Tempest in a Teacup



My appearance at the Code/Mobile conference created a minor furor yesterday. To my dismay, the media focused on a few of my comments while ignoring many others. That whipped up some commentators into a frenzy, including, unfortunately, a few of our loyal fans.


Here’s the context I think that may have been missed yesterday. First, I have 100% confidence in our new PRIV smartphone. Not only will it bring BlackBerry’s strong privacy DNA to the Android platform, but PRIV will deliver top-of-the-line features for your maximum productivity, including an oversized screen and, underneath it, a smooth sliding mechanism that unveils the iconic BlackBerry keyboard. And all the business and recreational apps that you could ever want courtesy of our good partner, Google.

Besides all of the hard work that our engineers in Waterloo and Ottawa have done to make PRIV a first-class hero smartphone, I am convinced that there is an under-served segment that PRIV can ably fill. Enterprises are increasingly aware of the security and privacy risks that their mobile devices pose. So are consumers. Moreover, the Android smartphone market is massive – 1.2 billion users globally today, according to IDC, growing to 1.53 billion over the next 4 years. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to believe that BlackBerry will find a strong audience here.

Finally, anyone who has been watching closely what I’ve been trying to do at BlackBerry has surely heard me say that we would not stay in the device business if we were not profitable. This is nothing new, and I’ve repeated this many times recently. That said, we are doing everything possible to make our devices profitable. We are committed to both the success of PRIV as well as supporting governments and other customers that demand the security and performance of our BlackBerry 10 devices.


I’ve also consistently said that BlackBerry’s future is in taking our security expertise into the software arena. It’s what our enterprise customers want, and it also helps continue our transformation into a multi-platform provider that can secure the mobile enterprise – regardless of type of device. We’ve taken many steps in recent months to augment our software portfolio.


I’m energized by the acquisitions of WatchDox and AtHoc, and our pending acquisition of Good Technology – all leaders in their respective spaces (secure document sharing, emergency alerts, and mobile device management).

Security and Privacy

Despite my optimism, I’m a realist at heart. It’s the engineer in me. It’s also why I don’t have the patience to sugarcoat. So if you heard me say yesterday that security-wise, the latest Blackphone is now in the same conversation as our devices, you know it’s not idle flattery.

At the same time, I mentioned several features coming in PRIV (left) that will help it rise to the very top security-wise, even among secure Android phones. There’s the unique PIN identifier in the chipset of every PRIV smartphone to prevent identity spoofing. There’s our ability to patch vulnerabilities much faster than other Android smartphone makers, and other features I didn’t mention. It’s why I firmly believe PRIV will be MORE resilient than everything else.

I’m enthusiastic about the coming launch of PRIV. I personally love this phone, and, judging by the reaction out there, I think many of you will, too.

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Why This Italian Digital Innovator Says ‘Bravo’ To BlackBerry Leap (Video)

talent garden 3
As we’ve mentioned in the past, over 80% of entrepreneurs use smartphones in the day-to-day management of their startups. That shouldn’t come as any great surprise, really. For a startup to succeed, it requires the capacity to pivot on a dime, the ability to react instantaneously to changing market conditions or organizational roadblocks, and a team that’s able to manage their business no matter where they are.

BlackBerry provides the perfect means by which startups can implement all three.

To prove this as fact, we selected three innovative businesses to test the BlackBerry Leap prior to its launch in Italy: Talent Garden, Europe’s largest collaborative network of digital innovators and physical co-working spaces; CubeYou, a company that offers social market analysis, consumer profiling and audience measurement; and Checkbonus, a firm whose app allows physical retail outlets to connect with the digital world through iBeacon technology.

Today, we’ll focus on Talent Garden, and how the Leap gave it a competitive edge over its peers. Watch the short 3-minute video we filmed with this innovative firm.

(The BlackBerry Leap also serves as a vital communications tool for this executive, a virtual “personal assistant” for this pro wrestler-turned-CEO, the mobile device of choice for this U.K. entrepreneur, and a platform to keep this U.K. doctor professionally healthy. Be sure to also check out these happy BlackBerry Classic users, including a commercial photographerserial tech founderfinancial TV guru and digital marketing agency CEO. You can also read about these satisfied BlackBerry Passport users, such as celebrity chef Tyler Florence and this senior hospital executive, manufacturing executivenon-profit founder and software engineer.)

