Thorsten Heins at the AGM: The message remains consistent

By Chris Umiastowski on 9 Jul 2013 10:34 pm EDT
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Today in Waterloo, BlackBerry’s CEO presented a message that I feel was very consistent with everything they’ve been saying to date. While this may not have helped the stock much (it’s up marginally today), I think it’s at least positive to see the consistency.

Specifically, there are a lot of people who feel that BlackBerry should get out of hardware, or that BlackBerry should put itself up for sale. Everything that management has said over the last year suggests that neither of these two options are seriously on the table. Yes, they say they are open to all options. But as much as this is technically true, management can obviously only focus on what it feels are its best options, while paying lip service to the idea that it would not reject any reasonable option to improve shareholder value.

The bottom line is that Thorsten Heins sees BlackBerry as a company early on in its transition from a past smartphone leader to a future mobile computing leader. The world of mobile computing is still undergoing massive change, and BlackBerry is only 5 months into its launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform.

In a nutshell, management is irritated by what may be considered overly optimistic estimates for the Z10 early in on the launch. And this is hurting the stock price. But this company has its eye on a much bigger prize, which is to emerge as a leader in “the Internet of things”, also known as machine to machine (M2M) networking and computing.

There are plenty of smart people who have said that BlackBerry should exit the hardware business. But on the last earnings call, and really every earnings call since Thorsten Heins took over as CEO, they’ve talked about the need to be an integrated platform. They’ve also dropped strong hints that they need to prove their own platform before anyone would want to buy it anyway. I think that makes a lot of sense. BlackBerry 10 either succeeds under the ownership of BlackBerry, in which case why would they sell it? Or it fails and in that case why would anyone buy it?

As much as I can appreciate the arguments from those who predict that BlackBerry will exit the hardware business in 2013, it simply isn’t going to happen. So we all may as get on with the story and look at what’s happening next. The Q10 and Q5 rollouts are happening now. The BES 10 growth is beginning.  Secure Workspace for iOS and Android are available.  BBM is going cross platform this summer. The company is committed to investing for growth. We all realize that “investing” means “losing money” for the time being. Wall Street won’t like it, especially when the company won’t be reporting subscriber figures so there will be no easy way to judge the success of these so-called “investments”.

I understand the message the company outlined today. I think it was the only logical message for them to put forward.  My only criticism is that this phase two, the investment phase, shouldn’t only be starting now.  It should have started several months ago in advance of the BlackBerry 10 launch. Time is not on this company’s side, and they can’t afford to take a linear approach to things. They have to attack in full force. They have to strike with all their effort now. They have to hit hard, convince 70-some-odd million BlackBerry users to upgrade their hardware, convince most BES-using enterprises to adopt BES 10, and grow their BBM user base by tens of millions in the next few months to overtake WhatsApp as the mobile IM leader.

Can they do it?  Did you take away a different message from the AGM? Agree with me, or disagree? Have your say in the comments, folks.

Topics: BBRY Editorial

223 comments

The Me

BlackBerry needs to level up baby!

Posted via CB10

tw1g_007

And they can as soon as they bolster budgets for their ad campaigns. Right now advertising on the BlackBerry front is pretty damn pathetic.

via CB10 (BB Z10 : BLK : OS 10.1) [ Follow me @EHZAY for BB News & Tech Updates ]

Hypnoboy

+++ AsMuchAsICanWithoutBreakingThePlusSign

scalemaster34

Here in the US I've seen a number of ads (as I fast forward through commercials - stopped a couple of times) over the last couple of weeks. Just not sure how effective they are... but at least they are getting the BlackBerry name out there and letting people know that BlackBerry is still around.

Really think that having devices at different price points is going to be key for BB in the US (and in a lot of other places). Z10 is down to $100 with a 2-Year contract with Verizon, add a BOGO offer and you might see volume increase. At this point I feel that sales are way more important than big profits on devices.

aha

It's not only about money, but also about talent acquisition. It's nice to see they admit the problem and are making adjustments to their team. I would say Thor made another step towards the right direction.

JDM08

I think their strategy is;
1) Get the Z10 and Q10 out there to their main die hard fans that really required little to no marketing thus saving money and increasing cash on hand.
2) Get out the Q5 and market that in the appropriate markets, and slowly increasing marketing spend while now having 3 phones on the market bringing in more net rev and still increasing cash on hand.
3) Bring out the A10 as speculated and others to complete the product portfolio of 6. By then you have all the die hard BB fans who have been talking up their new BB's to their friends and showing them why its such a great phone. Then really start pushing marketing with the 4+ phones out for sale and further increasing their net rev.
This way they don’t burn all their cash trying to push just the Z10 and/or Q10. This also gives them more time to increase that cash position to spend on marketing.
In addition to this, I think they know that for most corps and Govs it takes them a few months of testing BES10, by then they will have these first 4+ phone available.

It’s a slow steady balance to bring out the new phone. As TH has said it’s a whole knew platform and they are in this for the long run, not just a quick buck. Its also been stated before by TH &/or FB that they were going to take a grass roots approach such as this.

I believe this is their strategy and will be watching this closely over the next few months.

I am long BB with 1.5-2 yr horizon to really seem some results.

Posted via CB10

khehl

that is actually a pretty cool way to think of it

ram4life

Yes, one does not simply change an entire company's way of operations overnight... the die hard fans are needed to get the awareness out there, then once they are satisfied, then the company has the ability to expand.

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kill_9

As a long-time BlackBerry user I am tired of waiting for BlackBerry management to get it right. They have f*cked the BlackBerry 10 launch from the outset and with the abandonment of the BlackBerry PlayBook I have to wonder how much longer BlackBerry will remain relevant. We gave Thorsten Heins a year to deliver and all he has done is fumble and stumble like a drunken sailor chasing hookers while on shore leave. Put Heins on a 30-day termination notice.

ryanza

Nicely said.

Posted via CB10

j556

That is a good point of view

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reallight

I think blackberry should find a way in updating the BB10 OS and rolling out these updates faster.
Becuase if I look at most of the BB Z10 reviews done by Android or iOS users, they are actually quite impressed with the new BB10 OS, but just complain about how they cannot find a native version of the apps they use regularly on their Android or iOS phones. And this complaint I find, to a rational degree, to be understandable and valid.
If you take a look at the Android platform for example... Since it is open sourced, Google has made sure to keep updating the platform at a fast pace to keep current user satisfied and to also make users from other platforms wanting to switch to the Android platform, believing that bugs and glitches are updated quickly compared to their current platforms. In this way customers don't walk around thinking they have a "useless" phone just because they are having difficulties with it for a long period of time and start looking for other potentially better operating systems. And let's be honest, Samsung, Windows Phone and iOS users are not too concern about the hardware in the Z10. To them it's all about the ecosystem. If Blackberry can focus more and putting a considerable more amount of effort in just making their OS and ecosystem more mature, I believe that the person to person marketing will eventually become stronger and hen advertisement on TV will have much more effect.
Because like me as a BB fan, I keep going around talking about the new developments on the BB10 OS. But I currently keep falling short when my friends as me if the update has already been rolled out... I just mumble no. But I'd say finance a project to only make more native apps to attract people from a different perspective then BBM and hub. Because BBM and hub will come automatically once someone has the phone, but I believe it should not be the main selling point, but a great bonus that you also get next to an integrated OS of all the apps Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BBOS users are currently using extensively. This way Blackberry can't avoid the use of the Whats'app-excuse many non BB users are using, saying: " Why would I need BBM, when I have Whats'app and G-Mail" ;-)

nick903

+100

Posted via CB10 from Q5

georg22

My thoughts too. And when corps and govs are getting their BB10 devices, these are well tested by the early adopters and already improved.

Schmurf

I fully agree with the thoughts that the BES10 implementations are only hitting it now. My company is expected to roll that out later this month. Apparently there is more to implementing the BES10 server than just plopping it in and going. Exchange server needs to be current, other applications need to be able to communicate properly, and so on. I think that once the corporate environment has more companies up to speed with it, you'll see more BB10 sales. In my office, most are waiting for the BES10 server to be up and running. Until then, they are using their BBOS devices.

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luddite2

All of this kind of goes to hell in the U.S. without timely software updates. The slower pace might be fine for "finished" software but BB10 still has some bugs and updates needs to come along faster to improve the user experience so we CAN brag about our new BB devices.

Hopefully, BB can keep this going for a couple of years as people tied to contracts now are locked in for that term. They can't even consider a BB until then.

lorax1284

Very well put. It makes sense, but too bad that no BB executives explain it so clearly, perhaps because that tips their hand, strategy-wise, and they'd rather not give their competitors a sneak-peek at their marketing schedule: when the DO decide to "hit hard", they don't want Apple and Samsung ready with huge ad buys and drowning out their fanfare.

kill_9

'when the DO decide to "hit hard"'

ROFLMAO

w0lfgang

Edward Smith to the engine room....full steam ahead!

birdman_38

For what? Phase 2? I gotta agree with Chris, this Phase 1, 2, and 3 thing doesn't make sense. BlackBerry plans to invest in the product well after it hits the market.

w0lfgang

Edward Smith was the captain of the Titanic

kill_9

At least Captain Edward Smith had the integrity to take responsibility for the disaster and went down with his ship.

Peter Lee4

They can do it if they continue to seek out compelling reasons to buy a Blackberry device over an iPhone or Android device. For some of us, there are enough reasons, but for the masses there just aren't enough yet.

The way I see this happening is by truly investing in a differentiated ecosystem - apps and games. They also need to improve their marketing which has been very average (keep moving is a great concept, but the commercials aren't great).

deke09

I agree with you. But BlackBerry has to "Keep Moving." I think they should focus on the keyboard. Appeal to the masses by giving them everything (or close to it) they want, plus THE GREATEST KEYBOARD EVER. They need to keep improving the keyboard and market the innovation. It's what makes BlackBerry fun for users at any level. Swiping pages on iOS and a Home Button is mundane compared to the swiping rhythms and organization of BB10. It needs to get into more hands. My local Verizon store surely isn't helping. They had the phone on display in the corner with a plastic strap tied around the display. You couldn't even swipe the device to wake it up and try it out! BlackBerry is truly in a battle and they're marketing should attack these forces. Make people look twice. BlackBerry doesn't get enough credit. Again, though, BlackBerry needs to keep moving because this OS doesn't have forever to mature. Where's my 10.1, Verizon? Dammit.

