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BlackBerry CEO slams tablets, follow-up to PlayBook seems unlikely

Blackberry Playbook

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has a vendetta against tablets, slamming the devices in a recent interview. According to Heins, slates lack any long-term potential and make for a bad business model.

The PlayBook was – to put it bluntly – a failed launch by BlackBerry. Whether Heins comments stem from that failure or not, it seems we can count out a PlayBook 2 in the company’s future. “In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,” Heins said. This prediction is in stark opposition to his generous sales forecast for the Q10, saying he expected it will sell “tens of millions of units,” Bloomberg reports. Tablets may be dead, but Heins still firmly believes in QWERTY devices.

However, just because Heins isn’t looking to expand further into tablet territory, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a strong vision for BlackBerry’s future. “In five years, I see BlackBerry to be the absolute leader in mobile computing – that’s what we’re aiming for,” Heins said at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles. “I want to gain as much market share as I can, but not by being a copycat.”

The company’s track record in the tablet sector explains Heins’ sentiments toward them, but it seems a strange statement in a world dominated by iPads and Android tablets. “Maybe [you’ll have] a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such,” he continued. “Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”

From where he’s standing, it may seem entirely logical. The PlayBook was released as a smaller (7-inch) competitor to the iPad, but its limited app selection left consumers scratching their heads. By the time BlackBerry realized its mistake and issued a software update, consumers had moved on and the PlayBook was relegated to price cuts and fire sales to clear out inventory. Based on the PlayBook’s flop and Heins’ feelings, it’s pretty safe to assume there won’t be a successor anytime soon. 

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Andrew Kalinchuk
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Andrew covers news and opinions pertaining to smartphones, tablets, and all else mobile for Digital Trends. He recently…
10 cases to protect the BlackBerry Q10 and its endangered QWERTY keyboard
BlackBerry Q10 review bottom keyboard

It seems that the appeal of a physical QWERTY keyboard has not faded for some people, and if you need a QWERTY, the Q10 is your last stand. It combines the traditional strengths of a BlackBerry with the new BB10 operating system, and has a 3.1-inch touch screen, too. But if you really treasure your new BB (and at this rate, BlackBerry may soon go extinct), then you may want to invest in a good case. Here are our favorites.
OtterBox Commuter Case ($35)
You won’t find a safer pair of hands than OtterBox and the Commuter series finds a good balance between tough protection and style. The case combines a soft, rubber interior layer with a tough polycarbonate shell, and a screen protector. Your BB should survive scratches, bumps, and drops unscathed. The covers also keep your ports dust-free.  If you want maximum protection and you don’t mind the added bulk, $15 more gets you a Defender series case.
Seidio Surface Case ($30)
The Surface line from Seidio is always popular. It’s a slim case made from tough plastic with a soft-touch coating that makes it comfortable to hold. You get a good level of protection from drops and bumps without too much added bulk. It’s easy to fit too, thanks to the two-piece slide-on design. Classic black is the most popular, but you can get it in red, blue, or purple. For an extra $20 you can get a felt-lined holster that works with the Q10’s automatic sleep/wake function.
Trident Aegis Case ($35)
If you need military grade protection from vibration and drops. try Trident. The Aegis comes in a variety of colors: blue, pink, red, green, or plain old black. It has a rugged-looking, angular design that combines silicone on the inside with a polycarbonate exterior. There’s also a screen protector, silicone plugs for the ports, and even dust filters for the speaker bays. You can rest assured that your Q10 is safe in one of these cases.
Incipio Frequency Case ($25)
Incipio’s Flex2O material is a flexible, tough plastic that will keep your Q10 safe from minor impacts. The Frequency case takes its name from the graphic equalizer style pattern on the back, which provides a gloss contrast to the matte body of the case. It’s not just aesthetic either, because it does provide a little extra grip. Opt for eye-catching purple or pink, or go understated with grey or black.
BlackBerry Q10 Leather Pocket ($35)
Hand-crafted from real leather, the official BlackBerry Q10 Leather Pocket is a classy choice. It’s a simple pocket with a soft inner lining that keeps your Q10 scratch free and protects against damage from bumps or falls. The BlackBerry logo in silver adorns the black exterior. Since it’s an official case it works with your settings to help extend battery life and automatically send the Q10 to sleep.
Case Mate Wood Case ($50)
Rosewood or zebrawood are your options for this eye-catching case, which blends exotic hardwood with brushed aluminum. The silicone liner ensures that the Q10 is protected from the shock of bumps and there’s a raised bezel to prevent damage to the keyboard or screen if the phone is placed faced down. Precise cut-outs ensure that you never really need to remove the Q10 from the case.
Poetic Slimbook Case ($13)
You won’t get real leather at this price, but if you want a wallet style case that flips open like a book and looks like black leather, then this is a great value. On the inside you’ll find a cradle for your BB Q10 with all the cut-outs you need to access everything, there’s even a cut-out for the camera on the back. You’ll also find three slots for cards, so you don’t need to carry a separate wallet. There’s no support for the sleep/wake function, which is a shame, but this is a good option for the money.
i-Blason SoftGel Flexible TPU Case ($8)
There’s no need to break the bank for basic protection. TPU is flexible and durable, so it’s easy to fit and it will guard against small bumps and scratches. It also gives a little extra grip. The lip provides some protection should the phone be placed face down. It’s a good fit and it doesn’t block access to any controls or ports. You can get it with a black or pink tinge, or with a white frosted effect.
Acase Superleggera PRO Dual Layer Protection Case ($15)
If you can get at $15, rather than the RRP of $40, then this case is a good choice for solid protection. It comes in two parts, offering you a malleable silicone skin and an outer layer of unbreakable polycarbonate. It’s really sturdy and your Q10 should survive a drop in this case, but the inevitable price comes in added bulk, and it’s not as easy to push the buttons, particularly the power key.
Ballistic Shell Gel SG Series Case ($35)
Chunky would be a fair description here, but this case combines layers of protection to ensure that your BB Q10 survives falls and knocks without any ill effects. The corners are deliberately reinforced, as they tend to take the full impact of drops. The case also offers extra grip, so it’s easier to hold and it shouldn’t slide around on flat surfaces. If you don’t like the striking black and red combo, you can get it in plain black.
That’s all the BlackBerry Q10 cases we have to show off for now, but we will update this selection from time to time, so feel free to post suggestions.

