07-09-12 09:40 AM
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  1. W Hoa's Avatar
    As part of what seems like a new openness at the company, Mr. Heins agreed to take questions submitted by readers of The Globe and Mail. We received roughly 200 submissions and chose 10, which we offered to Mr. Heins earlier this week. Here are his answers. (Questions were editing for clarity and length.

    1) I am a dedicated BlackBerry user (and PlayBook too), but I’m worried that between now and the BlackBerry 10 release next year, Android and Apple products will advance yet another generation. As mobile technology rockets forward at its fastest pace ever, will BlackBerry 10 be competitive when it is finally released?

    -Stephen, 42, small-business owner in Toronto

    Thorsten Heins: BlackBerry 10 is more than just a new smartphone. It’s an entirely new way of thinking about BlackBerry – new software powering new devices and new services. While our competitors update their offerings, BlackBerry 10 will be the only mobile platform built from the ground up with the latest technologies in mind – whether it’s mobile video chat or near-field communications that enable you to use your handset like a wallet. You’re correct, Stephen, mobile technology is a fast-paced industry and a large portion of the world relies on our innovation to stay connected. That’s why we chose the difficult path of developing BlackBerry 10: to provide a robust, reliable new way to interact with the world around you. Clearly, a project of this magnitude is not easy, but we believe the potential of BlackBerry 10 is worth the effort.

    2) Why is BlackBerry 10 being delayed? What are the three or four reasons for the delay in consumer terms?

    -Pam, 54, marketing consultant in Chicago

    Thorsten Heins: There is really only one reason, Pam. We need more time to integrate all the features we have built for BlackBerry 10. While the core technology of BlackBerry 10 is ready to go – outside developers are already working on an array of applications – I decided that the way some features worked together and the related software integration needed more attention and refinement. The goal of BlackBerry 10 is to bring some of the best technologies in the world together in a seamless environment. Simply put, I could still see some of the seams. When you’re dealing with millions of lines of computer code that will be subjected to daily use by users around the world, fine-tuning can take time – in this case, more than we anticipated. We decided to delay the launch of BlackBerry 10 to give us ample time to integrate software, test, and polish the final product.

    3) How do you plan on winning back corporate customers who have already adopted bring-your-own device policies and have no desire to run a BlackBerry Enterprise Server alongside their other mobile device management system?

    -Isaac, 32, IT manager in Vancouver

    Thorsten Heins: We understand that the corporate environment is changing as more and more organizations allow employees to use their own devices on the job. We are constantly talking to our customers and what they’ve told us is that they want their mobile systems to be easy to manage, secure and reliable. For that reason, we introduced BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, RIM’s mobile device management solution, which enables IT administrators to control and keep track of tablets and smartphones on BlackBerry, iOS or Android platforms, while ensuring confidential and proprietary data is protected.

    4) One of the biggest challenges for BlackBerry is having a good number of high quality applications. Have you considered dropping the BlackBerry operating system and moving to either Android or Windows Phone 8? This would allow you to focus on building great devices and taking advantage of already-established app markets.

    -David, 30, software developer in Calgary

    Thorsten Heins: We have considered a range of options that included adopting someone else’s operating system, but ultimately we rejected that idea. We determined that the best way to build value for our stakeholders and do right by our users is to unite devices and software with BlackBerry 10 – building each from the ground up so they work together without a hitch. With the global market growing as fast as it is, we believe there is room and demand for an alternative to generic software. We have more than 90,000 applications up for sale on BlackBerry App World today and more than 3 billion applications have been downloaded from our store. We even have a way to move Android apps to BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry 10, so we would actually be limiting choices by adopting another operating system.

    5) I am proud to support Canadian businesses like RIM and I have been a BlackBerry customer for years. My needs and interests have been met in the past, but emerging products from Apple and Android-phones are quickly making BlackBerrys obsolete. I am currently in the market for a new phone... Why should I wait for the new device line and operating system in the New Year?

    -Jeff, 23, research assistant/student in London, Ont.

    Thorsten Heins: Thank you for supporting BlackBerry, Jeff. No one wanted BlackBerry 10 in customers’ hands this year more than I did. By giving our teams more time with BlackBerry 10, we could deliver a mobile experience unlike anything we’ve ever done. I believe the reason you should wait is because, you’ll see that BlackBerry 10 is not just a fresh coat of paint on an old operating system. It will be the only completely new mobile platform on the market. I’d be remiss, though, if I didn’t point out that our current devices powered by BlackBerry 7 pack quite a punch.

    6) I recently bought a BlackBerry Torch 9810 on a three-year term. With the coming of BlackBerry 10, how much support will BlackBerry 7 users receive in the future?

