We're at BlackBerry Jam Asia 2013!

By Simon Sage on 24 Sep 2013 06:36 am EDT

After about 16 hours of flying and 4 hours of mediocre sleep, I'm in Hong Kong for BlackBerry Jam Asia. I've already bumped into VP of developer relations Alec Saunders, inventor of BBM Gary Klassen, and VP of Batmobiles Tim Neil, who nearly didn't make it after Typhoon Usagi canceled his flight out of Vancouver. Like last year, I expect to get a look at a ton of new BlackBerry 10 apps, but obviously there's a lot of non-developer news circulating that might make this show particularly interesting - namely, BlackBerry going private via Fairfax, the announcement of the Z30, and delays to cross-platform BBM.

The conference is taking place right next to the airport on Lantau island. Though the island is mostly parkland, all of the Hong Kong hallmarks are here: industrial boats, rows of residential highrises along the coast, and air humid enough to  soak a sponge in the open. Inside the AsiaWorld Expo center, BlackBerry's people were still going through training today. I spotted a few walking around with largish device boxes which I can only assume were Z30s.  Besides that, it's mostly just set-up going on. The expo hall's security guys had funny-lookin' red berets.

The plan for tomorrow is to swing by S4BB's office to see just how they make so many damned apps. In the evening, there's a press reception, then the day after the show starts in earnest. Should be fun! If you're at Jam Asia and want to meet up, be sure to add me on BBM Channels and start chatting. What would you guys like to see out of the show?

Reader comments

We're at BlackBerry Jam Asia 2013!


freaking pathetic. No one cares that you post first in whatever stupid language! Besides the fact that this is an english speaking forum...

no thanks, I don't associate with pathetic people that think it's cool to be "first" You can be first without saying a word about being first. Look at the non pathetic people that actually say something about the article and don't even make mention about being first.

ever noticed how quicksilver is jealous because he's always just second?

btw: kneel before the first post! his majesty demands our respect and obedience!

for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory - #1st!

ps: auf deutsch natuerlich umso majestätischer!

Na QuIcKsIlV3r, Google Translate kann nicht die grammatisch-korrekte Satzbildung formulieren. Deutsch musst schon selber - und richtig - lernen.

"Deutsch musst du schon selber, und richtig, lernen."

Dies wäre grammatikalisch korrekt, da durch die Verwendung der Apposition "und richtig", Beistriche anstatt Bindestriche zu benutzen sind, sowie das Ausschreiben des Personalpronomens "du" vonnöten ist.

Genau genommen, sollte man diesen Satz allerdings in eine höflichere Form bringen. Die präferierte Bildung in diesem Falle würde wie folgt aussehen:
"Deutsch müssen Sie schon selber, und akkurat, lernen."

Posted via CB10

wollte die Bindestriche zur Betonung nutzen; versteht sich aber daß ich nach 34 Jahren im englischsprechenden Ausland 'etwas' der Deutschen Rechtschreibung verlernt habe.

Die Korrektur wird trotzdem mit Dank akzeptiert.

Und ich bin nicht eifersüchtig sein zweites, meine postings, ob und wann ich das erste Mal bin ich nicht immer dumm veröffentlichen erste!

First: Google Translator doesn't let you speak German properly. french maybe, but not German.
Second: Lern the most important words like 'Achtung!' and 'Jawohl!' to get noticed!
Third: Otherwise: Get Merkelized!

Just reply as quickly as you can to first post, then your reply is up top too.. lol, that's what i do

Posted via CB10

hey simon... don't forget to do an article about S4BB office and snap some pics of the office. must be something with all the apps they have.. i can't imagine how many developers are working for them.

Kind of ironic Blackberry Jam Asia is held in a place that just got the worst weather in the world, given the events in the past month.

Someone is busy rewriting a keynote speech where they make reference to the successful launch of cross-platform BBM and another exec is rewriting his to avoid any mention of consumers. Meanwhile the developer relations people are doing role-plays of dealing with angry consumer-focused developers who feel like they have been left high and dry.

Okay, I've heard from the panel...the results are in.. and this WAS the comment of the day! Congratulations!

