MWC15: Press Impressed by BlackBerry Leap, Slider Preview and Other Device News

The Mobile World Congress being held in Barcelona is something of an Olympics for mobile devices and their makers.

Just as with the Olympics (held in Barcelona in 1992, actually), you send your best challengers forward to compete and dazzle the world. That is certainly what’s happening in the Spanish city with BlackBerry’s presence this year, from the unveiling of the Blackberry Leap, the announcement of the Porsche Design ‘Keian’ phone and new color options for the BlackBerry Classic, and even a devilish tease of an enticing new device with a ‘slider’ form factor and dual-curved display.

The “Midrange-but-Capable”BlackBerry Leap

A year after the successful multi-region launch of the BlackBerry Z3 in emerging markets last summer, BlackBerry is giving customers looking for a BlackBerry all-touch device another chance to take a leap.

The BlackBerry Leap’s 5-inch HD touch display, powered by a generous 25-hour battery life and loaded with BlackBerry’s trademark productivity offerings. And as Digital Trends’ Malarie Gokey notes: “[The Leap] runs the latest version of BlackBerry OS 10.3.1, which means it has the Hub, Blend, and BlackBerry Messenger built into the device. All of BlackBerry’s top-end security features are also available on the phone.”

Leap coming soon

At an affordable list price of $275 USD (less on-contract), the BlackBerry Leap “aims to impress,” declares Pocket-Lint’s Luke Edwards.

Engadget’s Chris Velazco saysthe Leap is considerably more attractive” than its predecessors, while TechnoBuffalo’s Killian Bell writes, “The Leap certainly looks like an attractive smartphone, sporting a clean, simplistic design . . . Leap is the midrange but capable smartphone all the rumors have been promising.”

ABC News’ Alyssa Newcomb calls the Leap, “an ideal replacement for the mid-market touchscreen BlackBerry Z3.”

“[G]eared to young professionals . . . [the Leap could] be attractive to the enterprise crowd,” Newcomb continues. “With more than 25 hours of battery life and the BlackBerry virtual assistant that was unveiled last year, the device can easily withstand a long workday.”

Twitter reactions praised the Leap’s affordability, and visual appeal, long battery life and productivity features:

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

From BlackBerry Leap to ‘Slider’ Phone: MWC15 Launch Recap, with Device Roadmap [Photos]

Barcelona, 3rd March: Anticipation was high around our Tuesday media event at the Inbisa Tower overlooking Mobile World Congress’s main convention hall, the Fira Gran Via. Despite the many competing events inside the Expo, more than 100 media and industry analysts turned out at our breakfast event, which covered both our many announcements related to our cross-platform, enterprise software strategy, to our 2015 device roadmap.

mwc recap1

Recapping some of the announcements we’d made starting Sunday, CEO John Chen’s keynote focused around a number of areas. First was around the execution our cross-platform enterprise strategy. This includes partnering with Samsung on its Knox platform and supporting Google’s Android for Work. Additionally, recent enhancements to BBM tightly integrate it with Android and improve usability.

Day Two Of Mobile World Congress 2015

“We’re committed to software as a business,” Chen said.

No surprise then that Chen emphasized the ongoing expansion of our enterprise software portfolio. The new BES12 Cloud makes it easier for companies, especially small-to-medium-sized ones, to secure their iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices.

In line with our enterprise software focus, BlackBerry is targeting several regulated industries that value security highly. One is healthcare. BlackBerry has recently announced 8 new healthcare apps and 5 customers using those solutions, said Chen.

One is Hirandani Hospital of Mumbai, India. Dr. Pavan Kuman of Hirandani explained how a new telemedicine app running on BlackBerry devices developed by UST Global can help doctors diagnose rural patients remotely, avoiding long, costly travel for both parties.

mwc recap3

From left: Gilroy Mathew of UST Global, Dr. Kuman of Hirandani Hospital, and Mark Wilson, Chief Evangelist, BlackBerry.

Learn more about the telemedicine app here.

BlackBerry COO Marty J. Beard was joined on stage by Billy Ho – EVP of Enterprise Product and Value-Added Services (VAS), Hans Christoph Quelle, Managing Director and Senior Vice-President, Secusmart (division of BlackBerry), and Greg Wade, Vice-President of the Samsung KNOX Business group. This Q&A dove deeper into strong security offerings such as Samsung Knox, Vodafone secure call and BES12 Cloud solutions.

mwc recap4

From left: BlackBerry’s Billy Ho and Hans-Christoph Quelle, Samsung’s Greg Wade and BlackBerry’s Marty Beard.

