The upside of BlackBerry going Android-only

Daniel Bader

February 2, 2016 4:48pm

In mid-2012, during a media throng at a downtown Toronto hotel, Gary Klassen, the guy who invented BBM (and by now one of the company’s longest-lasting employees) gave MobileSyrup a rundown of the mobile operating system that would eventually be known as BlackBerry 10. It was in rough shape.

We were shown early versions of two important features, the Hub, and the virtual keyboard, that would go on to define the BB10 experience throughout its three-year life.

Released in January 2013 on the Z10, BlackBerry 10 arrived fully-formed and ready to take on the incumbents. But there were hints, even in its earliest, most hopeful days, that BlackBerry World wouldn’t attract the developer talent it needed to take on iOS and Android.

The company, which was committed to supporting its legacy BBOS customers for the then-foreseeable future, saw BlackBerry 10 as its future, and the future, of mobile computing, one where privacy, security, performance and a robust app ecosystem worked to disrupt Android and iOS.

Today, in order to save itself and its perilous hardware business, BlackBerry has been forced to disrupt itself, turning those aforementioned seminal features — the Hub, and the virtual keyboard — into apps that run on top of Android.

The move can be construed as BlackBerry giving up on its platform dream, one that began in earnest back in 2011 with the unveiling of the QNX-powered PlayBook tablet. At the time, HP’s acquisition of Palm and its webOS platform was relatively young, and with QNX’s pedigree of flexibility and power, it wasn’t beyond reason to believe that BlackBerry could pull off the impossible.

Three years later, with a leadership change at the top and myriad lessons learned, BlackBerry 10 is largely dead, a “post-support” operating system that promises security patches for now, and then a slow user base decline going forward.

Last week, BlackBerry’s senior director of product management in Asia Pacific, Damian Tay, confirmed the company’s transition plans to Android. “The PRIV device is essentially our transition to Android… The future is really Android. We went [there] essentially for its app ecosystem.” While the company plans to continue selling BlackBerry 10 devices like the Classic and Passport, it is largely to fulfil ongoing government contracts that demand the high security certification given to BB 10. Should the Priv and its successors ever earn such government trust, you can be sure the company will use its existing relationships to its advantage.

The transition to Android, which will likely continue at this year’s Mobile World Congress conference with the announcement of a new mid-range Android device, is good for BlackBerry in the long run.

According to TD analyst Daniel Chan, whose latest investor report puts for the first time in years a “buy” on BlackBerry shares, the company has four main drivers: growth in the software category, which is offsetting the decline of its service activation business; the eventual monetization of patents, which was rated the fifth most comprehensive among worldwide IT companies; exposure to the Internet of Things, which is growing in importance throughout the tech industry; and QNX, which currently sits in approximately 60 percent of car infotainment centres.

A notable omission? Smartphones. While Chan says that BlackBerry’s existing partnerships with Foxconn “de-risks” its handset business by removing troublesome inventory balancing and manufacturing costs, there is a “case [for] an Android operating system” as a central repository for the rest of BlackBerry’s intellectual property, according to Chan. As Samsung has shown with mixed results, Android’s openness affords phone makers a certain amount of freedom to push to their own software agenda, but it can also lead to confusion and frustration among users.

By focusing on security and privacy, a virtue synonymous with the company’s brand since its earliest days, BlackBerry has a chance to reverse, or at least stem, the downward trajectory of its handset business, which at 39 percent was still the highest-proportion category in the company’s suite of products, despite generating just $214 million on 700,000 devices last quarter.

The truth is that BlackBerry handsets earn a disproportionate amount of media attention for how many handsets the company sells. BlackBerry 10, like Windows Phone, Tizen, Firefox OS and any mobile operating system that isn’t iOS and Android, has no prospect of engaging the developer community central to success in the smartphone market. To succeed, it needs to build a powerful and long-lasting software layer on top of Android, one that emphasizes consumer services like BBM, and enterprise initiatives like BES 12 and Good Technology, its latest acquisition. Let Google control the app ecosystem and companies like Foxconn the manufacturing and distribution.

Hardware is hard. HTC knows it; Samsung knows it; Motorola knows it. Should BlackBerry choose to fully embrace Android and save itself the trouble of vertical integration, there are more than a few upsides, but the main one is that if the handset business doesn’t work out, the knots have already been sufficiently unloosened for a clean exit.

  • TomsDisqusted

    The massive delays of BB10 are what killed Blackberry’s handset business. If they had gone Android back then instead they could saved enormous amount of money and years of product delays.

    Their decision was baffling even at the time – in spite of all the commentators who seemed thrilled at the idea of an RTOS on a phone but seemed to have no idea what an RTOS was or why it was necessary on a phone – somehow it seemed more important to a phone OS then having an app ecosystem.

    I found it very frustarting trying to argue against that wave of clueless enthusiasm, and then watching the most admirable of CAnadian companies fall so far. Now all we have is telecom companies and banks that could never win internationally the way BB once did.

    • danbob333

      haha so true we had a lot of these commentators on MS

    • AppleBerrySandwich

      If BB10 was release 2 years earlier it would have been a force in the market. Instead they released BB7 and delayed and delayed and delayed some more. I still remember dying with my Torch waiting for BB10. I hung on, most people I know did not unless they worked for a Blackberry only office.

      The new Priv is awesome but it’s pricey. I may buy one because I love the BB10 features but I may not. Still thinking but I do think Blackberry has done the right thing by moving to Android.

