SyrupCast 102: The ‘Mercury’ is rising

Comments

  • xBURK

    Just so your clear Mobilesyrup, while future BlackBerry devices will be manufactured by TCL, the BlackBerry / Android software is installed and digitaly signed in Canada. Great cast, thank you.

  • Cowpoke

    ‘Unusual design choices’?
    That implies that designers were involved somewhere along the line.
    Mmmm…

    • Shogun

      It’s a company that couldn’t design a shjthouse when all that requires is a door and toilet tank

    • Chug that haterade

      PRIV Wins Red Dot Award for Product Design 2016! | Inside BlackBerry

      BlackBerry Ltd Passport Wins Coveted Red Dot Award For Design – ValueWalk

      BlackBerry Q10, Q5, and Z30 Win Red Dot Awards for Design Quality – Softpedia News

      You were saying?

    • Shogun

      Uh… few people care about let alone heard about “Red Dot Awards” Only fanboys get orgasms about that stuff and if one didn’t know better you’d think they were being paid to give the award or the people making the decision to award something good this insignificant were fanboys themselves
      Did it help sales? You figure that out

    • Chug that haterade

      You made a comment about their design… Red Dot proved you otherwise. You can deny an deflect all you want.

    • Shogun

      And I’m telling you Red Dot is meaningless and never helped the company sell more product.

    • Chug that haterade

      Your original comment was about design… not sales. And Red Dot is only meaningless because it is a positive recognition for BlackBerry…. had it been a negative, you’d be all over it like flies on stink.

    • Shogun

      Oh so because some doofus at Red Dot likes it I guess that means it was great huh? SMH

    • Chug that haterade

      Or 40 recognized expert doofuses…

      At the heart of the Red Dot Award: Product Design is its jury. With their specialist knowledge, some 40 recognised experts from around the world guarantee the high quality standards and thus the value of the Red Dot seal. While the set-up of the jury changes annually, one element remains the same: all members commit to the “Code of Honour”, which states that jurors cannot participate in the adjudication of products they were involved in in any way. In addition, no juror can be employed by an industrial manufacturing company. This prevents conflicts of interest and ensures the highest possible degree of fairness and neutrality.
      In an evaluation process lasting several days the international experts test, discuss and assess every single entry without a preselection. They adjudicate the actual products, which makes it absolutely necessary for entrants to submit functioning samples.

    • Shogun

      No one cares and honestly this award, like all awards, is an entirely subjective process. I’ll take the views of consumers on the street who vote with their wallets over a some jury of blowhards giving out a meaningless designation that no one cares about or uses to justify a decision to buy any certain product.
      Keep reaching

    • Chug that haterade

      Subjective… by 40 experts…. and just because a product has more sales than another doesn’t mean it is better designed, more useful, etc . By that logic, McDonald’s cheeseburgers are the best burgers on the planet because they sell the most..

    • Shogun

      Experts? You are so naive it’s unreal. A film critic is an “expert” too and i suppose we should care greatly what he /she thinks before seeing a movie right? SMH.
      Get it through your head pal. No one cares about meaningless Red Dot awards okay

    • Chug that haterade

      Oh… so the feedback from people that do this for a living and have years and years of experience is meaningless or less valid that your opinion?

      And I never claimed most consumers cared about Red Dot… but BlackBerry winning multiple Red Dot Awards over the last few years is indicative of their solid design capability…. which contradicts your snarky assessment about them designing an outhouse.

    • Shogun

      My gawd you are so obtuse. lol

      Red Dot is MEANINGLESS. What part of this word dont you understand? It has never helped sales and or the image here. I mean the Priv was a total piece of garbage with serious overheating issues that were never fully rectified and a slider mechanism prone to breakage. Also the keyboard on that thing wasn’t what users expected of past BB PKB devices and yet it wins a Red Dot? LMAO! Like I said no credibility in that process

    • Chug that haterade

      Again… back to sales. The goalpost seems to be moving…

    • Shogun

      Nice try. The Priv gets a Red Dot despite obvious issues and you ignore this. Lol

      Enjoy the rest of your day pal. Wherever in the U.S you reside.