Posted via CB10 w/ the Z10

westex74

think about a Q10 with a 3.5-4" screen. How compelling would that be?

deke09

I still love the physical qwerty, but the virtual BlackBerry keyboard is the innovation that needs to be marketed. I'm all in favor of a virtual trackpad to grow the experience, too. Wow factor, BlackBerry style. Functionality. Keep moving.

Posted via CB10 w/ the Z10

jas1978

Yes. A 3.5 to 4" screen on the Q10 would be great. That would get me away from my Z10.

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os30

Yeah I agree. But not a slider model since keyboard users will most likely leave the slider open anyway. A keyboard model with a much larger screen would do nicely.

However not sure how they can fit a 720x720 resolution on a larger screen tbh. (BlackBerry has mandated that all keyboard models would have 720x720 resolutions).

National Rail Times App for BB10 (Native Q10 and Z10) - http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/20352963

kidshah

I really hope they change that current mandate. I think a Q10 with a 4inch 4:3 screen would have looked impressive

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Qaxl

Why is Landscape Slider so much out of the question ?
I took a Poll, besides other choices...
12% wanted an all touch device,
19% wanted a Bold type form factor
34% wanted a Landscape Slider

http://forums.crackberry.com/blackberry-10-os-f269/blackberry-10-landsca...

fgh789

dude.. you have a sample size of 87 people, all of who frequent a blackberry discussion forum. i'm all for a landscape slider, but your poll is skewed and not at all indicative of any trend

Qaxl

Shhhh dude dont say it out aloud !!

Loc22

Hmm mm a Q10 with a 4 or 4.2 inch screen may make the phone huge. Then again big phones are the in thing these days

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BruvvaPete

The only thing is that a keyboard device is such a niche market share overall. That much is plain with the success of iOS and Android devices. Even if half of 70 million people use a qwerty device, overall and in the long run that number is insignificant.

Qaxl

iOS and Android have displayed the need for Incredible App Ecosystems, and Large screens for content consumption, also they have shown that Specs matter, High end Processors are pretty much needed for a successful phone, however that does not mean people do not want keyboards on their high end devices.

I remember before the galaxy series took spotlight, when the Motorola Droid was all the rage with a ... wait for it .... slide out keyboard.

Since then the HTC one series and the Samsung Galaxy series have pretty much owned the android space with their all touch phones, but answer me this ... has there been a keyboard device as good as an S3 ? or an S4 ???

Fact is the companies never made a "Great" device and added a Keyboard to it, its not the customers fault for not buying the keyboard devices, if the companies themselves don't even give the keyboard devices a fighting chance.

If there was a Xperia Z or an S4 or an HTC One with a slide out keyboard ... only then can there be a fair comparison between touch and keyboard devices, frankly BlackBerry wasn't even in the game when the Keyboards died.

What im trying to say is ... there has never been a really really really good device with a great OS and top notch specs .. which had a keyboard, when there have been devices "good enough" like the Bold 9000 or the Droid they have gotten good sales.... IF they bring out a Nexus 5Lide or an Aristo Slide im sure it will have significant sales volume

BruvvaPete

It seems the "Big Two" don't really care for physical keyboards, not to mention sliders.

There's always going to be a need for keyboards for those who prefer them; however Samsung and Apple's dominance (I know the appmosphere has a lot to do with it) with the general consumer suggests to me that if you don't give people a choice, but provide a great overall product, you will do well.

It's kinda funny that the vast majority of keyboard devices I've seen have been BlackBerries. That's a good thing.

RubberChicken76

That's why they're also releasing touch screens and made a touch oriented os.

As for the keyboard market, it's significant enough to keep the lights on and doors open at BlackBerry.

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BruvvaPete

It's kinda scary to think about where BlackBerry would be without keyboard devices.

luddite2

"The only thing is that a keyboard device is such a niche market share overall. That much is plain with the success of iOS and Android devices."

People gave up on the keyboard because they didn't have any choice with iOS and Android.

Steven Shef

I'm in full support of blackberry 10. I use my Z10 daily and I love it in every respect. Fluid, easy to use and fun.
I'm not in the company management business so i just look for user "usability" and this phone does everything I need.
There is room for improvement as there is with all OS. I'll wait for the updates and enjoy the ride.

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moonfalle

This echos exactly how I feel.. going to enjoy ride too)

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sunsetberry

I agree enjoy the ride but it should be at a quicker pace

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ryanza

+1

Almost every day I'm explaining to people that BlackBerry 10 is less complicated than other OS's but it is different. Once I show most people how easy it is to navigate a Z10 they are more interested in the platform.

People say BlackBerry doesn't have time? Well I think they do and time will get BlackBerry back into the market as a leader.

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BruvvaPete

The explaining that you're doing is what BlackBerry should be doing in their commercials; instead they show people doing activities and very little about the devices.

rizaru_rin

You wish, dream on dude..

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axllebeer

I've been waiting for your thoughts all day Chris. Good article. If they speed up and attack in full force like you said, I personally agree with you that they can do it. But will they? That is the question.

LOCOSDEL136dotORG

Blackberry 10 the Future is in your hands I come to thee. Pin: C0045D8C

Pete The Penguin

Chris, you state that BlackBerry needed to start the investment phase prior to BB10; have you forgotten the buyout of QNX?
Without that strategic plan, we would not have BB10 today.

I have faith that, in general, BlackBerry know what they're doing. Whether you or I agree with it.

On the whole, this was a balanced if somewhat "shallow" article.

Posted from The Force wielding tap-dancing mouse on secret pantless missions (hiding in Jaydee's backseat) :p

SuperionMaximus

Of course they invested to make BlackBerry 10 happen. QNX, TAT, Torch, Tungle, Tiny Hippos, Docs to Go, etc... They literally bought the companies they needed to make the platform. But that was investing in the creation of the new Platform.

Now they need to be investing in making it a success in the market. They need to invest in getting BlackBerry World up to par. They need to invest in marketing to sell the innovations that BlackBerry offers. They need to invest in hardware development to make sure they are putting out the right phones in each segment of the market to maximize sales.

They need to invest in continued Platform development. BlackBerry 10 is good, but so is everyone else and BlackBerry is seen as a company that is always a step behind. They need to do some first party in house development on BB10 to give it a feature or two that you can't get or imitate anywhere else.

They need to invest in new lines of business. Part of the reason Apple, Google and Microsoft are such strong competitors is that they all have products and services that aren't smart phones, but directly benefit the customers who buy their smart phones. For example, BlackBerry not only has to make sure QNX maintains its leadership position in Automotive, it needs to make the companies that use it include features that work uniquely with BlackBerry phones. Apple doesn't license iOS to car makers, but more people will see the iOS interface on the screen in their car and hear Siri's voice in their car then will ever know BlackBerry is the company that powers the dash board and turns on the check engine light. This has to change. BlackBerry needs to leverage their strengths.

HerfDurf

If they're irritated by analysts making overly optimistic projections, perhaps they should be more clear and transparent in their own performance expectations, rather than letting The Street make s*** up out of thin air.

Saying things like "we expect to sell tens of millions of Q10s" without giving any kind of timeline on those expectations doesn't help your case.

Managing expectations in a huge part of being successful, and RIM/BlackBerry have been godawful at it.

trwrt

Absolutely agree, came here to say the same thing. Stock drops of 30% in a day don't just happen. Management's job is to prevent that and they totally blew it.

Puz_zled

They exactly hit their projections they gave at the Q4 2013 call. As Thorsten said,"I don't know what you think Approaching breakeven means, but to me that means a slight loss." Which is what they delivered.

From my sweet BB10 Neutrino powered Z10 :D

JDM08

I agree, managing expectations is a huge part of success. I hope it if any thing they have learned something from this past quarter and do a better job managing those expectations throughout the quarters. That way they can avoid this negative press that they really don't need at this time.

I do also agree that they did come some what in line with original guidance, but they need to keep that in check through out the quarters.

I liked the way TH handled this in the AGM and this provided me with more confidence in him from that quarterly call.

Posted via CB10

Skeevecr

The problem is that all those people shorting BB stock are eagerly building expectations while trying to mitigate any stock increases so that when things like the quarterly report comes out and it meets BB's original guidance but not the hyped up version then you see a ludicrous fall in the share price that allows them to profit.

Hypnoboy

(But also, saying one thing IS going to happen and then saying it's NOT doesn't help anyone feel too confident. "BB10 IS coming to Playbook." "BB10 will NOT be on Playbook..." Direct from the CEO's mouth... Not a great PR moment there.)

jfguay2

This is true, but the problem is in how they are managing expectations, especially the ones they created when they committed to BB10 on the PB. A company certainly has the right to change course, if it is no longer viable or no longer make sense to go with a certain decision. Having said that, when it is announced, they absolutely have to acknowledged that the people relying on the first committment will feel dissappointed, and somehow find a way to make up for it. Give these people some sort of compensation for not getting something that was promised. It may initially cost BBRY, but in the long haul, they would be better off doing this.

mrabody

Yes, a huge problem has been management of expectations. If Heins had said "we expect to sell tens of millions of Q10s over its product lifespan," that would have added some much needed perspective to his comments.

Also, a simple press release a week or two before the first quarter results saying, "when we released our last quarter's results we projected that we would approach break-even in the current quarter. Barring any unforseen events we stand by that prediction," would have deflated some of the extravagant expectations being raised by analysts at the time and set the stage for the release of the Q1 results, including the Venezualan currency problems. Instead they allowed the street to set the conditions for disappointment by allowing expectations to build.

Arabianhorse

This is a brillant device running innovative software but the typical consumer doesn't know the difference. 71% polled in a recent study said they would never buy a BlackBerry. This is mass ignorance. Advertising "tough" is the only way out.

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birdman_38

It's like climbing a mountain in flip flops.

randall2580

But it isn't. The "typical consumer" will not be side loading their favorite apps to the phone so in many cases the applications that are important to a phone's success are not available to BB10.

If you look at the masses who buy iPhones they don't care about anything other than does it do what I expect it to do. In too many cases still, BlackBerry cannot answer the question "yes", never mind daily reboots and no where to take the phone to get relief for days.

If BlackBerry do not address this it doesn't matter if you can use a Z10 to run a nuclear submarine, if I can't get the phone to do what I want it to do.

