02-10-14 07:30 AM
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  1. sleepngbear's Avatar
    Whatever the first iPhone was or wasn't, it changed the game as far as mobile communications is concerned. I will concede that point if the rest of you malcontents admit that BlackBerry, regardless of where it is now, changed the game first.
    collinc93, JeepBB and paper_monkey like this.
    12-27-13 07:26 PM
  2. GadgetTravel's Avatar
    Not sure what the OP meant in their article.. and not sure what you mean in yours..

    Sure BB10 is unfinished, just like android and every other platform is unfinished thats why they keep making more and upgrading it but to suggest that bb10 is terrible like it seems you are subliminally saying is just dumb.

    But I do agree bringing the first iPhone into the equation is a bit of a stretch.. and yes blackberry will rule the world once more.. lol

    But the obvious problem is a lack of a time machine. BB isn't competing with the first iOS or the first Android phones. It is competing against iOS7 and KitKat. All the first iPhone had to compete against in 2007 was BB, Windows CE (or whatever they called it then) and Symbian. It was more than capable of doing that it seems.
    12-27-13 08:13 PM
  3. app_Developer's Avatar
    Whatever the first iPhone was or wasn't, it changed the game as far as mobile communications is concerned. I will concede that point if the rest of you malcontents admit that BlackBerry, regardless of where it is now, changed the game first.
    I completely agree with both of those statements.

    I'm not sure BB10 is a game changer, though, except perhaps for BlackBerry fans.
    JeepBB likes this.
    12-27-13 08:51 PM
  4. diegonei's Avatar
    Ironically, for all that I've written above that might make me seem an uber-sheep I actually traded from an iPhone *to* a BB 9700... battery life on the iPhone was rubbish and I couldn't live with it.

    Doesn't alter my view that BB10 at launch was terrible, and that iPhone's success story will not be repeated by BB10, though.
    We'll agree to disagree. Please do not confuse botched management with weak products.
    anon(4314875) likes this.
    12-27-13 09:06 PM
  5. collinc93's Avatar
    if ever I get the chance to make THAT thread.....come on you BB people wake up and get to innovating and marketing
    12-27-13 09:44 PM
  6. anon(4314875)'s Avatar
    Thank you very much! I was wondering when someone was going to pull up an article like this because the amount of complaining about the BB10 even Playbook OS being incomplete is just too much. I think most people do not know they amount of time and effort required to code for something as complex as an OS.
    Having been a dev at BlackBerry during the bulk of BB10 engineering[1] effort, I certainly witnessed firsthand the effort that went into it. BB10 was a death-march to get v1 ready. As it was for Apple to get iPhoneOS v1 ready!

    The problem, is that BlackBerry were in a race to create a "me-too" platform. They weren't really trying to move mobile computing forward. A "universal inbox" such as the Hub or a few gestures (neat and all as they are), are not a big enough distinction to be worth the effort.

    Internally (pre launch), all we heard at the time from the leadership, is that the race to be the 3rd platform is between Microsoft[2] and BlackBerry; and that its not been decided yet. BB10 was not designed to be a "unique experience". It was designed to beat Windows Phone to 3rd place.[3] And most analysts are coming to the conclusion that BlackBerry hasn't won 3rd place, and that they don't have the financial backing to keep competing for it.

    With Firefox OS, Ubuntu OS, and a million other scrappy mobile OS projects out there: there is going to be no 4th place winner here. The "others" category, of which, in all likely-hood BB10 will be part of, is going to be tiny and fragmented.

    A good friend of mine, recently started his own app company in Dublin. Started by employing five engineers and graphic designers. The app will take approximately €150k to develop for each platform. Of course he is focusing on iOS and Android for his initial launch.

    Now, if you had to spend €150k of your own hard earned money, would you really, (be honest), develop an application for BB10 right now? I think you'd never see that money again. And you know, BlackBerry do a lot of messing around with people. So even if he did take the plunge, could he be sure that OS features would get rolled out on time? That there wouldn't be endless delays?

