All Articles Tagged "BlackBerry"
Not too long ago, we were wondering what exactly happened to the whole BlackBerry/Alicia Keys relationship. After a big splashy announcement that she would be serving as global creative director, it seemed like Keys kind of disappeared.
Not true, said Frank Boulben, BlackBerry’s chief marketing officer. “Ms. Keys has sat in on five marketing meetings with the company, even presenting her own PowerPoint slides at one, he said. She is also expected to give a presentation at the company’s upcoming BlackBerry Live event,” reports Ad Age. Boulben spoke yesterday at the Ad Age Digital Conference. Ad Age says that bringing Keys’ input into the company’s marketing is a way for the company to appear both professional and “cool.”
Business Insider notes that these celebrity partnerships are usually just for show. “But a ‘global creative director’ actually contributing their own input to a brand’s marketing strategy is relatively unheard of. Brand ambassadors usually get by just flashing a logo every now and then — Keys’ PowerPoint presentation takes the role to a new level,” they say.
Of course the big question is whether Keys’ contribution is valuable. Sales will tell.
Are you just dying to get your hands on the BlackBerry 10? Well, you can do so virtually. According to TechCruch, just direct your mobile browser to blackberry.com/glimpse and you can be among the first to get a gander at the new BlackBerry 10.
Of course, the in-browser experience isn’t like having the real product in hand, but it is a demo of BB10′s user interactions and popular features. “It works well, guiding the user through all the swiping and sliding that is BlackBerry 10,” reviews the site. you’ll be able to try out some of the “features” in a heavily scripted preview of the operating system. According to the Wall Street Journal since it is formatted for your smartphone, you can check out the messaging hub, switching applications and time-shifting photos. You should be able to get a “real” feel for the phone.
The signs seem positive for the upcoming smartphone. TechCrunch calls the BlackBerry 10 “a fantastic take on a mobile OS.”
With BlackBerry needing to boost sales, this unique in-browser might be part of the ad campaign revealed by Forbes.
WSJ reports that Blackberry claims it has shipped about a million Z10 smartphones, which start at $199 (putting it in the same price range as the iPhone 5 and the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S 4). And about three quarters of those units have sold through, with 55 percent coming from platforms other than BlackBerry.
In other BlackBerry news, the company is officially pulling canceling its BBM Music service on June 2, though the email admits the date is “subject to change, reports TechCrunch. The music service never really seemed to fly BBM Music was first launched in 2011 and for $4.99 a month users could download 50 tracks of their own, but in order to expand that library of tunes users had to invite their BBM contacts to join the service as well, explains the site.
Lastly some good news for the struggling smartphone company. According to the New York Post, BlackBerry has struck a two-season marketing deal with the NY Nets’ home the Barclays Center. “The deal is valued at $1 million to $5 million, according to an industry source who spoke on the condition of anonymity,” reports the newspaper. BlackBerry and its new Z10 phone will in turn get prominent ad placement throughout the arena — plus its own customer “experiential” area and a suite-level lounge, according to Mike Zavodsky, the Nets vice president of new corporate marketing.
Will this increased emphasis on marketing yield business results?
Nearly two months after unveiling their new devices at a big star-studded event, the new BlackBerry Z10 device is finally on sale. But only at AT&T stores.
The phone is $199. But only with a two-year contract.
The BlackBerry Z10 will be available for Verizon and T-Mobile customers… next week.
We give BlackBerry credit: No matter what anyone says, they will not go gentle into that good night. CEO Heins Thorsten is still talking smack and crowing about how good his phones are. They’re putting up a fight, working to reinforce its “position” in the crowded and cutthroat smartphone marketplace.
“BlackBerry’s position still is very much like its old position, in that the device is still aimed at the connected professional, or what Heins calls ‘the hyperconnected multitasker.’,” writes ABC News. Indeed, you still hear stories about people who absolutely adore the QWERTY keyboard on the BlackBerry. And ABC News says the Z10 is a good phone.
But unfortunately, BlackBerry has a number of problems. The first is the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality; the company’s market share has dropped, a lot of apps aren’t available on the BlackBerry, and with all the chatter about Android, Samsung Galaxy, iPhone, HTC, etc, few people are paying much attention to BlackBerry. Without attention, you can’t drive sales.