Yep. There is going to be a lot of delicate verbal navigation they are going to have to do!!!

Posted via CB10 on my BlackBerry Z10

Is there any point in being there? I guess we will see, but I will not be checking CrackBerry anxiously that is for sure.

CB10 on Z10 (Telus)

I would like to see good reasons to not switch platforms.

Written from my disgruntled Z10

Posted via CB10

That's a great question. You would think that after every bit of bad press and announcement that our phones stopped working. The z10 is still a snappy modern phone. People have to realize that the staff at BlackBerry are running a BUSINESS . This could be the best thing to happen to them. So let's just all relax and enjoy the ride.

I hope this is the start of the biggest comeback in tech history.

Because the future of the company isn't looking too good. Nobody was expecting the sale. No other big name tech company has made an offer that could make me feel better about the future or even the apps we're waiting for.

I'm sick of waiting for apps, sideloading is ok but it doesn't work all the time plus you have developers pissed off cuz they claim we hurt them even with free apps. The z30 came out with specs that while they are competent, still leave us behind the competition who have no intent of taking us seriously. Big name devs either.

It's always wait, wait, wait and coming soon. Then you wait, wait, wait, defend BlackBerry to everyone and all you hear bad news after bad news. You see poor decisions like marketing not being up to par and we don't know what's going on or why they choose to not listen to consumers. Could it be because they only listen to enterprise customers since that's where the money's at? Are regular consumers a minority in the BlackBerry world?

Whatever it is, everybody else on other platforms have things now. You can talk security all day long and how we innovate but that doesn't make people run to stores to buy our phones. Most don't even care. Others install an antivirus and call it a day while their platform steals our ideas, then they just upgrade.

All of these are my opinions and that's the way things look from where I'm standing.

Posted via CB10

Man, I was thinking the same thing. But don't let it stress the heck out of you. BlackBerry time is coming.

Posted via CB10

We're all thinking about the elephant in the room. But good things will happen. Microsoft bought Nokia smart devices so, eventually Microsoft will screw up. Can't be kings forever. Look at BlackBerry taken by Apple will more than likely be taken by Samsung. We are in a marathon and we will regain superiority. BlackBerry has a niches which can be exploited exploited and the Canadian warren buffet is the man with the knowledge and ability. I think it was the best move yet.

Please forget my bad grammar.

Posted via CB10

Yep, I have to buy a new phone next week actually and I was thinking.. maybe a Z30. But then.. why in hell would I do that? I can't have the apps I want (which I thought I'll have later when I bought the Q10). The phone is almost the freaking same as Z10 with no BIG improvements at all. They're failing more than ever. Why would a buy that when I can buy the new Sony? Or the new iPhone which I won't cause I hate it? I can't think of any reason at all. Every single phone I've own since 8700g have been Blackberry. Literally ONLY Blackberry, but seems like there's no reason at all to continue with them

Posted via CB10

Hope they break news that although BlackBerry and their customers prefer native apps, BlackBerry has gained access to the Google store while we wait

Posted via CB10

That is a really, really good idea. Now there's no longer the fear of a 'catch 22' around this, what's to stop it happening? It could do an awful lot to boost BB in the eyes of the public

Go Simon Go!!!! Wish I could be there, so be sure to shoot tons of photos and video so it can feel like I was. :)

Definitely an interesting time for a dev conference. Ask allz the questionz to allz the peoplez.


Yes ALL the questions.

Not just watered down basic ones.

1. Ask how BlackBerry's solution does mobile computing better than the competition.

2. Ask for a clear definition and example of a prosumer.

3. Ask which companies BlackBerry considers their new competition based on the business stategy we have seen presented on the recent press releases ("a focus on delivering superior and secure enterprise solutions to BlackBerry customers around the world.").

4. Ask about carrier support for the Z30. Where will it be sold? How many carriers?

5. Ask how this dev specific conference is geared toward the prosumer market.

Again the question is if BlackBerry is no longer catering to consumers, who are developers going to make apps for?

Secondly, want to hear more from @gehr his session should be interesting. #TAT

Posted via CB10

If just Prosumers seems to indicate smaller market and might not be as attractive to Devs.