    • Goran Mihajlović

      I concur. Talking about what if’s m as well go all the way when rim considered buying qnx even before the iPhone was launched. If you really want to be safe, after lazardis bought and tore apart the iPhone on launch day that would be the fire lit to buy qnx, and launch in 2009-2010 a qnx powered storm 2 as the first storm with a somewhat larger screen and torch. Continue with sms 2.0 plans and boom even if not selling as many phones as Apple they’d still be Giants. There’s a extremely long but depressingly worth reading globe and mail article on why why they jumped too late or not at all at several golden opportunities, including a strong chance of monopolizing the Chinese market via os licencing.

    • Lyndon Boychuk

      They lost a big chunk of their user base to OEM’s that provided full touch screen experiences. Apple came in fast and hard with Google following not far behind.

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      BB0 isn’t going away bro.

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      Neither is your life…

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Says the AstroTurfer

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      Says the dumb fuq with no life

  • BB10 is a great platform but it doesn’t feel as consumer friendly as the other. It is geared towards productivity, which isn’t really the main stream focus right now. Amazing OS for business

    • Ken Wiebe

      How is BB10 any better for business than IOS, Android or Windows?

    • The gestures make it very easy to go in and out of apps to multi task and the hub handles communications well, if not the best.

    • Ken Wiebe

      That’s interesting…my thought is that no phone is actually capable of true multi-tasking (doing multiple tasks at the same time)…as far as that goes, doing anything productive on any phone is a tough one as well. Sounds like BB made a good move to Android…probably too late though.

    • Chuck

      You can truly multitask on a BlackBerry 10 device just like on a computer with multiple applications running in different windows simultaneously, and it’s lightning quick to switch between, say, the photo app and a document. It’s far superior and is truly the ace up BlackBerry”s sleeve. They just need to sell it.

      The Hub will never work the same on Android due to the inherent limitations of an old-fashioned monolithic kernel that needs to route every task through the CPU. The Priv is very good for Android, but a real BlackBerry is far better.

    • K_p0w3r

      Although I do agree that QNX’s micro-kernel can have multiple benefits over android/Linux’s monolithic kernel are you saying that QNX doesn’t need a CPU. How does it process stuff then. what sort of witchcraft has Blackberry created where their phones no longer needed Processors to function. Is this why blackberry phones last longer on phones

    • Chuck

      I didn’t say it doesn’t use the CPU. It just uses a lot less of it. In a RTOS processes ca message each other directly, without going through the CPU. No witchcraft, just very good engineering.

      There are actually many things BlackBerry 10 devices can do that others simply cannot thanks to the QNX kernel. You really notice it after using it for a couple weeks.

    • Poda

      1. Native BB email client blows android and apple out of the water…easy.
      2. There is nothing available to BB hub.
      3. Apps multitasking way easier then any other.
      4. File manager the best in class
      5. Blackberry Blend

      Other things I like:
      1. Available to share screen
      2. Radio FM no need for data

      Missing:
      1. Apps

    • Rumble and Sway

      Native BB email is no faster or better than MS Outlook in my experience
      BB Hub is nothing special or compelling
      Apps multitasking CAN be useful admittedly but its not a compelling feature either nor necessary on a phone
      Managing files on a phone? Gimme a break seriously. That’s a gimmick
      Blackberry Blend = biggest piece of shjt software I’ve seen ever. Totally useless but figures a Rimtard would hype something that even a first year computer science student could design better.

    • Poda

      Appletard, I compared native to native features and not third party apps.

    • GQDRU

      You are obviously not doing a ton of email or calendaring on your mobile device if you don’t see the power of the BB Hub. It is by far the best means by which to keep a business user productive.

    • Vito R.

      I don’t find the Hub very useful – I prefer my communications separated by class (email, text, chat) or it just becomes too noisy.

      The gestures aren’t that useful either. I don’t find multitasking menu in iOS and Android lacking in efficiency.

    • Mo Dabbas

      I hate the hub too. It really gets me confused when my work email is mixed with my personal email, text messages and business email. I start loosing track who is contacting me about what.

      Gestures are alright if you have a big screen. When I tried the Q10 I was accidentally going to home when I browse pages.

    • Chuck

      You know you can filter by account with a single tap on the bottom of the screen, right? I don’t want to open and close three different apps just to check and respond to my email, let alone Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, BBM and the rest of it. It’s color coded too. For a busy professional managing a high volume of communications through various channels, the Hub is a godsend.

    • Poda

      Z30 is different BB10… way better then others

    • GQDRU

      Sounds like you don’t understand the concept of the BB HUB. The whole point is to aggregate all your communications into a single pane of glass or hub. Eliminating the need to acknowledge and action notifications in each individual app.

    • Chuck

      That’s because you haven’t used the Hub. The one on the Priv is a joke.

    • Rumble and Sway

      Blackberry and the Hub is a joke period. I mean big deal. Oooo! I get my notification in one app. Its a matter of personal preference and some reviews out there state Hub is a bloody mess which personally I think it is.

    • Chuck

      It’s not an app. It’s integrated into the system, and it does A LOT more than notifications.

      Your an ignoramus. I’m done with you. Enjoy your ignorance and inferior tech, buddy. The world will move on without you.

    • GQDRU

      I guess you wouldn’t need to be productive working at Starbucks. All you need is a phone to take pics of the lattes you are making for all the other hipsters.