Widespread Collaboration

Talent Garden is unique in that its business as an innovator lies in helping other organizations innovate. As Europe’s largest network of digital innovators, Talent Garden provides physical co-working spaces all across Europe, with campuses in Milano, Bergamo, Brescia, Cosenza, Padova, Genova, Pisa, Torino, Pordenone, Rome, Barcelona, Kaunas and Tirana.

talent garden 2

In addition to providing startups with space, the company also hosts regular workshops and seminars to help businesspeople develop their careers. Their goal above all else, says Co-founder & CEO Davide Dattoli, is to select the best innovators and entrepreneurs in each area.

For a business whose specialty is collaboration, Talent Garden needed to equip its team of 45 with a phone designed to enable it. According to Dattoli, the Leap was exactly that.

“We found in BlackBerry a platform that allows us to connect and work together even if we are separated by long distances,” explains Dattoli. “Having a single place to aggregate messages and content, and to reply in a fast and simple way, has allowed me to consistently improve my everyday work, being more efficient when managing a large volume of communications.”

Communication on the Go

Because the staff of Talent Garden travel and telecommute a lot, they frequently need to attend meetings and access important documents while on the go. Through a combination of Dropbox and BBM Meetings, they’re able to collaborate with one another regardless of location.

talent garden hub

“Just a few days ago, I was in Genoa and I organized a video meeting with Rasa, Damiano and Davide who were in Barcelona, Turin and Tirana,” says Talent Garden’s Alessia Anniballo. “We had our Monday meeting directly on our BlackBerrys.”

As the company’s communications manager, Anniballo uses social media extensively. For her, the BlackBerry Hub was another feature of the device she simply couldn’t live without, along with the powerful high-res camera. And for everyone in the organization, the Leap’s battery life was another incredible draw – and something Dattoli noted is “not so common in today’s smartphones.”

The BlackBerry Solution

Smartphones have become a vital component of success in the startup space. The agility, efficiency and potential for collaboration they provide is unbeatable. And BlackBerry is at the fore in that respect – especially if Talent Garden’s story is any indication.

talent garden startup wall

For them, the BlackBerry Leap was the perfect fit.

You can learn more about how Talent Garden is using the BlackBerry Leap here. And be sure to stay tuned for more videos about how the BlackBerry Leap is helping startups and entrepreneurs everywhere be better at their job.

Availability and Pricing

Ready to see what the BlackBerry Leap can do for your business? It’s available at ShopBlackBerry.com:

BlackBerry Leap White, $275

BlackBerry Leap Black, $275

You can also buy a Leap in “shadow grey” at Amazon.com, or purchase from carriers in the U.S., France, Germany, the U.K. and Canada. In Italy BlackBerry Leap is available on ShopBlackBerry.com and through selected carriers and partners. For the latest Leap availability check our one-stop blog.

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BlackBerry to Shut Down Handset Business if Not Profitable Next Year: CEO

The CEO of the Canadian smartphone maker said the company aims to sell 5 million smartphones in a year to achieve profitability.
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Chen at Code/Mobile: More Thoughts on PRIV, BlackBerry 10, Android Security and QNX

CQzrYc5UYAAUZihJohn Chen was interviewed on stage Thursday at the Code/Mobile conference held by Silicon Valley tech news publisher, Re/Code. You might’ve read some of the media coverage, which focused on a narrow slice of his remarks.

Chen actually shared a lot more: his thoughts about the coming PRIV phone’s security credentials and target market, our enterprise security strategy, the fate of the BlackBerry 10 OS, and the state of connected cars today (which is dominated on a platform level by BlackBerry’s QNX division).

Here are some of the highlights.

Handset strategy: “I love BB10 and I win in the very high-end there. But the very high-end is not big. In order to make money in the handset business, I need to expand that pie.”

Android market: “Android in the enterprise is a very under-served space…We wanted to bring the BlackBerry know-how in security — the whole stack — to Android.”

PRIV’s security strengths: “We’ve created a patching mechanism that will address attacks a lot quicker than other (vendors) to protect the customer…we inject a PIN in every chip in every phone – we are the only Android maker to do that. We work with Google…we think we’ll be more resilient than anyone else.”

PRIV’s target customers: “The audience goes beyond enterprises. But it will be focused on high-end privacy and productivity.”

PRIV’s availability: “Later this year. We’re working with carriers now.”

On updates to the BlackBerry 10 OS: “We have two new releases of BB10 coming out to support government and high-security customers.”

