back to article BlackBerry boss mulls mid-range Androids

BlackBerry's CEO has used an interview with United Arab Emirates outlet The National to announce plans to move the troubled mobe-maker's Android efforts downscale. Last year, the company launched into the Android market with the high-end Priv, which garnered good reviews. Sales, however, were another matter, and the Priv only …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ouch

    So with no BB10, that leaves them with... ? Android ("not as wise ...") or Windows 10 (yeah right!)

    They seem to be removing all of their distinctive characteristics, becoming Yet Another Clone Android Mob maker. Seems like a crowded market to be in. :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ouch

      "mulls mid-range Androids,"

      So much for Blackberry's reputation for security then.

      "or Windows 10 (yeah right!)"

      Windows Mobile would at least have been a far more secure option than Android. And well suited for Blackberry's target enterprise market.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ouch

        Windows Mobile would at least have been a far more secure option than Android.

        I'm not sure if some wet string is much improvement over a bit of frayed rope. The only reason it's more secure is because nobody will bother writing malware for a platform with such limited deployment..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ouch

          "The only reason it's more secure is because nobody will bother writing malware for a platform with such limited deployment.."

          Windows Mobile is also more secure as in far fewer security vulnerabilities and the OS is far better locked down too.

  2. thomas k

    Just can't make it work?

    What is it with big *tech* companies and OS software and not being able to make it all work? Nokia and Maemo, HP and Palm, MS and Windows Phone, it certainly can't be down to lack of resources or talent. Confidence and commitment? Maybe it's just harder than it looks to us laypersons.

    1. Richard Plinston

      Re: Just can't make it work?

      > Nokia and Maemo, HP and Palm, MS and Windows Phone

      Nokia had Maemo working well. I still have my N800. Meego took a bit longer but the N9 seemed to be a good phone, I would have liked a N950. This was killed by the contract with Microsoft along with Melemi, and eventually the phone division itself.

      It seemed to me that WebOS was more killed by WOA (Windows on ARM) that eventually arrived as Windows RT. It is likely that Microsoft waved WOA and 'loyalty discounts' on _all_ products to kill WebOS.

      As for Windows Phone, it was killed by Microsoft dumping developers and customers by changing everything from WM6.x to WP7 then WP8 and now W10M.

      So we can blame Microsoft for all 3 of your examples. Google and Android, Apple and iPod/iPhone/iPad are counter examples where big tech companies did make it work. Avoiding Microsoft seems to be the clue there.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Just can't make it work?

        Teams too big

        Changing goal posts

        Stupid input from Marketing

        Bureaucracy

        Political infighting / empire building

        Not specifically Microsoft. Nokia went wrong in about 2002- 2003

    2. JLV

      Re: Just can't make it work?

      Well, by now you have very much a very big defensive wide moat for the incumbents (Android/iOS): the apps stores.

      If they're not fully stocked at D-Day, the new OS gets reviewed as being incomplete. Now, I didn't really mind that with BB10 as I am at best a very very picky app installer, whether $ or free. There's so much junk out there and app store discoverability is poor enough that it seems easier to just stick to websites.

      But I understand I am in a minority not to care overmuch about apps.

      Another defensive mechanism is the collected collective wisdom (hah) of the crowd. Nearly any solvable iOS/Android configuration/usage conundrum has made its way onto the internet. Via blogs, forums and now StackExchange covers both iOS and Android. So if you don't know how to use something in your gadget, but it can be done, the answer is likely out there.

      Contrasting that with CrackBerry's rather poor IMHO, S/N, is instructive.

      BB10s are excellent phones. I dropped my Z10 into a pool and, after spending a month in a rice bag, it boots up again. In the meantime, I replaced it with a Classic and that is a brilliant little phone too. OS functionality is sparse, but highly discoverable and elegant. And rock solid - they stay up and usable during most of duration of a major OS update, only to reboot at the end.

      Sad, but not surprised they will be the last.

      It will be difficult for a challenger to knock off the Android/iOS incumbents without doing something really radically different, like what the v1 iPhone did to Nokia & BB when it came out. To forestall protests about Apple having imitated whatever the iPhone imitated, that's somewhat besides the point. Whoever Apple imitated had not pulled off selling whatever it was that was being imitated. Apple did.