    • It has been said below but you can change the hub to any specific account you have to filter out all other communications. It doesn’t only do this well, it does it fast.

      It might take some getting used to if you never owned a blackberry but it makes finding specific emails, text, calls and etc very easy. Not to mention it has a search option as well.

    • Vito R.

      Why do I need to “get used to” anything when my current solution works very well and the entirety of the ecosystem of both Android and iOS are much more mature and fleshed out than BlackBerry?

      I don’t need a hypothetically more secure device that I would be willing to sacrifice features and convenience for.

    • Poda

      So what is the point of your post? Do you not get used to iphone coming from BB10 or android or any other platform? Of course you do…

    • Vito R.

      If there is a tangible benefit to switching then I would switch. Back in the day I switched from a Blackberry with a physical keyboard to an iPhone with a virtual one – that took some getting used to but the benefits of an iPhone outweighed the inconvenience of the learning curve.

      My point is that at this time there is no benefit going to Blackberry from an iPhone or Android for the vast majority of consumers.

    • Poda

      Have you ever tried using BB10 for extended period of time? I don’t you did…

    • Vito R.

      You’re right, it is not something I tried for an extended period of time because my limited time with it was frustrating. If someone has to use something for an extended period of time in order to “get it” then it’s a fail.

    • Poda

      Well I guess it is not like I am trying to switch anybody, and I am not delusional that other platforms have more users which speaks for itself. I am just saying that If you take amount of apps available to each platform and compare native features of each platform, you’ll see that e.g. iphone is not that great.
      Here is what my BB Z30 (~2.5 years old) can do out of the box, better or not available on iphone, even new est models. :
      Micro HDMI Out
      FM Radio
      Expendable SD storage
      Runs Android Apps
      Screen Share during BBM Video Chat
      BlackBerry 10 Virtual Keyboard
      BlackBerry Hub
      BlackBerry Blend
      BlackBerry Balance
      DLNA
      NFC
      Miracast
      File Manager

      Too bad BB did not know how to sell all these good features.

    • Vito R.

      Don’t worry, you’re not in danger of switching anybody.

      First of all, it does not run Android apps well. If someone wants Android apps they’ll buy an Android. Second of all, nobody cares about any of that stuff. I mean, some people do, but not the majority. Most of that stuff is available on Android devices anyway.

      Blackberry is just not a very good platform. If people just wanted an email/bbm device it would be fine – but that’s not the case anymore – people expect more out of their smartphones. The only reason it’s still alive is because of legacy business users.

    • Poda

      So what do you care about then? First you state that you are business person and now you are saying that is not enough…… Tell me then what is it that an iphone can do, that my z30 does cannot?

    • Vito R.

      Apps. Speed. Camera. Usability.

      Blackberry has killed BB10 because nobody wants it, you need to let it go.

    • Poda

      apps? Really after all I mentioned in my long post? And Iasked what is it that you can do with iphone that I can’t with my z30? Z30 does have camera, speed? You mean iphone 6s or 5s?

    • Vito R.

      Yes, believe it or not, most people use apps on their phones. BB10 has no apps, it’s a dead platform. Why would someone buy a BB10 device just to run Android apps (poorly)?

      If Blackberry made a phone running Android that looked and felt like a Galaxy S6 but with better software and at a lower price – I would consider it. Unfortunately it doesn’t.

    • Poda

      It is dead platform, i give you that, but is no worse then ios.

    • Vito R.

      It’s not at all as intuitive – as you admit – and it does not have any 3rd party support. If you strip it down to

      The bare OS I guess it’s fine – but it just never got off the ground. It’s no worse than Windows OS.

    • Poda

      You can view them separately, very easy by selecting what you want to view..

    • GQDRU

      As someone that owns a Nokia Lumia 1020, Blackberry Passport, LG G4 and an iPad Air 2, your statement is laughable.

      I challenge you to use ANY native or third party app on Android, iOS or WP to turn an email chain into a calendar invitation without having to cut and paste all the details and recipients.

      It can ONLY be done on a BB10 device.

    • Vito R.

      And? This is not something I need to do. I usually just tell my phone to make an appointment for me.

      If it is something that you do regularly and the inconvenience of cutting and pasting surpasses the inconvenience of having BB10 as your OS – then I guess BB10 is for you.

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      They have killer cross platform stickers.

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      They’ve got you pressed… right doooosh?

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Keep trying, but no

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      Naaaw…no need to try.

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      You mad?????

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      You pathetic?

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Not the least AstroTurfer

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      Definitely

  • Ken Wiebe

    It’s always scary using these three words in any sentence “Let Google control …”

  • Ericp2011

    Question for the real techies out there, would it be feasible for Blackberry to convert current Passports into Android?

    • Dave

      The Passport uses a Qualcomm chipset which is what is used in the majority of Android devices. However this would require a rewrite of a lot of the device drivers and that might not be in the budget. Short answer yes, long answer don’t expect it.

    • danbob333

      They probably wouldn’t even rewrite any drivers. They would use drivers already written for Android for the devices they use. I doubt they have any non-trivial device without an Android/linux driver.

    • Vito R.

      Of course, but why would they do that instead of selling you a new device?

    • Mo Dabbas

      Doubt they’ll ever do it. They’ll probably release an android phone that looks like the passport (with different name), but highly doubt they’ll do that bridging on the current passport

    • danbob333

      Yes. But they won’t do it.

    • Chuck

      And thank goodness for that. It would be like putting a Toyota engine in a Ferrari.

