BlackBerry Responds to Complaints About WhatsApp/Facebook. What’s Next?

john_chen

I know, by now this is old news. Earlier today John Chen took to Twitter to share that the Twitter issues we have been experiencing with images not showing up had been corrected.

Prior to that, Mr. Chen tweeted a far more important tweet.

“I care about BB10” It doesn’t get any plainer than that. He then linked to a very nice post on Inside BlackBerry, a post titled “Great Apps on BlackBerry! A Strong Commitment to BlackBerry Users and Developers“. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you do. In this post, BlackBerry is very forthcoming about the issues surrounding WhatsApp and Facebook.

“Recently, Facebook made the decision to discontinue support of their essential APIs for BlackBerry and WhatsApp announced they would end support for BlackBerry 10 and BBOS at the end of 2016.

We are extremely disappointed in their decision as we know so many users love these apps. We fought back to work with WhatsApp and Facebook to change their minds, but at this time, their decision stands”

The post, goes on to ask for users help.

“but let them know how you feel on social media, using the hashtag #ILoveBB10Apps”

The hashtag used by John Chen in his tweet, #ILoveBB10Apps. Once again, John Chen and BlackBerry have asserted their commitment to BB10, it’s users, and it’s developers. A mere two months after the last time John Chen wrote about being committed to BlackBerry 10.

Why must BlackBerry keep repeating that they are committed to their own platform? Probably because there are those that keep insisting that BlackBerry 10 is dead. This is nothing new to the fans of BlackBerry. Since the introduction of BlackBerry 10, many have been pushing the agenda that the BlackBerry 10 platform, and the company itself are dead. But this is different. This time, many of those that are pushing the agenda, are actual fans of BlackBerry. Why?

I have a few ideas. First and foremost, we BlackBerry 10 fans have been spoiled. Prior management was very loose with information. Between sneak peaks and leaks, the BlackBerry fan seemed to know what was going on at all times. Unfortunately, so did the competition. Surely everyone reading this remembers the iOS keyboard which was a clone of the BlackBerry 10 virtual keyboard, that actually arrived before BlackBerry 10? Add to this, that BlackBerry’s reputation for missing deadlines can be directly attributed to this. We knew goal dates. And goal dates are just that, and quite often, those dates aren’t met. Additionally, things like OS leaks led to problems. The constant argument for leaks is that statement of “we are beta testing for BlackBerry. Guess what. We weren’t. We were loading OS’s that were not yet deemed worth of public release. Beta testing implies actually communicating issues back to the developers. We weren’t doing that. What was happening, in reality, was that people were installing the OS’s, and taking to social media, forums, and blogs, to complain of issues. Issues in software that BlackBerry never intended to be released. Even the actual Beta Tester program, which BlackBerry did create for the purpose of collecting this information, was a failure, because of a few people in the program which chose to leak every OS version that was dispersed to them. These leakers chose for temporary fame within forums as opposed to holding true to their non-disclosure agreement. And these leakers who were thanked by so many in those forums for releasing stolen software to the public, can now be thanked for ensuring the beta program stopped getting beta releases.

In any case, the information flow has slowed. Bloggers who have made names for themselves by being “leakers”, have found that their faucets have stopped dripping. I don’t know if it’s an act of anger or ignorance, but they are providing a narrative to the community that BB10 is dead, that future updates will be nothing more than maintenance releases. Regardless of the fact that this is the exact opposite of what BlackBerry is repeatedly telling us. The community is believing them. The community that was used to knowing nearly every aspect of the company’s business, can’t seem to understand the reasons for keeping future plans close to the vest, and can’t seem to see a future for the brand if we’re not in the know.

Let’s look at what we know. BlackBerry has continually told us that they are committed to BlackBerry 10. We will be receiving two OS updates this year, with the first set to arrive soon. These are not maintenance patches. These are security focused OS updates in order to get further security certifications for the most secure mobile platform. These updates will allow BlackBerry 10 to be used in even more secure environments. Let’s make this clear, this is something a company does for future business. And you do not develop for future business when you’re planning on discontinuing the product.

But what about the fun stuff? What about SDK’s and UI updates and new colors and backgrounds? We need to be patient. We know that the BlackBerry device business was not profitable while selling only BB10. We know that BlackBerry users tend to keep their devices longer, this is one of the problems with making such a great product. We BlackBerry users are not running out and purchasing a new phone because our current phone has started lagging too much, or because we pressed too hard on the screen and it broke. Our phones on the wonderful BB10 continues to perform, year after year. Quite honestly, BlackBerry does not need to be putting out multiple BB10 devices every year, because there simply aren’t enough of us to rush out and buy them.