Wolf35Nine

Without having the most popular apps currently being utilized on the other platforms, how can they expect to gain market share? Sure the hardware is great, but you need the apps to go along with that. Get the most popular apps in blackberry world. Non of this sideload stuff. Search and install from blackberry world... just like how the others do it on their app stores.

Mikhou

You're damn right ----> http://stks.co/gcGs App is EVERYTHING is mobile market !

EAPENJJ

You nailed it on the head. I love my physical keyboard but am constantly frustrated with the lack of apps and the fact that most companies only offer their specific apps to IOS and Android users and very rarely do you see a BB version of their apps. Secondly BB version of apps have so many limitations as compared to those same apps on IOS or Android.

BB seems to be making critical marketing errors - this has what has spelled the gradual demise of a once "great" company. Failure to innovate at the right time and poor judgement are to blame.

Has BB forgotten it's loyal fan base - most of these folks like myself are still using BB 7 devices and feel like we've been "shafted". I've been waiting for Skype on my BB for "years". I'm in aviation and I hate the lack of BB aviation apps. The same goes for Playbook users - BB "shafted" us! You cannot afford to lose your loyal customer base. As it stands now, I have no interest in upgrading to BB 10 or BB when I'm due for an upgrade end of year. BB has lost a customer who has been a loyal fan for the last 6 years because they simply don't care.

I think they should just sell of their hardware business and go the IBM route. I don't mind buying a smartphone from Apple or Samsung as long as it has a physical keyboard and the apps I want!

1roguecanuck

What kind of apps are you looking for in aviation? I know there are some available for BB OS

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EAPENJJ

I've got all the ones you can get but many have limitations. Foreflight is the top aviation app only offered for the Ipad. Fltplan an android app has a playbook offering but has features such as the moving map removed. All of this is quite sad considering the playbook is one of the few tablets out there with a built in gps, compass etc etc. Nobody is making new aviation apps for the playbook. I'm doing my commercial pilot training and definitely like using an electronic means instead of paper charts.

xdoublejx

off subject, your picture is fricken awesome man

triplekia

Shhh, u aren't supposed to talk about apps problem since apps play very small role in smartphone success. Its all about peek, flow, and hub experience that the masses are too stupid to acknowledge.

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El Platanero

+1 sarcasm

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Mikhou

Thor avoided all questions & skated on thin ice like a pro... Same Old song, Same Old result !
Here's what REAL Users think of Thor at AGM ---> http://stks.co/gcGs

Too Little too late... He keep asking time when time has run out...

khehl

this tweet or what ever, doesn't really prove your point?

SDTRMG

You gave them 5 months? Then by all accounts your a goof.

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BruvvaPete

Still running along with the four year argument that BlackBerry is dead, huh. smdh...

cbdwolff7

Now is the time to think smarter then your competitors Blackberry. Show us how it's done. Make us proud.

CrackBerryABC123

I LOVE my Q10 and whats even better my wife loves it too. So much so that she was finally convinced to chuck her Samsung Gravity out the window and make Blackberry her first smartphone. Having to always help her with trouble shooting on her windows laptop or showing her how to use the HTPC I am happy to say that she hasn't had any issues with her new phone. The phone just does what it is supposed to do very well without any fuss.

BBThemes

I agree they probably won't exit hardware this year, but they seem already to be looking at 'software as a service' (SaaS) as their long term option.

As for being upset by estimates, dont tell wall street you have sell outs, and ur product is selling beyond your expectation and you'll sell ten million Q10's. Can't blame wall street for BlackBerry's poor expectation management.

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randall2580

100% agreed. They stubbornly refused to give out numbers everyone knows are right at Thor's fingertips - preferring to stay with vagueness and newspeak, and then are shocked to learn that the pundits don't know how to interpret the information. They only have themselves to blame - and will continue thus as they point to the unknowable forward market as to why they cannot give guidance.

rim_investor

Doesn't sound like you'll be selling your shares Chris as per your G&M article. If only some insiders had your confidence. I can't afford to invest more to average down my $27 asp...down from $65 asp last year but still $30K to make up. So, I'm not selling and need to have faith. Love my Z10 and here's hoping all long investors own a BlackBerry(s).

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BruvvaPete

Keep the faith, my friend. This is about a long term haul. Apple didn't get to be one of the most valuable tech companies overnight. Remember that at one point the company was less than one quarter away from filing for Chapter 11.

felixlives

Definitely better marketing
While it does have some "baby faults", i think BB10 is better than iphone ( which is why they are copying it)
It's all in making people see that it's not the same old crap they had, its about shaking the old stigma that BlackBerry is for old corporate types, or your mom and dad
It's about making BlackBerry cool again, not sure, but while those legacy devices where workhorses they did/do fall short of what is technologicaly possible.
It's all in marketing, get some serious star/celeb ( and i don't mean like engelbert humperdink, i mean young Hollywood types) behind it, you have to make it cool to carry a BlackBerry around again
Advertising needs to be better cooler edgier etc etc
The product is there, you just need to give people a reason they have to have it

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DJRikko

They were giving $50 credits for older BlackBerry devices to use to upgrade to OS7 but not a lot of people knew about it, and it was for OS7... come on.

I am a firm believer that if people are given a reward for being a BlackBerry user (I don't think $50 is enough), they should be told at every turn (I don't think that enough marketing was put forward in that regard) so that when you are ready to upgrade, you think to yourself "hmm, I'm getting $100 off a brand new Q10, I guess I don't have a choice but to get another BlackBerry".

That is how you stop bleeding customers.

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EAPENJJ

Great point. In 2012, I upgraded to a 9900 because of the incentive my provider and BB gave me to do so. It worked. If they really want to get their loyal BB 7 subscriber base to upgrade to 10, give us an incentive to do so.

pfluger

Or how about a $100 app gift card if you upgrade from BB7 to BB10. Same value to the customer but much cheaper for BBRY than an outright discount on the device.

BerryPadfoot

More than that, if all those users have $100 to spend in BlackBerry's app store maybe more app developers would be trying to "get a piece of that."

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randall2580

right now you can get a Z10 for $49 from Best Buy here in the USA

buckwylder

BlackBerry should NEVER get out of hardware, whomever thinks that is literally stupid. They need to keep doing exactly what they're doing. BlackBerry makes the best smartphones on the planet, from the hardware on up to BlackBerry 10, they're the best at making smartphones.

They're plans are consistent and they have to Keep Moving.

Who cares about the PlayBook not getting BlackBerry 10. Seriously, stop fixating on old products (not saying the PlayBook is bad, I love mine...) I'm just saying... give it up already.

Smartphones and mobile computing are the central point of the entire future of computing, period. BlackBerry is doing the right thing by focusing on the meat, smartphones. They do smartphones THE BEST in the world.

Anyways, peace.

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EAPENJJ

Honestly the Playbook has some features in it most other tablets don't offer. The Ipad still doesn't have on board GPS for example. However the OS needs an overhaul. It was a great product that has just been left on the roadside now and loyal users "shafted". That my friend is what you call an innovative product that had great marketing potential that has been trashed for no valid reason. Tablets are the way of the future and great way to earn revenue to help the company keep afloat. I like my playbook but it needs an OS update. I like my BB 9900 and all the other BB's I had in the last 7 years but why should I bother updating to BB 10 if BB gives me no incentive to do so nor does it have the app selection the competitors do. You cannot win the war against Samsung or Apple without proper marketing and keeping your loyal customer base happy.

I love my physical keyboard on my BB but the lack of apps and the fact the company doesn't care about it's BB 7 users shows me it's time to move on.

Shobhit pathak

I am waiting for the day when my QNX powered car has a slot for my BB10 or BB11 for auto connect with my car and use map and music while iPhone 9 and Samsung S15 will be incompatible........Dont lose me BB, I really wanna stay but you aren't giving me reasons to.........

BB9800, BB9780, BB9360, BB PB 64, BB PB 32 (Thats my whole family and my 24 m daughter on the PB 32)

randall2580

I guess you haven't seen iOS in car in iOS7. The really amusing part is that on some of the manufacturers it runs on a QNX background so your dream is a contrast to reality

BBThemes

People aren't fixating on an old product, they are fixating on a broken promise that was made by thorsten not mike n Jim.

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niss63

Bingo

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route664

I've always agreed with the vision of blackberry. however, execution has not been their strong suit, and what i don't agree with. i wasn't able to listen to the AGM, but did they address the whole update issue(fragmented updates, being unaware of backberry user's needs and carrier issues), marketing and advertising?

I know this one person who said the q10 is poor man's iphone. i don't really care what people say.. but this person is in charge of mobile devices for a large company. this person's highly influential

it's great to have vision and keep your head in the clouds.. but blackberry is also on borrowed time.. and when you're head is in the clouds.. sometimes you don't see that you're about to walk off a cliff.

HectorBusyBee

Thanks for the article and bless you for your optimism and positive outlook. I've lost almost all hope. Frustrated with the decision I've made to stick around (with BlackBerry) and with the options, or lack thereof. The only thing that I want to know is, does BlackBerry care to want more consumers in the US? Everyday people who will use their mobile devices? Or are they still holding out for that "business" person [that doesn't represent the majority] who has moved on and has no incentive to come back to the brand?

Sincerely,

A loyal but very disappointed oBlackBerry Consumer (former Fan).

HBB Posted via CB10 from my BlackBerry Z10

Amit Oberoi

So mikhou u mean that one person who does not want to use BlackBerry Z10 because there are two apps which he uses which are not currently available for BlackBerry Z10 will mean doomsday for BlackBerry, come on, and further, he is the only real user, seriously??? Thor and company are trying to turn around a company which has made god knows how many mistakes and bad decisions in the past. A comeback is never easy, but thor is giving it his best shot, so I am all.the way with them. And this is not cos I love BlackBerry the company, this is cos BlackBerry 10 is simply awesome.

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buckwylder

BlackBerry will not exit the hardware business. That's seriously ridiculous.

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birdman_38

Why would it be? It seems to be the least lucrative part of their business. Thor hardly even makes mention of hardware anymore. Software and services get his heart rate up. Hardware is just a necessary evil for BlackBerry.

brandonwh

It doesn't only hurt the stock price, it hurts getting new subscribers. Because they missed the streets "estimates" everyone instantly went into BlackBerry is failing mode. That hurts the reputation of the company and people aren't going to want to buy their phones.