    • danbob333

      Nope. It would be like offering a future to that car. Instead, the manufacturer ask the owner to throw the car away and buy a new one.

      Get over it, BB10 was DOA.

    • Chuck

      You’re obviously wrong. Not only was it not DOA, it’s alive and well today.

    • Rumble and Sway

      Really Chucky? BB10 users continue to decline worldwide as do device sales. How delusional are you?

    • Chuck

      They’re still selling Passports and Classics. That’s reality. Who’s delusional?

    • Rumble and Sway

      So? When sales are declining quarter after quarter one can hardly claim its alive and well buddy. Furthermore, I read somewhere that while BB had about 80 million users worldwide not that long ago, today they are down to around half that!
      BB 10 is finished except as a niche tool for government and those enterprise that insist on it. Beyond that, it has no future, no discernible market share and zero appeal to the market that matters most. The consumer.

    • Chuck

      Thank you for sharing your opinión. Personally, everyone who has switched to BlackBerry 10 from Android or iOS on my suggestion has thanked me so I happen to disagree that consumers don’t want the superior technology; they just don’t know about it.

      And if they’re still selling a couple million units a year of BlackBerry 10 devices (which they are it is very much not dead

    • Rumble and Sway

      LOL…People like you make me laugh. You go around convincing people to switch and yet the company itself does a piss poor job of the same. Oh, what am I talking about! They NEVER HAVE tried to sell the virtues of BB 10 so its a moot point.
      Furthermore what’s a couple million phones a year pal? Apple just sold another 74 million phones LAST QUARTER alone and you’re out here hyping up a couple million in a year! It’s a drop in the bucket and what’s more, it’s not making the company money. At best Chen can hope for break even and that may change with Android devices where they can finally make a buck on the hardware but BB10 strictly speaking was a money losing dog and always will be. It’s not even a decent loss leader.

    • Vito R.

      Unfortunately the platform is dead. They are just keeping BB10 around for legacy support.

    • Chuck

      People who think this are Zika babies. BlackBerry has stated an ongoing commitment to the technology, continúes to sell it, and gains another fan with every Passport and Classic they sell. I know that Apple is threatened by BlackBerry’s superior technology and would love to see it die… but it won’t. It’s too good.

      After BlackBerry gains a beachhead in the consumer market with Android, they will break out the heavy artillery.

    • Vito R.

      You can hope and wish and believe all you want – that doesn’t change the reality of the situation or have any impact on the future.

      They’ve committed to support it, that’s all – the are not making new BB10 devices.

      If BlackBerry can make a go of it, good for them – the more competition the better – unfortunately their failures of the past 8 years suggest otherwise. They no longer have any marketable competitive advantage over any other Android vendor. They might live on as niche player and that should be good enough for you.

    • Chuck

      The Zika babies have been proclaiming BlackBerry dead for six years now. They are not just another Android OEM or just another smartphone vendor. That’s what the Zika babies don’t understand. BlackBerry owns the largest, most reliable private global data network, moving 35 petabytes of data around the world every month

    • Vito R.

      Not sure where you’ve been the last six years, but the “Zika babies” we’re right. Blackberry went from the dominant player to near extinction over the last six years – their market share suffered a collapse so unfashionable that nobody could have predicted it 8 years ago.

      Of course, with over a billion dollars in cash they’ll stick around for a little longer – but they done as anything other than a niche player in the smartphone market. Apple/Google’s network infrastructure handles much more data than Blackberry does at this point.

    • Rumble and Sway

      Apple threatened by BB? ROTFL! Yeah. I’ve heard that before over the last 6 years too. I highly doubt anyone in Cupertino gives two shjts about this company or what its up to really.

    • GQDRU

      Apple is starting to experience the BB effect themselves.

      Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook: “We’re seeing extreme conditions, unlike anything we’ve experienced before, just about everywhere we look.”

    • Rumble and Sway

      Really? The last quarter doesn’t seem to indicate that at all but in fairness due to the saturation in the market as is a decline of sorts is to be expected for now. However, it’ll never come to the point that BB has.

    • Poda

      Nope

    • Ericp2011

      Thanks to all for the info, gave up on the Passport, I sold it and got a nexus 6p

    • Rumble and Sway

      Yeah I got rid of it too last February actually. Biggest piece of shjt phone I’ve ever owned in my life. You practically need the hands of a gorilla to use the damn thing.

  • Vito R.

    I got halfway through the article waiting to hear about the upside before I quit reading it :/

    • Rumble and Sway

      Yeah I agree it’s just an affirmation of strategic errors these guys made over 5 years ago

  • Windows phone take note

    • MassDeduction

      Or not. I agree that it might be a long-shot, but I disagree with the article’s assertion that it’s impossible for an x86 Surface Phone (or an Arm-based Surface Phone with a Win32 compatibility layer) to start gaining traction. If you can dock your phone and run Win32 apps on it over Continuum, that’s a game changer. Some hobbyists are going to want that, and *many* organizations are going to want that (deploy one device instead of a smartphone, a desktop, etc.). Microsoft should at least attempt that before doing what Blackberry is doing. Remember, there were those that said that there was no room for Android in-between Apple and Blackberry. Things can and do change.

    • Marc Palumbo

      Yup, exactly. Microsoft has the money to screw around and claim Windows phones to be vanity projects. I do love the idea of having the capability to run Win32 apps, especially if I can skip the Windows store and install applications. Microsoft has so much cash and such a diverse portfolio, that they can afford to take small losses just to keep Windows phones going. Blackberry on the other hand, cannot.

