Yet Another Journalist Gets It Wrong – Congratulations Charles Arthur!

wrong

Sometimes it’s like we’re all stuck in 2013…

Yes, it’s BlackBerry bashing time again and this weeks accolade for ‘man stuck in the past’ goes to Charles Arthur of The Guardian, here in the UK. Charles has a very impressive CV – he may just be a contributor now, but he used to be the technology editor there for the past NINE YEARS, as well as previously being the science, health and technology correspondent at The Independent.

So, he won’t get it wrong, will he? Surely his finger is on the pulse of all things tech?

Oh yes he will! Here we go…

BlackBerry left on the line as UK users continue to hang up

BlackBerry will have fewer than 1 million users outside businesses in the UK by the end of the year, a radical slump from a peak of nearly 8 million in June 2012, according to new research from two companies.

The dramatic fall from grace of the iconic mobile phones, which were blamed for spreading unrest during the London riots of summer 2011 , follows a series of high-profile and expensive flops – first with its PlayBook tablet and then with the touchscreen Z10 phone, as it tried to catch rivals such as Samsung and Apple.

Starting on a high note Charles blames BlackBerry themselves for rioting in London 4 years ago. Impressive! And then of course its back to 2013, blah, blah…

The firm has also plunged into operating losses and seen revenues dwindle for 11 of the past 12 quarters. In a bid to cut costs, it has fired thousands of staff.

WRONG! The company restructured, it’s true, but is now hiring again. And guess what? The firm has recently become profitable again. Do keep up Charles…

Now new research from eMarketer provided exclusively to the Guardian paints a bleak picture for the company. It says it may have as few as 700,000 non-business users in the UK, and that by 2017 the figure could fall to 400,000.

Well.. yes… if it continued to be the case that you can’t actually buy one from a carrier here as has been the case since spring 2014. Durrr. But carriers are now, slowly, coming back, testing the water with the Classic (although you can’t buy a Passport at most of them). 2 years is a long time in tech, just ask Samsung – the SG5 was the bees knees at carriers for most of 2014, when it was declared a failure it mysteriously disappeared from those front web store pages – almost overnight…

The UK used to be one of BlackBerry’s biggest and most loyal markets – but the collapse in consumer base will create financial problems for the company, which under its new chief executive John Chen has retrenched to its original corporate and government roots, where it is prized for its levels of security. But both Apple and Samsung have begun to make inroads there, winning approval from the US and UK governments for their handsets to be used in low-level security work.

Where they get hacked.

BlackBerry’s revenues rely heavily on handset sales: Chen has said that it needs to sell 10m per year to be profitable. But falling user numbers mean fewer sales and a spiralling problem for the company.

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!

Dear Lord, how many times?

BlackBerry is comprised of 4 separate divisions, handsets, BBM, QNX and BES. Chen said he had to sell 10m per year WORLDWIDE (NOT JUST THE UK AS IS IMPLIED HERE) FOR THE HANDSET DIVISION TO BE VIABLE. He has also said that the Passport, for example, is already profitable. Meanwhile the other divisions are doing very nicely, thanks – a subject we shall return to.

The company has not been helped by high-profile missteps, such as a software update last Thursday that left LadyTanni Grey-Thompson, the paralympic medallist and parliamentarian, bemoaning the random shuffling of her contacts book. She has threatened to dump BlackBerry for another maker.

Erm… no she didn’t. Charles posts a Tweet from Lady Tanni Grey-Thompson where she complains of her contacts being messed up after the update. I’ve been through her Tweets since then where she is in contact with her carrier, O2 and BlackBerry. After a bit of to and fro, BlackBerry Help email her and O2 offer to try and help her in store. There is no Tweet from her threatening to ‘dump BlackBerry’. None at all. She may have been inconvenienced but there are no threats. And to say BlackBerry are full of high-profile missteps, well, seen the jokes that are iOS8 and Lollipop recently?

Fact is, there have been a couple of issues with the 10.3.1 rollout, but the internet isn’t full of people asking how the hell they can downgrade asap as with those two because none of the apps work or the mobile network has been disabled. Or, even better, their personal files have been arbitrarily deleted to make room!

Nope. None of that Charles, think you are looking in the wrong place, my friend…

Among UK smartphone users, Google’s Android makes up 56.2%, comprising 21.5 million owners, says eMarketer, while Apple’s iPhone has 12.3 million users, or 32.2%. Microsoft’s Windows Phone has 3.3 million users, or 8.5%, and BlackBerry’s sub-1 million users make up just 1.9%. Kantar puts Apple’s figure higher, at 13.4 million (38.1%) and Android’s lower, at 17.4 million (49.6%), with Windows Phone users totalling 2.3 million (6.5%).

Here’s the rub. This market share argument is actually pointless. Look at Android, let’s take the higher figure of 56.2%. Now, I know that here in the UK that slice of the pie is dominated by Samsung and HTC, with Sony having a decent chunk too.

All of whom reported HUGE losses from their phone divisions last year.

Meanwhile, silly old BlackBerry are making a profit from their measly 1.9%.

Which would you rather be?

And which one is actually viable?

Not much of a ‘bleak future’ (as Charles puts it in his preamble) there, is there?

Well, not for BlackBerry, anyway…

And what of BlackBerry’s other divisions? QNX, powering a ridiculous amount of the worlds tech, and growing? BBM coming on in leaps and bounds with monetisation growing apace? And BES now partnering with Google after pulling Samsung’s Knox back from the dead?

Then, of course, there is Project Ion. This is BlackBerry working to secure the ‘Internet of Things’, the next big growth area in tech, an area they will win in, since no one else seems capable of doing it. Project Ion is seeing people investing big money into the company as they can see what’s coming.

This is ironic, since only 16 days ago Charles posted this:

Internet of things: Connect your TV, home, even your body, to the internet. But beware hackers

In the not-too-distance future, doctors may monitor your heart over the internet. To avoid the dangers of such amazing advances, we need to start taking security more seriously

Oh dear.

I think someone needs a BlackBerry.

Bigglybobblyboo

Bigglybobblyboo is a legend almost nowhere at all. He is a founder member of UTB and spends his spare time taking out his anger at the world with a fishfork and a spatula. He is also a Cribbage Master, having won 1 fight online as the other guy refused to turn up out of fear for his life.

  • Robert

    Where the heck do these idiots come from???

  • charlesarthur

    OK, let’s just show how wrong you are, repeatedly.

    1) I’m not blaming BlackBerry for the London riots. I’m saying that others blamed them. Here, learn to read.

    2) BlackBerry has made operating losses (that’s the “operating profit” line of its financials) since financial 4Q 2012 (Dec 2011-Feb 2012) except for 1Q 2015 when it made an operating profit of $20m. Net profits can vary substantially because of tax writeoffs, debenture revaluation and so on. Operating profit tell you whether the company is making money from its core businesses.

