Dear Mr. Chen,

Last week, I watched your interview while you demonstrated your upcoming product, the BlackBerry Priv. I, along with many other technology enthusiasts were not only shocked, but disappointed with your effort in showing off your new, Android powered smartphone.


First off, stating your phone “runs Google” was not even correct. Your BlackBerry 10 devices can “run Google” through their web browsers. No, the Priv runs Android, and us, the audience, were expecting to hear just how it will be run. What was done to Android to make it secure, up to Blackberry’s standards? What modifications where made? What are the plans for updates?

You were rambling when it came to speaking of the specifications of the device. I found it very odd that all these “leaks” that were happening for months now would now remain as our final answer. You gave off a strong impression you really had no idea what the hardware was about.

In fact, it was clear to everyone that you didn’t know a thing about this device. It were as if you’d just seen it for the first time. How are you, the CEO, running things over there?

You may wonder why this letter to you, Mr. Chen, is worded with such frustration. Let me explain my view.

I am a BlackBerry fan. I was years ago and stuck to BlackBerry products while everyone around me used iPhone products. Android came along, and I still stuck by your company. I paid $500 CAD for a BlackBerry PlayBook, a device that didn’t fly due to bad marketing and later was sold on shelves for only $99 CAD just a few months later. BlackBerry 10 was delayed countless times, years ago, and BlackBerry 6 & 7 just weren’t up to par, and I left to Android.

Also, let us not forget, BlackBerry is Canadian, and I, as a Canadian, often choose to support businesses based in the country.

I’d say I never looked back after my first Android smartphone – but I did. I missed the stability of BlackBerry. The quality when holding the phone. Of course, I missed the wonderful, reliable physical keyboard. Yet, I felt moving back to BlackBerry would just be a step backwards. I checked in often with the BB10 line.

When the Venice (I really hesitate in calling this new device the Perv Priv) leaks came out, I was ecstatic.

“FINALLY!”, I said, “BlackBerry with the power of Android! I can use a physical keyboard again!”

Now, after seeing your interview, a lot of my hype as turned to hesitation. I don’t find it comforting to see the head of a business fumble around with a device which could potentially bring a whole new market to BlackBerry. If I feel this way, no doubt others do too.

So I ask of you, Mr. Chen, please do not take long to redeem yourself. Have another interview, or make a video where you show off the BlackBerry Priv properly. Give back confidence to us fans and enthusiasts of your products.

Best regards,
Rob Blaich