    -Ajay in Mississauga

    Thorsten Heins: Don’t worry, Ajay. We’ll continue to support BlackBerry 7 devices into the future. We have a great lineup of smartphones built on this software, and we remain committed to supporting them.

    7) RIM can expect that even a modestly successful BlackBerry 10 product will deliver results from the enterprise and business crowd, but a plan to make RIM products familiar among young consumers is a must for long term viability in this industry. Given that Apple already had a toe in the game with iTunes and the iPod to build a foundation for the iPhone, how does Research In Motion plan to build brand familiarity with younger people and students?

    -Anthony, 25, law student in Halifax

    Thorsten Heins: One of the misconceptions about BlackBerry is that it’s your parents’ smartphone. BlackBerry has a loyal fan base of young people around the world. For example, in South Africa, BlackBerry was recently voted coolest brand. Our incredibly popular BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM, an app that makes chatting with your BlackBerry contacts quick and fun, helps make BlackBerry the number one device for mobile social media in the world. Every day, BlackBerry engages with more than 30 million social media followers worldwide through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, our Inside BlackBerry Blogs and regional social networks. A significant number of those fans and followers are young people. Obviously, we have work to do in North America, and we know that. As the father of two young people, I know how quickly the definition of cool can change. We’re confident BlackBerry 10 will appeal to people of all ages who value getting things done on the go.

    8) I was a very happy user of a BlackBerry Bold when it was first released. I had this device for almost two years after which time I switched to an iPhone because of simple little bugs in the BlackBerry Bold software, such as the inability to click on the button of a web page, the need to remove and replace the battery because the phone locked up, the unreliable Wi-Fi and a bunch of other little annoyances. These little details actually matter to the end user. Will RIM under the new direction of Mr. Heins focus on just getting products out in the market, one after the other while ignoring the little details that can be annoying to customers, or will they actually make an effort to deal with the quality of their products up front and also correct problems after a product is released as they are identified?

    –Marc, 45, engineer in Calgary

    Thorsten Heins: This is one of my pet peeves, and I’m sorry your device did not meet your expectations. Based on your description, it does not meet mine either. I believe it’s the little things that distinguish excellent products from merely good ones. It is one of the reasons I wanted to give our development teams some extra time on BlackBerry 10. It’s also why I have been trimming our product lines to ensure that we have only the best devices and the most intuitive software out there with our name on it.

    We do have strong support resources available if you have issues with your BlackBerry. We want to know about bugs and address any problems immediately. Here are the links to our support services:

    Inside BlackBerry Help Blog: http://helpblog.blackberry.com/

    BlackBerry support forums: http://supportforums.blackberry.com/...lSupportForums

    Twitter: @BlackBerryHelp

    9) With constant delays on RIM products (PlayBook, OS7, OS7.1), what confidence can you give us that RIM will actually now (after yet another delay) deliver BlackBerry 10 devices on time in the first quarter of 2013?

    – Joe, 51, small-business owner in Alabama

    Thorsten Heins: I am absolutely committed to this timeline, Joe. I made the decision to give our teams more time on BlackBerry 10 because I believe we must deliver an experience that is nothing short of exceptional to our users. The successful launch of BlackBerry 10 and the delivery of high-quality BlackBerry 10 devices remains the company’s top priority.

    10) Why not put out new handsets with the old BlackBerry 7 and allow them to be upgraded with the new operating system when it comes out? That way people will be able to stick with RIM in the fall and get the new version when it comes out. Otherwise, I don’t see people in Canada buying Blackberrys until the new OS comes out.

    – Tim, 50 +, computer system consultant in Toronto

    Thorsten Heins: BlackBerry 10 is more than just a new operating system. It’s an entirely new platform. The software and the hardware are designed together and the operating system will interact with the hardware in ways that are very different from BlackBerry 7. This is part of what gives BlackBerry 10 its power. In the meantime, we are continuing to sell, support and update BlackBerry 7, which is a versatile and powerful operating system in its own right – with one of the fastest mobile browsers, voice-enabled search, and BlackBerry Messenger 6.

    Your RIM questions answered: CEO Thorsten Heins responds - The Globe and Mail
    Last edited by W Hoa; 07-06-12 at 02:47 PM.
    07-06-12 02:42 PM
  2. Darlaten's Avatar
    I appreciate that he took the time out to answer these questions. I still would have preferred some more specifics in regards to Question 7 in terms of the North American market. I am also not sure his answer to Question #9 will be reassuring to some people.

