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back to article Sad shop-shelf-clinging BlackBerry Z10 AXED ... in price, contracts

Having failed to set the world on fire, BlackBerry's flagship Z10 smartphone is now being touted at knockdown prices. The touchscreen-driven Z10 was BlackBerry's comeback device when it was launched at the end of January. But it was priced alongside top-end devices from Apple and Samsung with premium tariffs - more than £30 per …

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Flame

Would touch anything from BBRY after they shafted Playbook owners over OS10 upgrade. They do evil.

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Just like pubs that begin to offer a free bottle of wine with every meal, then buy one get one free, then two meals and a drink for £10, then two meals and a starter and a drink for £8.

The following week it's closed.

It's the slippery slope of failure.

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Stop

Oh, pleahhhse, get over your outdated tablet already. Is your PB working? Yes, just like my Touchpad which sports even less support (nothing) than yours - yet you PB people keep bitching about it...

...if I were BB and had to cut cost PB would've been my first choice. It's basically a discontinued product with no revenue prospect, a BB10 upgrade would've required a lot of engineer hours, for no reason. Sorry, that would be a luxury for a company trying to survive long enough to turn the ship.

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10?

as far as I can see the existing Playbook os is the same as 10, but without the phone specific stuff which would be of no use on playbook anyway.

I find the interface works well and is Playbook specific, so I am rather relieved they have decided to stick with that rather than the supposed upgrade.

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Anonymous Coward

Just bubbles from the sinking Blackberry ship - Windows Phone already wiped the floor with them...

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Any company that drops total support for a premium product so quickly (the updated Playbook 4G released late last year) should be criticized. Ignoring there will be no future updates (not just no OS10). There are three major reasons why they should have fulfilled their promises.

Brand loyalty. You upset 2.2M people, many of whom would have bought or at least considered your phone. On the biggest Blackberry site 65% of playbook users stated they would not buy another Blackberry product.

APP store - A major part of BB problems is the lack of apps. As per the article only 2.9M phones have been shipped (not sold). Doubling the potential number of customers a major incentive for developers to consider the ecosystem.

Security - Dropping support has meant a team of people are actively looking for flaws in the OS to exploit. (They already have dumps of the bootloader, bootrom, MLO and a few others.) this could potentially undermine the security in their phones.

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Meh

I agree

I bought the Playbook, great piece of hardware. Ok software

But has now been left behind by the company.

I still use it to surf and watch movies, read books etc and would have considered the Z10 once it reached £300, but after RIM letting the Playbook die, I've decided to go with Android.

Currently waiting for the HTC One to reach £300 (or the Moto X), which should happen soon when the HTC One Mini and the Moto X are launched.

Unfortunately I now couldn't careless for RIM, which is a mighty change from championing it a year ago.

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Anonymous Coward

"Windows Phone already wiped the floor with them..."

Don't you mean "took their place in the gutter"

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To clarify

When the CEO of RIM make a verbal committment then it should be honoured.

http://www.berryreview.com/2013/01/30/thorsten-heins-confirms-that-all-existing-playbook-tablets-will-get-blackberry-10-software-updates-in-interview-with-cnbc

This was done to clear the backlog of PB's with the promise of a software upgrade. Once the inventory was cleared the promise was broken.

I suspect you as a consumer would similarly 'bitch' if you were not delivered something you were promised.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows Phone is outselling BB by over 2:1 in the UK according to the latest Kantar figures - with circa 9% market share....

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Anonymous Coward

Check your bias ....

Windows Phone sales in the UK are at 8%, which while not great is now up to a third of Apple's. In some (Western European) countries it is double figures.

I've switched from a Lumia to a HTC One (I wanted official Google Play music and G+) so am not a die-hard fanboi, but I'm not blind to it's growth either and would happily switch back if the aforementioned were available on WP8.

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Headmaster

"Unfortunately I now couldn't careless for RIM ..."

Unable to parse. Perhaps you mean "Unfortunately I now couldn't _care less_ for RIM..."

I see this kind of sloppy writing everyday [sic].