    Its revenues have fallen year-on-year for 13 of the past 14 quarters. You can find this via https://barefigur.es/companies/blackberry/revenue/ for example.Thousands of staff are gone. “Restructured” out of a job. And the reason has been to cut costs.

    3) Your response to the eMarketer forecast of dropping users is “phones are for sale”. BlackBerry already offers phones. Consumers in the UK are not buying them. Instead they are defecting. Two analysis companies are saying this, independently.

    4) You claim that iPhones and Android phones passed for use in government work have been hacked. Please support this.

    5) You write “Chen said he had to sell 10m per year WORLDWIDE (NOT JUST THE UK AS IS IMPLIED HERE) FOR THE HANDSET DIVISION TO BE VIABLE”
    I didn’t imply that BB has to sell 10m in the UK. It’s quite evident to anyone with a brain that if it has fewer than 1m users in a country it can’t sell 10m there. You might have inferred it, but that looks like poor comprehension on your part. BlackBerry sold 5.8m phones in 2014. If it has fewer users, it can sell them fewer handsets, so the handset business becomes unviable. Around 50% of BlackBerry’s revenues come from handset sales, and an unknown proportion of profits. (Chen is talking about gross margin for the Passport; that’s not operating margin after marketing, administration, etc. Educate yourself about finance.)

    6) Tanni Grey-Thompson was furious last week at how 10.3.1 messed up her contacts. Here’s a tweet threatening to get a Samsung. http://t.co/BVJ1OfbsjE Here’s one saying she won’t get a BlackBerry again. http://t.co/1DudA0OFRQ You didn’t look back far enough. But I’d been in touch with her while she was still struggling with it (and still seems to be).

    7) Samsung’s phone division was profitable throughout 2014 – the second most profitable mobile division in the world, after Apple. HTC reported a net operating profit over 2014 (one quarter’s loss, three of profit) and net net profit (ditto). Sony reported losses, some part to writedown of goodwill (if you don’t know what that is – I expect not – look it up).

    Your post is uninformed, shows poor comprehension, minimal understanding of finance or statistics. It’s a pity so many ardent BlackBerry fans seem to be like you.

    Just FYI – I’ve screenshotted this comment. So you might want to click “approve” when it comes up.

    • DLewis13

      Link doesn’t exist where you claim that there was a threat to not get another BlackBerry.
      I’ll trust anything Bigglybobblyboo’s posts over a BlackBerry hater. I can handle independent reviews, but trolls like you suck.

      • Anthony

        I clicked on the link and it shows something about people mentioning Samsung and that she’ll go and look at one. She sounds like an dumbass if this is true. locco_smiley_8

      • charlesarthur

        @DLewis13 The link works perfectly well on a capable device. It reads: “@MattLloyd_UK won’t be having another @BlackBerry” (9:07 AM – 21 Feb 2015).

        I’m not a BlackBerry hater; I’m simply describing what is happening to the company. This wasn’t a review; it was a news piece about what’s happening to BlackBerry’s consumer user base in the UK, and what that might mean for its handset business. If you don’t understand what the word “review” means, don’t use it.

        @Anthony Tanni Grey-Thompson is a wheelchair Paralympic gold medallist – 11 medals – who also works on drafting legislation. Do let us know about your achievements.

        • DLewis13

          My achievements are none of your business. I checked link from phone and web.
          Link about Samsung worked, but not one to claiming to totally out BlackBerry.
          It still smells like a review, you are so far off on the accomplishments that BlackBerry has made. You may have your opinion, I’ll keep mine. You’re an ass and a troll.
          Since you mislead folks so far off the path, you should join FoxNews, they suck too.

          • charlesarthur

            “My achievements are none of your business.”

            You were insulting about Tanni Grey-Thomson. I wondered how what you’ve done compares to her 11 gold medals and work in legislation. Seems all you have is insults. I don’t consider those achievements. You shouldn’t either.

            Glad you managed to click the links successfully.

            • ray689

              Now isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black there Mr. Professionalism.

            • DLewis13

              One, no way was anything I posted an insult to Tanni. I even tweeted her:

              @Tanni_GT Sorry to hear you feel so badly about @BlackBerry
              I never have any problems with my Z30, upgrading, connecting, all works great.

              Her reply:

              @DickLewis13 @BlackBerry most of mine have been amazing

              No animosity there.
              You are the only moron I have a problem with.

              • Bigglybobblyboo

                Done and done, I think.

              • charlesarthur

                My apologies – I was looking at @Anthony higher up in the thread and mistook your comment for his. Sorry. As you say, you didn’t insult her.

                • Bigglybobblyboo

                  Fair play Charles.

        • DLewis13

          I stand corrected, link I complained about works now.

        • Anthony

          Big deal, she’s an accomplished athlete. She trained hard and won medals.

          She also “drafts legislation”. How qualified is an athlete for that kind of job? locco_smiley_25

          My achievements are quite good.

          You are a BlackBerry hater. The proof is in the pudding.

    • razrrob

      I guess it’s been a well kept secret that BlackBerry planned to focus on the Enterprise side of things as opposed to the Consumer side of the house. Guess we should be surprised that the consumer side has slipped whilst John Chen makes tremendous strides on the Enterprise side.

      If Charles was even the slightest bit awake he might have noticed that Google announced that it chose BlackBerry as its’ partner to handle the ‘Android for Work’ piece. The one that separates personal space from work space on the same phone. Google couldn’t go it alone and Apple is in shambles. Yes the most profitable company that used to focus on innovation but now cares more about lining its’ pockets. They can’t even roll out an OS successfully after 4 or 5 attempts.

      I’d be curious to see which platform Charles trusts to keep his contacts, appointments, and pictures secure. Do a simple search of the terms ‘Hack’ ‘Apple’ and BlackBerry and let me know which platform leads in that illustrious category over the past 2 years (hint- it’s zero for BlackBerry OS 10).

      Or better yet, look at how many so called ‘tech bloggers’ have predicted the demise of BlackBerry over the past 2 years. Why would the G7 governments (and a vast majority of the G20) Militaries, Financial institutions, amongst others trust their security to a failing company? If your predictions are correct it doesn’t say much for the other platforms

      • charlesarthur

        1) I know about Chen’s focus on the enterprise side. However the loss of consumer users shrinks the potential pool of handset buyers, which threatens the viability of the handset business.

        2) BlackBerry isn’t the only partner in Android for Work. If you tried reading beyond this blinkered site you’d discover that it’s working with many partners:

        Google is making a bid for the enterprise with its new Android for Work program, which aims to give businesses more control over the apps and data that employees store on their smartphones.

        “With a group of partners, we’re helping businesses bring more devices to work by securing, managing and innovating on the Android platform,” Google’s Rajen Sheth said in a blog post on Wednesday.

