STRUGGLING BLACKBERRY RELEASES NEW PHONE 

BlackBerry CEO John Chen shows off the company’s new Passport device at a launch event
in Toronto on Wednesday. TORONTO—Hoping for a comeback, embattled Canadian company BlackBerry has launched a new smartphone. Chief executive John Chen on Wednesday unveiled a large-screen, square sized phone called the Passport to a Toronto audience. London and Dubai also hosted launch events. No event was held in the US where analysts say there is little demand or carrier interest. BlackBerry has increasingly lost relevance as a smartphone company in the years since the 2007 launch of Apple’s touchscreen iPhone and the 2008 introduction of Google-powered Android phones. Chen, who took over as CEO last fall after failed attempt to sell the once-iconic company, said the new phone was in the works before he joined BlackBerry and joked that he can only take credit for not killing it.

He said he’s determined to win back market share in Canada and had hockey-great Wayne Gretzky give a brief speech in support of BlackBerry. “The reason why we’re here is to really try to get the Canadian people to rally behind us,” Chen said. “I need that help, badly.” The Passport is the size of a passport and has a square screen that measures 4.5 inches. It has a touch screen and a physical keyboard, something traditional BlackBerry business users prefer. Chen said the Passport will be available in the US via A&T on an exclusive basis by the end of the year. It is also available for $599 for a limited time through Amazon. He said he expects to release a more popular phone called the “Classic” later this year. The BlackBerry smartphone, pioneered in 1999, changed the culture by allowing on-the-go business people to access wireless email. Then came a new generation of competing smartphones, and suddenly the BlackBerry looked ancient. Apple first showed that phones can handle much more than email and phone calls with its iPhone. BlackBerry has been hammered by the competition. * READ MORE...

ALSO: BlackBerry moving onwards and upwards, internal memo says 

BlackBerry has now moved out of a difficult, turmoil-ridden restructuring process, and it’s back on
track for growth, according to a memo that CEO John Chen sent out to the company’s employees on Friday. “We have completed the restructuring notification process, and the workforce reduction that began three years ago is now behind us,” the memo said. “More importantly, barring any unexpected downturns in the market, we will be adding headcount in certain areas such as product development, sales and customer service, beginning in modest numbers.”

Over the last three years, the Waterloo, Ont.-based handset maker cut about 60 per cent of its workforce. Chen has been working to turn the company around for the last eight months, selling off some of the company’s assets like its real estate properties in Waterloo. He also forged partnerships to make BlackBerry’s manufacturing and supply chain run more smoothly and efficiently. And in terms of strategy, Chen has worked hard to establish BlackBerry as an enterprise-focused player in the mobile device space, rather than competing against companies with more consumer appeal, like Apple and Google.

In his memo, Chen said he also feels confident BlackBerry will be cash flow positive by the end of the year, and that the company may be able to do some acquisitions as well. BlackBerry already acquired Secusmart, a German company that encrypts voice messages and data. However, that doesn’t mean BlackBerry’s employees can fully relax. Chen also called on the company’s employees to focus on its upgrades to its device management system, as well as to continue working on its Classic and Passport devices, set to be launched later this year. Chen’s last turnaround effort was in the 1990s, when he helped reverse the fortunes of then-struggling enterprise software maker Sybase Inc. SAP later acquired Sybase, but Chen has also hired a number of former Sybase employees who helped with that turnaround and has brought them to BlackBerry. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

(ALSO) Exclusive: Pre-release review of the BlackBerry Passport! 

This is a pre-release review of the BlackBerry Passport. It was written by @halobandit based on his
views of using the device personally. Here are few things these days (especially smartphones) that have the ability to surprise me. I walked into work yesterday and a friend of mine points at me asking me to come over. He reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out this slate-looking thing and turns it around. It was a BlackBerry Passport. I have not stopped smiling since then.

I'm guessing the excitement is there among BlackBerry users considering I woke up to a fully drained phone this morning from all the twitter chatter and I figured no better place than CrackBerry to share my experiences with it. In this pre-review, I'm not comparing it to any other devices because in all honesty, there is no real comparison to be made. It's in a league of its own.

[Editor's Note: This is a pre release pre-review of the BlackBerry Passport. It was written by @halobandit based on his views of using the device personally. Some of the information in this review is certainly subject to change because again, it's based on a pre release BlackBerry Passport that has been confirmed to NOT be a final hardware revision. Upon official release of the BlackBerry Passport we will have our own CrackBerry review as always when new BlackBerry smartphones hit the market.]  THIS IS THE FULL REVIEW, READ READER'S COMMENTS...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS:

Struggling BlackBerry releases new phone


BlackBerry CEO John Chen shows off the company’s new Passport devices at a launch event in Toronto on Wednesday.

TORONTO, SEPTEMBER 29, 2014 (INQUIRER) Associated Press — Hoping for a comeback, embattled Canadian company BlackBerry has launched a new smartphone. Chief executive John Chen on Wednesday unveiled a large-screen, square sized phone called the Passport to a Toronto audience. London and Dubai also hosted launch events. No event was held in the US where analysts say there is little demand or carrier interest.

