WES 2010 Super Podcast: CrackBerry, BGR and Phone Scoop Talk BlackBerry News and the Road Ahead!

Listen Now!

By Kevin Michaluk on 28 Apr 2010 06:55 pm EDT

CrackBerry Slider Special

Here it is CrackBerry readers, our WES 2010 Special Edition Podcast! We're making podcast history with this one as the CrackBerry team sat down with the Boy Genius, Andrew Munchbach and Michael Bettiol of BGR and Eric Zeman of Phone Scoop to talk all things BlackBerry. This is one podcast you will not want to miss.

In 48 minutes we pretty much touch on all of the news coming out of WES including BlackBerry 6 and the new BlackBerry Bold 9650 and Pearl 3G. More than that, we spend a lot of time addressing the state of BlackBerry - looking at both the challenges and opportunities RIM faces in the smartphone game. Take a listen and be sure to drop us a comment and let us know what you think. Enjoy the show!

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Reader comments

WES 2010 Super Podcast: CrackBerry, BGR and Phone Scoop Talk BlackBerry News and the Road Ahead!


I'll say it right now. The guys dismissed Kevin's idea of marrying BB and Android for a single device entirely too quick. Dismissing him so quick is exactly the kind of thinking that got RIM where they are regarding tech and how far behind they are falling in the first place!!

With all the damn money they're making I don't see why they cannot hire some software and development folks that can put a Blackberry flavor to Android!!! Moto can do it...HTC can freaking DELL can!!! Why the hell can't RIM for just a singe device for those that love BB but want more?

I don't see a downside to associating yourself with the hottest new OS, especially for one device say a SUPER BB. An Elite BB with Android, Android done right! :)

IMO, there is no single manufacturer that one would associate with Android but IMO Rim could change that if they wanted.

I security will be brought up but if you INNOVATE it can be done. Especially for a single device to start. A BB flavored Android device, throw in a Snapdragon and BBM...maybe even co-acceptance into the marketplace and the app world! That's double apps or more!!

At least take a chance..

I am a Blackberry fan, but the way you guys talked down on Blackberry the entire time almost made me think twice about buying another Blackberry, specially when you all said your scared for RIM.... not good guys

What's wrong with being honest? It was a refreshing compilation of differing views on the BlackBerry platform. I'm a regular listener of the CB podcast, but it sometimes gets annoying when they make it seem like everything is fine and dandy in the BlackBerry universe.

Participants stayed on topic and the comments were relevant. Crackberry folks should have the BGR and Phone Scoops fellas on more.

BGR guys were nice to have on and all but I wouldn't go so far as to say they provided any great insight. I would have actually preferred to hear more of Kevin's thoughts on the show. Bla1ze as well.

Kevin easily spoke the most out of everyone. What's the point of having guests on when you're not going to give them a good portion of airtime? (I'm not saying they weren't given enough airtime, just that you shouldn't complain about them speaking too much) BG is notoriuosly opinionated on RIM and I'm glad we finally got a chance to hear him go in-depth with it. Eric from PhoneScoop was also a great listen.

Cool podcast, loved listening to it, you guys brought up a lot of good points and ideas... Lots of interesting things to ponder.

I love the honesty between CB, BGR, PS. Its great to view at the current state & possible future of BlackBerry. Sometimes its refreshing to hear of what's REALLY going on, and not try to pass it off like its all good. Best podcast so far.

The best I've heard in a long time, the guy who speaks at the 11:09 mark, awesome. Then when they said "don't build a phone for one carrier", even more awesome!!

Blackberry has a very strong clout now to start calling the shots. Every phone should be on every carrier. So much more things but this podcast was just so awesome, it was real talk. Straight and honest, with fanboism turned off. Loved it.

I was worried in the beginning about what sounded like RIM bashing. However I like the ideas at the end regarding a series of devices for consumer/entertainment focused and a series maximized for business/enterprise use. This is enlightened thinking. I also wish now that my 9700 had touch capability in it's small screen, great idea.


ps Sydney Crosby for Prime Minister

Interesting podcast. I actually think OS 6 is spot on. Mainly due to the fact that I know many new smart phone users from age 25 to 45 who end up getting the BB due to needing a phone and messaging device first. The extras are media and web. Most folks are not spec hounds, it's not practical. That being said, I surf the web like crazy on my 9700 and love the performance. I also recognize most people I know don't want an incredible with bad battery life and outside screen resolution. They have laptops for hardcore use and need a good email, phone, communication device as the medium. In addition I dumped my ipod because I prefer the music performance of my 9700...it's better. It also beats my girlfriends android. That is my take. I think the 9700 broke the mold...add in webkit and OS 6 and I don't see a real rival...at least not for my money.

I have to admit, this one was probably the crappiest podcast ever. Honestly. Normally, there is a sense of geeky optimism and enthusiasm and an energy level which comes through each Podcast and which has kept Crackberry a fun, yet informative place to be.

But this time, it was as if everyone was trying too hard to out "tough guy" each other and the constant dissing and negativity made this episode seems like an immature rant by a bunch of pubescent teenagers. Lots of hurt egos with no real insight and no information to back any opinions up with.

You may enjoy doing them, but you should also consider your audience, and any valid points you may try to make just get buried in the whining and kvetching.

you have to admit they were very honest in saying things need to be better. rim is talking about super app and more powerful op system but we still cant reach a decent amount of ram memory on our devices. they had a good chance to test the ram memory thing with the 9000 but that whole gig of memory went to media.. no one ever asked for media memory. we needed and still need freaking app memory.. they make the devices so you have to upgrade every year and trust me i get it. thats how you keep your sales up and devices out the door luckily i can upgrade every year but most people can not the podcast was fair and honest if rim dont get it right they will lose..

I wouldn't call it honest. It's just a one-sided perspective. Nobody has actually tried OS 6. They didn't see the slider. They don't know what the deal with QNX actually is. So complaining about it is not really that insightful, IMO.

And just to be clear: BlackBerry devices have never been, and will never be, bleeding edge technology. Nokia has 12 Megapixel cameras now, and crazy crazy hardware they can't possibly make money on. But in North America, really nobody uses them.

If what you want is the latest hardware, BlackBerry isn't for you. In fact, it never was. Having said all that, BlackBerry devices for me gives me that no-nonsense ability to get shit done and gives me all the advanced options and shortcuts I like to get things done. It's definitely not for everyone and I don't think RIM expects it to be.

Could I use an iPhone? I suppose, but it never stuck with me and doesn't inspire me at all, I find it boring and dumbed down to use. Android? Nice hardware, but it's so generic and doesn't adequately distinguish itself in that it suffers from generica. There are dozens and dozens of Android devices and it's like with Windows Mobile, they're made by many different manufacturers, so there's no real brand experience nor consistency to the experience.

Windows Mobile? The same, but worse. No coherent product line, stuff from one version is incompatible with another version. Disaster (maybe version 7 is better, but still).

Palm? Won't be around that much longer. The Pre was nice, but really underpowered and the keyboard was really cheap.

Which leaves BlackBerry. I have a Bold, but I love the Storm2's touch. With more RAM and a slicker UI, it would be a great thing for me. I love the feel of it and does what I need. Storm 3 will probably be what I buy, with a better video camera, sleeker, faster OS, but I love the clicky screen - it makes the experience stand out from all the other touch screens. And if you don't like SurePress, there's plenty of Androids and Windows Mobile sets to choose from. Knock yourself out.

So here we are - Crackberry.com - we probably love BlackBerry devices or we wouldn't bother coming here. So we can winge about them, or accept that they offer a distinct kind of mobile experience and cater to this audience. Sure, I'd love all kinds of new goodies in my device and they could always improve, but to host a site for BlackBerry fans and continually diss the devices makes little sense to me.

this site is cool and being new i been trying to learn a lot of stff about blackberry. so i'm couple months into being a smart phone user. the curve 8530 is the current device that i use from Verizon. being new to the smartphone world i really enjoy using blackberry. i like how i could stay organized by storing password, calendar and also like to use poynt. i use the web to read this sites, cnn and other news site. i have not use bb yet. now i am want to upgrade to a better blackberry model and have been waiting for the 9650. i been doing lots of research on here , you tube and other sites. i heard that all of you have iphone on podcast and wondered why. i did want a iphone but did not want to go with att. the phone looks cool but now after using a blackberry i wonder if i cold get that same feeling from a different phone.

very good points discussed. Taking the 9700 and slapping a touch screen to it (not surepress but a true touch screen) along with 6.0 and webkit. would be an awesome bb

I think its refreshing to hear from people that want RIM to do well but can call out things that don't seem like they make sense (like the clamshell). I get tired of people on the site that keep giving the same response of "if you don't like what RIM is doing, get another phone".If we are not vocal with the improvements we want, do you think manufacturers will ever move forward? How do you think OS 5.0 and 6.0 came about? Definitely not from the heavy email/business users.

