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Blackberry Android

BlackBerry Really Struggling In Android Market (cnet.com) 92

Once an icon in the smartphone business, BlackBerry is having a hard time transitioning to Android. According to a report on CNET, the company's BlackBerry Priv Android smartphone, citing a high-level executive at AT&T, is really struggling. From the report: AT&T offered a more detailed account of why the Priv has disappointed. BlackBerry and the carrier expected to see demand for an Android phone with a physical keyboard. Instead, most of the buyers were BlackBerry loyalists, the executive said. Those faithful, however, struggled with the transition from the BlackBerry operating system to the Android operating system, leading to a higher-than-expected rate of return. BlackBerry's decision to market the phone as a high-end device also hurt its prospects, the executive said. The Priv initially sold unlocked for $699, above the starting price of the iPhone 6S, which sells for $650. Few premium phones have fared well beyond devices from Apple and Samsung.
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BlackBerry Really Struggling In Android Market

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  • A lot of people think Nokia should have produced an Android smartphone rather than going with Microsoft. I think this shows that wouldn't have worked. Blackberry also failed with their own operating system, so not sure where this leaves them.
    • by Altus ( 1034 )

      I get where you are coming from but unlike Blackberry I do wonder if Nokia had the design chops to compete. Blackberry made awful phones with stupid keyboards that were hard to use. They were successful for a time because they were the only game in town when it came to a "smart" phone, but they got their ass handed to them when someone (apple) came along and made a real, modern smart phone that was fun and easy to use and gave a mobile web experience that was more on par with a desktop than anything that

      • Nokia made some good hardware and a lot of okay hardware (and rarely anything terrible), but you're missing the truly important part in the equation. They made a lot of inexpensive hardware, and that is what made them the market leader. That then gave them the economy of scale to maintain that position until the game changed and that market wanted something else.

        Looking at their issues bringing Maemo (eventually MeeGo and now Mer, which tells you something right there) to bear suggests that they had deep
        • by Altus ( 1034 )

          This is very true... but could they not have managed a cheeper phone than the competition, or a more bullet proof one for the same money? Its hard to say, they certainly had hardware talent.

          You are absolutely right about the whole internal OS thing, that was a mess and it does imply deeper problem but we never really got to see how deep those problems went. It could be that their arrogance would have been their downfall just like it was with blackberry... The fact that they tried to stick with their own O

          • by dbIII ( 701233 )
            Nokia was pushed.
            They were selling more phones than any other company on earth when Elop joined up. They had plenty of vision and a ridiculously large product range when Elop showed up.
            The "smartphone" focus, where for some reason they were seen as a failure despite being number two or three in that sector, is a distraction.


            It was a very blatant corporate raid for the purpose of driving down Nokia's price as a prelude to MS buying it out for the bits they wanted. Elop did not have the track history to b
        • by dbIII ( 701233 )
          Nokia owned Trolltech of qt fame, so they had some very experienced heavy hitters on the software side, and the slow development time of Maemo and MeeGo makes perfect sense when you consider the small number of staff on those projects. As an example one fairly inexperienced guy did the X Windows port on his own! Nokia never took those things seriously as a mainstream option. If they had taken android (or Maemo or MeeGo) seriously they could have poured in the resources used on the "feature phones" into i
      • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @03:57PM (#52270189) Homepage

        Blackberry made awful phones with stupid keyboards that were hard to use.

        I don't agree with this. Blackberry's messaging UI (the most important part to me) always made more sense to me than the smartphones that made you dig all over the place for email, SMS, other email, notifications, etc. Nothing could be easier. And the keyboards were good. Lots of people swore by them. Not as many people bought the smaller form-factor phones with the abbreviated keyboards, so they probably didn't realize BlackBerry had some of the best predictive text on the market. There were three letters to a key and the device almost always knew which one I meant.

        Where BlackBerry's hardware started to look shoddy was in some of the later decisions they made. When they moved from the rocker-style switches to the trackballs, the trackballs were notoriously prone to failure. When they replaced them with the tiny trackpads, nobody really liked those (and they, too, would fail). Meanwhile they were trying to compete on volume by lowering prices, so the overall build quality decreased. Then they went on a tangent with some misguided ad campaign that seemed aimed at college students, rather than the professional and government users that had always been BlackBerry's core audience. By the time I finally bought an Android phone, it was because I just plain didn't see anything on the market from BlackBerry that I wanted to buy. It's almost like I didn't dump them, they dumped me.

