackBerry for what they have thus far accomplished on BB10 - miraculous, given the time frame! )

#IchooseBlackBerry10

Posted via CB10

This article needs to be taken down and rewritten with proper sourcing - you can't simply take other's large elements of other articles written by other journalists and cut and paste them without attribution!

This articles make it look like Crackberry or Jubei has been undertaking investigative reporting when in actuality, all of the quotes are taken with no indication from the Global and Mail. I think I read that you are new at this Jubei?Doing this is unethical and a no-no.

It doesn't work like that - if you are going to lift the amount of material you have, you need in-line citation or attribution - absolutely nowhere in the article does it make any reference to where the quotes have come from - even then, it's generally practice to maybe use one or two quotes and you've gone way beyond that with the Global and Mail article.

For example -

"However due to deadlines, "the technology was cobbled together quickly and wasn't quite ready," said a former senior company insider who was involved in the project." should make it clear that the Quote is from the Global and mail and the same in the other four or five places you have done the same.

This times report on the Global and Mail story is done correctly:

http://techland.time.com/2013/09/29/the-inside-story-of-the-collapse-of-...

That's a good point. It's a rewrite of that piece it seemed to me too--with some pictures thrown in. Kind of a a letdown from Jubei...

Hey you just snuck that in, I didn't see that earlier. By the way why are you deleting people's comments on here. Do you not believe in freedom of speech? That's not a good start, and freedom of speech should be rule number 1 for you, you would think.

:o)

www.livingtruth.ca www.carm.org

Please I was not born yesterday...
You know very well what and when you deleted people's comments on here including mine.

How would you like it if we deleted your thought out comments that you have made in response to others on here.

Also please stop quoting people if you are not going to quote the original person or source.

Thank you.

www.livingtruth.ca www.carm.org

Since you have joined the CB team have you deleted any persons comments on here under your posts? a simple Yes I have or a simple No I have not will do. Your answers are of the tippy toe type if you know what I mean.
It just seems a little odd that it is happening under your posts etc.

I see many comments with foul language and hateful comments towards others and they don't seem to be deleted. Just look at the Viber post by DJ some hateful stuff said in there and it's still there.

www.livingtruth.ca www.carm.org

"If you're going to write prose or poems, the words you use should be your own. Don't plagiarize or take on loan.

There's always someone out there with a big nose who knows who'll trip you up and laugh when you fall..."

"Cemetry Gates"
Morrissey

Murray Squire Marr

The first part is good the second part not so good. Rather than laughing offer correction and a hand up... none of us are perfect and have all made mistakes in life.

Take care

www.livingtruth.ca

Your silence to my question above has spoken volumes. And actions speak louder than words.

Do you think it is right to put links in the story after someone told you to give credit where credit is due, and then say

"...the sources are there. You don't see them at the bottom?"
You could have said I will get them in there right away.

Do you not think that this is deceitful? Do you not think that this is misleading to others? And will affect the facts and how they respond to others?

Do you think it is fine to delete people words when they have said nothing wrong just because you don't agree, or like what they have said.

Tell me how bad are these words ("Jubei I see your still thinking about Easter, that's a good thing") that was it on that occasion when you talked to someone else and mentioned the word crucifying. Do you see any swearing in there? That's not what bothered me, it was the other posts that were very long and though out that you deleted.

Freedom of speech is a very important thing, you being a writer should know this more than anyone.
Don't be a writer not worth his salt, tell the truth and do your research.

Here are some quotes from your other post.
(How BlackBerry got me off of social media
By Jubei Raziel) I see that you gave proper credit now for the quotes you used.

"We have more degrees, but less sense
More knowledge, but less judgment"

"We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values."

"We've cleaned up the air, but polluted our soul."

"We've higher incomes, but lower morals."

"These are the times of tall men, and short character;"
By Dr. Bob Moorehead

Like I said. Words are just words until you put them into practice. I am not here to seek men's praise but to tell and point people to the truth. Do not play the crowd or seek their praise for they will turn just as fast.
Seek the praise of the one that gives life eternal, and tell the truth no matter the cost.

Maybe my words seem hard to you but tough love can be very hard, but in the end it is the best kind of love and will set you on the right path.

I will end with this.

1 Corinthians 13:11
(NKJV)

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

I've got to go, Take care. I hope with your next post we can all start fresh and that we have learned something from this. By the way I got the email from your mod and as you see below there is only one link now..

Take care

www.livingtruth.ca

Great story! A tragedy of sorts but now an opportunity to re-invent and go back to BlackBerry 's roots.

