Articles by Crackberry Kevin

Are you watching from a secure line?

In this podcast our old pal Craig Johnston makes his triumphant return to the show, where I'm also joined by Adam, Bla1ze and Simon Sage. We're all business this time around — talking BlackBerry OS 10.2.1, MWC, the BlackBerry Z3, BlackBerry Q20, enterprise, the NSA and my gallivanting in Barcelona. There's plenty of good stuff here you won't want to miss.

This podcast will self destruct in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 

CrackBerry's 7th Birthday Contest!

It's our 7th birthday and we're celebrating in grand fashion. In years past we've gone pretty crazy giving away the goods in birthday contests, and this year is no exception. This time though, we're changing things up a bit. Instead of offering up cool BlackBerry prizes (since you're all rocking new BlackBerry 10 phones already), we're giving away some awesome stuff you can use with your BlackBerry. 

Happy 7th Birthday CrackBerry Nation!!!!!!!

Happy 7th Birthday CrackBerry Nation!!!!!!!

It's amazing how time flies when you're having fun! It was SEVEN YEARS AGO TODAY that we fired off our Hello World press release and officially opened up CrackBerry.com for business.

What a wild ride it's been. Looking back, we've been there through BlackBerry's best of times, worst of times and everything in between. And with a new CEO at the helm of the company and a refined vision for BlackBerry's future, it feels once again like we're at the start of an exciting new journey. 

There will be many BlackBerry "Classic" models like the Q20

Following BlackBerry's Mobile World Congress Press Conference, I had the chance to sit down with the company's VP of Global Product Management, Francois Mahieu. Francois has a broad range of responsibilities at BlackBerry related to bringing new devices to market and we had a delightful conversation of which I'll be following up with more details. While I work on that longer interview piece, I first wanted to follow up with more information on the BlackBerry Q20 that was announced.

The key Q20 clarification that Francois iterated to me during our conversation is that the Q20 is not a one off, but that "Classic" can be considered as a category of devices within BlackBerry's hardware portfolio. Over the years BlackBerry has had different ways of looking at their product families, and the current philosophy according to Francois now splits BlackBerry phones into one of four main categories:

BlackBerry Press Conference Live Blog! #MWC14

BlackBerry Press Conference Live Blog! #MWC14

It's time CrackBerry Nation. We're on location in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2014 and are front and center for BlackBerry's Tuesday Morning Press Conference. 

BlackBerry CEO John Chen is on stage for this one. Tune into the live blog below for announcements as they happen, commentary, community discussion and more!

BlackBerry MWC Keynote

Outside of today's BBM coming to Windows Phone announcement, it's been a quiet Mobile World Congress so far for BlackBerry. We're expecting that to change Tuesday morning at 8am local Barcelona time, when BlackBerry CEO John Chen will take to stage to address a select group of media in attendance.

We'll be there bright and early to make sure we have a great spot to to bring you back all of news as it happens. For those of you in North America, you'll want to plan on staying up LATE. Just hit up the CrackBerry.com homepage and we'll have a story posted for the live blog as the event start time approaches. In the meantime, you can check out the countdown clock below for your local start time, and set a reminder in your calendar. See you soon!

Nokia confirms BBM is coming to Lumia devices

On stage at Nokia's press event at Mobile World Congress, Stephen Elop confirmed that BBM will be coming to Lumia devices.

He didn't go into detail with a release date or if this means it will come to all Windows Phone devices (which, I'd assume it will), but at least this is finally confirmation that BBM4ALL really is on its way to becoming BBM4ALL. We'll follow up with more details as we have them.

From the Editor's Desk: Welcome to #MWC14 and Hello from Barcelona!

It's been FOUR years since I've personally attended Mobile World Congress, but I made the voyage this year and am now writing to you from Barcelona, Spain. I'm not alone for the trip. Also joining me from the Mobile Nations team are Daniel Rubino, Phil Nickinson, Alex Dobie, Richard Devine and Andrew Martonik (for info on where to follow us, INCLUDING BBM CHANNELS, click here). And be sure to watch the video above for my official hello and welcome!

Bye Bye BlackBerry Z10!

Bye Bye BlackBerry Z10!

Our friend J_Caloy is back with another video. This one is a little bit sad though... After Hating on the Z10 and Hating on it even more, JC has now said BYE BYE to his BlackBerry Z10

What did he replace it with? Well, you'll just have to watch the video and find out. Be sure to share the video! :)

CrackBerry 112: Z3, 10.2.1, BBM... and Kevin and his toys

It's been a while since we've thrown down a CrackBerry podcast, but we're back in full force! Adam and Bla1ze join me on this one and we talk OS 10.2.1, the rumored BlackBerry Z3, BBM Channels and much more (including all the toys I've picked up over the last few months). I'll be heading off to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in just a few days and we should hear more on the Z3 very soon.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy this one! And apologies on us taking so long to record another podcast after CES. Coming home from Vegas (even while in Vegas) I lost my voice... this is seriously the first day where I can (mainly) speak again normally. So we put it to good podcast use!

John Legere

Well, at least we got his attention. Following our post on CrackBerry yesterday about T-Mobile's recently-sent mailer encouraging BlackBerry users to "upgrade" to the iPhone 5s, it seems company CEO John Legere has been getting a tweetful on twitter from BlackBerry users.

Just a little while ago he acknowledged his BlackBerry customer base with the following tweet:

BlackBerry users, I'm hearing you loud and clear. Let me work with the team and get back to you.