On security as a business focus: “We think we can be a standout by providing security to handsets even if we don’t make them…We’ve been doing very well increasing Android customers on our BES12 platform.”

The actual state of connected cars today: “Cars right now have connectibility built-in, but they’re not really connected. We’re focusing on how they can get connected in a secure way.”

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Q and A: The BlackBerry Leap Puts The P in Productivity For This Law Firm Founder


Time is money and none of us have any to waste. Wasted time leads to more stress, less productivity and a slew of other frustrations that we can all relate to. Christian Collovà, founder and senior partner at LegalInternational, would have to degree. Collovà is one of two partners that runs a dynamic Italy boutique law firm specialized in providing high-quality legal advice in entertainment, international, corporate, administrative and IP business law industries. His company’s motto states “we take your hand where you have a problem and we hold your hand until we bring you to the solution.”

Finding solutions to everyone’s problems takes a great deal of finesse and time that Collovà is able to easily manage with the BlackBerry Leap.

(The BlackBerry Leap also serves as a vital communications tool for this executive, a virtual “personal assistant” for this pro wrestler-turned-CEO, the mobile device of choice for this U.K. entrepreneur, an “essential tool” for this UK cosmetic doctor, and a platform to keep this U.K. doctor professionally healthy.)

Watts: What made you get the BlackBerry Leap?

Collovà: I’ve been a long time BlackBerry user. I’ve had the Pearl, the 9630, 9350 and Z10. I played with the iPhone 4S, iPhone 6 and Samsung A3 because I’m a tech geek that likes to try different devices, and I had lost some faith in BlackBerry. But that faith was easily restored when I started exploring BlackBerry OS 10. My carrier offered me the chance to get a new device and I picked up the Leap. I’m happy to announce that I once again fell in love with BlackBerry because BlackBerry beats the competition on productivity and workflow management.

Watts: You tweeted something similar to that statement before, can you elaborate?

Collovà: Communication is the bulk of my work. I have to keep up with a constant flow of information from clients, partners and associates, and stay abreast of information via websites, documents and spreadsheets. I’m the middle man in most of these communications, so I go back and forth a lot with clients and colleagues to check messages, review information, then send the appropriate responses out before the process starts again. Nothing beats a BlackBerry when it’s down to communication management.

I spend a lot of time assisting film productions as an executive producer in charge of legal and financing. It’s imperative that I keep up with the fast pace that film productions require while on the move from film markets in France to California to Dubai to Berlin.

The BlackBerry Leap is the only device that lets me keep up the pace.

Leap_Close-UpWatts: What have you accomplished while using the Leap?

Collovà: Whenever I’m out of the office I use the BlackBerry Leap and almost never have to pick up my tablet. I’m only in front of a computer a few days out of the week so it’s vital that I have a device that allows for effective communication across multiple platforms and doesn’t run out of battery in the middle of the day.

I’ve received production contracts on my Leap, reviewed them, made comments and sent back revisions so my team can execute their action items. While messages are sent, I’ve called my secretary with instructions to send the documents to the client and then alerted the client that these items were on their way by emailing them the tracking code I received via text. These may seem like small details, but try to plainly forward a text via email on an iPhone and you won’t be able to.

Watts: How has the Leap impacted your productivity?

Collovà: It’s reduced my communication time which allows me to plan out my workflow and connect with clients or colleagues while on the move. By the time I get to my desk, most of the organization work is done and I can focus on structuring deals, closing contracts or having meetings. For my business we’re committed to delivering timely results while keeping up with high-quality productivity standards. And the BlackBerry Leap is unbeatable to do this.

With Blend I also save time looking for information because files are easily accessible. Just recently I reviewed the budget and the financing plan of a film production on my Leap and saved the files in my device memory. When I checked in at my office and connected Blend, there they were, ready to move seamlessly to my office computer.

Being able to reply to text messages from my desktop without looking at my device is also key. When you get distracted by notifications or pings it can take 20 seconds or longer for you to regain focus on the original task at hand. That’s time that I don’t have to waste and I’m able to avoid wasting it with the Leap and Blend.

Leap hub

Watts: What are your favorite features?

Collovà: The Hub! It’s such a simple yet effective feature. Being able to scroll through an uninterrupted flow of communications – email, texts, Whatsapp, LinkedIn, Twitter or BBM – is invaluable.

With a traditional smartphone, if you’re looking at your inbox, it takes you two taps to go to the sent folder (you need to hit back to all folders and then tap the sent folder). But while in the Hub you can see the sent emails alongside of the incoming ones. Which is necessary when you’re going back and forth communicating a lot of information with a lot of people.