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antoniovtorres

Lol. Exactly how many potential subscribers do you think even know about this? How many subscribers actually know about this?

Come on. Please look up the definition for hyperbole. Then, multiply it by 10 and you have an idea of how your comment has been perceived by a level headed business person.

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Gator99

For the most part, I agree. Time to move on, no drama here. I also strongly agree with Thor on the fact that there will always be a demand for more than 2 (or 3) relevant OS's. The key word is relevant, and as long as BlackBerry can stay relevant, the company will continue to evolve.

Sent from the future on my Z10.

Edmo

How are they going to do all of this when they can't even get Verizon to release an update?

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nabil114

Some of the new business models would take time to replace the revenues from devices.

Kevin Michaluk

Still a lot more CrackBerry in Waterloo / AGM coverage to come... Simon and I were swamped today, and tomorrow is a BUSY one too (good things). Heading to bed now (exhausted) and a early start tomorrow, but we'll follow up soon with a lot more thoughts on everything. 

Puz_zled

Looking forward to it expecially the good stuff!

From my sweet BB10 Neutrino powered Z10 :D

birdman_38

Thanks for the update Kevin. We were worried about you.

randall2580

So in the end did you arrive in a stretch limo ala Vic?

stots

Long Live BlackBerry

BlackBerry Z10- I use it for a phone and a computer :)

Harvey Specter

One thing that seemed to be a theme of the Q&A session is "why doesn't America like us?"

IMO, Americans like winners. Be a winner. Build a winning platform, a winning device, and market LIKE A WINNER. Stop whining about it. Do something about it. Be bold....be original...be sexy....but most important be a winner.

textmint2013

+1 say it like it is

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BerryPadfoot

And see about getting the #1 wireless carrier to release updates in a mildly timely fashion. Don't really blame BlackBerry for the delay but it still hurts BlackBerry when this happens.

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bradu1

America likes winners? Look at our celebrities. Kardashians, Chris Brown, Honey Booboo. Not exactly what I would call winners. We as a society just want to be cool and popular. And apparently, we can only have one popular Canadian item at a time. So will somebody please come and take Bieber back?? Please??

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nquyen

America is reflective of the media here, they love an underdog, they love a comeback story, and yet they wont embrace them until after they've succeeded. Americans are STUBBORN! I should know, I'm one of them.

Eze DAmico

Just put the new BB10 devices on the street, the BB7 to BB10 exchange programs are great for this purpose. Having the new platform on the street will automatically change the perception of the brand and it's products.

airwolf04

They have to build a better hardware compare to the competition. If Apple have a 8mpx camera they should have a 12mpx. Etc etc plus hiring some developers to create killer apps. Etc they have to be better and not equal compare to the competition. And give away some Q10 and Z10 to celebrities. And show those phones on movies etc

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birdman_38

Agreed, but I doubt BlackBerry has the capability (R&D dollars) to lead the spec race.

bradu1

But they do have TAT. And from what I've seen, they could make all but the staunchest of fan boys forget all about ios and android.

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birdman_38

They could, but choose not to.

Loc22

I don't think it should be called R&D but more of just adaptation. The reason is that these technologies are already out there for you to adapt to.

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bigbadben10

BlackBerry will follow what they believe is the right path to become profitable. That will take time and to those who think they are dead... the record is broken! play something else.

TH knows what he is doing. I am a loyal shareholder and am in for as long as it takes!

BlackBerry is here to stay no matter what anybody says!

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nextlevel88

Personally, I'd rather see BlackBerry exit software than hardware. I know that's the least likely scenario, but I'd prefer it. Specs aside, when it comes to build quality, physical keyboard or full touch, BlackBerry phones are easily the most durable in my experience.

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bbfanboi

They need both!!! I believe their hardware is second to none, and their software is exceptional.

freedomx20a

agreed. hardware is the best save for maybe nokia but bb10 kills wp8 as an ex lumia owner.

z10 rocks

I agree with you, the author,
I think that they are not selling parts of the company neither are they exiting the hardware business, I am small share holder, and I'm fully behind the ceo said the board, the ceo is doing a great job, patience is a virtue and those who wait will be rewarded,
Thanks for writing

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SlcCorrado

I'm still impressed by the message. After today's meeting, I am actually buying more stock. Yes, it's a long play, and a gamble at that, but I do see a future for BlackBerry. Mobile computing will never be a 2 player game, no matter how big the "big 2" get. People want a choice, and OS developers such as microsoft, Ubuntu, and BlackBerry will offer that choice. If BlackBerry stays strong and delivers what they intend too, I think we will see a rise not just in devices, but in other mediums as well.

alexkam

Patience is a hard pill to swallow and I am the first to admit that I have little patience left. But we are on the course to a recovery and I have faith in the management that they will return BlackBerry to a high shareholder value.

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emmuniz1

Agree 100%!! #BB10Believe #KeepMoving #BB10Army #BB10Freak #TeamBlackberry #BlackBerryNation

Follow Me on Twitter @mongezaurio

RAFA1

BlackBerry its a really solid platform,but every begging is tough,BlackBerry will emerge victorious once again that's a fact.

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bbfanboi

Chris, I'm a stock holder in BBRY, but I could care less about short term value. I want long term value. I invested in BBRY because I want the company to succeed, and if they do, I'll make some coin; but if they don't show me value tomorrow, I won't jump off a cliff or sell my shares. I hate this short term thinking that leads to stupid short term decisions. Companies must be able to run their own show their own way, and if they aren't swayed by greedy investors, they will actually build something valuable worth holding onto. This is why I am starting to believe that BBRY should buy back some stock with their 3 billion in cash. Choose not to be at the mercy of investors - just like having no debt removes any risk of being at the mercy of bankers.

Wolf35Nine

If folks on other platforms can search their respective app store and load the kindle app for example, BlackBerry should have the same ease of use in their store. Without the most popular apps, this won't work. Look at http://crackberry.com/how-sideload-android-applications-blackberry-q10
Why must a blackberry user go through all those steps to sideload when the others simply open their app store, search and install the app in question. The average person wants ease of use. I've sideloaded before but in order to get gain market share, ease of use is paramount. Why is it that commercials never mention sideloading stuff? if they have, I missed it. Get the most popular apps into BlackBerry World and make a commercial about it! Even the playing the field with apps then the hardware will shine. You don't want a reason for someone to say no to BlackBerry because an app is not available or they don't want to sideload. I play words with friends so find a way to make it available in Blackberry world. Can't they offer up a lot of cash to the developer to bring it to BB10 platform? Maybe I'm wrong, but without the big name apps, I don't see how they are going to gain market share. Is it working so far as is? I'm sticking with BlackBerry, but they need to get on the ball.

Loc22

Apps are important but not really that important because most of the apps (approximately 70%) in Appstore & Android market has never been downloaded before. Majority of the smartphone users only use up to a maximum of three to four apps per week.

Then again BlackBerry comes preloaded with almost all the apps that you will need so that you don't need to download many new apps. This is unlike other platforms where they give you almost no apps preloaded & everything needs to be downloaded separately.

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ofutur

I don't know why TH didn't mention they fired the US VP of sales. It's a good sign that they're trying something different.

Note to BB: Dark theme and OLED screen combo = disaster outside

Puz_zled

Where did you hear that? That does seem significant!

From my sweet BB10 Neutrino powered Z10 :D

triplekia

http://mobile.theverge.com/2013/7/10/4509384/blackberry-layoffs-richard-...

CB seems to stop any negative news ever since the Black Friday event.

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blackberry008

BB 10 is just starting to roll out update and becoming a solid secure os but any negative news or stories in the media slow things down..........this is where team crackberry can help.......talk to people at events and tell them how great the product is.......show them the phone from your pocket.......the most more proactive we are, the more the word of mouth advertising it will be....... . by October /November the OS will mature enough to start to show the real opportunity to the masses.......i usually don't type this much at all but the amazing keyboard on the z10 is so awesome...

Word of mouth advertising NOW, team crackberry

via White BlackBerry Z10

Wolf35Nine

CB should advise what the BlackBerry marketing department needs to do! The marketing department needs to attack negative news and stories. They need to talk to people at events. They need to use the phone from their pockets. They need to be more proactive. I agree with everything you said, but why not let the folks who get the big paychecks in marketing do their job! I never said it was easy, but its not impossible.

Sirhill

If BlackBerry was an NBA player, BlackBerry would be the Dwight Howard of the mobile industry. Everyone knows how great the platform can be and what it has done in the past. But as of today BlackBerry has a branding issue. With three different OS's in the last three years (OS 7, PlayBook, BB10 and yes the last are based off of QNX) no one knows what is next. They need to nail down one thing and work towards making that the focus.

They have all of the pieces but they are not using them all that well. QNX (defense), TAT(offense), Scoreloop/Torch Mobile (rebounding), JayCut/Viigo/Gist/Certicom/Dash (assist). Superstar potential, 15 year vet production.

So yes the Dwight Howard of the mobile industry. They have superstar talent, big game experience, the chance to be called the one of the very best. But no will to use the talent around them to make everyone stand up and notice. Without knowing what the brand is, what it's mission is to do and not using its talents in the right way they will just be another player.

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Jerale Hoard

I like your style (no homo).

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adonesc

I personally think that BlackBerry can make it out of its current predicament. They've got innovation, ingenuity, imagination and originality on their side . A lot of hard working, talented and intelligent people make up their workforce, but it has to be the same at the very top.

You talk about steady progress about consistency and steadfast growth. Good. But your actions have to match your words. So far they aren't! Staggered product launches, inconsistent OS updates do not bode well for a company that finds itself either on the brink of failure or sucess.

It was clear that launching a whole new OS like BB10, new devices and building a whole new eco - system from the ground up was bound to have some problems and not run a 100% smoothly.

I really could care less what some douchebag financial analyst or hedge fund manager has to say. As far as I'm concerned, they can kiss my ass!

But as a BlackBerry user, there are things I cannot ignore! First you announce that the PlayBook will not receive the latest version of BB10, which as I said before, I understand from the point of view of a business and technical decision. But you can still throw a bone to loyal customers who stood by you when pretty much everyone else criticized the PlayBook. You don't have to give them BB10, but you can still give them a few updates of the current PlayBook OS, including the BlackBerry Bridge.