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Anonymous Coward

What is this "lack of apps" crap? There's way way way more than I'll ever download, hundreds and hundreds more each week, some of them a bit crap, some of them fantastic. I have never ever felt short of apps.

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EC

Q10

Q10s are now £385 ish on Amazon - available from third party sellers, and briefly from Amazon itself. Mine's just arrived, wonder if it will be as satisfying as my old Nokia E71....

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Unhappy

Re: Q10

My work curve has made me fond of BB. But the price of the Q10 is ridiculous. BB had two markets, business and teenagers. The Q5 should of been for teenagers and business lower ranks (£120ish PAYG), the q10 for the execs and enthusiasts (£240 ish).

When the Q10 comes down, i'll think about jumping ship from Android. I am *that* desperate for a qwerty.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Q10

Glub glub. Boarding a boat that has already sunk.

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Facepalm

Re: Q10

Its user preference, so far noone has said anything bad about my Q10.

The app store is laughable but then again I havent seen the need for any apps and am not interested in gaming or watching stuff on a small screen.

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Anonymous Coward

New and SIM Free, £289 on Amazon

Just goes to show you should *NEVER* buy a phone, SIM free or on contract, close to its launch. These babies start to depreciate before they've made it off the production line.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: New and SIM Free, £289 on Amazon

To be fair, only the iPhone and latest Galaxy phones seem to fetch a good 2nd hand price or trade in on a phone recycling site.

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Re: New and SIM Free, £289 on Amazon

http://www.sellmymobile.com/phone/blackberry-z10/

£198 cash or £206 Argos Max

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Pint

Re: New and SIM Free, £289 on Amazon

Likes new cars of the forecourt :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: New and SIM Free, £289 on Amazon

And the latest Nokias....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: New and SIM Free, £289 on Amazon

Re: "Like the latest Nokias"

The only Nokias generally available at those prices are those that are *supposed* to be available at those prices. Not every manufacturer overprices all their phones, you know.

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Are you tempted to get one?

No, but my wife was tempted by the version that still has a keyboard. That is, she was until this weekend, when she accidentally got her passcode wrong on her existing Blackberry and the bloody thing wiped itself. This is apparently by design according to the Blackberry forums - rather than just lock the existing data, it performs a reset and permanently deletes it. The alternative is no passcode, and no security. That fragrant pile of manure that is the Blackberry desktop software can't find the backup that the wife swears she took last month, and the most recent backup it can find is a year old. So BB lose a potential upgrader who is now looking at Android based alternatives.

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Happy

The ONLY way that your wifes device would delete all the data and do what is called a security wipe is if she entered her passcode wrong 10 times, after 3 times she'd have to enter the word "blackberry' to continue to try and do it wrong.

It is a shame she lost her data and I assume she wasn't diligent in backing up her data.

Make sure she is careful no matter what Platform she chooses. my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 with an ActiveSync error cleared my contact list on both my phone and computer, lucky I had backups.

my iPhone4S had a sync issue which resulted in all emails older than 30days to be deleted, again I was lucky I could load an outlook backup to restore my gmail emails.

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Anonymous Coward

Q10 backups

I doubt that your wife could have a year-old blackberry backup of a Q10, because the new BB OS10 phones are not compatible with the now legacy Blackberry Desktop Manager. OS10 phones are only supported by this new Blackberry Link piece of crap, which has not quite existed for a year yet.

Shame because Blackberry Desktop Manager worked well and did everything I needed. Blackberry Link by comparison is braindead - it cannot synchronise my calendar and contacts onto my phone - you are apparently expected to use 'the cloud' for that, despite the fact that I don't have any cloud-based accounts - and being an OSX Snow Leopard user, I won't be using 'the cloud' any time soon.

Blackberry Link still, after many updates, still gets confused about when an OS update is available for the phone. Usually when I allow it to initiate an update of the phone, it sits there saying 'downloading' until I restart the computer.

[FAIL]

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I've asked 'er indoors, and she swears there was no prompt asking her to type "blackberry", and the prompt before the final attempt to type her password didn't indicate it'd wipe the phone if she got it wrong. Her experience is consistent with what is written on the official Blackberry forums, and was confirmed as the intended behaviour by an assistant in the EE shop.

