Why I beleive RIM's Reason for BlackBerry 10 Delay
It's quite fashionable and seemingly easy to join the dog-pile on RIM these days. Some of the negative press is beyond ridiculous. Not sure how the future of the PlayBook or the BlackBerry smartphone future is reliant on two jackass employees who got drunk on an airplane. Or the sky is falling calls because some organization almost nobody has heard of finally woke up and realized half a decade ago RIM started using "BBM" a three letter combination they also use.
Recently on the Q3 earnings call RIM dropped the bombshell that BlackBerry 10 phones will be delayed till late 2012. The reason given, that the dual-core LTE chip they want to use won't be up to full production until that time. We are told that particular chip was chosen for its battery performance. At this point all the anti-RIM conspiracy people began sharpening their pencils are began spinning their theories.
BGR has a "source" which claimed Mike Lazardis was plain lying about the battery story and the truth is that RIM can't get QNX to work with native email and PIM. Although that other site occasionally does come up with really good intelligence, it is my opinion that this source is as good as the one who firmly stated RIM would not unveil a tablet at DevCon10. We've seen on the CrackBerry podcast Kevin showing off native email and PIM on the BlackBerry PlayBook.
RIM came out almost immediately with a statement denying this story. It is my opinion that the battery story is true. This belief is not because I am a blind BlackBerry fanboy who believes whatever Waterloo shovels out. The sole reason is historical evidence. Almost everything RIM does has the battery front of mind.
I go back to the beginning of RIM's entry into the mobile messaging days. I can remember speaking to the RIM Director of carrier relations back in 1999 and I asked why the keyboard on my 950 BlackBerry pager wasn't backlit. I flat out told him that it was impossible to type on that thing while driving at night. I was quickly told I shouldn't be doing that & RIM found that the backlit keyboard was too much of a drain on the battery.
Fast forward to 2001 and I was rock'n the RIM 957 email device at a carrier event and while chatting with another RIM rep I asked if the BlackBerry pager would ever have a phone combined with it. The answer again was "That would murder the battery". The same was answer was recited chapter and verse over the next few years when I asked for more features. One night with my 6210 BlackBerry is mentioned how great a color screen BlackBerry would be, I was actually laughed at, "color screen, you'd have to carry 3 batteries everywhere you go!" Wi-Fi? Bluetooth? Those two had battery and security concerns.
The best was when I asked about 3G. The answer was "Just how fast do need your email showing up on your BlackBerry? Besides that will destroy your battery life."
So here we are at the close of 2011 and RIM's battery life claim is being questioned. Why is this so hard to believe? With Android dual-core LTE battery issues and the dual-core iPhone 4S battery concerns is it so far fetched that RIM wants to get it right? AndroidCentral actually refereed to LTE as a battery vampire.
With the recent product issues and concerns I don't think it is the wrong move for RIM to really dig-in and ensure that when the BlackBerry 10 devices launch they are of such exceptional quality that they can be reviewed by the world on their merits not their immediately visible shortcomings.
So that is why I am willing to buy into RIM's statement on why BlackBerry 10 devices will not be available till late 2012. Historically they've taken a very conservative approach to new technologies and the battery has always been one of two main reasons, the other of course is security.
- 12-27-11, 11:10 AM #2
Heck, 4G OS7 can be interesting if you're in a fringe area. It would be nice if I was sure I could trust RIM's explanation. But that really doesn't matter. Too much information could give info to the competition. Not good. All we really need to know is that there is a good reason for the delay. All RIM needs to do is come out with something that's worth the wait.
12-27-11, 11:15 AM #3
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So, in your opinion, rim isn't lying. Then it just has an incredibly backwards priority in design.
Battery life is a binary question for average consumers. Either a device has "acceptable" battery life or it doesn't. Almost every Android and Apple model so far has had "acceptable" battery life, which could also be extended after release by tweaking the software. The kind of extended battery life would be a selling point to maybe 5% of the market.
- 12-27-11, 11:15 AM #4
The battery on my 9930 sucks big time. The fact that they haven't demoed bb10, not even behind a glass display tells me that a upcoming LTE chip might only be part of the story. On the other hand, RIM might just be keeping with tradition - being late with their new lineup of devices. Let's see how late is "late 2012" really going to be.
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12-27-11, 11:27 AM #6
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As a RIM fan myself, I understand your acceptance of RIM's explanations. However, all smartphones now have backlit keyboards, color screens, at least 3G speed while maintaining respectable battery life. Clearly your RIM contacts were wrong.