Another problem is timing. The new Samsung Galaxy was just introduced and a new iPhone is likely on the way.
And finally, the BlackBerry brand is not perceived as an innovative one anymore. Although Thorsten is quick to call out Apple for being old, few people can pinpoint anything new that BlackBerry has done in a long while. In fact, the thing that their devices are best known for — the aforementioned QWERTY keyboard — is even older. And the attempt to add a little celebrity sparkle to the brand via Alicia Keys seems to have fallen flat. I can’t think of anything that I’ve heard about the partnership since it was announced.
So BlackBerry has a steep mountain to climb and there are some who are already counting the company out entirely. Any thoughts? Please take to the comments.
Okay. We know BlackBerry and Apple are rivals when it comes to smartphones. But now Thorsten Heins, CEO of BlackBerry, is taking things to another level. According to Forbes, Heins is taking “potshots” at Apple in an interview with The Australian Financial Review.
“[H]is comments that Apple has lost [its] edge and isn’t innovating in the smartphone market come at a particularly worrisome time for the iPhone,” Forbes writes. Heins is right about one thing: people aren’t too excited about the upcoming iPhone 5. In fact, experts say shipments might fall below street expectations this quarter.
“History repeats itself again I guess… the rate of innovation is so high in our industry that if you don’t innovate at that speed you can be replaced pretty quickly. The user interface on the iPhone, with all due respect for what this invention was all about is now five years old,” he said. “The point is that you can never stand still. It is true for us as well.”
But Heins isn’t the only one talking bad about competition Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller criticized Google’s Android mobile operating system the day before Samsung’s Galaxy S4 was unveiled, reports Forbes.
Trash talking the competition isn’t a good thing to do, says business consultant Mary-Frances Winters, CEO of The Winters Group, a 28-year-old organization development and diversity consulting firm. “Never bad mouth the competition. It is not good business practice. Most of us learned if you can’t say anything nice about somebody, don’t say anything at all,” she advises.
Business and life coach Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe agrees. “A business owner should always remain focused on maintaining the stellar quality of his or her product or services, the provision of memorable customer service, and demonstrating value added benefits,” she says.
Talking bad about your competition will actually make you look bad. “Bad mouthing the competition puts your business ethics into question, and in the end taints your appeal to a prospective customer. In most cases, the potential customer already has some knowledge of businesses in the industry that provide both good and bad service, and if you are in the room discussing a possible deal, concentrate on outlining what your business can deliver and refrain from focusing on what the competition can not.”
Just earlier this month, the tech industry was all abuzz with the news that Alicia Keys had been tapped by BlackBerry to serve as the company’s global creative director. But it seems the partnership hasn’t yielded the boost or excitement the company was hoping for.
On the surface it seems like it was looking up for the sagging BlackBerry. Besides the flurry of activity surrounding Keys’ appointment, the company debuted its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones, which are due in the U.S. in mid-March.
But reports Forbes, “sales have dramatically underperformed previous estimates, mainly because of supply constraints and limited support from carriers.” It appears the company is having trouble competing with a host of new Android and Window phones, and possibly a new iPhone expected in the first half of 2013, according to Canaccord’s analysts.”
The BlackBerry 10 phones are so bad that, as Forbes reveals, RIM has revised its sales estimates for the new Z10s downward. They’re now expected to move only 300,000 in the February quarter, down from a previous estimate of 1.75 million units.
Limited supply is one of a few problems BlackBerry is facing, capping the company’s capacity to sell BlackBerry 10 products, reports Forbes. But it isn’t alone in this problem. Apple faced this problem with several of their iPhone models, being unable to make enough phones to meet the demand.
While this has been a problem for BlackBerry in the past, with the new the Z10s and Q10s the demand is low, due in part to pricing. “BlackBerry’s new smartphones cost about the same as their major competitors Apple and Samsung’s competing models after taking into account carrier subsidies,” says Forbes.