    • Rumble and Sway

      You make a valid point about cash. People talk about BB having so much cash but in reality they only have about $1.7 billion after debts are taken into account compared to over $60 billion that MSFT has.
      BB is in a very precarious position going forward as their hardware hasn’t gained any traction and software I doubt will be anywhere near as profitable as they would like to think. You can only acquire yourself to profitability for so long before you have to start showing you can make money on your products and/or turn around the dogs they bought that were losing money in the business.

    • Marc Palumbo

      And that’s Blackberry’s problem. Microsoft on the other hand has been comfortable with certain areas losing money. It’s proven to be successful with Xbox, but not with Windows phones. I believe going forward, Microsoft will try and create something new to customers, and something no one has. Continuum can be that, and I think business wise, is a great investment.

      There’s too many people on the internet or people in general will say Microsoft is not relevant, but who are we kidding, Microsoft has loaded people with software that they use and didn’t know they did. It’s too boring where companies like Apple keep coming out with updated devices. Give people something new, try out stuff! Google is doing it, Tesla is doing it, and Microsoft is doing it.

    • Rumble and Sway

      MSFT dominates the PC market still with Windows and until that changes, which I doubt it will anytime soon, they are in a unique position to leverage that dominance with Continuum as you say. Those saying its irrelevant really have no idea what the hell they’re talking about which is typical of Rimtards to begin with. Most of these people are truly delusional who believe such progams as Docs to Go is a substitute for genuine MS Office software. For a business oriented device, Blackberry has had a dearth of support in that area beyond emailing and messaging.

    • Jamie

      Do you claim that MFST Office sweet on a Windows smart phone is the same as found on a Desk Top? A full version of Docs to Go (found on BlackBerrys) is a great substitute. I can load a spreadsheet onto my phone, edit it on my phone, put it back onto my computer and pick up where I left off. What is the specific problem with Docs to Go that you have?

    • Marc Palumbo

      I’m not clear what Docs To Go has, but Office mobile is tightly integrated with OneDrive and DropBox and iCloud on iOS. This alone makes Office much more attractive. I don’t think Blackberry has the legs as a hardware maker, but they need to do something much more with their software.

    • Rumble and Sway

      They need to go out of business. 🙂

    • Marc Palumbo

      Maybe that’s a bit harsh, but I would prefer it being acquired. I do understand the hate.

    • Rumble and Sway

      Nah. It’s not harsh but I agree a buyout would be just as appealing. As a standalone operation this is a joke

    • Rumble and Sway

      Docs to Go is garbage buddy. It doesn’t hold a candle to genuine MS Office apps and is an incredibly poor substitute. Typical Blackberry third rate junk

    • Marc Palumbo

      It’s not only BB fans, but everyone else in general. People think they don’t need Microsoft for whatever reason, except, they do many things that most companies won’t. I’m not defending Microsoft, but the original guy who comment wrote a truly ignorant thing.

    • Jamie

      I do agree that MFST is essential as I use it for work on a daily bases. I also agree that Windows mobile makes it easier to access files though services like DropBox however you can also access files very easily on a BlackBerry from DropBox. It may be missing some advantages but I find a very user friendly program. The problem with Apple is that they don’t share so you can’t access iCloud from anything but an iPhone. One of the things I hate most about Apple.

    • Rumble and Sway

      Really? You can’t access iCloud from a website on any computer? lol. You see this is my point. You Blackberry drones are easily the most uninformed clowns out there and yet call others the same.
      You can access iCloud from any device and any and all documents created using Pages, Numbers, Keynote in that manner. Also any documents or files in iCloud Drive are also accessible on any computer.

      I strongly suggest you get educated about the topics you pontificate on James. You’re embarrassing yourself and your ‘hatred’ of Apple is clearly clouding your judgment.

    • Jamie

      Shut up troll, I never said you could access iCloud from any other computer. I said that Apple doesn’t share access with anyone else and I hate that about Apple. Just because your a sucker that bought into the apple image because you thought it made you somehow cool enough to fit in with the it crowd really doesn’t give you a pass to come on here and made idiotic arguments with intelligent people. Get a life dude, you need one.

    • Rumble and Sway

      What kind of BS are you talking about? You made a statement about not being able to access iCloud except from an Apple device which is a blatant lie and BS statement on your part. The product of ignorance and low information.
      Now you’re coming out and making personal attacks which is the last desperate ploy of the weak.
      You talk about me making idiotic arguments and yet you excel at them. If you’re going to flame a company at least have your facts straight. It’s pretty obvious you have no experience using an Apple product.

    • Vito R.

      First of all, lots of apps are Dropbox compatible and Dropbox is just one solution, there are many other cloud storage solutions out there.

      The fact that Microsoft does “many things that most companies won’t” doesn’t make them useful. Most people could actually get along just fine without Microsoft – except for the companies that are forced to use them for legacy reasons.

      Microsoft’s CEO said that he knows people use Microsoft products because they HAVE to. He’s hoping to change things so that people WANT to use Microsoft technology. He knows they have a long way to go – do you think differently?

    • Marc Palumbo

      I said DropBox, but I mean build directly within Office. I used DropBox as an example, nothing concrete. I agree with your other statements. In the end, people can use what they want, but there still are a lot of people out there, people I’m friends with, will view Microsoft as M$ and Apple the best product producing organization. People don’t think out of the box anymore, they become… like robots. Not everyone is like you or I where we view every product and evaluate accordingly.

