1. anon(6038817)'s Avatar
    I should have admitted to myself back when BlackBerry released this promotional video trying to woo developers to their BB10 platform that things were just not going to turn out the way I hoped they would:



    If you didn't actually take the time to watch the video embedded above, I don't blame you. It's a bit painful to watch. It featured a few BlackBerry execs singing cheesy lyrics about how great their new OS is, how easy they've made it to develop apps, and how much they love native app developers - all set to the tune of REO Speedwagon's classic "Keep on Loving You".

    BlackBerry has been through a lot since that video was released - in fact, they just laid off their entire developer relations team. Events of the past couple of weeks have really crystallized for me where the company is going under CEO John Chen.

    Recent Developments

    Last week, most of the developers BlackBerry was trying to woo a year ago were thrown under the bus with the announcement that it would be officially partnering with Amazon to bring their Amazon Appstore to BB10 as a pre-installed feature in the next major release of BB10, version 10.3. This will allow users to install Android apps from the Amazon Appstore with just a few taps.

    BlackBerry also announced that their focus on native app development would be narrowed to enterprise and business apps only. They aren't restricting native games and other kinds of native apps, they are simply not going be focusing on attracting those kinds of developers, nor promoting or featuring those kinds of apps in BlackBerry World.

    Last week was a busy week for BlackBerry, because they also officially unveiled 2 upcoming devices to be released before the end of the year: the BlackBerry Classic (previously codenamed "Q20"), and the BlackBerry Passport (previously codenamed "Windermere").

    These new phones both feature physical QWERTY keyboards and screens with the same 1:1 aspect ratio currently found on the Q10.

    New (Old) Direction: Confirmed

    This has confirmed what most BlackBerry fans (at least those willing to be honest with themselves) have known for a while. The dream of developing a competitive BB10 native app and media ecosystem is dead (if not dead, then severely maimed and in a coma).

    BlackBerry is refocusing on areas where it still has some clout, shifting (more like limping) away from its ill conceived attempt to try to chip away at iPhone and Android's market share, and redoubling its smartphone efforts primarily on enterprise customers and physical keyboard diehards. It is also giving significant attention to its QNX brand, seeking to drive innovation in the Internet of Things and Automobile Infotainment.

    They have also attempted to grab a slice of the pie in low-end and emerging markets with the release of the Z3 in Indonesia. And they do seem to have had some modest success thus far, though they are still not able to compete with the likes of Android or Windows Phones as far as scale.

    What the Amazon Deal Means

    Bringing the Amazon Appstore to BB10 was a necessary move, and probably the only one BlackBerry could have made that would give an appearance of legitimacy and officialness to Android apps as a means of bridging the app gap.

    This was done, however, at the expense of the very developers BlackBerry tried to reassure and attract a year ago with that awkward music video. Unless your app is specifically targeting only BB10 devices, BB10 enterprise customers, or BB10 physical keyboard customers, there is absolutely no reason to develop a native BB10 app. But let's be honest, has that ever not been the case?

    If I were a developer and I wanted my app to get in front of as many eyes as possible with as little effort or duplication of work as possible, I would simply develop an Android app and publish it Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. Not only would it be available to the millions upon millions of Android owners out there, it would be available to the millions of soon-to-be Fire Phone owners...and the millions of existing BB10 owners. No native BB10 app needed!

    Many loyal BB10 developers feel BlackBerry has thrown them under the bus with this move - and I have to agree with them. From their perspective, this is just more of the same thing we've been seeing from BlackBerry for years now: broken promises and unrealized potential.

    Some BlackBerry fans think this move will bring more people from other platforms to BB10. On a small scale, they may be right. Former BlackBerry fans who left over apps might be lured back. But we will not see a mass exodus to BlackBerry over this move. It's not the "app gap" that was keeping people away, it's the the overall perception of the BlackBerry brand itself that is the issue. That perception is going to take time - maybe even a generation - to overcome, because Apple and Google have won the current generation. So BlackBerrys can run Android apps? Why not just get an Android and avoid the embarrassment of carrying around one of those uncool BlackBerrys?

