11-10-15 12:46 AM
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  1. anon4226395's Avatar
    Brilliant opine by OP, studious responses by and large, love it .Borderline sticky. So good. Thanks OP!
    BigAl_BB9900 and crucial bbq like this.
    10-29-15 06:42 PM
  2. anon(9188202)'s Avatar
    My fellow conspiracy theorists, I ask you; is it merely a coincidence that John Chen, an American (and probably on retainer for the NSA), has handed another once iconic Canadian company over to a U.S. economic juggernaut, Goggle, on a silver platter?
    10-29-15 06:54 PM
  3. lawguyman's Avatar
    My fellow conspiracy theorists, I ask you; is it merely a coincidence that John Chen, an American (and probably on retainer for the NSA), has handed another once iconic Canadian company over to a U.S. economic juggernaut, Goggle, on a silver platter?
    What you don't know is that Maple Syrup and Tar Sands are next on the agenda.

    Posted via CB10
    anon(9188202) likes this.
    10-29-15 07:26 PM
  4. 6stringriffs's Avatar
    My fellow conspiracy theorists, I ask you; is it merely a coincidence that John Chen, an American (and probably on retainer for the NSA), has handed another once iconic Canadian company over to a U.S. economic juggernaut, Goggle, on a silver platter?
    Ask me again when Google buys/swallows BlackBerry
    10-29-15 07:48 PM
  5. thurask's Avatar
    My fellow conspiracy theorists, I ask you; is it merely a coincidence that John Chen, an American (and probably on retainer for the NSA), has handed another once iconic Canadian company over to a U.S. economic juggernaut, Goggle, on a silver platter?
    Yes, that's strange. You'd think it would be Stephen Harper selling Canada to the lowest bidder.

    Posted via CB10
    anon(9188202) and Carbonman1 like this.
    10-29-15 07:50 PM
  6. Blacklatino's Avatar
    Based on his fumbling with Android(Priv). Do you really think he was ever an Android user?
    More likely an Apple user than the Google.

    He liked BB10 he uses a Passport. Hence the crappy demo.
    I (IMHO) give Chen more credit. It's not about him being incompetent. It could have been a lot better.....of course. The fact that the Priv is coming out and the most information we've received about the device is on here - with a variety of pop- ups on Android sites claiming to revert as soon as it's available, not much happening (for promo). When the BOLD 9000 and the Torch 9800 were out, we were seeing commercials prior to it's releases. This "is" supposed to be a very important device with sells being crucial as to where BlackBerry goes from here- staying in or getting out. Again, a "Universal", non-carrier specific commercial could already have the word going out and getting curiosity a lot higher than "members" arguing about a goddamn camera, or why members should rally around BlackBerry and keep our comments to ourselves........while Chen is just going thru the motions for the Priv, he is prepping just in case it doesn't sell as anticipated. This is the same one that was (like Thors with the Z10) working on the carriers to support and push this awesome new Android/BlackBerry Slider. From what I've seen and read -so far, if the Priv sells- great; if it doesn't (Chen shrugs), business as usual. Hey, I could be all wrong, but, based on the mistakes of the past and how highly praised this guy was for saving/salvaging/ dropping certain parts of companies that are not doing well(at all), he's following the agenda.
    Last edited by Blacklatino; 10-29-15 at 11:39 PM.
    MO3iusONE and JeepBB like this.
    10-29-15 09:11 PM
  7. anon(9353145)'s Avatar
    No, I don't think Android was ever the plan. Saving BlackBerry (the company) was the plan.

    The plan was:
    Announce that BB was now an Enterprise Software & Services company (check),
    Reduce the cost base of the company by firing employees and selling the buildings and estate (check)
    Kill BB10, which has cost BB billions and almost killed the company. (check)
    Close Hardware down (che... ah, wait... need money, fast!)

    If software and services revenues had grown as fast as Chen had hoped, that would have been it for BB10 and the Hardware division. Unfortunately, the software growth has been sluggish, and BB needs hardware to cover.