Go to any website, and look at comments by users. You shall start to see a pattern. The majority of those BB10 users complaining that they want to see a new device are wanting to trade up from their Z10’s and Q10’s. These are four year old phones? How many devices have come and gone in that time? How many phones did BlackBerry really need to put out, when so many users are still using these first generation devices. Sadly, I am seeing a lot of these very same users saying that they will not be picking up a Classic or a Passport because these phones are “old”. Apparently, “old” means more than three months. I wish these users would read other’s comments as well, because if you do, you will start to see another pattern. You will see Classic and Passpot owners, even Z30 owners, stating that they love their phones. They will state that these other users should give these phones a try. And you will see a lot of these users still bragging about the fact that these phones are amazing, and they have no intentions of moving on to a new phone.

And there is something else we all need to think about. These BlackBerry 10 phones outperform the other phones on the market. My Passport can run circles around a new Samsung or iPhone, and honestly, even my Priv. The majority of these annual upgrades to the Android and iPhones are due to competition. Phone A has a new camera so next year Phone B will as well. For better or worse, BlackBerry 10 is not competing with these devices. They are currently a niche device for a certain type of user. I’m proud to be that type of user. Regardless of what Samsung and Apple is doing with their phones, my BlackBerry 10 phone is better. It just is. Will adding different colors to my phone make it “more better”? No it won’t. Obviously, I would like to see new fun things in the OS updates. We all would. But is it necessary in a time when BlackBerry is still recovering? At a time when BlackBerry is doing something no other OEM has been able to do in the last 9 years by securing Android? No. It’s not necessary. What is necessary is for BlackBerry to complete this turnaround. What is necessary is for us to see a profitable BlackBerry so that BlackBerry can put out the next generation of the platform which John Chen cares about, and BlackBerry is committed to.

And what of the community? We can help BlackBerry to do this. We can be cheerleaders instead of critics. We can support and promote the brand and the products like fans do every day of the products they are fans of. Being hypercritical of something does not make you appear more knowledgeable or intelligent. It just makes you look like a complainer. We should join in with John Chen and BlackBerry in letting Facebook know that #ILoveBB10Apps. We should stop and listen to what BlackBerry is saying and doing, instead of listening to other’s angry interpretations. For those that think the coming of Android on BlackBerry means the end of BlackBerry 10, just remember, BlackBerry has stated several times that they are offering a choice. They are still supporting and selling BlackBerry 10, even though they smartly recognize that those that will buy it are a special breed that will go through direct channels to get it. Even on their own Blogsite, they continue to profile users who are choosing BlackBerry 10 over Android.

BlackBerry wants to bring us more BlackBerry 10. We can ensure they do, by supporting them, or make that reality less likely by pushing users away from the BB10 platform with fear, uncertainty, and doubt. It’s your choice, and we all own the consequences.

If you’re a fan of BlackBerry, now is the time to be a cheerleader, not a critic.

Brad

BlackBerry Elite Founder & Owner of UTB Blogs and UTB Geek. When I'm not talking or writing about BlackBerry, you'll find me using my BlackBerry.

  • I am a BlackBerry Warrior, not a worrier.. LOL

  • veeru789

    Haters only hate.

  • #ILoveBB10Apps @BlackBerry @BBM

  • Martin

    #ILoveBB10Apps

  • Timothius01

    Indeed, John Chen and BlackBerry have asserted their commitment to BB10, it’s users, and it’s developers, but to be meaningful, the assertion needs to provide evidence of the commitment. Teasing Z10 and Z30 users with the notion of there being an upgrade path to a slider only to have their expectations dashed with the release of the Android-based Priv, instead, has left many of those customers feeling, tricked, betrayed, slapped in the face and lied to, with no viable device upgrade anywhere in sight. Under such circumstances, Chen’s so-called assurances ring hollow. That is why ‎BlackBerry must keep repeating that they are committed to their own platform? The ‎two OS updates to be released this year do not sound as if they have the existing “prosumer” customer in mind. As Chen has repeatedly emphasized, they seem to be targeted at enterprise customers. ‎
    While BlackBerry may not need to be putting out multiple BB10 devices every year, upgrades for the virtual keyboard users have not been forthcoming and are long overdue. So, beyond Chen’s words, what facts or circumstances can BB10 lovers point to that are reassuring? Honestly, there are not many. And this is not because loyal customers woke up one morning and just flipped on BlackBerry. To the contrary, it’s because of the calloused, distant way BlackBerry, under Chen, has treated its loyal customers.