    The Amazon deal is more of a stopgap to keep existing customers from leaving, though it does remove one more barrier preventing potential new customers from coming to the BB10 platform. The problem is that it gives people no reason to stay. Aside from the OS and the hardware - which are certainly fantastic in their own respects - there's no app/media/cloud ecosystem to get people "hooked" and keep them coming back for more. Did you get a BlackBerry but have buyer's remorse? Don't worry! You can easily get all your Amazon Appstore apps on any Android phone!

    In the short term, the Amazon deal is a great move for BlackBerry and they finally have a working solution for their dreaded app gap. In the long term, it will do little to swell the ranks of the BlackBerry faithful in any significant way, nor will it give them a reason to stay if and when a more appealing Android offering crosses their path.

    What the New Handsets Mean

    The new Classic and Passport handsets raised a lot of eyebrows last week, but those eyebrows were raised for different reasons depending on who you talk to.

    BlackBerry's physical QWERTY fans squealed with delight and relished every last morsel of information about these devices. Many declared them to be the salvation of the company and declared they would sell like hotcakes.

    Reality, however, is not on their side. While these new devices will almost certainly appeal to and satisfy those who still prefer them, demand for smartphones with physical keyboards has never been lower.

    The Classic is almost guaranteed to be the better seller of the two because it brings back the infamous "toolbelt" with physical call buttons and trackpad. Millions of corporate users and enterprises still use the 3-year-old Bold 9900 series. In fact, there has been such a demand for them that BlackBerry recently had to do another production run of this legacy device to keep up with this demand. The Classic specifically appeals to these users and will probably be good enough for them to finally make the switch to BB10.

    The Passport seems to be even more of a niche device than the other BlackBerry devices. It's essentially a phablet with a physical keyboard. A gutsy move for BlackBerry, but not one that will have iPhone and Android owners running to their carriers to buy it.

    To sum up, the new handsets are the embodiment of BlackBerry's return to its enterprise and physical qwerty roots. But improving the OS and physical QWERTY devices alone will appeal mostly to that loyal, but small BlackBerry following and few else. There are rumors of all touch devices coming, but if the Classic and Passport don't make enough of a splash, I dare say future devices may be scrapped.

    Where That Leaves Me

    I am a fickle, platform-agnostic technology geek. That means I love to try new and different devices often, and I rarely stay with a single device or brand for long before something else catches my eye. I think this approach has worked for me, because I have been able to see the strengths - and weaknesses - of each major platform and enjoy each one for what it does.

    BlackBerry appeals to me on many levels. The quality and functionality of their hardware and the BB10 operating system are fantastic and there's nothing else like them. I could go on and on about my BlackBerry Z30, the BB10 Hub, Active Frames, cloud integration with file manager, great battery life, amazing external speakers, classy look and great feel, and on and on - you get the picture. It really does have some great things going for it.

    But I want apps. Not Android apps - if I wanted Android apps I'd get an Android phone! I want good native apps that integrate seamlessly and securely with the OS and have optimum performance. Android apps running in the Android runtime on BB10 are often laggy and hog resources. They don't always integrate with the Hub and the OS the way native apps do, and they don't provide a unique experience in terms of style and design language. I use Android apps - but that's because the native apps I want don't exist! It's just not a desirable solution for me and I think it cheapens the BB10 experience.

    Nor do the upcoming Classic and Passport handsets appeal to me. Earlier this year, I tried using a Bold 9930 as my primary smartphone for 30 days. Immediately following that, I used a Q10 for 15 days. While they are each great phones in many respects, I decided once and for all that physical keyboards are not for me. They may continue to release all touch phones, but it's clear now that those types of devices aren't where their attention is focused at the moment.

    BlackBerry is clearly going in a direction I don't want to follow. It's a great direction for them and, really, the only direction they can go at this point. I sincerely hope it pays off and they are able to turn the company around and get it profitable again. But it's becoming more and more evident that my vision and expectations for what I want and what I hope to see in a smartphone are not as compatible with BlackBerry's vision and expectations as they once were...or as I thought they were.

    And that's okay. This has all helped me to realize that it's probably time for me to move on.