Of Enterprise guys will probably want Angry Birds as well. Lol

Posted via CB10

High hopes that BlackBerry has a card up their sleeve... But doubt they will play it publicly. BlackBerry till no more BlackBerry! Hope that's longer than I will need!

Posted From My Amazing Z10 via CB10 Z10STL100-4/

Yes, the card is a 'Moving House' card from Hallmark, or possibly a 'With Sympathy' card.

Just received my Z30!!!!! Can't wait to reach home and set it up. Got it from BlackBerry store in Dubai.

Posted via CB10

Glad to see there are big names there from BlackBerry. Ask lots of questions... take lots of pictures/videos, post lots of articles. That is all.

Oh, enjoy the show.

Posted via CB10

Probably a pretty gloomy conference.

And, once again, puck the specs crap. QNX is extremely efficient and doesn't need the pucking "specs" that other OS require.

Make sure you ask them to keep lolling for better bids than $9

Ask them why they dropped the news about their upcoming earnings just before the news if their takeover

Ask them if they don't mind they have crapped all over the small investor

Ask them if they intentionally screwed up multi platform bbm to keep the share price low.

Posted via CB10

They've probably sent some poor schmuck from tech support to front up the conference and be the fall guy ;)

the first time Thorsten made a public speech (not TV interviews) was during BlackBerry Jam Europe (it was named DevCon at the time, it was in Amsterdam in February 2012). So if TH is there, he will make a speech as inspiring as possible, and will talk about BlackBerry's news from the past 6 months, including OS10.2, the Z30 and the Skype app.

Easier access to android apps would make a lot of people happier about buying a blackberry. This way we could use the best OS and have the apps we wand. And forget sideloading. Most people won't do it.

Posted via CB10

So why can't the phones come with the big name apps already sideloaded? Just delete the ones you don't want. I bet most people wouldn't even realize they're Android apps, and wouldn't likely care anyways.

Because technically when you sideload applications, you're stealing them from the developer, even if it's free. Unless they're open source, it's illegal. Besides, do you really think Google would agree to it?

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on #IChooseBlackBerry10

Like Kevin said, take lots of pics and videos! I hope they have another big announcement, especially app related.

Posted via CB10

Since all those Z10s were already written off as a near 1b loss, might as well sell them as a developer edition for $100. What's a developer edition? An unlocked bootloader. Do you remember what happened to Apple once they allowed Windows to be installed on their Intel macs? Sales skyrocketed. And people tried Windows sure, but eventually was lured in to the default operating system.

Check this out about Apple a few years ago...

Apple Computer Inc. Chairman Gil Amelio swallowed hard as he laid out his plan to save the beleaguered computer giant - a plan featuring fewer products and a considerably smaller work force.

The much-anticipated announcement Friday from Amelio and other top Apple officials began with the news of a 31 percent cut in the company's work force: 4,100 workers - 2,700 full-time employees and 1,400 contract workers - will lose their jobs.

"It's very painful for us to be laying off people who have been working very hard to bring Apple back to health," Amelio told reporters and analysts in a telephone conference.

But, he said, the only way to return the company to profitability was to slim it down from its present 13,400 employees and to cut its line of software and computer models.

"I am optimistic about the future," Amelio said.

"These actions put us back on the road to health."

Apple executives would not say how many Bay Area jobs would be cut, though marketing chief Guerrino DeLuca said the company's Sacramento manufacturing plant would be spared.

About 55 percent of the work force cuts will be U.S. workers; the remainder will be foreign workers, officials said. The layoffs will be completed by the end of the year.

Once notified, laid-off workers can stay on the job for 60 days, as is stipulated by law. Severance packages will vary by position and seniority, officials said.

Sales slump
Apple has lost almost $1 billion over the last five quarters amid slumping sales and consumer concerns about the company's new operating system. Apple's share of the PC market dropped to 5.2 percent last year from 7.9 percent in 1995.

The restructuring plan - Amelio's second attempt to jump-start profits since taking over 13 months ago - will cost Apple $155 million this quarter, but is expected to cut annual expenses by $500 million, officials said.

