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BlackBerry CEO Says Axing BlackBerry 10 on PlayBook "Was a very tough decision to make"


There has been quite a bit of fanfare about BlackBerry breaking their promise of bringing BlackBerry 10 to the PlayBook. My buddy Kevin went to the Annual Shareholders Meeting and had a chance to talk to BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins about the issue and how much it has hurt BlackBerrys reputation. In short it confirms what we already assumed about BlackBerry 10 not being a good experience on the PlayBook even when pared down.

Here is what he told CrackBerry when pushed on the issue:

“That was a very tough decision to make. I could have done it, but you would have loads of comments on your site – ‘How can Thorsten allow such a crappy product to be launched?’ … It was one of the toughest decisions I had to make because I knew I would break a commitment, but I also made a commitment to quality before that. … I can’t take the hardware back and provide them with 2 GB hardware. I can’t exchange the part – there’s no way to do this… I stand by the decision, as tough as it is. I apologize to the users that I couldn’t get it done. What I did I did because I want them to have a quality experience with BlackBerry 10.”

Sadly BlackBerry did not plan for this scenario with a conciliation of any sort or damage control messaging. Thankfully they are considering some sort of loyalty reward for PlayBook owners. Its just a wonder that they had such a disastrous announcement of this letdown for PlayBook owners.

If this was such a “tough decision to make” why was the announcement of the decision such a fiasco?

27 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Thorsten, here’s how you fix this:

    * Provide BBM and improved performance on PlayBook 2.x.
    * Build a new BB10 PlayBook to be released Q4/2014.

    Saying you’re sorry for not releasing BB10 on the current PlayBook as planned is okay, but it wasn’t handled well.

    Instead, taking action to solve the real problem is better for consumers and for the company. So far, no action has been taken to address consumer concerns.

    Still do not know why BlackBerry thought the PlayBook would be an overwhelming success without BBM! BlackBerry and BBM go hand in hand. It would certainly be strange to see BBM on an Android and iPhone but not on the PlayBook.

    • I get the feeling Thorstein wants to put the Tablet business on hold in order to focus on the smartphone market to regain market share.

  2. Ive been a loyal Playbook consumer from the day it was launched. I spent 700.00 for mine from a local Office Depot in the Washington DC metro area. Needless to say I was some what pleased until I found out it was half baked from the start and tolerated what I could use, or what was available until a said so date would come around to update. I am very disappointed with this news but I also understand why in terms of quality experience. I think that should have been thought of before it was built especially knowing Blackberry was at least 2 years behind on hardware at that time. However, we did get the short end of the stick. Knowing that this is the case, im interested in knowing what this loyalty reward program entails. Just as a side note Iam also a z10 owner still running the original OS experiencing occasional reboots, contact issues, BB Remember deletions, android app download errors and cant download some of the latest apps because its for 10.1. Verizon will not release the update obviously because of an issue. So as you can see Ive been cut deep twice. What do you propose for me and people like myself with such dedication and patience while getting shafted. My suggestion is to give a free upgrade to the A10 right before its availability to the public. I think that would more than satisfy the average dedicated BB user in this situation, as least I can speak for myself. Thorsten, if you really want to make good on the letdowns and what appears to be such a “Fiasco”, it would be nice to take this request into consideration.

    Thank you.

    A Loyal Blackberry Fan

  3. I’ve owned a PB for over a year and thought recently, with a BB10 upgrade, it would blend nicely with a Q10. Yesterday I purchased a Q10. Today found out there will be No BB10 on PB, and no mention of ever seeing a BB10 tablet. Maybe I ought to switch to another manufacturer before it’s too late.

    • Yeah it’s sad they could not pull it together. On the other hand they really need to double down on their phones. They need a blow your mind experience rather than spreading “ok” experiences.

    • Switch now so that you can experience the mediocrity of the platforms that wish they were as good as BlackBerry, as well as the customer experience that goes along with dealing with those companies (“No Bluetooth pairing with other phones without jailbeaking and buying an App for that? That’s not a shortcoming, that’s a feature! Here have a $5 Itunes coupon….”), that way, the sooner you switch away, the sooner you will switch back…

  4. I bought a Blackberry phone and was elated when they offered the PB, even more so. When I heard about the upgrade to 10
    I guess it’s time to give the phone and PB to the grands and breakdown and get an iphone and pad. Gonna really miss my PB sincere it goes EVERYWHERE I go.

  5. First you make an os similar to android and ios , totally under mind what blackberry is. You took away what made the PlayBook os anything and called it a z10.
    Look give us a really blackberry also. I like the os7. Theres a lot of stuff that we could do in that os that ios or android can’t. Why change it!
    Some cell phone like HTC has windows base and android base.
    BlackBerry your bb10 is like an android. Now give us back a blackberry os on a new phone.