      (mind you, Apple also didn't pull off selling the Newton)

      Copying someone else in order to leapfrog incumbents is allowed, perhaps even preferable. But the new guy will have to catch Apple and Android by surprise by using their imitation/innovation as a new angle, not just to improve on standard mobile paradigms. Augmented reality? Much better AI than Siri and the like?

      Hint: solving problems for the ultra-geek won't do a breakthrough, you need mass appeal.

      Look at it this way, how much $ has MS thrown at exactly this problem so far? Plus, they basically sacrificed desktop Win 7 usability to give Win 8 a leg up on mobile.

      My advice? Take up the upcoming fire sale on a keyboard BB10 if you have the chance and inclination.

      1. spinynorman

        Re: Just can't make it work?

        Well, I obviously bought a dud, because in the 2.5+ years that I have owned my Z10 it has continued to spontaneously reboot in spite of all software updates. I was drawn to BB10 by my experience many years ago of the single floppy disk QNX demo. The demo installed flawlessly into the RAM of my nondescript PC hardware. It recognised my modem and dialled up and displayed the QNX web page. It was a stunning demonstration. So, along comes Blackberry and, oh dear what happened? The RAM minimum spec. became 2GB! That was the first nail in the coffin, before the o/s had even begun to walk. In my experience, the second nail has been the constant unreliability. I don't care whether it's the hardware or the software. And now BB10 is all but buried. RIP.

        I use my Z10 to keep in touch with my fiancée, who hopefully will join me soon from distant shores. BBM has mostly been a good solution to keeping in touch, and that is the only reason now for hanging on to my Z10. I also keep in touch with friends and family on Facebook. The BB10 web 'solution' is not good, dispensing with what was one of the (if not THE) biggest attraction of BB10 - the hub. At the moment I don't know what I will replace the Z10 with. If anyone knows of a way of providing BB10 hub like functionality on Apple or Android phones I would be interested to hear.

        1. StripeyMiata

          Re: Just can't make it work?

          My wife has a Z10, and I use the BBM app on my iPhone to keep in touch, including voice calls, it works great.

        2. MrRimmerSIR!

          Re: Just can't make it work?

          You do know that BBM is available on other OS's? Had it installed on my Android a while ago but no-one to talk to. One of the nice things, and the only advantage I can see, of Blackberrys is the hub. Therefore my wife cares not how the message gets to her, or how she needs to reply, it just happens. Get that on Android and it's game over.

        3. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Just can't make it work?

      It's that they don't get that "tech" doesn't sell, whereas shininess does. Tech only matters to nerds like us and serious corporate buyers. However there's far more consumers out there that couldn't give a damn about the tech. iPhone has succeeded despite at various points in its history suffering hideous and embarrassing tech fails whilst phones that actually worked were significantly less popular in the market place.

      Whatever else one thinks of Steve Jobs he certainly knew what would sell and what was irrelevant. Battery life? Pah! Interoperability? Ridiculous! Portable source code? Fuggedaboudit!

      The dropping of BB10 will cause certain organisations considerable difficulty. They have for years relied on BlackBerry turning out affordable mobiles which have the requisite security accreditations (their Android-imbued Priv doesn't), and now find that BlackBerry have given up. What price security?

      What a lot of users who really care about security have done is go to iPhone or Android and layered on top things like Mobile Iron. Solutions like this have a distinct sticking-plaster feel to them, especially on Android, and the end result is nowhere near as usable as a well sorted BlackBerry set up.

      And they have weaker security accreditations which, for certain customers, is a barrier to their adoption. Those users who cannot migrate away from BB10 will soon find out just how expensive security really is. For them they're finding that their mobile strategy has now got a scrap by date, and they either throw it all away and do without or downgrade their security requirements. Afterall, one has to question whether, for example, an iPhone is an appropriate mobile device for people who really have to care about the security of their data on behalf of their citizens. Apparently they can be unlocked quite easily!

      Me? They'll prize my BlackBerry Z30 from my cold, dead hands. And then it'll be an iPhone, largely because Android is so shit at integrating with an Exchange server (though maybe the Priv with Hub is different) and because Apple (I'm guessing) aren't quite so acquisitive and exploitative of one's data (a problem that BlackBerry cannot fully overcome on the Priv). If an MS phone were at all viable it'd be that instead.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just can't make it work?