BlackBerry also allows you to forward a text by email just by hitting the “’share” button, while on a different OS you would have to copy the text, close the messages application, open the mail app, hit “new message” and paste the saved text. It’s a total loss of precious time, and if you get interrupted in the process you’ll forget what you were doing.

Another feature that I adore is the pinch gesture in the Hub. I set mine to collapse all read messages and show only the unread ones. You get them in the blink of an eye. And I can expand back whenever I want. Try to do this on another smartphone.

Lastly, as mentioned before, I’m rarely at my desk, but when I am the true magic of BlackBerry kicks in. I simply connect my Leap to my desktop using Blend and get my Hub on my 27” display. I honestly couldn’t ask for more.

Watts: You handle tons of information between the Hub and Blend, is mobile security important to your role?

Collovà: Yes! Our law firm manages privileged and confidential information from clients all over the world and it would be unthinkable not to consider security as one of our top priorities. Our clients want to know that their information is safe with us, and it is our commitment to make them feel safe. By using a BlackBerry, my colleagues, clients and I can all rest assured that their information is protected at all times.

Watts: How would you rate your BlackBerry Leap?

Collovà: I don’t think it should be rated. It should be thanked.

Availability and Pricing

Ready to take the BlackBerry Leap to better on-the-go productivity? It’s available at ShopBlackBerry.com:

BlackBerry Leap White, $275

BlackBerry Leap Black, $275

You can buy a Leap in “shadow grey” at Amazon.com, and it’s also available from carriers in the U.S., France, Germany, the U.K. and Canada. For the latest Leap availability check our one-stop blog.

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A Low-Down Look at the QNX Concept Cars (Pictures)

Originally posted on the QNX Auto Blog.

It’s that time of year again. The QNX concept team has set the wheels in motion and started work on a brand new technology concept car, to be unveiled at CES 2016.

The principle behind our technology concept cars is simple in theory, but challenging in practice: Take a stock production vehicle off the dealer’s lot, mod it with new software and hardware, and create user experiences that make driving more connected, more enjoyable and, in some cases, even safer.

It’s always fun to guess what kind of car the team will modify. But the real story lies in what they do with it. In recent years, they’ve implemented cloud-based diagnostics, engine sound enhancement, traffic sign recognition, collision warnings, speed alerts, natural voice recognition — the list goes on. There’s always a surprise or two, and I intend to keep it that way, so no hints about the new car until CES. ;-)

In the meantime, here is a retrospective of QNX technology concept cars, past and present.  It’s#WheelWednesday, so instead of the usual eye candy, I’ve chosen images to suit the occasion. Enjoy.

The Maserati Quattroporte GTS

From the beginning, our technology concept cars have demonstrated how the QNX platform helps auto companies create connected (and compelling) user experiences. The Maserati, however, goes one step further. It shows how QNX can enable a seamless blend of infotainment and ADAS technologies to simplify driving tasks, warn of possible collisions and enhance driver awareness. The car can even recommend an appropriate speed for upcoming curves. How cool is that?


The Mercedes CLA 45 AMG

By their very nature, technology concept cars have a short shelf life. The Mercedes, however, has defied the odds. It debuted in January 2014, but is still alive and well in Europe, and is about to be whisked off to an event in Dubai. The car features a multi-modal user experience that blends touch, voice, physical buttons and a multi-function controller, enabling users to interact naturally with infotainment functions. The instrument cluster isn’t too shabby, either. It will even warn you to ease off the gas if you exceed the local speed limit.


The Bentley Continental GT

I dubbed our Bentley the “ultimate show-me car,” partially because that’s exactly what people would ask when you put them behind the wheel. The digital cluster was drop-dead gorgeous, but the head unit was the true pièce de résistance — an elegantly curved 17” high-definition display based on TI’s optical touch technology. And did I mention? The car’s voice rec system spoke with an English accent.


The Porsche 911 Carrera

Have you ever talked to a Porsche? Well, in this case, you could — and it would even talk back. We outfitted our 911 with cloud-based voice recognition (so you could control the nav system using natural language) and text-to-speech (so you could listen to incoming BBMs, emails and text messages). But my favorite feature was one-touch Bluetooth pairing: you simply touched your phone to an NFC reader in the center console and, hey presto, the phone and car were automatically paired,


The Chevrolet Corvette

I have a confession to make: The Corvette is the only QNX technology concept car that I got to drive around the block. For some unfathomable reason, they never let me drive another one. Which is weird, because I saw the repair bill, and it wasn’t that much. In any case, the Corvette served as the platform for the very first QNX technology concept car, back in 2010. It included a reconfigurable instrument cluster and a smartphone-connected head unit — features that would become slicker and more sophisticated in our subsequent concept vehicles. My favorite feature: the reskinnable UI.


