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  1. Corbu's Avatar
    JC on CNBC
    Leap, channels, etc.
    Blackberry unveils new smartphone: CEO
    3MIKE, jxnb, laketrout73 and 9 others like this.
    03-03-15 06:42 AM
  2. Corbu's Avatar
    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/44630...#axzz3TKLR9Ub5
    BlackBerry launches touchscreen smartphone

    BlackBerry has launched a new touchscreen smartphone without its trademark Qwerty keyboard, the first of four new devices it plans to launch this year, in a further push to revive sales at the troubled company.

    The 5-inch BlackBerry Leap, available in grey and black, will go on sale in April priced at $275, considerably less than the latest versions of the Samsung Galaxy and Apple iPhone, which cost over $600.

    John Chen, Blackberry’s chief executive, said on Tuesday he had been inspired by Asian manufacturers that are producing smartphones which retail for as little as $100 or $150, although he said his engineers could not produce a phone he was satisfied with for that price.

    At its peak in 2008, BlackBerry accounted for one in every five smartphone sales and had a market value of $80bn, compared with under $5bn today. Since then it has haemorrhaged sales in the face of strong competition from Apple and Samsung, and low-cost Asian manufacturers such as Xiaomi. leaving it with a market share of less than 1 per cent.

    BlackBerry’s decision to launch four new handsets this year underscores the importance of its device business, which still accounts for almost three quarters of revenues despite attempts to generate a greater proportion from software and services.

    The company said the device would be aimed at “career builders and companies who value security and privacy”.

    However, Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight, said the BlackBerry Leap would “find it tough to compete with Apple iOS and Android devices” but was “essential for a more-rounded portfolio”.

    “Given BlackBerry’s continued dependence on device revenues it can’t afford to stop delivering new and updated devices,” he added.

    Mr Chen insisted the company was still committed to its Qwerty keyboard, but said that did not mean it should not “build touchscreen phones for a certain segment of the market”. BlackBerry will launch a new Qwerty handset this year, as well as a luxury smartphone, another touchscreen device, and a “dual curve” model with a sliding keyboard.

    “By and large we are very focused on the Qwerty experience, and the majority of people in our labs are working on that,” Mr Chen said as he unveiled the device at Mobile World Congress, the wireless industry’s annual trade fair.

    Blackberry’s share of the global smartphone market is 0.5 per cent, according to IDC, a forecaster, while Strategy Analytics, a research group, said it captured a statistically insignificant share of worldwide smartphone profits in the last three months of 2014.

    Mr Chen has been trying to engineer a turnround at BlackBerry since he joined the pioneering Canadian smartphone maker sixteen months ago. He has stopped the company burning through cash, made a profit in the company’s most recent quarter and says the group is “a little ahead of our two year turnround strategy and game plan.”

    However, Mr Chen said the company has “revenue that is depleting” and needed to focus on stabilising this and delivering growth. On Tuesday he touted a range of new software and services, such as a solution that bills customers separately for work and personal use on the same device.

    He said BlackBerry would “make sure our software addresses everybody’s phone,” including handsets running Apple, Android or Microsoft software — a tacit admission that the company needs to look beyond its own device sales for growth.

    Mr Chen has said he aims to double revenue from software and services to $500m within a year. “It will take a while for the two [parts of the] business to become the ‘twin towers’ and we’ll continue to focus on both,” he added.
    03-03-15 07:04 AM
  3. Superfly_FR's Avatar
    Interesting spin from Engadget about the "BlackBerry Experience Suite" (I love the name, BTW)
    BlackBerry wants to bring some of its best features to every device

    The suite won't be available until later in the year, but it may be just the ticket if you or your office wants to try BlackBerry features while keeping the hardware and apps you already use.
    Exactly the way I see it. Try it for a penny, love it forever on your (next) BlackBerry device.
    Last edited by Superfly_FR; 03-03-15 at 07:12 AM. Reason: Engaget, not BGR you silly cow !
    03-03-15 07:11 AM
  4. Shanerredflag's Avatar
    Thanks for all your effort Corbu .

    Classically Posted.
    Superfly_FR, rarsen, zyben and 6 others like this.
    03-03-15 07:34 AM
  5. MollyMorton's Avatar
    It is what it is, and there are plenty of reasons to be happy, but was anyone else hoping for a touchscreen Passport?

    Posted via CB10
    03-03-15 07:39 AM
  6. Shanerredflag's Avatar
    I'd like a 30 year old supermodel to say I'm her fantasy (and mean it)...alas, can't have everything.