    • It couldn't have been much worse than what did happen. Nokia was a very strong consumer brand, a high quality Nokia Android could've been a success. At least they'd have been in control of their own destiny instead of being tied to Microsoft's own failed efforts.

      • It couldn't have been much worse than what did happen. Nokia was a very strong consumer brand, a high quality Nokia Android could've been a success. At least they'd have been in control of their own destiny instead of being tied to Microsoft's own failed efforts.

        You obviously don't know the story. Nokia was so deeply in debt that they couldn't survive without the huge cash infusion from Microsoft. Nokia was very lucky there was a bigger idiot they could trick into buying the company, saving their creditor

        • Were they? Missed that one. You wouldn't happen to have a citation for that? 18 months without anything to sell probably did more damage than any poor decisions before that. They failed to learn from the mistakes of other mobile manufacturers when they got into bed with the great destroyer.

          • There's plenty out there if you look:

            http://seekingalpha.com/articl... [seekingalpha.com]

            • Did you even read the article. It talks about cash reserves not debt in 2012 and this is two years after Stephen Elop was hired. Had they stuck with Meego or gone Android who knows what would've happened. Instead Elop destroyed them with a succession of terrible decisions including cancelling smartphones that were selling well and not having a new product for 18 months at a time when the smartphone market was booming. Nokia was an incredibly strong consumer brand. A good CEO could've turned them around. Ins

              • Doesn't sound like you comprehended. Your stocks don't get downgraded to junk status if you've got lots of cash, and there's no problem repaying bonds (bond ARE DEBT, btw). Though it was a bit closer to the takeover date that their cash reserves really ran out. Like I said, there's plenty of info out there. But if you're determined to live in your fantasy world, I'm not going to try stopping you.

                • I'm not living in a fantasy world. Elop destroyed Nokia. It wasn't in that kind of trouble before he joined and started wrecking it. You clearly don't realise how popular Nokia phones were and how badly Elop and Microsoft ruined them. They might've died anyway but who knows. They're certainly gone now. Elop did his job too well.

    • It's all about timing. Nokia could have survived if they entered the Android market from the start.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      A lot of people think Nokia should have done something rather than being hollowed out by a Microsoft plant and then bought for far less than they used to make in profit per year just so that Microsoft could have a handset maker for winphone under their full control. The even more ridiculous thing is despite being driven down to a fire sale price the ruins of Nokia were still worth far less than MS paid for them.

      Android was one of the things seriously considered before Elop's "burning platform".
  • by drakaan ( 688386 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @03:06PM (#52269799) Homepage Journal
    The only problem that matters is that it's too expensive. WAY too expensive. Would I love to have a speedy android phone with a narrow-format blackberry-style physical keyboard? Yep. For over $600? You have to be kidding me. Maybe at $300 ($150 subsidized), I'd bite. I do hate onscreen keyboards, but not *that* much.
    • by drakaan ( 688386 )
      And Verizon is trying to sell them for $720???
    • Too expensive is the big problem but it's not the only one. Android has seen many attempts to sell devices with physical keyboard's, outside the ultra low end, where a keyboard can improve on a poor and small touchscreen, the market rejected them all.

      For all we claim to want them, on modern devices we don't need them and once that sinks in we choose the smaller, lighter version. I even carry a keyboard case with my tablet yet never bother using it as anything but a case and kickstand.

      Blackberry fulfilled a

      • by neminem ( 561346 )

        You don't technically *need* both a keyboard and a mouse on your computer, either (one can *technically* do everything the other can, just a heck of a lot slower). Slide-out keyboards are a lot more convenient for enough things that I really, truly don't understand the hate people have for them. I'm going to be really sad when I can no longer replace my slide-out phone with another one when it dies. It's not really that much smaller or lighter than it would be without it, and way smaller and way lighter tha

        • People far and wide are embracing their stupidity and incompetence. Everything should 'just work' without having to think about it. If they don't get it, it's the app's/device's fault. Not theirs. Never theirs.

