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BlackBerry is NOT DEAD

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Remember this“The RIM we know is dead.  The company has 12 to 15 months until it’s either acquired, or broken into pieces and sold for parts.  I’m not even sure why the company still plans to launch BlackBerry 10 smartphones at this point.”


Do you all remember that gem of a statement when it was made?  On March 30, 2012, those statements were made by Johnathan S. Geller of BGR. 1 Year ago.

In this article Mr. Geller goes on to site his “senior source.”  He writes a whole paragraph on how RIM was going to ditch system access fees for BBOS devices for all carriers to drive sales of BB7 devices.  That never happened.  At least not for BBOS devices.  This “senior source” said BB10 would be the “definition of a 1.0 operating system – it can not compete.”  This has clearly been shown to be wrong.  BB10 has been anything but the definition of a 1.0 operating system and it clearly CAN compete. With now over 100 000 apps and a solid stable OS, with new innovative features, it is the most impressive 1.0 offering to date.

The “senior source” goes on to say ,“Take on Windows Phone and negotiate with Microsoft.  You need BBM on Windows Phone…”  this line one year later, with the results of Windows Phone 8 in hand, is too hilarious to comment on.

Looking back at his article and his “senior source” it makes me truly wonder who this source was.  How could he be SO wrong on SO many things?

For me the article from which the above quotes came was the pinnacle of over a year of bashing by not only the mainstream media but the tech blog media as a whole.  Yes, I am using Mr. Gellar as a whipping boy of sorts, but it wasn’t just him.  I could never quite get around why the media was so intent on squashing RIM.  People like Mr. Geller seemed to have a personal vendetta against RIM.  What did RIM do to him to make him and these other bloggers so ruthless with his personal attacks?  The attacks to the BlackBerry brand didn’t stop with that article; however, for me, the article was a time of rock bottom for the BlackBerry fan.

What a difference a year makes.

Just a few days ago BlackBerry announced their 4th quarter earnings and they clearly showed a company that is NOT DEAD, but a company in solid financial footing with an amazing product on the market.  The comeback is well underway.

When the article by BGR was written 1 year ago, I made sure to bookmark a notice in my calendar for 1 year in the future.  At that time Thorsten Heins was still very new as the new CEO and BlackBerry 10 was still a far away idea, but, the true members of Team BlackBerry had faith.  Many, if not most, didn’t share our enthusiasm or positive long term outlook on the then RIM, now BlackBerry.   What we saw, and many didn’t, were changes happening.  You could see that the “new” RIM was getting it.  They were making the corrections that needed to be done.  Not only that, but, you could tell there was a growing underdog spirit within the halls of RIM.  Most of all, you could see the passion that the employees of RIM/BlackBerry had and continue to have today.

When you take a step back and look at what RIM/BlackBerry has accomplished in the last year, it truly is amazing.  I truly commend the employees of BlackBerry.  Their hard work, passion, and dedication has not only made BB10/Z10 a solid product, but, has laid the foundation for the future of BlackBerry.  They have my utmost respect.  Dealing with the media over the last almost 2 years has been tough. GOOD WORK.  THANK YOU!

Many people scoff at the idea of people, like myself, taking “sides” in the mobile tech industry; BlackBerry vs iPhone vs Windows Phone vs Android.  The thing is, it does seem that many in the media have already picked a side, so why can’t I?  I am a proud card carrying member of Team BlackBerry and I cannot wait to see where we are 1 year from today! Sure some things are uncertain at the moment and BlackBerry is on the early stages of making a comeback with a great product and more to come from their line up. Sentiment towards BlackBerry is beginning to change, and I’d say they have a solid chance to make BlackBerry 10 a success.

PS: Seems Mr. Geller was right about one thing about RIM in a way, the name is sort of dead, since the company was re-branded as BlackBerry.  :)


22 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. When I saw that prediction, I just assumed it was another amateur analyst, that would be proven wrong. In general, it’s safer to assume that something will not happen, if it has been predicted.
    And given all the current negative talk about blackberry – the state of the company must be good. :)

  2. this article deserves at least 1000 retweets. Boy genius is a iCock sucker and i said this on one of his BB hate articles and stopped visiting that site. Anyway, this article made my day and 2013 is already the year of Comeback for BBRY.

    Proud #TeamBlackBerry member

  3. Still rocking my Storm 2 :) We won’t fade away I tell you.

  4. I’ve been rocking BlackBerry for 7 years now and it was articles like this one from BGR that transformed me from a simple user to a BlackBerry Fanboy. I look forward to the 2nd annual follow up article.

