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back to article BlackBerry bets fans are willing to upgrade skills

BlackBerry OS 10 is slick, fast, usable and oozes potential, but is sufficiently different from previous that users of older BlackBerries won't see an upgrade as a natural choice, based on what we've seen so far. That means the company's greatest strength – millions of users, many of them very enthusiastic – is somewhat negated …

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It's sad.. it really is...

I loved my Blackberry, and I'd love to go back to it. But it's not the platform that I abandoned when I went to Android -- it was the BES server, administration of which was outsourced a few years ago, resulting in a service that had been dead nuts reliable becoming ... less so. A lot less. Now, I have the opportunity to go back to Blackberry, and the phones are very attractive, but I no longer trust the service or the people managing it. So I wish RIM the best, but I'll stick to Android, thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's sad.. it really is...

That's it - once you have gone it's very unlikely you are coming back.

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Stop

BES - not needed so much now

I use BES Express. For me, one of the attractions of BB10 is no longer needing to muck about with BES to get decent email (BB IMAP is awful).

It will happily connect using ActiveSync.

Sadly, I'm 3 months into a 2 year contract, so maybe I'll get BB11?

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Angel

Re: It's sad.. it really is...

I left BlackBerry and went to Android like yourself, but I've hated the 12 months I was using an Android phone. I went to Windows Phone 7 then, which was better but nothing really gives you that sense of quality that the BlackBerry does. As soon as I've the £500 saved up (which will be about the time the QWERTY phone is released) I'll be buying the BlackBerry. And I think once people see how much of a jump this is compared to Android and iPhone (which, be honest, it is) they will go back to BlackBerry.

They may never go back to 40% market share, but I feel that after these phones they'll recoup 20% hopefully.

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Re: It's sad.. it really is...

/agree

Lately I've been tempted to reactivate my old Storm 2's/BES server after Verizon's "28 Hour Merry Christmas, Here's JellyBean for Your Droid Razr Oops Sorry, Ain't Happening".... ICS Motorola SmartActions has been draining my battery lately and it's starting to piss me off.

Fortunately, my contract will be up shortly.

;)

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May I suggest 'TCFKARIM'

as the reg's new name for RIM.

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Re: May I suggest 'TCFKARIM'

No, it doesn't really roll of the tongue does it.... TIFKAM is fine because it sounds like a word.

Anything that begins with TCFK is not likely to go very far unless you are capable of pronouncing new dipthongs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: May I suggest 'TCFKARIM'

I read it as TicFuKARIM...

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Coat

Re: May I suggest 'TCFKARIM'

Will the Reg talk about saving B jobs now?

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Re: May I suggest 'TCFKARIM'

Or Klingon..

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Anonymous Coward

Ahem

"It's possible to access the hub from any app, at any time, without the need for opening or closing apps. BlackBerry is very keen to let it be known this arrangement beats other smartphone OSes when it comes to glancing at messages. It's hard to disagree with that assertion, as rival systems like the iPhone's notifications require users to quit and restart apps."

Notifications in Android are a simple swipe down from the top of the screen, from within any application - then swipe back up to return to the app. The latest version provides a quick preview of incoming emails. The author appears not to be familiar with non-iPhone technology.

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Re: Ahem

Same with the iPhone, drag down the notification drawer from within any app, swipe up again to dismiss. You can even go straight into every email there (other than with Android where tapping on any email just opens your inbox)...

Anyway, there are a few things I like and I wish RIM^WBlackberry well. Although I doubt that it will work out.

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Re: Ahem

It would appear that you both have your rose-tinted glasses on. On both Android and iPhone a great number of apps (and virtually every game) are full-screen and block the notifications. That means that you need to exit the application to see your emails. If BB10 doesn't allow their message hub to be blocked then this would make accessing emails a lot more convenient. Oh and my Nexus 7 allows me to go directly to the individual emails from my notification bar, not to the inbox.

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Re: Ahem

"If BB10 doesn't allow their message hub to be blocked then this would make accessing emails a lot more convenient"

... and make games needing left swipe a lot less convenient, if access to the message hub is a left swipe as suggested.