    The Priv is the stop-gap revenue filler. It was a BB10 slider just a few months ago, and IMO would never have seen the light of day if Chen didn't need it now. Instead it has been rapidly re-spun as an Android handset to get that much needed revenue and try to plug the 40% revenue hole currently filled by hardware.

    So, no. Android was never the plan. It's just an opportunistic throw of the dice to gain Chen enough time & money to complete the transition to software.
    NOPE.

    It's a sincere effort to make the Handsets division viable for the foreseeable future. The theory that Chen is trying to kill handsets by switching to Android is nutty in the extreme, no offense.

    If he was trying to kill hardware, he never would have allowed a BB Android device to be released. *OR* he would have released a half arsed hardware variant that was klonky from the onset.

    Look around the Android forums. There's genuine excitement for the device.

    Your theory is half-baked, not the Priv.
    Fernando Martin likes this.
    10-30-15 10:12 PM
  8. matt4pack's Avatar
    I don't think it was plan A but it was his backup plan. He even said he was hoping the fire phone would be a success so the amazon store would become better stocked which didn't happen.
    10-30-15 10:25 PM
  9. crucial bbq's Avatar

    Deciding to ditch an OS that you've already pumped several years and billions of dollars into is not something done on a whim.
    I've said the same thing and up until recently at that, too, but how long was Chen a member of the Board? Thor had been with BlackBerry for a few years and worked his way up. Chen just appeared out of nowhere and right off the bat he was named head honcho of the Board and the interim CEO. Unless he had been a Board member over the course of a few years BlackBerry's past, and more particular BB10, should, and would, be irrelevant to him.

    You know, once Chen had done his job and stabilized Sybase he very soon decided to skip the whole rebranding/rebuilding phase and went straight for the kill (of the competition, not the company). He took a huge risk that paid off big time. That is the kind of guy that Chen is and that is why he was made CEO.

    Here is an interview with Chen about Sybase from 2010 (actually, a few. Look them up to see what kind of CEO he is). Most of what he is talking about is in reference to 2000 and the early 2000s. And it all sounds eerily familiar.

    Sybase CEO John Chen: Tale of a Turnaround | ITworld

    Chen may or may not like BB10 but that does not matter. He saw that it was not selling, saw BlackBerry's strength in security, and took that to the people.
    10-31-15 01:03 AM
  10. JeepBB's Avatar
    NOPE.

    It's a sincere effort to make the Handsets division viable for the foreseeable future. The theory that Chen is trying to kill handsets by switching to Android is nutty in the extreme, no offense.
    NOPE.

    ...and none taken. This is what forums are (or should be!) for, a place for civilised debate.


    If he was trying to kill hardware, he never would have allowed a BB Android device to be released. *OR* he would have released a half arsed hardware variant that was klonky from the onset.

    Look around the Android forums. There's genuine excitement for the device.

    Your theory is half-baked, not the Priv.
    Hardware brings in 40% of revenue, but the division isn't profitable. The Priv might have to sell in Apple-like quantities to return a profit from hardware and, despite there being some genuine consumer interest, the proof of whether it will be enough will be revealed in the next quarterly figures.

    Chen, no more than Thor, can't stop selling hardware while it's still a big chunk of revenue even though he has declared more than once that he wants BB to become an Enterprise Software thing. He needs that revenue to make the transition to that sunny software&services place where unicorns frolic and rainbows sparkle.

    As to the Priv not being half-baked, I agree with you, the Priv has some very nice features. However, that's because it has to be attractive to potential buyers, or it wouldn't sell. Releasing a half-baked clunker would be folly - it would be monumentally stupid to actually aim to fail. Chen isn't stupid, or suicidal, so the Priv isn't designed to be a clunker; he's desperate for the Priv to sell and give him that revenue to complete the transition, so he's made the Priv as an attractive, high-spec phone to give it the best chance of selling well.

    Whether, once that transition to software is complete, he'll close down hardware will depend on how well the Priv sells. If the Priv makes the Hardware Division profitable, he may choose to keep it as "gravy", if he no longer needs the revenue and the Hardware Division remains a cost... it's gone.