    • Chug that haterade

      So the Priv overheating because of software issues should have prevented them from winning a Red Dot for it?

    • Shogun

      Software issues? More like build quality buddy. Proper insulation of the unit would’ve been a good start instead of the carbon crap they used which really made the phone feel cheap and plasticky.
      The software issues did however diminish battery life and still does although this plagues alot of Marshmallow devices. Either way the device was for shjt and in no way deserves any award for design or quality.

    • Chug that haterade

      Because you know exactly what the cause of these “build quality” issues were? And all electronics get warm if they are doing heavy processing (games, multiple web pages, etc)…

    • Shogun

      I’ve used alot of devices and none have heated up like that junk did after updating half a dozen apps or watching a 5 minute video or 20 minutes of web browsing. Also the battery drying up over 20% when updating apps is unacceptable for a high end device.
      The only time I’ve handled a phone that gets quite warm is after using it in VR mode which is to be expected. Otherwise a hot plate it shouldn’t be.
      But hey some Red Dot doofus thinks it’s great so what do i know.

    • Chug that haterade

      again, mostly a software optimization issue… has minimal to do with device design.

    • Shogun

      Sure it does. Overheating batteries. Crappy keyboard and a useless slider mechanism which is just a problem begging to be unleashed is all about software.
      Like i said. Crap device and anyone awarding it for design doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about

    • Chug that haterade

      Oh, but I supposed Apple still deserved the Red Dot for the iSwatch despite the crappy battery life and all of the issues.

    • Shogun

      The company was upfront about the battery life so what’s your point? What other issues are you referring to? At least the thing didn’t burn up on your wrist and compared to other smartwatches on the market it had an intuitive interface and ease of use. Beyond that i doubt Apple gave a shjt about a Red Dot award as i don’t recall ever reading something from the company directly. Unlike BlackBerry which salivates over this thing.

    • Chug that haterade

      Naaw.. BlackBerry didn’t salivate over it.. just posted it as news when it came out. And of course you would apologize for the iSwatch… if it was BlackBerry’s watch that had the battery issues, you’d reaming them a new one 7 ways from Sunday..

    • Shogun

      Of course it posted it as ‘news’ For something swirling in the the toilet they’re hard pressed for any coverage they can get. Usually for free

    • Chug that haterade

      Riiiight. Because heaven forbid a company post any positive news about themselves or their products…

    • Shogun

      LOL! No. Its just simple desperation because instead of spending their own money on marketing a product they rely on garbage like meaningless Red Dot awards and free interviews given to tech magazines that’ll spread the word on their behalf. I suspect they are granted interviews and coverage out of sympathy more than any real interest in what they’re doing given their irrelevance.

    • Chug that haterade

      Because it costs so much money to post news about their device winning a Red Dot Award on their site. Crazy how they are so irrelevant yet their existence consumes a fair amount of your time and energy.

    • Shogun

      lol…Once again you just don’t get the point do you. You’re a miracle man. Even the most basic concept needs to be clarified with you multiple times before you get the faintest clue.

    • Chug that haterade

      What needs to be clarified? It isn’t a secret that BlackBerry doesn’t spend much money on marketing… your point is the same as any other… anything positive about BlackBerry (awards, certifications, etc) is all bunk… they are a horrible company with horrible products that you continue to waste precious moments of your life bashing on a tech site. Sound about right?

    • Shogun

      Awards, certifications etc. have done absolutely nothing for the investors stuck in this stock nor has it reversed the company’s fortunes so while I’m sure this kind of fluff makes you feel better about carrying the phone around or holding shares here, the reality is it brings nothing to the table.
      Have a good night.

    • Chug that haterade

      But I thought you weren’t a BlackBerry shareholder so why do you care about the stock price? And certifications most certainly do so… especially when your main focus is on security. If you don’t have the certifications to back up your claims, then customers will go to a competitor that does.

    • Cowpoke

      I went through the checkout of my local store and was served by a very charming Indian lady with a red dot on her forehead. That was 3 months ago and she’s still there; ain’t nobody bought her yet…..though I’m saving up.