          Shitty typing has always been around, but virtual keyboards have shifted the responsibility of outputting accurately spelled words to autocorrection mechanisms. Physical keyboards represent a threat to people who are incapable of typing something without 'autocorrect' looking over their shoulder and b

          • by dbIII ( 701233 )

            and there has never been a high-end Android landscape slider with a good physical keyboard. Never

            Which is why I still have a Nokia N900. Using ssh on a virtual keyboard on a touch screen is a pain.

    • Would I love to have a speedy android phone with a narrow-format blackberry-style physical keyboard? Yep.

      Those already exist. My Motorola XPRT is like that. It's also a world phone with two sim card slots.

      And there are several others. That market niche is already filled if you ask me.

      The problem with BlackBerry is that they're not really Android phones. Sure, they can run Android, but all the security features they have that prevent sharing outside of BBM, that prevent you from installing custom keyboards (assuming it's not your company phone), and the lack of official Google applications and APIs makes it mor

  • Is that blackberry spent 17 years being the most expensive phone on the planet until Apple, with the lowest quality handsets in the history of north american cellular communications, and the most unreliable corporate email integration since the advent of SMTP, only to emerge unaccountably as a player in the Android marketplace.

    at this point RIM is akin to a boardroom full of geriatrics huffing their own farts and insisting that a phone with only 23 million users in the world is somehow expected to be boug

    • That, magically, Blackberry is supposed to commit to and compete with a marketplace that has offered 1080p, N wireless, wimax, NFC, and an open API with a product that still requires a hobbled network of randomly unavailable email proxies for its devices explicit use.

      Uh oh, it looks like you don't know what you're talking about.

      The last devices to go through RIM's NOC were the old BlackBerries. The ones running BlackBerry 10 didn't, nor do the Android BlackBerries.

  • I was really looking forward to this phone... but it failed to deliver, and I returned it.

    The main problems I had with it were:
    - Overpriced.
    - Ran VERY hot.
    - Crappy build quality. Creaky / loose bottom.
    - Didn't really like that it was a slider, would prefer if it wasn't.
    - Single mono speaker under the bottom grill? Really?
    - Crappy camera

    Pros:
    - Effectively ran stock android, which was amazing!
    - Tiled app switcher instead of the shitty rolodex android uses.

  • by demon driver ( 1046738 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @03:22PM (#52269951) Journal

    Because, at least here in Europe, there simply is no other phone with a hardware keyboard. Not even Motorola marketed their Photon Q here. Thing is, I'd always prefer a design like Motorola's to the BlackBerry, with the keyboard on the small side, and I'd prefer a smaller phone, too, but the Priv is still is better than no hardware keyboard at all...

    Probably going to buy a used one, though, since new ones are too expensive indeed.

  • by iONiUM ( 530420 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @03:49PM (#52270129) Journal

    As a Canadian, I should be more upset about this, but the BlackBerry community had become extremely elitist and and toxic near the end of BlackBerry's success and I have no sympathy.

    Sometimes I would post reasonable questions in various places, including BlackBerry's official forums, and I would get ridiculed. I had a Z10 and a Q10 for a short while (testing for my company), and it was even still a problem at that point. I switched to Android (Nexus devices) and haven't looked back.

    One very specific example: I had a friend's BB curve and they had forgotten the password. I asked on the forums how they could still login to BlackBerry (they had the account password, just not the phone's) and maybe somehow back it up (maybe via USB). I was accused of stealing the device and laughed at. My friend tried to remember, but after 5 guesses the device wiped itself and there's no way to recover it. Ever.

    I get security, but come on, there were photos on there that they really wanted and there was literally no recovery process, and the community was shit. So I'm not upset by this. All those toxic supporters can go fuck themselves.

  • by acoustix ( 123925 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @03:56PM (#52270179) Homepage

    I have tried switching to Android and iOS and couldn't do it. I lost too much integration between my main apps. The Hub is where I live the most followed by calendar, contacts, remember, browser, twitter, maps and weather app. Occasionally I use VMware Horizon View. That's pretty much all I do. I don't play games and I rarely use other apps (I have access to the google play store via Snap). The BB10 OS is intuitive, responsive and completely integrated.

    I would like to stay on BB10 for my next device, but I know that's probably not possible.