    • TRUENORTH

      Hear bloody Hear!
      The truth is that the ‘other guys’ have defined how a company deals with it’s customers and that seems to include the yearly application of lots of colours, bells and whistles. So, when Mr. Chen says that BlackBerry supports BB10, it is natural for BB customers to expect the same sort of ‘colours, bells and whistles’. That doesn’t mean that BlackBerry should be rewriting the OS every year. In fact it is clear that BlackBerry customers are satisfied with minor additions and changes. But Mr. Chen should not expect to buy the allegiance of their customers by providing ‘nothing’.

      Compound that with the loss of two important ( to some) apps and the appearance of few new apps and the average customer cannot be blamed for not giving the best phones in the market, a second look. And you cannot blame them for thinking, in light of the apparent support for ‘enterprise’ customers, that BlackBerry is not a ‘consumer phone’.

      I love my PassPort. I know that it is one of, if not the best phone, out there. But my days of campaigning for BlackBerry are over until I / we get a little ‘sugar’ back from BlackBerry like all the android and all the apple users get.

  • same ole same ole from UTB & #BlackBerry haven’t seen anything that leads me to believe any of this nonsense written or from Chen

  • Alan

    Right On Brad! We all know that BlackBerry is a small company when compared to the giants in the mobile business (fact). Some people seem to forget that and expect BlackBerry to create miracles all the time. How many times do we need to be reminded of the limited resources that are at BlackBerry’s disposal? How many times!? Some people will complain no matter what. BlackBerry has done a lot with limited resources and innovation. How many other companies is running the Awesome BB10 as well as the popular Android for offerings? There is only 1, and that company is BlackBerry. This small company and despite having to make huge changes overhaul for quite some time. Things that cannot and will not be done overnight. BlackBerry is gaining momentum and those of us who see and feel it are ecstatic about it. What a great revelation! Through it all BlackBerry keeps on telling us we are still with you BB10 and all the rest.. Is it enough? I think it is. BB10 lives and so does BlackBerry, and so do the Android users and Lovers of the Priv and future BlackBerry Androids, and so will BB10 users live on through BlackBerry. This BlackBerry is committed to do. Believing it is part of the salvation. I Am that I Am a true believer in a glorious future for BlackBerry and its fans in and for both operating systems successes. There is only one BlackBerry. And so it is. In BlackBerry we trust. :)

  • Anthony

    Facebook has 1.5 billion losers.

    #facebookusershavepeasizedbrains locco_smiley_39

  • CabbagePatch_D

    I’ve only ever used BlackBerry devices which is going on 14 years now. I do have hope that things will turn around but I’ve heard a lot of things from all the CEOs over the years which they never followed through on. So I’m a bit jaded but still hopeful that Mr. Chen and what’s left of the company will do right by us loyal BlackBerry users.

  • Timothius01

    My family and friends call me the BlackBerry evangelist. I have extolled the virtues of BlackBerry to all who would listen, and many who would not. I want BlackBerry, specifically BB10, to win! At the same time, I am a person of reason. Were BlackBerry truly committed to BB10, they could release a BB10 version of the Priv. With the form factor already in existence, how much could it cost to install BB10 on a version of it. It seems the cost should be negligible, in a relative sense. Even if they released it well after the Android version, so as to give the Priv the best chance at success, it would still be a concrete on dictator of an actual commitment to BB10. Instead, what we get are statements from Chen like, “the [BB10] platform will receive security and privacy enhancements in 2016.” And I’m suppose to feel reassured of BlackBerry’s commitment to BB10 by that? Sorry, but at this point, I require something a lot more tangible and forward-looking than a paltry statement to make me feel reassured.

    • Timothius01

      Concrete indicator. Not on dictator.

      • Brad

        Sadly it’s not that simple. There are no drivers for the chipset for BB10. Those would be a cost. They could do it with the Passport’s chipset, but it would need to be re-engineered. Trust me, I want BB10 on the Priv. I started the Thunderclap asking for it. But it’s not as simple as it seems.

        The stark reality is that there are not enough of us die-hard BB10 fans to support introducing a device right now. Add to that, all those that are screaming throughout the interwebs that they will leave the platform due to Facebook and Whatsapp, that’s not a very good indicator to BlackBerry that we would support a new device is it?

        No, I believe once hardware hits sustainable profitability, and time slides around to where the enterprise customers are needing an upgrade, then we will see the next BB10 device.

        My hopes are that we shall see a rebranding and reintroduction when that happens. I’d love to see a BlackBerry QNX branded phone.

  • Timothius01

    Brad, thanks for your response. Admittedly, I do not know the technical requirements to make a BB10 version of the Priv. By driver, do you mean code, similar to a printer driver for a PC? If so, why would writing that code be cost prohibited?

