Keys: "56% of BlackBerry users are women"
Keys announces BlackBerry Scholars Program to bring more women into tech
Keys - "BlackBerry is reinventing itself completely...rethinking its boundaries. This period of innovation is just the beginning"
Hmmmmm.....and with that Keys hands it back to Frank Boulben.
Thorste reappears on stage with some interesting BBM stats.
60 million monthly active users bbm
more than 10 billion messages sent received every day
almost half of messages received read within 20 seconds
BlackBerry announces BBM Channels
BBM Channels allows you to create a channel for conversation and build subscribers.
Thorsten - "real time mobile engagement"
Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton takes the stage to discuss BBM Channels. His team will launch on of the first Channels
BBM Channels launches in beta today. Some of the channels Goo Goo Dolls, Tegan ad Sara, Alicia Keys
Thorsten announces BBM going to all platforms
BBM will be available for iPhone, iOS6, Android Ice Cream sandwich and above
BBM for other platforms will be free
BBM on iOS and Android will initially have messaging and group features. BBM voice , screen share and video and channels will come later
Thorsten "it's a statement of confidence. we are confident for BBM to become an independent multi-platforming solution"
Thanks for joining us everyone!
Q and A with Thorsten about to begin. Will be posting from the event so stay tuned!
Thorsten says he's really satisfied with progress the company has made over the past few months
Restructuring within the company is now done...
Thorsten addresses BBM move to iOS and Android "We're so confident that BBM can stand on its own feet. We want it to become THE mobile messaging platform on the planet"
Thorsten - "This show is much different than last year. Last year I was two months in as CEO and I knew what needed to be done"
Thorsten - "I'm very proud of where the company is today. That doesn't mean we're stopping. we're on a journey. we're on a race"
First question - can you comment on previous statement about tablets being a fad "we will all be running around 5 years from now with a mobile computing engine - not just tablets - tablets are just the start of mobile computing"
Q: Can you comment on the timing of the announcement that you will release BBM to other platforms?
A: "it's a statement of confidence. BBM was a key element why people were going for Blackberry
we feel this product is standing on it's own legs, now is the time to release BBM on a different level and let it flourish on its own"
Q: Can you comment on some of the carrier feedback on the Q10 and Z10
A: installed base of 70 million users out there
The US is the most competitive and innovative market
we have strong support for carriers in the US, they know our strength in the enterprise market.
You need to build a product portfolio over time.
Very good support from carriers
Q: You made a lot of announcements this morning, what is your favourite?
A: "I want to be successful. that means being profitable for shareholder and a strong position in the market. I'm not just looking at smartphones. smartphones are just a stepping stone in mobile computing. We will all sit here in 5 to 7 years and we will have a total different world in how we use those devices and I want to be the leader."
Q: Who are you targeting with the Q5?
A: We are talking about building a portfolio across various price points. Certainly the Curve was a hugely successful product, it really helped us get into Asia. The appetite for performance is incredible. Don't underestimate the success of BB7 which is still n those markets, now we are taking it to the next level.
Q: Where is your weakest market?
A: India- BlackBerry only represents 35% of the smartphone market
Q: Why a physical qwerty keyboard on the Q5. Do emerging markets prefer physical keyboards?
A: in those markets people use phones to get things done. we see a very strong attachment in Latin America, South Africa and Nigeria to the qwerty device because it gets things down. If they want another experience the 10 is available to them. BBM is the most used element in communication tool to stay in touch so there is a strong gravity to qwerty
Q: You said BlackBerry is back on solid ground. What is your message to critics? Is BlackBerry 10 succeeding?
A: 12 months ago I was told we would be out of business in two quarters. It didn't happen. we managed the company through heavy waters, we managed through.
we are confident in the future of BB10. We think we have something that is different. It is not a "me too" and it has a future. We built BB10 because we believe in the vision of mobile computing and that's what I wanted to prove by bringing out that car today.
You will always have naysayers who ask when will you take on Apple. That's not the way i'm thinking about it. I want to makes sure BlackBerry has a successful position in the market. This market is going to be so big it can support a number of players.
Q&A wraps up. BB PR rep says "Thorsten has many customers he has to talk with"
Hamilton says he's now using BlackBerry Q10 device. Says entire racing team is on BlackBerry now. Tech a huge part of Formula One racing
Hamilton talking about the new BBM Channels and how social media plays a role on the racing team. share photos, videos and engage fans directly. Hamilton's channel is one of the first BBM Channels to launch in beta
So far question from the media have little to do with BlackBerry or technology. Questions focusing on his driving "what's it like to pull into the wrong pit?" "what's your favourite track?"
Oh here's one! Question: "has technology diminished the art of driving?" Answer: It doesn't take away from the pure driving, but you have to be able to juggle more things while driving.