BlackBerry hires former HTC exec to lead its devices division

Ian Hardy

January 6, 2014 10:58am

John Chen, BlackBerry’s newest CEO, is on an executive hiring blitz. After bringing on John Sims to lead its Enterprise Services Business, the company has announced today that Ron Louks will join as President of Devices and Emerging Solutions.

Louks previously held positions at HTC America as Chief Strategy Officer, as well as CTO of Sony Ericsson. In this role, Sims will focus on BlackBerry’s “long-term product roadmap, including hardware, software and design, as well as the Company’s joint development efforts.”

Chen stated, “I am pleased to add another outstanding addition to BlackBerry’s executive leadership team with the announcement of Ron today. I am confident that Ron will bring the skills and expertise that will make an immediate impact to BlackBerry and to our customers around the world…. On our path to return BlackBerry to profitability, nothing is more important than remaining deeply connected to our customers, and designing and delivering secure products that exceed their expectations.”

One of the first devices that BlackBerry will launch in 2014 is the BB10-powered Jakarta, which is expected to arrive in April or May. BlackBerry also plans to bring new features to BBM for iPhone and Android in the coming weeks.

Source: Marketwired

  • Josh Brown

    So now the hardware will turn to crap and none of the phones will ever get updates?

    • cs098

      Are you saying the htc one has crap hardware? lol okay.

      And htc is the second fastest updater behind motorola in the android space, hardly ” none of the phones will ever get updates”.

      I can’t stand ignorance.

    • TheFloppyBeaver

      Don’t worry about Mr. Brown here, if it’s not Samsung it’s absolute crap to him.

    • Josh Brown

      What are you talking about? I have had only one Samsung. I love my Note 2 but I am not a huge fan of them, My brother in-law has a nexus 5 and it is a great phone I also have a 2013 Nexus 7. So I guess “if it’s not Samsung it’s absolute crap to him.” is not very accurate.

    • TheFloppyBeaver

      I’ve spoken with you enough on Syrup to know you’re a typing Samsung ad. You praise everything they do and every feature they introduce.

      You’ve also spoken numerous times about using an S4, what happened to that?

    • Josh Brown

      I think they make great hardware and I like some of the software features, like smart stay, but I also think that TW is terrible UI and I install nova on my phone asap. I used to be a hardcore HTC fan until I realized I had about 12 of their phones and everyone of them I had problems with. I love android and will always defend it but for hardware, who ever is making good phones is who I buy. If my note 2 stopped working today I would order a nexus 5 or get a GS4 and put the GPE 4.4 on it.

    • VinceBabin

      I hate Samsung, but I use a Note 3 and I love it. I just hate HTC Sony and lg more.

    • Josh Brown

      When did you start using HTC? I have been using HTC since windows CE. I was a die hard HTC fan, I loved Sense, and I would defend it to every one. Don’t call me ignorant. Just because they had one good phone, does not mean it is a track record.

      I had a HTC Tytn, Touch, Tilt 2, HD2, Desire z, Desire HD, Sensation, Raider 4g X2.

      Except for the Desire Z and the HD2, they all had major Hardware problems, and most of them never saw a software update, non of them got 2 updates. I have a Note 2 and it is powering through over a year now and it is still rock solid.

      Maybe the HTC ONE is good but I have been burned to many times.

    • cs098

      Honestly if you follow tech, htc did a 180 after the end of 2012, the htc one which was released with 4.1 now has 4.3 and the htc one, one max and one mini is set to get 4.4 within a month, and that does not include the Google play edition of the one which has 4.4 already. The track record looking good so far.
      And the one line’s hardware is gorgeous, highly rated. Even the 2012 line up is great.

      I’m sorry to say but you’ve been living under a rock,
      outdated ignorance is still ignorance nevertheless.

    • Josh Brown

      So every one is getting better at updates. the S3 has 4.3, does the oneX? The S4 GPE has 4.4 as well. Just because they had one phone where the Hardware was decent does not mean that the next one wont be crap. That is why Samsung killed them, everyone was sick of signing 2 year/3 year contracts and their phone maybe lasting one.

    • TheFloppyBeaver

      All of the One series had solid hardware, just sayin’.

    • Josh Brown

      So what about the previous 100 phones that they put out that were terrible?

