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  • BlackBerry Has One Last Chance  [View article]
    Redrut, whilst I would agree that the availability of top notch business, banking and media apps needs improving, I disagree with a lot of your other comments.

    There have been 3 software updates since the Z10 was released in January. Any freezing or locking should largely have been addressed.

    Battery life is comparable with BBRY's competitors' products and the excellent battery charger bundle accessory enables users to carry a spare battery during the day and charge the spare and the battery in the phone overnight. Try doing that with an iPhone.

    There are NFC-compatible apps on Blackberry World and indeed BBRY released an app called Smart Tags on 26 April 2013. A rudimentary search for NFC in BlackBerry World will confirm this.

    What you refer to as 'NFC drivvle' is a powerful technology that will become one of the leading mobile payment gateways in the next few years. The transport network in London has been transformed by the adoption of the NFC-driven Oyster card and the technology is deployed in credit and debit cards, for use in an ever increasing network of retail outlets for sub £10 purchases. In time, I believe that threshold will be raised.

    Whilst technically Google were first to market, BBRY were first to use NFC properly and have now been joined by Samsung with the Galaxy S4; rumours abound that the iPhone 6 will be NFC-enabled.

    Concerning Microsoft; that behemoth is leveraging its desktop OS dominance and the rise in Office 365 adoption, to drive Windows Phone sales. Office 365 has been priced cleverly to attract users to a cloud-based subscription model and with the inclusion (dependent upon plan) of Skype, Yammer, Sharepoint, Lync and other technologies, the opportunity to access these items from your phone is understandably attractive to those who are seeking to maximise return on financial outlay, especially small business owners like myself. Convergence is a compelling theme these days.

    If I was not an ardent BBRY fan, I might be looking at a Windows phone myself. BBRY cannot play that game and so must seek other avenues for differentiation.

    If BBRY lands the BBM deal with Visa, that will be huge. M-commerce is flourishing in emerging markets, particularly in Africa; if BBRY can get this right, the firm will be sitting on a goldmine. The biggest mobile telecoms growth story in the next 15-20 years lies in Africa and Asia, not North America.

    The point is that the firm is steering BBM away from being viewed as just another messaging platform to become an essential piece of mobile real estate. It takes true vision to see that; beyond that the team needs to execute, execute, execute.

    Ziffster, nice article.
    Jul 2, 2013. 07:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Has One Last Chance  [View article]
    Redrut, whilst I would agree that there are apps from a number of great content providers that have not made it to BB10 as yet, I query the accuracy of some of your other pronouncements.

    There have been 3 software updates for the Z10 this year; any issues with freezing and locking should largely have been addressed already.

    Battery life compares well to competitors' devices and unlike the iPhone, you are actually able to swap out your battery. The excellent travel battery charger that enables you to charge a spare battery and the battery inside the phone overnight, via the connections, is an excellent innovation. There is no excuse for not having sufficient charge to get you through the day.

    There are a number of NFC-compatible apps in Blackberry World, most notably Smart Tags, which was created by BlackBerry and was released on 26 April 2013. What you describe as NFC drivvle is in fact a leading edge technology, which BlackBerry's competitors have scrambled to adopt and will become a pre-eminent mobile small payments gateway in the next few years.

    In the UK, NFC is what drives the Oyster card (travel card for public transport) and is deployed on several debit and credit cards for the purpose of retail purchases up to £10.

    The Z10 probably was not the phone for you as, on the basis of your commentary, you do not strike me as being a comfortable early adopter. For similar reasons, the A10 will likely not be a fit either.

    If BlackBerry does pull off a deal with Visa on BBM, that will be a masterstroke.
    Jul 2, 2013. 07:24 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Heins' Mobile End Computing Vision Comes To An End; So Must He  [View article]
    Drama much? Whilst I would agree that there are elements of BBRY's strategy and execution that need rework, I also think that you have allowed yourself to get swept up in the tsunami of hysterical criticism that surrounds the firm.

    I did not buy the Z10 due to BBM; I am a longtime BB user who had previously bought an iPhone 4 on the side and subsequently binned it due to frustration at the Kafkaesque ecosystem. Android was never a serious consideration for me.

    I retained my Curve and waited for the day when BB would release a stylish, touchscreen phone. In fact, I have used BBM more in the last 3 months than I did in the prior 5 years. Gotta keep the NSA busy, right?

    I was not disappointed. Great phone; greater OS and hype-free.

    It is a shame that in terms of apps, I cannot access online banking with HSBC and Barclays or access select content from Bloomberg because those firms have not deigned to support BB10 as yet; transfixed as they are by the iOS and Android avatars.

    However, I remain resolute and eagerly await the A10 which I will upgrade to later in the year.

    Granted, Thorstein is not a natural with the media; he definitely needs more coaching and should delegate more 'airtime' to a savvy, marketing type. Personally, I have time for someone who is not just another super-slick salesman and has serious tech legacy.

    BB has not leveraged the Creative Director effectively. No use signing up Alicia Keys just to promote her music; make her work for the brand. Create a real tribe of influential BB proponents who will sell the story via music, art, tech media, financial media, broasdheets, tabloids, blogs, etc.

    Why the firm is not harnessing the great QNX story intensely, I do not know. Far few people know how ubiquitous QNX is in the automotive, telecoms, medical, defence and industrial sectors. If they did, BB would gain greater traction.

    The truth is that BB needs to pivot and quickly. Using Lean strategy, pull out the business model canvas and start tweaking. Make adjustments and test the market. Fail fast and adapt. Again and again.

    The hordes of people that lie prostrate at the Apple altar are either too young or too amnesiac to remember how Apple tanked, was on the brink of bankruptcy and was bailed out by...drum roll....Microsoft. Apple has faced dark times in the past; how soon people forget.

    Thorstein, if you are reading this, leverage your most valuable assets ruthlessly!

    Michael, try not to be so emotional. You are better than this.
    Jul 1, 2013. 02:03 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Messenger is coming to iOS and Android this summer, BlackBerry (BBRY -4.5%) announces at Live (webcast). Had this move been made 2-3 years ago, BlackBerry would've had a shot at dominating a giant mobile IM market. But now, it faces intense competition from the likes of WhatsApp, Kik, Viber, and Facebook Messenger, many of whom have 100M+ users. Nonetheless, an installed base of 60M users gives BBM a chance to make some headway. BlackBerry is also launching BBM Channels, a platform for connecting to brands and celebrities, and Thorsten Heins promises the iOS/Android versions of BBM will eventually support VoIP and screen sharing.  [View news story]
    The Z10 has ActiveSync so you should have no problem syncing with Outlook. Facts, not fiction please.
    May 14, 2013. 05:41 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment