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  1. hsxu's Avatar
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    Default Jan 30 Surprises

    Andrew MacLeod, RIM's managing director for Canada, says the company will still have some surprises up its sleeves when it launches the BlackBerry 10 smartphone on Jan. 30.
    I guess RIM still has some tricks left

    WATERLOO — The BlackBerry 10 smartphone may be the most leaked handset in the history of the mobile communications industry.

    More than 7,000 prototypes or “dev alpha” devices, as Research In Motion calls them, have been distributed to software developers around the world since last spring so developers could get an early start building apps for the new handsets.

    Videos of RIM engineers and product managers showing off features of the sleek, new rectangular phones are freely available on the company’s website and other tech sites on the internet.

    It would seem there is little left to announce on the big launch day Jan. 30 except where and when customers can buy the new phones.

    But Andrew MacLeod, RIM’s managing director for Canada, says the company will still have some surprises up its sleeve on the actual launch day.

    “Obviously, we’ve shared a great deal with the market,” MacLeod said in an interview in RIM building 20 in the David Johnston Research and Technology Park. “But certainly it’s important to always keep some energy and excitement to share with the world. We do anticipate doing that” on Jan. 30, he says.

    At 10 a.m. on that day, RIM will officially unveil the long-awaited BlackBerry 10 smartphone in six cities around the globe: Toronto, New York, London, Paris, Johannesburg and Dubai.

    The release will be simulcast in all six cities, meaning the local launch time will actually be 7 p.m. in Dubai and 5 p.m. in Johannesburg.

    RIM’s chief executive officer Thorsten Heins is expected to be in New York, which will serve as the command centre for the global rollout.

    To set the stage for the launch, the Record is running a series called 10 things you should know about BlackBerry 10. The series starts today and continues until Jan. 30.

    Unquestionably, Jan. 30 is an important day in RIM’s history, one of the biggest if not the biggest in the company’s 29-year existence.

    Analysts, critics and fans alike agree the BlackBerry 10 is a make-or-break device for RIM, one that the Waterloo-based company desperately needs to succeed to shore up its shrinking market share and flagging stock price.

    RIM shares have rallied in recent weeks in anticipation of the launch but are still down sharply from the highs of about $140 per share in 2008.

    On Jan. 30, RIM will pull back the curtain on two BlackBerry 10 phones, MacLeod says. One will be a touch-screen device and the second a handset with a physical keyboard.

    Details on when customers can purchase the new phones in various parts of the world will also be shared. The touch-screen device will hit retail stores first with the keyboard handset to follow soon after, MacLeod says.

    In all, RIM plans six BlackBerry 10 phones, with touch-screen and physical-keyboard devices available in each of the high-end, mid-range and entry-level segments.

    Carriers have been taking preorders of the BlackBerry 10 phone and the response has been brisk, says MacLeod, whose current duties include managing relationships with carriers and distributors in Canada.

    He refers to a recent media report on BB10 preorders at Rogers Communications. “They (Rogers officials) have been very, very impressed with the demand they’ve been seeing for BlackBerry 10,” he says. “That’s a very positive indication.”

    The blast-off of BB10 is actually the culmination of a two-year sprint to get the new phones built as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality.

    Sometime in 2010, RIM decided that the aging 11-year-old operating system used to power the original suite of BlackBerry smartphones was not up to the task of delivering the rich array of applications and features that were commonplace on iPhone and Android phones.

    Standing in the wings was QNX Software Systems, an Ottawa-based company that RIM acquired in 2010 with an eye to launching a tablet device called the PlayBook.

    Its mission-critical software platform, used in the telematics systems of automobiles, nuclear plants and military vehicles, when married with BlackBerry engineering savvy, was viewed as just the ticket to vault RIM back into the uber-competitive smartphone race.

    When Mike Lazaridis, RIM’s co-founder and former co-chief executive officer stood on a stage in San Francisco with QNX founder Dan Dodge in October 2011, the battle was joined. RIM was going to build a smartphone platform to carry it through the next 10 years, they declared.

    But forging a new mobile software platform and operating system are not accomplished overnight.

    The multi-year task could not be completed in time to save the jobs of Lazaridis and co-chief executive officer Jim Balsillie, who had built the company into a force to be reckoned with just a few years earlier. They departed in early 2012, leaving it to successor Heins to hold the ship together as the company navigated the stormy waters to Jan. 30.