Followed by this session was an introduction to the BlackBerry Experience Suite by BlackBerry. Ketan Kamdar, BlackBerry head of global devices portfolio, provided details on how the coming BlackBerry Experience suite will take the power of BlackBerry’s productivity, communication, collaboration and security apps – think BlackBerry Hub, BBM, WorkLife, and others – and infuse it across all smartphones and tablets – regardless of operating system.

mwc recap5

BlackBerry Director of Product Marketing Jeff Gadway (above) gave a live demo of how WorkLife’s ability to split work and personal billing can help companies beset by BYOD. The split billing is not just limited to voice calls but also data usage.

mwc recap6

BlackBerry’s 2015 Device Lineup

BlackBerry President for Devices and Emerging Solutions Ron Louks (above) then took the stage and made the announcements many had been waiting for: the 2015 device roadmap. First off was BlackBerry Leap (above) – the new 5-inch, HD device featuring 25-hour battery life. At just 275 USD (much less on contract), the Leap targets young career builders, especially outside of North America and Europe, who want to make a difference. Read detailed blogs and watch introductory and how-to videos for the BlackBerry Leap here.

mwc recap 7

Louks also announced and showed off the BlackBerry Classic (above) in new colors such as White, Blue and Bronze. This adds to the well-reviewed black model available today on Amazon, and carriers such as Telus, Rogers, Verizon Wireless, AT&T and many others.

A new high-end device is also being designed in partnership with Porsche Design. This device is code-named ‘Keian’ in memory of Keian Blundell. Read more of his story here.

mwc recap8

Ron also pulled a surprise by briefly showing off a new phone – a curved touchscreen Slider (see above, or this picture at CNET). Like other recently-announced phones from other makers, this model features a dual-curved touch display to show extra information to users, as well as a keyboard, while maintaining svelte proportions.

Read coming media reaction to our launch and read all of our coverage at Inside BlackBerry and BlackBerry for Business blogs.


Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

BlackBerry Leap Mid-Market Smartphone Launched, to Replace Z3

The company also said it planned to roll out two more models over the course of the next months
Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

BlackBerry Leap With 5-Inch Display Launched; Curved Display Phone Teased

The Canadian company showed prototype of the dual-curved touchscreen smartphone with a slider keyboard at MWC and on Twitter.
Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

The Story of Your Life is About to Be Written. Welcome to the BlackBerry Leap. [Video]

The BlackBerry Leap is built for the ambitious, those who view their career like a promising startup – and take charge, accordingly. With the secure, productive BlackBerry OS 10.3.1, and brilliant 5-inch HD display, the BlackBerry Leap gives you the power to succeed.

BlackBerry Leap is for those who propel themselves forward in order to build a legacy. Not bound by the traditional 9 to 5 lifestyle, BlackBerry Leap users need a battery that can outlast them so they don’t have to make excuses or miss a step. They need a device that powers them through their busy day, giving them the peace of mind coming from trusted security.

They are known for what they type, not typos, so they require a best-in-class keyboard experience. With the powerful BlackBerry Hub, they can master their noisy personal and professional inboxes with elegance and efficiency. Dual app storefronts, BlackBerry World and the Amazon Appstore, give them a huge selection of business and entertainment applications to discover.

Ideas, energy and drive are at the core of a rising star. You mean serious business and so do we. The new BlackBerry Leap, everything you expect from a BlackBerry in a powerful all-touch smartphone.

For more information on pricing and availability, register at BlackBerry.com/Leap and visit my earlier post for further device details!


Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

First Official Hands-On Look at the BlackBerry Leap [VIDEO]

New Inside BlackBerry Video Shows First Look at New BlackBerry Leap.

Rio brand

Earlier today, we launched the new BlackBerry Leap at Mobile World Congress to the delight of our fans and the media. Since it’s my new favorite device, I just had to get my hands on it and show it off in our latest video.

Here’s a quick look around the BlackBerry Leap hardware, which I must say is quite nice. I love the size, solid in-hand heft, and the 5-inch, edge-to-edge HD display. With all of that viewing real estate, apps, the BlackBerry Hub, and pretty much anything else you run on the BlackBerry Leap will look fantastic. The Shadow Grey-colored device has a grip-enhancing, soft-touch finish, with blacked-out buttons to complete the modern look. It’s definitely for those who want to take their productivity to the next level. See for yourself:

We’ll keep these videos coming over the next few weeks, so stay tuned to Inside BlackBerry for a closer look at how BlackBerry Leap handles BlackBerry OS 10.3.1, the BlackBerry Hub, Amazon Appstore, and more.

For full BlackBerry Leap details check out my earlier post and register at BlackBerry.com/Leap.


Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Meet the New 5-Inch HD BlackBerry Leap

Latest All-Touch Device from BlackBerry Shown Off at MWC

leap coming soon 1

At Mobile World Congress (MWC) today, we unveiled the latest BlackBerry smartphone. I’ve decided this is my new favourite device. All-touch? Yes, please. The BlackBerry Leap is built for those rising stars who value productivity, communication, and take security seriously. With its modern design, brilliant 5-inch HD display, and battery life that powers through 25 hours of heavy use*, the BlackBerry Leap gives you the power to succeed.

When you have the right tool, small steps can become giant leaps. Up-and-comers find their stride, and great achievements fall within your grasp. This is the spirit of our valued BlackBerry users; this is the spirit of the BlackBerry Leap.

Everything You Expect from a BlackBerry

The BlackBerry Leap fits nicely into the BlackBerry portfolio, offering an affordable device for those out there who prefer an all-touch option. It boasts the features of a ‘hero’ device with the price tag of an entry-level one. When serious work has to be done, when an email from your boss can’t be missed, and when you need a trusted secure device that can power through a full day of work, BlackBerry Leap will be at the ready so you can grab opportunities as they come.

The huge selection of apps from BlackBerry World and the Amazon Appstore render beautifully on the 16×9 (aspect ratio) display, and with perks like “Free App of the Day,” you won’t run out of new things to discover.

Leap image

BlackBerry Leap Highlights

    • Security to Keep Private Matters Private – You live in a world where your valued private photos, messages, and information are one misstep away from going public. Your mobile is at the center of it all, holding everything from banking information and work data, to personal photos. Large companies and public figures alike often discover the hard way that mobile security is paramount in our digital landscape. You can feel safe in the knowledge that BlackBerry Leap, like all BlackBerry 10 devices, was designed with the highest standards of security in mind to protect your privacy. It is equipped with support for encryption, plus built-in anti-malware protection and back-up, wipe and restore. All to give you control and power to avoid falling victim to the next embarrassing and potentially costly cyber-attack.
    • Best-in-Class BlackBerry Keyboard – Type faster and more accurately on a touchscreen keyboard that learns how you write. With superior error correction, multi-language support, customized adaption, and flow, refuse to be bound by the mistakes and missteps that can hold you back.
    • Master Your Messages in the BlackBerry Hub – See more of what matters and experience inbox Zen with the BlackBerry Hub on a brilliant 5” HD display. Messages from across your multiple personal and professional roles, like BBM messages, texts, emails, and social media, all appear in one easy-to-manage view.
    • Battery that Powers Through a Full Day – You don’t work 9 to 5 – you’re the all-day, all-night type. With up to 25 hours of heavy use*, the BlackBerry Leap will help you power through even your most demanding days. With an impressive 2800 mAh battery and the energy-saving optimizations in the BlackBerry 10 OS, BlackBerry Leap delivers battery life that will outlast even you.
    • More Ways To Access Apps – Discover and purchase great business and productivity apps through BlackBerry World and the latest Android apps and games through the Amazon Appstore. And access modern mobile web apps via the industry-leading BlackBerry Browser*.
    • The Power Of BlackBerry On Your Computer & TabletBlackBerry Blend seamlessly brings messaging and content on your BlackBerry to your PC and tablet to make you more productive instantly. Access your work and personal messages, notifications, documents, calendar, contacts and media in real time on whatever device you are on, powered by your BlackBerry. No saving to a cloud, no wires, no backing up. It’s all just there.

Wrap it Up

What more can I say? I just love this new BlackBerry with its short punchy name and large HD display. Everything I need to keep me productive, safe and on the up and up in a beautiful, all-touch device. For more information on pricing and availability, register at BlackBerry.com/Leap, keep returning to Inside BlackBerry for more blog updates, and let us know what you think about the affordable new BlackBerry Leap in the comments below.

*Based on heavy usage scenario on a power user profile. Many factors affect battery life, including network connectivity, application usage, feature configuration, and battery age. Actual results may vary.


Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

What’s Coming in Blue, Bronze and White? The BlackBerry Classic!

Classic_White_RightAngle

In 2014, we launched four devices: the BlackBerry Z3, Porsche Design P’9983, BlackBerry Classic and BlackBerry Passport. Today at Mobile World Congress, we announced the BlackBerry Leap.

BlackBerry is about offering choice, and as such, many of these devices are already available in a variety of colors. For example, the BlackBerry Passport has had Limited Edition Red and Limited Edition Black and Gold devices in some regions, and is available in white in many others.

Confirmed today at Mobile World Congress , BlackBerry Classic fans will have their choice of device color, too. Soon to arrive are blue, bronze and white colored BlackBerry Classic devices, augmenting our existing, critically-acclaimed black model.