Once again a great piece. The story resonates with me as well. I too use a BlackBerry 10 device (Z30) and a Nexus 5. I am finding that the Nexus 5 is still a good complement to the Z30 because of the lack of apps and the relatively underperforming hardware of the Z30. With that said though, a proper upgrade to the hardware of the Z30 and proper integration with the Google Play Store would close the gap completely. My Nexus 5 would be gone and I would not look back. BlackBerry 10 is overall a much better platform that Android or iOS (can't comment on Windows as I did not use it), but it needs some polishing still.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

I respectfully disagree with those of you who are saying "good read." This is nothing more than a flowery-sounding research paper with citations at the bottom. The backbone of CB is original factual content, not rehashing or storytelling.

I think you have a good point. Jubei's writing has largely been that--rehashing and storytelling--instead of factual content, such as the pieces that Kevin, Bla1ze, and Umi often write.

And that's a beautiful place, that kind of story you just don't wanna stop reading even though it seems long. Great piece

Posted via CB10

You'd have to copy the link from CB app, paste it into the browser and remove the "rel=nofollow" html attribute at the end including the white space, and the link will work.

The nofollow attribute is there to discourage spammers, as search engines will not index / weigh this link for page rank, SEO etc.

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

Took me a while to read it lol (I'm at work)
It was pleasant read I must say, and it's inspiring.
I would share my story too but I started using smartphones late (8330 when the 9650 was already out).

Posted via CB10

Great Article, I see that there are those taking an odd argument over the quote at the end.

In either case, this was a Magnificent Article. I feel that the BlackBerry always has a future, as long as we (The Users) choose BlackBerry over any other platform, I have and will.

Please continue the Great work, and the Quote from President Lincoln was Completely Appropriate. In fact one of my favorites.

Posted via CB10

I agree. Jubei, once again, thanks for pulling a lot of different information together into one fine article, and for posting the references at the end. I like your laid-back tone, and found some snippets in the history that I didn't know before.

As for the supposed point of contention, I am a believer and recognized it right away as the words of Christ quoted by a President who lived and understood first-hand the significance of them. It was counterproductive for some possibly well-meaning people to criticize you on that one, especially those who hadn't even read the whole article. After all, Christ himself never used his frequent quotes of more ancient sources as a hammer except on overly religious personalities. In all other situations he used them for poignant education and even humour, and rarely quoted his sources, instead relying on others to understand and make the connection.

So you did good, dude. You'll never please everyone. It stands as a well-placed quotation.

Posted via CB10 on Q10

Can someone please tell me what does he mean about the Playbook not having email?

Posted by Phobe's Owner on the BlackBerry Q10

Great article! Now that entertaining and informative all at the same time. I really think some CrackBerry editors should be retired and recruit new editors that can turn around the face of BlackBerry!

 BlackBerry Q10  Keep The Faith 

BlackBerry should of kept making all touch screen phones even after the Storm failed. And of course qwerty board users still want the physical key pads. What BlackBerry is doing now is what they should have done back then. They fell asleep at the wheel.BUT it's still not too late. CEO John Chen needs to somehow market all these new products. Most people on the streets think BlackBerry is dead. They think BlackBerry is still all "all qwerty ". Posted via "Super Phone Z30"

Posted via CB10

This story sounds so familiar... I had high hopes for the 9550 but the browser was shït. I downloaded Opera Mini and that was much better and an RDP & VNC made it minimally usable so I sucked it up and used it for 3 years until the Z10 and now a Z30. But the 9550 years were definitely the dark years in mobile for me but am now 100% satisfied with BB10 but my wife and kids went with iPhone and Android making our household representative of the market as a whole, they lost 75% of us. My wife and youngest son both have come back with a Z10 but my oldest, who is a software developer, is 100% android and unlikely to come back to BlackBerry.

one way to relife, creating the market of China again which is the biggest but less BlackBerry users..no-one can lose this market

Posted via CB10

I. Started with. The 8330,and never looked back, I wasn't. Impressed iPhone nor am I now,i can recall buying the first touch screen ipod the day it went on sale,I took it back next day,gave me a headache, it was a toy to me from jump street, I was very patient with BlackBerry because apple nor android were able to do the things my blackberry could do,
I have to tell you that the payoff feel terrific, I have a z10 and I'm currently using my z30,BlackBerry has topped the charts in my book again. Now the rest of the world need to see and experience BlackBerry 10

BBBYMUTHAFUCKINGCHOICE

It was the best of comments, it was the worst of comments.

Joking...1st with the Dickens tribute...good one.

Murray Squire Marr

my first device was the 7520 for nextel in the same year 2005. I had many in between including 7130, 8103e, 9630, 9650, 9850, 9930, 9310, a playbook 64g and a Z10 the day it was released. I am now sporting a Q10. BlackBerry suits my needs and is reliable. Thanks for sharing.

