As I sit here on today, Friday September 23, 2011 listening to music on my BlackBerry Bold 9650 and wonder about the future of the company that created and manufactured this device, A few things come to mind. RIM began in the mid 1990s working with Ericsson, and shortly after launching the 950 Inter@ctive Pager, RIM devices established a standard in mobile messaging that is, in my opinion, still unrivaled. Since then RIM has, until recently, enjoyed total domination in the business world as the most reliable messaging/email network available on a mobile device.
As of late, RIM has been facing stout competition in the realm of smartphones, but RIM’s heritage is built on mobile to mobile messaging and email—not on the amazing features we associate with smartphones today. Although RIM is the father of the smartphone market, their heritage really is built on the most used feature of BlackBerrys—messaging.
While I feel BlackBerrys are a strong consumer device, the Blackberry was never really intended to be the most popular consumer handset. The BlackBerry is designed to help people get things done via instant and reliable communication. On my device exists every email, bbm, text message, task, and other information that I need at my finger tips to get what I need to get done, done.
What I am getting at here is that while we BlackBerry users love our devices, our devices are built on foundations and principals different from those of ‘competitors’ such as the Apple iPhone and the myriad of devices that run Google’s Android operating system. There is no denying that most new Android and Apple handsets are remarkable consumer devices with CPUs, GPUs, magentometers, etc that are more powerful than the hardware components in Blackberry handsets, but in many cases these consumer devices are pityful communication devices.
The BlackBerry keyboard is arguably the fastest and most efficient at typing quickly and accurately. Touchscreen devices rely on aggressive autocorrect/word substitution algorithms to correct mistakes made when typing, and let’s face it, it just does not feel right typing on a smooth glass surface with little or no tactile feedback. RIM has worked tirelessly on perfecting a keyboard that facilitates the need to type comfortably, quicky, and accurately (pick up a Bold 9900/9930 if you don’t believe me).
So, with all the negativity surrounding the outlook of RIM as a company, I ask you to realize that the BlackBerry is built for messaging, not for gaming. Furthermore, a mobile phone/smartphone is intended to be a communication device, not a gaming device. That being said, the smartphone market is evolving in a way and at a faster rate than most people would have dreamed just 5 years ago. However, what is wrong with RIM sticking to their principles and realizing the simple fact that a mobile handset is, first and foremost, a device used to efficiently communicate with others? Should RIM not view handsets primarily as communication devices? Or is RIM forced to compromise the communication capabilities of a device to facilitate the insatiable consumer demand for more, more, and ever more? The answer … No.
RIM will not compromise the messaging, email, and voice capabilities on their devices—Nor should they. Smartphones will likely continue to perform a bigger and bigger role in people’s lives as they can do more and more with their smartphone. The challenge for RIM is to satisfy consumer’s hunger for multimedia and gaming, but also to retain the core communication abilities that they do so well. Because in the end, fast, efficient, and reliable communication abilities are what make BlackBerry relevant and what consumers really want—regardless of whether or not the average consumer realizes it.
P.S. This post was typed on my BlackBerry and posted using the Tumblr for BlackBerry app.