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Re: Ahem

"... and make games needing left swipe a lot less convenient, if access to the message hub is a left swipe as suggested."

no at all, because all the "system" swipes in BlackBerry have to start beyond the screen, i.e. on bezel area, which is the same touch sensitive as is the screen.

I know because some of the shortcuts in Z10 are not new at all, they are already used in PlayBook, and they work great (in fact better than physical buttons).

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As an owner of a Nexus 4

I know the value that lies in a phone that doesn't try and slide off every surface on which it is placed. I'm fairly certain the Nexus actually levitates a few nanometers off any surface, thus allowing it to slide off a seemingly flat desk when a call is received.

While I hardly think Apple and Android will be too worried at this stage, I think they'll be watching over their shoulder to see how the market reacts - it's be Microsoft who really should be paying attention, since they seem to be a bit more "business oriented" in their marketing, and have the most to lose from business-types going back to Blackberry.

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Re: As an owner of a Nexus 4

My desk comes with a non-slip coating of coffee rings, strangely sticky fluff and something unidentifieable which seems to be growing.

Advantages: nothing slips off and nobody ever wants to steal your keyboard.

Disadvantages: probable outbreak of plague

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Happy

Re: As an owner of a Nexus 4

You're sitting in the office next to mine, and I claim my £5! Hello Luke!

*cough* *splutter* "Ouch those damned buboes!" *dies*

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Meh

blah blah blah

... I want to know more about the Q10. Touchscreen only phones are meh.

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Anonymous Coward

Too little and too late. The only people running Blackberry devices are people heavily invested in BES and people who have not yet upgraded their phones to an iPhone or Android. Why buy into a platform with 1/10th the apps when suspect most businesses with BES already have users wanting (other) smartphones - they are probably just letting it die gracefully.

I read somewhere that BBRY were planning letting their software install onto other devices - not really sure what advantage BBRY genuinely offers most users over Exchange mail or even ubiquitous IMAP on an iPhone / Android?

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Too little too late?

"Why buy into a platform with 1/10th the apps" because, chances are, there is an app in there that does what you want. I found that with my old WinPho7. (WinPho is shit, btw).

"suspect most businesses with BES already have users wanting (other) smartphones" wanting and receiving are two different things. Our firm's Blackberrys are locked down to the point that you can make calls and receive (work) emails. Blackberry Balance has the potential to change all of that.

"Too little and too late" I think it's too early to say. The Z10 handset is aesthetically attractive. The screen res (1280x768@356ppi) is better than the SIII (1280x720@306ppi) and the i5 (1136x640@326ppi) . That coupled with the fact you can play games, music, watch videos, email AND MAKE CALLS makes the Z10 a very attractive proposition. Pricing will be the deciding factor for me.

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Pricing

I've just checked on CarphoneWarehouse:

SIII = £410 :-)

Z10 = £480 :-s

i5 = £510 :-O

£30 cheaper than the i5? 'Says more about the i5's price than the Z10.

£70 more expensive than the SII? I think I'll wait for the Z10 to come down in price.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pricing

Apples, pears and grapefruit. £30 cheaper than an iPhone 5 and they hope to sell it - do people really care about £30 on a 2 year contract - i.e. about £1 a month??

I'd take the better service and support I get from Apple over the lesser support I have received from Samsung / RIM in the past. When the difference in the cheapest is less than 20% cheaper than the iPhone 5 it does not prove the iPhone is overpriced when you factor everything in.

£100 is about £4 a month on a 2 year deal.

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Re: Pricing

Those prices are very interesting. Hitting that sort of spot makes the Lumia 920 look extremely expensive (about £70 more) and the Lumia 820, while £100 cheaper, lacks 1GB RAM and has an inferior screen.

Could we be seeing a price drop on the 920 soon? You can see the effect of the Microsoft licencing fee for Win Phone 8 at work here.

All that said, I'm looking at either the Z10 or a Win Phone 8 of some sort for my next device. Which would you lot go for?

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Nexus 4

CarphoneWarehouse:

£380 :-D

1280x720@320ppi.