        Foremost among those partners are enterprise mobility management (EMM) providers, including AirWatch, BlackBerry, Citrix, Google Apps for Work, MaaS360, MobileIron, SAP, and SOTI.

        3) my personal choice isn’t important.

        4) I don’t care what “tech bloggers” think. I seem to be on a site written by a tech blogger, and it’s full of errors so gigantic that it’s a wonder it isn’t also suggesting that the sun revolves around the earth. You’ve also repeated a few of the errors, indicating that you haven’t bothered to verify things, so I don’t care what you think of what tech bloggers think either.

        5) “If your predictions are correct it doesn’t say much for the other platforms”
        Another comprehension failure: these aren’t “my” predictions. I’m citing two analysis companies who provided me with information about the fall in BlackBerry’s consumer users in the UK. Nothing about enterprise users. Try reading the original article.

        • razrrob

          Dear charles-

          Your inability to grasp even basic concepts is quite worrisome. If BlackBerry are focusing on the Enterprise side at the expense of the consumer market it would stand to reason the numbers would slip on the consumer side. Yet you report it like it’s some ground breaking revelation! Enterprise customers will need handset and the market may prove even more profitable via BES12 and EMM. But in your world number of units sold seems to be more important as you keep referring to them citing groups that few in the free world have heard of.

          Your inability to grasp the concept of ‘security’ is also worrisome. MobileIron, Good Technologies and other so called EMM providers are lacking one thing that little ol’ BlackBerry has – the ability to claim that a phone running OS 10 on BES has never been hacked EVER. You have yet to adequately address the security issue.

          Your moniker of a ‘journalist’ is highly suspect. You cherry-pick #2 analysis companies that are negative towards BlackBerry whilst there are many others that are favorable – this sounds like personal bias. You claim that I’ve repeated errors and failed to verify things yet you can’t point out any errors.

          This is just one of many cases where a self-proclaimed ‘journalist’ consistently moves the goal posts to meet their needs.

          • charlesarthur

            I’ll say it again. John Chen has said the handset business needs to sell 10m per year to be viable. If the number of owners falls below a certain number – nobody knows what that is, but you can make estimates – then too few people will replace their handset during a year for the handset business to be viable. That creates a viability problem for BB.

            If you haven’t heard of eMarketer or Kantar that’s your problem. They’re respected companies in their fields. They’re measuring the installed base (number of owners).

            Your point about security isn’t relevant to consumers. For the overwhelming majority of them, they have sufficient security if they have a phone pin code and sim lock. Android and iOS encrypt the phone when powered down. They have tracking for owners if the phone’s stolen, and activation locks to deter thieves taking them in the first place. That’s all people want in the first place.

            I didn’t cherry pick the analysts. I could have thrown in IDC’s numbers for smartphone sales, but they weren’t relevant. I haven’t seen any analyst companies offering sales or forecast data for BB that are “favourable”.

            I’ve refuted your claim that Google was partnering only with BlackBerry, using a quote directly from Google. (You erroneously repeated that claim.)

            Still, I do find it interesting how BB diehards (always outside the company) believe that the single thing that will sell a phone to consumers is top-level security. BlackBerry’s management believed that for a long time. I think Chen has a clearer view of it.

            • ray689

              eMarketer is respected in their field? Okay sure. I think these guys were also

              http://m.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2015/02/26/boston-firm-detwiler-fenton-at-center-of-criminal.html?r=full

              • charlesarthur

                @ray689 BlackBerry never actually went through with the threat to sue Detwiler Fenton, did it? I always thought that odd. Maybe the data about handset returns was accurate – history seems to suggest so.

                @BBB I expect you’ve used Kantar sales share data. I dealt with how it’s easy to be misled by a spurious reading of that data. Apart from anything, Kantar doesn’t tell you the relative sizes of its 13-weekly numbers. So a 40% share of sales in April-June could actually be less than a 20% share of sales in Oct-Dec, because the market in calendar Q4 is much bigger than in the summer.

                So if you’ve used Kantar data, I hope you’ve used it in conjunction with other data, such as country sales data, or installed base data, because otherwise you create a false impression of the market dynamics. (Though Kantar’s sales share data for the 13 weeks to the end of December show the EU5 countries, nor Japan, nor the US, nor China, nor Australia, having BB sales of less than 1%. That seems consistent with IDC’s figure of <2m sales in Q4.)

            • Bigglybobblyboo

              We’ve all heard of Kantar, Charles, we’ve even used it in the past to show how the iPhone isn’t the all-conquering force it is made out to be. And no one said that Google were working ‘exclusively’ with BlackBerry (although I note Wall Street, for what it’s worth and that might not be much) made a big deal of that particular aspect.

              As regards your comment that ‘BB diehards (always outside the company) believe that the single thing that will sell a phone to consumers is top-level security. BlackBerry’s management believed that for a long time. I think Chen has a clearer view of it.’ then you’ll find these BB diehards actually AGREE with you!

            • razrrob

              Your financial acumen borders on moronic. You claim that you “read a lot of stuff” but you seem ignorant of John Chen’s oft quoted comeback plan – the ‘4 Pillars’. Handsets are just one aspect of that. John has spread the risk across other areas so a missed target in handset sales should not “create a viability problem for BB.”

              You continue to blather on that my point about “security isn’t relevant to consumers.” maybe we should ask the celebs whose private moments were fodder on the internet.

              The reason you didn’t find any analyst offering favorable outlooks is because you were too biased to look. There are many out there – just do a simple search.

              I also never claimed that BlackBerry was Google sole partner – you inferred that on your own.

              Finally, you’ve made one correct assertion here, shame it wasn’t in your biased article “Chen has a clearer view”

      • web99

        Razrrob,

        You pretty much summed up what my thoughts were. Security is still very relevant when it comes to enterprise, industry, governments and alliances such as NATO and the G7. BlackBerry’s gold standard in security will always make it relevant in these areas.

        To add to that, with the BlackBerry 10 operating system, it does make BlackBerry devices excellent consumer devices as well. If you take a look at the Passport with 13 mega pixel camera, 453 ppi, battery that last 25 hrs, excellent antenna, the ability to run over 98% of Android apps, but in a secure container. SD card that can add an additional 64GB of storage, hdmi slot, miracast, the ability to sync with various media, etc.

        There are some with the mentality that there is only room for devices belonging to 2 operating systems, but that could not be further from the truth. Marketshare is irrelevant as long as BlackBerry makes a profit from the handsets that it sells. That’s why a mom and pops hamburger shop that sells 400 hamburgers a day can coexist in the same market with a McDonalds that sells millions of hamburgers every day. That’s why a Converse brand can continue to make shoes even though their marketshare is a lot smaller than a Nike, Reebok and others.