    • Chug that haterade

      Riiiiiiight…

    • Rev0lver

      Literally half of your comments violate the new community guidelines. Are they going to be enforced or are we just going to have to live with immature, personal attacks?

  • Shogun

    So we can all agree the Mercury is hideous?

    • Chug that haterade

      No…. it is pretty much just you and a handful of others. Is anyone really surprised that you don’t like it?

    • Shogun

      If you listened to the podcast the consensus around the table seems to be the same

    • Chug that haterade

      Do you always listen to what others think when you make purchasing decisions?

    • Shogun

      Yes, in part, as most people do. I don’t buy stuff from desperate companies pushing a product they themselves hardly believe in.

    • Chug that haterade

      Yet you’ve been here all week commenting about it. And some people look at reviews or feedback from friends.. others don’t.

      Ps. What happened to you putting me on “ignore”?

    • Shogun

      You still don’t get it do ya. These boards are good for a laugh. They provide comic relief, especially when posters like you come around defending something because you can’t abide a different opinion about the brand. Otherwise you’d just pass it over and move on as well. But you can’t can ya? You get off on the thrill of confrontation not just with me but anyone that speaks ill of this company.
      The question is why do you care so much if people knock it down? After years of blunders, arrogance and stupidly it’s not as if they don’t deserve the scorn

    • Chug that haterade

      Kinda like a few posters that continue to respond to me (and others) about positive comments we make about BlackBerry? And yes, BlackBerry leadership has made mistakes but what company hasn’t? Is Apple perfect? Absolutely not! Is Samsung perfect? Certainly not! And at the end of the day, what do you think the time you spend here posting numerous snarky comments about BlackBerry is going to accomplish? Do you think they are magically going to become better, profitable, etc because Shogun rips on them for this or that? Or do you think that you being here is going to dissuade people from buying BlackBerry products?

    • Shogun

      Unlike you I’m not delusional about this company and people decided a long time ago to avoid BB and its products. That’s what makes these stories hilarious and the attempts at comeback lame. Also the comments that don’t jive with reality like yours.
      Last but not least the assertion this company has made mistakes is the understatement of the decade. They keep making the same errors and never seem capable of learning from them.

    • Chug that haterade

      What have I been delusional about? Just because I choose to not continually dwell on the past and come here to comment about stuff that happened 2, 3, 4 years ago doesn’t make me delusional. And Samsung (exploding phone anyone?) and Apple (too many to list) both have made their fair share of mistakes. Companies are run by people and people make mistakes.

      Ps. Convenient how you avoided answering my question…

    • Shogun

      The past is prologue with everything this company does and it’s never shown any indication of that changing

    • Chug that haterade

      Okay…. sure. Back to my original question…. what do you think the time you spend leaving multiple comments will accomplish?

    • Shogun

      I’m not here to accomplish anything. I said before it’s entertainment and really one could ask the same if you. What do you think your persistence will achieve? People changing their opinion about the brand? Like i say you should be on Chen’s payroll because you’re doing more PR here than the company ever did the past 5 years.

    • Chug that haterade

      So you’re just here to trash BlackBerry for entertainment? Sounds a bit on the sad side considering there are far better things one could be doing than trashing a company on the internet that he or she doesn’t like. As for my purpose, I’m here to discuss BlackBerry with other fans and correct misinformation. I’m not trying to get people to change their opinion… if you want to have a negative opinion on BlackBerry, that’s on you.

    • Shogun

      Sad? You mean the same “sad” to describe your being here to counter every post that speaks negatively of the company? Oh the joys and wonders of mobile technology. Does your wife ever ask you why the hell you spend so much time pounding on a keyboard over a stupid company like this? Makes you wonder

    • Chug that haterade

      Hilarious how you always try to deflect and can’t see the difference. Does your wife ever ask you why the hell you spend so much time pounding on a screen over a stupid company like this? Makes you wonder

    • Shogun

      Here’s a suggestion for ya. Why don’t you put a job application in with Chen to work for his pathetic PR department?? That way you can be surrounded all day by all things BlackBerry extolling the virtues and actually being paid for it?

