02-13-17 11:33 PM
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  1. Winstorm's Avatar
    I'm still rather hopeful that something positive will happen to halt BlackBerry's smartphone decline and restore it to a more financially viable position so that it will continue offering an alternative choice for users. I have already taken one more bold step but, perhaps, last gamble to continue riding on the BlackBerry train (of some sort) with the BlackDroid DTEK50. So far, I think it offers excellent value for money with fairly good hardware specs for some consolation, especially, when faced with the new challenges of the Android craze.

    However, whilst the general larger pool of available Android software is quite astounding, many of which are unavailable on BB10, the fewer BlackBerry add-on apps of the DTEK50 are somewhat lacking in nature and in some cases disappointing to say the least. Many of the features and options when compare to similar ones found on native stock BlackBerry 10 devices are just bare-bones on the DTEK50. For example, on the DTEK50, a built-in File Manager is not only absent but any semblance of it (Explore) is buried deep in the Storage & USB settings. Finding an equivalent substitute from the Play Store is even more time-consuming and unsuccessful, for me at least. Consequently, I have simply resorted to connecting via USB and using File Explorer on my PC whenever there is need to manage files on the DTEK50 (copy, rename, delete, etc.). The BlackBerry Hub app is often sluggish and loads very slowly when compared to the almost instant response on my BB Classic or Z10. However, I suspect that this sluggishness may be due to design / integration problems with Android (perhaps like running steroids on dissimilar platforms). Device Search definitely needs some more fine-tuning to put it on par with the BlackBerry Search Assistant of BB10 since local searches for certain items (e.g. files) on the DTEK50 often turn up not found. Installation of some apps, such as Microsoft ExFAT driver (vital for accessing micro SD card storage over 32GB), Password Keeper, MagicJack, etc. are also unavailable from certain geographic locations. This has never been an issue with BlackBerry 10 (although the Android installation on can be easily circumvented via a suitable VPN app connection).

    In the final analysis, whilst Android may provide for an abundance of popular apps, the hardware that it's sometimes ported on or integrated with may not always achieve desired results. Therefore, BlackBerry and its software-supported (BlackDroids) could still flounder in their bid to regain long-lost ground in the smartphone industry. It seems to me that BlackBerry's survival and success here will depend on how well it is able to built and support really solid, rich-featured mobile software that everyone begins to crave for again. Becoming less of a floundering hardware manufacturer / competitor and more of a stronger, feature-richer, software-based communication / security company seems to be very sensible re-focusing of strategy but the greater challenge would be on how well the product attracts, much greater, consumer demand and more timely delivery.
    01-27-17 10:15 PM
  2. conite's Avatar
    @Winstorm, are you not aware that BlackBerry is completely out of the device business? They simply licence their hardened Android and app suite to others. That's it.

    You also sound like someone very new to Android. Solid Explorer demolishes the BB10 file manager.
    Troy Tiscareno and Ronindan like this.
    01-27-17 10:29 PM
  3. Bbnivende's Avatar
    The BlackBerry Hub and Device Search on my cheap Samsung work just fine .
    01-27-17 11:17 PM
  4. markmall's Avatar
    Priv announced on Sept 25, 2015.