Stop investing in and putting out legacy devices, this sends the wrong signal that you are still stuck in the past! And what do you do instead?! You announce a new legacy device at this stage in the game after you just told PlayBook owners, including me, that the product will be basically abandoned?! So you won't upgrade the PlayBook but you will instead go back further in time and bring out a device that most people are slowly but surely abandoning?

I gave up my BlackBerry Curve 9360 and boxed it, because I was really interested in BB10 and the devices operating that new system, in my case the Z10. Now I'm left to wonder, are you going to abandon the Z10 also? Did I just spend over $600 dollars on a new device that I'll end up using as a door stopper sooner rather than later? I want this to be my primary communications and computing device for a stretch. I'm in with the Z10 for the long haul, I want to get at least 3 years of use out of it before I even consider getting a new one! Will that still be possible if BlackBerry won't support it?!

Honestly fuck the Q10 and the Q5!!!!! They are good devices, no doubt, but they are still trapped with one foot in the past. I get that they are still wanted and needed. But in time you have to move beyond them...and when I say time...as fast as possible, after they had their desired effect on the fortunes of the company...better invest in a Z5 instead!

Lastly, advertise your damn products!!! You don't lack in quality and value, top tech players like Apple and Samsung don't necessarily offer any better products than yours, but unlike BlackBerry, they are visible and known. Their profile is recognizable because they made it so. BlackBerry used to do it before its own hubris and arrogance almost brought the whole house down!

I think that you do have a window of opportunity to turn things around, but it is a small one and its quickly closing!

So grow the f**k up!

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BruvvaPete

Please don't expect a lot of people to read and comment on that.

adonesc

Don't worry, I don't give a rat's ass if anyone reads or comments on my posting. I wrote what I felt and wanted to say as a BlackBerry customer and user. I don't need anyone's validation for this...I like BlackBerry and their products. I use a Z10 and so does my mom, I have a PlayBook...plus two boxed legacy devices...so I "contributed to the cause " as much as my limited income allowed me to! But when you see someone with their head so far up their ass that they're pretty much blind...you gotta call them on it! Things are not as bad as those retard analysts make them out to be...but they aren't peachy either...let's be real!

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BruvvaPete

I totally agree with you. I was just saying that some may not have the attention span to read it all.

adonesc

Sorry didn't wanna sound like a douche...I was saying that in general terms....

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Skeevecr

You are missing the point in the same way that far too many people on here have done about the new legacy device, it provides a decent upgrade at the 9320 price point which is one that they cannot yet hit with bb10 hardware, they will get closer next year as the cost of the components drops but until then they cannot simply ignore that part of the market.

As far as your fuck the q10 and q5 comment, that is utterly idiotic, you do not have to move beyond something when it is a useful and in demand form factor, doing so would needlessly kill the company. As far as them needing a z5, this is true, but there simply hasn't been the same scope to cut costs to go from a z10 to a z5 as most of the savings on the q5 come from the display and the cheaper casing compared with a q10.

adonesc

As I said, those are good devices, and by all means use them to sure up the company. There is a demand outhere for them so satisfy it for now ...both the Q10 and Q5 are good, but they are devices of the moment and in some ways anchored in the past...the physical keyboard...what I was saying is that BlackBerry has to innovate and get ahead of the curve. Whenever I go to the mall I see a steady stream of people coming out of the Apple store with devices I know are less than the BlackBerry ones in many ways, ditto for Samsung, whose Galaxy S4 is not nearly as kick ass as everyone thought it would be...nor is it selling as much as expected. It’s a shame therefore to see BlackBerry who has a better OS and devices get its ass kicked...but they have to cut the ombylical cord and finish at some point with devices like the Q10 and the Q5.

So I stand by what I said...fuck the Q10 and the Q5!

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taylorblackberry

I believe Thor have got everything under -control. I believe in him

fearmantis

Just dont give up! BB Z10 rocks. I love it!.

Wolf35Nine

The stock is low again. Time to buy.

Supa_Fly1

my views:

"The message remains consistent"
^Screw the message ... its time to DELIVER!! That's right, I said it! I'm tired, investors and analyst are tired, and many of the die-hard fans are tired of the message we want results and we want them SOON. It seems the only division inside of BlackBerry Ltd that is delivering is TAT, QNX and the BES10 server teams! That's it. I'll explain.

Hardware ... selling it or entirely outsourcing it with a partner that NEEDED the funds to remain profitable and can deliver quality products (design and build quality) using quality materials would have been a very smart move and I'm sure supply chain would have approved - LG comes to mind as they where desperately looking for a client just for this role to fulfill at exactly the time BlackBerry began their transition. Actually in fact it was just as Celestica delivered bad news that being 30% of total device manufacturing volume (BBOS devices) in their scope was to be ended early this year.
Imagine if the Z10 had the quality focus on materials like the Q10 did, I'm sure plenty more units would've sold - even with just a hint of metal around the main edge, or if it had IP57 rating!!

Regardless of that ... more important items are on the shelf of my thoughts.

Mobile Computing Platform = M2M 2.0 (read up on it; it was specifically featured by a QNX lead and business liason at BB Live 2013; I've posted it about a month ago so search my posts for Linda Hamilton).
The infrastructure was announced, yet it seems like a trial event. BB hinted at it with Mercedes R&D executive on stage at BB Live 2013.
>> What SHOULD have happened was an official Mercedes & BB announcement that Mercedes was either Testing/Trialing or Rolling out in future cars or current models on the road today. Moreover even an interest announcement that the F1 collaboration was doing EXACTLY this - not simply "it goes beyond marketing"!
Time to deliver!!

Proving their own platform is spot on! I've specifically stated this in my last 3 posts on the boards here! This is a must ... open the beta site for Z10 and Q10 users to officially trial BB10.2 ... use our fanaticism to seek out and weed out the bugs and FAST! Many of us use our devices for work and play with our without BES10 management. BES10 for 3rd party vendors for end user personal use is live - and this is a GOOD thing. But 10.2 is what BB10 SHOULD have been like on day one!

[QUOTE]The company is committed to investing for growth. We all realize that “investing” means “losing money” for the time being. Wall Street won’t like it, especially when the company won’t be reporting subscriber figures so there will be no easy way to judge the success of these so-called “investments”[/QUOTE]
^ Chris, I'd like for you to enlighten us how BB was to invest with only 2.1 Billion in cash at the start of last quarter or the quarter prior and not end up like Nokia with their backs on the ropes without a rope-a-dope in sight?! If you haven't ventured to see that Nokia did invest have their $4.2 billion in cash left on hand it was considered a VERY bad move; buying all rights and entity of Nokia-Siemen's partnership. It's a VERY likely situation that Nokia may soon exit out of the hardware business after the EOS1002 is announced Thursday; maybe their last new hardware device and exiting within a 9-12mth time table.
^ I don't want BB to end up in this state! They cannot deliver here ... not yet. In order for BB to deliver on new investments for their strategy to gain leaps and bounds ... they need more cash for R&D and executing on purchasing for investing.

1. Release quality BB10 products at more competitive prices!!
- A Hero device to show up the competition in build materials and quality, finish and style ... whatever the A10 is to be it needs to have a nice materials finish that like the Q10 when you hold it in your hand, when you see it at ANY angle it exudes "elite", pinach, and premium quality. I hate to say it but Apple are masters at this from their desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone lineup over the past 9yrs! (iOS 7 is a joke to look at).
While we're at it release a serious quality and better version of the 9800 series yet as a communicator, side slider with a slightly larger keypad since the orientation of the slide can allow for this.

2. Market these devices - use every angle ... ensure these devices have IP57 ratings or higher ... BB users traditionally like to KEEP their purchased devices for at least a 12mth cycle and they'll take them through hell and high water!! I literally was soaked yesterday to the bone, twice during the deluge of rain here in Toronto with my Z10 in my front pocket and I'm amazed no water damage not even moisture got into the battery cavity, SIM/MicroSD or under the screen ... but I was seriously worried and will not be testing that again! For 8 hrs I was seriously looking at the upcoming Motorola X, horrible Razr HD, or Xperia Z as a replacement if this died.

The message has always been clear from BlackBerry, but the louder message which is drowning out theirs is from foe fans, investors and users alike ... DELIVER stop giving us lip service(s)! Today was BB Ltd giving us a lip services (and it seemed they seemed to swallow quite good as nothing bad came of todays discussions). yet I gaurantee you this will not last for long.

In the words of a street player ... its time to put up, nut up or shut up. And right now, BB Ltd is half-stepping.

ubrown100

They need to lower the price on their phones asap!!!!

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peter_betos

M2M? Now that's my kind of company!

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ali1t

Nor sure if anyone noticed that they terminated US VP of sales and will be doing some further firing in thé near term.

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4ron

Looking at today's full page Wall Street Journal ad it makes me ask the question : Where are the features given? A bullet list would add a lot of information and credibility.

I love my Z10.

antoniovtorres

I think we all know BlackBerry marketing is just plain terrible. Either they're not pushing or when they do, the push is soft. If it's a good strong push the message is weak. They should outsource their advertising budget to an agency. I'd put in a proposal. I have some serious, "punch iDroid in the eye" ideas I'd like to run by them, especially for this aggressive American market. Go hard or go home! BlackBerry is playin too soft.

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Karabo26

One advantage BlackBerry has with it's die hard fans is word of mouth. We have become sales reps of some sort, i have a long list of folks I've pushed towards BB10. As soon as you show your phone off and what it's capable of, SOLD! This has always been BlackBerry's strong point, Word Of Mouth. No reason to panic! Loving my z10 since unboxing on March 25th.

Curve 8520, 9300, Bold 9000, Bold 9780---> Kramberry z10

Supa_Fly1

Word of.mouth only goes so far. Try to enlighten someone.that is entrenched in a larger ecosystem; that may not work.

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BBVegasGirl80

Agree with all you said, Chris. I wasn't completely satisfied with everything TH said this morning, but I'm still keeping my BB glass half full.

Sent from my sexy Z10 in Sin City ;-)

antoniovtorres

Software trackpad? Please!!