  6. Nodding my head in agreement, especially with PN & Samm. “That was a very tough decision to make…” Heins- a tough decision is when loyal fans choose to stay loyal to the BB brand, pluck down a lot of money for a wonderful piece of hardware running QNX in hopes that your company can stay true to their word. That’s a tough decision, especially with so many tablet options out there. And in the beginning they were not cheap.
    Tougher still is waiting and waiting and waiting-for Verizon to upgrade the Z10 OS (yep I bought one), for the PB OS10 that will never come, for BB to finally get their product roll out/delivery right.
    So Heins, where do we go from here? Are we all stuck with an abandoned tablet frozen in time w/OS2.something? Another potentially fabulous BB device crippled by so so OS or lack of support?
    Today, with your cavalier news of a “tough decision”, I feel betrayed by you & BB. My only recourse is to stop allowing myself to be in this situation. I work in the middle of Silicon Valley. I’m surrounded by Apple and Droid products everywhere. Even my company switched from BB cell phones and started using iPads in all conference rooms, but I stayed the course. Now I feel like a fool.
    -Pissed and frustrated

  7. Over 11 years with Blackberry and Playbook. I’m over it. Giving my 5 YO grandson the PB to play with. Got a new G4. Goodbye BB.

    Rick (once a loyal user, continued disappointments)

    • The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. 6 months from now you will be having similar disappointments but they will be from . Difference is when they have something sh*tty to decide, they will sell it to you as a feature…

    • After using my wife’s White Z10 I felt like trashing my G4 ASAP. About a weeks later, I did. Going from Android to BB10 is like going from a Honda Civic to a Ferrari.
      BB10 is quite simply brilliant but with real bad marketing and BBRY bewildered desicions.

  8. I got myself a BB Playbook and was initially impressed, hoping that upgrades to the OS would bring better Facebook experience and also Skype.
    Now are they pulling the plug on the PB???
    If so, then this nice piece of hardware needs to be running android, or it’s just a paperweight.

    • LOL, don’t insult the PlayBook by running Android. PB2.0 is superior than Android. BBRY will continue to update the PB, but will be slow as it’s not on the high priority list of things to do anymore.
      PB continues to receive strong app support so it’s still a great buy if you can find one.

  9. I fully agree with bbfanboi and other posters. BB10 on the PlayBook cancelation was fine, but handled poorly.

    PB2.0 gives users a much better experience versus both IOS and Android by far.

    BBRY should have announced no BB10 for PlayBook due to u foreseen circumstances, but will continue to provide minor OS updates with a planned OS overhaul update to PlayBook 3.0 that will resolve many current issues.

    By doing so, it would have GREATLY lessened the negativity regarding NO BB10 via PB.

    So now BBRY pissed off over 2.9M PlayBook owners world wide, by a complete nonsense PRICE.
    We are talking about 3+M potential BB10 device buyers.

  10. ‘PB continues to receive strong app support’
    I think we have to be realistic when we talk about the Playbook and aps.
    Lack of a Skype ap and weak Facebook, are two glaring omissions that are not OS issues.
    However great the current Playbook OS is in use, it is not the issue.
    It’s all about the aps..
    That’s why I would prefer to see Android and the Android market available for my Playbook.

  11. You mean side load Android Apps via PlayBook. Agreed. Though BlackBerry World currently has what will need excluding Netflix. Now if I can load up Google Chrome would be great.

  12. I side loaded Skype, and it doesn’t work, so as nice as it is to swish around and use the really great browser, the Playbook sits gathering dust as I can’t take it anywhere without Skype.

    The aps on Blackberry world are not useful, to say the least.

  13. @ RP Singh: Yes, would love to. It is in the UK atm, and I have BB charger/stand and original BB cover. It’s about 8 months old, 64Gb.

    • Allright, well, I am not in the UK at the moment, and the earliest I expect I might visit again would be Spring of 2014… if you haven’t sold it by then I would still be interested, if I myself haven’t already found one by then where I live. Would you be able to estimate total cost for me (in UK Pounds is fine) inclusive of shipping to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada?

  14. I will not buy any more blackberry devices, coz I don’t know if they will support the device after 1 or two years.

    I bought my playbook, even when i knew lot many apps wont work in it thinking that an upgrade will come and it will solve the issue.

    Now there no upgrade and they ditch the product.

    You never know when they will do the same to Z10 or any another OS10 products they have now.

    • I’ve seen articles about BlackBerry not implementing OS10 on PlayBook but I must have missed the one(s) about BlackBerry no longer supporting PlayBook. Where / when was that announced?

  15. It’s was just a scam to sale An Inferior product. I’m taking my BlackBerry to the firing range this weekend and buying an apple iPad

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