  • by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @03:57PM (#52270191)
    As a Classic owner, I don't get BlackBerry releasing the Priv without a keyboard that has the distinct BB textured keyboard and the all mighty tool belt. Granted, for the toolbelt they would need to bring more BB10 features over to Android then just the hub (which is cool). These things should have their top driving motivations. If you are going make it or break it, you don't make a device that is the same old same old, slap a substandard keyboard on, and then try to sell it for way too fucking much. They had the chance to build an innovative phone based with a launcher taking heavily from BB10 without totally ignoring the Google Now launcher interface. It could have been awesome.

    People who see me with a Classic ask why I don't just get Priv or any other Android phone. They just don't get my kind of nerd. I have no allegiance to the BlackBerry brand past BB10. It's one of the greatest operating systems\interface I have ever had the pleasure of using.

    I get that their **dying, but I will use my Classic until it is no longer supported.

    **Still buying their cheap ass stock just in case : )
  • Yes, I *do* want a physical keyboard. I know there isn't that much demand for phones with physical keyboards anymore, but there is still some. I absolutely want to know that when my current phone dies, I'll be able to replace it with another phone with a physical keyboard.

    My current phone cost about 90 bucks, though, and I'm not going to pay like 8 times more for my next one. I'm also not a big fan of the blackberry style keyboard - the form factor I like is the slide-out kind where the keyboard puts the ph

  • by countach44 ( 790998 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @04:51PM (#52270619)
    I have a few months experience with one of these phones and it's pretty good. The biggest mistake blackberry made wasn't in engineering, it's that they tried building an iPhone/Galaxy competitor at an iPhone/Galaxy price. What would've been better (and what I hear is coming down the line) would be something cheaper targeted at business customers who care about productivity and not flashiness. Blackberry cannot win the flashiness competition.

    Before the phone was released to all carriers I went to a T-mobile store to ask about it and the store representative actually laughed at me for being interested in a phone made by blackberry. Also, the representative at the store I eventually bought my phone from actively tried to sell me a samsung, despite my coming in for the blackberry specifically.

    Unfortunately, the name is also stupid... they should've just kept it at "venice" that whole privilege/privacy thing is a turn-off.

    I see lots of posts here saying things like "I want a physical keyboard." So do I. That's why I bought this phone. In a market economy, we have to vote with our dollars. The problem is that this vote costs a lot of dollars.
    • You hit the nail on the head. If it weren't for a $200 "loyal customer" incentive I wouldn't have bought my Priv. That said, I'm not sorry I did. BB10 was pretty good, not nearly as synergistic as WebOS, but very usable and a far cry better than Android's jump from app to app approach. Unfortunately, there was a dearth of apps and the Android emulator only partially filled the bill. The Hub implementation on Android is getting better with each release, but it is still a far cry from the experience on B

  • by R3 ( 15929 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @05:51PM (#52270955) Homepage

    Long time mobile admin here, working for a sizeable law firm (one of the former BlackBerry's bread-and-butter markets)

    We went from over 1000 OS7 devices (Bold, Torch, Curve and the like) in 2008/2009 to a current mix of 950+ iOS devices and 150 or so OS10 devices (Z10, Q10, Classic, Passport) devices today.

    Priv is not even a factor in this mix, despite us being ready for it on day one by installing BES12 late last year and getting a pack of "Gold Premium - Android For Work" CALs.

    Since Nov/Dec 2015 up until today (early June), we got exactly 6 requests to activate Priv. Six.
    Four in the first couple of weeks after the release, two after Christmas. That's it.

    Out of those 6, 3 users are now admitting they made a mistake (old school BlackBerry users who went from Bold 9900 to Q10/Classic, bought the Priv because it said "BlackBerry" on it, with no research into what they were getting themselves into)

    They are now looking into either going back to Classic/Passport (while it's still available) or kicking the tires on the iPhone 6.

    The remaining 150 BB10 users are basically waiting for their contracts to expire, then having no option to upgrade to new BB10 device (since they will be essentially EOL) the expectation is that pretty much all of them will move to iPhone.

  • A root-friendly version of the Priv would have at least mitigated the damage.

  • The Blackberry Hub was the best feature of the BB10 phones, and by switching to Android they lost it (going by the reviews the app gets on the Android store). Good news is you can buy a Z30 for $200 now, but it'll die pretty soon, Facebook doesn't work anymore, and WhatsApp will stop supporting it in the next few months. They got too distracted with the weird hardware stuff (like the physical keyboard, old people would have gotten used to the touchscreen), BB10 is a great OS.

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