Between the launch of the BlackBerry Classic and BlackBerry's Q3 Fiscal 2015 earnings report, it has been a busy past few days all around. This week, I'd just like to take a quick look back at some of the stuff that was covered, which ultimately highlights a few of the things we have to look forward to as well as some things folks may have missed in the flurry of news that came out.
BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 - As most folks should know by now, the first batch of BlackBerry 10 devices such as the BlackBerry Z10, Q10, Z30, Z3 and Q5 haven't received any iteration of BlackBerry 10.3/ 10.3.1 as of yet. The plan for those devices was always to move them directly into 10.3.1, and that's still going to happen. As we learned during the BlackBerry Classic launch Q&A session, that will start happening in February. Now, even though that's an official timeframe from Ron Louks, President, Devices and Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry, it's still subject to all the usual caveats such as carrier approval and roll out. 'February' is a starting point not an exact date and that's important to remember because it likely doesn't mean come February 1st, everyone is going to have 10.3.1.. unfortunately.
Classic Color Variations - Another note from our BlackBerry Classic Q&A session. There are several color variations of the BlackBerry Classic already in the works, so if you're not happy with the black, you can expect a blue and bronze version at some point as well, plus there's that white one spotted earlier. Maybe a red one as well? Hope so. Sadly they weren't shown off but if you simply MUST have some sort of visualization of them, then check out the renders on DHabkirks BBM channel: C0001DB0D.
BlackBerry Classic Sales - While it's still way too early to discuss how well the BlackBerry Classic will do for BlackBerry, it was interesting that BlackBerry CEO John Chen noted that Classic sales were already ahead of those of the Passport around the same timeframe. Oddly enough, I don't find this surprising. I think a LOT of people underestimate how many people really want their trackpad and navigation keys back. Folks in the CrackBerry Forums always like to highlight how many questions they get asked about their Passport but I've had just as many questions about my Classic over the past week while traveling from Arizona to New York to Halifax. Even within my own family, the reaction to the Classic has been pretty stellar and while some may laugh at the Classic's chances of 'winning customers back', from my experience thus far, it's already doing that.
The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show - CES has never really been a massive show for BlackBerry, but BlackBerry has always been involved in some way. Even last year, BlackBerry CEO John Chen was there holding meetings and interviews and oddly enough, at the time speaking about Samsung KNOX. This year, BlackBerry will once again have a presence, and it is there that they will lay out their Internet of Things strategy. I know a lot of people keep asking 'What's BlackBerry doing in this area?'. The fact of the matter is, they've not really shown much to report on so CES will be the time to hear more about it and we'll have plenty of people there to take in whatever it is they lay out for us. Might not be me personally but every Mobile Nations site will have a presence at CES.
Mobile World Congress 2015 - Much like CES, Mobile World Congress for BlackBerry over the past few years hasn't exactly been a huge event, but that will change a bit under BlackBerry CEO John Chen. On March 2-5 in Barcelona, BlackBerry intends to lay out their entire 2015 device roadmap for all to see. Now, whether or not that means we'll get full visuals of the devices or not is not really known but it sure sounds that way. Based on previous comments from Chen, BlackBerry has been working on a lot of concept devices, follow-ups (Passport iterations come to mind), and they have a lot in the pipeline. Plus, he's been teasing several new software solutions as well. Again, like CES, we'll have people on the ground in Barcelona to bring you all the news as it happens.
BlackBerry Blend - I have to highlight this one again because well, it's awesome, and given how may people are still upset about Blend not officially being available for all devices, I want people to know there is a solution even if it's not a 'BlackBerry preferred' one. With the last BlackBerry Blend update, many folks discovered that if you're running a 'leaked' version of BlackBerry 10.3.1, BlackBerry Blend will work for you. I'm not telling you to install a leak (I still find them rather buggy) but if you're looking to finally give Blend a go but don't have a supported device, this is one way to do so. Use the information as you see fit. Just remember, it's your choice. Don't be a jerk by complaining to BlackBerry about bugs in a leaked OS.. mmmkay?
BlackBerry Classic and Passport Help - Over the next little while we're going to be doing some Classic and Passport tutorials for people who may be new to the devices. We've always done this with new devices, and we're not going to stop. I'm telling you this as a warning because I know plenty of our readers are seasoned vets of BlackBerry 10 and really couldn't give a damn about tutorials. You don't need to know how to set your device up or take screenshots, but the fact of the matter is, some people are new to all this and need some help. We've always helped BlackBerry users learn to use their device better and if you can't manage to skip over those posts without leaving rude comments like 'WTF, WHAT IDIOT DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS!!!' or 'WTF! Next your gonna tell me how to wipe my own a$$ aren't you?!' then your comments will simply be deleted. The point is, we're here to help those who need it. If you don't need help, consider helping those who do need it in the forums vs. leaving rude comments and alienating them. Either way, the Help and How-To posts are not going to stop - everyone deserves a chance to learn - once upon a time we were all the person asking for help. Who knows? Maybe you'll even learn something you never knew yourself.
Drake digs the Classic - Although the rumors of Drake being a spokesperson for BlackBerry didn't exactly pan out, he still managed to get his hands on a Classic. He's PING squad for life!
That's about all I have to say for now and considering there won't be another 'From the Editor's Desk' until after Christmas, I'll take this moment to wish you all safe and happy holidays. I hope everyone finds some time to disconnect and spend time with family and loved ones. Put the smartphones down, if even only even for a bit, and enjoy. Until next time... take care and be good to each other!
A new 5G BlackBerry Android smartphone with a keyboard will arrive in 2021
A new joint announcement from BlackBerry, OnwardMobility, and FIH Mobile lays out the plans for a new 5G BlackBerry Android smartphone with a physical keyboard to be brought to market in North America, and Europe within the first half of 2021.