The Jeep Wrangler

Officially, the Wrangler serves as the QNX reference vehicle, demonstrating what the QNX CAR Platform can do out of the box. But it also does double-duty as a concept vehicle, showing how the QNX platform can help developers build leading-edge ADAS solutions. My favorite features: in-dash collision warnings and a fast-booting backup display.

Well, there you have it. In just a few months’ time, we will have the honor of introducing you to a brand new QNX technology concept car. Any guesses as to what the wheels will look like?

If you liked this post, you may also be interested in… The lost concept car photos

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This Fall, Bundle Up Your Phone With An Exclusive Promo From BlackBerry

Hey there, #TeamBlackBerry! As many of you may recall, we recently re-launched our Friends and Family sale, after the incredible response to its first iteration. Now, we’re back with another awesome deal for you!

(*This pricing is for the US ShopBlackBerry Store. Please check your store below for local pricing and details)

With autumn just around the corner, everyone’s getting bundled up to prepare for cold weather. Why not get your tech ready, too? From October 6 until October 19th, every purchase of a BlackBerry Smartphone comes with up to $90* of free accessories.

Want a flip case and HDMI adapter for your new BlackBerry Passport?

How about a sync pod and headset for your BlackBerry Classic?

Or maybe you want a BlackBerry Leap with a leather holster and portable charger?

If you’re in the market for a new phone, be sure to swing by your local ShopBlackBerry store before October 19 at 11:59 PST (while supplies last), and bundle up for Fall!

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BBM App Update For Android, iOS, BB10 Brings PayPal Integration and More

BlackBerry Messenger update for Android, iOS and BB10 OS ( also includes BBM Sticker Club.
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BlackBerry Priv Leaked Images Show 4K Video Recording, Safeguard App

The images also show the slider smartphone to feature a BlackBerry Safeguard app and a new battery level indicator.
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BBM Update: Introducing PayPal Integration, The BBM Sticker Club, Screenshot Notification and so much more!

I’m pleased to announce that BBM has been updated with enhanced features for Android, iOS and BlackBerry 10 users.

The new Sticker Club, available as a subscription from the BBM Shop, gives you access to hundreds of new sticker packs that you can use right away, plus many that are added regularly. In addition, Android users have joined iOS and BlackBerry users with the ability to rearrange their favorite sticker packs.

BBM Update 1

Since the external beta of PayPal integration with BBM, we’ve been so excited for the launch of this partnership!

We’re offering a solution to those of you who are splitting the dinner bill, pitching in for a gift, or paying back a friend for that time you forgot your wallet.

With BBM’s integration with PayPal, sending money is now made simple. Just connect your PayPal account to your BBM account & start sending money. It’s that easy. If you don’t see the option immediately, stay tuned as the integration becomes available in additional countries soon.

BBM PayPal

We’re not done yet – the PayPal partnership is just one of many exciting developments on the way for mobile payments. Stay tuned as we add support for additional finance and banking partners, all wrapped up with world-class BlackBerry security standards.

But wait, there’s more!

BBM is also expanding to new platforms: Apple Watch and iOS 9. BBM users can now reply to their BBM messages right from their wrist by leveraging the BBM Apple watch integration. Send quick replies in an instant to stay on top of your conversations.

apple watch

Here’s the full list of what’s new in this latest release of BBM:

  • Subscribe to the BBM Sticker Club to gain access to hundreds of sticker packs, with new additions provided regularly
  • Android users can re-order sticker packs to position favorites near the top for quick access.
  • Send money to BBM contacts within your BBM conversations using PayPal account integration
  • Another one for Android: Customize the font size in your BBM conversations, with pinch-to-zoom functionality
  • iOS 9 support with Quick Reply support
  • Apple Watch support
  • iOS users can now send videos as attachments within conversations.
  • View, like, and comment on group pictures and other events from within BBM Feeds.
  • Any screenshots taken during a BBM Private Chat will produce an in-chat notification

Get started by updating your BBM app in Google Play, the App Store or BlackBerry World today.

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