        In the last earning’s report in December BlackBerry reported a small profit, an increase in its cash on hand and a positive cash flow from its hardware division. So as long as BlackBerry can continue to make money from hardware it will continue to make phones. And to add to that, BlackBerry has not lost any money on its 2 latest phones that it released – the Passport or Classic.

    • Anthony

      Your article, printed on paper, would make an excellent bird cage liner.

      Why would you mention “Tanni Grey-Thompason” threatening to dump BlackBerry in this article? This kind of name dropping is cowardly horse shit, it’s basically irrelevant unless it’s for ulterior iDiot motives!

      It is strange you mentioned BlackBerry and the “London Riots”. The protests in Hong Kong, was that also on BlackBerry devices? Which phones do terrorists use…BlackBerry…or perhaps Samsung or Nokia because their low-end feature phones are more wide-spread in the Middle East.

      BlackBerry restructured. The last quarter looked good. That’s the story. They transformed into a better company with a more diverse portfolio.

      I could care less about what analysts and businesses like eMarketer say. I don’t know how they obtained their information and it’s never printed in articles.

      I’m not from the UK. But from what I read it looks like it’s not easy to find BlackBerry devices on display in your carrier stores. This makes it easier for BlackBerry users to migrate to other platforms because they don’t see their brand.

      BES12 manages BlackBerry, Apple, Android, and Windows devices.

      locco_smiley_6

    • Bigglybobblyboo

      Well, leaving aside the personal insults (learn to read??)…

      1) ‘I’m not blaming BlackBerry for the London riots. I’m saying that others blamed them. Here, learn to read.’

      These are your exact words ‘The dramatic fall from grace of the iconic mobile phones, which were blamed for spreading unrest during the London riots of summer 2011’, so what is anyone ‘who can read’ supposed to take from that? Oh… we’re supposed to click the link. Well, you know as well as I do just how many people do. So please don’t play the innocent. Either you wrote it like that on purpose or you are naive. You’ve been at this for years so I would suggest it’s not the latter.

      2) Yes, BlackBerry made a profit. AFTER the restructuring. The way you wrote it it’s as if they ‘fired a load of staff’ yesterday. Of course those staff were laid off to cut costs. That was what was required at the time – LAST YEAR. But also was the fact that the entire company needed refocussing onto profitable ventures. What is remarkable about those staff that were laid off is just how many of them have stayed publicly loyal to the company even after that horrible event. Paints a picture, I’d say.

      3) My response to eMarketer wasn’t that ‘phones are for sale’ it was that phones HAVEN’T been for sale. I’d have thought that was obvious by the words ‘Well.. yes… if it continued to be the case that you can’t actually buy one from a carrier here as has been the case since spring 2014. Durrr’. Obviously not. I hope that’s cleared that up.

      4) Man alive, if you want any evidence of iPhone and Android phones being hacked now you have found us please feel free to read back. The only ones that have a hope of being safe are those secured by BES10/12.

      5) I’m afraid you DID infer that 10m phones would need to be sold in the UK. The entire piece was about the UK market intended for a UK audience. Why then omit the word ‘Worldwide’? As to educating myself about finance? Erm… please. I know you don’t know me but maybe after today you will. I own businesses. You’re a journalist. Go figure.

      6) As I said in the article I’m not denying that Tanni Grey-Thompson had an issue or that she was ‘furious’ about it. What I am saying is that I couldn’t find any evidence to back up your claim that she ‘was about to dump BlackBerry for another maker’. You say different. As has already been commented, those links don’t work now although I did see one of them work on my Passport earlier. If you read on then you would note that not only is a broken Contacts issue rather mundane (although not for the lady herself at the time I am sure) compared to the mess created by iOS8 (in it’s many broken forms – still not fixed) and Lollipop, but that I see she has been offered some help. I don’t wish to drag her into this but perhaps we can assist in some way.

      7) Cobblers. The SG5 was a disaster as was the HTC M8. Samsung are desperately trying to extricate themselves from Android any which way they can (whilst still selling the SG6 in a wonderfully tense environment with Google) and as for Sony who did they come running to when the hack hit? Oh yes, BlackBerry. Ditching their own phones in the process and now would be happy to get rid of the whole damn division.

      As for your random Twitter insults, firstly I approved your comment here immediately. We are not in the business of stifling debate at UTB. Secondly, whilst I’m sure I flip a mean burger that isn’t my main job (strangely) and thirdly when you talk of ‘BlackBerry fans like you’ I’m sure you mean those in full grasp of the facts able to lucidly debate a point until yours is in tatters.

      Welcome to UTB Charles. Nice to have you as a member.

      • charlesarthur

        1) reading comprehension. “They were blamed.” This is different, in English, from “I blame”. I don’t blame BB phones for events around the riots. Others did. Some MPs called for BBM to be shut down. I provide links precisely so that people can click through to verify the accuracy of what is said.

        2) “The way you wrote it it’s as if they ‘fired a load of staff’ yesterday.” Reading comprehension. In a paragraph which talks about 12 quarters (that’s three years) you wilfully interpret it to mean they fired the staff yesterday. I’d say that’s a failure on your part. I don’t think a reasonable person would make that interpretation.

        3) BB phones have been available in the UK, and continue to be.

        4) I asked you to cite some examples of actual in-the-wild hacks of government-used iPhones and Android phones being used by US and UK government officials after they passed their tests, but you haven’t. It would have been better if you’d stood up your claim in the original piece. Theoretical weaknesses don’t count; you need to show an example where a government iPhone or Android phone has been hacked to support your dismissal.

        5) “I’m afraid you DID infer that 10m phones would need to be sold in the UK.” You don’t know what “infer” means. If I say something with a subtext, I imply. If you read something into what I say, you infer it.

        I disagree completely with your suggestion that I implied that BB needs to sell 10m phones in the UK. You inferred it, wrongly, because you wanted to. But that’s because you have an agenda, which is to wilfully misinterpret what I wrote.

        6) see the links to Tanni G-T tweets I’ve put above. You couldn’t find them because you didn’t look hard enough. The links work fine for me – perhaps you need to read them on a capable device, or just scroll back through her Twitter feed. Again, equip yourself with a capable device.

        7) What you said in your original post above: “Now, I know that here in the UK that slice of the pie is dominated by Samsung and HTC, with Sony having a decent chunk too. All of whom reported HUGE losses from their phone divisions last year.”

        What I said in response: Samsung was the second most profitable mobile company, HTC made profit overall for 2014, Sony made a loss.

        What you’re now saying: some phones by Android OEMs didn’t sell well in 2014. Sony has a problem with its mobile division.

        That’s a pretty substantial reversal from your bold (and completely wrong) claims above about profitability.

        You misinterpreted what I said; you’ve been wrong about profits and financial detail; you’ve failed to do basic checks on claims you’ve made. I’ve no intention of ever visiting your site again.

