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BlackBerry files complaints with the SEC and OSC

BlackBerry has a lot riding on its new BB10 operating system, the recently released Z10 smartphone, and the upcoming Q10 QWERTY smartphone. Late last month, BlackBerry showed some signs of life when it announced that it had shipped one million Z10 smartphones and reported Q4 2012 profit of $94 million USD.
 
With its turnaround well underway, it should come as no surprise that the folks at BlackBerry were none too pleased at recent analyst reports that cast a bad light on its flagship Z10. According to Joe Fersedi, an analyst for ITG, the Z10 launched started off "poorly and weakened significantly as the days passed." He also noted that sales were barely ahead of BlackBerry's decrepit BlackBerry 7.x devices.
 
But while Fersedi's comments were damaging, Detwiler analyst Jeff Johnston went for the jugular, stating, “We believe key retail partners have seen a significant increase in Z10 returns to the point where, in several cases, returns are now exceeding sales, a phenomenon we have never seen before."


Blackberry Z10
 
BlackBerry was quick to respond, with CEO Thorsten Heins stating:
 
Sales of the BlackBerry Z10 are meeting expectations and the data we have collected from our retail and carrier partners demonstrates that customers are satisfied with their devices. Return rate statistics show that we are at or below our forecasts and right in line with the industry. To suggest otherwise is either a gross misreading of the data or a willful manipulation. Such a conclusion is absolutely without basis and BlackBerry will not leave it unchallenged.
 
BlackBerry isn't taking these "false and misleading" statements made by these analysts lightly, and today is filing an official complaint with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Ontario Securities Commission.
 
"Everyone is entitled to their opinion about the merits of the many competing products in the smartphone industry, but when false statements of material fact are deliberately purveyed for the purpose of influencing the markets a red line has been crossed," exclaimed BlackBerry Chief Legal Officer Steve Zipperstein.

Sources: BlackBerry, The Wall Street Journal



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Nice phone but...
By jimbojimbo on 4/12/2013 10:35:07 AM , Rating: 2
At work we got two Z10s to evaluate and potentially be given to someone in our group but for now we have been passing them around and although I liked it I didn't love it. There are simply other phones out there that are better for the same price and that seems to be the general consensus. Those two phones will likely get returned. I'm sure we're not the only company evaluating the phones.




RE: Nice phone but...
By GulWestfale on 4/12/2013 11:08:37 AM , Rating: 2
you're right, they're nice phones, but the specs would have been competitive maybe a year or 18 months ago. of course you can say that about the iphone as well (at least the Z10 has an HD screen), but apple has several advantages over blackberry; namely, a huge app and music store and a well oiled marketing machine. they also have considerably more retail presence than blackberry.

the fact is that BB's security features for corporate users are software, and that is easy for any other manufacturer to implement, but BB has nothing on its own -hardware or software- that makes it stand out from the competition. i currently have a samsung galaxy S2x, and do not see what i'd gain from switching to a Z10. i'd rather get an S4, or a note. BB is dead in the water with these outdated devices, i sincerely hope they have something else up their sleeve.

when the focus on multitasking and ever-present notifications in BB10 was revealed i honestly thought they'd be making something like the note/note 2, after all a huge screen is just right for multitasking. but instead they made this normal size thing... really, they either have very bad marketing (that fails to point out why BB is good) or bad hardware design (that fails to take advantage of the OS). whatever the case is, i'm not buying one.


RE: Nice phone but...
By othercents on 4/12/2013 11:27:04 AM , Rating: 2
The target market for these phones is business users who would be loading business related applications, so I would expect the market place to be more business specific. This may be the case, but obviously even some business users are upset that key features in previous versions of BB are missing.

If a business is having to choose between Android, iPhone, WP8, and BB then BB has an advantage with their Blackberry Enterprise Server software especially where security and control is concerned. However most business running Exchange can save money by using ActiveSync instead if they are not as concerned about security and control of their mobile devices.

Other


RE: Nice phone but...
By retrospooty on 4/12/2013 12:47:14 PM , Rating: 2
"However most business running Exchange can save money by using ActiveSync instead if they are not as concerned about security and control of their mobile devices."

Exactly... But to add to it, no mobile device is secure. BES is better security than EAS for what its worth, but most companies dont need it. If what you work with is top secret, govt. contacts, nuclear research, or possible high tech design phase working with info that the competition cannot have etc, NO smartphone is secure so you best not have vital data on it period. In other words, EAS is good enough. If its too secure for EAS, BES is pointless and expensive. BB isnt offering anything that anyone needs other than a few off cases. As far as specs, its a year old at best. good OS though.


RE: Nice phone but...
By Shadowself on 4/12/2013 1:27:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But to add to it, no mobile device is secure.
quote:
If what you work with is top secret, govt. contacts, nuclear research, or possible high tech design phase working with info that the competition cannot have etc, NO smartphone is secure so you best not have vital data on it period.


Absolutely not true.