    • Vito R.

      Nobody says MS isn’t relevant. They’ve said they’re not relevant as a Mobile OS platform.

    • Marc Palumbo

      There’s plenty of evidence all over Disqus lol… That may be true in the past, but all Microsoft has done is make Windows 10 available as a mobile platform. It’s there if you want it, and hopefully, Microsoft keeps true that they can make ROMs for devices running Android. My LG G4 is waiting for W10 so I can ditch Android.

    • Vito R.

      Haha, that’s so not going to happen.

    • Marc Palumbo

      It was announced last year, but, I don’t think it will happen either. I would have loved it because it would have allowed me to do it. Bah well.

  • Chuck

    Android is the present and the past. BlackBerry 10 is the future. They’re just expanding their product line and getting back in the game with Android this year while still selling the superior Classic and Passport to tech-savvy consumers, security-minded organizations, and BlackBerry diehards. I would be willing to bet that new BlackBerry 10 devices will be introduced, and they will not be “smartphones.” The CPU and memory advantages of a hard RTOS will not go away in the next 12 months. People want that stability, speed, and excellent battery life. Android is just a stepping stone to get the BlackBerry brand back in the hands of common folk. Watch.

    • danbob333

      Of course they will not go away. They were never here to begin with.
      A RTOS is useful, just not in a phone.

    • Rumble and Sway

      Hahah! You said it. A company that just can’t take a hint.

  • Jamie

    I am a consumer who will hold out with BB10 as long as possible. I really don’t like iOS or Android when compared to BB10. I get that it’s not for everyone and the lack of apps is a big deal to many people. I wish the developers would have rushed to BB10 in 2012 so the phone could have launched with all the apps people wanted. Then BB10 would have sold much better and my beloved operating system would be on solid footing moving towards the future. I think BB10 will be kept around and a new device launched every now and then for government and regulated industries but because it will be such a limited market the price will be high. They will sell Android phones for the consumer market. Looks like I will be keeping my Passport for a long time to come, and I’ve never owned a smart phone for more than 18 months. I’m already 13 months into my Passport and I still love it.

    • I think part of why the BB10 was DOA with majority of consumer. With BB10, we have control over the device and apps like we used to have with Android. Where you can deny certain permissions and still use an application.

      Developers hate that because it cuts on revenue and the information they like to collect on their consumer. BB10 will always be a niche until security is cool again

      Personally, I love BB10 and couldn’t think of using another phone over my Classic

    • Rumble and Sway

      Blame this arrogant company for not reaching out to encourage developers to come on board here. It was Lazaridis who essentially dismissed the relevance of the coming app revolution and they paid a heavy price as a result.

    • Jamie

      You are not correct. If you read the book “loosing the signal” which I have you will learn the public face of BlackBerry was much different than their efforts behind the scene. For one, Mike knew the iPhone was likely going to take off. He sent an employee to New York on the company jet on the launch day to buy one just so he could take it apart at his lab in Waterloo. He found that it was a far more capable device than what BlackBerry was making, their only hope at the time is the carriers wouldn’t allow such data hungry devices to gain traction. The BBOS was never suited for things like apps or internet and they couldn’t make it as good as Apple or Android. For QNX (BB10) they courted developers very hard from 2011 until launch in 2013. They just weren’t interested. Apple and Android had stolen the wave of consumers and very few wanted to invest in developing apps for BB10, they just didn’t see a return in it for them.

    • Rumble and Sway

      I read the book but you didn’t apparently. They considered the iPhone would flop and Lazaridis made no effort whatsoever dealing with apps because he believed anything you could do through those could be done through a mobile website. He was proven categorically wrong.
      Oh, and let’s not forget his own engineers were pressing for an iPhone-like device as early as 2005 but he cared more about battery life and his tactile keys.
      The guy was an arrogant slob and for someone on the cutting edge for so long he was remarkably tone deaf at this point in time. Hell. This company didn’t even want to put a camera on board their phones for so long. Just a bunch of dinosaurs which might help explain why developers flipped him the bird

    • Jamie

      You have no clue. They did attempt an iPhone like device and it was a disaster. Remember the Storm? BB0S couldn’t handle the requirements that multimedia and fast web browsing put on it. He did think that in the end people would opt for battery life and low data costs but he knew if they went the other way BlackBerry would be in a lot of trouble. The camera was an issue because at the time many companies in regulated industries and governments wouldn’t cameras in the board rooms. They were not prepared but it wasn’t due to Mike being an “arrogant slob”. He had his hands tied by the OS he had to work with. Did you own a BB OS 7 device? Battery was dead by noon time and you had to pull the battery every two hours when it froze up. That’s because of what they demanded from it. The company grew at an unreal rate from 2000 to 2009. They were not able to handle the growth and foresee the future at the same time.

    • Rumble and Sway

      You’re a typical apologist for this company. The Storm came out after iPhone and yes it was a disaster because they were rushing a half baked product to market. Just like with the Playbook when “amateur hour” was supposedly over. Little did we know the rank amateurs were in this company

      It’s painfully obvious you’re a deluded fellow when it comes to this topic. Cameras banned from board rooms? Okay fine but did that preclude them from manufacturing models with and without cameras?
      He thought people wanted low data and better battery?? Well turns out he was wrong wasn’t he just like he was wrong about everything else. A total buffoon That’s the bottom line and so truly you’re the one dining out on ashes

    • Jamie

      I never made the case that the executive at BlackBerry didn’t get it wrong, that doesn’t make anyone arrogant. The Storm 2 by the way was not rushed and was also a flop because it couldn’t compare to the competition. You continue to ignore that BBOS was not capable of competing. Poor management led to delay in BB10 and the Playbook being released before it was ready but nothing within their company could have prevented the shift prior to RIM purchasing QNX in 2010. Refusal to acknowledge that as the leading cause shows idiocy or ignorance. Which category do you fit?