        > largely because Android is so shit at integrating with an Exchange server

        You mean, because Exchange is so shit at integrating with standard Internet protocols?

        1. Captain Queeg

          Re: Just can't make it work?

          Exchange is probably one of the few things remaining that (unfortunately) can enforce a non-standard standard.

          For any corporate device the need to face off to Exchange is essential - it may well need to hold it's nose while it does it, but it has to be done. Pointing to Exchange being broken just won't cut it with countless corporates.

          Maybe in 5 years it won't be important but until MS are brought kicking and screaming to the e-mail standards table, it is.

          1. TeeCee Gold badge
            Meh

            Re: Just can't make it work?

            Actually an Exchange server is perfectly capable of handling standard email protocol access. The problem is that it does waaaayyyy more than just email and standards are something of a shit sandwich when it comes to all the other stuff.

            It might make more sense to just bite the bullet and badge the existing, working and battle-hardened Exchange protocols as the "standard" for office productivity servers.......

        2. GlenP Silver badge

          Re: Just can't make it work?

          OTOH with Outlook now available for Android it's a lot better than it used to be.

          The release of the Office apps is what finally persuaded me off the Windows Nokia to Android.

          1. Pirate Dave Silver badge
            Pirate

            Re: Just can't make it work?

            "OTOH with Outlook now available for Android it's a lot better than it used to be."

            Only if MS would stop fucking with it. They had a decent version last Fall, then screwed with it royally after New Year's to the point that it's almost total crap now. I've gone back to using OWA. It's less convenient, but it just works.

    4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Just can't make it work?

      What is it with big *tech* companies and OS software and not being able to make it all work?

      Product management. And agile.

      Seriously, small companies and startups are engineering driven, they by their own nature have a significant resource percentage dedicated to perfecting the core. The core is not a concept which product management understands. They understand the visible outer shell - the customer facing part.

      As a result, in a bigger company, any work on core gradually takes a back seat or goes completely out of the window to be driven using an agile board from one demo of a gold plated turd to another. First and foremost - the core remains a turd. No new core will be introduced as this is not a customer facing activity. The layers of gold plating on top will grow until they pressurize the inside under their sheer weight to a point where the company will look to buy a startup to supply another core and the cycle will repeat once more.

      There are means to break this cycle.

      In pre-agile days tech companies in the valley used to have a set in stone core to polish ratio with the core resource fully in control by a Distinguished Engineer or a Fellow - the tech person in charge of the project. That went away with agilization. You cannot storyboard it for a customer demo. It is core - so it SHALL be replaced by agile driven and demoable polish on a turd. So one way to break it is to reintroduce some elements of waterfall and assign parts of a team on long term "sabbaticals" to work on next gen core. Rotate them, rinse, repeat.

      Another option is the Bezos method - make each component of the core a product in its own right.

      Both work, but even facing a bankrupcy will not make a big *tech* company look at either one of them.

      1. Vic

        Re: Just can't make it work?

        Product management. And agile.

        Not Agile. Agile is just fine.

        What kills projects is complete numptiness that someons claims is Agile. And when you compare it to the Agile Manifesto, you can see how it falls short...

        Development methods have been evolved over long periods. We have determined what works, and what doesn't. And then a bunch of clueless gobshites have come along and decided to do it all differently "because Agile", with no inkling of what Agile really is :-(

        Vic.

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Well that was a waste of time

    They could have used BB10 with Android app compatibility for secure enterprise phones and Android + BB apps for cheaper consumer phones.

    Now they've killed BB10 they're little different to anyone else.

    It's also a massive marketing failure, since they had Android app compatibility and managed not to sell it.

    1. poodypoo

      Re: Well that was a waste of time

      The Android app compatibility really isn't fully baked, many applications crash or flat out won't load and the interface differences when the apps do work can be a bit jarring.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well that was a waste of time

      I am thoroughly depressed about this.

      When my trusty Z10 eventually dies or becomes unusable when updates for the OS and its apps dries up, this leaves with with a choice of either an Android handset or a Windows one - and I don't want either!