Knowing is half the battle, so it's great to hear our message got through. CEOs may sit at the top, but they don't always know everything that's happening within their organization. Odds are Legere had no idea that particular mailer was going out. And even if he did know and approved of the message (he is tweeting from an iPhone after all), at least now we know they'll be taking their BlackBerry user base a little more seriously than it appears they have been recently.

Here's to hoping all of the T-Mobile USA + BlackBerry users out there get a little love in the near future. 

BlackBerry CEO John Chen spoke during the company's last conference call about the low cost, built by Foxconn for emerging markets device, dubbed Jakarta.

Today, N4BB posted some alleged renders of the Jakarta, which they say could hit the market has the BlackBerry Z3. Following that, BBin posted some rumored specs for the device, as follows:

A longtime CrackBerry reader forwarded me the mailer he just received from T-Mobile, trying to persuade him to upgrade to the iPhone 5s. T-Mobile positions the upgrade for BlackBerry users by saying "Switch to iPhone 5s and get powerful communications and productivity apps — with the ease of use that Apple is known for." Of course, powerful communications and productivity are words synonymous to BlackBerry, but that doesn't prevent T-Mo from making its pitch. :/

Christopher, the T-Mobile customer who forwarded me the email, "felt this was a real kick in the pants to BlackBerry users." It definitely illustrates the challenge BlackBerry currently faces in the USA with carrier support. T-Mobile already phased out carrying BlackBerry phones in-store (you can still buy them and receive via mail), so it's not a total surprise that they'd look to upgrade existing T-Mobile customers to another device they are more actively supporting.

The good news is, just because you receive an email from your carrier doesn't mean you need to do what it says! BlackBerry supporters like Christopher will simply hit delete and head on over to twitter to let T-Mobile CEO @johnlegere know they still #CHOOSEBLACKBERRY10.

And the winner of the 'Guess my Picture Password and win contest' is ...

It was one of the quickest contests we've ever run, but I think it was a fun one too. I'm a big believer in Picture Password on my BlackBerry. So much so that I flat-out showed my password on video for the world to see. Over a thousand of you took a stab at my password and maybe surprisingly, quite a few of you got it dead on. I promised the first person to get it right would be the winner, and so with that in mind the winner of our Guess my Picture Password contest is ... 

Guess my Picture Password and win contest!

BlackBerry 10 Picture Lock

Okay, so it's been a while since we've done an awesome contest here on CrackBerry, so to get back in the swing of things I'm actually taking a suggestion from the forums for our next one. In honor of the release of BlackBerry OS 10.2.1, we're doing up a sweet quick contest that will show just how amazing this new OS is. I call this one the "Guess my Picture Password and win!" contest.

Former BlackBerry CIO coming out of retirement to be Chief Innovation Technology Officer at Samsung USA

Take this one with a grain of salt as it hasn't been officially announced, but I received word via a reliable source today that BlackBerry's former CIO, Robin Bienfait, will be coming out of retirement soon and moving over to the competition. Specifically, she'll be taking up the roll of Chief Technology Innovations Officer at Samsung Telecommunications America.

Robin was BlackBerry's CIO from 2007 until December 2012, when her retirement was announced rather abruptly during RIM's Fiscal Q3 2013 earnings report. Her LinkedIn profile currently states that she's "In Transition".

Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President of BBM, leaves BlackBerry (of his own volition)

Executive Vice President of BBM, Andrew Bocking, has left BlackBerry. Bocking had most recently been the head of the BBM team after moving from his position as Executive VP, Software Product Management and Ecosystem at BlackBerry where he played a huge role in bringing BB10 phones to market. It hasn't been confirmed if he was fired or chose to depart on his own, but BlackBerry has confirmed that he is no longer with the company.

Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and while you're probably thinking flowers and chocolates for the significant other in your life, you don't want to forget to take care of the other sweety in your life. You know the one we're talking about. The one that's in your hand all day long. Your phone!

In honor of Heart day, you can show your BlackBerry a little love and save 20% on ALL BlackBerry cases and accessories at ShopCrackBerry.com in our Valentine's Day Sale. To take advantage of the savings, all you need to do is enter in coupon code sweet20 during the checkout process. FREE shipping is available on all orders over $50 (domestic US / Canada), and you have lots of payment methods beyond standard credit card including Amazon payments, Paypal and Bitcoin!

We have tons of accessories in stock for the BlackBerry Z30Z10, Q10, Bold 9900 and more! Be sure to take advantage of the savings while they last. 

And for those of you have multiple-mobile loves in your life, don't forget the sweet20 coupon also works at ShopAndroid.com, the iMore Store and Windows Phone Store. Your shopping cart will follow you through all four stores, so you can buy from all four stores and checkout once. You gotta love that!

Take me to ShopCrackBerry.com and let the love fest begin!

Craig Johnston

Long time readers of CrackBerry will know the name and voice of Craig Johnston. Going back six years to February 2008, it was Craig Johnston who co-hosted CrackBerry Podcast Episode 001 with me. Craig was active on our podcasts for several years and occasionally would drop a post here on the blogs, imparting his immense knowledge of BlackBerry's history to our CrackBerry audience. Remember, Craig has been in the enterprise mobile space since 1999 and was a user of the original pre-BlackBerry device, the RIM 850.

Over his years working in enterprise mobile, Craig has managed BIG mobile device installations —we're talking over 40,000 users — and today is working as Enterprise Mobile Strategist for NTT Data. When he's not doing that, he's likely working on writing mobile device-related books, of which he's written 13 to date, or playing with wearable tech, his new addiction (he's also a Google Glass Explorer).

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