    If BB10 can't attract native C++/Cascades developers to come on-board, they are f**ked. Right now, how can anyone take the risk with a new start-up by vouching for BlackBerry's platform; It would be suicidal. I can't see how BlackBerry are going to get around this issue. Its a real catch-22 for them. Has been since the very beginning.


    [1] = I wasn't directly on the BB10 team.
    [2] = Pre-dates Microsoft buying Nokia, which with their massive deep pockets and history of loss leaders (XBox) means that 3rd place is there's to lose.
    [3] = This was assumed to be possible because of the 80million-ish BBOS devices that were in use at the time. That was the captive audience. CB'ers should not be asking why the marketing to Android and iPhone users was poor. They should be asking, how come BB10 + devices were not designed, packaged and marketed to BlackBerry's 80 million existing customers. That's the "marketing" failure right there. But that's a story for another thread. Maybe someday, I'll write it up.
    Last edited by jack918; 12-28-13 at 12:26 AM.
    12-28-13 12:01 AM
  7. sixpacker's Avatar
    Having been a dev at BlackBerry during the bulk of BB10 engineering[1] effort, I certainly witnessed firsthand the effort that went into it. BB10 was a death-march to get v1 ready. As it was for Apple to get iPhoneOS v1 ready!

    The problem, is that BlackBerry were in a race to create a "me-too" platform. They weren't really trying to move mobile computing forward. A "universal inbox" such as the Hub or a few gestures (neat and all as they are), are not a big enough distinction to be worth the effort.

    Internally (pre launch), all we heard at the time from the leadership, is that the race to be the 3rd platform is between Microsoft[2] and BlackBerry; and that its not been decided yet. BB10 was not designed to be a "unique experience". It was designed to beat Windows Phone to 3rd place.[3] And most analysts are coming to the conclusion that BlackBerry hasn't won 3rd place, and that they don't have the financial backing to keep competing for it.

    With Firefox OS, Ubuntu OS, and a million other scrappy mobile OS projects out there: there is going to be no 4th place winner here. The "others" category, of which, in all likely-hood BB10 will be part of, is going to be tiny and fragmented.

    A good friend of mine, recently started his own app company in Dublin. Started by employing five engineers and graphic designers. The app will take approximately €150k to develop for each platform. Of course he is focusing on iOS and Android for his initial launch.

    Now, if you had to spend €150k of your own hard earned money, would you really, (be honest), develop an application for BB10 right now? I think you'd never see that money again. And you know, BlackBerry do a lot of messing around with people. So even if he did take the plunge, could he be sure that OS features would get rolled out on time? That there wouldn't be endless delays?

    If BB10 can't attract native C++/Cascades developers to come on-board, they are f**ked. Right now, how can anyone take the risk with a new start-up by vouching for BlackBerry's platform; It would be suicidal. I can't see how BlackBerry are going to get around this issue. Its a real catch-22 for them. Has been since the very beginning.


    [1] = I wasn't directly on the BB10 team.
    [2] = Pre-dates Microsoft buying Nokia, which with their massive deep pockets and history of loss leaders (XBox) means that 3rd place is there's to lose.
    [3] = This was assumed to be possible because of the 80million-ish BBOS devices that were in use at the time. That was the captive audience. CB'ers should not be asking why the marketing to Android and iPhone users was poor. They should be asking, how come BB10 + devices were not designed, packaged and marketed to BlackBerry's 80 million existing customers. That's the "marketing" failure right there. But that's a story for another thread. Maybe someday, I'll write it up.
    Exactly right. Only the most delusional fan boy sees bb10 as true innovative. They had the chance to innovate with TAT but decided on a "me too" conservative interface instead. No real reason for iPhone or Android to move over. It isn't just a marketing issue, if it was word of mouth would have started boosting sales on social media many months back.
    anon(4314875) likes this.
    12-28-13 02:52 AM
  8. bennelong's Avatar
    Both Android and Apple possess indeed, they consist of a massive App portfolio and in my personal opinion, the BB10 user interface is both simple and a delight to use.

    CB10 on Z10
    12-28-13 03:28 AM
  9. JeepBB's Avatar

    [3] = This was assumed to be possible because of the 80million-ish BBOS devices that were in use at the time. That was the captive audience. CB'ers should not be asking why the marketing to Android and iPhone users was poor. They should be asking, how come BB10 + devices were not designed, packaged and marketed to BlackBerry's 80 million existing customers. That's the "marketing" failure right there. But that's a story for another thread. Maybe someday, I'll write it up.
    Thanks for your post. It's always interesting to hear the view from inside the tent instead of trying to understand what often seems like irrational behaviour from the shadows projected on the wall.

    I do sympathise with your view that this was a management and marketing failure rather than any lack of will or expertise from the engineering staff. Everything I've read confirms that MikeL came to believe too much in his own legend and always believed his way was the only way, and Thor lacked any vision entirely. Being in the engineering biz myself, I can certainly empathise over the feeling that the guys on the ground were lions led by donkeys.

    As to to quoted part, I personally think it was (typical?) BB arrogance to assume that the 80M BB7 users were indeed "captive". As it turned out, it seems that most of that 80M saw that their BB7 handsets already did more for them and had more useful features to offer them than the BB10 new kid on the block. And the delays to getting official 10.2 out there, which restores some of those features and might provide an incentive to migrate, doesn't help matters.

    The result: they either stick with their existing BB7 handset, or are in increasing numbers jumping ship to another platform. After all, if the new BB10 handset doesn't have the BB features you've come to love... you might as well go to another platform that also doesn't have those BB features (but compensates by offering other attractions).

    It wasn't the first time that BB arrogantly assumed their devices would sell themselves, or failed to leverage their existing users. With the Playbook, they had a tablet that was a natural partner to any BB handset, with the Bridge making for a uniquely tight integration. Yet I never saw a single Ad targeting the Playbook at the 80M BB7 users. What a wasted opportunity.
    anon(4314875) likes this.
    12-28-13 04:35 AM
  10. anon(4314875)'s Avatar
    As has been mentioned earlier in the thread. BB10 1.0 was basically competing with iOS v5 and Android 4.x when it launched. That's never an easy thing. What was really remarkable, given that BlackBerry was in the smartphone business all along, is how far behind they were in terms of services -- never mind the OS itself.

    For example, the three main competitors all had cloud mail services: Gmail, iCloud Mail, Outlook365. BlackBerry: nothing! BlackBerry had to make some last minute acquisitions to try and bring in some services: Scoreloop (game scorekeeping in cloud), NewBay (cloud storage), Tungle (cloud calender), etc. If you look at the list, you can see that they make sense.[1] They seem on paper to be wise purchases. But buying so many companies and integrating in those services in parallel to developing an already behind OS -- well it was just chaos. And the results are that these services really aren't at the forefront of the "BlackBerry experience", even today.

    If you look at who is wining the "smartphone" wars and who is losing, you'll see its the "software" orientated companies that beat the "hardware" orientated ones (I know Apple is both). BlackBerry was simply made of the same stuff as Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola and Alcatel. Its a testament to their employees, fans and to their unique aspects that in that bunch, at least they are still flying the flag of an end-to-end ecosystem.

    What makes BlackBerry so fascinating for me, is not because I was a employee. It's because, the BlackBerry story is such a human one. Its a company from one town that changed the world but didn't change with it.

    The level-of-denial was unbelievable in 2011/2012 when I was there. When the company I was working for was purchased, we were all given a hardback book called "The BlackBerry Story". We knew that BlackBerry had seen better days. We were up for the fight. But no, we were given this book.[2] Which detailed BlackBerry from its beginning up until 2007; the year the iPhone came out. Talking about the 2007-2011 period was taboo! Thorsten was instrumental in changing that culture internally. He woke the place up from their deep snooze and rose-tinted glasses. I guess firing 50% of your staff can have that effect. But he doesn't get the credit for what he did internally. The culture was so ****ed when he took over.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._by_BlackBerry
    [2] People used the book as monitor stands!
    Last edited by jack918; 12-28-13 at 08:18 AM.
    12-28-13 06:05 AM
  11. anon(4314875)'s Avatar
    Exactly right. Only the most delusional fan boy sees bb10 as true innovative. They had the chance to innovate with TAT but decided on a "me too" conservative interface instead. .
    They were swamped getting the UI library Cascades up to production standards. You can see in their developer samples their style and sense of fun coming across (bottom of page):