BlackBerry has increasingly lost relevance as a smartphone company in the years since the 2007 launch of Apple’s touchscreen iPhone and the 2008 introduction of Google-powered Android phones.

Chen, who took over as CEO last fall after failed attempt to sell the once-iconic company, said the new phone was in the works before he joined BlackBerry and joked that he can only take credit for not killing it.

He said he’s determined to win back market share in Canada and had hockey-great Wayne Gretzky give a brief speech in support of BlackBerry.

“The reason why we’re here is to really try to get the Canadian people to rally behind us,” Chen said. “I need that help, badly.”

The Passport is the size of a passport and has a square screen that measures 4.5 inches. It has a touch screen and a physical keyboard, something traditional BlackBerry business users prefer.

Chen said the Passport will be available in the US via A&T on an exclusive basis by the end of the year. It is also available for $599 for a limited time through Amazon. He said he expects to release a more popular phone called the “Classic” later this year.

The BlackBerry smartphone, pioneered in 1999, changed the culture by allowing on-the-go business people to access wireless email. Then came a new generation of competing smartphones, and suddenly the BlackBerry looked ancient.

Apple first showed that phones can handle much more than email and phone calls with its iPhone. BlackBerry has been hammered by the competition.

* Since being named chief executive 10 months ago, Chen has been putting more emphasis on BlackBerry’s mobile device management business, a collection of software that allows IT departments to manage different devices connected to their corporate networks. He has also emphasized BlackBerry’s popular BlackBerry Messenger application that is now also available on Apple and Android devices.

And he’s tried to highlight Blackberry’s embedded QNX software systems, which are used in-vehicle infotainment systems and industrial machines.

BGC analyst Colin Gillis said the Passport is not critical to BlackBerry’s survival because the company doesn’t need to sell many to make money on them. Gillis said while the square shape is odd, past attempts to compete with Apple and Android with similar looking devices failed.

“It has a physical keyboard and a big screen. There might be some professionals who value that. Is it a little odd looking? Yes,” Gillis said.

Shares of BlackBerry rose 12 cents to $10.69 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.

FROM ITBUSINESS.CA

BlackBerry moving onwards and upwards, internal memo says
Candice So @candice_so Published: August 5th, 2014


BY CANDY SO

BlackBerry has now moved out of a difficult, turmoil-ridden restructuring process, and it’s back on track for growth, according to a memo that CEO John Chen sent out to the company’s employees on Friday.

“We have completed the restructuring notification process, and the workforce reduction that began three years ago is now behind us,” the memo said. “More importantly, barring any unexpected downturns in the market, we will be adding headcount in certain areas such as product development, sales and customer service, beginning in modest numbers.”

Over the last three years, the Waterloo, Ont.-based handset maker cut about 60 per cent of its workforce. Chen has been working to turn the company around for the last eight months, selling off some of the company’s assets like its real estate properties in Waterloo. He also forged partnerships to make BlackBerry’s manufacturing and supply chain run more smoothly and efficiently. And in terms of strategy, Chen has worked hard to establish BlackBerry as an enterprise-focused player in the mobile device space, rather than competing against companies with more consumer appeal, like Apple and Google.

In his memo, Chen said he also feels confident BlackBerry will be cash flow positive by the end of the year, and that the company may be able to do some acquisitions as well. BlackBerry already acquired Secusmart, a German company that encrypts voice messages and data.

However, that doesn’t mean BlackBerry’s employees can fully relax. Chen also called on the company’s employees to focus on its upgrades to its device management system, as well as to continue working on its Classic and Passport devices, set to be launched later this year.

Chen’s last turnaround effort was in the 1990s, when he helped reverse the fortunes of then-struggling enterprise software maker Sybase Inc. SAP later acquired Sybase, but Chen has also hired a number of former Sybase employees who helped with that turnaround and has brought them to BlackBerry.

Exclusive: Pre-release review of the BlackBerry Passport!



This is a pre-release review of the BlackBerry Passport. It was written by @halobandit based on his views of using the device personally.

Here are few things these days (especially smartphones) that have the ability to surprise me. I walked into work yesterday and a friend of mine points at me asking me to come over. He reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out this slate-looking thing and turns it around. It was a BlackBerry Passport. I have not stopped smiling since then.

I'm guessing the excitement is there among BlackBerry users considering I woke up to a fully drained phone this morning from all the twitter chatter and I figured no better place than CrackBerry to share my experiences with it. In this pre-review, I'm not comparing it to any other devices because in all honesty, there is no real comparison to be made. It's in a league of its own.

[Editor's Note: This is a pre release pre-review of the BlackBerry Passport. It was written by @halobandit based on his views of using the device personally. Some of the information in this review is certainly subject to change because again, it's based on a pre release BlackBerry Passport that has been confirmed to NOT be a final hardware revision. Upon official release of the BlackBerry Passport we will have our own CrackBerry review as always when new BlackBerry smartphones hit the market.]

Initial BlackBerry Passport Impressions


CONTINUE READING http://crackberry.com/exclusive-pre-release-review-blackberry-passport#comments


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