        • Bigglybobblyboo

          And yet you do… over and over again.

          Let’s face it Charles, your comments here justifying why you wrote what you wrote are both longer than the original article and strangely inconsistent.

          Your original article was flawed. Simple as that.

          • charlesarthur

            I’m only refuting the incorrect assertions. You never know, some people might be persuaded to consider facts, rather than having a pseudo-faith in what the herd says.

            Do let me know what parts of my remarks here you think are inconsistent. I haven’t changed my position on anything in the slightest. But I hope I’ve clarified points (such as Android OEM profitability, the meaning of “infer” and so on) that you weren’t clear on.

            • Brad

              If there’s one thing BlackBerry users don’t do, and haven’t done, is follow the herd. We’ve made choices based on what’s important to us, rather than what seems to be popular for the moment.

              Strike that herd comment, we should be saying flock.

        • Reverend Grim

          Just your comment ‘BlackBerry phones are available in the UK’ why don’t you go and look at EVERY provider in the UK and then tell me where I can get a passport or classic from, and I don’t want you saying Carphone Warehouse, I went into an EE store last December and was told BlackBerry had been bought out in January, now, what makes you think that they will even offer me a BlackBerry if they think they don’t exist! You sir are the one who needs facts and not the ones from 2/3 years ago!

          • charlesarthur
            • Reverend Grim

              Three? They are selling a 4 year old phone! A 9320! I thought you might do better, 02, only the classic don’t want that but ok they have one, Vodafone, q5and q10, 2 years old, you don’t seem to be able to get away from the past can you…
              How about my comments about EE? Anything about that? Or the comments about blaming other social media for the riots? No? So I must be right there then! Grow up, grow a spine and admit that you have made mistakes! Oh, and I will have a look at the deals Vodafone have, but really? You think I will get a good deal if only one carrier offers it? Perhaps you should actually try a (NEW) BlackBerry, not from three obviously!

              • charlesarthur

                @ReverendGrim You said “tell me where I can get a passport or classic from”. I told you. It took me less than three minutes.

                I’m not really in control of what a person in an EE shop told you. Perhaps you should direct your ire, which you don’t seem to be short of, at EE.

                @BBB I searched for “BlackBerry” on each of the carriers’ sites. They have search boxes. Or you can pick a brand.

                Re Three, I think they don’t want to get caught with stock they aren’t sure they can sell. This is quite a sensible thing for a company to do.

                “we know a few people within the organisation who have been told by management that BlackBerry have gone bust or BlackBerry don’t make phones anymore.”

                Who is “we”? Which organisation? Which management? Your sentence isn’t very clear. Do you mean O2 management has told its own staff this? Or is this some organisation *you* work in? It’s ambiguous.

                I’ll certainly try the “walking into a shop” thing and see what they say at EE and Three. Always informative being a punter.

                • Bigglybobblyboo

                  O2 have definitely told their own staff this. I can’t go into details as I need to protect the individuals involved (as I’m sure you are aware!) but yes, both at shop floor and management level.

                  Weirdly when a manager (not store) asked to purchase a BlackBerry 10 device internally they were told by the Head of Devices that ‘O2 would no longer support BlackBerry in the future’ 2 days before they sold the Classic on their website.

                  The ‘not get caught with unsold stock’ argument I can understand, but if you look back at what Three said at the time (sorry, it’s late and I haven’t time to provide the link) they bailed out with a big smile on their faces. This has led to such wonderments as (and I kid you not) me being on the other end of a phone whilst a colleague was in a Three store listening to the Three rep in the background tell him BlackBerry had gone bust so he should get the SG5.

                • Bigglybobblyboo

                  Oh, and if you fancy digging deeper, why is it that Instagram is available on the Amazon App Store for every device other than a BlackBerry 10 one?

                  We have our own third party clients (such as iGrann which is great and does the job lovely) but why when a BlackBerry user logs into the Amazon App Store and searches for Instagram is it not there?

                  Strange how it is for any other device?

                  No one wants to tell…

                • Reverend Grim

                  I directed my ‘IRE’ at EE and was told @we don’t know why that would be’ so I asked what BlackBerry phones they had in stock for upgrade… NONE!
                  And three? Where was the Passport or Classic there?
                  BlackBerry don’t have a hope in hell if the carriers won’t stock the phones, they are all so far up the Apple A Hole that they wouldn’t dare upset the Crapple cart!
                  Have you tried a BB10 device? Why don’t you? You may well be surprised and actually realize that you are missing out. What are the reasons you won’t try one? I bet we could prove your reasons wrong… like the one everyone seems to say, “No apps” hmmm…

            • Bigglybobblyboo

              No. O2 have just started selling the Classic and, let’s be fair, if you navigate their site its a job and a half to find it. Not withstanding that they never sold the Z30 or the Passport. Not just that, we know a few people within the organisation who have been told by management that BlackBerry have gone bust or BlackBerry don’t make phones anymore.

              Three publicly said (with some weird glee) that they would NEVER stock BlackBerry 10 devices.

              And Vodafone seem to come and go.

              We KNOW that EE’s business division will sell you as many BlackBerry 10 devices as you want and that they sell a shed load. We also KNOW (as we have tested it) that as a consumer if you call for a BlackBerry you are very likely to be told anything from the truth ‘that they don’t stock BlackBerry devices any more’ to the more usual ‘BlackBerry have been sold’ or ‘BlackBerry have gone bust’.

              If you want a story, my friend, call UK carriers or walk into a few of their stores and ask for a BlackBerry. You’ll be amazed at the response you get.

              Do you know what? I’d be thrilled if you did.

    • Canuckvoip

      Hey Chucky…

      Didn’t you type this?:
      “The conclusion? As before – don’t put your belief in market share numbers. When Nokia had a 63% market share of smartphones (back in the third quarter of 2007), the entire smartphone market comprised just 17m handsets for the quarter. These days, you’d get that many Android handsets sold in a week. The reality is that the only people to whom market share matters is the people who sell the stuff, and they’re probably more focussed on total numbers – and profitability.”

      Here:
      http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jan/09/market-share-smartphones-iphone-android-windows

      And if I look here:
      http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_vendor-GB-monthly-201411-201501

      Why do I see over 6% for BB? Are the extra 4.3% all Gov workers? That’s a lot of Gov users!
      Just who is eMarketer anyway?

      • charlesarthur

        Yes, I wrote the article about market share.

        Good question re Statcounter.
        Statcounter’s numbers record something – it’s never clear entirely what – to do with hits on websites. That broadly indicates installed base – but may be distorted if the device polls the site more often, or less often.

        So if device A keeps refreshing a particular site which StatCounter measures, while device B loads it once and just caches it, then A will be overrepresented on Statcounter’s data.