    Classically Posted.
    03-03-15 07:44 AM
  7. Superfly_FR's Avatar
    Thanks for all your effort Corbu .

    Classically Posted.
    My thanks button wasn't enough, had to add a X2 here !
    rarsen, zyben, La Emperor and 5 others like this.
    03-03-15 07:44 AM
  8. Corbu's Avatar
    03-03-15 07:46 AM
  9. cjcampbell's Avatar
    It is what it is, and there are plenty of reasons to be happy, but was anyone else hoping for a touchscreen Passport?

    Posted via CB10
    I'm sure some were but it's really not a form that makes sense. They have 4 devices coming this year... how many companies release more than that? With the numbers that BlackBerry sells, they can't go and fragment the device offering that far.
    03-03-15 07:47 AM
  10. Superfly_FR's Avatar
    It is what it is, and there are plenty of reasons to be happy, but was anyone else hoping for a touchscreen Passport?
    Posted via CB10
    Mitigated about this. Passport is an Alien, serving pretty well its means and target. Wipe the FKB and it becomes an hyper niche thing ...
    So, I'd better ear about a supercharged Z30, if you ask me ... with or without slider KB

    edit : +1 in the same minute CJ
    cjcampbell, Corbu, rarsen and 6 others like this.
    03-03-15 07:47 AM
  11. Superfly_FR's Avatar
    Ok guys, that's a wrap for me ... tons of work late.
    CU later, we heard good news and I believe there's more tomorrow !
    Cheers
    SF
    03-03-15 07:49 AM
  12. randall2580's Avatar
    Interesting spin from Engadget about the "BlackBerry Experience Suite" (I love the name, BTW)
    BlackBerry wants to bring some of its best features to every device



    Exactly the way I see it. Try it for a penny, love it forever on your (next) BlackBerry device.
    While I appreciate the concept, the reality right now is that the "BlackBerry Experience" on a high end Android or iPhone cannot be duplicated on a BlackBerry device just yet so the street does not go 2 ways.

    With the BlackBerry experience on either (Android or iOS) I can have the best of BlackBerry and have every app I want work perfectly without double downloads, separate apps stores, kludgy work-arounds for GPS etc, (which my IT dept probably frowns upon from the beginning).

    Its interesting as I think back, I remember Chen saying that by the summer he was bringing out software that would have you carrying one smartphone. I think we all thought that was going to be a BlackBerry. Turns out it most likely wont be, but he'll be right.

    And, BTW I am not saying this is bad for anything but the hardware division, and I think the software will make BlackBerry some nice money over time as folks who move on miss much of the core BlackBerry experience, and this is the way BlackBerry can keep them in the family and making money for the company.

    Going to be interesting to watch this play out.
    morganplus8 and La Emperor like this.
    03-03-15 08:02 AM
  13. MollyMorton's Avatar
    Chen mentioned something about solving the problem of having to carry two phones. Any ideas as to what that meant, or whether we will gain insight into that this week?

    Posted via CB10
    03-03-15 08:08 AM
  14. Corbu's Avatar
    BBC News - Blackberry Leap targets career builders at MWC

    "There's definitely still a demand and fondness from the business community for Blackberry products," said Chris Green, from the Davies Murphy Group consultancy.

    "You can't underestimate how much the business world likes the Blackberry platform, so doing more to integrate it with their back-end systems to run apps on other devices will go down well."

    Mr Fisher added that it might even bring some users back to the company's own phones.

    "Blackberry's software is good, so potentially there could be a halo effect if people see they like the apps and are then attracted back to the hardware," he said.

    "There's money to be made in software, but if you can monetise that in your own operating software and hardware, there's even more to be earned.
    Superfly_FR, rarsen, zyben and 4 others like this.
    03-03-15 08:14 AM
  15. cjcampbell's Avatar
    Chen mentioned something about solving the problem of having to carry two phones. Any ideas as to what that meant, or whether we will gain insight into that this week?

    Posted via CB10
    Yes.... the dual sim tech and work/personal billing options for both data and calls/text.