    5M statement made on Oct 8, 2015. http://www.theverge.com/2015/10/8/94...million-phones
    The problem with this theory is that he knew he would have one Android phone released versus -- not until Nov. 6 -- five or six BB10 phones for the next year or so. The 5 million phones would need to be mainly BB10 sales, not Android. Chen was talking about hitting 5 million immediately and not after he built out his DTEK portfolio.
    01-28-17 02:27 AM
  5. markmall's Avatar
    Ok, maybe this was what he was thinking but we can't know for certain. Also, I want to maintain the pro-Android's side's tradition on this forum of never admitting when you're wrong.
    01-28-17 03:00 AM
  6. Soulstream's Avatar
    The problem with this theory is that he knew he would have one Android phone released versus -- not until Nov. 6 -- five or six BB10 phones for the next year or so. The 5 million phones would need to be mainly BB10 sales, not Android. Chen was talking about hitting 5 million immediately and not after he built out his DTEK portfolio.
    The 5 million announcement came sometime after the launch of BB10 10.3.2. After that it is clear that any major development of BB10 has been stopped (10.3.3 is a minimal update). So they cut most costs related to developing BB10. Switching to Android was cheaper on the software side no matter how you look at it. Enough to drop the numbers from 10 million to 5 million? By itself, probably not. But during that time I remember that they did continue to fire additional people that were working at BB.
    01-28-17 04:15 AM
  7. Elephant_Canyon's Avatar
    Everyone just makes thinks up but talks like they are a voice from atop Mt. Olympus.
    You give Chen way too much credit. The 10M number was off the cuff and so was the 5M number. You could tell by the way he said it -- both numbers. He just chose numbers that were not pathetically low and that he thought he could hit. I have not checked the timing of these statements versus the release of the Priv.
    I think I observed enough of him to form my own opinions. Every decision he made was just a gut decision without consulting anyone. How else can you explain how he named his first Android device "The Priv"?

    Also, he gave no explanation of going from 10 million to 5 million and never suggested these numbers were the product of any sort of financial analysis rather than simply being numbers off the top of his head.

    Can someone track down the date of the change to 5 million and the release of the Priv (or rumors of its release)?
    Does none of this strike you as hypocritical in the least?
    kvndoom likes this.
    01-28-17 07:08 AM
  8. Bbnivende's Avatar
    BlackBerry CEO wants to sell 5 million phones a year
    The company might end its handset business if that doesn't happen
    By Dan Seifert on October 8, 2015 2:12 pm
    The Verge

    "There's a reasonable shot of getting to 5 million units," Chen says. CES 2016.

    "The path to profitability looks reasonable," Chen said on the company's investor conference call Friday. BlackBerry needs to sell 3 million phones this year to break even, he said. CNET April 1 2016

    BlackBerry says it's done designing and building its own phones

    It's going to outsource the job instead
    by James Vincent@jjvincent Sep 28, 2016, 7:52am EDT
    Last edited by Bbnivende; 01-28-17 at 08:51 AM.
    01-28-17 08:34 AM
  9. app_Developer's Avatar
    The problem with this theory is that he knew he would have one Android phone released versus -- not until Nov. 6 -- five or six BB10 phones for the next year or so. The 5 million phones would need to be mainly BB10 sales, not Android. Chen was talking about hitting 5 million immediately and not after he built out his DTEK portfolio.
    Again, we don't need to get inside Chen's head to understand this. If you go from one product line to a different product line with lower fixed costs, your breakeven point will be less. It's simple, simple maths and business 101.

    No forensic psychology needed.
    Troy Tiscareno and DrBoomBotz like this.
    01-28-17 11:32 AM
  10. BlackBerryPassport's Avatar
    @Winstorm, are you not aware that BlackBerry is completely out of the device business? They simply licence their hardened Android and app suite to others. That's it.

    You also sound like someone very new to Android. Solid Explorer demolishes the BB10 file manager.
    This is Spartaaaa

    Bb10 is now like those 300, love to die then to be slaved

    Posted via CB10
    01-28-17 01:37 PM
  11. kvndoom's Avatar
    Does none of this strike you as hypocritical in the least?
    I'm glad you said it, so no one else had to. But you weren't the only one thinking it.
    DrBoomBotz likes this.
    01-28-17 01:59 PM
  12. markmall's Avatar
    Does none of this strike you as hypocritical in the least?
    I am a Chen critic hypocrite. I would rather have been expose as a racist. How will I show my face again?
    01-28-17 04:07 PM
  13. markmall's Avatar
    Again, we don't need to get inside Chen's head to understand this. If you go from one product line to a different product line with lower fixed costs, your breakeven point will be less. It's simple, simple maths and business 101.

    No forensic psychology needed.
    You are still making presumptions. Chen didn't know how the Android business was going to work. As it turns out, they aren't even designing the devices now and are just licensing. We also don't know when Blackberry decided to stop BB10 devices for good. The mix of devices was not even 25-percent when he made this lowered bar.

