Research In (Slow) Motion
My first smartphone was a BlackBerry. With it’s full keyboard, fun little trackball and grocery list of capabilities I had found the perfect accessory to life. Life moved on and I changed, my needs changed and technology changed. I tried so hard to keep my BlackBerry a part of it. As I had more devices: computers, media players, handheld gaming devices, console devices that were becoming more and more integrated, I had to start changing the way things were networked.
As it was I had Yahoo for email, Windows applications for functionality, 3rd party media servers (Sorry, Windows, but I hate Media Player!), my BlackBerry for on the go, a Dell laptop. I felt like I was spread out everywhere. I started switching all my services to Google, getting everything under one roof so to speak. My PS3 and Wii were connected to my network and I started enjoying wonderful things like Netflix and Hulu. Meanwhile, my staunch assistant, my ever-present BlackBerry, started looking more and more archaic. It didn’t fit in with the scheme and pace of what I wanted/needed. The apps were weak and watered down, phones with better storage, features and performance came to market and I felt like I was missing out on the ‘fun’ an iPhone offered. I wasn’t alone in this as BlackBerry lost more and more market share everyday. When they announced BlackBerry OS7 and that it would put BlackBerry back in the game I had new hope. After all, I loved my ‘Berry and wanted to be a faithful husband, but there were younger, sleeker and more spry models all around me, and my ‘Berry just wasn’t ‘turning me on’ anymore.
So there I was, August 21st, 2011 at AT&T to get my hands on the first of the OS7 devices, the Torch 9810 and put some spark back into the marriage. I was blinded by love and familiarity though, and made a foolish purchase. The 9810 came to market already behind the game; it had a smaller, lower resolution display, barely any developer support, still can’t play Netflix or Hulu movies, the battery cover is the most poorly designed piece of shit ever (it caused the phone to slip from my hand during the 4th day of ownership, severely scarring and uglifying the phone I’m locked into for another two years) and the phone freezes or lags with damn near (I wish I was exaggerating) everything I do! Still I held onto hope thinking they’ll have these features, they’ll fix these bugs, all in the next update. All in good time…
I was wrong. Instead of working on/fixing/making their brand-new, shiny OS market competitive, they came out and announced QNX or BBX or BB10 or whatever the fuck it’s called as of this writing. If that isn’t admission that you dropped the ball, I don’t know what is. You spend all that time hyping OS7 just to announce a new OS months later? RIM, you wouldn’t have had to do that if you would have just brought a competitive phone out in the first place!! Even more baffling, is that while their phones suffered in sales, RIM dedicated their time to a tablet that nobody asked for or cared about. Who would give a shit about a BlackBerry tablet, when they won’t even buy your phones?
Then again, why would consumers care when it’s obvious you don’t? You brought phones to market, KNOWING they weren’t up to par. You have app developers who practically shit on you and you’re cool with it. Why aren’t you chasing these companies down and making sure your devices are supported too? Why don’t we have Hulu or Clear? Why does iHeartRadio announce their support for Android and iPhone, yet ignores BlackBerry, even though you can still get it (albeit from their site, not App World) for your OS7 devices? It’s almost like these companies are embarrassed to be associated with RIM.
So now as all my computer/gaming/mobile entertainment stuff is either run by or supported by Google and their phones, the prospect of ending my 10 year marriage to BlackBerry looks more and more likely. Yeah, I can wait until the supposed “superphones” running BB10 come out and see if they’ll finally have what I need…or I can go get a phone right now that does everything my BlackBerry does and then some. And while you’re working on a phone/OS that is market competitive, the other guys are working on their next thing. You have too much catching up to do to be innovative or bring out “the next big thing”. I’m sorry, you’ve just really disappointed me these last few years and I don’t have any more faith left to give. I do not think BB10 will be the game changer you hope it will be and that you so desperately need. Even with the changing of the guard at HQ it’s just too little, too late, RIM. You’ll never catch up now.