    By most accounts, Heins has done a superb job, resisting calls to release the new phones before they are ready, a mistake RIM has made too many times in the past.

    The sting of the more than 7,000 layoffs at RIM over the past two years, including 5,000 in the current fiscal year, has been softened by the thrill of the new product launch, says MacLeod. “The mood around here is amazing. People are just absolutely pumped.”

    Adrenalin levels are being stoked by the responses of people outside the company who’ve had a close-up look at alpha versions of the new phone. They’re impressed by its peek and flow interface, super-fast browser and other cool features, MacLeod says.

    “The feedback we’ve been getting from all of our different partners, whether it’s developers, whether it’s the carriers, whether it’s people who review the product for a living, the feedback we’re getting from all these sources has been incredible.”

    Few are more qualified than MacLeod to gauge the various mood levels at the BlackBerry maker.

    The 42-year-old Toronto native joined the company in 2001 as part of its alliances group, charged with building relationships and rapport with the bigger players in the telecom market. The task wasn’t easy. RIM was a much smaller company then.

    But the smooth and articulate MacLeod was equal to the challenge and soon began moving into other roles, including software licensing and management of global carriers. Over the years, he has travelled the world, helping to open new markets in Africa, Europe and Asia.

    He’s felt the exhilarating highs and the devastating lows of RIM’s rollercoaster ride through the fickle smartphone market. “I’ve seen a lot,” he says with a heavy sigh. “It’s truly been an incredible journey and I wouldn’t trade any of it.”

    Among the lows was the loss of so many employees over the past few years as the reeling company took a meat cleaver to its overgrown workforce in reaction to declining sales and shrinking profits.

    Seeing friends and colleagues handed pink slips was “absolutely difficult. It takes its toll on everyone,” says MacLeod.

    Still, it’s part of the business cycle, he says. Companies go through phases of growth and phases of contraction, especially when they’re building the next generation of a new product, he notes. “It happens in every industry. In technology it seems to happen a little quicker.”

    While one of his roles is to act as the face of the company in front of the media, MacLeod stresses that not enough credit goes to the legions of RIM employees who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to prepare for the BB10 unveiling.

    “There’s been thousands and thousands of people working incredibly long hours, giving up holidays, working over Christmas, working weekends, sabotaging time with their families,” he says. “They’ve all been so incredibly dedicated toward making this an incredible new platform launch.”
    RIM nears end of two-year launch of BlackBerry 10 | therecord
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  2. Apollo_IV's Avatar
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    Such a nice read...
    jesse_h likes this.
  3. SK122387's Avatar
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    The fact that RIM still has more to show us on January 30th makes these next 10 days even harder to get through!
    Sean

    Twitter: @SeanKelleher
  4. calicocat2010's Avatar
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    Ooh I'm giddy with joy. I can't stop shaking with excitement!!!!
    I wait for the future...to COME back to BlackBerry!
    kingb71 and jesse_h like this.
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    Great read.
    Thanked by:
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    We have to give major props to the RIM employees who have been working 6 and 7 day work weeks for months to get BB10 to us. Amid thousands of layoffs and having to watch your friends lose their jobs, then having the dedication to still work those long hours is something we as BlackBerry fans should praise. I think CrackBerry should have a homepage post with a special thank you to the resilient staff at RIM.
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  7. jesse_h's Avatar
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    Great article!
    Z10
    64gb PlayBook
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    amazing! .. Can't wait to buy!!!
  9. Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes's Avatar
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    So no slider in first year according to him
    Phones: Nokia 5110>Nokia 3360>Siemens C56>Moto RAZR>LG Chocolate>Pearl 8100>Bold 9000 >Pearl 9100 + Bold 9900 > iPhone 4S + Z10 + Bold 9000
    Tablets: 16GB Playbook > Playbook 32GB
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    CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE SEXY GIRLS IN YOGA PANTS CHANNEL

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  10. greatwiseone's Avatar
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    Nine more days!
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    very exciting times for RIM and comsumers!!
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    Good read, simply extatic for Jan 30th
  13. TrickyCase's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jan 30 Surprises

    reading this, it does concern me that the devices won't be available at launch??

    I just hope that we are only talking 1 or 2 days.... I'm itching for it now!
  14. Taigatrommel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrickyCase View Post
    reading this, it does concern me that the devices won't be available at launch??