    • Chug that haterade

      Here is a better suggestion…. why don’t you submit your lengthy list of accomplishments to the BlackBerry Board and replace Chen… that way, you can turn BlackBerry around since you seem to know more than Chen does. Either that, or maybe Apple will create a position for you… then you can actually get paid for all of the time you waste here bashing a company you don’t like…

    • Shogun

      It doesn’t take an MBA to fire people to save cash buddy and Chen is the most overrated goofball CEO I’ve ever seen. All because he saved Sybase 20 years ago and even that was due more to luck and skill

    • Chug that haterade

      Riiiight… so what executive positions have you held and what noteworthy accomplishments in business do you have?

    • Shogun

      Here we go about accomplishments. lol. It’s clear to me that you are incredibly naive and easily defer to people you think are smarter than you just because they are the CEO of a money losing entity. Beyond that you seem to have little capacity for thinking on your own.

      And no, it doesn’t take a business whiz to figure out how to save cash by slashing overhead. Except, except that under Chen today overhead is going up again to the point they can’t make a profit on anything except through non-GAAP methods and ‘adjusted EBITDA” which is nothing more than Chen-speak for covering up his failures. You’d know that if you knew how to read a financial properly but not going over that again with you

    • Chug that haterade

      If you know so much and feel you’re vastly superior to Chen in terms of intelligence and business capabilities then why do you constantly avoid my request to share your accomplishments? As for your assessment about reading financial statements properly, I’m still waiting for your explanation on their writedown of Goodwill? If memory serves me correctly, you stated it couldn’t be written down…

    • Shogun

      Perhaps I didn’t explain it to you properly but here it is again. Goodwill is something that normally is meant to enhance a company’s value although it is intangible and while its possible to write it off as BB did here (something you don’t seem bothered by which is the story of this outfit these days) its less than desirable for the company or the shareholders to do so.
      In the context of what I was talking about then is this company’s propensity for writing off hardware (which has nothing to do with goodwill) in one quarter and then attempting to show huge margins the next even though in reality its a massive loss covered up with non-GAAP reporting methods. I mean these guys are showing margins on hardware that exceed even Apple’s and that’s just downright ridiculous.
      Furthermore, software revenues and margins aside do not meet up with overall corporate overhead which is nearly $200 million a year.
      Instead of acknowledging any of these facts you raved on about “hardware overhead” which frankly I have no idea what the hell that is and nowhere did I state such and some write down of another money losing dog these guys acquired that didn’t pan out.
      Their ability to show an operating profit isn’t based on one writedown here buddy. It’s based on the fact they aren’t making anywhere as much in their business as they need to in order for that profit to be realized. That is unless Chen can find more ways to save cash primarily by firing more people.
      The only thing that keeps this bow-wow afloat is the $1 billion in the bank they have and even that won’t last forever so dream on all you want but this is the cold hard reality of the situation.

      And no company uses non-GAAP or makes up stuff like ‘adjusted EBITDA’ the way Blackberry does which in my opinion makes it less than honest.

    • Chug that haterade

      Riiiiight… companies report non-GAAP and GAAP all of the time… depending on their accounting policies. It isn’t “shady” to report both. Do you even know what EBITDA is (without Googling it)? They show an operating profit BEFORE the accounting treatments (ie writedown, etc) are applied. And the only thing I said about hardware overhead was that hardware generally has much more overhead than software (refuting a claim you made that software oveverhead was really high).
      Lastly, you can backbeddle all you want on goodwill all you want but you know what you originally said and I have no desire to track it down to show how you claimed they didn’t have a writedown on goodwill and that it couldn’t be written down.

    • Shogun

      Uh…companies do not use non-GAAP anywhere near as much as Blackberry has done pal and furthermore the use of these methods brings into question the efficacy of their ‘turnaround’ I guess that’s why the stock more or less tanked afterwards huh?
      I never said it was shady to report both either so stop putting words in my mouth or implying such.