I'm not sure the Z10's extra 36ppi is worth a £100 premium.

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Re: Nexus 4

I'm not sure extra ppi is worth any premium once you get above 300...

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Anonymous Coward

"Why buy into a platform with 1/10th the apps" because, chances are, there is an app in there that does what you want. I found that with my old WinPho7. (WinPho is shit, btw).

But a lot MORE chance in the iOS or Android stores. That is if they really do have 70k apps anyway...

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Meh

Amounts of apps in a store is misleading.

To find the actual number of even vaguely worthwhile apps you take the total number and divide it by 1000.

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Anonymous Coward

"suspect most businesses with BES already have users wanting (other) smartphones" wanting and receiving are two different things. Our firm's Blackberrys are locked down to the point that you can make calls and receive (work) emails.

So you can lock an iPhone down as well if you wanted but in reality if you get too draconian you just end up p*ssing your staff off. If someone wants to waste time they will - just carry a second phone or shuffle papers / arrange pointless meetings. You can still have security without being ridiculous.

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Anonymous Coward

"(1280x768@356ppi)"

You trying to call 356 pixels a major selling point - any more than 'retina' is genuinely pretty pointless and it's a case of oneupmanship. Why not fit it with 17Gb storage etc.

"Pricing will be the deciding factor for me."

I would choose which works best - if saving £1-4 a month is an issue probably best not to have a phone at all.

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Pint

24-month lock in

Why would I want to pay an extra £4pcm for an inferior phone? More is less? Besides, contracts are for people who can't afford to pay up-front.

I churn my handset about every 6-9 months and I use PAYG averaging £5pcm. The cheapest Pay Monthly offer at CPWH is 24mo at £36pcm which, at £480 upfront, equates to £16pcm for voice + data. Of c ourse Vodafone, et. al. don't pay retail to BB. They pay wholesale, so the 'free' phone you get with contract means their voice+data tarrif is actually >£16pcm.

£16+pcm is an issue for me. I don't like being ripped off and I'd prefer to spend the £16+ every month on getting pissed at my local boozer while I pull really fit birds with my new phone every 6-9 months.

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Do not underestimate the power of fanboys

So it's not existing users I think RIM / Blackberry need to worry about but the greater public, especially businesses currently pondering the whole BYOD thing vs security. If Blackberry can convince businesses that their phones are relevant again, and convince managers and other recipients of said phones that they're actually pretty useful, then I think they'll get a second wind.

For existing users I think the upgrade is probably a given. I've been reading Crackberry.com articles surrounding the launch and many of the comments border on the delusional. The brand has a near cult like following which means even if these things were coated in dog sick there would be people who'd buy them. Anyway, the Q10 is the sop for people who absolutely must have a keyboard and the remainder will get the full touchscreen model.

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Anonymous Coward

Company foisted Shiite

The man tried to push a corporate crack berry on me time and again. I opted BYOD rather than take the Shiite on offer.

All said with this new blackberry OS I'd easily take it over an Android or iOS based phone in a heartbeat if offered.

It's just looking that good!

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Meh

Existing kit?

No mention in anything I saw yesterday about upgrades for existing devices. So I guess my Curve is not upgradeable anyway - but there have been plenty of rumours about the Playbook.

For me BBs are my backup phones - or if I want to make calls from different numbers, still have over a year to go on my main contract (iPhone) and I would want to play with the OS before making a choice that ties me in for 24 months. An upgrade to my Playbook might help with that decision!

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Meh

Off screen swiping

...does anyone else see this as a GUI no-no? It requires the user to actually remember what features are available, rather than actually display those options on screen.

Seems to be a trend - Apple do it (notifications), Android does it (also notifications), Win8 does it (the god awful righthand swipe and multi press method to turn off a machine) and now BBS10 does it.

Maybe I'm just getting old. Bah, humbug.

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Re: Off screen swiping

it actually works great, your fingers have better memory than you think!

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gimme a portrait slider

and I would probably be tempted to move on from my Pre 3.

certainly android, ios and windows phone have failed to tempt me away from webos so far.

