A few ramblings about BlackBerry

by Volker Weber

Two things off my chest first: I love the new BlackBerrys. And they completely failed in the prosumer space. The new CEO has created four topics for new BlackBerry, the company. My comments in no particular order:

  1. BBM. This is supposed to be a future business. I have no idea how that is going to work. BBM was once great, but people have moved on to WhatsApp (and other dominant platforms in other markets). Yes, there are a few markets where BlackBerry fans hold on to their old BlackBerry 7 devices and use BBM. Secure messaging? You have to be kidding me. All devices use the same encryption key. Unless set by a BES to build an island, where all devices on that BES use a different one, again the same for all of them.
  2. EMM/MDM. BlackBerry wants to manage iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and eventually Windows Phone. The good news is that they use a container approach that separates business from private apps and data. This bodes well in a BYOD environment, which is going to be the norm in the future. The bad news is, so far this has not worked very well. Lots of companies have deployed BES 10 in testing, and something else in production.
  3. Devices. BlackBerry is no longer cool, but there are loads of people in business who love love love their BlackBerrys. Because they are dependable and secure. This is BlackBerry's castle and the reason the company is not going to go away. EMM/MDM will not be enough to keep BlackBerry afloat. They also need to make great devices for business.
  4. QNX. They used to tell us this thing runs nuclear power plants and cars. After Fukushima BlackBerry stopped talking about the power plants. QNX also runs BlackBerry 10. I don't know much about this business. But I do know that Android is making inroads into car entertainment. Apple has also announced partnerships. Since the majority of handhelds run on Android and iOS, chances are we are seeing more of that.

In any case, this is a complete turnaround from the happy days of Global Creative Director nonsense.


I like the Blackberry 10 devices - although it was dumb to not include hard buttons for dial/answer and hang up. But I don't see how Blackberry as a company is going to survive in North America and Europe. Very much a niche player these days. Sad to see.

David Schaffer, 2014-01-16

Niche player. That's what they are aiming for. And they have a good plan to survive there.

Volker Weber, 2014-01-16

Hopefully this plan works better than the last one. I love the devices and the MDM/MAM, but it is hard to convince customers and the last CEO didn't help in this way. Ofcourse the new one needs some time to settle, but I think time is something which is very rare for them.

Further more I`m a bit confused (again) by the statement, that BBM is in focus. The same BBM was nearly dropped completly before.

Regarding QNX, Android and iOS are there, too. The difference? QNX is invisible because it is more in the electronic streering of the machine etc. Android and iOS are visible, because the entertainment and navigation is/will be built on them.

Torben Volkmann, 2014-01-16

I carry a BlackBerry (9930) for work, and an Android (Motorola Razr MAXX) for personal. For a few more weeks. I've used BlackBerrys for years and love the reliability. But I'm tired of carrying two devices. After considering MANY options, I've somewhat sadly ruled out the Z10, so I'll be saying goodbye to BlackBerry. For me, it's now between Windows phone (most probably Lumia 1020) or Android (most probably Galaxy S4).

There was a time when BBM was important to me. Then I relied on Whatsapp for quite some time. Now it's been more a combo of Sametime at work, and then SMS and DM on Twitter and Facebook for personal. Sad to see BB diminishing, but I can't base my own decision purely on emotion.

Joe Litton, 2014-01-19

The Z10 is not too interesting, the Z30 is.

Haiko Hebig, 2014-01-21

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