        Or perhaps if device A is used for apps all the time, and device B has to use mobile websites, then if Statcounter can’t measure the app use (say, it’s not integrated with the site API) but can measure the mobile site use, then device B will be overrepresented.

        More broadly, BB devices are still used in UK government and a number of businesses. The article dealt with the ongoing fall in consumer users of BB phones.

        As to “who is eMarketer” – search engines abound.

        • Canuckvoip

          My point is that your stats, or eMarketer stats are worthless without knowing exactly how the information was gathered. Why should I believe what eMarketer says any more than Statcounter?
          Last year I saw a similarly damaging piece quoting another unknown source. When I investigated the source of the data, I found out that the two individuals that run the company hold and constantly promote Apple stock. Quelle surprise! Not!
          I can’t remember their name right now but they were completely and utterly discredited. Too bad the damage had been done though because other lazy and useless “journalists” just used it as if it were actually true.
          Pathetic.

          • charlesarthur

            OK. eMarketer and Kantar separately collect data from statistically representative panels – multiple thousands of people (for the UK, a sample of 2,000 people is enough to be representative) – as well as analysing sales data from retailers. They use these to produce installed base data for smartphones and other fields.

            They’re slightly different in their methodology, so the fact that their numbers are closely in agreement is indicative that the trend they’re seeing is happening – ie an outflow of BB consumer users in the UK. (They don’t poll business use.)

            Your too-hard-to-search-just-now anecdote is made rather weak by the fact you couldn’t take the time to search for it. I don’t recall anything matching it, and I read a lot of stuff. How odd though that you could think of an example yet remember none of the details, but they matched the point you wanted to make.

            By the way – I own no stock in any company, and never have. (Some funds have my pension, and I’ve got no idea what they do with it.)

            • Brad

              It was CIRP who claimed BlackBerry had 0% market share after asking 500 of their own followers on social media what phones they had bought. Funny how an ‘activist investor’ who consistently promotes Apple would have followers that use Apple.

              That’s the point Dave was making, an obvious bias that was reported by major media as fact.

              • charlesarthur

                I can’t find details of CIRP’s ownership. A sample size of 500 might or might not be representative – depends how well it’s chosen.

                FWIW, Kantar’s sales share data from the time shows BB’s sales share as below 1%, so CIRP’s data arguably was within margins of error.

                I can’t find any major media which reported that CIRP stat, unless HuffPo and BGR now count as “major media”. I really hope they don’t.

                • Bigglybobblyboo

                  BGR?? Nooooooo…..!!!

                • Brad

                  Then you’re not searching hard enough. For a few days, every tech site was repeating that. If you’re on a device that can show the true internet vs a mobile version, look over to the right, see that little search box, type CIRP in it and you’ll find my posts from last year about CIRP, and the ‘Activist Investor’ that runs it.

                • Canuckvoip

                  Ah yes… it was CIRP, thanks Brad!
                  I did some sleuthing that night and hunted the two owners/principals down through web searches and Linkedin.
                  That’s how I found out about their APPL bias.
                  It all made sense. Skewed data carefully manipulated to serve a monetary purpose… their own.
                  Brutal.

        • Robert

          Interesting how statcounter works. So you’re saying that their numbers can’t be 100% trusted because they can’t differentiate between mobile version and apps. Can that be compared to taking an educated guess based on past averages?

          Interesting.

          • charlesarthur

            “Can that be compared to taking an educated guess based on past averages?”

            No, it can’t. They’re not the same process at all.

      • ray689

        Thanks for pointing us to search engines. You truly know your stuff. I just looked up emarketer. Website says “Industry leading research firm”. Well that must be true. And here I was questioning the Shawarma place in Saskatoon whose sign says “best Shawarma in the west”. What was I thinking?

    • veeru789

      Your article is a fail. This is not journalism it’s just paid, biased hate article. Why is it bad for a company to restructure. Most major companies go through restricting and layoffs. At least BlackBerry is trying to make a come back. I wonder what you would do as a CEO. Close shop and run like a coward probably.
      And we all know how well you understand finance. just look at last quarter results and you will may be understand that BlackBerry is making a solid come back. Or it might be too much for your biased mind.

      • charlesarthur

        You should print this comment out and put it on your wall, and come back to it in 10 years and ask yourself if you were really so foolish in those days.

        • veeru789

          Yeah. I’m actually going to print your original article and post it on your twitter wall when BlackBerry makes a successful turn around and remind you how foolish you were.

        • ray689

          So is this your deceleration that BlackBerry will cease to exist?

          • charlesarthur

            No, it’s my declaration that he’s being a dick on the internet.

            • Bigglybobblyboo

              Bwahahaha! Fair play.

              Whoops! Sorry Veeru!

              • Robert

                Lol locco_smiley_8

            • veeru789

              You are a bigger dick head for posting biased articles and calling yourself a journalist. Asshole

              • charlesarthur

                U mad bro?

    • skeezo

      Your article seems like a lot of hot air. Considering all the great things BlackBerry has been doing, don’t you have anything positive to say Charles? That speaks enough for me.

      And if you were not blaming BlackBerry for the London riots, and only saying that others blamed them then why would you feel the need to include such an absurd point in your article? Surely you of all educated people should know that such a point is ridiculous, so why give it more consideration through print?

      Come on Charles, do you honestly think that you know everything about science, health and technology and that we should take your word on everything you wrote in that article?

      Try to focus on some of the positive achievements of BlackBerry, and maybe then people will take you more seriously.

      • charlesarthur

        ” if you were not blaming BlackBerry for the London riots, and only saying that others blamed them then why would you feel the need to include such an absurd point in your article?”

        The London riots were an incredibly tense time, and some MPs wanted to turn BBM off during them, or to forestall more. Read up about it. Led to a lot of argument. That marked a sort of high water mark for BB’s name being known among the general public.

        “Try to focus on some of the positive achievements of BlackBerry, and maybe then people will take you more seriously.”

        I don’t think you understand journalism. It’s not what you see on fan blogs, and it’s not motivated by the same drives either.

        • ray689

          100% correct. Its not motivated by the same drives. So tell us, what was your motivation? Money?

        • Reverend Grim

          And yet Apple screw everything up to a royal standard but the press sheeple like you still lick the boots, apple can do no wrong in your eyes can they? I bet you made a few comments about them being at the bottom of the heap a few years ago when they were struggling but alas, it’s long forgotten now isn’t it?
          As for you saying that you won’t come back, I’m sure that you will, even if you could comment, you will want to see what’s being said.
          Oh, and the riots… I was caught up in the riots, it was while my son was having a brain operation at King’s College, if anyone wants to go down the ‘Blame BBM’ route then they need to add Facebook, WhatsApp, viber, twitter… the list is endless, not to forget the three classic ways, phone, text and word of mouth! All that was over greed and nothing else, we were locked in that hospital, kids were supposed to be going home but the ambulances wouldn’t move them because they were being attacked! Fucking sick bastards! I could tell you so much more about that week of being locked down that would make your blood boil, blame doesn’t lie with BlackBerry or any other social media, it lies with sick scum that have no respect!
          But of course, as a journalist you will see it in whatever way you can to put people who aren’t to blame, down.