      While BlackBerry told you it was posting positive non-GAAP EPS and positive EBITDA (which ought to lead to positive cash flow from operations), the hard reality is that BlackBerry was losing massive amounts of money. How did this happen? Consider the following:

      To produce its non-GAAP numbers, BlackBerry charged off a huge slice of inventory ($46 million during Q1 FY2017, $97 million during Q2 FYS2017 and $2 million during Q3 FY2017, for a grand total of nearly $150 million). Of course, non-GAAP ignored these recurring charges.

      Then, when BlackBerry sold this inventory, it reported “record gross margins.” Why so? Because the cost of the inventory held in the books had been taken lower than what was possible to sell the discounted devices for (through the inventory charges). Keep in mind that the discounted prices were actually well below the cost of procuring the devices.

      Now, a little accounting. When that inventory came into the books, it came in at cost. A similar amount initially went into accounts payable to pay for those devices. Then, when the inventory was charged off, accounts payable stayed the same.

      Alas, when accounts payable are paid, real cash has to be delivered. Suppliers are paid as per the original amounts, and the cash burn will reflect the actual loss on selling those smartphones instead of the non-GAAP EPS fantasy or the gross margin GAAP fantasy. Thus, the $129 million drop in accounts payable from Q2 FY2017 to Q3 FY2017 linearly represents a large part of that cash burn, as stated by BlackBerry (working capital changes). It doesn’t represent the full amount simply because some devices will have been received during the quarter they were sold, or charged off directly (BlackBerry paying the suppliers not honor previous commitments it made to them).

      In the end, what matters is that the large cash burn which happened during the quarter is reality, and non-GAAP EPS or high GAAP gross margins are, in this situation, fantasies.

      And as far as EBITDA is concerned have you ever heard of ‘adjusted EBITDA’? No. Didn’t think so but in BlackBerry world its apparently real but also BS.
      Like I said before I think its best you avoid engaging in topics you have a minimal understanding of and your continued grousing about what I did or did no say about ‘goodwill’ is just a distraction from your obvious cluelessness

    • Chug that haterade

      ahahahahaha riiiiight. Their big $200 million dollar cash burn? And yes, adjusted EBITDA is free flow of cash that a company has to take care of any debt proposed. And companies don’t use non GAAP near as much? Have you done an analysis of the financials of EVERY publicly traded company?

    • Shogun

      Huh? Like I said please stick to topics you have some knowledge about because financials of publicly traded companies isn’t one of them.

    • Chug that haterade

      But you do? Pffft… right… please tell us more about Goodwill… it was surely entertaining

    • Shogun

      The fact that the above is the extent of your reply to hard numbers and facts I posted previously just goes to show you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about and why you continue is beyond belief. Save yourself the embarrassment because your singular focus on ‘definitions’ of investment terms is totally ludicrous when you can’t seriously address the numbers I posted.

    • Chug that haterade

      Back at it already? Your numbers/analysis may be correct or not… after seeing you post what you did about goodwill writedown, adjusted EBITDA, and BlackBerry reporting non-GAAP being “shady” I automatically wrote the rest of your comment off. The person attacks on my intelligence certainly didn’t help lend any credence to your argument either.

    • kirfer

      Ouch: great work unpacking all of that, Shogun!

      Poor Dingle: once again on the receiving end of what’s commonly known as a “schooling”. Can I humbly suggest that you just “retire hurt” (as we say in cricket) in order to lick your wounds?

    • Chug that haterade

      Riiiiiight. Recruiting again?

    • kirfer

      Oh, Dingle, you poor thing: do stay desperate!

      Helpful Hint: next time you kick an(other) own goal it’s probably better just to quietly back out of there, instead of running to the sideline, hands in the air, digging in your heels, and beating your chest.

      The pain will dissipate much faster that way…

    • Cowpoke

      An eloquent and pithy argument that is, quite frankly, irrefutable.

    • Chug that haterade

      What is your excuse?

    • Cowpoke

      This^^ ^^

    • Chug that haterade

      This ^^

    • Cowpoke

      Well, it’s hard to argue to the contrary, n’est ce pas?

