RIM missing the point: 3 upcoming devices for 2009. 16 more for 2010. Same tired OS. Is RIM going to become the next Palm?

by Mike
Posted September 15th, 2009 at 12:05 pm


In what should be a joyous occasion for me is turning out to be bittersweet if not downright painful. Stumbling upon this post by BlackBerry cool highlights one very large problem — RIM has completely lost site of where they should be going. First off, the three upcoming devices that are set to fall in the very near future, the Essex (basically a 9630 Tour with WiFi and a trackpad), 9100 (refreshed pearl type device), and 8530 (CDMA version of the 8520 already available) are nothing more than the same tired OS wrapped in various plastic shrouds. Now don’t get me wrong, BlackBerry has for the moment a very dominating position on mobile email still as well as messaging. However, the iPhone OS and Android not to mention several others are quickly nipping at RIM’s heels. The real danger lays ahead with the revelation that RIM is planning 16 new devices for 2010. Ok so they’ve got a mountain of new hardware coming down the pipeline, but what about software…

It almost saddens me to hear about 16 new devices. There is no possible way that many devices can be released and expect RIM (who does all software and hardware in house) to also accomplish throwing together a completely redesigned OS. The BlackBerry OS as many of you know, is growing extremely long in the tooth. If we’re going to get literal with this analogy, picture a mammoth tusk transformed into a tooth…that’s how long it is. It seems the last couple of years RIM’s hardware design team has gone through a massive overhaul which looking at current BlackBerries such as the 9630 and upcoming 9700 show that they are in fact making much better looking handsets. But on the software side, the OS is sorely holding these devices back.

In the age where a typical iPhone app download can easily surpass 50-80 MB yet a “large” BlackBerry download is only 500 KB signals that something is inherently wrong. RIM needs to drastically revamp the OS. You’ve read these exact same words and thoughts many times from many different sites. I don’t want to beat a dead horse but if RIM doesn’t do something quick, the very OS that revolutionized the mobile email/messaging arena not that long ago is the very thing that is going to kill it in the future. For example, just look at the OS’s pictured below, one is an older 4.1 (left) while the (right) image shows OS 4.7. (5.0 is set to be released in the near future, however, the same story still holds true — besides a few minor touch ups, everything is still the same.) Still. The. Same.


While we can speculate all we want and drool over new hardware based features on any one of these claimed 16 new models in 2010, without any real change in the OS, every single one of those new models is just going to be the same basic phone in 16 different plastic cases. What’s even more frustrating and saddening from a long time CrackBerry user is that OS 5.0 isn’t bring that “monumental revamp” that is so desperately needed. Instead, minor visual touches here and there to make it look more up to date (according to 2006 specs) as well as small updates to various BlackBerry programs such as BlackBerry Messenger abound.

RIM I beg you, please do something with your software before I stop caring. Please don’t become the next Palm by allowing yourself to fade into irrelevance and out of existence. You’ve come to far. What are you going to do about it RIM?

BlackBerry Cool

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