  5. BGR is a joke and his predictions are always out there and wrong.

    I’m sure he will never mention this article again. He was probably buying RIMM stock at $7 when he was writing the article.

  6. Just goes to show that the hype about rumours of a premature demise of a big market player are almost always greatly exaggerated.

  7. COSTCO has the BB10 for $149 on VZW.

  8. BBA Brian – great article.
    I never for one second thought BlackBerry was dead.
    It was clear from the moment Thor took over that things had changed in a very dynamic way.
    As for Mr. Geller, he reminds me of the famous “psychic” of the same name who was exposed as a fraud.
    Boy,yes. Genius, no.
    I give him no clicks.
    He is dead to me.
    Berry Review – 1st class!


    • it is very interesting how little breaking news or leaks that BGR does these days.

      I think its growing increasingly clear that his contacts have gone

  9. BGR or not. that picture is hysterical.

    (long time listener, first time caller)

  10. Here is an article about a CBS reporter who uses an older BlackBerry to et sccops. Mabye she will be buying the Z10.

  11. Brian, great article!!

  12. OK, I’ll bite…

    First, we still have a couple of months to wait to see if the company or part of it gets acquired 😉

    Regarding access fees, they were probably looking at the whole picture a year ago and ultimately decided to keep the fees for legacy devices. Projects get cancelled all the time. Maybe BlackBerry backtracked on this particular topic. I, for one, hate the fact that BIS is gone. They could have introduced smart routing, where the user decides what uses BIS and what doesn’t.

    BB10 feels like a 1.0 OS. There are some great ideas, but execution isn’t perfect and it’s not finished yet. It even has some serious stability bugs which force developers to remove their app from the store until BB can get its act together. This release was rushed to meet the deadline and to create a smoke screen while they try to come up with a better OS, more devices and more apps.
    Having said that, it can compete, but it appeals to a limited audience due to its unfinished state and lack of apps.

    Speaking of apps, that 100k number is meaningless when you look at the quality of apps being released. It’s probably not worse than on other platforms, but there, they do have the apps that people want to make up for it. BB World doesn’t necessarily, not yet.

    It could have been a smart move to find synergies with Microsoft, like licensing BIS and all the services on top. I’m sure they’ve crunched the number, but with Microsoft already being in bed with Nokia, this probably wasn’t easy to pitch.

    So, while I agree with you about the tone and the bashing, I don’t think those articles were all baseless.

    My take is that some tech journalists were just experiencing shadenfreude, feeling all so powerful because they had the geekiest gadgets which they could show off at conventions. It made them feel they had the right to stomp on the weak. Others simply had a passionate relationship with BlackBerry and it just hurts that much more when something you feel so strongly about goes all wrong.

    So, yes, BlackBerry is not dead and they’ve introduced a lot of positive change, especially around the OS itself, but they’re still far behind in terms of app store (quality apps, management/validation, features) and they need to improve that at a much faster rate if they want to be able to offer more quality apps and attract start-ups. Finishing their OS before the Summer would be great as well 😉

    • 1. Regarding the access fees. You are right, but, BGR should have known this, but, decided to use it as ammo in his hit piece. Thats the point
      2. Serious stability bugs? Haven’t heard any complaints remotely indicating that. You are the only person I have seen say something to that effect. I am by no means saying that BB10 is as fleshed out as iOS, or Android, or even BBOS, what I am saying is that its NOT the “definition” of a 1st gen OS. I would call it a 1.9 OS. Not quite on the level of a 2.0, but, definitely not a full on 1.0
      3. The app issue is also part of the “definition of a 1.0 OS” issue. Having 100 000 apps which include many (not all) big name apps, is not in the “definition” of a 1.0 OS. I am not saying the catalogue is perfect. Just not the “definition of a 1.0 OS”
      4. There is no way being on WP would do anything remotely ground breaking for Blackberry

  13. 1. They listened to that “senior source” who gave them what he had. You go with what you have to write your article. they had no reason to not trust that source apparently.
    2. See for yourself:

    And a smartphone OS which doesn’t support headless/background apps in 2013 is a 0.9 version ;).

    3. I’ll give you that since BlackBerry was smart enough to have included an Android player. Remove that and the 90% crap native apps and you have a fairly small catalogue, the kind you find on a 1.0 OS.

    4. It would simply consolidate BlackBerry’s position as a serious service provider, focused on security.

    To me it still feels like a 1.0 OS, but it’s moving forward quite quickly, so maybe we will reach 2.0 before the end of the year 😉

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