    To quote another beloved REO Speedwagon classic, "I can't fight this feeling anymore".
    milo53, stevovr, p51 and 2 others like this.
    06-24-14 03:29 PM
  2. pkcable's Avatar
    And you can forget their 2nd hit......

    JeepBB likes this.
    06-24-14 03:43 PM
  3. noeckersh's Avatar
    Goodbye, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    Posted via CB10
    06-24-14 03:45 PM
  4. Parrillas NY's Avatar
    Aplausos!!!
    anon(6038817) likes this.
    06-24-14 03:52 PM
  5. fabfreddie's Avatar
    Well, don't care what is said, I really like that REO cover. It is really well done, just like the OS.
    bungaboy likes this.
    06-24-14 04:01 PM
  6. LoneStarRed's Avatar
    Appreciate the well-spoken points you laid out. And I agree with you. One wonders if the native app development ecosystem will have to be depleted to anemic levels before BlackBerry decides to reinvigorate it.
    anon(6038817) likes this.
    06-24-14 04:17 PM
  7. Coffee Shampoo's Avatar
    I had never seen those videos LMAO they're stupidly awesome hahaha

    Posted via CB10
    anon(6038817) likes this.
    06-24-14 04:22 PM
  8. anon(6038817)'s Avatar
    Goodbye, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    Posted via CB10
    Tough crowd.

    Posted from my BlackBerry Z30 via Tapatalk
    06-24-14 06:45 PM
  9. Coffee Shampoo's Avatar
    Don't mind the fan boys (aka trolls) who think everyone who leaves BlackBerry is because they're stupid.

    If you really wish to move on, you should do so, because BlackBerry is obviously not fulfilling your expectations and I can't blame you.. also not having a BlackBerry isn't a reason to also leave CrackBerry btw :P

    . Best of luck with another platform, maybe you should try one you haven't before.

    Posted via CB10
    JeepBB and anon(6038817) like this.
    06-24-14 08:53 PM
  10. early2bed's Avatar
    The Blackberry Dev Relations team is working on a follow-up REO Speedwagon cover for their die-hard fans:

    JeepBB, pkcable, eldricho and 1 others like this.
    06-24-14 09:50 PM
  11. LCromwell's Avatar
    Clever!

    Posted via CB10
    06-24-14 10:10 PM
  12. noeckersh's Avatar
    [QUOTE=Coffee Shampoo;10516504]Don't mind the fan boys (aka trolls) who think everyone who leaves BlackBerry is because they're stupid.

    I don't believe I called anyone stupid nor would I categorize myself as a fan boy, sorry...

    Posted via CB10
    06-24-14 11:43 PM
  13. tchocky77's Avatar
    Nailed it on all points. Brilliant.


    (Except for showing us that horrifying video again.)

    Just out of curiosity, is ANYONE making a fool of himself in that video even still employed at blackberry?

    Sent from my iPad using CB Forums
    anon(6038817) likes this.
    06-30-14 02:57 AM
  14. JeepBB's Avatar
    Nailed it on all points. Brilliant.


    (Except for showing us that horrifying video again.)

    Just out of curiosity, is ANYONE making a fool of himself in that video even still employed at blackberry?

    Sent from my iPad using CB Forums

    Alec S is still there. He must be loved, as he's dodged several bullets now going all the way back to Playbook days. The latest bullet was taken for him by Mallick...

    Excellent post OP.

    If you are looking to change....You might want to try a cheap WinPhone to see if the OS grabs you. Its good but not perfect, but OS8.1 is imminent (July) which largely completes it. Best feature is the Live Tiles aka Active Frames.
    anon(6038817) likes this.
    06-30-14 03:29 AM
  15. anon(6038817)'s Avatar
    Alec S is still there. He must be loved, as he's dodged several bullets now going all the way back to Playbook days. The latest bullet was taken for him by Mallick...





    Excellent post OP.





    If you are looking to change....You might want to try a cheap WinPhone to see if the OS grabs you. Its good but not perfect, but OS8.1 is imminent (July) which largely completes it. Best feature is the Live Tiles aka Active Frames.