Not only are consumers lukewarm to the new models, carriers also are unenthusiastic. According to the magazine, Sprint will only be launching the Q10, while T-Mobile will only commercialize the touch screen-only Z10. Verizon Wireless and AT&T, the two largest U.S. providers, will carry both models.
So what role is Alicia Keys meant to play in all of this? Marketing had better get on this fast in order to leverage Keys’ popularity to generate some sort of something for the brand.
BlackBerry continues to spiral into the abyss of electronics past. Desperate to escape the Narnia of cassette tapes and floppy disks that exists in the back of our closets, the wireless devices company turned to one woman… Alicia Keys? News of the pop singer’s new gig as creative director of the company formerly know as RIM was met with head scratches and punchlines.
It’s not that we don’t want to see Alicia be great, despite her refusal to let “Girl on Fire” die. This announcement just doesn’t seem as special, or make as much sense, as the company’s press release would like us to believe.
Brands’ work with celebrities used to be simpler. They cut the check; the famous person holds their product and speaks their praises. Now brands don’t just want a campaign, they want to give the celeb an office too. Brand partnerships are all the rage. Celebs are getting titles business school graduates would kill for like “chief creative officer” and “chief innovator.”
How Did We Get Here?
Ad Age has an idea of why companies are so keen to jump on a trend that’s already feeling overdone:
Styling celebrities as ambassadors is an attempt to position the tie-up as more authentic at a time when consumers have become more cynical about endorsements. “There’s a greater authenticity that comes with having a celebrity influencing the business so that it’s not just a face on the brand. … Everyone knows what a brand endorsement is. You can pay a celebrity to say anything.
Some companies get it right. Budweiser’s partnership with Jay-Z seemed odd at first, but who better to breathe new life into the brand’s then-defunct music festival than the reigning king of mainstream hip hop? P. Diddy’s work with Ciroc was a more obvious pairing. His playboy lifestyle legitimized the liquor brand.
When Right Goes Wrong
How can music producer Will.i.am really innovate in the multinational semiconductor chip market for Intel? Lady Gaga is stylish, but Polaroid may have benefited more from working with someone who creates amazing images rather than inspires them. And what about the king of this trend, Key’s husband Swizz Beatz? What have Monster, Lotus, Reebok, and Mega-Upload gained from his involvement?
If companies are going to spend the money to hire celebrities, they should treat them like any other applicant and make sure they possess relevant experience that adds value to the brand. Customers are savvy enough to see the motives behind these partnerships. Just like a desperate girl in the club, businesses resorting to shallow tactics in their thirst for the limelight will just turn people off.
Hype should be the side effect of your decisions, not the goal. Providing a genuinely valuable service or product is still the key success. No one cares who the creative director is as long as the product’s good. If the product’s good, and the creative director happens to be a pop culture icon, well that’s hype worth believing in.
C. Cleveland is a freelance writer and content strategist in New York City, perfecting living the fierce life at The Red Read. She is at your service on Twitter (@CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).
When Alicia Keys was named global creative director for BlackBerry just a couple of weeks ago, people were quick to point out that the singer had declared herself an “iPhone junky” a year ago. During that BlackBerry event, where the BlackBerry 10 platform was unveiled along with two new phones, she joined company CEO Thorsten Heins on stage to crow about BlackBerry.
So what a shocker then that another tweet was posted on her account from an iPhone yesterday.
(We took a quick look and couldn’t find the @Drake tweet she’s talking about here.)
Seems weird that someone would hack Alicia Keys’ account to simply post something about Drake, so we’ll have to share Business Insider’s skepticism on this one.
Do you think this hacking happened? And does it even matter?
Today was a big day for BlackBerry. They have a new name, a new device, and a new global creative director — Alicia Keys.
When we asked in our earlier post whether people were ready to convert to iPhone or Android, we should’ve noted that there already has been one — the aforementioned global creative director, Alicia Keys.
One year ago almost to the date, Business Insider notes that Keys declared herself an “iPhone junky.” And she’s been tweeting away from her iPhone in the past few days.
From the stage at today’s big BlackBerry event, Keys said she’s “going to work closely with the app designers and developers, the content creators, the retailers and the carriers to really explore this BlackBerry 10 platform and create ideas for its future.”