    Attachment 338368
    rarsen, Corbu, morganplus8 and 6 others like this.
    03-03-15 08:16 AM
  16. Superfly_FR's Avatar
    While I appreciate the concept, the reality right now is that the "BlackBerry Experience" on a high end Android or iPhone cannot be duplicated on a BlackBerry device just yet so the street does not go 2 ways.
    Not sure what you mean here.
    The BlackBerry experience won't be 100% matched on concurrent devices. Ever. When features turn to apps, you have by necessity a (slight or massive) deprecation.
    So, basically you're speaking about the "app gap" or problems you may have encounter with BB10 devices (not sure, besides google maps what your GPS point is, BTW). But for many users - most in the enterprise - this is not an issue; 99% usage is calls, mail, text, messaging (hopefully BBM in the near future), browsing the web, navigation (GPS/radar ex: waze - glad to see it featured on Leap homescreen: extremely used in Europe ) and a few productivity apps.

    But I have no crystal ball ... so, you're right: we'll see

    Edit: two more pics for your breakfast and I'm gone !
    Did I see a BROWN Classic ? #muhahahahahahahahaha
    The BBRY Café.  [Formerly: I support BBRY and I buy shares]-blackberry-classic-marron-bleu-photo11.jpgThe BBRY Café.  [Formerly: I support BBRY and I buy shares]-blackberry-classic-marron-bleu-photo12.jpg
    cjcampbell, rarsen, Corbu and 9 others like this.
    03-03-15 08:17 AM
  17. Corbu's Avatar
    03-03-15 08:17 AM
  18. Superfly_FR's Avatar
    ghost post (my personal new target highligted)

    The BBRY Café.  [Formerly: I support BBRY and I buy shares]-capture.png
    03-03-15 08:28 AM
  19. randall2580's Avatar
    Not sure what you mean here.
    The BlackBerry experience won't be 100% matched on concurrent devices. Ever. When features turn to apps, you have by necessity a (slight or massive) deprecation.
    So, basically you're speaking about the "app gap" or problems you may have encounter with BB10 devices (not sure, besides google maps what your GPS point is, BTW). But for many users - most in the enterprise - this is not an issue; 99% usage is calls, mail, text, messaging (hopefully BBM in the near future), browsing the web, navigation (GPS/radar ex: waze - glad to see it featured on Leap homescreen: extremely used in Europe ) and a few productivity apps.

    But I have no crystal ball ... so, you're right: we'll see

    Edit: two more pics for your breakfast and I'm gone !
    Did I see a BROWN Classic ? #muhahahahahahahahaha
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sorry I hesitated writing GPS instead of writing out the full Google Play Services and I should have used the specific words rather than the quick abbreviation. My small company use Google services like Gmail and GDrive pretty extensively.

    My point, and this is my personal view based on my own usage, is that having the BlackBerry experience on my LG G3 as an example, could not be equally converted to any BlackBerry device at the moment, so I don't see the road where you get a taste of BlackBerry on the G3 and then go to a BlackBerry device. I think the statement that puts it in a nutshell is there are no compromises running the BlackBerry experience (for the user) on an Android or iOS device, but there are still compromises for that user to come to BlackBerry. There is not doubt that those compromises are shrinking but they are real and they are there.

    I agree I too have no crystal ball and not trying to sound like I know the future. What I do know is I have been the prototypical BlackBerry user who found himself carrying 2 phones over time because of the compromises BBOS demanded, and am unconvinced I could run a BB10 phone solely and be happy with this experience so I am seeing myself as exactly the person Chen is targeting with this new software.

    I guess the question is now, is the BBE software good enough that I would consider dropping my Passport?

    As always @Superfly_FR I enjoy the conversation and want to say here thanks for being my eyes and ears this morning while I was sleeping. You made catching up very simple.
    03-03-15 08:43 AM
  20. randall2580's Avatar
    Yes.... the dual sim tech and work/personal billing options for both data and calls/text.


    Attachment 338368
    He could also mean running BlackBerry Experience on an Android or iOS device. If all of BlackBerry can be transferred to one device, it doesn't necessarily have to be a BlackBerry phone
    03-03-15 08:51 AM
  21. Corbu's Avatar
    BlackBerry Shows Leap, Teases 'Slider' Phone | News & Opinion | PCMag.com

    BARCELONA—BlackBerry introduced a new low-cost smartphone and teased three more, including a BlackBerry Torch-like slider, here at Mobile World Congress this morning.

    This is one of those situations where the teased gadgets are much more interesting than the revealed one. The BlackBerry Leap, which I got a little bit of hands-on time with, is a successor to BlackBerry's Z3. It's a big touch-screen slab that is going to cost only $275 unlocked. It has a 5-inch, 720p screen with a Qualcomm MSM8960 processor from 2012 and an 8-megapixel camera. It's coming first to Europe, although several BlackBerry execs hinted that it will also be available in the U.S.