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Wife + Q10

My beloved wife has retreated to her trusty BB9300 after a very disillusioning bout with the Q10. We had a 3 day marriage-stability-threatening wrassle with the horrors that are BB Desktop and BB Drive before finally managing to move her into the Q10. Although initially dazzled she grew to hate the thing and we've sent it all back. O2 support were pretty helpful but not that well versed and just prolonged the agony.

Incidentally: what triggered the upgrade was that the BB9300 trackpad died. I'm no technician but I got a new trackpad for £5 from Amazon and courtesy of a very useful Youtube how-to, installed it and to my utter astonishment (you have to take the phone completely apart) it works perfectly and Mrs F is now happily texting away. Result.

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Re: Wife + Q10

We had a 3 day marriage-stability-threatening wrassle with the horrors that are BB Desktop and BB Drive

So it's not just my wife who holds me personally responsible for all technology related problems she encounters then! This is despite my advice to not own a Blackberry or to run bloody Windows on her desktop machine, advice she ignored. Interestingly, she loves the aging Dell laptop I gave her with Mint Linux on it. If only Libreoffice rendered MS Office documents more consistently I'd replace Windows on her desktop machine with Mint as well.

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There seems to be a severe lack of knowledge here so as the reigning expert on the Google forums regarding Blackberry devices (yes, you can look me up) and my wife and I covering the Z10 with OS version10.2, Q10 with the latest OS10.1, Bold 9900 with OS7, Torch with OS6 and 8310 with OS4 I'll try sorting this out.

Chris,

After three attempts any of the BB10's will ask for "blackberry" to be inserted as the clearance to allow another password attempt. If that isn't put in then it will commence to lock the phone. I made the mistake once of trying to put in the actual password because I did not read the screen properly. Luckily you have more than one chance to type it in correctly.

Anonymous Coward should read this part

Backups are available from the Blackberry Link including previous devices by choosing Restore from the Blackberry Link and when it only shows the latest four use the scroll bar to the right hand side of the little block and scroll down to find "Legacy Devices Backup Files" and click on it so you can restore from a previous device.

If you still don't believe the files are there or you want to see what is in them then install Blackberry Backup Extractor from http://www.blackberryconverter.com/ which will find all the files on a pc.

Any further problems please come visit me in the Google Forums http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!categories/mobile/blackberry-devices and I'll try to help.

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Thanks for taking the time to reply. I don't think I was clear in my original post - my wife's existing phone is a battered Bold model, which is the one that got wiped. She was considering an upgrade to a Z10.

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Chris,

The backups and restore work in the same way for Blackberry Bold or any other OS4 through to OS7 (I can even remember upgrading an earlier version than the 4 for somebody) using the Blackberry Desktop Manager. In actual fact Blackberry' phones have always been (probably always will be) able to use the information stored other Blackberry phones.

Apart from upgrading the Playbook to OS0 which I do consider to be a major mistake it should be remembered that there could be an OS3 waiting in the background.

Personally I would get the Q10 or even the Q5 for your wife. I doubt she would be unhappy with either..

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BlackBerry should have played to its strengths and that's the Q10. My wife wanted a smartphone when her Blackberry broke so I got her a Android handset and she went back to her original BlackBerry because she didn't like the on screen keyboard for texting, dialling, etc. My parents are still using feature phones because they want to use keys.

The Q10 offers existing Blackberry customers and featurephone users an upgrade only Blackberry are providing, the Z10 offers them an alternative that three offer companies already provide.

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Good point regarding BB keyboards. That's exactly the reason I'm not tempted by Z10 but will remain with BB (despite playbook disappointment). Whether my next phone will be BB10 or older versions depends on ergonomics. As things stand right, older phones have better chance thanks to trackpad, I simply do not feel like using screen for text selection. Exactly same reason why I do not like screen keyboards.

More to the point, for me a phone is communication device, not "app store front" or "media consumption", it is simply too small for these other roles. BB phones support email brilliantly, as well as voice, text, Google calendar and contacts, and other (BBM) means of communication, and in conjunction with good hardware keyboard this is prime reason for me to stick to the brand. On the other hand, as much as I would like to try new QNX-based OS, BB10 phones do not seem very ergonomic at the moment.