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BlackBerry to cut workforce by up to 40 percent as new Z30 handset launches
BlackBerry Q10 review blackberry logo

Check out our review of the BlackBerry Z30 smartphone.
Eight months after BlackBerry launched its all-new operating system and new handsets designed to get its struggling mobile business back on track, the company is making plans to shed as much as 40 percent of its workforce by the end of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
The news comes soon after another report suggesting the company’s board is keen to sell off the struggling mobile company by November.
People familiar with the matter told the Journal that the job losses would hit “all departments” and take place in waves in the coming months.
It won’t be the first time the Ontario-based company has laid off employees. Last year, BlackBerry cut 5,000 jobs, bringing its workforce to around 12,700 as of March this year. And over the summer several hundred working in the company’s research and development department had their contracts terminated.
The upcoming round of cuts could see another 5,000 positions wiped out by the end of 2013.
The latest streamlining move may be partly to make the company more attractive to potential buyers, with BlackBerry keen to demonstrate it’s taking care of the business and intent on balancing the books.
Despite the grim development, the company is pressing head with the launch of new products, on Tuesday announcing a brand new BB10 handset, the Z30. It’s also gearing up to launch its popular BlackBerry Messenger app for iOS and Android devices this weekend.
BlackBerry was once the leading player in the smartphone business, enjoying more than 50 percent of the market in the US. With the arrival of Apple’s iPhone in 2007, as well as a slew of Android devices from big hitters such as Samsung, the company formerly known as Research In Motion has seen its share plummet to around 3 percent.
With its new BB10 platform launching at the start of the year, BlackBerry had been hoping to establish itself as the third main player in the smartphone market, but even that looks increasingly unlikely as Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform pushes ahead in a number of key markets.

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BlackBerry 10.2 update coming in October for BlackBerry Z10, Q10, and Q5
blackberry 10 2 update coming after october 44289 devices

The newly announced BlackBerry Z30 smartphone comes with the next version of the BlackBerry 10 operating system already installed, but what about the dedicated fans who own a different BlackBerry 10 smartphone? The good news is, BlackBerry 10.2 will be coming to the BlackBerry Z10, Q10, and Q5 after mid-October.
So what does version 10.2 contain? According to the Z30’s press release, there are, “Hundreds of refinements,” across the OS, along with several new features to try out. Certainly the highest profile of these is the BlackBerry Priority Hub. The BlackBerry Hub stores every kind of notification, message, email, alert, and even call logs all in one place. The Priority Hub aims to remove the clutter by making important content more obvious, something it learns by observing how you use the phone, and it’s quickly accessed through a new home screen icon.
BlackBerry Messenger has been brought to the forefront in 10.2, as messages can be previewed, dismissed, or responded to regardless of where you are in the OS, even if you’re using another app. The new Instant Previews feature adds a preview to all your lock screen icons, making in unnecessary to unlock the device just to check the content of new messages or notifications. It’s all easily customizable too, for example if you don’t want social networking previews on the lock screen, just turn them off.
Version 10.2 also introduces BlackBerry Natural Sound, which promises improved audio in both BBM Voice and BBM Video chats. This is highlighted in the Z30’s promo video, where it’s claimed conversations will sound like you’re both in the same room. The new BBM Groups feature has been more deeply integrated into the BlackBerry Hub, plus BlackBerry promises improved battery life with 10.2 installed.
BlackBerry says it wants the update out during October, but it’s arrival on your phone is going to be dictated by your network, as the software must be approved before it’s sent out. As this process can take several weeks, don’t be disheartened if BlackBerry 10.2 doesn’t turn up until November or December.

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