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UnleashTV Episode 53: BlackBerry’s demise

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Welcome to UnleashTV, our weekly video podcast where we discuss and debate the big news of the week. As this is a pilot of our new format (starting from episode 46), we’d definitely appreciate any comments and feedback you might have.


The One with BBM.


News Rundown

  • Nokia holding special event this October 22nd
  • Nokia Windows RT tablet to be released as the “Lumia 2520?
  • Nokia Asha 500 Leaked: Translucent Edges, Swipe UI
  • Lumia Windows Phones surpasses Apple marketshare in India
  • There’s 10,000 Android-Running Nokia Phones Somewhere Out There
  • Microsoft pulls support for Skype for WP7, Because Noone Uses WP7
  • Sailfish OS now compatible with Android apps & hardware
  • Jolla reveals hardware specifications of the Jolla; targets end-2013 ship date
  • Qualcomm joins Wireless Power Consortium board: Qi all the way?
  • Google Nexus 4 no longer on sale in the United States
  • Google makes Quickoffice free for iOS & Android
  • Google acquires Bump data-sharing app
  • Unlocking the Bootloader on the Sony Xperia Z1 breaks the camera app
  • iOS 7 Now Available
  • Blackberry Implodes: cuts 4500 jobs, reports almost $1 billion losses
  • BlackBerry 10.2 Update Rolling Out To All BB10 Devices Mid-October
  • BlackBerry Z30 Announced [5-inch Super Amoled display, 2880mAh battery, BB 10.2 OS]
  • BBM for iOS Released; Leaked APK caused iOS to be pulled and Android to be Delayed


Main Topics

    • iOS 7 and new iPhone impressions: Mike talks about his experiences with the new iPhones; CJ and Alvin chat about what they think of iOS 7 now that it’s been released, particularly on devices like the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.
    • The implosion of BlackBerry: the three of us head into an in-depth discussion about BlackBerry’s current position, the factors that brought them to this point, the challenges that they have faced and what we predict will happen to the company in the next 6 months.

BlackBerry news: 1 billion dollar write-down on unsold Z10s, massive job losses and refocusing on the “enterprise and prosumer markets”; the latest in a long line of setbacks for the company.

The history of BlackBerry: Why have we never really covered BlackBerry or paid much attention to them? It’s a company that always seemed to live in its own bubble within the mobile industry, found success with enterprise communication and became consumer-focused practically by accident. They do not understand consumer needs; security and productivity are not consumer-focused selling points. Caught flat-footed by the iPhone and hamstrung by an aging, flawed OS, coupled with a certain degree of arrogance regarding the value of their brand and the value of a hardware keyboard on a smartphone.

    • How BlackBerry got to this point:

Being slow to react: clinging on to an outgoing software platform for too long and failing to evolve the legacy OS to touchscreen devices and provide a compelling experience at the same time; tardy response to the changing mobile industry (just like Nokia); mistaking progress in emerging markets with low end devices for actual success.

The BB10 strategy: Extremely late to market, no unique differentiators, nondescript and overpriced hardware, lack of an app ecosystem, lackluster or nonexistent marketing, arrogance on the part of the company (they certainly did not appear to try as hard as Microsoft and Nokia)

  • Where BlackBerry will be in the next 6 months: let’s speculate wildly here