    I believe the same timescales are in play as they were previously - BB10 sales trend to zero in 9 months, so the Priv has 9 months to prove it can be a winner for BB. That's consistent with Chen's own thoughts on this - a "decision within the year" is what I think he said.
    anon(9353145) likes this.
    10-31-15 05:09 AM
  11. cbvinh's Avatar
    Correct me if I'm wrong, he's only been in charge for 2 years right? And in that 2 years he got his people to develop, code, and test software that will go into an android device. Not just the Priv, but all the Enterprise software and systems that will be used to serve ALL platforms. That is pretty much how long these projects take especially if you are starting from zero, as opposed to a Samsung who has a history of making Android devices and they only have to launch a project to make an S7 Edge or Note 6 for example. Projects like that cannot be done in 1 year let alone 6 months.

    I believe that was his plan all along when he was brought in. 2 years is not an exaggeration that this was very aggressive schedule. Probably lots of weekends and overtime for a lot of workers.
    BlackBerry engineers didn't have zero experience with Android. They've had the Android Runtime since 2011 and making a different OS work on top of another OS is a more difficult problem than just porting.
    Steve Rizla likes this.
    10-31-15 05:18 AM
  12. Blackberry-Prince's Avatar
    I am not a BlackBerry analyst nor do I have inside information. I am just someone who connected the dots, and yes, I realize that I could be wrong. Bear with me here;

    Thor came up through BlackBerry ranks via their handset division. He landed the position of CEO in January 2012, went from being one of Canada's best CEOs to worst, and then was quickly fired in November of 2013. One thing is for certain about Thor: he truly seemed enthusiastic about BB10 and seems to be the only CEO at BlackBerry to actually try to make things happen with BB10.

    Chen came on board, both as executive chair of the board and as interim CEO. Obviously he became CEO shortly thereafter. Many people around here seem to think of Chen as some sort of joke but the dude is not stupid. In fact, he is member to many presitigous organizations, often times being the top dog of said organizations. He is a member of two that deal with U.S.- China relations (one being for the U.S. Government that largely focuses on trade) and is considered to be a "master of Silicon Valley".

    In December of 2013 BlackBerry already had a deal with Foxconn and Chen cancelled two low-end BB10s. He did move forward with two other devices, however, of course being the Passport and Classic. Also in December of 2013 Chen said that BlackBerry was only going to focus on high-end handsets for enterprise and that these handsets will only see limited number runs.

    In January of 2014 we get BB10 10.2.1. What is significant about this is 10.2.1s added security features via BES12 and of course, the official announcement/acknowledgement of ART. ART is significant here because it marks the transition to non-ported Android apps on BB10 and the enhanced security through BES12 is one hallmark of the Priv.

    In February of 2014 rumors of a 64-bit octocore "goliath" begin to emerge and right along with it commentary that this phone will run Android. It was also rumored that this phone would to be released in September of 2014 but we all know that did not happen.

    Throughout 2014 layoffs are massive at BlackBerry, which continued into 2015 and BlackBerry losing some of its best talent.

    Speaking of layoffs, the BerryLeaks team rather mysteriously disbanded. They cited internal conflict but I dunno, maybe they saw the writing on the wall? Maybe they were [former] BlackBerry employees?

    2014 was a relatively quiet year in terms of handsets but there was the rumored Z50. Instead of the Z50 we got the Z3, a severe downgrade.

    By the end of 2014 BlackBerry had cemented its partnership with Samsung, which publicly was reported to be about Knox/BES12.

    In January 2015 we got the BB10 10.3.1 update and what is most significant about this release is the addition of the Amazon App store, which of course was the first official channel to download Android apps. Also in 2015 we saw rumors for the Rio, Ontario, and Venice which of course became the Leap, Passport SE, and Priv. The Leap is once again a downgrade of the "Z" line, the SE is only just a Passport with a new chassis, and the Priv being the only truly innovative and new handset.

    Now, of course in March of 2015 we were teased with the blurry pic of the "slider" from MWC and with it the rumors of it being an Android phone continued. Still no Z50.

    Throughout all of this developer relations worsened, BlackBerry World worsened, and so on.