    I see the basis for an inference but nothing more.
    01-28-17 04:12 PM
  14. JSmith422's Avatar
    If you're looking for a guess on what a BB10 device would have to sell for to at least breakdown, we need to make a couple of assumptions.

    Let's say we sell 250,000 units a year, and the device hardware itself (due to very low volume production) costs $300.

    Let's say that full blown OS development (to keep up with others), including support, physical plant, and all the other required infrastructure is $750 million per year. Let's also say that life support-only level of development is about $100 million - just minor updates, support, etc.

    So, breakeven would be $3,300 per device for full development, or $700 per device for life-support development.

    The fact that you'd be hard pressed to sell 250,000 units at $3,300 each only exacerbates the problem.
    Can you elaborate on where you came up with $750mm and $100mm respectively?

    Posted via CB10
    01-28-17 04:52 PM
  15. conite's Avatar
    Can you elaborate on where you came up with $750mm and $100mm respectively?

    Posted via CB10
    Educated guess. I erred on the low side.
    01-28-17 04:56 PM
  16. markmall's Avatar
    Can you elaborate on where you came up with $750mm and $100mm respectively?

    Posted via CB10
    I also think those are garishly pessimistic numbers. $100 million for minor updates and support? That would pay for a 1,000 person army of programmers at an average of $100,000 per year. (They already owned physical plant to put them in.)

    Don't you get the feeling that there are maybe 10 people that were working on the last BB10 update?
    Last edited by markmall; 01-28-17 at 05:14 PM.
    01-28-17 04:59 PM
  17. JSmith422's Avatar
    The problem is that at the time when BB was successful, the BB package deal was the best. You had the apps(however few they were), you had better internet and they had security. Now they just have security. You cannot ask 1500$ for a phone just for security.

    You can't really sell security to consumers. Security might sell to companies, but there are very few companies that really really need that much security as BB10 offers at the expense of the app ecosystem. For most companies an iOS device combined with an MDM solution offers the good compromise between security and usability. A good IT manager will know that the "scary" hacks that the media was talking about (like the icloud one) have nothing to do with the phones themselves, but they are attacks on the server side, for which your mobile OS of choice can't protect you against.
    Yes, security and privacy are important, but I'm not sure that's THE selling point to a business....it may be A selling point, but not THE selling point. What businesses want is productivity and efficiency. They're interested in making money. Security is like buying insurance. People hate buying insurance, it FEELS like a waste of money. But show a business owner how an investment in a certain piece of tech will improve efficiency and productivity within the business and now they're interested, demonstrate an ROI and now they're hooked.

    Again, I think Blackberry got confused as to what they're doing. Blackberry started as a productivity company....bringing in-office communication to the field, drastically increasing productivity, and they did it securely which is really another way of saying without risk or compromise to the business.

    Posted via CB10
    01-28-17 05:02 PM
  18. Soulstream's Avatar
    You are still making presumptions. Chen didn't know how the Android business was going to work. As it turns out, they aren't even designing the devices now and are just licensing. We also don't know when Blackberry decided to stop BB10 devices for good. The mix of devices was not even 25-percent when he made this lowered bar.

    I see the basis for an inference but nothing more.
    It didn't matter how the Android business was going to do. The fix costs of building and maintaining an Android device will always have been lower than doing the same for BB10. Lower costs means lower sells required to make a profit.

    Also the decision to abandon BB10 was clearly made in 2015. They knew full well that making an Android device with Google Play services meant that they couldn't make BB10 (with the Android runtime included) anymore. All BB10 devices still sold today are made in or before 2015.
    01-28-17 05:05 PM
  19. JSmith422's Avatar
    To add/clarify what conite is talking about, you have to keep in mind that it's a sliding scale - the fewer devices you sell, the (dramatically) more your cost-per-device, because all of the development costs, marketing, distribution, platform support, etc. costs have to be spread over fewer devices. Conite gives an example (with the super-high wholesale cost BB would need to charge just to break even), but if you sell a small percent less, that minimum wholesale price goes up - a lot! And every time the price goes up, it gets harder to sell the required numbers.
    I don't disagree that these are challenges, we see it everyday in our business. But a little ingenuity and looking at the problem from a different angle often makes a problem that seems insurmountable, profitable.