This is a classic lesson for companies. The lesson being that companies should listen to the customer. If problems crop up like AT&T's servers crashing, they'll get fixed. People always show what they're really capable of in the face of adversity.

Nifty Foods! C003262E5

This story tells you all that is wrong with BlackBerry. This continues to this day

BlackBerry has an image problem.

BlackBerry needs to differentiate itself from the past.

I seem to be the only person who is advocating a change of emphasis on the re branding of BlackBerry 10 as a different path of BlackBerry OS7.

A new website called BlackBerry 10 is a must. There's also has to be a new logo with just the symbol and the number '10' in the top right hand corner.

Lose the gold BlackBerry lettering and just the symbol and '10' only. This would help BlackBerry to widen and lengthen the screen real estate. Put this symbol on the start up sequence.

This shows a cooler minimalist quality.

BlackBerry has to go on the offensive in the marketing stakes. And it doesn't have to be expensive. Subliminal messages and viral marketing. Guerrilla warfare.

BlackBerry needs to put BlackBerry 10 on all their sponsorship deals

BlackBerry needs to sharpen up its design team. There should be no compromise.

HTC are in a similar position if not worse but it doesn't stop them creating the One (M7) and the One (M8) .

BlackBerry you should be ashamed.

If the Z10, Q10 and Z30 is best that BlackBerry can do. Something is seriously wrong. There are enough concepts to show what can be done.

If it's not best in class in every section. Then where are you, BlackBerry ?

Somehow I'm sorry Mr Chen is just another CEO with a witty repartee and precious little else.

BlackBerry needs someone who going drag the company into the 22nd Century.
Mr Chen doesn't seem to have the obsessive drive to demand the best from its staff.

The competition is playing for keeps and not above playing dirty.

Mr Chen it is time to take off the suit and tie and roll your sleeves up. Put on some knuckle dusters on.

' Hang your balls out there that's how you achieve greatness. '

Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela.

Why should I buy BlackBerry instead of the IPhone or Samsung? Answer me this.

BlackBerry...Get it done!!!

Posted via CB10

Larry "The Cable Guy" already has your slogan copyrighted...so back to the slogan drawing board.

And to whom should the "cajones" quote be attributed?

Murray Squire Marr

A nice summary of how BlackBerry got to where they are atm. Sad but good read nonetheless.

I think things are looking better lately and apart from native apps, the tech has mostly caught up. It says something when, after a year, I absolutely don't feel like my z10 is outdated or I'm missing out on the newer phones.

Posted via CB10

I deal with many engineers in my practice. Too many options equals no sale and no decisions made. They spend way too much time in the left side of their brain, the logical side. Decisions get made on the other side. They very thing they ask for, which is more information, ends up paralyzing them.

Madison Ave. (advertisers) FULLY understand that emotions make decisions. Hopefully BlackBerry will get it.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry has to drive the brand forward.

Have any business people seen or used the Z30?

My idea would be to offer the Z30 and the Classic is the Enterprise crowd.

We need to see the '10' in BlackBerry 10.

Everywhere !!!!!!!!

BlackBerry...Get it done!!!

Posted via CB10

I feel similarly in the sense that the sentimental value of owning a blackberry, does not allow me to follow the more "popular' devices.

I've owned practically every blackberry device there is since before they had color screens!

- Z10
- Q10 (currently using)
- 2012 playbook
- Curve 9320
- Bold 9700
- Curve
- Bold touch 9900
- Curve 8900
- Pearl 3G
- Bold 9000
- Curve 8300
- 8800
- 8700
- 7230
- 6230

I felt bad when I PRE purchased a Playbook (64g version) at a premium and it recently went on sale.

As you can see, I am a die hard BlackBerry user. I do not want to follow trends. I wish to lead the way. In that, I have converted people to blackberry. I promote blackberry products as well as using them.

I await the return of blackberry. Hesitant to move to a full touchscreen, I tried the Z10. Excited when I found I could potentially get use to it! To support blackberry, I purchased a Q10. Once I put my hands on the full QWERTY, there was no going back, though I am curious enough to also own a Z30.

In the end, I wish for blackberry to study it's past and produce a premium smart phone that is ahead of the "curve"!

One of the last T-moble blackberry users, still cheering you on!!

Posted via CB10

Lazaridis is a smart physicist but a bad manager; Ballsillie was nothing without BlackBerry. Chen is a brilliant engineer and turn-around specialist; Watsa is a great investor.

BlackBerry is now a house, NOT divided.

Posted via CB10

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