This was a great podcast! Just try to get a bit more of control next time, at some points it was hard to tell what people were saying! ^^

Is it just me or y'all think @boygenius voice sounds like 'Joker' in The Dark Knight. lol cool. i love this guy really..

This dude is kinda rude,, but he's saying all the truth here. RIM need to step up!

I'm not gonna throw my bb away, but sure I want to have better and fresh experience, esp on touch screen bb.

No matter what some (on this forum) might say about this podcast, I have to give this a 9/10 (which in my opinion is quite a high standard), as it discussed the "real" problems BlackBerry have been having for quite some time indeed.
I'm pretty darn sure, the majority would agree, that this was one of the most honest and engaging discussions the 'Crack-Team' has had for quite some time minus Craig's sexy-ass voice!
Def did miss Craig in this edition, and hopefully should see him attend WES 2011 with the rest of the 'Crack-Team'.
Although, I did enjoy the fresh addition of the new panel of members like BGR, Phone Scoop, etc.,
It was nice to hear their inputs into the underlying problems as it's always better to approach a problem from a broad/different perspective.
With that being said, I'm looking forward to future podcasts with them being a regular feature (if not more often).
Overall it was a nice and fresh change with better critical analysis of BlackBerry and kudos to the "Crack Team".
Well done guys!
Keep up the good work and keep crackalackin!

Who is the person who keep up the annoying tapping during the podcast. It got to me shortly after the 37:00 mark. Uhh....!!!!

hahah, that was the only thing pissing me off too. Otherwise, a great podcast, one of the best. But that tapping...jesus christ. I didn't know what the hell that noise was.

First off, great job guys on the podcast - thought it was great to include the guys from other "rival" sites to get their input. Really like the honest "State of RIM" speak.

But I couldn't agree more with whoever was talking about how WES has been a major disappointment (sorry I don't know who it was). But basically RIM got all the major bloggers to come down to Orlando, and for what? Announcing 2 devices and an OS that were all already known? And to promote the OS all you have is a few minute video? Not even any devices running a beta for the bloggers to blog on? What about this road map that will "blow you away"? RIM was very quiet at a recent conference (CTIA??) and the buzz was that they were saving all the good stuff for WES. Really? This is what we were waiting for? For all the hype WES received, it has been a tremendous let down (IMHO). Was really hoping for something that would convince me beyond a doubt to stay with BB, but now I may have to give a serious look to the Incredible when it's time to retire my Storm1. Will also give the Bold on VZW a long look, but haven't been wowed by the news coming out of WES, so I am at least going to consider/research Android/Incredible more now.

Really hoping for something big and unexpected on Thursday, but not looking good...

WES has been real underwhelming, they've must have known that those devices and OS 6 already leaked so they really needed to come with something more, something no one knew about.

I think this podcast really did well in laying it all out there for RIM. They do need a better touch screen than the Storm 2, enterprise users will adapt. They do need consumer devices that wow people, it's great they have the enterprise infrastructure they have, but they also need to move away from the aging Java core to something that is more
modern and efficient. It would also be great to see RIM put more focus in a few great projects rather than spread their considerable talent in a lot of different directions.

Bottom line is I don't know if Lazarditis gets the long term vision needed, RIM needs to get more cutting edge technology out while building on their enterprise base.

but for all those Tmobile customers with 9700, i think Tmobile is finally stepping up its game with releasing OS updates, just thought Bla1ze or Kevin should check that out and post about it

Source: Tmonews.com

BTW amazing podcast, love the diversity, bringing in BGR.

Win something for a change. I love how the new OS looks and I think it's refreshing. I have a S2 and hope the next gen is just as good if not better than my current BB.