    Still, it is appreciated that he took the time to respond to people's questions.
    drjay868 and Zirak like this.
    07-06-12 02:58 PM
  3. GTiLeo's Avatar
    i really do respect thorsten for all hes done, hes committed to producing Blackberry 10 and commited to releasing a seemless product that integrates all technologies together.

    i'm totally optimistic about what BB10 means and will bring to the mobile world, but i'm not as narrow minded as the rest of north america, i don't need the convincing i'm already sold
    07-06-12 03:08 PM
  4. DuexNoir's Avatar
    "It’s also why I have been trimming our product lines..."

    That's an interesting tidbit.

    And these discussions so far hints that BB10 may be more encompassing than any other OS out there. Will be interested to see if this is true. And makes me wonder what RIM has in store for the future after BB10, which appears to be a major base they are setting down.

    On another note, as a CEO, Heins is sure doing a lot of direct communications with the public (unlike most other CEOs). Good to see.
    Last edited by DuexNoir; 07-06-12 at 03:12 PM.
    07-06-12 03:09 PM
  5. drjay868's Avatar

    2) Why is BlackBerry 10 being delayed? What are the three or four reasons for the delay in consumer terms?

    -Pam, 54, marketing consultant in Chicago

    Thorsten Heins: There is really only one reason, Pam. We need more time to integrate all the features we have built for BlackBerry 10. While the core technology of BlackBerry 10 is ready to go outside developers are already working on an array of applications I decided that the way some features worked together and the related software integration needed more attention and refinement. The goal of BlackBerry 10 is to bring some of the best technologies in the world together in a seamless environment. Simply put, I could still see some of the seams. When youre dealing with millions of lines of computer code that will be subjected to daily use by users around the world, fine-tuning can take time in this case, more than we anticipated. We decided to delay the launch of BlackBerry 10 to give us ample time to integrate software, test, and polish the final product.
    These are (I think) what everyone has been worried about and should have been said the day he announced the delay in BB10. I actually feel a little bit better about the whole situation.

    Very awesome he did this too.
    Knightcrawler likes this.
    07-06-12 03:26 PM
  6. dbollman423's Avatar
    Excellent communication from Mr. Heins. I have always thought that he will create a lot of value for BlackBerry users, investors and afficionados.
    07-06-12 03:40 PM
  7. RJB55's Avatar
    A very good move on Mr. Heins part. Silence about what's happening with BB10 and RIM in general only feeds the fires of the rumor mill and ramps up the FUD surrounding the company and its products.
    07-06-12 03:41 PM
  8. kingbernie06511's Avatar
    thanks TH, we love u!
    07-06-12 03:42 PM
  9. bbmme's Avatar
    Personally, this is what blackberry supporters needed eh. Can't wait for bb10 to come out.
    07-06-12 03:45 PM
  10. .pinkberry's Avatar
    A written Q&A was a great idea. With time to think about his wording, he answered these questions much better than he did last week when he was put on the spot.
    drjay868, spike12 and Blacklatino like this.
    07-06-12 03:46 PM
  11. hpjrt's Avatar
    I admire Mr. Heins' direct approach with these questions. I'm not sure that there are many CEOs who would respond so openly. I hope that Globe and Mail readers (and Crackberry members) are reassured by this Q & A.
    07-06-12 03:50 PM
  12. BallRockReaper's Avatar
    Confirmed and signed

    I feel a little bit better now.
    Hoping we will see some new features about how bb10 really works soon.
    It could be the help to understand what Thorstens means with new fusion of communication.
    It would be interesting to read what he means with videochat. Would it also be limited like on playbook now?

    Another important question is if it will be nescessary to have a blackberry dataplan to fully use a blackberry.

    Sent from my incredible unbelieveable BlackBerry Torch 9860 using Schlabbatalk
    07-06-12 03:56 PM
  13. anon1727506's Avatar
    "These aren't the droid you are looking for..."
    Knightcrawler likes this.
    07-06-12 04:01 PM
  14. bk1022's Avatar
    As expected, Thorsten confirmed that the delay is not with QNX, but rather the UI and platform apps. Of course he implied the experience was unsatisfactory, while clearly the truth is the platform layer is incomplete. He should have felt comfortable saying that. Wouldn't it have garnered him some much needed credibility that would encourage people to stay with BB until end of March?

    Also, I am a bit disappointed he didn't really answer some of the more challenging questions but instead substituted his own question and gave an easier answer. For example he wouldn't commit to the new deadline.

    Also Q#6 gave him an opening to talk about a tradeup program, but he did not, which to me means there ain't one.