    I just hope that we are only talking 1 or 2 days.... I'm itching for it now!
    AFAIK. RIM always noted device availability would be given shortly after launch, not directly at launch date.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taigatrommel View Post
    AFAIK. RIM always noted device availability would be given shortly after launch, not directly at launch date.

    Details on when customers can purchase the new phones in various parts of the world will also be shared

    Doesn't the above comment from him mean they will give us availability dates during the launch?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimpilot View Post
    Details on when customers can purchase the new phones in various parts of the world will also be shared

    Doesn't the above comment from him mean they will give us availability dates during the launch?
    Yes, it has been stated that will be done.

    9 DAYS people OMG!!!
    I wait for the future...to COME back to BlackBerry!
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    PUMPED!!!!
  18. capper96's Avatar
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    could one of the surprises be a date for the Playbook update?
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    Quote Originally Posted by capper96 View Post
    could one of the surprises be a date for the Playbook update?
    Im pretty sure thats what it is. they are trying to update the app world 'soon' after the phones ... so why not total upgrade?
    This will be HUGE if they do it because people that DONT have pbs but are getting new BB10 phones will be encouraged to buy pbs... people WITH pbs will want a phone with the same OS as their awesome tablet
    ------------------------>LIST OF WORKING Android Apps for Z10/BB10 ---200 SO FAR!!! <------------------------
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    Cannot imagine that the surprises could be. But things are going to get crazy in 9 days. That's for sure!
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    We haven't seen the BBM screen sharing in action (which is probably quite awesome). We haven't seen BB Protect, BB Travel, Docs to Go, platform integration with third parties like Dropbox, Evernote, and Box (we know they are integrated, but it's not clear how), etc. Lots and lots to talk about on Jan 30. 9 more days. Crazy how long we've been waiting for this...
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    Quote Originally Posted by FSeverino View Post
    Im pretty sure thats what it is. they are trying to update the app world 'soon' after the phones ... so why not total upgrade?
    This will be HUGE if they do it because people that DONT have pbs but are getting new BB10 phones will be encouraged to buy pbs... people WITH pbs will want a phone with the same OS as their awesome tablet
    I dunno - with the rumoured specs on the Z10 (i.e. 2 gigs of RAM) putting BB10 on the PB may mean a slow / slightly buggy experience. In that case, the user may second guess their decision to get the phone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkySunshine View Post
    We have to give major props to the RIM employees who have been working 6 and 7 day work weeks for months to get BB10 to us. Amid thousands of layoffs and having to watch your friends lose their jobs, then having the dedication to still work those long hours is something we as BlackBerry fans should praise. I think CrackBerry should have a homepage post with a special thank you to the resilient staff at RIM.
    C

    Great idea! I hope Team CrackBerry picks up on this.
  24. DJM626's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by capper96 View Post
    could one of the surprises be a date for the Playbook update?
    I actually think it is going to be much more then that, as that was already discussed about playbook receiving the upgrade. I somehow feel there is going to be HUGE WOW FACTOR that would would have never imagined. It is going to be the showstopper to end all showstoppers. Everything else coming is all fine and good, but remember this is their LAST time to shine. You know when it's a do or die situation, it is going to take a lot, and they are saving the best for last. I could be totally off on this one, but I totally feel it. RIM knows something that we do not know yet, and I just think it is going to leave everyone's jaws on the floor! If all of the reviewers basically loved everything about the phone, in which most cases they all did, there will be one or several things left to seal the deal, and make sure they don't change their minds or reverse their decisions. Think of all of the hype and mayhem that is going around everywhere about this. Even non believers are giving this some serious thought. That can only mean one thing! This is going to be HUGE! To give us all of these apps, and other goodies that we couldn't buy to save our lives in the past. Something mind blowing is going to happen for all of us. On another note, I would love to see the day when one could see "Available for Z10" coming soon for android and iphone, in terms of apps

    We continue to wait, and BELIEVE
    Last edited by DJM626; 01-21-2013 at 06:33 PM.
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    I really doubt the PlayBook is one of the surprises. Maybe some elusive apps ...
    ------------------------------------
    I like how BlackBerry 10 is evolving, but when are they going to fix BlackBerry Link for Mac?

    The fact that it doesn't reliably do what it's supposed to do ... most of the time ... is utterly appalling. The only consistency is the "Music not copied to Z10 message"
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