My two cents

If you are thinking of getting rid of a Blackberry for either an Android or iPhone, then you got your Blackberry for all the wrong reasons. Android and iPhone are multimedia phones first and foremost. The Blackberry is a mobile communication device. The selling point behind the phones are different. Blackberry doesn't need to always worry about cutting edge multimedia, those are just extras. Give me a quality phone, with a Qwerty keyboard and push email and make my battery last as long as possible. RIM is smart to dabble in other areas like the Storm's touchscreen and the upcoming slider. But those will never be the core Blackberry phones. The Bold family and even the Curves are more of the flagships of the line.

Glad you are satisfied with the blackberry platfrom. However, the problem with your view point is that if RIM shares it, they are done. Three years ago you had an Iphone which did nothing, Winmo which was slow and buggy and Palm OS. blackberry next to those guys was a strong competitor. Thier hardware was up to spec and they had the great BB messaging system. BB flourished. Today however, the competition is way more intense. Winmo 7 is around the corner, Iphone has added just about every functionality you could want, Palm OS is great (HP buying them should help) and android is making huge gains in market share. RIM cant sit on its laurels of being a the only device that can handle messaging. All the other platforms handle messaging well. If want RIM to have the developer following so that App World doesnt suck, then you better hope they have bigger plans that what they have shown. I think you are going to see a negative trend in market share over the next several quarters becuase RIM has done nothing to get the consumer market excited.

RIM has no competition. To the customer that wants and needs a Blackberry phone, ease of messaging is what matters. That means a Qwerty keyboard for fast and accurate typing. This means NO touchscreen with an on screen keyboard. The iPhone will never be a business device, it is and always will be a multimedia device only.

Unfortunately this is not what is happening in the marketplace. Apple in particular is making inroads with small-to-medium sized companies. While Apple may never reach the level of sales in the enterprise space, one cannot ignore what Apple has been able to achieve. What's lost here is that RIM's current market valuation is based on the premise that its sales of high margin handsets like the 9700 will continue to grow consumer space. If RIM's market share in the consumer space, especially in NA starts to fall significantly, big changes will come RIM's way whether it wants it or not.

Also App World doesn't suck...

They are fixing the only problem that App world has, and that is more payment options. But I have never left App world wishing I could find the kind of App I want. I can't think of anything that my business needs that we haven't gotten.

I just paused the podcast to make a comment, so forgive me if you guys touch on it later on. I just did a battpull on my Bold 9000, and Rogers pushed a "ZoomPass" app to my phone. The zoompass website gives this description...
"Zoompass, Canada’s first mobile payment service gives Canadians a convenient, secure, and fast way to send, receive, and request money using their mobile phone. Zoompass eliminates the need for cash, cheques, wire transfers, and other inconvenient ways to pay"

Does this count as carrier billing? Or am I just mistaken? Maybe you guys could share some light on that.

really wish i could download the mp3 directly but my blackberry said that the file was too big. sweet.

There was talk in the podcast of RIM having two divisions, a business group and a consumer group, I think this is what RIM needs to do, GREAT IDEA! RIM is reluctant to do big changes with their current platform, because of losing their business customers (i.e.PALM). So with two divisions, you could have the business division use the tried and true technology, having a super stable, familiar platform. And a consumer division that would bring cutting edge stuff to the table, free from the business smartphone constraints.

I was very dissapointed with the reporters, buyers and blackberry fans at the supposed blackberry blowout meeting. No one would ake this guy answer the tough question. They let him get away with "come on we have been there before" bull shit. Beating around the bush, no real answers to real questions about devices, HARDWARE, what carriers, what phones, price, nothing. Ask him directly about why you could not beef up the hardware? you're not talking about jacking the cost of the device by big dollars, come on, why no better camera? I can think about 10 solid questions if I was at that meeting I would ask hi until I received my answer. Everyone seemed to be intimidated by this guy. Good journalists ask the tough questions, whether he likes it or not. The buying public, I was looking forward to some real answers to real solid questions. Mr.L. IMO just wasted everybody's time. Just my opinion.