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Re: gimme a portrait slider

Well the fact that using my lovely Pre 2 was like being the last one left at a really bad party (tumbleweed) was enough to make me move to a Nexus 4.

I haven't regretted it.

I still have a Playbook to keep me in the swiping mentality.

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If they provide it as a cheap or free upgrade to my 9700..

.. I'll give it a shot.

But I'm not going to buy a new phone for a new unknown system. (I expect 4 years from a phone)

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Unhappy

Apps

For me the big issue with my Blackberry (Torch 9810) is the lack of app support by the major media organisations. For example:

BBC - no iPlayer app

Sky - no apps at all.

For BB 10 to appeal to the masses they need to persuade major organisations to produce apps. iPhones and iPads are always the first to be supported with Android second but there is very little support for BB. Pricing is also an issue for BB apps - they are generally always more expensive. 70,000 apps for BB 10 is all well and good but only if they are the apps we all want.

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Re: Apps

funny, are you sure you actually looked for these apps you say that you need? Here is Sky news for BB 9810 http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/63127/?countrycode=GB , here is iPlayer for Z10 http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/15956/?countrycode=GB

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Meh

No BBC iPlayer??

http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/15956/

As for 70,000 apps, yes I need them all, every single last one of them. Never mind the quality, feel the width!

Some else posted on here - to find the number of actually useful apps, divide the total number of apps by 1000.

Surfing through the Google Play Store - I was looking for a particular app, and found over 30 of the type that I wanted, ranging from one star rating to five star. Some free, some not so free.

I don't for one minute think that BB will regain their market share, but I'm sure that this device will reverse their slide into obscurity, and they'll regain some ground where BYOD has taken people to other devices that had apps that BB didn't (but now do!).

The current price of the Z10 may look high compared to the S3, but the S3 has fallen in price since it's launch, and I have no doubt that the Z10 will fall in price as supply ramps up and other models come out.

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Trollface

Things I can already do on my current phone

I swipe all day and all night.

I have live views of (more than) 8 multitasking apps that are not shut down behind my back.

I have a rolling list of all incoming messages, notifications and events.

I do not have interface buttons.

I have a cracking on-screen keyboard.

It's not a BB10 phone. It's called a Nokia N9, I've had it for more than one year, and I believe imitation is the nicest sort of flattery.

And my OLED screen has a LowPowerMode that always shows time and date, notifications, and whatever else I want (battery, uptime, network, upcoming appointments, etc). Keep using those LCDs, boys!

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Thumb Down

Blackberry manager Stephen Bates did not inspire confidence on R5 this AM... nul points!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p014f43k

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Any word on web browsing?

I was wondering whether these new BB models were any better at web browsing than the horrible Blackberry Bold I used to have to use for work?

Wasn't it the general crapness of the web experience on Blackberries that led to their being overtaken by iOS and Android phones?

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Boffin

Which version?

The Bold 9000 and 9700 came with BBOS 4.6 and 5.0 respectively, which included the infamous "piece o'crap" BB browser. The 9700 can be upgraded to BBOS6, which has the WebKit-based browser for a much better browsing experience.

More recent Bold handsets had OS6 or 7, so you got the better browser. If BB10 has anything like the PlayBook's browser, I'm guessing the web browsing is going to be very good.

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App Updates and Pulling the Battery Out..

I used to have an 8900 Curve. I found that every time I installed an update it would insist on doing a full reboot of the device, which took about 3 mins, for each INDIVIDUAL update. If I went into Blackberry App World and had 7 app updates that would mean 7 reboots. Has that been improved, or was I being a bit dim?

Also, I found that at least once a week I would get weird problems such as artefacts on the screen or menu items/icons disappearing. I would have to pull the battery out and put it back in to do a "hard reset" in order to restore things to normal. Does that still happen on more recent models, or did I just have a duff one?

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Serious competitor

Well, we're going to have a dual OS shop. Already planned. Android and BB10. IOS IS NOT an option. Blackberry, and Google have proven to be innovators.

True innovators.

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