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No sympathy

I have no sympathy for Blackberry (or Microsoft or Nokia). They all commanded a large share of the market in the respective areas but they rested on their laurels and stopped innovating. By the time the competition overtook, it was already too little, too late. I refuse to spend my heard on money with companies that stop innovating when they become the market leader as it only encourages laziness with regards to innovation.

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Flawed Logic

So, if you have a problem with large and lazy market leaders not innovating then you mustn't be an iPhone user - or Android, for that matter. iOS has been around since 2006 without any substantive innovations (siri doesn't count, as it was an app before the 4s). Where's the innovation and added functionality? It's nonexistent. Apple has become lazy and treats its users like garbage between its closed ecosystem, proprietary everything, and an antiquated, expensive product that's built in China. However, I'm glad that option exists for those want it.

I look at the situation differently. That is, I'm interested in more, not less companies in any given industry, as this drives competitors to produce more and better products and services. You see, by not supporting smaller companies (regardless of their past market position) you are essentially promoting the opposite of what you're trying to accomplish. Again, more players means more innovation and more and better options for consumers.

I just moved from the iPhone to the Z10 and I must say that it's like going from a tricycle to moped. I'm a lot more productive and I'm happy I had this option. No duopolies please.

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Re: No sympathy

Er, I don't think anyone here remembers MS having a large market share in the mobile market...

As for resting on their laurels, well yes BB did a bit. Just like Apple are doing now, and Google/Samsung now. The Android world in particular is becoming ridiculous; I don't call a 5inch screen on a phone 'innovative', that's just a crummy small tablet. And a retina display isn't innovative, that's just over engineering something; it doesn't actually make a device do anything better as a phone / phablet. It just means that you've got less time to read whatever is on the display before the battery goes flat.

BB have done a clever job of working out how to make a phone work as a helpful device for busy people, and their Hub and Balance are unmatched by everyone else. That's good engineering innovation. Everyone else has worked out how to sell over engineered, under performing and cumbersome devices to gullible Sheeple whilst ripping off their privacy in order to earn a bunch more dollars from advertising revenue. That's good business innovation, and has very little to do with the best interests of the end user or engineering prowess.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No sympathy

Nokia are now innovating more than any of their rivals.

Top end Lumias currently have better microphones, screen technology, touch panels, maps, nav and cameras than any competing devices....

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Nail biter

Whether or not Blackberry can even survive is up in the air right now. It seems as if they are copying some of their competitors more noxious aspects in order to mimic their success. Unless they can come up with some unique compelling value proposition, it is hard to see how they can make it.

One thing that might be compelling is to create a pathway to sealing the phone up so that people can communicate securely without third parties eavesdropping -- at the very least not casually like they do now. It is nigh impossible to protect against elaborate targeted eavesdropping, but it should be relatively easy to protect against most other types.

I am from Canukistan, so I would like Blackberry to succeed. However, as a mobile phone user since the mid 1980s, my Blackberry 8900 was the worse phone of any type I ever used. It was monstrously inconvenient to the point of dysfunction. When looking for accessories or some type of relief for various issues, I always found (at that time RIM) Blackberry to be entirely interested in maximum margins and entirely disinterested in correcting deficiencies such as random lockups that required removing the battery. It was a horrible user/customer experience all-round. Example: The list price for a Blackberry USB cable is $29.95CDN. In Ontario, with tax, it is more than $33CDN, about $32USD or £21GBP. It is worth about one dollar. Because they used a particular micro-usb adapter, they were hard to find and on a road trip I was actually stuck buying one for the full price above. That still sticks in my craw. Sure, Apple try the same nonsense, but I have never paid more than $2 for an Apple cable and their adapter is even more peculiar.