    • Rumble and Sway

      Idiocy? lol. The company had a chance to adopt Android 5 years ago and Balsillie pressed the matter but Lazaridis resisted. Partly the reason the company imploded but at least JB saw the writing on the wall. To pursue BB10 when it couldn’t compete and iOS was already in the market alongside Android since 2007/2008 demonstrates complete arrogance or naïveté on your part. Which category do you fit in?

      I repeat. BB10 was DOA and was stupid to pursue in light of billion dollar write downs on hardware and the fact the market is near non existent for it. Arrogance afflicts this company now as it did then and clearly you aren’t free from the disease yourself.

    • Jamie

      BlackBerry could never fully adopt Android, it can’t be secured to the level governments and regulated industries require. They didn’t want to run two OSs which seems pretty logical to everyone but you.

    • Rumble and Sway

      Who cares about government and regulated industries? There is no money to be made strictly selling a product to that segment. That much is self evident

    • Jamie

      Trust me, if BlackBerry goes fully Android for consumer than they will jack the price up on BB10 for government and regulated industries so they can make some money. Using less secure devices is not an option

    • Rumble and Sway

      What for? The price of some of their BB10 devices like the Passport is already at the high end of what anyone will pay, government and business included. If Android happens to make a profit for the company I doubt Chen is going to bother trying to leverage BB10 any further and may just accept that it’s a loss leader to satisfy the few remaining holdouts.

  • Rumble and Sway

    I still see the same delusions affect individuals on this forum when it comes to BB10. An OS that has next to no developer support isn’t going anywhere but into the trash heap and you can blame the company itself for this because they never felt apps were important. Typical BB arrogance that is a hallmark of their failures the past 5 years

    Personally I never found BB10 all that great. It had a couple interesting features like the Hub and the open screen running multiple programs at the same time but none of this is a game changer or something you can’t do without. You can choose to like it personally but if its market acceptance is limited then it has nowhere to go but down.

    Last but not least, security was never “cool” and was really never a selling point of these devices beyond enterprise and government. Consumers used these because for the longest time they were the only smartphone game in town and it made people look more important than they were. Beyond that it has nothing to offer and the degree of encryption other competitors offer is more than sufficient for consumer needs nowadays. People don’t need top level security certification to text or send personal emails and so it’ll remain a niche product for now but nothing more

  • jay

    Blackberry was dead after the iPhone came out and not realize what people wanted. Went downhill from there. A lot ceo tried but made it all worse. Bb10 was really good and liked my Q10. But only for people they don’t need so mane apps and wanted email and texting only. but time changes so the people changed to other high end phones.

    • Pigs Can Fly

      Blackberry were falling behind in technology and design, they were recycling the BB Bold and Curve models for years and even the Torch was out of touch compared to Android and iPhone design at the time, but until they finally saw the light and released the Q10 and likes which was too little too late.

    • Rumble and Sway

      You mean the Z10 because the Q10 was just another rehashed version of previous models.

  • Poda

    The only people trashing BB10 are insecure iTurds who are incapable of learning something different, which surprisingly makes up a lot of IT ‘experts’ reviewing IT products onlne.

    • Vito R.

      When you use a term like “iTurds” you lose all credibility haha.

      You know who else is trashing BB10? Blackberry. They’ve killed it because it is not a commercially viable product. You like it, instead of thinking that you’re the exception you think everybody else is wrong for not thinking BB10 is the best OS. Good luck with that.

    • Poda

      Well you laugh at me because I am different and I laugh at you as you are the same as others who can’t really answer my question. What is it that an iphone can do that I can’t with my 3 years old z30 but nativly. Make a list

    • Vito R.

      It’s a waste of time. I told you what’s better on other platforms.

      You can be different, but you need to realize you’re an exception based on your needs and that your use case does not represent the majority of users.

    • Rumble and Sway

      Vito you’re talking to a brick wall. These guys are deluded and have next to no exposure to any technology outside of BB. There is a strong chance these people have never used an Android or an iPhone and yet have the gall to suggest others don’t want to try and learn something different.
      They just don’t understand that in today’s market an OS that has next to no developer or third party support is going nowhere. The only thing a BB10 device is good for is sending messages and emails. Something that every other competitor does as well, if not better, depending on your needs.

    • Vito R.

      Haha, I know what you’re saying. To be fair, it not just Blackberry users that are blindly loyal to a platform and refuse to accept there are other alternatives. Although I have found BB users seem to be the most invested in their platform – probably because they’ve used it the longest.

    • Rumble and Sway

      They’re invested in a dying technology talking stuff like RTOS on a phone, the Hub, tactile keys, security (as if Apple doesn’t use encryption as well in messaging)
      They’re tired old arguments but what is particularly entertaining is how these clowns have never used an iPhone and then come out and talk shjt about it. Like Jamie telling us Apple doesn’t ‘share’ (whatever the hell that means) and you can’t use iCloud except on an iOS device. lol Low information drones these guys are.