The L-3 Communication Systems-East Guardian Smartphone is NSA certified up though any level of security you need. Unfortunately, you need special authorization to get the fully operational smartphone, but if you are doing the above kind of work and truly need that level of encryption you can get it. Last I checked it was available in certain countries and in the U.S. was on AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.

There may be other smartphones out there with similar capabilities, but this is the only one I've used. It's a bit of a pain in operation because of required steps like synching the encryption when going secure, but it does work.


RE: Nice phone but...
By retrospooty on 4/12/2013 3:18:18 PM , Rating: 1
I was referring to regularly available phones, not special runs... But even still , they arent secure. lets say you have top secret info on that phone. Some henchman grabs the phone from your hand and runs off with it, or even puts a gun to your head and tells you to put in the passkey or you are dead. There, its no longer secure. If its top secret, it better be kept inside. It doesn't belong on a mobile product.


RE: Nice phone but...
By Shadowself on 4/12/2013 7:21:50 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I was referring to regularly available phones, not special runs...
You were the one who brought up TS and nuclear information. So called "regular people" don't discuss the classified details of those things. In the context of those kinds of discussions -- which you brought up -- this phone (or any other like it) is not a special run. It is a requirement. It does exist, and it does work.

Again, you have no experience with these matters and have no idea about what you are typing. This phone does not work the way you are trying to describe it.

Further, there are preset ways to "zeroize" the phone and everything in it. Yet even further, the phone includes all protections required by the NSA for "data at rest". Information within the phone is protected at NSA approved levels. Go ahead and steal it, the information within it would take a State Actor years to get the information out, assuming the information does not get destroyed by built in means during the attempted extraction process.

Besides, if they put a gun to your head they might as well get all the information out of your head. They don't need the phone which will be deactivated moments after they take it.

The reality is that mobile products have been used to secure and transport and transmit secure information for many years.


RE: Nice phone but...
By retrospooty on 4/12/2013 7:46:34 PM , Rating: 1
OK, whatever... My point is std phones are not secure. If you work in a highly security driven profession, whether you use a Blackberry with BES, or an iPhone/Android/WP8 with EAS is irrelevant because none of them are secure... That is all I was saying.


RE: Nice phone but...
By hrrmph on 4/12/2013 1:33:23 PM , Rating: 1
What they think the target market is, and what the actual potential market is, are two different things. Oddly enough, the Blackberry Z10 could have significant consumer appeal, if properly marketed.

For example, one of the strengths of the BB-Z10 is that it is the only 4" class (think easily pocketable) flagship class device that can be augmented with at least 64GB of local storage.

Testing of my Z10 has proven this to be a boon for carrying various files that you don't want to be without while on the road and in the field in remote areas.

The Z10's Micro-SD slot apparently meets the Micro-SDXC specs. So there is even the possibility that future capacities of Micro-SDXC cards might work, within the limits of the Micro-SDXC specification - in much the same manner that you can add higher capacities of SATA drives to a PC, within the limits of the SATA specification.

128GB capability has yet to be proven with the Z10 because 128GB Micro-SDXC cards aren't available for testing yet. The BB10 OS would also have to be designed fully compatible with the Micro-SDXC spec for this to work. So only time will tell if higher capacities are automatically enabled.

My own testing has shown that the Z10 accepts the 64GB cards without issue, as long as you are willing to deprecate from the exFAT file system down to the FAT32 file system on the card. The Z10 appears to be exclusively using the FAT 32 file system.

Micro-SD cards often ship with exFAT formatting (Sandisk ships with the cards formatted as exFAT by default). You can reformat the Micro-SD card on a PC or just let the Z10 do it for you using the built-in formatting utility.

Blackberry's actions of forcing Z10 owners to use FAT32 instead of exFAT is a mistake in my opinion. FAT32 limits you to a maximum file size of 4GB, which limits the usefulness of the Z10 as a local storage device. In some small way, it's like being saddled with a Windows 98 spec device in the year 2013.

Also, if you use exFAT formatted cards in your other devices (I do), and those cards have valuable data on them, then if you place one of those cards in the Z10, the Z10's notifications regarding the SD card could mislead you into thinking that that the SD card has a bad format. You might then accept the Z10's offer to reformat it (I didn't). Of course, doing so would delete your valuable data (don't).

So don't mix up your exFAT formatted cards (that you use with other devices) with your FAT32 formatted cards (that you use with the Blackberry Z10). Only FAT32 formatted cards should be placed in the Z10.

By comparison, Samsung is onboard with exFAT (at least in my Galaxy Note 2) and there shouldn't be any file size limitations with exFAT formatted cards in the Samsung flagship devices. Samsung just doesn't make a flagship quality device in the 4" class anymore with a good high capacity Micro-SD slot.

Apple i-thingies will get removable portable storage when they grow up and become real devices. Just kidding of course. If you always have a wireless connection of some sort then you can use the cloud, and removable local storage might not be an issue.

