clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Code/red: Evidently, BlackBerry Still Capable of Buying Stuff

Plus, Apple Watch commentary ad nauseaum.


Programming Note: Code/red will not publish tomorrow. I’m back on Monday. Stay well.

Movirtu Acquisition a Friendly Reminder of BlackBerry’s Continued Existence

A rare day of good news for BlackBerry’s long-suffering shareholders. The company’s stock is trading up more than three percent this morning following its acquisition of Movirtu, developer of a virtual SIM that allows smartphone users to associate separate personal and work phone numbers with a single device, with separate billing for both. Movirtu has a slick technology, one that addresses a new issue facing employers who’ve implemented bring-your-own-device programs: How do you differentiate between professional and personal use on BYOD handsets? BlackBerry now has the answer — and it’s cross-platform, too. That should help the dilapidated smartphone pioneer strengthen its sales pitch to its target enterprise and government markets as its pained struggle for relevance and reinvention drags on.

In Related News, Beijing’s Apple Store Postpones Annual iPhone Launch Egg-Throwing Melee

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will not arrive at market in mainland China on Sept. 19, much to the chagrin of China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom, which had all booked advertising campaigns to support them. The reason for the delay isn’t entirely clear, and Apple’s not commenting. That said, the New York Times notes that the iPhone 6 has not yet been approved by China’s Ministry for Industry and Information Technology.

Samsung Phablet, iPhone Phablet: Fight!

Benedict Evans on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: “Within … Android there is a lucrative segment of high-end phones that sells at roughly the same price and in roughly the same numbers as the iPhone. … That Android high end is dominated by Samsung, and by phones with larger screens than previous iPhones. Until now.”

Anyone Know Tom Wheeler’s Reddit Handle?

The results of California Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo’s net neutrality rebranding contest are in, and we have a new name to describe the principle — well, the 1,146 Redditors who voted for it do: “Freedom Against Internet Restrictions (FAIR).

U2 to Deliver Next Album Via Enteral Feeding Tube

Bob Lefsetz on U2’s appearance at this week’s Apple event: “When Bono talked he lost all charisma. This looked like nothing so much as what it was, old farts using their connections to shove material down the throats of those who don’t want it. … We live in a pull economy. Nothing pisses off the audience more than pushing something they don’t want and didn’t ask for to their devices. Even if you don’t download the album, it’s sitting there in your purchases, pissing you off.”

Or “Awful” …

Andy Richter: “The new U2 album should be called ‘Spam.'”

And the Winner of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2014 Is … [Disclosure]

another CrunchFund company! Again.

Fashion World Also Divided Over Short Suits, So Whatever

Reuters: “Fashion world divided on first look at Apple Watch.”

We Thank Apple for Validating Our Market and Look Forward to the Future Decimation of Our Business

Jawbone: “We welcome the entry of Apple into the smartwatch market. It’s good news for us because it’s another device that will connect to our Up system.”

So Who’s Going to Be First With the Apple Watch Casio Joke?

Benjamin Schwartz, the New Yorker: “We wanted to honor Steve Jobs’s vision for the future, but then we said ‘Screw it, let’s honor Casio’s for the nineteen-eighties instead.'”

Now if They’d Just Make One With a Fob and Chain

High Priest of Horology Benjamin Clymer on the Apple Watch: “For me, it’s all about the Milanese bracelet, baby. The fact that Apple even knows what this is is remarkable. I promise you not a single other tech company in the world would’ve spent the time to make this admittedly outdated looking option. But I absolutely love it.”

iPod Classic Takes a Dirt Nap

Dan Frommer on the end of the iPod classic: “The iPod was Apple’s first consumer mega-hit. While Steve Jobs was already successfully rebuilding the Mac business by the time the iPod launched in 2001, the iPod catapulted Apple into becoming a massive consumer electronics company. Through this June, Apple has sold almost 400 million iPods.”

Point/Counterpoint: Switzerland Is Screwed vs. Switzerland Is Not Impressed

Apple design chief Jony Ive (reportedly): “Switzerland is screwed.”

Franz Türler, owner of Türler Swiss Watches and Jewelry: “I think the Apple Watch will be successful. But it’s not competition for the classic Swiss watch industry.”

It’s Whatever You Want It to Be, Ben

Ben Thompson, Stratechery: “I’m worried that the lack of explanation about the Watch’s purpose wasn’t just a keynote oversight, but something that reflects a fundamental question about the product itself that Apple itself has yet to answer: Is its Watch an iPhone accessory, or is it valuable in its own right?”

Better Yet, Don’t Read Bono’s Blog Post

Eric Harvey, Wondering Sound: “Read Bono’s accompanying blog post on U2’s website, and you can almost feel an Apple PR flack peering over his shoulder. He opens by saying ‘hello’ in several languages, not unlike the pre-loaded animation greeting of Mac OS X installers. After thanking Apple and iTunes, he notes that ‘in the next 24 hours, over a half a billion people are going to have “Songs of Innocence,”’ and rattling off a list of multicultural stereotypes, a sly merging of the band’s own world-conquering aims and an embedded quantitative nod to iTunes’ vast user base.”

More of a Wristclock, Really

Yours Truly: “Thought I saw a guy wearing a Nest thermostat on his wrist. Was actually Moto 360.”

Off Topic

Sad Dads at One Direction and Weird Things All Couples Do.

Thanks for reading. Send tips, comments and 14-foot golf clubs to, @johnpaczkowski. Subscribe to the Code/red newsletter here.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.