    https://github.com/blackberry/Cascades-Samples

    But you're right, it didn't translate into the actual interface itself. Great bunch of folks all the same. They were a OSX/Mac shop and as I was a Mac (XCode) developer at BlackBerry they used to supply the IT support. Pleasure to work with. But I wouldn't say they were "wasted". They brought Cascades to the table and that was a huge input.
    JeepBB likes this.
    12-28-13 07:26 AM
  12. JeepBB's Avatar
    Its a company from one town that changed the world but didn't change with it.

    The level-of-denial was unbelievable in 2011/2012 when I was there. When the company I was working for was purchased, we were all given a hardback book called "The BlackBerry Story". We knew that BlackBerry had seen better days. We were up for the fight. But no, we were given this book. Which detailed BlackBerry from its beginning up until 2007; the year the iPhone came out. Talking about the 2007-2011 period was taboo! Thorsten was instrumental in changing that culture internally. He woke the place up from their deep snooze and rose-tinted glasses. I guess firing 50% of your staff can have that effect. But he doesn't get the credit for what he did internally. The culture was so ****ed when he took over.
    Your first quoted sentence may end up being BB's epitaph.

    The company that was synonymous with mobile email unable to adapt to a world they helped to create.

    Interesting insight into Thor too. He always came across publicly (to me at least) as a dull, unimaginative, management drone and I was astonished that so many here on CB lauded him as a visionary CEO. It would be ironic if Chen gets all the credit for changing the BB culture, and possibly turning BB around, when Thor may deserve some of that. Tho' life is rarely fair, and credit often goes to the wrong party.
    kbz1960 and anon(4314875) like this.
    12-28-13 08:19 AM
  13. anon(4314875)'s Avatar
    I worked too remotely to really be able to write definitively about Thor. A few things I remember is him getting really, really pissed off that everywhere he went, to partners and carriers, etc, he heard about how "arrogant" BlackBerry were to deal with. On his regular town halls (that we were forced to dial into on pain of torture!), he brought it up again and again. That this attitude and arrogance needs to be stamped out.

    I think what Thor did, is he put all the wood behind the BB10 arrow. When he took over, the company became focused on BB10. Focus is important. Its always a gamble on what you focus on, but he took the gamble. He explained internally the thinking behind it. And he organised the company behind bringing BB10 to market.

    When he started, BB10 on a Dev Alpha device would not stay stable for more than 5-10 mins of use. It was not in a great shape. Thor organised the software functions around the new QNX team.

    Personal opinion here: The BBOS team were not integrated in. In fact, it was very much a division. The Java/C heads are the "old blackberry" with their ****ty 10+ year old OS and the C++/Cascades/QNX/Microkernal/TAT heads were the shiny new future. This division was a mistake and we "outsiders" could see it clearly. Keeping BBOS teams at arms length, meant that the "essence" of BlackBerry was not adequately carried across into BB10 v1.

    I remember him telling us that he was making the decision to stop trying to port BB10 to the PlayBook hardware. You could hear in his voice that he was disappointed at that one. He had personally made promises to people and the tech just wouldn't port. Its one of the stings-in-the-tail of the IPC overheads in a microkernal based OS like QNX. As an engineer, Thor deeply understood the the issue at hand. Everyone tried their best, it just couldn't be done.

    And apologies, I think I've dragged this thread way off topic. I'll stop now!
    12-28-13 08:50 AM
  14. LuvULongTime's Avatar
    If it wasn't for the iPhone there would be no Android or BB10. Competition is an amazing thing! I hope all 4 of the major platforms are around for many years. Their existence in the market will force the others to continue to improve. This will benefit all of us.
    GadgetTravel likes this.
    12-29-13 08:51 AM
  15. Fistmaster's Avatar
    BUSINESS INSIDER is a great TROLL site.

    I had the first iPhone. And let me tell you. I had more fun with it than the iPhone 5s could ever give me.

