Vector 13: Kevin Michaluk on what happened to BlackBerry

It happened to Palm. It's happening to BlackBerry. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung might be insulated by their revenue from other businesses, or they might not. No company stays on top, or even in the game, forever. So, we interrupt our usual programing to get Kevin Michaluk of back on the line so he can explain to us what the hell is happening with BlackBerry. The reaction to the iPhone, the detour of the PlayBook, and the launch of BB10. No. Holds. Barred.

Show notes




Yell at us via the Twitter accounts above (or the same names on ADN). Loudly.

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie has been covering the personal technology industry for almost a decade. Editorial Director at Mobile Nations, analyst at iMore, video and podcast host, you can follow him @reneritchie on [Snapchat](, [Instagram](, or [Twitter](
  • Yeah Posted via Android Central App
  • RIM rested on their laurels while Google, MS and Apple competed and innovated.
  • Well, Google and MS innovated. Apple? Lol good joje Posted via Android Central App
  • Really? I do not give apple credit for much but they made the most important innovation of all. They brought the smartphone out of the boardroom and on to the masses. Posted via your wifes, girlfriends phone
  • My wife's phone? LOL, she'd laugh at you :) Otherwise you're correct about apple...I don't give them credit except that they made other companies innovate. BB on the other hand kept releasing the same phone over, and over, and over, again with minor tweaks....kinda like apple.
  • no its your wife's girlfriends phone, not your wifes...
  • Lol, I'm not even married and I wish my wife had a girlfriend. Posted via Android Central App
  • I had a girlfriend who had a girlfriend. I miss her. The girlfriend that is; not the girlfriend.
  • Mind. Blown.
  • Yep, it's dead, lol. Posted via Android Central App
  • +1 Posted via Android Central App
  • I...I... I am just gonna walk away now and ... Nothing...
  • Lmao Posted via Android Central App
  • AHH!! MY bad!! I read it as posted from your wife's (or) girlfriends phone! Sorry man, I feel all stupid now!! SLAP ME!!
  • True. Posted via Android Central App
  • That's not innovation; it's marketing. Posted via Android Central App
  • Well, Google and MS innovated. Apple? Lol good joke Posted via Android Central App
  • They didn't have the money to compete lol Posted via Android Central App
  • google and apple innovated. Ms just copied everything Google and Apple.
  • He & his team is as much responsible for the false propaganda right from the BB OS 6 days/7 & RIMpire srtikes back blah blah blah! When andriod & apple were moving at a such a steady pace .Anyone who wanted to correct or modify these blind lovers lead by Kevin was bombarded with foul messages.That playbook was flop from day one was BB 10.
    A lesson learnt for him for a life.Dont get carried away & dont make people fools with ignorance.
  • No need to insult Kevin, personal attacks are going to far. You are talking about something that does not affect you personally at all. Relax. Posted via Droid Razr M on the Android Central App
  • This. Posted via Android Central App
  • Actually, because of media bias from famous people like Kevin have cause problems in the past. For example, I brought a BB 10 and then I had to throw that into the junk yard just because I was a follower of So I think people who don't look at the economics of things and just want to promote an outdated product should also take credits for RIM's downfall. I am not blaming Kevin... Even he was in line to buy an iPad anyway.... :)
  • Not sure what part was a personal attack? And he makes some good points.
  • that is no insult, those are facts you Blackberry fanboy, Kevin was responsible for the blind fanboyism at crackberry, so much so that even now most of them live their life in dreams.
  • It has affected me in the past & i got this close to buying BB10.Thanks to some colleague in june got an S4.Used BB for many years!!! If my comment is offensive the moderator can delete it anytime.CHILL NOW!
  • You have to understand that when your whole career and website relies on BlackBerry, you tend to put on rose color glasses as well. I was a huge BB fan and crackberry popped my blog/podcast cherry. But I was bored of BB in 2010, I wanted what android was giving and androidcentral had a new podcast and a new phone every week. When I copped the Galaxy S, I notice how much of BS crackberry became. It was always "BB isn't doing all that bad, BB is for adults, the others are toys, BB 6 is great and gonna give you all the things the other guys are giving... the same with BB7. Even though BB6 was BB5 with a new theme, BB 7 was originally was supposed to be BB6.1 or bb 6.5. BB had the same OS and just changed the version number. Now have a BB fan that bought all these flops, you can't blame them for switching to android or iOS. People at crackberry should be asking why Kev bought a new iPhone. I see him going to iMore in another year and the other guys left behind.
  • sidds18 is spot on. The blind fanboyism from the Crackberry community shoulders a large part of the blame as well. Any dissent on their forums is met with a barrage of "This is a fan site if you don't like it then you can leave" type of comments. I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard Kevin (and other CB posters) reacting to bad news with "This is actually a good thing because ...", "They're repositioning themselves ...", "They're wrong; How can a company with 2 billion in the bank be in trouble? ..." etc ...
  • Thanks Sottyhifi,Etios & Gemmax. I almost thought i would be bombarded with comments here too.Glad few of you agree with me.
  • They should have talked about if BlackBerry STILL has a chance.
  • They don't so there really wasn't anything to talk about. It is nothing but a three man race now Posted via your wifes, girlfriends phone
  • Unfortunately my opinion is blackberry put all their eggs in the business world and a phone for businesses. They didn't innovate and make a phone for everyone out there to play with. Blackberry world just couldn't compete with the Google play and iTunes. Once security was no longer an issue and business starting trusting apple and Android, you could see the end for Blackberry. No one is to blame but Blackberry themselves for trying to ride the wave instead of adapting and innovating. Posted via Android Central App
  • I used to love BB like everyone else before moving to Android, but we all were short changed for many years! BB always stayed one step behind the competition. For example when the latest technology was a three mega pixel camera, BB decided to stay at 2 mega pixel. When the latest was 5 mega pixels, BB stayed at three. This was the story of BB from screen resolution, memory, speed, and all the specs that we love as technology continues to improve. Hiring the new president of BB was something they should've done many years ago. While nothing last forever, when competing with anything in the technology world a company must be fierce and innovate. It was very hard for me to make the switch to Android back then, but it was one of the best things I've ever done for my love of technology!
  • what went wrong? french canadians can't compete with Silicon Valley. this was obvious to everyone but the delusional crackberries. we can only hope that the guy with the silly ponytail ends up over at iMore and not here after BB goes bust.
  • What's your problem with French Canadians? Posted via The Android Central App
  • If they would have focused on everyone instead of just business they would have been fine! Posted via Android Central App
  • BB was never for us. The consumer grab BB cause it was and still is a GREAT communitarian device. The tech world was very different 7 years ago. BB was KING of communication when all we had was flip phones, Palm, WinMo, sidekick and even the first few years of iPhone. WE took BB and made it for us, even though it was never meant to be for us. It wasn't til iOS 4 and android 2.2 when things started to go down hill for BB. Mind tou, iPhone had missing feature for the first 3 years like MMS, bluetooth, muti task, email client and so on. Android wasn't out and when it was, it was pro geek til about 2010. What messed up BB was that they DID focus on us.
  • They still have a chance.
    If you think about this cycle will happen to everyone, arguably it's happening it Apple's iPhone line (As long as their OS X line stays, I'm cool) and I think it'll happen to Android eventually. But no one knows for sure.
  • Apple just sold 9 million new iPhones in 3 days on launch weekend. There's not another company in the world doing this right now. I know this is Android Central, but you guys have got to take the blinders off. This is a 2 man race between Apple, and Google plain, and simple. The only reason Microsoft is still in this is because they have the money to still be in this. Not because their phones are doing any better than Blackberries.
  • Dude msft is doing a lot better than blackberries.. I can see apple next to its death, if they don't start producing something better, apple sold 9 million in 3 days yes!! But they never gave the breakdown number.ur correct msft/WINDOWSPHONE will always be a problem to ur beloved apple/Google..
  • Apple is near death? Microsoft just had to buy Nokia to keep them from dumping MSFT in favor of Android. Microsoft is in far more trouble in the mobile space than Android or Apple, almost as much as BB.
  • I think windows phone has some potential. MSFT needs to put some more resources into it and speed up the innovation and updates for the OS. The could be a players if they get moving. The Lumias are pretty nice. WIsh they made android devices.
  • I agree, in the OS it's iOS and Android and in the hardware manufacturer, it's Apple and Samsung, end of story. Google and Samsung are doing great, not HTC, Moto and the rest of the guys. That's something people need to understand.
  • BlackBerry Moto was, keep moving and their moto backfired on them and the consumers kept moving far away from BlackBerry. From my Note 2 to you
  • So his name isn't crackberry Kevin anymore? I like K-diddy for his new name! Posted From my Motorola side view pager via 4-5683-8
  • Blame flaky sprint data for double post.
  • Lol...
  • Arrogance ang ego. That's what happened
  • The same thing is happening to HTC right now.
  • no HTC is mismanagement
  • You're right, HTC is mismanaging their arrogance and ego, lol. Posted via Android Central App
  • HTC mismanagement is a direct result of their arrogance. A 2012 android flagship that couldn't multitask so that Sense would have room to operate was a direct result of their arrogance and ensured that the One X was the last HTC phone i would ever buy.
  • The One seems to multitask way better than the One X. The One is HTC's best selling phone at launch by far, but the company's financial troubles are not over yet.
  • Poor BB. I loved them so much way back when! Now they're just.... terrible. I hope they make a come back! But I won't be buying a BB for a while. We'll see what the future holds for them, if any.
  • once having a 8300 8310 8900 9000 9700 9800 i was a fan boy until i seen android going along and reading if you get a android your gonna get a virus.. once i touched a droid i was hooked and the whole getting a virus was srt8 bs.. rim then should have adapted and kept up.
  • Rim just kept rehashing the same phone over and over expecting the business user would just keep buying them instead of innovating. The business user saw the iphone and android as a device that not only was faster, but also was sleeker to the point that they had to have it. Sorry Rim, you were a little late to the game.
  • The article below is from June 28th 2007. This is the day before the iPhone Launch of Friday June 29, 2007. The next day changed phones forever.......................... TORONTO -- Shares of Research In Motion Ltd. surged nearly 17 percent in after-hours trading Thursday after the BlackBerry maker said its first-quarter earnings grew 73 percent on increased sales and subscriber additions. For the quarter ended June 2, Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM earned $223.2 million, or $1.17 per share, up from $128.8 million, or 67 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted net income, which excludes a $5.3 million stock option expense, came to $228.5 million, or $1.20 per share, RIM said. John G
  • Not gonna lie there is nothing like hammering out paragraphs on a BlackBerry bold keyboard. Nothing can compete with that. I think I'm faster with my thumbs on a bold than I am on a laptop. Posted From my Motorola side view pager via 4-5683-8
  • Yeah I have to admit I could go longer on a BB before the carpal-tunnel set in than I can now on touchscreens. The feature set of these new phones is what tipped the balance though. I can just do WAY more and don't have to fire up the laptop nearly as often. What BBs do, they do well. The problem is they just don't do that much.
  • That last line: I couldn't have said it better myself. Posted via Android Central App
  • I still say the share holders and board let those two buffoon CEO's ruin the company. They had so many opportunities to change and they refused and the company and brand paid the price. The crackberry faithful were screaming for more consumer friendly devices with larger screens etc. They failed to evolve. Bye Bye!
  • What happened to BB? What started the fall? Its simple when they tried to compete with iPhone and released the BB STORM. that started the fall. Posted via Android Central App
  • What happened to BB? What started the fall? Its simple when they tried to compete with iPhone and released the BB STORM. that started the fall. Posted via Android Central App
  • Easy: Not enough $500 clock apps. The actual reason is glaringly obvious. Space you dedicate to a physical keyboard has to be taken from the screen (excluding sliders etc). As people experienced what you can do with a large, high-resolution touchscreen they no longer felt like compromising that capability in favor of a physical keyboard. It's as simple as that.
  • That and apps... Or the lack there of. Posted From my Motorola side view pager via 4-5683-8
  • +1. I still have my BBZ10 and the hardware is great,but there is a dirth off apps for it. Next phone? I really don't know. Posted via Android Central App
  • Also go back, and watch the original iPhone keynote from 2007 with Steve Jobs. It's very telling to see the crowds reaction to such features we take for granted these days. Like slide to unlock, double tap to zoom, pinch to zoom. Heck scrolling through the iTunes library even got a few "ooh's, and ah's" from the crowd. Ed Colligan(Palm), Steve Ballmer, and even Nokia laughed at the introduction of the iPhone, but who's laughing now?
  • Steve Jobs could crap in a bucket on stage and fling it out over the audience and that crowd would have oohed and ahhhed.
  • I watched that speech live streamed in rapture as the as the master did his thing. I remember Jobs saying something like, "Up until now, smartphones haven't been that smart." He was mostly talking about BlackBerry at that point. My first real smartphone was the BlackBerry Curve. It gave me a taste of Web-connected apps but was extremely slow, took forever to boot and was virtually useless for anything but calling, texting and emailing. Instead of recognizing this, the RIM folks just tried to spin even harder. They should have seen the writing on the wall but didn't. It makes me think of an Upton Sinclair quote: " It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it." Oh, and "Go Hawks!"
  • I'm curious, where's the article on the downfall of Palm/WebOS? Oh, right, Palm/HP isn't a featured sponsor of Talk Mobile, so they don't get such writeups.
  • HP effectively killed webOS in 2011. Or again with the sale of stuff to LG in February — all before Talk Mobile was event a glint in our collective eyes. We wrote a little about it back then. HP has neither balls nor brains A final nail in the webOS coffin or a release from the purgatory of Palo Alto? Or basically anyting at webOS Nation in the past two years.
  • Oh. And Derek is sitting here with me right now. Here is his reply:
  • UGH, WebOS was so good. Too bad the hardware on the original Pre was so cheap. I would have loved to have seen WebOS make it. Ah well, those were the days!
  • I've read all of those. The thing is, those were all posted on WebOS Nation. Which makes sense, since it's WebOS news (which I continued to follow until recently and I still miss much about WebOS, easy rooting, the wave bar, great gestures, cards, TRUE unified messaging...). This isn't WebOS Nation though. It's not either. This is AndroidCenral. So why am I reading so much about Blackberry on AndroidCentral? BlackBerry isn't relevant, they're almost as dead as Palm. This article doesn't belong here any more or less than those articles about WebOS belonged on AndroidCentral. You guys covered the BBM release to a fairly ridiculous degree, well beyond what any of the other prominent Android sites did, they treated it like any other app launch (and fail) which is what it was. The amount of coverage it received was fairly ridiculous for an Android site. It makes no sense until someone clicks on the Talk Mobile link at the top of the page and see "Presented by Blackberry". Then something else clicks. If this is intentional, then shame on you guys. Seriously. That's lame.
    If it's not, you might want to take a look around at that situation and consider whether you're allowing yourselves to become biased by that sponsorship. Because it is starting to look that way.
  • We covered BBM to the extent we did — and remember that it's not actually out yet — because nobody is in a better position to cover BBM for Android than we are. Nobody. And we'll continue to cover it until it's actually released — Talk Mobile or no Talk Mobile. We could dismiss BBM on Android on principle — BB is doomed, BBM isn't necessary ... pick your reason — and write pithy headlines to that effect, but that's the lazy way out. I'd rather actually use it first and see if it's something I'd actually want to use. I'm funny like that. Chances are I won't use it. But I'll give it the chance it deserves. If you don't want to read about BBM, my suggestion is this: Don't read stories about BBM. We cover plenty other stories every day, every week. Let's try to keep things in perspective.
  • Perspective. Right. Like the perspective that all things considered, the BBM launch was a really minor event? Kevin glossed over how disastrous it was in his GlobeandMail article. You guys covered the BBM launch here more than the new Apple hardware launch, and the Apple hardware launch is a much bigger deal. Apple launching a new device is big news in the industry. BBM being released is minor, BB falling on their face is status quo. "BlackBerry did launch a version of its BBM application last weekend for iPhones and Android devices, but simply as a stand-alone app." That's what Kevin wrote in his GlobeandMail article last week. That was the description of the launch. That doesn't strike you as missing some critical information, like that it DIDN'T actually launch on Android at all and the iOS launch was cancelled partway through? The article was updated on the 27th, and it still says BBM launched on Android and iOS. Here's the thing, when it looks like you guys are being influenced by the sponsorship of TalkMobile by BlackBerry, and that IS how it looks, then it's not as simple as ignoring BB or BBM stories, it calls your whole journalistic integrity into question. I like this site, I like you guys as writers, I like that I've felt like I could trust you guys to be impartial, reasoned and unbiased, even in regards to Android's competition.... until now.
  • It's not rocket science. We did the same (multiple stories and features) for Facebook Home or the Amazon app store, and people accused us of getting kickbacks then. Hell, I can't even say I like a particular phone without being accused of some payola scheme. Relax. It's just another Android app that people are curious about. When the drama is done, nobody will care any more.
  • This interview was actually conducted by Rene at iMore, home of all things Apple, in discussion with Kevin, who now has the not-so-fun task of providing analysis of BlackBerry's struggle, in addition to making sure the folks over at CB get the continued enthusiastic and balanced coverage they deserve and have come to expect. The whole CB team is working that way, and doing a fine job. I don't have Internet blinders on, so I peruse CB, iMore, and WPC fairly often. My platform of choice is currently Android, and that discussion was very interesting. You read that correctly... Not "but"..."and". Some of the article, and ALL of the BBM articles on AC, have to do with cross-platform app info. Hence, cross-site articles and information. That said, essentially, using your line of thinking, AC screwed up twice, since it shared something from sites that focus on platforms other than Android. And that by doing so, caused injury to the "journalistic integrity" of the AC organization. The point is that, at the end of the day, PEOPLE are the ecosystem that fuels the interest in these sites, and anyone who has an interest in mobile tech in general wants to be able to see it all. That's why these dedicated platform sites were created, and, since the folks who run these sites are older than 10, they can share information - I'll say it again... across sites! That's the beauty of journalism - it helps keep the folks reading this stuff from being stuck in one box. This article simply passed on good information from a sought-after source about several high-profile issues, visible to more than just the readers over at Crackberry. Journalistic integrity and transparency were employed here, not weakened. It was actually pretty simple..... Rene did the interview work, Kevin provided the requested substance, and AC posted for interested AC readers. Easy repost. No harm. No foul. I honestly can't believe journalistic integrity was brought up. Posted via Android Central App
  • Well said!!
  • Just scanned the comments and saw this comment... @Saiyajin - You clearly get it. Thanks for your reply. Spot on the money and then some.
  • Well said.I'm a big fan of android,yet that doesn't prevent me from wanting to learn what's going on with other OS'es, good or (unfortunately)bad.
  • This
  • I can see why Brendilon brought into question Blackberry's sponsorship of Talk Mobile, as a reason for the continued BBM articles. For an entire week, it seemed like, the impending BBM launch dominated the headlines. Maybe, their wasn't much Android news to write about, during the same time period. I don't know the answer, and I don't need to know. At the end of the day, this website is a business. If you're not getting clicks and/or page views, then your website will fail, never mind the quality of the content. The BBM articles consistently provided clicks and page views: so, you strike while the iron's hot. But, I do agree with you, I love this site and don't think journalistic integrity was ever at risk. Posted via Android Central App
  • This article is fine but man the BBM coverage was way overboard than required, it might have been due to Blackberry sponsorship, Kevin's friends supporting him or just supporting the dying Blackberry, whatever may be the reasons but it was treated way beyond normal and much more importance was given to the failed BBM launch here than what other sites gave.
  • If BlackBerry had any hope of competing it was back when they released the Storm, as that's when smartphones where really starting to take off. I was eyeing it as my first smartphone, but the reviews where not impressive, so I went with an iPhone and then jumped to Android 2 years later. Posted via Android Central App
  • IBM is Lenovo amirite?
  • Great show, it was nice to reminisce about BlackBerry. My first smartphone was a Storm 2, had it for 2½ years. Good job Rene and guests! Posted via Android Central App via HTC One Motorola Droid Bionic Has Been Stolen and has been recovered! Yey!
  • Didn't hear it dicussed but something I know that happened about my work.
    in 2010 my organizatioin (500+) people, changed from a blackberry house to a BYOD. When all of us went shopping, we were told to get a new blackberry we had to pay a $15 extra fee for enterprise!
    I know of 100 people that bought 3GSs directly based off of that. Including myself.
  • Keyboards happened to BlackBerry, that's all... Its just dated and ugly Posted via Android Central App