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Blu-Bear

There are plenty of armchair quarterbacks out there. I resist the temptation to become yet another one. But I am a user/consumer of a BlackBerry product and thus highly qualified to comment from this perspective.
I recently bought a Q10. Is it any good? Sure, it's good. Is it great? Well, almost, it has the potential to be a great device. The Q10/BB10 has plenty of bugs, lacks a fair number of expected features that legacy devices provided and arguably requires some UI optimizations. None of these issues are insurmountable in a technical sense. I am sure they will be addressed eventually. However they need to be addressed now! Wait, let me rephrase this: right-freaking-now! Yes, I know, it's a brand new OS. Yes, I understand it takes time.
But does Joe Consumer care?
Updates need to come fast and furious. This is not just to address any perceived and real shortcomings of the device; it's also a communications tool, a message to the user community that things are progressing more than ever. Speaking of communications, BlackBerry is still the RIM of old as far as open dialog on all levels is concerned.

w0qj

That's why some of the loyal BlackBerry users have been pushing for a Bold 9900 successor with bigger battery, autofocus camera, and 4G lte. If you don't care much about Apps in this *Communications* device, it's much faster to satisfy what users have been demanding for 2+ years.

Q10 as you said lacks significant features that older BB7 devices provided; is this called product improvement? And side-loading Android Apps does not count; many BlackBerry users won't be doing this.

> ...Q10/BB10 has plenty of bugs, lacks a fair number of expected features that legacy devices provided...

thekidshop

We're can we view this video from this mornings meeting.

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markus_13

I am still looking forward to what BlackBerry's future is... I think they are moving in the right direction with the platform approach.

The real tests will be how BBM and BES10 cross platform is received by non BlackBerry users. This is the door being opened to BlackBerry software being used on non BlackBerry devices, which sounds like a big part of the companies future.

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harshik

Totally agree!

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nalin909

Cmon BlackBerry letz shut d mouth of some people..... ;)
P.S.- BlackBerry Z10 is awesome!!!!! :)

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pididipop

I think they are on the right track and sticking to a well thought out businesses plan. There are doubters and skeptics but there always is.

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ANTIABE

Touché! But BlackBerry needs agresive advertising. Not for me,I am a life user BlackBerry but for the crowd who have no ideea about what means a perfect companion phone

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makaiman

Playbook II is coming. You heard it here, right now. www.blackberrynation.com, or did you...

www.blackberrynation.com

Supa_Fly1

I think that is the key to the hardware business of BlackBerry: Incentive to stay, and incentive to stick around!

Q10 and Q5 satisfies that incentive for Keyboard hold outs and die-hards (casual keyboard apologists & power users that know the value and power of keyboard shortcuts).

BES Admins that work I. Corporate enviro's that rely on corporate security and sensitivity that isn't so lax or highly worried about protecting their clients trust vs customers interests.

Let's say about 60% of keyboardists, to coin a term for this conversations sake upgrade and stick to Q5/Q10 and maybe some sort of Torch 9800 series revamp. That's not enough to keep BlackBerry i.to profits in the 12mth time frame. Only about 2/3 Quarters will show those revenues, or profits as some like to wait for the price is right in various markets and moreover will not upgrade next year. BlackBerry users keep their devices for at least a year. Case in point is it took about 2-3 yrs to see a decline in unit sales, revenues and profits - users waited until their warranty and contracts where up and looked around the way to see other offerings.

Now for touch users, Z10 fills that need but with app ecosystem (I ha te his to be honest), and larger screens, better accessibility options and accessories for a variety of target segments and demographics there really is not much incentive to stay!!

BlackBerry really has to be honest with itself, and although I'd love to have 4.2.2 runtime for Chrome, Maps (full), an Active Directory remote management app, etc. Users being told about side loading no many how simple it gets - even if natively supported directly on the device, the experience if enjoying a touch screen BB10 device begins to diminish for the typical feature phone to smartphone user, many of which are those 60% of the Western world markets that have moved to android. BlackBerry needs to get these porting developers to make native apps to increase the Bb10 experience and ecosystem. The accessories hopefully will follow.

Accessibility. As best I know I'm aware of only one BlackBerry employee that is impaired to some degree in daily life and he's part of QNX!! Where is the Car 2 platform implementation that assists his daily life and keeps him moving?!

Marketing Tag line. I absolutely hate it. Keep on moving - is this a temporary action for the company or the user? Some commercials have defined the user others the company. Unfortunately the tag line gives an impression of Eddie Murphy in a movie where he's making fun of someone doing the jig, wish I could recall the movie maybe is RAW (where he has to keep hiding his arse) lol.

Advertisement! Time to make a bold move here BlackBerry! Time to put your money where your mouth is - but in TV, web video and sports print ads!! I'd love to see the executive team in a commercial focused on how they use BB10 to get through a busy and challenging day! Featuring the native gestures of the platform, native apps from partnerships (Box & Dropbox), show just how powerful and in a real world example how BB10 can bring power, yet simplicity and less stress in ones daily life,or how it makes them $$$!

Just like how Usain Bolt runs in Puma shows, Ronaldinho plays soccer in Adidas shows, Jordan scoring 42-52 pint games in Nike Air Jordan branded shoes back in the day, or even call girls using BBM to advertise and communicate their business - it's ALL ABOUT SHOW AND PROVE!

If the Blacker the Berry the sweeter the juice BlackBerry it's time to show the world the real world use just how sweet it tastes!

Posted via CB10

birdman_38

Post this in the forums.

xBURK

Did I miss something today? I sure hope so? In all the news articles related to this meeting, marketing was not mentioned once? If I'm wrong, can someone please tell me?

Posted via CB10

SDTest

A 'Sense of Urgency' & the ruthlessness that accompanies single mindedness for 'Making it happen' may be missing in some environments...Thor, Mgmt etc (in fact the business approach in this geography) generally appear to be in 'Steady as she goes' mode.
And Chris is so prophetic: "they can’t afford to take a linear approach to things. They have to attack in full force. They have to strike with all their effort now. They have to hit hard....".
Good Luck.

elicash

Chris, with all due respect the message has not remained consistent. This was the first time we heard of a 3 stage process and 2014 being a year if investment. This 3 stage process feels made up to explain away the poor hardware results. On CNBC after Q4 on March 28, Thorsten flat out said BlackBerry would be "profitable on the volumes you will be seeing". No mention of investment year, etc. Also talking of selling tens of millions of Q10's was misleading...even if it was over a couple years, it alone implies far more units than they are shipping. Thorsten misled the street, there is no question. The question is whether it was purposeful for another reason. This company posesses everything short sellers look for. Lots of insider selling, mgmt misleading the public, high turnover, poor leadership and strategy. Wake me up when they start explaining why the dropped QNX for Android. Only then will I applaud.

Posted via CB10

Supa_Fly1

That won't happen and if it does they've had sealed their gait very quickly:

Poor in supply chain preference and manufacturing to compete in volumes. HTC (a former OEM for yrs), LG and Samsung are the only ones that can keep up with any demand, HTC just barely! Sony is a distant close to these three, Huwaii maybe as they too used to be an OEM but on a regional scale not globally like HTC once was for Virgin, Vodafone and Orange in their golden years.

Secondly there is nothing other than BBM that they can differentiate themselves with other Android competitors if they go that route - do you see anything else? BES sure, NOC Sure but their not even using it for consumers so again not really an incentive to compete on the android platform.

Now we're seeing iOS by Apple making a BIG push into infotainment systems!! There is more going on that Apple is after in this space and if another innovation that is exclusive to iOS first then android like NEST for other things you can be sure we'll miss out. These are the problems we're facing!!

We need young educated. Blood within the influential ranks to push BlackBerry forward beyond what the suits see. Right now I see all the board members and exe. Staff running BlackBerry just to pay their 2nd or 4th mortgages.

Posted via CB10

elicash

They are not differentiating themselves positively with QNX. The z10 sells at a major discount to high end android devices...how is that positive? the QNX bet was a major strategic error. They missed what people want, again. QNX has been around for 30 years and is supposed to be in all these machines (cars, trains, medical equipment, jet engines, etc) yet it has never done more than $40 -$50 million in annual revenues. How can it be that valuable? Such a gamble to use it and forego applications, which is what everyone wants. So far, the adoption of QNX bb10 products has been abysmal...even the keyboard device has been poor. shut QNX down asap.

Posted via CB10

kuje75

Dont know why but it just seems that majority of smartphone users are not that bold. They rather stick to their samsung or iphone than give a shot on the cool z10 or q10. Most of my iPhone user friends are kind of envy with my z10 but they just don't want to accept it. It is not an easy future for BlackBerry though. Consumers just don't want to accept BB. BlackBerry needs a real good marketing or gimmick to keep it going.

Posted via CB10

awirboy

I think, we all know Blackberry is capable of beating all of them in terms of hardware and software.
#keepmoving

birdman_38

The goal is not to beat everybody else in hardware.

Arthur108

I really feel sorry for Mr Heins! Deep down in his heart he knows that the race is over! Palm dejavu ! :(

freedomx20a

saw a brand new q10 commerical! very nice one today and it was basically saying come back to bb and start a new phase. I already have a q10 so the message was lost on me.

simu31

Chris, do you not think it's logical for BlackBerry to not give subscriber numbers in future, considering the Z10, Q10 and Q5 don't - for the most part - have a BIS subscription (for those not on a BES10 account) and therefore are technically not subscribers?
Theoretically the subscriber numbers should be going down constantly with the BB10 line of phones replacing the BBOS 5/6/7 lines.

Si.

kirshan

In terms of the cross platform bbm, people don't have loyalties to what's app or the like, the reason they became popular was that they had no competition, so as long as blackberry can provide a service that is better, and just as accessible as the completion they should have no issue.

On the hardware front, well they're still making profits on their hardware, with small margins and high prices, but their hardware is really the main feature of the company. It's a small price to pay for the ultimate smart phone in security, durability and hardware keyboards.

I was really dissapointed when they didn't update the playbook, claiming they have to focus on the phones, and yeah the phones do need work, and apps, what they really need by the looks of things is a greater development team by the sounds of things there's about five people doing all the software development.

All the smartphone companies are scared of the sucess of Samsung and with good reason, they're an excellent company, who can churn out fantastic hardwareing devices to fit almost all needs, but along with that they're are developing loads of their own software, and operating systems, these people are working really hard in the areas that matter, software and hardware, simple. BlackBerry on the other hand has a minority of staff dedicated to designing and developing hardware and software.

They really need to clean out thoses offices, and take a stance of the renewed company they want, along with their new company name.

