Blackberry Launches Long-Awaited BB Z10 - New Corporate Name
Blackberry Bets The Farm - Launches A Really Cool, Unique, Lovely, Smart Phone
Betting the farm is a nice analogy considering that Research In Motion is home grown here in what used to be called, Waterloo County. We have agriculture as well as technology deep in our roots. Comically, we have horse and buggies and tech wizardry all happening within a few kilometers of each other. The only apples around here before the coming of the technology triangle and the iPhone kind, were the edible fruit kind, and the road apples left by the horse and buggy kind. (Dare I say LOL?)
In fact "If" the Z10 is a success as everyone living in our community hopes it will be, then perhaps Apple Inc. may be eating Waterloo County road apples and humble pie sooner than they'd expected. (Tastes great with Sauerkraut! Vee gates!!!)
It's interesting that the launch of the much anticipated Blackberry Z10 was just a week after Apple Inc. lost 12% of their market cap which amounted to $52,000,000,000. (Geez that feels good to type all of those zeros...Hey, there's an App for that!)
Canada Embraces Its Shortcomings
RIM has been a good sport about the negative press and criticism over the past two years. They were the brunt of jokes and comedy sketches on shows such as The Rick Mercer Report and the 22 Minutes squad. Canadians have a unique style of dealing with failure and short comings. We seemed to take the hit well and kept forging ahead riding our one trick pony while Apple and Google's Android platforms took over the bulk of the market share.
So what happened to RIM? Some say they took their eyes off of the corporate ball. After all, Blackberries were the phone of business. So how did they get caught sitting on the fence between lifestyle and hard core business? Well, aside from horrendous marketing, they allowed the market analysts to define who they were and what they were trying to do. They simply sat back, watched, and took it like a Canadian.
As well, RIM's company divisions weren't communicating with each other. Perhaps they thought that "silos" were also a corporate necessity considering the agriculture community at hand. And so, they stopped communicating the way business should communicate if it wants to succeed over the long term.
Canadians were recklessly proud of the Blackberry dominance. We went on holidays and bragged to our American neighbours/neighbors in Mexican resorts that Blackberries came from Canada and they better get prepared to be taken over by the blue-eyed, socialist, businessmen beyond the 49th parallel, in the great white north. (Was this bold, cocky, behavior UN-Canadian???)
Too Quick To Brag
Everything was going along terrifically wonderful. Jim Balsillie was annoying the NHL's upper crust with offers of millions to bring a team to Central Ontario, and Mike Lazaridis was funding research and cultural affairs. (Geez, not that there's anything wrong with culture and research...but Jim, holy smokes, there was a reputation and brand to protect!)
Then Apple brought their consumer design aesthetics and marketing savvy to the table. Google got really serious about mobile and the games market...and Blackberry still didn't have a touch screen. Yikes! People actually want touch screens???
What were the Blackberry Boys going to do now? Sports and Philanthropy doesn't keep the ball rolling.
Fast forward to 2013...
Thorsten Hines is not a Steve Jobs. He is not publically dynamic or charismatic. He did not invent anything. However, he did take over the helm of a misguided, mismanaged, global phenomenon when it struck the iceberg of competition and directional uncertainty, and said this is where we're going (whether consumers believed him or not.) He told the nay-sayers that RIM had a lot of ideas and unique features up their sleeves and that they would survive to see another day in the communications business (whether the market believed him or not.)
Actually, Thorsten made the tough, bold, decision to go back to square one and re-invent themselves from the ground up. Yes, it was seat-of-the-pants, eleventh-hour leadership, dragging a beleagured, punch drunk management team back from the near-dead to have another chance at renewed success and respectibilty once again. But would it work? Was it even possible?
Hines perhaps borrowed from the Nike slogan and "Just Did It!" He really had no choice.
This past week in New York, Thorsten did just that. It was a typical, awkward, flawed, Blackberry product launch (grill the marketing people!!!), but the creative force in Waterloo and around the world not only lived up to Thorsten's promises, but they delivered a brilliant piece of world class, game-changer technology.
Local Stores Are Ready To Sell BB 10
As soon as the announcement was made I made my way down to our local Costco wholesale where Wireless Etc. provides the warehouse membership with technology products from their resident kiosk.
My trusted technology reps Shah Yazdanian and Brad Anstead were in the process of constructing the BB Z10 display stand, getting ready for the latest unit to go on sale February 5th. I rolled up my sleeves...and watched.
I finally had the chance to hold the model (that was to save RIM) in my hand. When it was booting up I was hoping, like every other BB fan that this offering was going to buy them the time to get their affairs in order.
The world of publically traded companies is fueled by opportunities, speculation, bullshit...and a good part of the time--the criminal element. The market makes money when you're reigning supreme and when you're taking your last gasps.
Right photo: Shah Yazdanian and Brad Anstead, Sales/customer service agents, Wireless Etc, Costco Wholesale
Yazdanian and Anstead both love and own Blackberries. And in no uncertain terms, they believe this is the most amazing smart phone in the industry right now. (Of course, they like the other phones they sell too, but when it comes to their personal needs BB Z10 is their choice bar none.)
Shah and Brad have been waiting for this day for as long as BB HQ was postponing the release date...which seems like an eternity. In the mean time, countless BB users jumped ship to iPhone and Android products. They wanted HD video, seamless app implementation, and a camera that took HD photos before the subject walked out of the frame. This is standard functionality everywhere...except on the BB platform.
Every 30 seconds a Costco customer would rush up and grab the Z 10 unit and ask "when?"
However, some customers drew near as if they wanted to play with the demo model...but then moved away as if to avoid impending disappointment... just in case it didn't deliver like they said it would, they would rather hear it, read it, in the news later.
It was clear that our nation has been gripped by the "make" or break" of Research In Motion.
Between setting up the BB 10 display and answering my questions, Yazdanian serviced a female customer who came back to pick up her new Samsung Note II. Another lost BB customer. She couldn't wait any longer. She wanted it for how it looked, felt and performed. It was big, bright and beautiful.
Now Back to the Amazing Z10 from the company formerly known as Research In Motion
Little crowds of devotees would group, ogle in amazement, ask when?, then move along. It seems that from first glances and initial interactions, the new company called BLACKBERRY is about to have a new opportunity to redefine both "business" and "personal" in the lives of their 79,000,000 devoted customer/users.
As for "recreational" users? Only time will tell. The company Formerly known as Research In Motion has hit the ground running...only this time with over 70,000 apps at hand (borrowing from the Android stable). This should be enough to satisfy BB users, considering that some of the most popular Apps to date are the "FART" app, and the stellar successes of the likes of Angry Birds etc.
Some good advise might be to not bring out another tablet unless it looks like Samsung and acts like a Blackberry and the best functionality features of the world's best tablets.
A BIG Congratulation goes out to Thorsten Hines and the entire Blackberry team worldwide for a job well done. We know these people. They live beside us, they are our family and friends. I hope the public marketplace and the public stock exchange rewards them for their vision, dedication and efforts.
I've waited for this day, and I will support you once again. Here's to BB Z10!!!!!!!!
Learn more on the links below about Blackberry's App generator and their programs for developers. They need them, they want them, and they're ready to do business.
Claim Your BB Z10 At A Store And Carrier Near You
BELOW: Play music wirelessly from a Bluetooth® enabled smartphone, or take an important conference call on the run. With a light, clip-on design the BlackBerry® Mini Stereo Speaker can be worn on a bag strap or placed on a table.
Welcome To The Blackberry App Generator Connect to link below story and learn more about creating Apps for BB