    Also in March of 2015 Chen was guest at the Waterloo Chamber of Congress meeting. In it he said that the hardest part about turnarounds is changing the culture of the company. He went on to say that the culture at BlackBerry was one of handsets and that many could not, or would not, accept BlackBerry as anything but. It is possible that many who left were simply not cool with the idea of taking BlackBerry to Android.

    In a late September 2015 Inside BlackBerry blog post, where Chen discusses the move to Android, he states point blank that what BlackBerry has been doing over the last two years was the specific lead up to what became the Priv. In this same post he said that the BB10 "workhorses" Passport and Classic will not be going away however he does not specifically mention what OS these phones will run in the future, simply alluding to their form factor sticking around. The only other rumored BlackBerry handset at this point in time is the Android version of the Passport.

    Also in 2015 Chen has repeatedly said that he would not leave the handset business despite being advised to do so, every other word out of his mouth has been "cross-platfrom", and he seems reluctant to talk about the future of BB10. And then of course the partnership with Google .

    There you have it. It does seem as if Chen has been warming us up to the idea of an Android BlackBerry future since late 2013. But why Android? My guess is that the initial plan was to simply fork their own version of Android, which makes sense with their deal with Amazon. It is impossible to tell exactly when Google came into all of this but my guess is that it has something to do with the Open Automotive Alliance, which as you may infer, is the OHA version but for auto OS. You may also recall the auto OS is one frontier that Chen wants to dominate and some of the OAA members already run QNX. However BlackBerry is still not listed as joining either the OHA or the OAA, but who knows.

    Another reason for Android on BlackBerry is that Chen is rather tech-savy himself and he is intimately familiar with the markets in both the U.S., China, and obviously Canada. He knows that Android is going to continue to dominate the Asian market that there are 100s of millions of untapped potential sales (and of course I do not mean all for BlackBerry, just in general). This market is currently dominated by the cheap handsets made by ZTE, Huawei, Kyocera, and a few others but Apple is picking up pace in some sectors. Chen is looking to get into this market and it would not happen with BB10, but with a BlackBerry phone running Android "made by a Chinese man" might be enough to lure those with the cash away from the iPhone.

    To add: tech bloggers have been saying that BlackBerry should join the OHA all the back beginning in 2009 and CrackBerry godfather himself Kevin even wrote "11 Reasons why Google Should Aquire BlackBerry" back in 2011. It is archived here on CrackBerry. As we know Kevin left for another position at Mobile Nations. Perhaps one reason for doing so was that he, too, saw the writing on the wall. Even Bla1ze is not phased by "no more BB10s".

    I have a few other items in mind here but this is good enough for now and I have other things to do at the moment. Just curious what others think.
    If I was the BlackBerry CEO I would've done the same.
    Switching to android but not Killin BlackBerry 10
    I thought of that before Chen, honestly speaking.

    Posted via CB10
    10-31-15 05:21 AM
  13. Mr4aces's Avatar
    Finally someone else sees John Chen's "vision". I also think the BlackBerry Android Operation Software (BBAOS) was conceived well over a year ago.

    Think how long it took RIM/ML/TH to release BB10 and what a POS the OS was when it first came out. It was a down grade from BBOS7. That and no track pad on the Q10 is why the majority of existing Berryheads did not switch.

    I and other 9900 users called BlackBerry on the deplorable BB10.1. It wasn't till last fall that BB10 was acceptable and then finally the Passport and Classic. "To little to late?"

    It takes more than 6 months to make the big OS change. At least a year? (Edit: ....with the reduced staff)

    (Edit....... look back to 14 months ago at the heated decision on BB10 deplorable state and how I thought the OS could have been developed if there was a "billion dollars" to make the change in less than a year. JC's "180" just proves it can be done and he didn't have the funds and resources RIM/ML/TH had in 2010. Maybe I should go back see who called me out? (/Edit)

    "Wish I was a mouse", was said about the first 6 months of John Chen's helm in the meeting with the existing executive staff.

    Great leaders surround themselves with top compatible people. Notice the history "BlackBerry's" officers for the first 6-9 months of Chen's helm.