During her comments, ABC News notes, she admits that she “kinda broke up” in favor of another phone “with a little more bling.” She says that she and BlackBerry are now going steady again, but that also means she’ll have to give up her Instagram addiction. The app isn’t offered on BlackBerry.
According to The Verge, BlackBerry is also trying to woo other big names in entertainment, including writer Neil Gaiman and filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, who will be using the device for a new project. A clip about what the company is calling “The Keep Moving Projects” is ready for you to watch after the jump.
Research In Motion today unveiled its long-awaited BlackBerry 10 operating system and BlackBerry Z10 device , a launch that the company hopes will bring the company back to the forefront of the smartphone market.
With promoted tweets (the image above came from one) and a big event, the company has also announced that it will be known as BlackBerry forever more (RIP RIM) and Alicia Keys will serve as global creative director for the company. The new name comes with new tickers on the NASDAQ (BBRY) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (BB).
The BlackBerry Z10 will run the new operating system, which, ABC News says, will be available in the US in March starting at $199 with a contract (available at AT&T and other carriers). The price will be $599 It does away with the now-iconic BlackBerry keyboard. ABC says, “It’s not a beautiful or elegant phone, but it’s well-made and comfortable to hold.”
There’s also a Blackberry Q10 model that hangs on to the QWERTY keyboard. It will be available around the world starting in April, according to The Chicago Tribune.
“BlackBerry 10 devices are absolutely the best typing experience in the industry. Period,” Mashable quotes Thorsten Heins, CEO of Mashable.
Like bestselling Android and iPhones before it, the key to this phone are the apps. The company just recently announced that it has changed the name of its app store to BlackBerry World, which the company has said will emphasize music and video content.
The article goes on to say that the phone requires some guidance to figure out how to use it (not good) and doesn’t take pictures quite as well as the competition (also not good). Mashable also goes into some detail about all the features and benefits. And you can get more detail about that from the press release announcing the new phone.
Also not positive, Forbes reports that shares of the company dropped on news that people will have to wait for the phone to be available. (The phone will be available sooner in the UK, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates.)
“In the case of BlackBerry, the early commenters have mostly good things to say about the software and the phones, but there also remains widespread skepticism that the phones are revolutionary enough to stop the erosion of the company’s user base, let alone lure current users of Apple and Samsung phones,” writes Forbes’ Eric Savitz.
So folks… will you be converted by this new BlackBerry?
We’re barely two months into the year and it’s looking more and more like 2013 will be Alicia Keys’s best year ever! The “Girl On Fire” singer was just appointed as the Global Creative Director of wireless handheld device brand, BlackBerry at the BlackBerry 10 launch event, which took place at Pier 36 in New York City, reports The YBF.
Alicia’s website also features an announcement about the New York native’s freshly appointed corporate position, which reads:
“Just announced today, January 30th 2013- Blackberry appoints Alicia as their Global Creative Director! In her new role, Alicia will work closely with app developers, content creators, retailers, carriers and the entertainment community to further shape and enhance the BlackBerry 10 platform, and inspire creative use through its remarkable capabilities and functionality. From music to books, to film, to apps, Keys will lead the charge of enhancing entertainment consumption and distribution, through the power of BlackBerry 10.”
“Alicia Keys has come to BlackBerry because she believes in the product and technology, and subscribes to our overriding philosophy to “Keep Moving”: to empower people through mobile computing and communications,” said BlackBerry President and CEO Thorsten Heins. “We are excited she will be bringing to us her enormous capabilities, as well as a vast network of relationships in the entertainment, social media and business communities, to help shape our brand and grow our business.”
She took to her Twitter page to personally express her excitement.
“Excited 2 jump right in 2 my new role as Global Creative Director of@Blackberry! #BlackBerry10 #keepmoving #forwardthinking,” she tweeted.
This is a really smooth power move for Alicia. I’m very interested in seeing how she’s going to manage motherhood, her new creative director position and promoting the new album. Something tells me she’ll be just fine. She’s superwoman, remember?
Check the next page for more photographs of Alicia at the BlackBerry 10 launch.
Photos courtesy of WENN + The YBF