Let's not let RIM off the hook for being too technically conservative and letting the smartphone gold rush walk right past them. RIM would be selling 50+ million phones a quarter if they had just kept pace.
- 12-27-11, 12:26 PM #7
I remember reading in the book Blackberry: The Inside Story of Research in Motion by Rod McQueen that during the development of the pager 950 Mike Lazaridis was obsessed with battery life. The people involved in the project have been quoted as saying that the aim was make the device last a week on a single AA battery. Apparently Mike L. used to go over the circuit himself to find a way to make it smaller and conserve battery. Even then they chose a low power medium speed chip.
So yes low power consumption is in Blackberry's DNA and RIM would rather delay a device on battery issues rather than put a new device to market with shortcomings on the battery front and follow it up with a marketing blitz.
However this is not 1997 and people do not want to wait. Even a couple of years back people would wait for a device but now consumers want everything yesterday. The battery life would a major issue to enterprise and large businesses anyway do not buy new devices on a whim, so the strategy works for them. But at a time when RIM is trying to sell in the consumer space, the strategy is a bit behind the times.
Business users care about battery life as they are heavy users of the phone and are constantly on the move, however students are not heavy users of voice and are normally near a charging source so they want the latest, fastest and greatest and can compromise on battery life. Its different priorities for those groups of users. This is why LTE Androids which have very poor battery life (as per BB users and heavy users) are selling like hot cakes.
I think the problem for RIM is that they are caught between their loyal customer base who would go over battery and security issues with a fine tooth comb on the one side and attracting new consumers who would want a fancy device every six months which is a short development cycle if they want to address every single issue with the device.
RIM needs to find a way to balance the two markets. Its a tough job and thats why RIM is getting such hard press lately. They can't please everyone. Apple knows this and simply sells to the consumer base. They are not cowed down by carriers etc. They sell what they feel the customers will like and know that enough customers want it then the carriers will have no option but to carry the device on Apple's terms. Their target market is very clear.
- 12-27-11, 12:35 PM #8
respectable battery life?? Obviously we have different opinions of respectable. The Galaxy nexus is a large phone (not to be confused with thick... it's respectably thin). It carries as 1860Mah batter on Verizon's LTE network... My brother said fi he watched youtube video's and plays games and stuff or watches movies he can kill it in under 4 hours. Someone wrote a review saying they killed the battery in under 2 hours. That's not respectable battery life in the LEAST!!! I work 13 hour shifts at work outside. I don't have power outlets to plug my phone in. I get an hour lunch that I usually charge the phone on my way to lunch and on my way back so 30 minutes tops. The phone has to last me all day. My Torch actually lasts pretty well under heavy to moderate use. I can make it through an entire shift of browsing the interwebs and Gtalking my brother half the day. Not bad considering a 1230Mah battery. So yes. I'll wait for them to get a chip that doesn't drain battery like crazy.
- 12-27-11, 01:03 PM #9
And, for someone that really needs to be away from an outlet all day, I would think they would either not get a LTE phone or turn LTE off when they were away from a charger to save the battery.
I work outdoors sometimes 16 hours straight and because of that, I bought an extended battery pack for the times when I am not by a charger. It has worked wonderfully and i can charge my phone to 100% 4/5 times before charging the battery pack again But, when I work 8 hours, I can almost always make it to the end of my shift and still have decent battery life. Especially if i'm working and not watching videos or playing games(sometimes there are down times). Plus, with Androids, you can simply get an extended battery for some phones or an extra one.
War Is All We Know
- 12-27-11, 01:26 PM #10
Turning off LTE will give you better life no doubt but it still sucks the juice. My buddy is pissed cuz it drains so fast. Its that huge 4.7 inch screen and the dual core processor and the android Os itself.
I might beable to carry an extra battery to get through the day just in case. But I'm not carrying 2. the battery pack I might be able to do. But I'd rather have the great battery life a BB is known for. This torch is pushing it. My storm 2 had no problem lasting 24 hours. This phone makes it about 18. Before dead. That's pushin it for me. But I'm 1 out of millions of consumers so.
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- 12-27-11, 01:31 PM #11
- 12-27-11, 01:40 PM #12
If RIM can't compete with the competition on battery life with current hardware, then there's something wrong with BB10.
If they can equal the competition but are delaying the release of BB10 devices because they want even better battery life - then they're making a monstrous mistake. They'll lose more customers from the delay than they would gain by releasing late with better battery life.
