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  1. Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes's Avatar
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    Default [Globe and Mail Article] RIM’s BlackBerry 10 launch goes off with a successful bang

    RIM

    Research In Motion Ltd. CEO Thorsten Heins stepped onto a stage in Manhattan on Wednesday and unveiled the company’s long-delayed lineup of BlackBerry 10 devices, triggering a broadly positive reception as the company launches a new phase of its comeback attempt.

    After suffering losses, product delays, layoffs and growing concern about the company’s future, RIM’s new smartphone earned positive reviews from influential technology experts, and Mr. Heins confidently predicted customers would embrace the new device.

    And in its attempt to reinvent itself from a stuffy corporate phone maker with dwindling sales to a rising consumer juggernaut, RIM said it will change its name to simply BlackBerry, appointed superstar singer Alicia Keys as “Global Creative Director” live on stage and gave out free phones to the Wall Street analysts and executives who came down to the Pier 36 venue to watch the spectacle.

    Despite the well-received launch and positive early product reviews, shares of RIM reversed their recent sharp ascent and dropped 12 per cent Wednesday as investors reconsidered the intense competitiveness of the smartphone industry, and the massive popularity of devices sold by rivals Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., which together accounted for 92 per cent of all smartphone sales in the fourth quarter, according to one research firm.

    Mr. Heins, who took over as RIM CEO a year ago with the company in crisis, insisted the long-awaited BlackBerry 10 launch will be worth the wait.

    Before the event, Mr. Heins walked into a suite on the thirty-sixth floor of the luxury Mandarin Oriental hotel for an interview with The Globe and Mail wearing a dark suit, a grey-and-purple tie, rimless glasses and a very big grin.

    He had just flown into New York from the World Economic Forum in Davos, and he had a good reason to be cheerful: Where else but hobnobbing among the global elite would Mr. Heins find such a high concentration of BlackBerry addicts? And as he readied for the next day’s big launch, he seemed buoyed by the enthusiasm he heard from Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Deutsche Bank executives, among others

    “Davos had a pretty high penetration of BlackBerrys, which gave me quite some confidence. A lot of loyal customers there.”

    The blockbuster event in Manhattan was simulcast in cities across the globe – from Toronto and London to Paris and Johannesburg – and captivated the technology world in a way RIM hasn’t been able to in years.

    Executives at RIM, which is launching its touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 phone in Canada and other markets starting in late January and early February, know this is likely the company’s last chance to win back those who have abandoned BlackBerrys in droves.

    “This is one of the biggest launches in our industry,” Mr. Heins said.

    And for a few hours on Wednesday, he appeared to be right, as positive reviews began flowing online from America’s most famous gadget reviews and the technology world focused its collective gaze on RIM – largely in a good way. “He’s no Steve Jobs but I thought he did a solid job,” says Jefferies & Co. technology analyst Peter Misek, who attended the event.

    But RIM shares fell throughout Mr. Heins’s time on stage. U.S. media seemed to focus on the fact that the first device won’t launch in the U.S. until March, whereas it will launch in the U.K. starting today (JAN 31) and in Canada on Feb. 5 – two countries where the BlackBerry tends to be more popular.

    “I expect it’s going to do reasonably well in the U.K. and Canada, but the real question is the U.S.,” Mr. Misek added.

    Kris Thompson, an analyst with National Bank Financial, said the deferred U.S. availability may lead analysts to lower expectations for device shipments. “The QWERTY Q10 will not be available anywhere until April, which is very, very disappointing. Estimates might come down on the launch delays.”

    RIM’s executives said the BlackBerry would lift its current stable of 70,000 apps to 100,000 by the time the devices launched around March. Alec Saunders, RIM’s vice-president of developer relations, said in an interview that “I don’t see that being a problem. We’re off to a great start.”

    Now, of course, it is up to the market to determine whether BlackBerry 10 sinks or succeeds – both the consumer market that has increasingly abandoned BlackBerrys and the corporate market that is beginning to supplement BlackBerrys with other devices. RIM will launch additional BlackBerrys over the course of the year at different price points for various international markets and audience segments, but the focus for now is on the Z10 – a high-end smartphone that is 4.2 inches of glass, slightly bigger than the iPhone. But Mr. Heins says that his conversations over the last year with customers in different countries leave RIM convinced that there is a market for what he’s selling.