    • TheFloppyBeaver

      As if Samsung has never put out garbage products? I’m not a HTC aficionado, I’ve only started paying attention to them starting with the One series of phones. Since that time their track record for hardware has been well documented.

    • Josh Brown

      That is the funniest things I have ever heard, I have been following them since 2006, and they have been making phones/PDAs since 2002, so what kind of “track Record” do they have? You need to follow a company for longer than 8 months to call it a track record, or at least more than one flagship device.

    • Josh Brown

      Also The OneX had the usual antenna problem that htc have where you have to push on a part of the case to get it to work, was the exact same problem on the Desire HD.

    • cs098

      No, htc died because of the lack of marketing. That’s pretty much the reason why Samsung is doing so well right now.

      No not just one phone, but the entire 2012 and 2013 lineup has good hardware. You will notice you don’t have any htc phones from those years.

      The Htc one x has 4.2.2, that’s already 2 updates more than what you think htc gives. You will also notice htc updated their flagship faster than Samsung.

      Again your perception of htc is really outdated.

    • Josh Brown

      I second that!

    • cs098

      Different strokes for different folks I guess, two years is enough for me. Long enough to show it’s a commitment and a real change, not pretending.

      Especially when they’re not at their peak, and htc is definitely not at their peak, companies improve themselves not make themselves worse. Desperation is a powerful motivator and the fact they have two years of good products is for me enough to see this new,trend continue for htc.

    • cs098

      I wouldn’t really call the one x and the one lineup the same. They couldn’t be anymore different.

      The one x uses plastic and had a relativity archaic software design, but sense 5 and and the htc one is completely modernized and made even more premuim.

      I dunno I think 2 years is enough, and the fact that they’re actually doing even worse kinda guarantees they will continue to try hard and improvement and stay desperate for quite a while. The only time I’m wary of companies is when they’re at the top and think they can get away with anything.

    • cs098

      Actually I consider their 2012 lineup the beginning of the 180. Which is why I said two years and now that I realized it, it’s a little bit over that.

    • cs098

      What I see in 2012 is that they improved and tried to fix their flaws, this alone shows they want to change. 2012 is the beginning of the 180 not them fully turning around. Atleast for me.

      You right about the dates, derped there lol.

    • cs098

      I know but the fact htc has been improving since 2012 and for the most part fixed all their flaws in 2013, and the fact that they are desperate to do well financially makes me feel like they will continue to improve and not burn anyone for the foreseeable future.

      But that’s just me :P

    • cs098

      That’s why htc being desperate is the key, they can’t burn anyone for quite a while IMO.

      Honestly I don’t believe in trends or what might happen in the future. I’m just saying what I’m saying because I don’t believe in the flawed logic that that a perfectly good device somehow shouldn’t be bought because all the past devices are bad. I mean I agree they might turn bad in the future. But that’s why I research instead of trust companies. I never gotten burned because of that.

    • cs098

      The differences between 4.3 and 4.2 is minute at best. And the gs3 won’t get kit kat for a long time if at all.

      Your point?

    • Josh Brown

      Actually Samsung has already annouced that the s3 will get kitkat this spring.

    • cs098

      Rumored, and still a few months off.

      And this has nothing to do with htc, whose 2012 line up is still not bad regardless of software version.

      So what’s your point again?

    • Josh Brown

      Except there is features you will be missing out on and a lot of security patches you won’t get. This also shows that the HTC One will probably get 4.4 and will be abandoned.

    • cs098

      Depends, the great thing about android is that you can get features by just downloading apps.

      As for security patches, it depends on the device some needs it, some don’t regardless of how old a device is.

      Again what’s your point?

    • Josh Brown

      Like system wide printing? What app gets you that. Also security patches depend on system updates. Which is different android versions.

    • cs098

      Actually google’s cloud print does not need kit kat. Google made sure that many of the features are separated from the os and therefore obtainable on older software versions. And there are plenty of other system wide printing apps as well. Android’s powerful like that.

      Not necessarily, skins often add additional security patches on top of Google’s offerings. And depending on the devices it may not be even necessary.

    • Josh Brown

      Have you used kitkat yet?

    • cs098

      Yup, but not for my butterfly s, for my good old xperia ray.

    • Josh Brown

      So how many HTC’s have you owned?