LOVE TYPING ON MY Q10!

Posted via CB10

Poirots Progeny

Interesting post, as always Chris, food for thought.

And interesting comments here also.

I agree, BlackBerry must manage expectation, and this AGM seemed tempered with some back-pedalling with their rhetoric.

The sales were poor, really, and it had to be spun in a positive light. How the markets react is vital - irrespective of how some people feel - and this is the job of the management. Did they do a good job? I personally feel they could have explained more - things like their advertising strategy (or lack thereof), their decisions re legacy bbos and the PB, sales strategy, US apathy, management changes (bob orr etc) and more.

The answers would probably not have been so good, for BlackBerry 's image...

BlackBerry needs advertising - currently it's pants, here in the UK certainly. And it's all well and good for CB to "spread the word" and all the other jingoistic stuff being said - how many, of the 70 odd million still remaining BlackBerry customers, even know what crackberry is? The west may be a large market for BlackBerry, but is it the biggest? BlackBerry are sold in markets where, traditionally, things like Internet are censored. People require vpns to email etc. That is the reason BlackBerry are producing a new bbos device (along with the lack of bb10 enterprise adoption etc etc).

Bbos with bis does something the Q10 doesn't - allow certain traffic, in environments (corporate or political) where traffic (Internet, texts etc) are limited. No BIS - well no point in the handset. You need to use a commercial vpn. Guess what, my £580 Q10 can't use commercial vpns AT ALL. You think the millions and millions or subscribers in the middle east, Africa and far east give a damn if there isn't an app for shooting food pics? They need to communicate. Something BlackBerry is known for. And now they can't.

So where do they go? To ios and android, obviously. The cheapest, of those devices, will do more than this Q or Z.

BlackBerry sells everywhere. But in the change over they've lost real functionality. They need to get the business and communications back end back up to scratch and fast - they will continue to bleed subscribers if they don't.

Back to the west (sunny UK here): Thursday, microsoft/nokia to announce 41 MILLION REASONS to jump onto the WP8 band wagon...

Nokia will sell millions. Irrespective of what you think of the platform: it is doing numbers BlackBerry wished it had. The advertising is aggressive, the pricing pragmatic, they hit all demographics and they are getting apps too. Everything is going on the up for a platform people keep saying will die out. What is their trick over BlackBerry? They certainly have the money. And advertising - though MS know about bad advertising too: the X box one debacle the most recent mess. They went through it and pre orders are up!

The world is fickle. Ruthless. BlackBerry needs to get its priorities straight. The new nokia asha dumbphone (207 and 208) allow tethering via usb AND vpn access - for around £45 gpb. They do something my £580 can't do. Those dumb phones sell in numbers apple would wish for.

What I am trying to say is that BlackBerry has a future, a bright one; it needs to focus on the core feature set it is lacking, and advertise the hell out of it. It needs to sort out its pricepoint. It needs to address the concerns of its biggest markets: Europe, Africa, the middle and far East - commercial and OPENVPN access would really help! They need to innovate and create a perception that they are relevant. WP8 has less apps yet they are selling MORE! The perception is so much higher. And the new Lumia will sell by the million for the camera alone!

How does BlackBerry compete against that. And the new iphone after. And the new android nexus after that?

BlackBerry have some serious thinking and spending to do. And get OPENVPN on here FAST!!!

I believe BlackBerry can do it. But it's going to hurt, for at least six more quaters...

Posted via CB10 on my BlackBerry Q10

Superfly_FR

Chris, I do agree on the hardware part. "the need to be an integrated platform" is the literal translation of "bottom up secure platform", there's no compromise available.
I believe what was notably late is the clear exposition of the 3 phased plan. This is what this AGM is IMHO all about. Message is now clear (yet 100% in line with what I thought it was) and I believe it's the reason why we had a "all green" day yesterday. And I can't remember any official BBRY event where it has been alike from the past two years.

I stated many times their problem wasn't "can they do it ?" (we know they have all in place now) but more likely "can they do it soon enough ?". Heins gave us a hint about the plan execution, phase 2 started with fiscal 2014 (meaning last quarter was P2). By nature, this phase wasn't an option before Z10 launch, because it included drastic changes, in particular for the supply chain. They couldn't "put the cart before the horse". So, late ? probably. Too late ? I don't believe so, as they have (whatever the reason is) increased their cash reserve and from there have more $$ to fire noticeable actions (I believe it's a $1Bi affair). Heins also stated that while investing massively, they'll monitor the cash and won't go in red (expected (me) : in the $2Bi range). An "Internet of things" vision cannot be executed as a restructuring plan (BTW, CORE is at least 1 quarter ahead of schedule, with $1Bi savings). Shifts were expected and will probably occur again. They do have to handle that.

On this particular point, I respectfully and for once don't agree with your argument ~ "investing is loosing money for now, and wall street won't like that". I do believe the biggest part of this investment is dedicated to promote (read: advertising and sales promotions) BB10 and BES, in particular in the U.S.A. This is not a "hidden expense" but something anyone will notice "in real world". This is easily quantifiable thus shouldn't be caught as negative, unless they fail to deliver efficient campaigns and incentives. Moreover, such measures will have instant consequences; I believe these campaigns will be meant for sales unlike former actions, meant to restore the brand. The ROI might/should/will be almost instantly measurable.

I'm an exposed optimist and until yesterday, prior events all injected some doubt in my beliefs. Yesterday just exceeded my expectations.
I'm now more confident than ever. Because they gained transparency on strategy, because they've exposed the time frames.
Moreover: because they stick to the plan.

andreasandylink

Buy WhatsApp and replace the app by an update with BBM!

Posted via CB10

seageath

More updates, more apps, more variant device. Fast, fast fast.
Release the cracken!!! Don't hold the beast inside the cage!!!

parapep10

I am glad TH mentioned Wall Streets high expectations that did not match what he had said at the end of Q4. I even fell for it with the short analyst predictions. They had down graded the stock and increased the number of bb10 sold to over 3 million. They made us focus so much on the number of bb10 sold that it was a classic short opportunity. Perception totally changed after Q1 that everyone again thinks it's a failure. I know believe in the plan and I believe in the long term value of the company.

Posted via CB10

nick canada

BlackBerry needs to offer something new unique and great. if BlackBerry released the docking station and turned this Z10 into a computer for example. The thought of sitting in my living room working on a 60" screen with a mouse and keyboard seems nice to me. Once BBM goes cross platform it would get even better.

Posted via CB10

fly_branch

Thorsten had no answer during the meeting when asked twice about how to compete in the US market and how to stop the largest carrier from treating them the way they are. They need apps now, updates now, and a strategy for the US now. The word of mouth advertising in the US is not working at all due to the treatment if the customer. I can't recommend the Z10 to anyone here in its current state. I think more of my name and reputation than BlackBerry does. All we can go on is past performance to predict future performance at this point. I find few people that have really hard core trust in what the company says it will do.

Posted via CB10

asiayeah

It is hard to give too many thoughts into this. All I know is my Z10 serve me well and I am expecting more apps arriving on BlackBerry 10. I am also looking forward to see more users jumping on board to BBM either on BlackBerry 10 or other platforms.

Posted via CB10

YODUDE

It doesn't matter how good the hardware is if they do not get the carriers behind them. In our area many Blackberry Curve fans at US Cellular were waiting for the Q10. For whatever reason USCC is not going to carry BB10. Even in the mall at Best Buy the sales people have wrote off Blackberry and nudge buyers toward androids. It was a mistake to not have both the Z10 and Q10 rolled out at the same time. Still clinging to my curve hoping.

omekaac

BlackBerry is not doing much. In Nigeria for instance, promotions for the Z10 and Q10 is as if these phones don't exist. Many are moving to other platforms. Even Techno Phones are gaining ground. I use the Z10 and I'm not so pleased with it. The shot battery life is a disappointment and always hitting up. Had to buy a back up battery. So much work to be done by BlackBerry. I seriously want them to succeed.

Posted from my Z10 via CB

rajhims01

..
.
..tg

Posted via CB10

lawguyman

This is the first time in a long time that I agree with Chris. But, come on now. How can "management [be] irritated by what may be considered overly optimistic estimates for the Z10 early in on the launch" when Heins himself was out there telling everyone that Q10 was going to sell "several tens of millions" units? In short, he created the unrealistic expectations. It's on him.

The key now (in my opinion) is to get devices into as many users' hands as possible. The product (again in my opinion) is not the problem. BB10 is a really good OS. Z10 and Q10 are good phones. How can this happen? I think a good idea would be for BB to run a promotion in the US similar to the "Pepsi Challenge." It would be a "BlackBerry 30 Day Challenge."

Here is how it would go: Try a BB10 phone. Use it for 30 days. BB will pay your cell phone bill for 1 month. If you don't like it, return it at no cost to you. This will be accompanied by an Ad campaign where users say things about how they thought BB was washed up, etc, but the new phones are great.

This is (a) simple (b) targeted - it will get phones into people's hands, (c) persuasive - Ads will showcase real people's good experiences (d) not terribly expensive - the same as a price cut of $50 or so, and (e) Addresses the issue on everyone's mind - BB is washed up - and let's them decide for themselves.

billbsb

I guess having BBRY stocks is extremely thrilling. They have amazing highs and lows in very short periods of time. One must really know how to play with it well in order to make money.
As for BB10, it needs time to maturate and the problem is, they don't have it. They'll have to endure loosing a lot of money until BB10 and its ecosystem is at full power. I hope it's soon.
Cheers.

danprown

Thorsten Heins
Frank Boulben
Kristian Tear

Can anyone name anything that these people have done, apart from getting a job with Blackberry and not being able to speak English without a heavy accent?
Does anyone believe these people are the right people to restore Blackberry, a Canadian company, in the US market or the "third world" markets?

br14

Great assessment. My concern is they don't seem to be helping themselves.

Take the BES10 product. Instead of being a straight upgrade, it's a separate server. That means enterprise IT departments have to decide whether to invest further capital (over and above an upgrade) to support the product, or whether to simply leave their BES5 in place and choose another vendor.

From a psychological perspective what is the difference between installing BES10 or installing MobileIron or similar. While BES10 is a way better product BlackBerry have walked into forcing a decision on companies that shouldn't have been necessary.