  • Not for you

    Nice to hear some discussion on the corporate shenanigans behind BB’s search for a hardware partner.

    Also, Henry Ford did not invent the automobile – he pioneered the manufacturing processes that allowed them to become affordable.

  • Chug that haterade

    I’m a little disappointed that the bulk of my comment have been removed. I can only assume it was due to being in a thread where another poster violated the posting guidelines as mine were on topic and didn’t contain personal attacks. Regardless, keep up the great work in maintaining the commenting environment.

    • Cowpoke

      I share your pain and wish to validate your hurt feelings.
      You are, and always will be, a much loved and respected member of the ‘community’.
      Stay strong, big fella.

    • Shogun

      Naaaw! They just gassed the board because really the arguing is getting ridiculous and you are by far the biggest contributor to the problem. I post on average merely half the content you do about a Blackberry story and most of the time far less.
      You should be grateful they removed alot of your posts because really they just showed how far in over your head you are.
      As for myself, I don’t really care. Unlike some people I’m not looking to create an online legacy about a stupid company like this when its pure entertainment. Like a cat playing with a ball of wool. You being that ball of ‘wool’ most of the time. 😉
      Enjoy your week.

    • Chug that haterade

      So I’m holding a gun to your head forcing you to respond to me just like apparently someone is holding a gun to your head to click on BlackBerry articles in the first place? You can say what you want about my posts but they certainly were on topic and didn’t contain personal attacks…. which is likely the reason many of the other comments on the post were removed.

      BTW… If you are looking for entertainment, Netflix has some great new shows available … you should check them out.

    • Shogun

      I made no personal attacks on you in that exchange and you full well know it. I engaged in a debate that was as respectful as it could be and if I suggested you are obtuse or clueless at some point then that can’t be helped simply because its true and I’m not going to pretend otherwise out of deference to some moderators or you personally.
      You love to say my comments get removed and yet really yours are the same which makes you a big part of the problem here.
      So as I should’ve done when I stated before I’m putting you on ignore and will endeavour to ignore your nonsense when not logged in and see it by accident.
      I suggest you do the same to my profile and that way we can both post whatever we feel without the need to make it personal and ridiculous. Meanwhile I will comment on this company as I feel like it and you’re welcome to do the same but please refrain from replying to me in future because I have nothing to say to you that hasn’t already been covered.
      Thank you.

    • Chug that haterade

      Like you supposedly put Revolver and I on “ignore” yet you can’t ignore us just like you can’t bypass a BlackBerry article without commenting on it? And your responses were certainly riddled with personal attacks… quite frankly, I’m surprised your account wasn’t banned for it.

  • danakin

    This week fearsome foursome featured: Igor Bonifacic, Zach Gilbert, Patrick O’Rourke, and Rose Behar.

    CES 2017 up first. The discussion, much like mobile at CES, was thin on content; forcing the quartet into goofy quips to fill conversational gaps. They eventually settled on discussing BlackBerry and the TCL relationship, however, there was precious little life in the discussion. Overall, this segment felt like a lead Zeppelin; and I do mean that literally, like a balloon filled with a dense metal – not the seminal rock band.

    LG’s newest OLED offering was briefly mentioned before landing on what to expect for the G5’s successor and its ill-fated modular aspect. While still not a lively segment, it certainly felt more engrossing than what was offered to start off the podcast. There was, finally, some passion shown when Patrick stated that the G5 was a “garbage phone”. I wish the podcasters would have dug deeper into the future of modularity. Just as the discussion got interesting the segment ended.

    Rose’s well intentioned car analogy would certainly have worked better if she had a better grasp of history; in particular, Henry Ford and the invention of the automobile. Details seem to be Rose’s Achilles heel.

    Perhaps it’s the post-Christmas blahs, or maybe even that the SyrupCast team is taking longer than usual to hit their stride but even the addition of the usually solid Zach Gilbert didn’t save this episode.

    This week’s show gets a 7.1 SMSPR (Subjective MobileSyrup Podcast Review) score. Hoping for better the rest of 2017