After the Blackberry, I switched to an iPhone 4S, despite my strong misgivings about Apple. Apple has turned out to be just as evil or even more evil than I expected. The fact that I can't remove the newstand from my iPhone desktop makes me grit my teeth. It is a big Apple 'f*ck you' to the end user. However, even with all my issues with Apple, I found the end-user experience of the iPhone 4S much, much better than the Blackberry. Whereas the Blackberry was the worst phone I ever used in the prior quarter century, the iPhone 4S was by far the best.

As a user, for me to ever go near Blackberry again, I would need to see an entire attitude change in the company. I just do not see that happening. As a developer, I might be open to looking at the platform, but they would have to make significant changes to woo somebody like me and last I looked they were not near enough.

It will be a shame if Blackberry goes under. I think it is possible for them to survive, but right now it is a real nail biter.

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Re: Nail biter

I agree with much of what you said. I moved form BB, to Android, to iPhone, now back to BB. I have the Z10 and I like the added functionality over other products, as well as the BB10 OS. I think a lot of news around the product (not the company as much) is unwarranted and has been propagated by the Shorts trying to manipulated the stock. I'm using it on T-Mobile in the US and it has so far served me well. Check out USER ratings and try it yourself. I don't let anyone speak for me.

The title of this article is so over the top and is frankly, misleading. It implies that the new phones have been disaster and that vendors cannot give them away. Sure, unit orders fell short of the low side of "analyst" projections, but the Q10 had only been on sale for a few weeks and in very limited markets. And even the newest Samsungs and iPhones have been discounted to the same levels here in the States (on and off contract) . Check it out online.

And for all of those who think the company is on its death bed. Nonsense. These are the same voices who have been writing BB's obituary for the last 3 years, always predicting death is just around the corner. It takes more that a couple of quarters to right such a large ship and correct serious mistakes, and BB is starting to make a little noise again. That's good for consumers and the industry as a whole.

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Failed from the start

At the time BB released the Z10 I could get a Nexus 4 band new for £279. Okay, the N4 is not 4G but the point is that the Z10's initial price (circa £550) wasn't going to work. BB were just too greedy and, just as I predicted, it has failed.

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Anonymous Coward

There continue to be too many security holes in Android, seem to be found weeky, and it's made by Google so probably got a back door for the security services. or two. Rece ntly went back to BB. I like my Z10 but detest the ridiculous desktop Link software. I wish I'd got the Q10 now though. I may revert back to a BB Bold. Apps are of miniscule importance to me compared to security. BB Protect already does what others are just catching up with. BBM is a secure messaging service, and I can PIN message my wifes BB direct. But why on earth would I want an android or windows phone?

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You might not have much of a choice if it goes tits up!

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Anonymous Coward

"But why on earth would I want an android or windows phone?"

I can't think why you would want an Android, but Windows phone is a secure OS, and BB10 was already completely hacked and rooted via a flash exploit....

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There is always a choice. I've used Android and I've used Windows Phone, and both of them are not as good as BlackBerry in terms of security. Now I know Governments can look at whatever, but on the fact that if I'm the victim of a theft of the handset I'm safe in the knowledge that they will NEVER get my data from the phone, which to me is more important than the handset itself. Android is only now giving users that option, but it's an add on. At least with BlackBerry security is at the core of it's OS.

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Anonymous Coward

You know BB10 was already completely rooted via a Flash exploit and WP remains unhacked?

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I'm sorry Mr.Balmer, I didn't know it was you. I apologise.

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FAIL

Steve Ball... errr, Anon Coward wrote it:

""I can't think why you would want an Android, but Windows phone is a secure OS,"

Ouch... you mean the same Windows Phone that does not even need to be hacked, it can be simply fooled into leaking user passwords by any rouge WiFi access points, thanks to Windows Phone 8's shitty crypto...?

See it right here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/06/microsoft_win_phone_wifi_vuln/

My favorite part of the story? "Microsoft won’t issue a security update to fix the vulnerability, though, it said."

Yep, you've read that right - they say create and distribute your own root cert, it's not their problem. Of course, because it's "a secure OS", period, right... right?

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Silver badge

It would be interesting to read a new review. One thing that was missing from your article is the A10 which is going to take the Z10's place as the flagship all touch screen BB10 device. Sounds like they're running down inventory before it launches.

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