    MWC Bug ArtBlackBerry's message with the Leap is very similar to what Microsoft was pushing with its Lumia 640 and 640XL: the idea that many businesspeople don't need high-end phones. BlackBerry described those people as "the young career builder, someone who's looking to make a difference."

    In my quick hands-on with the Leap (Vine video below), it didn't feel quite as cheap as the Z3. It has rounded edges and a textured back. But there are a bunch of noticeably less-than-premium design touches, like the 80s-style lettering on the back. Performance was also noticeably a bit laggy, although as always, you can't make assumptions from pre-production devices.

    The selling point for the Leap will be as a replacement for existing BlackBerrys within larger businesses, or for small businesspeople who want BlackBerry-level security and privacy, said Ron Louks, BlackBerry's president of devices.

    BlackBerrys are end-to-end encrypted and protected against malware and hacking, Louks said. Security has definitely been a theme at MWC this year, with BlackPhone releasing a new phone and tablet and attracting clones from Israel, Brazil, and China.

    But there's a missing piece there, if you're paying attention: unlike privacy-focused manufacturers like BlackPhone, BlackBerry doesn't currently offer a secure voice and messaging solution for consumers or very small businesses who can't implement BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

    "At our next announcement we'll be discussing more of what we're doing on the privacy side for the consumer," Louks said. "You'll see some very unique features and functionalities no one else has."


    What About That Slider?

    Louks said BlackBerry would release three more phones this year, other than the Leap: "another keyboard-based product" which may be a successor to the existing Classic, another Porsche Design high-end model, and a "dual curved display, all touch, with a keyboard," which could take the high-end position currently held by the BlackBerry Passport.

    The dual curved display is curved on both sides, and Louks hinted that there would be new UI features which would involve either looking at or swiping on the curved edges.

    "You'll have to see when we do the announcement," Louks said.


    That phone will come out sometime later this year, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said.

    BlackBerry's hardware market share in the U.S. is now down to 2-3 percent, according to various analysts, but Louks said the company is "ahead" in its three-year plan to make its device business profitable. And when he says "devices," he agreed that will be more than just phones, although he wouldn't confirm a new BlackBerry tablet.

    "What we see today as 'devices' might not be 'devices' tomorrow," he said. "The idea is also to invest in R&D on other, different types of products."
    kadakn01, 3MIKE, bbjdog and 5 others like this.
    03-03-15 09:06 AM
  22. leejayh's Avatar
    I think that BlackBerry is making ALL the right moves. JC is doing an excellent job of P&L management, and business expansion.

    Moving to a software based company that does not require heavy capital outlays is very smart. Address the entire market of customers who need their Personal phone secured for a Company.

    Expand your partnerships and distribution so as to minimize the marketing expense. Carriers and health co's etc.

    Then launch new phones with others who are already taking the capital risk Foxconn and soon Samsung. And when you put out your own products, make sure they are not in conflict with your partners (hence PKB and hybrid sliders).

    And, for him to get on CNBC and say that he is still "reasonably confident" in hitting his plan --- this close to the next EC, means to me, any non-belivers better walk away. I am happy to buy your call options.

    Slowly but surely, this stock is going to continue to rise. MOBL is already feeling the heat. Their suite of services does not come close.

    Chen is after the next gen of mobile worker -- that is pretty much all of us. And, sooner or later, the pressure will be high enough on security that it won't just be for FI's, gov, and health. Every company will need to lock down their data.

    And, I want that slider bad. I have been waiting 3 years for a BB10 slider. The fact it has that Samsung Edge screen is killer.

    Posted via CB10
    3MIKE, zyben, morganplus8 and 6 others like this.
    03-03-15 09:11 AM
  23. Corbu's Avatar
    John Chen: BlackBerry Ltd At Least Generating A Little Bit Of Cash

    BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) CEO John Chen spoke with Bloomberg’s Brad Stone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Chen discussed the company’s new Leap smartphone and business strategy.

    In describing his first year, Chen said: “I have always said that the beginning year it’s going to focus on financial well-being. And we did that. We’re at least generating a little bit of cash. Makes a very, very little small profit. But that’s a big change from a couple years ago. Now…we’re delivering phones; we’re delivering software. We’re stepping up in our investment in encryption, and security, and privacy. And we’re releasing even more phones. So we’re getting to the point that we’re going to stabilize our revenue.”