    What gets me the most is Crackberry and the "wantabes" that post comment on how to run a billion dollar company when they probably have their wives take care of the checking account and/or never been sat on a board.

    Sick to see thousands of negative "guessing", " I think", "forecasting" and more wantabes feeding and replying. All without any insight to what goes on.

    John Chen and BlackBerry will be just fine. You and other people see his talent and "vision".

    Time for the "naysayer" to bite their tongues or show credentials.

    Great threat!

    PIN 2COF829A
    Last edited by Mr4aces; 10-31-15 at 06:38 AM.
    kvndoom likes this.
    10-31-15 06:01 AM
  14. Mr4aces's Avatar
    You did your home work.

    PIN 2COF829A
    10-31-15 06:49 AM
  15. joshua_sx1's Avatar
    Chen, with his credentials and experiences (even before joining BlackBerry), is a very competent CEO. He has a vision and a plan. And as a very competent CEO, he has contingency plan in case the original plan didn't materialise...

    'Priv' is part of that contingency plan...

    Posted via CB10
    10-31-15 07:02 AM
  16. wincyUt's Avatar
    He was clearly swiping up trying to wake it up.. and was not used to the home button.
    But yes he has been using BB10 for the last 1.5 years. BB10 is pretty awesome that way.
    Make you pick up another device(IOS and Android) and go WTF is wrong with this UI.
    Is that a Freudian slip?
    10-31-15 07:25 AM
  17. Johnny Dollar's Avatar
    I love this thread! My only comment here is to say that if you take the device division down to its bare minimum, how do you provide BlackBerry's vaunted end-to-end security with no devices?

    JC himself said that he would never leave the hardware business because of this. I do think that yes Android is BlackBerry's plan B and that this decision was not taken lightly. I hope the phone does well.. well enough to make the device division profitable again and to continue BlackBerry 10 development. High hopes I know.

    I don't wanna see plan C.

    Posted via CB10
    10-31-15 08:40 AM
  18. cgk's Avatar
    I love this thread! My only comment here is to say that if you take the device division down to its bare minimum, how do you provide BlackBerry's vaunted end-to-end security with no devices?

    JC himself said that he would never leave the hardware business because of this.
    Here's the problem - what if you cannot make any money and there are no signs of any money providing this end to end security? What is the shareholder value in this?
    10-31-15 08:42 AM
  19. kthhrrsn's Avatar
    I don't believe Chen's plan was to make an Android device all along. If the Classic and the Passport sold better, they probably wouldn't be making an Android powered Priv. The reality of continued marketshare declines and absolutely horrific handset sales dramatically influenced the decision to give Android a try. The app gap was way too difficult of a hurdle to overcome- even with the Amazon apps store partnership. It amazes me how many people can't see or won't see all of the things that were tried to salvage the BB10 platform. In the end, none of it really worked- except with the handful of core supporters.
    FalkirkEagle likes this.
    10-31-15 10:02 AM
  20. ChainPunch's Avatar
    I think at this point Chen hopes that selling 1 or 2 android devices combined with existing BB10 devices will bring profitability to the hardware division. I believe Chen's next move, if the Priv proves to be successful, is to release a full touchscreen android device with the exact same specs as the Priv (just take the keyboard off the Priv and make some minor adjustments).

    I think Chen will keep BB10 around, but only for the classic and passport. Also, expect a synergy for specs if regard to form factors for BB10 as this will only blackberry to spend one time for driver development cost and expect blackberry to only release upgraded BB10 device every 2 years or so going forward.

    In total I expect blackberry only to offer 4 devices with android getting the priority and bb10 devices having a much long upgrade replacement cycle.

    If everything holds true to what I have outline, then we might get an upgraded BB10 classic with passport specs either sometime next year or 2017 as way to get the Passport and Classic on the same internals.