    BlackBerry 10 fans were EXTREMELY loyal, but as I have said, many of them now feel disregarded and as if BlackBerry is trying to cajole them into adopting an Android phone that they do not want. They also feel that BlackBerry, itself, does not believe in BB10 for the consumer, and that BlackBerry has essentially said that by saying it is focusing on enterprise. I believe had Chen’s initial message been something like, “BlackBerry will be be making enterprise grade phones that consumers will enjoy,” instead of repeatedly ignoring the base, things might have worked out differently. Now, many, many people feel they love the BlackBerry hardware but distrust the BlackBerry company, and Chen has to own that shift in the attitude of BlackBerry customers. So once what many everyday people consider to be a staple app like Facebook is lost and is replaced with, essentially, a bookmark to the Facebook mobile site, and BlackBerry calls that an “upgrade,” and the users are told abruptly that the actual app, as crappy as it was, will no longer work after the end of the month, it all becomes too much and it feels like the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back.

    Again, I want BB10 to prevail. I want Chen and BlackBerry to truly be committed to the platform, but the onus is on BlackBerry to prove itself and demonstrate the veracity of that assertion and make me a believer.

  • logicspark

    I’m with Tim. Hate to say it but I saw the same thing with Palm. Andrex anyone?

  • dermit

    I really hope UTB doesn’t become full of negative posts, I left the other place because the trolls took over , please keep them out of UTB.

    Thanks Brad, I agree 100% with your article.

    • Martin

      ^^^ This! Let’s keep UTB a place for positive interaction.

  • Timothius

    I’m not sure whether you’re referring to my posts as negative or to me as a troll, because you did not make that clear. Bit in case you are referring to me, I must say that unlike some in this thread, I have not attacked another poster personally nor resorted to childish name-calling, such as referring to others as trolls. My intent in my posts is not to be negative or trollish. My intent is to be honest and realistic with the facts and circumstances as I see and assess them. If this forum is not a place where adults can respectfully articulate their points of view and speak candidly, please so advise. In such case, no one has to “keep me out.” I will gladly close my account and move on.

    • Brad

      I don’t consider your comments to be “trolling”. In fact, I see them as being indicative of the issue I see. That issue being that real BlackBerry fans, are repeating and spreading these ideas which I believe are hurting BlackBerry and our chances of future devices.

      Realistically, following my train of thought, how I see things, for a moment. BlackBerry and Chen are committed to BlackBerry 10 and hope to bring us future updates and devices. Devices is just not something they can do right now at this moment. While we wait for the device side to find sustainability, the constant repetition by so many stating there is no future for BB10, is slowly eroding the already small community of people that want is and will buy it. What happens when BlackBerry is able to bring another device to market and there is no audience for it?

      It’s called a self fulfilling prophecy. If we say there won’t be a future, we’ll make it so that there is not one. BlackBerry is consistently telling us there will be a future for it. When I say we need to own the results, this is what I am talking about.

      I certainly don’t think that fans suddenly woke up one day angry at BlackBerry and wanting to bring it down. I also don’t think BlackBerry gave them reason to feel this way. Honestly, BlackBerry is still supporting Z10’s and Q10’s. Find me another OEM that is still supporting their devices that were released the same year. BlackBerry has continued to support it’s consumers in ways no other company has. What I do think has happened is that many of the voices that the community follows, has changed the narration. Those that we have always followed to bring us the news of and from BlackBerry are now telling us that things are bad. Are telling us that there is no future. Are telling us that these security enhancements which will be used to bring new business to BB10 so that perhaps finally, after 4 years, it may make some money, are nothing more than security patches. They’re telling us the exact opposite of what BlackBerry is telling us. And they’re not getting that information from anywhere except from their own fears. That’s wrong, and that needs to be recognized as such.

      I’m not here to call you a troll or call you negative. I want you to keep discussing. Because I want to convince you to listen to BlackBerry instead of listening to those that lost their ability to be fans a long time ago.

  • Martin

    Timothius, I enjoy reading the comments you post, I find them to be both informative and valid points. My comment is directed towards the orange site. My apologies for my poorly worded comment. Maybe my comment should have said “UTB is the place of positive interaction”

  • dermit

    Brad,
    What you wrote, exactly how I feel,

    I was just saying I left the “other ” place because the trolls had taken the place over, I wasn’t calling anyone on here a troll, although there seems to be more and more BlackBerry bashers popping up on UTB,

    It will be a sad day when we have to defend BlackBerry on the UTB forums.

    Cheers.

Top