    His answer to Q#3 was a missed opportunity to say it like it is: use other enterprise software at your own risk... You'll be hacked by foreign actors including governments, and it will be your fault if the cost is large.

    Finally, I wish he could mention in concrete terms one important characteristic of the new phones that will bar-none exceed expectations. Most likely the UI from TAT coupled with the smoothness of QNX is where to start here. At some point he needs to impress the geeks. They are going to blog about it. You have to get them excited. Let the bloggers dumb it down to layman's terms. Instead he is very abstract. He did not mention any specific thing about the BB10 phones you want. He did mention NFC but did not expand on potential practical near term uses.

    I hope he continues with his forthrightness and gets trained on giving more exciting responses.
    07-06-12 04:08 PM
  15. GTiLeo's Avatar
    the hype is out there abotu QNX and its abilities, the geeks will more then likely buy the device just out of curiousity and to compare the UI and quickness agains androids and iOS.

    where RIM needs to do the convicing is the mindless consumers that follow the trends and listen to what other people tell them about a product. apple is know as the ferrari of the mobile devices there might be other products out there that can compare to it but the talk behind it is what makes people think it is the head of the field and the best thing since sliced bread
    07-06-12 04:22 PM
  16. Shlooky's Avatar
    I remain skeptical, he keeps reiterating the same stuff. I'm pretty sure if he was asked those question 5 months ago, the same response would have been given with end of 3rd or 4th qtr 2012.

    I'll take anything that comes from RIM with a grain of salt until I see an actual product, then I will reflect back and say, they delivered.
    ccbs and bk1022 like this.
    07-06-12 04:38 PM
  17. dandbj13's Avatar
    I'm still stuck on the answer he gave about the delay. I'm more confused than ever. Every time RIM gives a reason for the delay, it is always something a little bit different. The way he describes it here, things are basically done. It could just use a bit more polish. He also seems to dump some of the blame on third parties who are not quite getting their work completed satisfactorily.

    He also mentioned this vague, but broad idea of fundamental changes in the way we do mobile. This does not sit well from a company that has shown us nothing more than a licensed on-screen keyboard and camera app. There have been some thinly veiled references to NFC, but if he is think that no one has ever heard of that, or integrated that into a phone, he has an unpleasant surprise ahead of him.

    If he wants to convince anyone that he is revolutionizing anything, he had better get a working demo of something a lot more interesting than what he's shown. I find that companies that actually have something revolutionary don't talk about it; they just do it. The first bad sign is when a company talks for more than half a year about how they are about to blow you away.
    Shlooky, bk1022 and lawguyman like this.
    07-06-12 04:39 PM
  18. Shlooky's Avatar
    I'm still stuck on the answer he gave about the delay. I'm more confused than ever. Every time RIM gives a reason for the delay, it is always something a little bit different. The way he describes it here, things are basically done. It could just use a bit more polish. He also seems to dump some of the blame on third parties who are not quite getting their work completed satisfactorily.

    He also mentioned this vague, but broad idea of fundamental changes in the way we do mobile. This does not sit well from a company that has shown us nothing more than a licensed on-screen keyboard and camera app. There have been some thinly veiled references to NFC, but if he is think that no one has ever heard of that, or integrated that into a phone, he has an unpleasant surprise ahead of him.

    If he wants to convince anyone that he is revolutionizing anything, he had better get a working demo of something a lot more interesting than what he's shown. I find that companies that actually have something revolutionary don't talk about it; they just do it. The first bad sign is when a company talks for more than half a year about how they are about to blow you away.
    I completely agree, that's why I am skeptical about his whole message. It's almost like he's oblivious to what Google, Apple or Microsoft are doing. How different and revolutionary will BB10 be that will blow people away at first sight? What will be sooo significant that will make people drop their iPhones and Androids and run straight to the BB store to pick up a BB10 device? I personally don't see many changes to how we do business today on BB5,6 7 or any other platform. An e-mail client will always be just that unless he does the PB style of integration with Facebook, Twitter and others, but is that enough to attract people?
    And he keeps saying we are building an entirely new platform, ok fine, but people need to see phones. Bring them out and hype them.
    07-06-12 04:52 PM
  19. rickbansal's Avatar
    By delaying this thing for soooo long now and by insisting that BB10 will change the way mobile computing is done, he has set the bar and expectations so high that BB10 is likely to be failure and not because it won't be good but because it will never be able to meet expectations.

    Everyone knows the secret to success is under promise and over deliver; however, RIM's taken the complete opposite approach the past few years.