    “I’ve showed it to [chief information officers] of large companies, they were stunned,” Mr. Heins said. “I mean, they were just saying, ‘When can I have it? I need it. I want to speed up the process,’ ” he said.

    “And the first indications we’ve got from pre-registrations, specifically in Canada, are pretty exciting,” Mr. Heins said. “You get sign-up rates from even non-BlackBerry users today that are really exciting. The indications I have, the data points I have, they point toward a success. But again, it’s all about execution. We better get this right.”
    Thanked by 3:
    emstardeluxe (01-30-2013),  spike12 (01-30-2013),  world traveler and former ceo (01-30-2013) 
  2. jimmyzzz's Avatar
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    I wish this was true.
  3. Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyzzz View Post
    I wish this was true.
    k
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  4. emstardeluxe's Avatar
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    This is consistent with the "regular" media being more positive on BB10 than the tech sites. As I said before, who has more readership? Ultimately I'd rather BB10 be (relatively) "panned" by the small tech sites and praised by the big media giants than the other way around (.. hopefully the tech sites come around as they use BB10 more).
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    seems most are giving BB10 a thumbs up, but investors are bailing....for now.
  6. Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer_god View Post
    seems most are giving BB10 a thumbs up, but investors are bailing....for now.
    yeah because they are upset over a March US launch.

    now why would someone get upset over getting something at a later date?...if they were looking forward to it, or if they were not looking forward to it? That is the question to answer
  7. ricocan's Avatar
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    Tech sites seem somehow vested to a particular device or OS, they are keenly aware of who their primary audience is and can't afford to sway too far away from what they want to hear. A small tech blog like BGR exists because of who shows up to read his views, if those people are primarily Apple or Android and generally need to feel they have the best experience, then why would Geller say something else is better, that would not be good for business.
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    I don't have the impression that the stock tanked entirely because of the later date. I really feel like the z10 was/is not as spectacular as the hype had built it up to be. The whole presentation and launch had an anti-climatic feel to it.
    nquyen likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyzzz View Post
    I don't have the impression that the stock tanked entirely because of the later date. I really feel like the z10 was/is not as spectacular as the hype had built it up to be. The whole presentation and launch had an anti-climatic feel to it.
    please advise what it was built up to be? It had everything the leaks showed plus MORE (skype, etc)
  10. playboldbook's Avatar
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    Because after awhile people just get sick of the disappointment and just give up. I understand 1 month is truly not a big deal, but to many, this seems like a critical mistake. I know you think I'm a troll. I'm not, I love BB. But god, it is basic psychology, people get pissed over the stupidest things, and pretty soon that is it, it is done.
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    Man. They are clearly smoking something...
  12. jimmyzzz's Avatar
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    I guess my personal expectations were too high. I haven't used the phone but I'm finding many of the technical reviews to be slightly on the disappointing side. I expected this phone to be fully polished and ready but it appears it's just a 'starting point' and there are going to be some growing pains. I'm not saying that's a bad thing but I had a different idea of how this launch would go. I think the fact that it wasn't anything more than the leaks that we saw is part of the problem. I have read most of the reviews and I would say the overall sentiment is average to good but not exceptional. I heard the term 'game changer' being used a lot before the launch. Is it really that? This is what it was built up to be at least in my mind.
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    screw cnet, techcrunch, the verge, bgr, gizomodo, and any others
  14. Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyzzz View Post
    I guess my personal expectations were too high. I haven't used the phone but I'm finding many of the technical reviews to be slightly on the disappointing side. I expected this phone to be fully polished and ready but it appears it's just a 'starting point' and there are going to be some growing pains. I'm not saying that's a bad thing but I had a different idea of how this launch would go. I think the fact that it wasn't anything more than the leaks that we saw is part of the problem. I have read most of the reviews and I would say the overall sentiment is average to good but not exceptional. I heard the term 'game changer' being used a lot before the launch. Is it really that? This is what it was built up to be at least in my mind.
    "expected this phone to be fully polished and ready"

    what is not polished and ready?

    Are you refering to "not ready" as in not releasing in USA until March?