It's obvious the problem is BB10... and I'm sure it's more than battery efficiency, there are other issues at play here. I'm not buying their excuses.
- 12-27-11, 01:43 PM #13
If I was so concerned about battery life, I wouldn't get a smartphone with one of the biggest screens out there, a duel core, AND LTE and be suprised that it kept dying, especially if I were to use it a lot for YouTube, movies, etc...
And I think with the 99xx series, it just shows that the more you put into a phone specs wise, the lesser chance you have of having a battery that will last 24 hours or so.
But, I don't think RIM can continue to make phones with 20, 24 hours battery life in mind and neglect to put in features/specs that a lot of consumers seem to want these days.
The fact that a lot of the other phones with apparently worse battery life are selling so well shows that the average consumer is not all that concerned with battery life to make them not want a phone. Like someone said earlier, acceptable battery life is good enough for most.
War Is All We Know
Last edited by Moonbaseone; 12-27-11 at 01:45 PM.
- 12-27-11, 01:59 PM #14
The RIM CEOs have used security and battery life as a reason for not implementing certain features for years. In the past Basilile has poo-pooed cameras, touchscreens, apps, etc.
What I do know is that Blackberry devices released after and including the the Torch 9800 don't have RIM's trademark excellent battery life. The battery life in those devices are on par with the iPhone 4 and some android/wp7 devices like the HTC Sensation/Motorola Photon/Samung Galaxy S/Samsung Focus/HTC Arrive etc.
Unless the battery is flat out atrocious, RIM needs to release their BB10 phones sooner than the end of next if battery life is the only problem. RIM can spec larger batteries or just allow the phone OS to turn off 4G when people lock their phones, etc. to save battery. This is obviously assuming that battery life is the only problem...
- 12-27-11, 09:17 PM #16
You Know... I was at my parents house for Christmas... We (me, my bro and Dad) broke out our phones and we were talking about how cool our phones were. They both had Android phones me, my 9930. We were comparing apps and looking at different bands we downloaded and all sorts of other things... Over the course of 2 beers and maybe 1 hour. My Dad and brother had to both plug their phones in.. After all of the stupid comparisons, internet searches and other lame comparisons we did, it was super cool for me to just stay cool and not have to plug my phone in. So of course, I had to rub in how inferior their phones were due to not even being able to use them while they were plugged in to the wall!!
- 12-27-11, 10:21 PM #17
If I recall, Apple was also waiting for better and newer 4G chips for iPhone 5, which is why it wasn't released in 2011. So RIM's explanation isn't so far fetched. I don't have a problem with what they said, I do have a problem with waiting until the end of 2012. Ah well...
- 12-27-11, 11:42 PM #18
apple says that the all new iphone design on the new iphone 5 will be coming out in the fall of 2012. Clearly early second half or a bit better is the mark.
- 12-27-11, 11:58 PM #20
RIM should try not to mention things that they don't plan on releasing for months (and I'm not just talking about BBX). It really just gets people's hopes up followed by those same people getting disappointed when they have to wait months to get their hands on said product.
War Is All We Know
- 12-28-11, 12:01 AM #21
If Apple releases the iPhone 5 anywhere around the time that BBX phones are released, RIM will take a serious beating. The anticipation and hype alone for the iPhone 5 will overshadow most of any news for BBX phones.
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12-28-11, 12:04 AM #22
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- 12-28-11, 12:24 AM #24
And who knows if the next iPhone will even be released in the fall or, June/July like previous models.
Remember, fall 2012 is what everyone on the net is saying, not what Apple is saying.
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- 12-28-11, 06:19 AM #25
My sis just got a new iphone, and the bb's out now don't even compare. I got the 9930, I like my bb but that iphone is a piece of work. Iphone 5 will destroy RIM. RIM needs to come out atleast like 2/3months ahead of apple.
I didn't even think or cared about battery life when I was playing with the iphone because like most users I am near an outlet most of my day. But for the business users traveling in and out of places, battery life is a concern. I believe the battery life story and I also believe there is more to it. Like BB10 not being ready on time. RIM keeps promising things they cannot deliver. No one is developing for BB. I had many friends that had BB's, for xmas many of them got iphones. And this goes from ages 13-26. A good portion of them simply for rid of their BB because they felt the iphone was so cool, many of their friends have iphones and they want to facetime and have a faster phone.
Last edited by nyplaya610; 12-28-11 at 06:42 AM.