    • cs098

      Right now rocking the butterfly s, and had the 8x a windows phone, great hardware and great updates.

      The problem is your expertise with htc hardly matters when the phones you owned are 2011 and older. The problems you mentioned has been fixed for quite a while now.

    • Josh Brown

      Lets see for how long. They are already starting to pump out crap desire phones again. I want to believe they have turned it around but I doubt it. Anyways I have never had a problem with my samsung so I am not going back anytime soon.

      Oh by the way the the One X(NA) is stuck on 4.1 Jelly bean and has problems with the wifi antenna. I have a friend with one.

    • cs098

      Probably for quite a while, even the desire series has far better hardware now than what you experienced.
      And don’t doubt, they turned around in 2012 and gotten even better in 2013.

      What you fail to understand is that desperation is a powerful
      motivator, and htc is definitely desperate. They can’t afford to and probably won’t f*ck it up now.

      Isn’t that a carrier problem not a htc problem? And all products have derps like that. Samsung, apple, lg you name it.

    • Josh Brown

      Yes but my argument is that they have a longer history of derp phones than they do of good phones. I am not arguing that they are incapable of making a good phone or updating them, but their history shows other wise.

      Also this guy worked at HTC at the peak of their crappiest. He hasn’t worked there since like 2010.

    • cs098

      Or maybe they they didn’t have a lot of experience back then and now learned from their mistakes. As time goes on people tend to improve not make themselves worse (unless they’re at their peaks like samsung and apple) especially a desperate company like htc.

      But really that history is irrelevant when they had 2 years of good to great hardware and decent to good updates. And for me the last 2 years is enough to realize it’s not a temporary thing and that htc really changed.

    • Josh Brown

      I guess that works for you, but its like if you have bought lemons from dodge for 10 years it will take a lot more than one or two good cars to get you to trust them again, I guess I have just had too long a history for me to go back yet.

    • cs098

      You know what? I’m okay with that. I Guess I’m lucky I haven’t been burned yet. The research I do does go a long way.

    • Josh Brown

      Yep you are right and I do my research now, but you can always get burned if you like to buy devices when they first come out. The more important thing I learned is not to have any loyalty, buy what is got the best hardware, and good software support on XDA.

    • cs098

      Words I live by everyday. Although the lack of xda support for the butterfly, is not as big of a deal for me. But I definitely did my research, first 1080p device with a decent battery size.

      Yeah I agree, fanboyism is retarded.

    • Josh Brown

      How did you get the Butterfly S in Canada?

    • cs098

      I’m hk canadian, so I frequent hong kong often.

      I pretty much only buy devices in asia, pretty sick of locked bootloaders, slow updates, bloatware among other crap the carriers give us.

    • Josh Brown

      Oh that is cool. I would hate most phones we have today if it was not for XDA. When I got my note 2 I promised myself I was not going to “void the warranty” for 6 mths. That lasted a week. before I had a Drag8 Rom on it.

    • cs098

      lol I would kill my self if it wasn’t for xda.

      My old xperia ray now has 4.4 because of cyanogen mod. But the butterfly is is good smooth and awesome enough to not need a custom rom. All I have is root and xposed for it.

    • Josh Brown

      I put CM 10.1 on my Raider, it was the only thing that kept me from throwing it in the garbage. The battery was terrible with a sense rom on it. I am on Beanstalk 4.4 on my Note 2 it is so liberating to be free of TW.

    • cs098

      Surprisingly htc along with sony has the best andriod skins right now, so much cleaner and smoother than touchwiz.

    • Josh Brown

      Like I said I rarely have the factory UI on for very long anyways, one thing I say about Samsung, they are way easier to root or load custom recoveries on than any other phone I have used. Odin is soooo easy to use, and they are almost unbrickable.

    • cs098

      To tell you the truth, I never tried a samsung yet. But the butterfly and the Sony phones I owned are very easy to unlock. htc dev is easy to use and Sony has been named xda dev of the year. Most andriods are easy to unlock now (as long as they aren’t from a carrier).

    • Josh Brown

      I have used HTC Dev it is nothing like my note 2 or my wifes s4. It came unlocked all I needed to do was hold volume down home and power buttons and then use odin(a <10mb exe) to flash TWRP. that is it you can flash your custom rom or flash superSU.zip, what ever you want. The longest thing it takes is to download a 10mb file.