I am glad that the bloggers are talking about what regular blackberry users talk about everyday in the forums. You guys have Rim's ear probably better than their regular customers do. The question is, are they listening? Because it sure seems like they are not. We keep waiting for them to truely WOW us... and we keep getting disappointed. There comes a time when people just give up and walk away. Even when they truely love something as much as some of us.. love our blackberry.

I may be the one of the few, but I do not like alot of applications on my phone. I have never even used the blackberry app world on my 9700. I have a couple of apps, gmail, and google maps, but that is it. I mean this is why I have a backberry, I like the keyboard, and I kinda find the iphone a time waster, though that phone is great if you like to play games on your phone, (which I dont, i even deleted brickbreaker,haha). Don't get me wrong, i think the iphone is a great phone, easy to use, good interface, but just not for me. But I guess I'm just saying, apps or how many apps a phone can hold will never be a selling point for me.

Interesting podcast, but I don't feel you guys have adequately addressed *why* you think RIM needs to revolutionize its platform. What is it that you want the platform to do that just won't be possible without revolutionizing the OS? If it's app support, couldn't that be addressed with better development tools and training?

I constantly hear about this need for RIM to deliver something revolutionary, but I have yet to hear anyone qualify *why* RIM can't address market needs through evolutionary changes to its existing platform. It's one thing to say that RIM isn't introducing enough changes or isn't evolving the OS fast enough. It's completely another thing to say that RIM simply cannot implement the needed changes if it sticks with the current platform and, therefore, must do a complete overhaul with a potentially new platform. And I think you guys believe the latter statement. So, what is it about Java and the Java-based platform that inherently limits the amount the platform can grow or evolve in terms of needed changes and functionality?

Regarding creating two platforms, one for businesses, one for consumers, you guys are missing the trend of consumerization in IT. IT departments are getting requests (or being forced) to support iPhones, Android phones, etc. because people don't want to use two devices: they want to use their personal devices for business. They want the user experience to be the same regardless of whether they're doing a personal task or a business task.

...most of the time, except for Kevin. I also found the podcast depressing. Those guys really beat up on BlackBerries. I happen to think my 9700 is fantastic, I don't need a bunch of useless apps on it, I have my iphone 3g for that. It does what I want it to do (instant communication with amazing battery life). Do I think it can be improved on? Certainly. The idea of including a touch screen sounds great, but I think then it would have to be a bigger device with a bigger screen (slide?) And then, yes, I would be buying yet another phone before my two years were up. Sigh.

For me, I must admit this was one of the most disappointing POD shows. Seems like a BlackBerry bashing to me...constant dissing and negativity by BG and PS. I expected a more mature approach with solid reasoning for the negativity. No real insight...just a lot of formed opinions. Sure wish that I had this hour back! Anyone can be a critic...not what I expected from the CrackBerry site, especially during WES.

BG uses an iPhone, enough said. No matter what you think of a BB if you think that thing is not a piece of crap you have no credibility in my book. Another loser caught up in the iPhone hoopla.Very disappointed in BG.

If RIM is still in game after 2 to 3 years. I hope you will re-post this podcast and announce "we are all idiots"

You should fwd this podcast directly to RIM-you guys are right RIMs operating with their heads in their a**es. They should captilize on the business customers and divide, as they are poised to be more powerful. Operating in the past is going to kill them-think Palm. Great suggestions guys...


1st off thank you for not sound like fan boys in this episode, it was refreshing to hear honest opinions.

You never did explain what exactly WES was though, it took some research to find out what it stood for, RIM doesn't even tell you on their site! Don't assume your listeners know all. I've only been a BB user since Dec. 2009.

Regarding the consumer aspect of the BlackBerry, my relatives bought 3 BlackBerrys from Sprint/Nextel in January. The local Sprint store sold them 8300 series and not the newer models Sprint has. So they are pushing the older ones on consumers that know no better. And regarding the app store, my relatives only found out about the App store when I showed it to them, 3 months after they bought the phones!

And I settled for BlackBerry (9700) because it was the only smart phone that had an affordable Data-Only plan (via T-Mobile). Sure I paid more for the 9700 than I would have for an iPhone, but the monthly fees...

As a consumer user, Black Berry Messenger is useless to myself & my family, my friends and family are on Yahoo, AIM, & Messenger. Even the ones with BBs chat via Yahoo. We really see no point in using BBM as consumers.