    Posted via CB10
    kthhrrsn likes this.
    10-31-15 10:05 AM
  21. skibnik's Avatar
    I tend to agree with the OP Chen was appointed as CEO with what can only be described as a coup. The board was gutted of all the old guard and Chen being an outsider could then make decisions without the emotional attachment that an insider has. And of course if that means the eventual abandonment of BB10 then so be it. IMHO if the powers that be that ran Blackberry back in the day had any vision they would have been one of the first device manufacturers that joined the OHA.
    10-31-15 10:48 AM
  22. skibnik's Avatar
    I think at this point Chen hopes that selling 1 or 2 android devices combined with existing BB10 devices will bring profitability to the hardware division. I believe Chen's next move, if the Priv proves to be successful, is to release a full touchscreen android device with the exact same specs as the Priv (just take the keyboard off the Priv and make some minor adjustments).

    I think Chen will keep BB10 around, but only for the classic and passport. Also, expect a synergy for specs if regard to form factors for BB10 as this will only blackberry to spend one time for driver development cost and expect blackberry to only release upgraded BB10 device every 2 years or so going forward.

    In total I expect blackberry only to offer 4 devices with android getting the priority and bb10 devices having a much long upgrade replacement cycle.

    If everything holds true to what I have outline, then we might get an upgraded BB10 classic with passport specs either sometime next year or 2017 as way to get the Passport and Classic on the same internals.

    Posted via CB10
    If you take away the physical keyboard from the Priv what then sets it apart from any of the hundreds of other Android devices out there already? The more likely move would to release a Passport or Classic form factor Android device.
    anon(9353145) and MO3iusONE like this.
    10-31-15 10:55 AM
  23. KingOfQwerty's Avatar
    For me, it all seems, "throw on the wall and see what sticks"
    Even after poor sales, hardware is still 40%. He just can't abandon it and need cash flow coming out of it. If Priv wins, BB (whole or handset division) is also better positioned for buyouts from potential buyers.
    Marketing, Developers relationship are two places, where Chen never gave a chance for BB10.
    And who will buy an OS and device when its CEO says negative about profitability of it.
    10-31-15 11:24 AM
  24. anon(9353145)'s Avatar
    NOPE.

    ...and none taken. This is what forums are (or should be!) for, a place for civilised debate.

    Whether, once that transition to software is complete, he'll close down hardware will depend on how well the Priv sells. If the Priv makes the Hardware Division profitable, he may choose to keep it as "gravy", if he no longer needs the revenue and the Hardware Division remains a cost... it's gone.

    I believe the same timescales are in play as they were previously - BB10 sales trend to zero in 9 months, so the Priv has 9 months to prove it can be a winner for BB. That's consistent with Chen's own thoughts on this - a "decision within the year" is what I think he said.
    Okay, I can totally see that Android BlackBerry is on probation and he'll shut it down if he can't meet internal targets. Completely agree. I just think the idea that he has a deliberate plan to eliminate hardware far fetched. I think he has a contingency plan for IF it fails, but believe he is doing his best to make it succeed. I mean why not? Even if they're focusing primarily on software going forward why say no to a successful hardware stream?

    I personally don't like the name and think they priced it too high for an inaugural device but see where they're coming from. And the 2mp front camera is probably a logistics decision as that was the most they could pack without sacrificing screen thinness. As simple as that.

    I'm intrigued by the interest in the device. I sent the feature preview video to a friend on Android and he replied back that he's getting his company to pre-order it for him immediately. I'm still on the fence as I have everything I want and need in the Passport and love the form factor. If not for that, I'd have pulled the trigger already on the priv. Hopefully BlackBerry will manage to knock this one out of the park because I do think they have something unique to add to the market.

    Anyway, i'm rambling, ha. You brought up some good points, thanks.

    Posted via CB10
    10-31-15 12:51 PM
  25. sorinv's Avatar
    For me, it all seems, "throw on the wall and see what sticks"
    Even after poor sales, hardware is still 40%. He just can't abandon it and need cash flow coming out of it. If Priv wins, BB (whole or handset division) is also better positioned for buyouts from potential buyers.
    Marketing, Developers relationship are two places, where Chen never gave a chance for BB10.
    And who will buy an OS and device when its CEO says negative about profitability of it.
    This. Chen never advertised bb10 devices and never showed any enthusiasm on any device launch. Not even for the Priv. He is a CEO that comes across as not believing in his products.
    10-31-15 01:49 PM
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