Chief Financial Officer Fred Anderson would not predict what the losses for the current quarter could be, but analysts expect the company to lose as much as $175 million. Officials hope to show a profit in the fourth quarter.

Employees at Apple's Cupertino headquarters were remarkably calm as news of the layoffs spread.

Strong job market
Glenn Webb, a contract employee who started eight months ago and does automated performance testing, said the layoffs come at a time when the job market for high-tech workers is strong.

"At least they can just get it over with and let the cut people get back to work and move on," said Webb, as he and Chris McNary, another contract employee, took a break outside the headquarters office.

"The cuts are happening globally, not just here," said McNary, who works with networking applications.

"I'm still a big Apple fan," Webb said, adding he would continue to support the company even it he got laid off. He said he thinks the company was honing in on "what sells and what doesn't sell." Apple officials announced they would cut funding for the company's Open Doc component software technology as well as Cyberdog, Open Transport, Game Sprockets, and Mac OS development tools. The company also plans to drop its video conferencing program and AIX server software.

The company said it would reduce the number of models of Macintosh computers and PowerBook laptops it produces.

Anderson said the company would also trim research and development spending to 5 percent of the company's budget and will try to integrate technologies developed by other companies rather than developing them all in-house.

Apple still plans to ship its next-generation operating system, code-named Rhapsody, next year. But the company will reduce the number of new releases of the program beginning next year from two to one per year.

Apple officials rejected speculation that they would sell the division that produces Newton, a hand-held computer, which has been losing money but enjoys a cult-like following.

"One of the very few parts of the company that is not touched by the layoffs is Newton," DeLuca said.

Despite the array of cuts, the plan disappointed some analysts, who said it still isn't aggressive enough and doesn't address the questions of how the company will boost sales.

"They're still in the same dilemma," said analyst Eugene Glazer of Dean Witter Reynolds. "It's a niche company with declining market share."

Others said Apple was finally focusing on areas of the business where they can still be profitable.

"It's very clear that they realized this is a very difficult time and that the only way they are going to get back to profitability is to cut costs and focus on core competencies," said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies Research International.<

Now blackberry in the place..
So don't worry about BlackBerry they will get it right...

Posted via CB10

so to follow up with the analogy, do you think Mike Lazaridis will come back unshaved, wearing jeans & tshirt?
"Here is something we did in the past, reinvented: a slider tablet with a clicky screen"

Thanks for that, very interesting! Almost like BlackBerry cut and paste Apple's past announcement.

Posted via CB10

8520-9780-9900-Playbook-Zed10. That's my resume and I loved every second of those devices I once owned. BlackBerry was good to me but they failed big time to keep up with the demands of the consumer. As the saying goes " you can only bend something so far back before it snaps. Iphone5s here I come. Adios amigos.

From my Z10 A.K.A knight Rider.

Yep, for example I would like to upgrade from my Q10 right in this second. But what's the upgrade from Blackberry? The Z30? Come on, I said upgrade, not buying the Z10 with bigger screen and better sound. Upgrading should be something like the new Sony. Or even the new iPhone which is not so much an upgrade either. As I said on another post, I love Blackberry and literally all the phones I've own since 8700g have been Blackberry, but I just don't see any reason of buying ANY phone from them right now

Posted via CB10

Ask them if they are going to release the Z30 in Canada, is 10.2 coming for the Z10, and moving forward how are they going to attract developers.

Posted via CB10

I would really like once and for all for someone to call out Thorsten in a one on one interview. Ask him how blackberry does mobile computing better than competitors and ask for a clear, specific example of what a prosumer is. Really tired of watered down interviews with no hard hitting questions. Don't be afraid to burn bridges guys, they won't be crossing to anywhere nice soon anyway.

A ton of new apps? Show me the ton of new apps, because I don't want Android side loads.

Keep calm and blackberry on

Wow. I really timed my vacation incorrectly. I left Singapore a week before the Malaysian event and then I left Hong Kong on Sunday. Clearly Blackberry didn't check my schedule. :)

Simon ... since you are in Lantau, if you do have some time off, you should check out the Big Buddha. I decided to check it out while I was in Hong Kong and it was definitely a site to see.