Stay tuned for more info. In the meantime, read all about the BlackBerry Classic today at Inside BlackBerry, including where you can buy today, exploratory videos, interviews with satisfied users, rave reviews from AT&T BlackBerry Classic users, and positive media reviews from the New York Times,USA Today, TechCrunch and others.


Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

MWC15: Media Praise for BlackBerry’s Cross-Platform, Cloud Software Moves

We’ve already made a slew of announcements at Mobile World Congress. My colleague Ali Rehman has the broadest recap. If I was forced to summarize all of them in one sentence, it would be: We’re accelerating our cross-platform, enterprise-focused software strategy. Or as our CEO John Chen put it: “I think there’s a much bigger opportunity to enable our software on other platforms.”

Press and analysts praised both the strategy and the tactics. Take our Sunday announcement that we are expanding our partnership with Samsung by bringing two key mobile enterprise services to Samsung’s Knox security platform: WorkLife, which enables companies to more easily track employees’ personal and work usage of their smartphones – key in the BYOD age – and SecuSUITE, the strong encrypted communications software that BlackBerry acquired last year. The two firms will also help sell each others’ offerings to its enterprise customers.

That makes sense, wrote the Wall Street Journal’s Ben Dummett. “Samsung “stands to benefit from BlackBerry’s stronger reputation for mobile security. That could help it accelerate its efforts to expand in the enterprise market, where it has struggled to gain traction.”

CNET had a similar analysis, noting that “while Samsung dominates the smartphone world” its reputation among businesses “lags” behind “BlackBerry’s — particularly in the heavily regulated industries it wants to target with Knox. That’s where BlackBerry comes in.

We also announced a cloud version of our popular enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform, BES12, targeted at small to medium-sized firms.

[BlackBerry Enterprise Server] is still best in class,” Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates Inc., told The Globe and Mail. “If they can package it in some new ways, that’s an attractive offering.”

bb experience components narrow

Perhaps our biggest announcement was BlackBerry Experience Suite, a coming set of cross-platform applications targeting end-user productivity, security and collaboration. The Suite draws upon existing BlackBerry software, such as BlackBerry Hub, BBM Protected, Secure Work Space and more, but will bring them to iOS, Android and Windows devices.

It also drew some of the strongest praise.

The Register’s Andrew Orlowski: “BlackBerry’s strategy of offering secure and mature software to businesses in a world dominated by consumer-focused iPhone and Android platforms makes sense. While the consumer hardware advances every year, the software doesn’t, and lacks the maturity and security enterprises need. BlackBerry does, and can take advantage of its unique managed network to give it an advantage.”

“This is absolutely a good strategy,” said James Hawkins, president and CEO of RedHawk IT Solutions, a Woodridge, Va.-based solution provider offering mobile solutions, told CRN magazine. “I’m glad to hear they are focusing more of their business in the cross-platform space. It’s a positive development that mirrors what others are doing in the industry.”

GSMArena: “BlackBerry Experience Suite will bring the company’s traditional strengths, headed by the highly-regarded BlackBerry Hub to a wider audience.”


Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

#ICYMI Day 1: Recap of BlackBerry Announcements from #MWC15

MWC-2015-pic-1

Barcelona, 2nd March: As things switch into high gear in sunny Catalonia, we’ve been delivering some exciting announcements to the faithful and beyond. Yesterday saw us announcing our partnership with to provide the highest level of security to Enterprise customers in regulated industries. The other big news of the day was a new software and services vision that brings three distinct BlackBerry Experience Suite bundles of services to iOS and Android devices that will increase productivity by tailoring BlackBerry’s unique security and collaboration features to any mobile device.

Today, we followed up with a series of exciting news around our BES12 platform. If you weren’t able to follow our Press releases and social coverage earlier today, here’s a quick snapshot of what happened earlier today:

BES12 Cloud solution will offer easy management of iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10 smartphones and tablets, as well as a wide range of Samsung KNOX and Android for Work smartphones and tablets.

Customers and partners from around the world are enhancing the value of BES12, a cross-platform EMM solution by BlackBerry, by adopting BES Monitoring solutions available from BlackBerry.

BlackBerry event at MWC 2015:

As promised, we’ll be covering our media event live on social, so make sure that you follow us on @BlackBerry for all the latest and greatest news, event pictures and sound bites. Here is a sneak peak for our event space in Barcelona, more pictures to follow starting from 8:30 AM CET, stay tuned!

Spoiler alert! We’re sharing some pictures from inside the venue; it’s ready to host our media colleagues tomorrow morning – bright and early, stay tuned!

IMG_0348

IMG_0334 IMG_0340IMG_0346 IMG_0352_crop


Posted in Articles | Tagged | Leave a comment