Isn’t it Time for a Reality Check?

Reality must be warped. Both BlackBerry and Apple have been in the press quite a bit recently. BlackBerry for making the decision to outsource its’ handset design and manufacture to a third party (PT BB Merah Putih) and allow manufacturers the ability to license their BB10 OS (as Brad had covered here). Most of the press seems to view this as a weakness, a sign of desperation on the part of the beleagured BlackBerry as they continue their focus on software. It seems these so called journalists either fail to perform any research whatsoever or have extremely short memories. Case in point- Apple has been outsourcing its handset manufacturing for years and Google via its Nexus line (and soon to be Pixel) has been licensing their OS to manufacturers. Seems like a double-standard to me – when Apple or Google make business moves they are brilliant in the eyes of the media. When BlackBerry takes the exact same move it’s desperation!

In the beginning of this year Apple played the PR card by Courageously claiming customer privacy was so important they actually sided with the San Bernadino terrorist instead of a lawful court order, the FBI, and public safety. Yet when BlackBerry complies with a lawful court order as part of a criminal investigation the media cries foul! As a side-note to Apple’s privacy claim you should be aware that iMessage data is being shared.

The major source of corporate income comes from intellectual property or patents. Patent lawsuits are a high stake game with income and reputations hanging in the balance. There are #2 extremes in this arena – on one side you have companies that patent everything they touch and on the other extreme you have companies that sue any corporation with deep pockets or lift ideas from small companies in an attempt to get quick cash (patent trolls). While BlackBerry holds ~41,000 patents (which is not that much considering their long history), they haven’t been accused of patent fever and rarely sue others, but when they do it seems to be well founded. Apple on the other hand plays both sides – patenting things like styli, trackpads, who can forget ‘rounded corners‘, and ‘borrows ideas from companies that may not have the wherewithal to defend their patents against Apple’s behemoth legal team.

My personal favorite occurred not so long ago when Tim Cook stated that customer security and privacy is first and foremost to Apple. The media and the masses were quick to jump on this and repeat the mantra. They seem to have suffered an acute case of amnesia when Pippa’s iCloud account was hacked.

The real litmus test will occur when BlackBerry rolls out the DTEK60 with the biometric fingerprint scanner. Will the Press fawn all over BlackBerry the way they did with Apple, or will they simply claim this is just another gimmick, a last chance move to get BlackBerry handsets on the radar again?

The PR team in Cupertino decides what is Reality and unfortunately that Reality is situational for the media…




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