    Chen went on to say: “I’m determined to make software as a business. This is a little bit different from the past. And I also want to make sure that everything is agnostic. Because if you look at a BlackBerry base, it’s niched, it’s limited. And I wanted to be able to serve the entire spectrum. All 100% of the market.”

    BRAD STONE: I am here with John Chen, the CEO of BlackBerry.

    John, you introduced a phone this morning, the Leap. This does not have the iconic BlackBerry keyboard; it’s the touchscreen, $275. Tell us about it. Who’s it for?

    JOHN CHEN: It’s pretty nice. It is for a seminar (ph) market; call it kind of like the entry enterprise levels. So they wanted a, you know, the young people like more touchscreen base. So we thought we’d give them a phone.

    STONE: In developing countries to start or?

    JOHN CHEN: No, even when enterprises, when we talk to enterprises, kind of the high end or mid- and high-end professionals, they love the keyboards. They grew up with the keyboards. And the other aspect, the other kind of the entry level people, they love a – a lot of them like to have a touchscreen. So they’ve been asking for one and so we did one for them.

    STONE: Yeah. Now, you had some success, got a lot of attention recently with the BlackBerry Passport, which does have the keyboard. How strong is that business right now?

    JOHN CHEN: It’s doing pretty good. I mean it’s been a well-received, it will do even better I think because we just got carried in a store by AT&T. And Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD) (LON:VOD) is carrying it. And I think you see start rolling out from distribution. But even on just the online and limited distributorship, we’ve been doing pretty good.

    STONE: So you guys have talked a lot here at the show about software and bringing BlackBerry access and apps to other platforms, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) phones, Android, IOS. Tell us what that means and what you guys have that maybe other app makers, other platforms don’t.

    JOHN CHEN: So the company has been around with 30 years. We’ve done a lot of thing about mobile computing. Security, encryption, privacy, you know, cyber ware and all that are all good stuff, I mean that we do. Lots of patents supporting it like 45,000 patents. We think it’s time to be able to put it on other devices to expand our business.

    So I’m determined to make software as a business. This is a little bit different from the past. And I also want to make sure that everything is agnostic. Because if you look at a BlackBerry base, it’s niched, it’s limited. And I wanted to be able to serve the entire spectrum. All 100% of the market (inaudible).

    So we were fortunate to have a good partner in Samsung. Announced a relationship with them in November of last year. So they are our server, able to manage the Knox advice. Just couple days ago where they announced the S6, we able to add a couple of security software application onto it. So it is a very meaningful thing for us. I think the market is going to like it. It’s going to be broad.

    STONE: So you are now 15 months into your tenure, into a BlackBerry turnaround attempt. What surprised you so far?

    JOHN CHEN: Been doing well. So you know I have always said that the beginning year it’s going to focus on financial well-being. And we did that. We’re at least generating a little of cash. Makes a very, very little small profit. But that’s a big change from a couple years ago.

    Now we have a roadmap we’re executing. We’re delivering phones; we’re delivering software, like we talked about. We’re stepping up in our investment in encryption, and security, and privacy. And we’re releasing even more phones. So we’re getting to the point that we’re going to stabilize our revenue.

    STONE: How’s morale in Waterloo?

    JOHN CHEN: It’s getting better. It’s getting better. People are they’re busy doing things. So every time people are busy, people are happier.

    STONE: How disruptive have the Chinese smartphone makers been, Xiaomi and Micromax in your view in the smartphone market?

    JOHN CHEN: Well, it’s disruptive for the low end. And here’s the interesting thing. Just like the PC business, the server business and everything else like a tablet. When the low end start burrowing into the mid-range, mid-range start pushing into the top end, you know, every one of us have to innovate more stuff and to add more features and functionalities. So the point is, it’s been disruptive, yet to be seen. It doesn’t get into my space yet.

    STONE: OK, John Chen of BlackBerry, thank you very much.
    Video interview in the link.
    3MIKE, zyben, randall2580 and 5 others like this.
    03-03-15 09:11 AM
  24. kfh227's Avatar
    That slider better have high end specs.

    Posted via CB10
    03-03-15 09:20 AM
  25. leejayh's Avatar
    I am hoping that it the real Flagship. The Ford GTO of Blackberry. PKB and Virtual keyboard. Super Samsung screen with same processor as the S6. Slightly heavier due to sliding mech, but huge battery.

    The new corporate must have phone for Exec's*.

    Imagine putting that down on the table and conducting a perfectly clear conference call, wherever you need to be.


    *And crazy BlackBerry enthusiasts.

    Posted via CB10
    03-03-15 09:33 AM
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