        • skeezo

          Whatever you say Charles. It’s abundantly clear that you’re the sort of person who has to have the last say, as is evident from your one man assault on all rebuttals on this site.

          Please continue to indulge yourself.

    • nnik

      All comments are approved numbnutz, utb doesn’t censor their content

      • charlesarthur

        The first comment one posts says “comment withheld for moderation” – quite common on WordPress for a first comment. I’ve known people in the past who didn’t like having their criticisms criticised, and simply deleted it. So a screenshot of my response, as it had the “withheld for moderation” tag, made sense.

        • Bigglybobblyboo

          Yes but, let’s be fair, you also made the comment ‘Just FYI – I’ve screenshotted this comment. So you might want to click “approve” when it comes up.’ which sounds like something of a threat.

          If it wasn’t I apologise for the inference.

          • charlesarthur

            I didn’t know if you were one of those people who can happily bear criticism (clearly you are) or the other sort. Impossible to know in advance.

            I guess I found the black background mildly threatening, y’know. Like being in the wrong part of town and finding the lights all turned off. So I Took Precautions.

            • Bigglybobblyboo

              Nasty old black background!You’ve obviously been blinded by a light theme for too long. Time to come BackToBlack! ;)

    • Anthony

      Instead of writing this kind of past tense crap with pretentious name dropping you could include things like the following when you write about BlackBerry’s dropping market share in the UK…

      BES 12 securely managing all devices
      BBM is cross platform
      Blends for securely accessing your device from desktop or tablet computer
      Passport, a ground-breaking device
      Classic, a “bold” upgrade
      Upcoming Rio and “code name Visa” devices
      QNX market share for autos
      QNX in industry and IoT
      etc… locco_smiley_20

    • dukey

      So what about problems with iphones and android, they have much bigger problems

  • ray689

    Great points Rob. Not to mention some of the world’s wealthiest and most astute investors taking bigger stakes in BlackBerry. But I guess “freelance” journalist (sitting at starbucks all day writing his next screen play on his mac book) Charles is much smarter and aware than them? Who knew?

    • veeru789

      Sad but true. That’s exactly how this iDiot feels about himself.

  • Well this is certainly interesting. I “don’t know Charles from Adam” so I am going only on what’s on this post and his comments.

    1) I cannot believe Charles included mention that anyone “blamed BBRY for riots” in his article. That is utterly ridiculous and detracts from his article. If I wrote an article on Jewish people and included that Hitler blamed them for the poor economy in Germany, that would be about as relevant a “fact.”

    2) We all know the history. BBRY made a profit in it’s last quarterly reporting. This is how a company turns itself around. This back and forth seems more about “spin” and how you look at the data; who is correct remains to be seen. My money is on Chen and his backers.

    3) No doubt BBRY lost a lot of phone market share over the past few years, and I suppose they still may be, I don’t know. Charles cited a couple references.

    4) Neither of those two companies have ever cared about security much until very recently, if they do at all. I doubt Biggs would have an issue producing some references on Apple and Android hacks. I will say this: they are both consumer products companies. Neither has a culture of security and this is reflected in their OS’s. BBRY has security built into it’s DNA. They consider security in everything they do. They were built on it. They sold to the enterprise and government primarily right from the beginning. It remains to be seen whether Apple and Google will be successful in regulated industries and governments.

    5) I guess Charles didn’t imply the 10M handsets had to be sold in UK.

    6) I suppose Biggs missed a tweet, although someone else here said they couldn’t find the tweets Charles linked to.

    7) I’m surprised if Biggs got it wrong about how profitable Samsung and HTC were last year.

    I think clearly there is some room for interpretation of the data. One person sees opportunity and another sees a lost cause. There are some very smart investors backing BBRY and an excellent, even brilliant CEO at the helm. We’ll see what happens. It’s easy to follow the herd. It’s easy to kick someone when they’re down. Cheers to UTB for keeping everyone honest. I salute Charles for coming on here to defend his article, although, as a BlackBerry fan, I do not appreciate his article.

    • Bigglybobblyboo

      Fair play James, fair play. I too applaud Charles for coming here. Although he’s wrong!

    • charlesarthur

      Thanks for the evaluation. I’ll leave the security point aside because one can argue it back and forth; both Google and Apple have focussed very heavily on it for their current mobile OSs.

      Just on the mobile profit, you can find Samsung’s fourth-quarter profit data at http://www.samsung.com/us/aboutsamsung/ir/ireventpresentations/earningsrelease/downloads/2012/20150129_conference_eng.pdf (PDF) and other IR data at http://www.samsung.com/us/aboutsamsung/investor_relations/ir_events/ir_calendar/index.html

      HTC’s results are at http://investors.htc.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=148697&p=irol-financial and Q4 results at http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/IROL/14/148697/QuarterlyResults/HTC-REPORTS_2014_FOURTH_QUARTER_RESULTS-EN.pdf (PDF).

      • Bigglybobblyboo

        What neither of these documents show is what was BUDGETTED for sales of the SG5 and HTC M8 (and neither should they expect to, either). Samsung were so appalled they fired the guy responsible. HTC’s document is a load of waffle. Hey, the BlackBerry Z30 won a ton load of awards – there was no marketing whatsoever – ergo, bugger all sales.

        And I notice you don’t mention Sony for whom the fact that when they were hacked they had to go and break out the old BlackBerry Bold’s because they couldn’t trust their own loss making phone division seems to have been the final straw.

        The truth is that BlackBerry were the first company to discover in 2013 that the Upgrade Gravy Train had left town. Since then the ONLY company to pull it off have been Apple with the iPhone 6. You will also notice though that, using Kantar as a guide for the UK, that the iPhone 6 hasn’t exactly set the world alight in terms of market share – what’s the increase? 5%?

        So whilst you can’t deny their expertise STILL in getting iPhonians to part with their cash for the next iPhone, it hasn’t really done much for market share.

        Also, I’m afraid you can’t ‘argue the security point back and forth’ any further than this. No one has ever hacked BlackBerry.

        Ever.

        Zero.

        Whereas someone has hacked the others, repeatedly. There’s more malware in the Android ecosystem than there are flies round dung and Apple? iCloud, anyone?

        • charlesarthur

          Interesting point about the upgrade cycle. (Though, um, didn’t Apple manage it with the iPhone 5S in 2013 too?) Maybe too narrow a view though – Xiaomi seems to be getting people to upgrade, or perhaps people are on their first phone.