They should have been able to upgrade to get better features. One of which would be BB10 support, and another iOS and Android. Instead they can choose not to support BB10 and go with an alternate product. (One of my clients has done exactly that).

This entire focus on "reengineering the brand" is great from an image perspective but they should have been wise enough to realise it really only needed to be image. They should have changed the covers but made sure underneath everything still worked.

joshua_sx1

Insanity begins when you think or expect something different from a consistent process...

If BlackBerry wants to improve, they have to take the risk of being inconsistent with their past strategy... after all, that past consistent strategy that brought them to where they are stand... right at this moment...

They could start of being inconsistent when they say they will deliver - they will deliver... and not consistently change they promise...

Posted via Z10

Xano

Nice words, but in real world things are totally different.
The problem is the 70-some-odd million BlackBerry users are not upgrading their hardware, they are moving to iOS and Android. With BBM cross platform that change will append much faster.
My uncle is stuck to his old BB5 because his using BBM, In September we will buy the new budget iPhone with BBM.

Applevine

Great article as usual Chris. I have a question about the money spent on BB marketing to bring customers over to BB10. What if BlackBerry were to offer discounts on the price of handsets, to current customers (commercial not enterprise to start with) to get us over to BB10. The price of the handsets is quite prohibitive at the moment in some countries and I am sure that a move like this will get the momentum that BB needs. To only move 2.7m handsets is weak when you could've discounted, moved 5+ for the quarter and generate some positive sentiment. Also, isn't making a new BBOS phone only going to delay the migration of some customers to BB10?
On another topic, one of BlackBerry's strength in my region (Barbados, Caribbean) was the unlimitted data romaing feature offered under the name of BB Passport. For a monthly fee top level BIS customers could have access to all of their data (except streaming content) worldwide with no roaming charges. With the advent of BB10 this service is discontinued as BIS is no longer used. Could BB not have a way to add these much wanted features to BB10 as there is no guarentee that someone would not abandon the platform at the time of upgrade without them. There must surely be a plan to monetise the infrastructure that is present throughout the world that makes BB great.

k8bushlover

And the stock does another 40-cent slide...no news can be good enough news when it comes to BlackBerry.

playpen007

Based on my experienced on both Android and IOS, I am very sure BB10 is the best and the most easy to close and open the apps. It took me less than a minute I could captured the whole thing in the HUB. Typing with BB10 is too easy. Its share screen is very essential and they needed to promote very heavenly. They have the best operating system based on my experience with Z10&Q10. They must send out their armies to fight head on with their competitors. Their armies have to be in every big popular cities to prove their devices can do faster/better that their competitors are lack of.

bruteMax8

Take the money BB currently allocates to marketing, and pay Microsoft, Facebook, Netflix et al to come out with a Cascades version of their big-name apps.

Availability of top-tier apps on BB10 is better marketing than any commercial.

*Yes I know Skype is already available, but it's a port and still in Preview mode (whatever that means) for the Z10.

Adrianfr1

The biggest issue is cost. I love my Z10 but when people see the cost they turn away. I spoke to a major store owner who said there was lots of interest until the cost was mentioned....those customers then purchased iPhone or Samsung.

The Q10 is also suffering...very expensive. I'm afraid that if BlackBerry don't price as mid range BB10 is dead to all buy existing diehards

Posted via CB10

SEAWARRIOR

message??? consistent??? really???

sleepngbear

I am nowhere near as optimistic after the earnings report and this AGM as I was before them. I know what BB management had to do, but I am losing confidence that they will be able to do it.

The BB10 rollout was the time to execute flawlessly, not the time to be learning lessons about sales and marketing in North America.

I desperately want this company to succeed and this brand to flourish -- I simply cannot fathom having to pick a platform for myself from what would otherwise be left in a post-BlackBerry world. But confidence is not running particularly high at the moment. But I remain cautiously optimistic that those running the ship know more than I do.

luddite2

"In a nutshell, management is irritated by what may be considered overly optimistic estimates for the Z10 early in on the launch."

The Z didn't stand out against every other black slab phone. Maybe it would have had a better chance if the phone had more of an eye-catching design.

Just dreaming here but BB OS10 on hardware like the Nokia N9 and people may have been willing to forgive the lack of Instagram. At least it would have gotten their attention. I hope phone design will be a considerable element for the A10.

iskaheen

Good commentary. I was also impressed with Heinz's comment on company worth. BlackBerry is worth much more today than a year ago because they now have a new OS (which they have to keep improving), a new MDM service with support for iPhone and Android, and a new BBM and network strategy. As they continue to evolve and innovate and there value will go up - and with it opportunity.
My brother is a patent lawyer. Lawyers measure innovation in terms of the business case decision (and cost) to turn IP into a US Patent.

iskaheen

Good article. Heinz's statement on company value is absolutely correct. BlackBerry is worth much more now than a year ago. When you deal with other companies - always try to be as strong as possible. BlackBerry is getting stronger everyday.
A second thing people should look at is US Patents per year per Company size. US Patents are a measurement of innovation because it represents a business case to protect IP. If you look at the 2012 US Patent Assignees. BlackBerry is in the top 50 (Nokia is not). BlackBerry had about 987 Patents. Apple and Google had about 1150 and 1170 respectively. Microsoft had 2600. 1 and 2 were IBM and Samsung at 6500 and 5700. But in terms of US Patents per employee, BlackBerry generated at least 3 times more than anyone else. This is extremely impressive. Patents are not that easy to get and are expensive especially for a smaller company.

theorivardus

Thorstein Heins is the new Steve Jobs For BlackBerry !
Follow him !

Posted via CB10

Playbook007

Here is the problem. Last night, a friend and long time BlackBerry user who has an old curve still, stated her next phone will be an iphone. She loves her BB, but it is embarrassing to use it in public around her friends. I convinced her husband to get the z10 and he loves it. Both her kids use iphones. Kids are embarrassed to have a BlackBerry device. It is third class in the social circles at best. Even if they get Netflix and instagram it won't work. My 2 sons have the z10, and like the phone. They like the hub, browser but the apps suck. They need to find something to capture the younger generation. This is not working. BlackBerry you are done. It's just a matter of time.

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

drkpitt

While Thorsten acknowledged that the US market was challenging, the launch did not go well, and carriers don't care about BB10 due to incentives and pressures, he still didn't answer how they intend to change the #KeepMoving ad campaign - which is a complete failure in the US market. Part of the reason that US users don't like BlackBerry is that most of them associate it with the legacy devices and have no idea what BlackBerry 10 is, nor should they as there isn't a single visible advertisement that anyone can see in major cities such as San Francisco. This is in stark contrast to the massive billboard / subway / bus / cab approach that Samsung takes where everywhere you look you see the S4 or Note II ads. Yes this takes money, but according to reports, Samsung spends about a billion dollars on marketing per year and it works extremely well. BlackBerry has 3.1 billion dollars cash in the bank. Why not take a chance and burn through a billion dollars this year in order to get people's attention and turn the tide? Better to do an all out attempt when every moment counts than to spend the money in a leaky faucet fashion over the next year and have zero impact (negative impact at this point.)

If the everyday consumer does not hear from advertising that BlackBerry 10 is completely different or revolutionary, the only thing they will hear from the press is "BlackBerry is dead" and "BlackBerry wipes out 35% of shareholder value." Negative press like this causes a downward spiral, making people embarassed to commit to BlackBerry. Even my parents heard the news the stock was collapsing. They had no idea BlackBerry 10 was out or that it was all new until I showed it to them.

As I mentioned in other posts, the marketing campaign has to come out straight for the jugular and have ads such as one showing iOS or Android users trying to make fun of a BlackBerry user only to find out the person has a Z10 or Q10. The BlackBerry user then demonstrates amazing functionality that causes their jaws to drop and realize they are wrong and start pondering getting the phone themselves. I do it all the time. So film me! Other ads could be focused on a David vs Goliath theme, or showing how it's cool to be different with a superior technology and UI that only people in the know have. Why would you want a phone that everyone else has? Do you want to drive the same car as everyone else? Wear the same shoes? Not for me.

chadnichols

Chris Umiastowski is one handsome fella!...oh wait...BlackBerry right yeah ok focus...I'm with BB all the way so come what may!

BBRYFAN4LIFE!

kill_9

"Thorsten Heins sees BlackBerry as a company early on in its transition from a past smartphone leader to a future mobile computing leader".

After Heins urinated on BlackBerry PlayBook users, particularly the early adopters, with broken BlackBerry Bridge functionality when paired with a BlackBerry 10 smartphone and most recently with the announcement that only technical support would be provided their definition of mobile computing leader seems highly suspect.

Vic Leong

Talked to much Heins, where are the applications that still missing?

Posted via CB10

majorusa

We will emerge as leader in the internet of things, bla bla bla. And bla bla Q5 and bla bla A10. We are irritated by the overly optimistic bla bla bla.
The reality is this: it really does not matter how great is the hardware if there is no software for it. The BB ecosystem is like the desert. Here and there a plant, or a small lizzard. A company that was not able to bring Skype on Playbook in two years, that is promissing something to its clients just to retract it several months later, that is not able to push simple updates to fix annoying bugs to its devices is talking now about leadership in the industry. The internet of things is a great gimmick, but the issue is that people buy products and not the "things".
Mobile computing? BB phones are email phones. And that is it. Ah yes and the newer models have a working internet browser. Really? Is this mobile computing? Where is the software to allow mobile computing. Where are the apps? Where is develloper support?
I am business user of the phone. I do not care too much about games and music, though I play occasionally. I use docstogo a lot. Who owns docstogo? The implementation on Playbook was horrible. On iPad it really shines. How is this possible?
And some basic customer care advice: a happy customer maybe will tel to one, two people, an unhappy one will tell to everybody how horrible his experience was. If you decided to scrap the Playbook after promissing BB10 and stuff, do it differently: " due to hardware limitations we will not be able to provide a full BB10 experince on the PB. However, we listened to our community and we will bring improvement to the browser and solve some other well known bugs in the months to come." One cannot satisfy all customers but if you red Crackberry you might find a pattern in the issues that your products have. It is free research and common sense after all.
After what I red, as an investor I would be very nervous. Why? Because behind big words there is nothing. Only bla, bla bla.

bsdnix

Three step:
1. Lie to customers
2. End support to their favourite device
3. Turn the company to dust...

Nice going Thor...!