  • gommer strike

    This whole article could have been summed up in one point:

    The upside of BB going Android-only, is so that it addresses the app gap.

    The next BB phone I’d like to see it go back to its roots, concerning the hardware keyboard. It needs to be the same, as good as, the addictive BB keyboards that we all used back in the day. It should not be a squished, inferior keyboard. It should be the nice, fuller sized one from the good ol’ days.

    You can sacrifice the screen length for it. Doesn’t have to be pull-out keyboard.

    • Rumble and Sway

      Back in the day? Good ole days? ROTFL. Yeah. That’s the problem with some of you people. Yearning for the past and no wonder the company is suffering

  • Rony

    Daniel, funny that you wrote about upsides blackberry going android.
    Remember your article how you were so agains when BB rumoured to go with android Priv . remember how you said it’s so bad idea ?

  • Abu Taalib

    Im not one for this talk about why BB10 is going under. All I know is that i used Android and iOS and I prefer BB10. People who are complaining about the hub haven’t really used or didn’t take the time to learn how to use it properly. The hub doesn’t everything that some people are complaining about.
    Its so easy to move around in BB10. Its just efficient and fast.

    Now that BB10 is finished i’ll be in the market for a new phone sometime in the future when my current BB10 phone dies and I won’t be going the way of the BB Priv. I just don’t like Android that much even though i can get around Android very well as i had droid tablets for years.

    RIP BB10. you will be missed!

    • Rumble and Sway

      It’s not more efficient or fast than any other OS. I mean seriously the idea you’re getting something done faster on a BB10 device than an Android or iOS is just plain nuts and the kind of paper thin arguments we’ve come to expect from apologists for this company.

    • Jamie

      Really? Real TimeI Operating System is (QNX ie BB10)not more efficient than iOS or Android? It’s facts like that which trolls like you try to discredit all the time

    • Rumble and Sway

      Who needs an RTOS on a phone? No one. You know it and so do I.

    • Jamie

      “It’s not more efficient or fast than any other OS” is what you said and that’s a lie

    • Rumble and Sway

      Yeah and its true because you’ll be hard pressed to find someone out there getting a task done faster on a BB than on a rival device that is all that noticeable. In an airplane, TV’s and manufacturing I can see the benefits of an RTOS but no one gives a damn about any of that stuff on a phone. Its a gimmick pal.

    • Jamie

      the more powerful the phones become in the future, the more you will notice a difference. iOS and Android will struggle more and more with trying to keep battery consumption down while putting ever more processors and memory into their phones. BB10 doesn’t even come close to showing it’s greatest benefits yet. If we never made another phone than you would be correct but like so many other iSheep your short sighted and can’t see potential in anyone else’s technology. If Apple had of invented it well it would be the best thing since the personal computer.

    • Rumble and Sway

      You’re deluded. People don’t care about extending a couple more hours of battery life on a phone. If they did the iPhone wouldn’t be selling as well as it has. You sound like Lazaridis circa 2007. lol.
      And how exactly are the phones going to become more powerful in such a way to further impact battery life? Even if they did you think Blackberry is the only game in town capable of leveraging the most from a battery? Gimme a break. The only reason the battery lasts longer on that crap is because the devices are nowhere near as demanding via software/apps and the fact they put large batteries in the phone. Doesn’t take a tech genius to understand why they get a few more hours of usage.

      And for the last time BB10 is dead. Deal with it fanboy

    • Abu Taalib

      that’s your opinion. But for me i get a lot more done much easier and faster then i do in iOS and Android. I have used all 3 platforms so there’s no doubt about that.

      If android is good for you or ios, that’s great. But my opinion is from my own experience.
      I don’t like BB as a company. I think they suck but QNX built an amazing OS that I will miss.

    • Rumble and Sway

      I’ve used all 3 platforms as well. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses so not suggesting one is inherently superior to another. If your experience is such that you get more done on BB10 then who am I to suggest otherwise but it’s highly subjective. We all have our own needs for a device but one thing I’m willing to bet is that in terms of time saved or number of tasks performed you are at best banking only about a minute or two which in the grand scheme doesn’t make you all that more efficient. It’s the placebo effect.

  • Ericp2011

    I have been a Blackberry user since the beginning and loved most of it, physical keyboards are the best. I just sold my Passport because they will be doing to BB10 devices what they have done with the Playbook (which I also owned) no new development. I made the switch to a pure Android experience, the Nexus 6p, and I must admit that I am really impressed, but will be missing the keyboard so bad. I am not dismissing BB forever, just taking a break to see what devices the will produce in the future and how good they will be.

  • ianberg

    BB10 delays and outages of BBM and email hurt. Before that were the rushed, poorly made devices like Storm. Also, according to eyewitness accounts in “Losing the Signal”, Mike Laziridis was always obsessed with business-oriented devices that used as little data possible and didn’t change that focus even after iPhone and Android flagships offering apps that needed lots of data where what business demanded.

    • Rumble and Sway

      Exactly and yet clowns like Jamie will tell you the opposite that Lazaridis knew the iPhone would succeed. If that’s so true then why was he slow to respond to it? The arrogant buffoon thought it would flop and that he knew best what the market wanted. Turns out he didn’t know jackshît

  • Pingback: The upside of BlackBerry going Android-only — World News Aggregator()

  • Pingback: BlackBerry Layoffs Leave Dark Cloud Over Handset Business — App Reviews()