    People at the city, cafs etc spoke to me. Asking i this is the iPhone. It was the first smartphone where you could control everything with a swipe of your finger. It was simple, the design functional. And not clustered with crap like today.

    Well, nowadays everybody has an iPhone. That is UNBELIEVABLY AWFUL! I would take the Original iPhone 2G anytime than the iphone 5S. Best design in the iPhone range.

    It's like saying, the Classic Porsche 911 is UNBELIEVABLY AWFUL because it has airbag and ABS. Chumps.
    12-29-13 09:00 AM
  16. LuvULongTime's Avatar
    I worked too remotely to really be able to write definitively about Thor. A few things I remember is him getting really, really pissed off that everywhere he went, to partners and carriers, etc, he heard about how "arrogant" BlackBerry were to deal with. On his regular town halls (that we were forced to dial into on pain of torture!), he brought it up again and again. That this attitude and arrogance needs to be stamped out.

    I think what Thor did, is he put all the wood behind the BB10 arrow. When he took over, the company became focused on BB10. Focus is important. Its always a gamble on what you focus on, but he took the gamble. He explained internally the thinking behind it. And he organised the company behind bringing BB10 to market.

    When he started, BB10 on a Dev Alpha device would not stay stable for more than 5-10 mins of use. It was not in a great shape. Thor organised the software functions around the new QNX team.

    Personal opinion here: The BBOS team were not integrated in. In fact, it was very much a division. The Java/C heads are the "old blackberry" with their ****ty 10+ year old OS and the C++/Cascades/QNX/Microkernal/TAT heads were the shiny new future. This division was a mistake and we "outsiders" could see it clearly. Keeping BBOS teams at arms length, meant that the "essence" of BlackBerry was not adequately carried across into BB10 v1.

    I remember him telling us that he was making the decision to stop trying to port BB10 to the PlayBook hardware. You could hear in his voice that he was disappointed at that one. He had personally made promises to people and the tech just wouldn't port. Its one of the stings-in-the-tail of the IPC overheads in a microkernal based OS like QNX. As an engineer, Thor deeply understood the the issue at hand. Everyone tried their best, it just couldn't be done.

    And apologies, I think I've dragged this thread way off topic. I'll stop now!
    Thank you for sharing your insight! Very interesting.

    What you said about the BBOS team being separate from the BB10 team is in keeping with the Globe and Mail article talking about RIM's demise.
    12-29-13 09:09 AM
  17. randomroyalty's Avatar
    To me the fair comparison to Apple products is with OS X, and not the iPhone.

    OSX was a dog until 10.3, but at least you could keep running your OS 9 apps and initially you could dual boot your machine. But even with OSX 10.0 you could see the potential of what a thoroughly modern OS, with the amazing for the time Quartz layer (display Postscript) and Objective C.

    I think that if BlackBerry did the same thing, by that I mean a BBOS runtime, they would have succeeded in converting more users over to BB10.

    The sales numbers speak volumes.

    Don't forget that Apple had something like a 4% PC market share at the time and knew they would have lost their die hard base if they didn't.

    Posted via CB10
    12-29-13 01:05 PM
  18. MarsupilamiX's Avatar
    To me the fair comparison to Apple products is with OS X, and not the iPhone.

    OSX was a dog until 10.3, but at least you could keep running your OS 9 apps and initially you could dual boot your machine. But even with OSX 10.0 you could see the potential of what a thoroughly modern OS, with the amazing for the time Quartz layer (display Postscript) and Objective C.

    I think that if BlackBerry did the same thing, by that I mean a BBOS runtime, they would have succeeded in converting more users over to BB10.

    The sales numbers speak volumes.

    Don't forget that Apple had something like a 4% PC market share at the time and knew they would have lost their die hard base if they didn't.

    Posted via CB10
    Apple also gained a lot of marketshare with their notebooks, because they are one of the few premium offerings, the market has to offer.
    You seem to forget that, and this is crucial for the comparison you try to make.

    BBOS' only premium appeal is the Porsche Design line...

