Editorial

Eesh: Blackberry, do not muster thy name

We all know the story of Blackberry, the company is doomed, etc etc etc, this is nothing new. The company has been facing hard times, as it was slow to adapt to the trends of the industry and now finds itself spinning its wheels in place while it tries make a resurgence with consumers.

We here at Neowin have reviewed quite a few phones, tablets, and other gizmos but never have we gotten such a strong negative reaction as we did when I tweeted an image of the phone I will be reviewing next, the Blackberry Z30. The tweets below are a small sample of some of the replies received after announcing I would be using the phone for a week to build my review.

Without mustering a peep of an opinion about the phone, several users reacted to a simple image of the phone, saying how awful it must be to have to use this device.

The phone could have been made from gold bars, but that didn’t matter, Blackberry’s name is so tarnished, that simply showing off the company’s latest phone offers instant negative feedback.

And that is the problem. At this point, it doesn’t matter how good the hardware is, how smooth the OS may be, or that the camera has some nifty features, it’s all for not.

For Blackberry, this is the issue. While the old giant is fumbling with consumers, we must admit, the hardware feels fantastic in the hands (we will leave the software and more detailed descriptions of the exterior for the complete review) but that doesn’t matter, as consumers are so turned off by the name that they may never get the chance to actually hold a device to form their own opinion.

Oh, and to make it worse? Verizon is only selling the phone online.

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32 Comments

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I purchased a Blackberry Z10 and two Z30 units. Did a fair amount of research before doing so.
What has impressed me is firstly the hardware quality and secondly the frequency with which Blackberry is releasing improvements to their Blackberry 10 O/S. BB10 is a solid and functional feature rich operating system in my view.

Certainly Blackberry was working with an old BBOS that clearly could not compete with current ones from competitors. The new BB10 slightly more than a year old had it issues; what new O/S does not. But BB10 is now moving to version 10.2+ with massive enhancements. This is an O/S in a hurry up mode to catchup with the others. BB10 as a new O/S is strong with the ability for scalability and function.

There are more than enough applications for the BB10, including games and such native to BB10. At the same time, the system allows for Android applications.

Apple IOS really has not changed a whole bunch as a platform and looks dated while Android machines are all over the map in different flavours. MS WP8 machines had great promise, but like Blackberry is struggling for acceptance.

I think Blackberry will persevere and will regain some market share given time. Is there room for 4 or 5 operating systems plus some new ones coming on stream, Likely! But marketing and acceptance is the key. Unlike PALM, Blackberry is still financially fit, has a solid product and a large functional worldwide data network, something the others do not have in the same scale.

It seems some folks just love to jump onto anything negative as opposed to looking at the real thing. That is the sad part.

BB10 are great phones...OS-wise its ahead of Android/iOS or WP. But its ecosystem is weak and the perception of its brand is perhaps even worse - which means that most will never give it a chance or a second -chance. There in lies its fate - as many said, if that perception can be changed, then they have something to work on.

I would love to have one of those..Sadly, I won't be able to grab one until summer...And who knows what Blackberry is going to be like by then..

Geesh, it's the internet what did you expect? People love to troll and bash, very few people care to ever say anything positive (and when they do they are shot down for being fanbois, paid or working for whatever company they stood up for). So really big deal some people had negative comments.

BlackBerry makes nice Phone with great build-in features but the ecosystem is also important to me. I don't think a company the size of BlackBerry can compete on their own with the likes of Apple, Google and MS. Only Apple is able to fully own an eco-system and its because they were first on the market. So for this reason alone I would never invest in a BlackBerry Phone even if the Phone itself was a 10/10.

Have you not been keeping up? You can load android applications directly on to the phone avoiding their appstore and have the rich and diverse eco-system of android all sand-boxed in so its safe and secure. It like a digital mullet. Encypted and secure for business and Candy Crushing fun for personal. All the fun is in 10.2.1

berserko said,
Have you not been keeping up? You can load android applications directly on to the phone avoiding their appstore and have the rich and diverse eco-system of android all sand-boxed in so its safe and secure. It like a digital mullet. Encypted and secure for business and Candy Crushing fun for personal. All the fun is in 10.2.1

That isn't really an eco-system of its own. Besides not having an identity of its own you also run the risk of losing support for (future) android apps. The way to install apps also brings me back to the WinMo days and I want to stay far away from that

berserko said,
..... It like a digital mullet .....

yes. I said this when BB10 was announced.

the duality is awesome. IT can manage the business side, and user has his own personal side. really a novel way to manage BYOD.

I want this to be my next phone.... Just hoping that Sprint will offer it. As of right now, it seems like they will not be, which is upsetting.
Anyway, I look forward to reading the review.