    • cs098

      Wow that pretty good, but flashtool Sony is just as fast and HTC dev isn’t that much worse. I unlocked all my andriod devices in a few minutes.

    • Josh Brown

      My stupid Raider 4G never got S-off with out taking off a back cover and using a jumper wire across two service ports while running a program on the phone, it was stupid, so I never S-offed. So every time I wanted to flash a new kernel I had to hook it up to my computer, reboot into the boot loader and flash the boot.img with fastboot. it got old very quickly. Then when I got my note 2 it was so crazy fast, I could not believe it.

    • cs098

      Yeah, but it’s great that htc’s bootloader unlock method and flashing things in general on htc devices is so much easier now. I’m kinda glad all your experiences with htc don’t apply any more.

    • TheFloppyBeaver

      Ig-no-rant: lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.

      I can’t speak to your knowledge of HTC, but you sure were ignorant (you yourself admitted to as much) to BB as a company, their product offering and their roadmap all the while having very strong opinions of them. So I question your knowledge of HTC as well.

    • Josh Brown

      Read my post above:

      “When did you start using HTC? I have been using HTC since windows CE. I was a die hard HTC fan, I loved Sense, and I would defend it to every one. Don’t call me ignorant. Just because they had one good phone, does not mean it is a track record.

      I had a HTC Tytn, Touch, Tilt 2, HD2, Desire z, Desire HD, Sensation, Raider 4g X2.

      Except for the Desire Z and the HD2, they all had major Hardware problems, and most of them never saw a software update, non of them got 2 updates. I have a Note 2 and it is powering through over a year now and it is still rock solid.

      Maybe the HTC ONE is good but I have been burned to many times.”

      I have a very well rounded experience with HTC. The HTC ONE is a very good phone, but that was after a string of terrible devices that burned a lot of people.

    • VinceBabin

      I’ve had to live the nightmare of the HTC one, you and every other reviewer/blogger praise it’s build quality.. Out of every phone I’ve used only the one has been requiring weekly trips to the repair depot for poor speakers, poor camera tech faulty assembly.. If a device has shiny nice parts but it’s held together with duct tape, is it still premium? Don’t get me wrong, I do like it, but with the build issues and the piss poor support from htc, I can’t look at it anymore.. Also check out eBay, they are all selling for $350, unseen on a “Top tier device” barely 9 months old. The S3 still pulls in $400. I’ll stick to my Note 3.

    • cs098

      You have a lemon?
      Every device has a small fraction that turn bad.
      Ebay all priced brand new htc ones at around 400 – 500 dollars. Are you sure you have the htc one?

    • VinceBabin

      Yeah I’m sure it’s the one, bought the damned thing on launch day. One lemon yeah I’ll forgive, but 3 back to back.. Not likely, not that lucky. Also Bell sells them for $649.99, are they selling? No what I look at is how many auctions end with no bids and what price, this helps me to know when and for how much to list for. In the case of the one, not the one X or one s but the M7, I’ve seen too many end with a starting bid of $300-$350 to be coincidence. No one wants them and when they launch the M8 the m7 will sell used for $200-$250.

    • cs098

      Cool story.

      For me, my butterfly s is working flawlessly and many of my freinds using HTC ones have little to no problems.

      I heard of gaps in the hardware with vids documenting that, but nothing that makes it unsuable.

      I mean if the hardware is really that bad then atleast a fraction of the highly rated reviews of the one would have a similar experince as yours.

      Checked the ebay auctions. While there are some HTC ones starting at 300 to 350, the gs4 has those prices as well.

      Plus I even saw a htc one with quite a few bids at 455 bucks. Are you cherry picking or?

    • VinceBabin

      I’m happy for you and your friends.

      Yeah the odd one goes for more, but the norm is un bid listings T $300.

      Still, my HTC is garbage and a worthless dust collector.

    • cs098

      Funny thing, I have met people that have htc phones that are garbage, but also people that had similar experiences with samsung, apple and others.

      I think it’s just old phones general, the gs4s that were bidding higher than 400 is the koeran variants with upgraded processors.

      I guess sometimes it’s just luck, hope I don’t get unlucky.