      This gets me to wondering about home-baking a mobile OS. Anyone fancy joining me starting up a mobile business(*)?

      (* Which would be doomed to fail obviously because I'd be in it for the engineering - I'm rubbish at making the unpleasant decisions necessary to actually make money)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hardly a surprise

    Everyone knew that BB10 was doomed the moment they produced an Android phone. They are flailing around like a drowning person trying to grasp whatever they can to get their head above water and take a breath. They ported BBM to iOS and Android, then decided to quit charging for it since no one was using it because they were years late in this doing this. BBM running on Android and iOS in 2010 would have had a good chance at getting wide adoption - once unlimited SMS plans became commonplace and iMessage and then WhatsApp appeared, BBM was doomed.

    All they have left is their email, they'll eventually quit making hardware and offer it as a builtin to Android OEMs who want to claim theirs is an "enterprise" phone. Unfortunately secure email isn't secure if the OS is compromised, and unless they insist on it running on pure Android, it will be vulnerable to innumerable exploits since the phone's OS will be updated once or twice and then forgotten, as with all non-pure Android phones.

    I give them until 2018 to be bought out for their patents and BB email gets shut down, or 2020 if they try to stick it out until they run out of money.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Enterprises replacing their BB handsets aren't looking for $700 handsets, they are looking at disposeable cheap and disposeable, because that is how their users treat them.

    A customer of mine loses/replaces 70-100 handsets a month, their replacement solution is not using expensive handsets.

    Replaceing 1200 handsets a year at $700 is $840,000 (before discounts), there are not many customers who wants to spend that much a year maintaining their capability, when you can get much cheaper android handsets that deliver a *secure enough* alternative.

    1. x 7

      "A customer of mine loses/replaces 70-100 handsets a month, their replacement solution is not using expensive handsets."

      sounds like part of the replacement solution is to sack a few offending staff, to help encourage the others not to be so stupid

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Enterprises replacing their BB handsets aren't looking for $700 handsets"

      Yep - the FTSE 100 I currently work at replaced over 5,000 BB devices with the Lumia 640 - for under £100 a pop...

  6. James 51

    I have a Q10 and it's great. Was thinking about upgrading to a passport silver edition, the lack of a removable battery is the only thing holding me back. Guessing I might get one on the cheap. Only thing that concerns me now is what happens to Blackberry App World. There are a lot of apps I have bought and would like to continue using. Guess I'll have to do a full backup and rely on that to restore them if I every have to reset the phone.

  7. poodypoo

    Shame, BB10 really did do some nice things that the other OSes haven't really attempted to emulate or improve upon. It's a communication device first, and a consumption device second (far second since their are no apps).

    It would be nice if their Android devices allowed for sandboxing of apps and faking of all the permissions (miui does this fairly well), and I would really like to see them put out a unified inbox app for android that has all the BB10 shortcuts (swipe left from anywhere brings you to the hub, etc).

    1. MrRimmerSIR!

      Faking permissions

      xposed + xprivacy is your friend here. Of course, phone must be rooted...

  8. AMBxx Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Sad to see their slow decline

    BB's policy seems to be to annoy their loyal users while doing little to attract users from other brands. My wife loves her Passport SE, but just because it has a keyboard. If Apple, MS or Samsung finally get round to releasing a slider phone, she'd not even notice the change in OS.

  9. caroleD

    BlackBerry has made blunder after embarrassing blunder. Even in my very first day in sales I was told "sell customers the benefits, not the features" and BlackBerry never got this. They'd reel off stats and features, while Apple was nailing the "this will improve your life" advertising.

    BlackBerry never realised that it didn't achieve its former huge market share with expensive premium handsets, it did them through the bargain plastic handsets. To date there has not been an 'affordable' Qwerty BB10 device.

    BB10 was always going to have a rough ride without all the apps of the competition, perhaps they could have built a simple 'converter' that translated Android apps into BB10 code (rather than running Android apps emulated on-device). It's hard to say. In many ways BB10 was a much nicer, more elegant OS than Android.

    1. BB

      To be fair, the Classic was priced well as a mid-range. I've been using one for the past year and a bit, it's a fantastic handset, although a bit slow these days.