    I'm even more saddened now. All that can save BB10 is a partnership with Amazon.
    lawguyman likes this.
    07-06-12 05:13 PM
  20. tchocky77's Avatar
    .... i'm not as narrow minded as the rest of north america, i don't need the convincing i'm already sold
    It's not narrow minded. It's just paying attention. RIM has blown every release date for more than a year. As the guy points out in his question.
    07-06-12 05:19 PM
  21. sf49ers's Avatar
    By delaying this thing for soooo long now and by insisting that BB10 will change the way mobile computing is done, he has set the bar and expectations so high that BB10 is likely to be failure and not because it won't be good but because it will never be able to meet expectations.

    Everyone knows the secret to success is under promise and over deliver; however, RIM's taken the complete opposite approach the past few years.

    I'm even more saddened now. All that can save BB10 is a partnership with Amazon.
    what if it really is. the point Heins is trying to make is BB10 will offer all that IOS or Android is offering but in a more systematic and optimized manner and at the sametime adding few things which are exclusive to the nature of QNX - multitasking, mobile flash, speed, security etc

    will peoples expectations not meet if it can:

    • play a video over wifi on my TV while I continue talking/BBMing on it or play a game on it
    • offer a beautiful UI and wow people with butter smooth responsiveness
    • awesome integration with it's peripherals
    • offer robust security
    • offer integrated applications framework
    • offer best in class communications experience
    • offer best in class gaming experience
    • offer best in class video chat client
    • offer best in class cloud platform
    • offer best in class cameras and photography suite
    • offer best in class browser
    • share photos, videos among the users seamlessly over wifi or using NFC
    Last edited by sf49ers; 07-06-12 at 05:34 PM.
    07-06-12 05:27 PM
  22. PedroBorgas's Avatar
    Sometimes words are enough. I hope this is one of those cases. I would be very important to release it in the last quarter of this year, to gain share of the Xmas sales...

    Hope its worth it

    Sent using my fingers and my phone working in sintony!
    07-06-12 05:31 PM
  23. rickbansal's Avatar
    what if it really is.

    will peoples expectations not meet if it can:

    • play a video over wifi while I continue talking/BBMing on it or play game
    • offer a beautiful UI and wow people with butter smooth responsiveness
    • awesome integration with it's peripherals
    • offer robust security
    • integrated applications framework
    • best in class communications experience
    • a best in class video chat client
    • a best in class cloud platform
    • a best in class cameras and photography suite
    • a best in class browser
    • share photos, videos among the users seamlessly over wifi or using NFC

    Outside of maybe security, what else is so earth shattering in your list that BB10 will be perceived to be (much) better than iOS or Android or even Windows 8?

    Remember, both Apple and Google are still developing as well. They aren't sitting idle just waiting for RIM to overtake them. What will be released by RIM in 9 months will be competing with hardware and software that will have have evolved for 9 additional months.

    Look, all I want is for BB10 platform to have a chance to compete but there is now way that it can with RIM being independent. They will need a partner who will provide the market's with enough confidence to allow BB10 the time it needs to seed and flourish.
    Knightcrawler likes this.
    07-06-12 05:36 PM
  24. bigbadben10's Avatar
    He is laying the ground work by doing this. This will build a nice wave of support, outside the analysts that say the company is done.

    We are going to see more of this on the run-up to the release of BB10. I laugh at the people that say he should be fired. The man just got in the saddle, give him time to mold the company into something new and defining. I think the integration that he talks about will be ground breaking. Just you wait and see.
    07-06-12 05:39 PM
  25. sf49ers's Avatar
    Outside of maybe security, what else is so earth shattering in your list that BB10 will be perceived to be (much) better than iOS or Android or even Windows 8?

    Remember, both Apple and Google are still developing as well. They aren't sitting idle just waiting for RIM to overtake them. What will be released by RIM in 9 months will be competing with hardware and software that will have have evolved for 9 additional months.

    Look, all I want is for BB10 platform to have a chance to compete but there is now way that it can with RIM being independent. They will need a partner who will provide the market's with enough confidence to allow BB10 the time it needs to seed and flourish.
    What amazing improvements have you seen in IOS 6.0 or Android 4.1 - all have been incremental updates. The point Heins is trying to make is BB10 will offer all that IOS or Android is offering but in a more systematic and optimized manner and at the sametime adding few things which are exclusive to the nature of QNX - multitasking, best in class browsing/flash/html5, speed, security etc. I will not be surprised If BB10 has features set to compete IOS 7.0 or Android 5.0. And about the ecosystem it is not far off when most percentage of devs will starting developing in HTML5, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 are heavily banking on HTML5 as well. We will see whether RIM's evolves has a powerful entity or gets eaten up by a shark
    07-06-12 05:48 PM
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