The worst thing BlackBerry did (and to a lesser extent, Windows Phone) was design a OS that consumers couldn't immediately pick up and say, "Oh, I get it."

Figure 8 Dash said,
The worst thing BlackBerry did (and to a lesser extent, Windows Phone) was design a OS that consumers couldn't immediately pick up and say, "Oh, I get it."

I think Blackberry did that. One of our employees bought a Z10 when they first came out and was having no trouble navigating around. I was quite impressed with it myself, when I had the opportunity to take a look at it.

Windows Phone's problem was that it came two years too late. Everything unique about the OS was an improvement upon what iOS brought: tiles that are live with information, a Start screen and lock screen with more customization options, etc. I don't doubt for a second that if Windows Phone OS had come out within a year of iOS instead of three years later, it would be competing with a similar market share to what Android acquired. Instead, Android won its market share by being the only alternative smartphone OS option between 2007 and 2010 while the iPhone remained exclusive to AT&T.

And now that these two OSes have had a foothold for 5+ years, it's much harder for a less-established product to break into a market where ecosystem lock-in has already tied up hundreds or thousands of dollars per user in app and media purchases that won't work with other OSes. Most people don't want to sign a contract for two years, and have to re-purchase everything they already bought once before, just to try a new OS and see if they like it better unless they are truly and deeply dissatisfied with what they're using now. Most aren't. There might be something better out there for them (whether that's Blackberry or Windows Phone), but for many "okay" is good enough.

Figure 8 Dash said,
The worst thing BlackBerry did (and to a lesser extent, Windows Phone) was design a OS that consumers couldn't immediately pick up and say, "Oh, I get it."

I doubt that is the problem because having given it a try the GUI is the part that sucks the least. What really needs to happen is for more native applications to come onboard because right now the Android compatibility layer on which almost all software relies is hardly showing off the strengths of the underlying operating system via the crappy performance shown (lack of responsiveness etc).

Microsoft should buy them for peanuts and change the name to MetroBerry and make it run WP 8.x But in all seriousness, nobody wants the failed company, they all had a chance and BlackBerry management seemed to have been the issue. BlackBerry needs to give-up the Canadian pride and get with the program already, or maybe they want to play captain and go down with the ship.

NocturnalAlloy said,
Microsoft should buy them for peanuts and change the name to MetroBerry and make it run WP 8.x But in all seriousness, nobody wants the failed company, they all had a chance and BlackBerry management seemed to have been the issue. BlackBerry needs to give-up the Canadian pride and get with the program already, or maybe they want to play captain and go down with the ship.

that would be a waste of peanuts!

NocturnalAlloy said,
.....

BlackBerry is in the top 100 US patent holders.
That would be worth the peanuts, nothing more.

Flick is an awesome input technique and a true multilingual keyboard has yet to emerge on any other platform. There is some good stuff in this technology.

The new CEO has a proven track record of turning around tech companies.

While they're managing cost now, don't expect them to disappear anytime soon.

Blackberry is "circling the drain" as its business strategy. Cutting costs, reduce employees, put out weak product, low sales, leading to cutting more costs, etc, etc. And at this point people are done with them. At some point, Blackberry will be like Novell and be sold out for spare parts. The way I see it, it's just a matter of time.

Brandon said,
They would be better off moving to Android or WM8.1 at this point. App compatibility and ecosystem trumps all.

Of course it should be Android, because with Android, sales will sky rocket over night, and there will be ponies and rainbows!

(Sorry, I can't help but poke fun at "analysts")

Brand reputation is everything. At this point for BlackBerry its better off building a new brand - it's a lot easier to build a new brand then it is to re-establish a failing one.

The Teej said,
Brand reputation is everything. At this point for BlackBerry its better off building a new brand - it's a lot easier to build a new brand then it is to re-establish a failing one.

Um. They tried that by changing their name from RIM to Blackberry. Clearly it's failed big time.

The Teej said,
Brand reputation is everything. At this point for BlackBerry its better off building a new brand - it's a lot easier to build a new brand then it is to re-establish a failing one.

like Palm (the company) and other old brands merged to form another recognized plan, to have a clean slate

AsherGZ said,
If pro phone reviewer and ex Neowin employee Tim Scheisser thinks it's a crappy phone, I bet it is.

I wish I hadn't taken a drink of milk just before reading that.

Lord Method Man said,
Those are some incredibly ignorant replies.

Those are some incredibly funny replies. To be ignorant, they have to have been 1) serious, and 2) made out of prejudice. The repliers were jesting the poster, not trying to permanently tarnish the company's reputation. Blackberry's done that themselves.

Where I work, most employees had Blackberry phones until the fiasco where Blackberry's servers were down for over a month. If the rest of the world is anything like our company, Blackberry must have lost a great deal of business to Android beginning then.