Randall C. Kennedy who we first spoke about here, came back today shouting he was right, while being wrong all over again. If you recall, Randall was calling the Passport the next BlackBerry Playbook.
“So, instead of dancing around the issues, I’m tackling a few of the major objections head-on to show you why I’m right (and you’re all wrong) about the BlackBerry Passport.”
I knew when I read this, I would be having fun looking at his ‘tackling’. Randy goes on to once again liken the Passport, a device he has never touched, and I’m starting to wonder if he has even seen a picture of to the BlackBerry Playbook. His opinion is that with the increased interest in the BlackBerry Passport, some consumers that aren’t hardcore BlackBerry fans will be somehow tricked in to purchasing it, and then that would be a bad thing. How you may ask?
Customers who listen to the buzz and mistakenly purchase a Passport thinking it’s just like any other Android or iOS handset will quickly bump into the very real compatibility and app selection issues that have plagued BB10 from the beginning. The resulting high return rate, coupled with the inevitable scathing reviews from journalists who have no clue about BlackBerry or the design philosophy behind the device, will create the same kind of negative media spiral that doomed the Playbook.
You’re right about one thing Randall, the Passport is nothing like any other Android or iOS handset. Thank God. And still quoting the high return rate eh? The claim that BB10 had a high return rate, that was never corroborated, and when BlackBerry stated it was false, no one could or would argue against it, except for a few trolls in CrackBerry forums. Scathing reviews from journalists, yes, you have that right. Reviewers that will sit there and talk about how innovative Apple is for adding a feature that has been on competitive devices for the last 2 years. And yet, no mention of user reviews, which are always top rated. Funny how Randy forgets to mention that. Don’t believe me? Go to the websites of any carrier that has review, any retailer, if you haven’t seen them already, you will be surprised at the difference between thousands of user reviews versus several professional reviewers. You see Randy, I don’t believe it has anything to do with people having a clue about BlackBerry or the design philosophy behind the device. I believe it has to do with users having actually using the device, and reviewers who are compensated by sponsors using the device just long enough to make a video.
None of this would be such a big deal if, as a company, BlackBerry was willing to settle for simply maintaining its legacy customer base. But years of belt-tightening and cost-cutting — not to mention the unceremonious axing of underperforming products, like the Playbook — have shown that the folks from Waterloo have little patience for small volume platforms with niche appeal.
And this is the point in the article where it all starts to make sense. Where suddenly, we start to realize just who Randy is. There are a few people like Randy, and most of us have stopped paying attention to them. But Randy is writing on a news blog, instead of in forums, and we may not have realized what his true motivation is yet.
BlackBerry’s shareholders want the company to do more than just tread water. They want it to start growing the business again, and the temptation for BlackBerry to oversell its portfolio in an effort to tap into the larger consumer market may be too strong to resist. In other words, all of the ingredients are in place for a repeat of the Playbook fiasco.
I’m guessing Randy didn’t read the news yesterday, or even the last few weeks or months. You see, BlackBerry is growing the business. And there is more to BlackBerry’s business than phones. Apparently Randy doesn’t care about BES, probably doesn’t even know about QNX. You see, Randy is very, very concerned about the PlayBook.
You see, two years ago, Randy wrote “4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook makes iOS and Android devices feel about as sophisticated as my daughter’s old Speak & Spell“… is it starting to make sense? Luckily, Randy made it even easier for us, when he decided to throw some snarky comments at ThunderBuck. You all know who Thunderbuck is right? He’s one of the good ones over at CB forums. Well, while Randy made it a point to let Thunderbuck know that he knew who he was, he let us know who he was. You see, Randy is a user at CB also. Signed his posts with RCK. And if we look, we will see that the vast majority of his posting was done in the PlayBook forums. Heading back to 2012, we will find posts like the following:
For me, 2.1 has been a revelation. The capability to run multiple android apps seamlessly, with good performance and reliability has really opened up the PB’s potential. I find I’m using apps like taptalk and google maps more and more now since they just work. No more lockups of the player. No more rebooting to unfreeze the VM. If RIM had shipped 2.1 with the original launch hardware we’d be discussing the PB’s dominance of the business tablet sector by now.
And to be fair, PB OS was ahead of its time – a true PC-caliber operating system on a tablet. I was, and still am, a huge fan of QNX from an architectural standpoint. However, when they reneged on their BB10 promise, Blackberry doomed the platform. Now, with its stagnant UI, sluggish/buggy browser, and sea of abandoned 3rd party apps (Files & Folders, et al), it’s simply too much of a hassle to use as a daily driver. It’s just easier to get stuff done on *any* other platform a the moment. So while I’ll always have a warm place in my heart for the PB, I’ll never get over the back stabbing that Thorsten delivered to the company’s loyal customers.