Keeping Up with BlackBerry 10
By Lori Castle, Editor in Chief
Since the debut of BlackBerry 10 on January 30, corporate and product announcements have increased and so has the chatter around product availability. Here’s a roundup on the latest information.
New On Board
The appointed two new members to the Board of Directors -- Richard "Dick" Lynch, retired Executive Vice President of Verizon Communications Inc., and Bert Nordberg, former Chief Executive Officer of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications.
BlackBerry Board Chair Barbara Stymiest said, "We are very pleased to add the talent and industry knowledge of these two respected executives to our Board. We are looking forward to their contributions as we continue to drive for long-term shareholder value and seek opportunities to leverage the extraordinary BlackBerry 10 platform launched last week."
Lynch is president of FB Associates, LLC, which provides advisory and consulting services at the intersection of technology, marketing, and business operations.
Prior to his current roles, Lynch had been the EVP & Chief Technology Officer for Verizon Communications Inc. since 2007 and the EVP & CTO of Verizon Wireless and its predecessors since 1990.
Nordberg is Chairman of Vestas Wind Systems, A/S of Denmark and director on the Board of Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA) of Sweden. Additionally, he serves as director on the Board of Kcell Joint Stock Company of Kazakhstan and as a representative for the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Southern Sweden and as a Member of the Hewlett Packard Communications, Media & Entertainment Board of Industry Advisors (USA).
Nordberg was Chairman of Sony Mobile from May-December 2012. He was President & CEO of Sony Ericsson from October 2009 to May 2012.
In its effort to educate the enterprise, BlackBerry is holding "BlackBerry Experience Forums
" worldwide, where, according to the company, "we uncover how you can help employees make the most of every business opportunity with the smarter, faster BlackBerry smartphone powered by BlackBerry10."
The full day agenda includes keynote and breakout sessions around the platform, the Hub, Flow, Balance, apps, full EMM and security. Key BlackBerry customers will be on hand and presenting. There will also be live demos and enterprise partners like Cisco, SAP, Sprint, T-Mobile, VoxMobile to name a few. The day ends with "BlackBerry 10 Tips & Tricks."
Apps for That
Speaking of partners, when the BlackBerry 10 is finally available in the United States enterprise partners and more will be present with apps in the BlackBerry World storefront. Categories range from social media to sports, business and productivity.
"We have focused on bringing the most relevant apps to BlackBerry 10 — whether they are global leaders in their categories, or whether they are regional must-have apps," said Martyn Mallick, BlackBerry Vice President of Global Alliances and Business Development.
Some of the apps committed to BlackBerry 10 include Bloomberg, BMC Service Desk & Remedy, Box, Cisco WebEx Meetings, Citrix Podio, IBM Notes, Traveler, SAP and Thomson Reuters. Other apps include AccuWeather, FlightAware, SkyScanner, The Weather Channel and The Weather Network, among others.
Many of these apps will be available at launch with others to follow.
To reward these partners, BlackBerry announced that 12,000 Limited Edition smartphones are being built exclusively for developers who created apps in time for launch. Developers who had previously qualified to receive a BlackBerry Dev Alpha A or B testing device, and who have an application submitted on BlackBerry World, may apply to swap the testing device unit for the red, limited edition model of the BlackBerry Z10.
Addressing app security, BlackBerry announced a "multi-level and phased approach" towards privacy implications and security concerns. The company will incorporate the Trend Micro Mobile Application Reputation Service with its current internal, proprietary system for analyzing applications.
At opening on Monday, February 11, BlackBerry stock fell after a report that Home Depot decided to drop the devices in favor of the iPhone for its corporate workers and store employees according to Bloomberg.
Also on the downside, in an interview with the Associated Press, President & CEO Thorsten Heins indicated that the availability
of the Q10 — the QWERTY version of the device — would be delayed in the U.S.
On the upside, in the global markets where BlackBerry has always maintained a strong customer base and where the device is already available, the Z10 was well received. Heins said, “In Canada, yesterday [Feb. 5] was the best day ever for the first day of a launch of a new BlackBerry smartphone. In fact, it was more than 50% better than any other launch day in our history in Canada. In the U.K., we have seen close to three times our best performance ever for the first week of sales for a BlackBerry smartphone.” According to an article from The National
, "The UAE’s Twitterari say BlackBerry 10 was worth the wait."