          Sony, I agree, lost a ton of money, though a lot of that is in writeoffs of goodwill (it’s a theoretical writedown of the net present value of the whole mobile division – a paper loss rather than a cash-out-the-door loss). But in Q4 (Oct-Dec) it made a profit – $80m operating profit, roughly. (BB made an operating loss of $139m in the Sept-Nov period.) So if you’re going to argue that BB is reformed and shining now, you might have to do the same about Sony.

          Re Sony and the hack – again, I’ve never said BB isn’t secure. So what? That’s not a selling point for consumers, for whom phone security long since passed “good enough”. The vast majority of people aren’t at risk of having their phones hacked. It’s simply not a topic they’d worry about. Try asking some people on the train if they worry about it. iCloud hacks? Those happen, but they’re not about the device – they’re about the difficulty of securing accounts, and passwords. This is why you get begging emails from friends who are stranded in Spain – their accounts were hacked.

          The problem – I’ll say it again – is that if there are too few owners, BB’s handset business has a viability problem, which is why this story about a downward trend in users matters. Apple is pretty secure: it has a lock on the high end and a big enough user base that a certain level of sales looks guaranteed. Kantar’s data doesn’t show you relative sales sizes between years, and Apple actually had more of a shrinking sales market in the Christmas period in 2014.

  • Tracmila

    Charlies got it wrong. All he’s done is copy and paste. No research what so ever.

  • Zensen

    Yeah I don’t agree with his negative opinion of BlackBerry but I like that Charles came on here to defend his article. I hope he comes back and gives another opinion. I would absolutely think it’d be great if he took a look at the changes BlackBerry have been doing to re evaluate what he wrote and see that BlackBerry like any company in a lull is looking to right the ship.

    BlackBerry is still a major player in enterprise and even in its ‘heyday’ was still overly enterprise centric. There was just a huge overwhelming notion that the success of the company needed to focus on consumers (they helped build what smartphones were capable of doing). Ultimately in very volatile industry they lost sight of what they were good at and are now correcting that issue.
    It doesn’t mean their abandoning their consumer users but merely not making it the main focus.

    • charlesarthur

      Thanks for the comment. You’re right about BB’s position in enterprise, and its focus.

      I did actually analyse BlackBerry’s results after its last quarter (so, the period to the end of November) on my own blog. It was titled “there must be a horse in there somewhere”: https://theoverspill.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/blackberry-quarter-analysis-profit/

      Brief extract:

      “I’m fairly sure there’s a profitable business somewhere inside BlackBerry. The trouble is finding it. John Chen has done an impressive job since he came on board just over a year ago. But he hasn’t found the profit either (we’ll get to the little financial twiddling that let Chen claim a profit later).”

      • skeezo

        What a thoughtful point (the extract). Both generous and somewhat insulting at the same time. You are not only the man of science, health and technology, but an expert technical/financial analyst as well. I didn’t realize that you were so well qualified as a journalist.

      • Blackjack

        Seriously?

        Does nobody listen to Chen? He never promised profitibility this soon. It’s been a year in fact he openly stated there would be none there is still restructuring. The profit centers are well known to Chen and anyone with eyes that they are willing to open with blinders removed. QNX! IOT! BBM! BES! And yes, some awesome handsets that are unique in the market, VERY appealing to enterprise and professional market and have barely had a chance to be sold yet!

        How blind can you be? Is this intentional or just plain ignorance?

  • newcollector

    The saddest part about Charles’ article is the reference to the London riots. He does not clearly say others linked BlackBerry to the riots, he words it ambiguously. The wisdom in this is built in deniability. If anyone questions him about the reference, he can say, “I didn’t say that, others did.”. The problem in that defense is this: by referring without clearly identifying, Charles gives credence to the accusation. He actually then promotes the highly questionable view. It is guilt by unfounded reference. Journalists have used this tactic for years. It gives them an “out” when it comes to lawsuits and readers who take the author to task for unsubstantiated comments.

    • El cobra

      This is a typical Charles Arthur ploy. Stick in a snarky or misleading comment that has little relevance to the main article, make it ambiguous and then state it’s been misinterpreted when people complain. He did the same recently in an article about Google’s TV ambitions and Chromecast with a comment about MS taking 3 attempts to get Windows right. He is well known for his prejudices against everything but Apple.

      The guy is a grade A arsehole but now that he’s been sacked by the Guardian you’d think he’d have more time on his hands to do a bit more rigourous research but, of course, he isn’t really interested. He just wants to grab the first piece of information to support his view which is to slag off every other tech firm apart from Apple. In particular, the way he seems to have delighted in BB’s struggles over the last few years is unappealing as is his complete bias against Microsoft.

      The tech section of the Guardian was appalling before he was booted out. So many puff pieces about apple and complete bias against everything else. As examples, you just need to count the number of articles about the new iphone 6 and iOS8 in the month before and after their launch. This even included a live stream on the day of iOS release – not the day it was launched but the day it could be downloaded, even the guy writing it was embarrassed. another example was a supposedly objective comparison of 3 tablets. Of course one was the iPad Air, which was of course wonderful but, for responsiveness, he compared it against the cheapest Android tablet out there (one recognised to be a piece of junk) rather than a similar specced Android tablet and for weight against the Surface Pro 2 failing to point out that the latter is a fully functioning PC!

      In short the guy is a disgrace. Don’t give him any attention.

      • Anthony

        Thanks for some background information about Charles the Douche.

        I had no idea this guy’s actually one of those media iSheep. locco_smiley_11

    • Blackjack

      Absolutely Newcollector. We aren’t fools Mr Arthur and you insult your readers with this type of deflection of responsibility. “I didn’t say it I’m just reporting the news!” Right? Heard it all before from every BlackBerry troll on the planet and had quite enough of it.

  • ray689

    Who is Charles? Oh right search engines abound. I think someone missed the point of that question.

  • DLewis13

    We seem to be wasting our time responding to this iDiot Charles. Seems he will twist and embellish every reply to try to justify his ignorance. If you can’t impress one with your intelligence, baffle them with BS. Sure fits this gonzo.

  • nnik

    Hmmm… we are wasting our time here, this guy is squirming as bad as a bad attorney standing at the bench with his pants down. Up to now we had no idea who he is and he will again disappear or end up helping re/code with interviews . The only thing of importance he said was that his choice doesn’t matter.

  • Anthony

    Whoa, a lot of “blah blah blah” by Chuckles in this thread. His article is still stupid considering where BlackBerry is at right now.

    BES 12, OS 10.3.1, cross platform BBM, Passport, Classic, upcoming devices Rio and “code name Visa”, Blend, QNX, IoT, etc. locco_smiley_20

  • nnik

    @chuck I am still trying to figure out who blames BlackBerry for the London Riots? But then again, let’s blame arson on matches…
    Better yet, how about we blame Apple for stupid journalists?

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