However, the Blackberry is often used globally by people who don't always have a wireless connection (that would be most of the world and even a big chunk of the USA). I am frequently without reliable wireless data connectivity, so I need to think seriously about making sure I have local storage. Preferably expandable, portable, removable, high-capacity storage.

Blackberry's USA website seems blissfully unaware of the 64GB capability though and still lists the capacity as 32GB on the Z10 specs page. This is odd considering that Blackberry forum users have widely reported (even before the device was released), that Blackberry officials have made several admissions that there is no 32GB limitation and that the current largest capacity (64GB) Micro-SDXC cards will work just fine.

I wouldn't be surprised if Blackberry marketing doesn't even realize that they have the only 4" class highly pocketable flagship device with expandable, portable, removable, high capacity storage.

Maybe it gives corporate types the weebie-jeebies trying to figure out how to secure all of that local storage. For me as a consumer it is fantastic. Give me more of that goodness.

My Z10 lives on my belt, the SGN2 in my backpack, and my Google (Asus) Nexus 7 3G-Data gets stowed in my carry on. Still even with all that, there is no one device or collection that does-it-all in the market and works seamlessly together.

In general, it can be frustrating trying to find good devices with Micro-SD cards that will play nice together, or even to find devices that have Micro-SDXC at all:

- The Google Nexus 7 device has no Micro-SD at all;

- Asus is threatening to limit their upcoming FonePad 7" device (an upgraded Asus version of the Google Nexus 7) to a 32GB Micro-SD capability (indicative of a possible use of the older Micro-SDHC specification which tops out at 32GB);

- Apple is a zero when it come to Micro-SD;

- Nokia Lumia is a zero;

- Windows Phone 8 manufacturers are generally following Android manufacturers in only putting Micro-SD slots in large 5" class devices; and

- Samsung isn't producing a flagship class 4" highly pocketable device. All Samsung devices from 3.8" to 4.3" are now watered-down much less capable devices - even the vaunted S3 Mini and rumored S4 Mini are neutered by comparison to the flagship devices.

So overall, my tendency would be to blast Blackberry for the FAT32 mistake. But, the fact is the Blackberry is the only game in town for a 4" class, flagship device, with expandable, portable, removable, high capacity storage. And for that I am grateful.

However, I will continue to be irritated that I cannot carry any files greater than 4GB in size. And I will continue to be irritated that my Micro-SD cards cannot be used interchangeably between the SGN2 and the Z10.

So, I will wear my Z10 until something compellingly better comes along. That could be a very, very long time the way things have been going in the smart phone market lately.

And if I were Blackberry, I would start getting noisy in the consumer market about what the Z10 does that other devices don't do.

PS to Blackberry: You can release that exFAT update anytime now.

Really... we won't tell corporate how helpful you've been in solving our everyday storage problems by providing the mSDXC slot. No, really, its okay...

-



RE: Nice phone but...
By BRB29 on 4/12/2013 1:42:21 PM , Rating: 2
longest post ever! I think some people would need a smoke break reading this.


RE: Nice phone but...
By Shadowself on 4/12/2013 1:55:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And if I were Blackberry, I would start getting noisy in the consumer market about what the Z10 does that other devices don't do.
((Cringes at the thought of prompting another mile long post))
So, other than accepting a 64 GB SDXC card (with a significant limitation) in a 4" class device what does the Z10 do that BB can say they do better than the rest?


RE: Nice phone but...
By jimbojimbo on 4/12/2013 2:10:11 PM , Rating: 2
As a BES administrator for both 5.0 as well as 10, I will easily admit it is great for corporations that have invested in internal mobile device apps. BB10 can use your BES server as basically a gateway to your work's internal network. The Blackberry Browser can browse any internal site as if you were at the office without anybody having to set up any weird external proxies. I could even, to a very limited degree, perform some Virtual Center actions via the web interface. Companies can write apps to take advantage of this as well so those apps can access that internal data. The best feature though is knowing that Balance will keep all your work apps and their data completely separate from the personal apps. You can install any malware you want on the personal side but it can't get to the work space. And as an admin YOU decide what apps they can install onto their work space.
It's all pretty good. However, I don't think it's necessarily the hardware that made me not love it. After all it's not Android so it could run differently on different specs. It's the rather dull array of icons again as if it's 2009 or something older. I've come to love my widgets both for displaying data AND quick actions and without them I lose efficiency and efficiency is what matters most to me.
Also, why the hell can't you have more than one alarm on their alarm clock? I don't want to pay $5 for an alarm clock app.


RE: Nice phone but...
By rsmech on 4/12/2013 2:26:30 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
- Nokia Lumia is a zero


Wrong. I don't know about all Nokia but at least my 822 has micro SD as well as accepting 64 gig. Cards. Which Lumia doesn't. I'm sure that list is shorter than the list of those that do. I don't know where you get your info.


RE: Nice phone but...
By semiconshawn on 4/12/2013 3:26:40 PM , Rating: 2
WTF? You talk way too much don you?


RE: Nice phone but...
By semiconshawn on 4/12/2013 3:26:53 PM , Rating: 2
t


"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation














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