    What was not polished at launch on the z10?
  15. mathking606's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyzzz View Post
    I guess my personal expectations were too high. I haven't used the phone but I'm finding many of the technical reviews to be slightly on the disappointing side. I expected this phone to be fully polished and ready but it appears it's just a 'starting point' and there are going to be some growing pains. I'm not saying that's a bad thing but I had a different idea of how this launch would go. I think the fact that it wasn't anything more than the leaks that we saw is part of the problem. I have read most of the reviews and I would say the overall sentiment is average to good but not exceptional. I heard the term 'game changer' being used a lot before the launch. Is it really that? This is what it was built up to be at least in my mind.
    As long as it works, I am sure you will be very happy. Look at Ios users yeah they might brand their processor by calling it A# but that does not mean its any better than any other processor and anyway Ipones still work great. I know people with S3's with a quadcore processor and a huge battery that have to do battery pulls and can not use their phone throughout the day.
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    I was watching the stock price in real time at the launch event.
    Unless brokerages had information not available to the public, the stock was down considerable before Thorsten Heins (not Thor) announced the delivery dates. That was closer to 11AM EST and the stock dropped earlier.

    Now, if public information was released at the start of the presentation, that could explain it.
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    my roommates, non-tech people came home today talking about how awesome the new blackberry looks. if the purpose of the launch was to generate a buzz amongst the most casual of smartphone users, i think it was a success.
    Z10 - Playbook 32GB
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    Quote Originally Posted by njblackberry View Post
    I was watching the stock price in real time at the launch event.
    Unless brokerages had information not available to the public, the stock was down considerable before Thorsten Heins (not Thor) announced the delivery dates. That was closer to 11AM EST and the stock dropped earlier.

    Now, if public information was released at the start of the presentation, that could explain it.
    the news was plastered with the march date minutes (maybe 10?) before he announced it. I was watched BNN and noticed this


    -stovk.jpg
  19. Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 416to604 View Post
    my roommates, non-tech people came home today talking about how awesome the new blackberry looks. if the purpose of the launch was to generate a buzz amongst the most casual of smartphone users, i think it was a success.
    and thats exactly what it was for. the hardcore people have seen vivek PEEK many times already
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    strong sales push in Canada and UK will build strong initial momentum and enthusiasum for what is a really excellent product! bb10 will succeed!!.... now execute RIM!
  21. 00stryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes View Post
    please advise what it was built up to be? It had everything the leaks showed plus MORE (skype, etc)
    I love what BlackBerry (that feels weird to type, but anyway) has done with the Z10 and it's essentially lived up to every rumor that's been leaked, but the announcement was essentially like what happened with the iPhone 5. All those leaks that came out watered down the impact that the launch announcement had because we were expecting and/or suspecting those features to be available. Which is nobody's fault but our own, true, but I've been reading posts from several CB members that got sneak-peeks that said that the devices had so much more to offer.

    That being said, something tells me BlackBerry purposely held a lot back from the announcement. For example, on the device promo, Vivek went through a lot but didn't spend much time on the apps/features that we suspected but hadn't confirmed yet (StoryMaker, Calendar, etc.) Obviously BlackBerry isn't going to release a device without these apps finished off, so was it a matter of time limit or are they planning smaller "BTW, we have this in our new platform" events/press releases to keep the hype going? I don't think this is the best strategy if that's the case, but it may help keep the hype alive in the States after the carriers dropped the ball on the release dates. Either way, something isn't sitting right with me. Bla1ze doesn't say "don't worry, there's MUCH more" unless there's something to really be excited about.
    "The blacker the berry the sweeter the use..." -- 93Aero
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  22. Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 00stryder View Post
    I love what BlackBerry (that feels weird to type, but anyway) has done with the Z10 and it's essentially lived up to every rumor that's been leaked, but the announcement was essentially like what happened with the iPhone 5. All those leaks that came out watered down the impact that the launch announcement had because we were expecting and/or suspecting those features to be available. Which is nobody's fault but our own, true, but I've been reading posts from several CB members that got sneak-peeks that said that the devices had so much more to offer.

    That being said, something tells me BlackBerry purposely held a lot back from the announcement. For example, on the device promo, Vivek went through a lot but didn't spend much time on the apps/features that we suspected but hadn't confirmed yet (StoryMaker, Calendar, etc.) Obviously BlackBerry isn't going to release a device without these apps finished off, so was it a matter of time limit or are they planning smaller "BTW, we have this in our new platform" events/press releases to keep the hype going? I don't think this is the best strategy if that's the case, but it may help keep the hype alive in the States after the carriers dropped the ball on the release dates. Either way, something isn't sitting right with me. Bla1ze doesn't say "don't worry, there's MUCH more" unless there's something to really be excited about.
    there is SO much more. they didnt even show the browser speed for example

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