      Well enjoy your note 3, seriously an awesome device.

  • Baggins

    GREAT WORK! Bringing in a FAILED exec from a FAILED company to lead another FAILED company. 2014 off to a good start..lololol

    • VinceBabin

      I heard the palm marketing vp is looking for work.

  • Samuel Gomez Recuero

    beging quote:

    “…Louks previously held positions at HTC America as Chief Strategy Officer, as well as CTO of Sony Ericsson. In this role, Sims will focus on BlackBerry’s “long-term product roadmap, including hardware, …”

    end quote

    I believe you were refering to Louks here and not Sims

  • fates

    While I do like my HTC one but…isn’t HTC having some serious financial issues at the moment? Seems like a bad move to go and recruit from them. Then again, getting hired is all about who you know and less about what you know so not surprising.

    • Columbo

      He’s in charge of devices and, all financial problems with the company aside, the HTC One was the best device out there when it was released.

  • ns.dev

    Boy, he sure like sinking ships.

  • StevieY

    Losers hiring losers. This will end well

  • MXH070

    He left HTC in 2010

    • TheFloppyBeaver

      Hardware isn’t exactly HTC’s problem though right? They build really nice phones!

    • TheFloppyBeaver

      Hardware is just one part of why consumers choose the device they do, and all I’m saying is that, yes, HTC hasn’t done well in the past several years; but it’s not because of their hardware.

      Hardware has been one of the few strengths of HTC, not weaknesses.

    • Josh Brown

      Maybe in recent history but not over the past 6-7 years. They have had alot of quality problems.

    • TheFloppyBeaver

      Did any Android manufacturer have good reliable hardware prior to 2011?

      Maybe Motorola?

    • Josh Brown

      I have a a budy at work here that still has his galaxy s from Late 2010, my brother in-law was still using his infuse 4g, well after my Raider 4G took a dump. My niece was still using the desire z I gave her just until recently, so there was a few good HTC’s but for the majority they had major HW problems.

    • TheFloppyBeaver

      Strictly speaking of hardware, the One V, S, X, X+ were all solid phones for their time. I didn’t just mean the One or the Butterfly.

    • Josh Brown

      The one X had some pretty well documented wifi issues, issues that they should have learned from the Desire HD on its wifi and gps antennas.

    • MXH070

      Public perception is the issue HTC has not hardware which is the same as all other devices that are not Samsung or Apple as both have mastered the art of making mindless sheep with average products. Have to give credit to the marketing departments for brain washing the masses.

    • MXH070

      Maybe, or the problems they are having are due to his departure but us being joe public we don’t have access to all the info so it’s left to guessing. But he did move into a president position with Open NMS, group in NC so by the looks of it he has a fair bit of experience.

    • MXH070

      Yep he could be a complete Jobber or the perfect guy for the job. The only way to find out is push him into the deep end of the pool to see if he sinks or swims.

  • gommer strike

    Why former HTC exec? Shouldn’t you guys get someone from say, Samsung? Are they purposefully trying to die or something? You don’t go find someone from a company that oh, has a history of insiders plunging it down further and further.

    You go entice someone away from one of the biggest and baddest in the world. What are you thinking, Blackberry?

  • morgan

    Good luck bb. Be nice of they could get some good stuff rolling in their favor in 2014, I miss my key pad that’s for sure. Maybe someday they will see people return to what once was a great Canadian product

  • Bbrysucks

    Lol blackberry. Heh

  • Anthony G.

    Oh my… i didn’t think they were that serious at producing real crappy cellphones.. i always thought it was because of incompetence that their devices were falling behind since the BB 9000

  • VinceBabin

    The last nail in the coffin…. Oh Blackberry, you lived a short life, and you didn’t shine much but hey, you were named after fruit, a bitter mildly edible fruit but a fruit none the less…

  • kroms

    Nothing is more Comical then reading some of the posts from BB fans about how HTC, NEXUS and every major Android phones is CRAP compared to BB’s Z 10 and Z 30. Heck even Android OS is Crap. Now though everything seems to be OK or getting better and BB is starting to implement more Apps loading from Android to it’s Devices and how It will be great for BB now that they get an HTC Exec to work on BB devices .

    LOL Just head over to Crackberry , 5 mins there and you really start to see how Delusional some people can get.