    I'm already giving a Nokia Lumia 822 a try and I like it!
    06-30-14 08:39 AM
  16. pkcable's Avatar
    I heard they are remaking a classic (but they are remaking THIS version).....

    bungaboy likes this.
    06-30-14 09:12 AM
  17. vanrickman's Avatar
    I liked it.
    Purpose......(shoulders shrugging) dunno.
    Waste of time, money and resources?...yup
    Lead guitar solo... awesome


    My Canada My BlackBerry My Z30
    06-30-14 09:33 AM
  18. bungaboy's Avatar
    The usual suspects jump in . . .

    REO Speedwagon, BlackBerry, and Other Classics-vultures_carcass.jpg
    06-30-14 10:16 AM
  19. webosdropout's Avatar
    Best cogent & well-thought out post on the future on BB here.

    I would disagree with you on one point. I have a Z10 (white) and I certainly do not feel the quality you speak about.

    This is a fanboy pro-consumer device site and it seems many of the users have not figured out BB is abandoning that segment. One does not need to be an analyst to figure it out.

    My question to BB therefore is... Why bother making devices? I am a Pro-sumer (whatever that means) & I was handed a new Z10 at my company. I would in a flash switch to an Iphone or Android. Why? I have to carry an Ipad Mini with me at all times so I can access my business apps. So much for going after the pro-sumer market.

    So why not get out of the device market altogether - It's a fair question. You have no eco-system, no developers, no apps, no tablets, no turn-key etc... If you wish to stay in the device market, stop pretending and go full-bore Android.

    I have a feeling the execs at BB have already figured the path and in two to three years we will hear an announcement to that effect. Eventually, BB will concentrate on the back-end (whatever that means) and specialized services and market segments.

    I wish them all the best.
    anon(6038817) and JeepBB like this.
    07-02-14 01:13 PM
  20. eldricho's Avatar
    It certainly has changed now that the Amazon App Store is set to shine lol

    At 1:02 in the original one it says "It won't be forever", well that sure has changed from what it normally meant

    Posted via CB10
    07-02-14 05:52 PM
  21. donnation's Avatar
    God, that awful video. It showed me two things.

    1. BB is so out of touch that they thought it would be a good idea to make that with a song that was released before many of the app developers were even born by a group that hasn't been relevant for decades.

    2. They are losing money and they spent what had to be a decent amount on what was a complete waste of time and an embarrassment to the company.

    How Alex S. is still with the company is beyond me.

    OP good post, very well said.
    JeepBB and anon(6038817) like this.
    07-07-14 12:18 PM
  22. reeneebob's Avatar
    And you can forget their 2nd hit......

    Oh jeebus, I missed that the first go around. That's dreadful.

    I can never unsee it either.

    Edit

    Alec Saunders isn't with the company. Not for a while now.
    07-07-14 03:47 PM
  23. donnation's Avatar
    Oh jeebus, I missed that the first go around. That's dreadful.

    I can never unsee it either.

    Edit

    Alec Saunders isn't with the company. Not for a while now.
    Lol, I'm still trying to understand if these guys think they are cool and that people actually want them to make these horrific videos.

    Oh and that 70K apps that's mentioned at the beginning let's not forget that over half of them were from that junk app company with those street guides.

    I can't help but be negative, for some reason those videos incite anger in me because they are such a waste of time and money for a company that really shouldn't be allowing these awful things to be made that make them look like more of a laughing stock.
    07-07-14 08:55 PM

Similar Threads

  1. Sync for BlackBerry 10 (Sync/Backup/Restore)
    By tonyblaze in forum App Announcements
    Replies: 47
    Last Post: 10-04-14, 02:46 PM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-25-14, 02:07 AM
  3. Blackberry 8520 doesn't work after it turns off?
    By Ciara Humphries in forum BlackBerry Curve 85xx
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-24-14, 03:47 PM
  4. Cast for BlackBerry updated with new features, now on sale in BlackBerry World
    By CrackBerry News in forum CrackBerry.com News Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-24-14, 01:51 PM
  5. BlackBerry lays off developer relations staff
    By CavernsOfMars in forum News & Rumors
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-24-14, 12:44 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD