BlackBerry CEO John Chen attempts to clarify the position of BlackBerry 10

There is a media trend happening at BlackBerry and it is not a good one.  Invariably, BlackBerry CEO John Chen will make a  statement, the media will report on what he says, and John Chen will take to the BlackBerry Blogs in an attempt to clarify what he initially said.

The latest saga is the future of BlackBerry 10.

Prior to CES, anybody that follows Blackberry will be aware that BlackBerry 10 will have two security related updates this year. However, at CES, and preceding interviews, Chen stated there will be another Android phone released by BlackBerry this year, possibly two. Of course, there was the added caveat that this would be dependant on the successful sales of the BlackBerry Priv.

The fact that Chen clarified that there will be no new BlackBerry 10 device released this year added fuel to the fire that BlackBerry 10 is dead.

So once again, Chen has taken to the BlackBerry Blogs, ostensibly to clarify the poisition, yet actually saying nothing new. This is what he had to say:

“At CES 2016, BlackBerry has been busy discussing self-driving cars, global carrier support for PRIV and consumer healthcare apps. But as we shift our energies toward all these exciting opportunities, does that mean the BlackBerry 10 operating system is dead? Far from it.

We know how many discriminating customers still demand the gold standard security and productivity benefits of BlackBerry 10, which shares the same rock-solid code as our market-leading QNX auto platform. Take this recent account by a medical doctor who credited the secure, reliable communications capabilities of his BlackBerry 10-powered Passport device with helping him save a patient’s life.

Consumer and enterprise fans of our workhorse BlackBerry 10 smartphones such as Passport, Classic and others can look forward to many security and privacy enhancements in 2016. The coming version 10.3.3 will be certified for NIAP compliance, meaning it will have passed the strictest government-grade security tests, enabling us to further support our government and regulated customers who use BlackBerry 10 devices and demand the highest levels of security. We are also planning a version 10.3.4 for later this year with even more security improvements.

While we continue to invest in BlackBerry 10 in 2016, we will also develop another Android-based phone. We’ll share more details about our roadmap when we’re ready.

It’s been an exciting CES for BlackBerry. We’re innovating deeply in many new areas, as our many announcements show. Even still, we’re not abandoning the loyal customers who have contributed to our success.”

Chen once again clarifies that existing BlackBerry 10 devices will receive security and privacy enhancements in 2016 and that 10.3.3 will have more security certifications, while 10.3.4 wll have even more security improvements.  That information has already been well established by BlackBerry.

Incredibly, he added that BlackBerry will release another Android-based phone in 2016.  While that information is already publicly known, that statement has absolutely no place in a post that is supposed to clarify the position of BlackBerry 10.

BlackBerry are probably unique when it comes to the media.  They have certain parts of the media that will twist anything they say in an effort to put any negative spin on the company.  They have fan sites which will do the opposite, they will take any bit of information and put whatever positive spin that they can on it. Both of these categories fail to actually give BlackBerry users what they want – the truth!

This may surprise readers but I don’t actually blame BlackBerry.  While their PR companies are appalling (at least here in the UK), they have been pretty clear about what is happening with BlackBerry 10.  Two OS updates this year and no new BlackBerry 10 devices.  The company couldn’t have been clearer.

Taking those statements in isolation does not mean that BlackBerry 10 is dead!

However, it’s the other bits of information that lead to the perception that the OS is in support mode.  Every month or so BlackBerry drop something from their developer programs. Developer tools have completely stagnated with no plans to schedule releases of new SDKs and APIs.  It’s little things like this that lead to the perception that BlackBerry 10 is in support mode.

BlackBerry have been clear with the situation regarding BlackBerry 10 for 2016.  While media and fan sites will continue to put their own brand of spin on that, the reality is that it is Governments, enterprise companies and BlackBerry partners that continue to use and rely on BlackBerry 10 – and that is where the perception matters.

BlackBerry 10 will continue in these crucial areas throughout 2016 and what the future of BlackBerry 10 is in 2017 and beyond is unknown and all the spin in the world won’t change that.

If you own an existing BlackBerry 10 device, you know precisely what you will be getting in 2016.  If you are thinking of buying a BlackBerry 10 device in 2016, you also know the position exactly.

BlackBerry are a completely changed company in 2016 and John Chen is doing a magnificent job in “turning around” the company but there is still a lot of work to be done.

However, any company that continuously has to take to it’s own blogs in an effort to clarify what they initially said must realise that they have a severe communication problem.  BlackBerry really need to look at their communication and make a concentrated effort to ensure that they are not constantly having to “clarify” what they said.

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