      Much like everyone else I've also come to the realisation that I will need to move OS later this year. Hopefully the iPhone 7 is a zinger, although I will miss being able to press "t" to jump to the top of any scrolling list and "c" to compose an email. The Samsung S7 looks tempting, but I can't bring myself to trust Android's privacy with all the Google apps phoning home constantly.

      On-screen keyboards are fine for the odd text message but to bang out a desktop-length email to a client without having to check each word, nothing beats a physical keyboard.

  10. kmac499

    Heretic in the corner..

    I hear a lot about the much vaunted secure nature off BB kit and software. The desirabilty of maintainig the security of corporate info. Can anyone give me an example of a company that has suffered major loss or gone bust by theft of data via interception of communications.

    I would be much more concerned about the theft of company data by employees, or data being trashed by the current crop of ransomware.

    I often feel that the levels of secrecy exercised about most information inside companies is to maintain the heirarchies and charmed circles than to guard any genuinely unique secrets.

    1. x 7

      Re: Heretic in the corner..

      "Can anyone give me an example of a company that has suffered major loss or gone bust by theft of data via interception of communications."

      the point of successful comms interception is that the target never knows he's been compromised

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I have successfully stolen data from every Forbes 500 company

        It's just that I am so good they never noticed, and I just did this for sport and have erased that data immediately afterwards.

    2. Darryl

      Re: Heretic in the corner..

      I've asked this before. All you get for replies are downvotes and vague conspiracy theory-like comments about how it's obviously happened but nobody noticed.

  11. To Mars in Man Bras!
    Paris Hilton

    What Does That Leave?

    *"...Mr Chen said .. the company would exit the [Hardware] segment if it could not achieve profitability..."*

    *"...He also pronounced formal last rites over the company's BlackBerry 10 operating system..."*

    So, no more hardware and no more software. What exactly are they going to sell?

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: What Does That Leave?

      BES and their secure communications suite.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What Does That Leave?

      Their strategic thinking?

    3. Longtemps, je me suis couche de bonne heure

      Re: What Does That Leave?

      Their mobile device management capability emphasising security but now applied to other mobile operating system i.e. Android, iOS (via Apple APIs) and Windows Phone in that order due to:

      Android selling 325m phones ( 81% of global market) in 4Q 2015

      Apple selling 72m phones (18% of global market) in 4Q 2015

      MS selling 4m phones (1% of global market) in 4Q 2015

      Blackberry sold 1m phones (0.2% of global market) in 4Q 2015

      (http://www.mobile-phone-transfer.com/android-transfer.html)

      I expect Microsoft to buy Blackberry shortly because it would be annoying to Microsoft for enterprise customers to start buying Android phones with a Blackberry "security layer", however implausible the actual security product might be - it's all about the brand.

      Still, it will be much cheaper to destroy Blackberry than Nokia, because the price is much lower due to BB already self-immolating.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What Does That Leave?

        MS makes more money from Android sales than Windows mobile sales.

  12. Tommy Pock

    Brilliant. Because what Android needs is another mid-range phone.

  13. Jess

    I certainly won't be buying a new BB, unless it's in a 'fire' sale.

    I was gearing up to get a Passport to replace my Q5, when they announced the Priv, and I had convinced a friend to get a Q30 to replace his N8.

    He has now decided to get an N808 (there are still unused stocks, apparently.)

    I am now planning to get an E6, (if I'm going to have an obsolete system, I may as well have one with good maps and battery life.) Though if a Passport came along at the right price, I doubt I'd turn it down.

    I suspect their transition to Android will be as successful as Nokia's transition to WinPho.

    1. James 51

      Re: I certainly won't be buying a new BB, unless it's in a 'fire' sale.

      Passport SE is about £325 on blackberry at the moment.

      1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

        Re: I certainly won't be buying a new BB, unless it's in a 'fire' sale.

        Yeah, that's not 'the right price'. I agonised long and hard before spending a reasonable amount of effort to get a Photon Q and mod it to accept accept a SIM slot. The Passport form factor and keyboard look great, I like the idea of the hub and Blackberry Blend.

        However : no removable battery, sub par app store, plus inadequate Android compatibility and inability to control Android app permissions.

        If they released a Blackberry Passport Android edition, which could be unlocked, I'd be pretty happy. I don't want a Priv - it's too expensive, and I want a landscape keyboard phone. Also, because it can't be unlocked, it's ever more likely to turn into a doorstep in another year.

      2. Jess

        Re: Passport SE is about £325 on blackberry at the moment.

        That's the sort of price I was waiting for when they hadn't killed the system.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He has now decided to get an N808

      Does your friend work in a technology heritage museum?

      Much as I love my N808, I couldn't recommend it to anyone unless they prioritised the camera, which is still the best on a phone of any type.

      Much of the original functionality bundled with the N808 has been shut off since the 'acquisition' of Nokia by Microsoft. Apps are hosted through Opera mobile but there isn't the quality control that there was, and you can guarantee that if you want a particular app, it isn't there.

      You have to become a bit dedicated to keeping the flame of Symbian burning to run with an 808 these days.

  14. Jim84

    Android Fork

    It seems that every phone manufacturer doesn't make money on Android handsets (although some must be surely?).

    Could BB differentiate themselves from the pack by forking android and making it more secure? Would forking android make it more secure?

    1. Seajay#

      Re: Android Fork

      It's reasonably secure already, if you've got a version that's up to date.

      My anecdotal personal experience is that when I use the computers of non tech savy relatives, I need to spend a lot of time clearing away browser toolbars and other not-technically-a-virus-but-clearly-unwanted software. I rarely find their phones similarly corrupted.

      How would a fork help? You're not going to be re-writing everything or it's not a fork, it's a whole new OS. So you're not going to prevent e.g. stagefright. Really, you're restricted to config changes; things like preventing the install of non-store apps (ie no longer even provide the option) and ensuring the bootloader is really tightly locked down. The kind of thing which to me as a consumer is just annoying but which I would want if I was managing a pool of corporate phones.

    2. x 7

      Re: Android Fork

      "Would forking android make it more secure?"

      first ask yourself, is Cyanogen OS more secure?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    All over for BBRY

    Windows 10 Mobile is already secure by design, there's nothing to add from BBRY's 'secret sauce', unlike Android, based as it is on a shareware OS.

  16. bpfh
    Mushroom

    700$ Priv...

    Markets work in a offer-demand world.... but people still think that paying as much for an iPhone as they would a complete laptop normal, companies are going to continue to gouge as long as idiots are willing to pay for the brand.

    Unfortunately, people are no longer willing to pay a premium for the BB name.

    If only people would start doing the same for Sammy and Apple, and we would see that phones are still profitable and not cost an absolute overinflated fortune... I believe an iPhone 6 BOM is less than $180, and adding 48 gb of flash does not double the sales price...

    /rant

    1. Seajay#

      Re: 700$ Priv...

      BOM is irrelevant, you're paying for the hardware and software engineering effort (and to be fair the marketing). This is like complaining that the Mona Lisa is only a few pounds worth of canvas and paint, it's all about what you do with that paint.

      1. bpfh
        Flame

        Re: 700$ Priv...

        True, as mobile phones are the new laptops, but when the latest shiny-shiny is still mid range and costing a bomb, when nexus, one plus and others are selling a decent phone at half the price, and in the end when you change your hardware once every 12-24 months, phones are bloody expensive landfill items.... I don't see the Louvre tossing out their star painting out the window every 2 years to replace it with the latest in modern art....

  17. Tommy Pock

    I had a Lumia 1020 which I couldn't fault - except for its numerous faults (it went in for repair 7 times).

    WinPhone is effectively dead in the water now - 8.1 had real promise. Someone at Microsoft needs shooting.

    I bought a Blackberry Classic, which I can't fault. I really do love it - but Blackberry is effectively dead in the water now, etc

    I don't want the fragmented, ad-filled mess of Android and I'm not mortgaging the grandmother simply to get this year's clone of last year's Apple.

    So I'm stuffed.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Pint

      Couldn't agree more

      I have a Lumia 1020. Great phone, but now stuck on Win 8.1. My wife has a BB Passport SE. Great phone, but stuck on BB10 and going nowhere.

      Don't want Android or iOS, so case of where do we go from here?