    Since we're going through the exercise, what would it take, on a hardware level to run bb10.....setting aside for a second some of their security features, are there other hardware components that can be sourced from other devices?

    Posted via CB10
    01-28-17 05:08 PM
  20. JSmith422's Avatar
    The other issue is that "life-support" level of support means that you are standing in place as your competition moves forward - which means that as time goes on, you are less and less competitive, and will sell fewer and fewer units, which means that your cost-per unit goes up and up. It's not sustainable - only full development is sustainable, and if you can't sell enough units to make a profit with full development, then you don't have a viable business model.
    I agree completely on this point. Full development is a necessity.

    Posted via CB10
    01-28-17 05:09 PM
  21. conite's Avatar
    I also think those are garishly pessimistic numbers. $100 million for minor updates and support? That would pay for a 1,000 person army of programmers at $100,000 per year. (They already owned physical plant to put them in.)

    Don't you get the feeling that there are maybe 10 people that were working on the last BB10 update?
    That's everything from developers, managers, buildings, support infrastructure, distribution infrastructure, etc. $100 million is cheap.
    01-28-17 05:09 PM
  22. Soulstream's Avatar
    Yes, security and privacy are important, but I'm not sure that's THE selling point to a business....it may be A selling point, but not THE selling point. What businesses want is productivity and efficiency. They're interested in making money. Security is like buying insurance. People hate buying insurance, it FEELS like a waste of money. But show a business owner how an investment in a certain piece of tech will improve efficiency and productivity within the business and now they're interested, demonstrate an ROI and now they're hooked.

    Again, I think Blackberry got confused as to what they're doing. Blackberry started as a productivity company....bringing in-office communication to the field, drastically increasing productivity, and they did it securely which is really another way of saying without risk or compromise to the business.

    Posted via CB10
    I think you are right. The problem is that the definition of productivity has changed. It used to be phone+SMS+email. Now apps are added into the mix. Even if for a moment we assume that BB10 does email+phone+SMS the best, the other OSs are not that far behind. On the other hand BB10 is very far behind in terms of apps.

    In short, it doesn't matter if BB10 is a 10/10 in terms of communication if it is a 2/10 in terms of apps. iOS/Android may be an 8/10 (and with a little bit of searching through Play store, it can become at least a 9/10) in terms of communication but are a 10/10 in terms of apps.
    01-28-17 05:11 PM
  23. JSmith422's Avatar
    The proof is in the pudding. Let's see if anyone believes there is value, and puts their money on the table to licence it.

    DTEK60 / Z30
    That's not really a fair measurement though. Who knows if blackberry is even actually trying to license it, sell it, or is any way reasonable in what it would be worth to an investment group. Just because it doesn't get acquired (in some form) doesn't mean there isn't value in it. You may have people lining up to license it, but Chen wants double what they're willing to pay. Dead deal. But that doesn't mean if acquired there wouldn't be a profitable market.


    Posted via CB10
    01-28-17 05:14 PM
  24. markmall's Avatar
    Educated guess. I erred on the low side.
    This is how Chen came up with his 10 million/5 million numbers.
    01-28-17 05:15 PM
  25. markmall's Avatar
    Yes, security and privacy are important, but I'm not sure that's THE selling point to a business....it may be A selling point, but not THE selling point. What businesses want is productivity and efficiency. They're interested in making money. Security is like buying insurance. People hate buying insurance, it FEELS like a waste of money. But show a business owner how an investment in a certain piece of tech will improve efficiency and productivity within the business and now they're interested, demonstrate an ROI and now they're hooked.

    Again, I think Blackberry got confused as to what they're doing. Blackberry started as a productivity company....bringing in-office communication to the field, drastically increasing productivity, and they did it securely which is really another way of saying without risk or compromise to the business.

    Posted via CB10
    Yes, and it's interesting that one of the first things Chen did was try to monetize BBM by selling stickers. Complete non sequitur for what BBM and Blackberry are about.
    01-28-17 05:18 PM
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