    Posted via CB10
    12-29-13 02:19 PM
  19. GadgetTravel's Avatar
    Actually, I thinking about it, the whole concept of this thread is rather ironic. However one might evaluate the first iPhone, a good case can be made that it destroyed or largely destroyed Nokia, Motorola, Blackberry, and Palm as well as a host of minor players in the market. It's a good thing they didn't do a great job with it I guess.
    JeepBB likes this.
    12-29-13 05:02 PM
  20. anon(4314875)'s Avatar
    Actually, I thinking about it, the whole concept of this thread is rather ironic. However one might evaluate the first iPhone, a good case can be made that it destroyed or largely destroyed Nokia, Motorola, Blackberry, and Palm as well as a host of minor players in the market. It's a good thing they didn't do a great job with it I guess.
    It signalled the arrival of the "software" giants to the smartphone industry. [1]

    It should also be remembered, when thinking of the original iPhone, that Apple didn't start trying to make a phone. It wasn't created out of the desire to stick a phone onto an iPod. Apple was always trying to make a tablet and just didn't have the tech/screen available to pull it off in 2005/6 period. So they flipped to making a phone (many on the iPod team wanted to do that for a long time).

    When iPad was released, the main "complaint" was that it was just a big iPhone (iPod Touch). Apple saw it differently; the iPhone was a small tablet with a Qualcomm radio in it!

    [1] I'm not sure what to think about Palm in this context
    12-29-13 06:08 PM
  21. MarsupilamiX's Avatar
    Actually, I thinking about it, the whole concept of this thread is rather ironic. However one might evaluate the first iPhone, a good case can be made that it destroyed or largely destroyed Nokia, Motorola, Blackberry, and Palm as well as a host of minor players in the market. It's a good thing they didn't do a great job with it I guess.
    The first one didn't.

    Posted via CB10
    12-29-13 10:29 PM
  22. GadgetTravel's Avatar
    The first one didn't.

    Posted via CB10
    A bit of semantic nuance in saying that. If the first one hadn't changed to game so dramatically, the rest probably wouldn't have happened.
    12-29-13 10:34 PM
  23. Omnitech's Avatar
    The current iPhone isn't awful. Stop it... it's the most successful mobile platform for a reason.

    I might agree with you if it were actually the most successful mobile platform.



    ...the first iPhone was nothing more than a proof of concept, that a touchscreen phone doesn't need a stylus.
    It was, by every standard I use and used to evaluate phones, one of the worst phones I ever utilised.

    My choice back then, was to buy an iPod Touch, and to employ a useful phone for everything that came remotely close to personal communications.


    Its requirement for iTunes to do anything doomed it permanently for me. Never wanted that malware on any PC computer I own, and refuse to do it to this day.

    I would have considered connecting it to my Mac Mini (since iTunes came with the OS), but as it turned out I rarely powered on that device, so for that reason and others I took a pass.




    Between the less than competative specs and the blackberrying of the BB10 OS launch...

    OK, I get it. It's trendy to bash BlackBerry, even on the "#1 BlackBerry fan site".

    But the "Blackberrying" remark was gratuitous. You can criticize without being gratuitously snarky.

    Yes, the company made many mistakes. Something I have pointed out many, many times myself.
    Last edited by pkcable; 12-30-13 at 08:20 AM. Reason: not funny
    12-30-13 03:16 AM
  24. anon(4314875)'s Avatar
    I might agree with you if it were actually the most successful mobile platform..
    It depends on your definition of "successful". Android is the most successful in terms of volume of units shipped. iOS is the most successful in terms of profit.

    Its requirement for iTunes to do anything doomed it permanently for me. Never wanted that malware on any PC computer I own, and refuse to do it to this day.
    Not true. Use of iTunes is completely optional. In fact, requirement to have a computer is completely optional for iOS.
    Last edited by jack918; 12-30-13 at 04:44 AM.
    12-30-13 04:33 AM
  25. Omnitech's Avatar
    Not true. Use of iTunes is completely optional. In fact, requirement to have a computer is completely optional for iOS.

    Just to activate the devices used to require iTunes, not to mention doing customizations and so on. They may have dropped some of those requirements with more recent versions. I was so put off with it when I first encountered those requirements a few years ago I never bothered to pay attention any more.
    12-30-13 05:23 AM
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