      Have a beer, because I had all the whine.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: stuck on Win 8.1

        I'm quite happy to keep my 1020 on 8.1. I've yet to read anything Windows 10 phone does that 8.1 doesn't do. There has to be a reason to upgrade, doesn't there?

      2. TheVogon

        Re: Couldn't agree more

        "I have a Lumia 1020. Great phone, but now stuck on Win 8.1"

        It runs Windows Mobile 10 just fine.

        However if you want a replacement for the 1020, look at the 950 / 950 XL - It has one of the best cameras of any currently shipping mobile.

        1. Vince

          Re: Couldn't agree more

          "However if you want a replacement for the 1020, look at the 950 / 950 XL - It has one of the best cameras of any currently shipping mobile."

          No it doesn't. I bought one, it sucked compared to the 1020 in many ways. Sure, unlike the 1020 it can take the photos fast from launch, but that's about it.

          Focus - all over the shot, won't maintain a stable focus

          Rubbish if it's bright outside

          Rubbish if it's dark outside

          Rubbish if you're inside generally except perfectly lit conditions

          Colours not even close to reality (either over saturated or hugely under exposed)

          Strange digital noise issues on detailed photos when you look at the detail.

          I did a whole load of fairly scientific side by side identical condition testing to make sure I wasn't being unfair, and the conclusion was that the 950XL is only better when you have perfect conditions. If you take a lot of photos in variable conditions, such as low light, or extremely bright outdoor conditions, it's garbage. It went on ebay and I'm back to the 1020 without any issues.

          1. TheVogon

            Re: Couldn't agree more

            "No it doesn't. I bought one, it sucked compared to the 1020 in many ways. Sure, unlike the 1020 it can take the photos fast from launch, but that's about it."

            If you didn't upgrade the firmware it shipped with. When it was shipped there was already an upgrade that addressed the issues you mention. I have both (my kid now has the 1020) and the 950 photos are noticeably superior. The review of the 950 also points out how much better than the 1020 the 950 camera is due to the improved sensor, optics and flash.

      3. Vince

        Re: Couldn't agree more

        I also have a Lumia 1020 - and "stuck on 8.1" is my preference. I bought a Lumia 950XL to replace it, and that went on ebay after a few weeks because the camera sucks on it, the OS is a total mess and utterly unreliable and so on. You can shortly get Windows 10 on your 1020 if you're somehow mental. Personally I'll be keeping my 1020 for the foreseeable.

        I also use a Blackberry Passport. If BB release a decent with keyboard and not the flip out/pull out type ones aka the Priv, I might be interested if I have to live with some other OS I want a keyboard.

        If that fails, I think I might just give up, go back to a dumb phone, and then just do e-mail etc when I have a laptop to hand.

    2. Seajay#

      Android is as ad-filled a mess as you want it to be.

      If you play freemium games and use a trial version of an office suite, it is indeed horrible. But you probably only need to pay £20 for apps and that can all go away. Nothing really on the price of a phone. MS Office and google apps are free and ad-free anyway. Civilisation Revolution I can recommend as a shining example of a game that you pay for once and are never bothered by ads or DLC.

  18. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    BB missed it. They missed it when people stopped buying phones because they wanted a device to phone other people ans started buying little mobile computers that still can be used to make phonecalls - but nobody* does that anymore. BB was much,much too slow to pick up on "social media". And now BB is a dead man walking. Which is a pity, as they had (and still have) a very good technology. But that's basically what you can say about companies that bulit the best steam engines of theit day.

    *I still do that, but every week I get blank stares when I have to tell someone, no, I don't have WhatsApp. No, no FB either. Or snapchat. Or whatever. And disbelieving stares when I tell them that I don't have this because I don't bloody want it.

  19. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Android phone with nice keyboard?

    I guess my question is, if they are going to be selling Android phones, will they make one with a nice keyboard? That alone would make them stand out, there's simply not that many Android phones with any kind of keyboard on them.

  20. -tim
    FAIL

    Idiots everywhere?

    Can someone dump Chen ASAP?

    The Apple market is confused by the FBI thing, Android is about to have major security issues involving their walled garden.

    Doesn't idiot Chen know about playing the long game? Security matters for about 2% of the market. 2% is a nice earner.

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