1. MeTHoD-X's Avatar
    I was out last night with a friend of mine who works for the programming division at RIM (yeah I live in Waterloo) and we got to talking about RIMs future and whether or not they considered themselves a business company or a consumer company. In my view the lines had really been blurred lately, and he agree.

    RIM started off in the early 00's as a business company with a the typical business consumer in mind (professional). Now, with the explosion of smart phones, RIM finds itself in a great position to leverage its experience in the smart phone market.

    Obviously as a company looking to please it's shareholders, RIM opted to pursue the general, average consumer.

    However, my friend brought up the point that the OS is built for advanced business users in mind while the new "mass market" demands "pretty" and "simple". His words. The hardware is already very well designed and simple to use, but the firmware is hugely lacking in this regard.

    If RIM wants to please both markets, it really needs to construct an entirely new OS for mass consumers. A fancy UI built with simplicity in mind. It needs to branch off and view its target market separately. Business on the left and average consumers on the right.

    As a business "professional" I personally don't see the need for all the built in cameras on every phone since the 8800. The OS for the average consumer also needs an complete redo. Heck, why not team up with Google and lease their android OS for touch screen phones like the Storm? RIM + Google? That could be a very lucrative combination.

    Anyway, the point of this rant is to simply state that RIM needs to figure out who it's market is now, before its too late, because they can't be all things to all people and still succeed.

    Matt
    Last edited by MeTHoD-X; 03-14-09 at 09:45 AM.
    03-14-09 09:42 AM
  2. dervari's Avatar
    There is definitely a need for cameras for business people. Realtors are the first that some to mind. I know I use it to get photographs of wiring cabinets and equipment layouts.
    03-14-09 09:59 AM
  3. gdasilva16's Avatar
    Imho, I really don't care much for the cameras. I'm not a business person. I'm an assistant manager of a finishline store. So all of the BB's that I've owned have been for personal use. I know that there are some companies that do not allow PDA's that have cameras. But like I said, to me, the camera really doesn't matter. Very interesting rant.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    03-14-09 10:16 AM
  4. Iceman's Avatar
    I agree that there may not be a need for a camera on every bb as far as some professions go. But as other people pointed out it is useful in theirs. Then you also have to think that there are people who not only use them in their profession but also for personal use. That is one of the reasons I bought one.
    03-14-09 10:25 AM
  5. classc1's Avatar
    I hear you...but I think that there are a lot of people like me. I purchased my BB for both business (one person owned and operated) and personal use. That was part of the appeal of the BB for me. One device for all of my needs. Where else can you get a device for your business that has a built in camera and is also pink ?

    I also have a very basic understanding of technology and would be completely lost but for this board. So yes...they do need to make these phones more consumer friendly. Maybe in the future (if they do not do so already,) they will market phones so that we know which ones are consumer friendly.
    03-14-09 10:28 AM
  6. SevereDeceit's Avatar
    More corporate companies are allowing camera BlackBerries and cell phones, there is simply to many devices that have them. My father is a VP for a global company and told me about it, he said what can we do? Have them make a cameraless Blackberry just for us?
    03-14-09 10:33 AM
  7. Branta's Avatar
    More corporate companies are allowing camera BlackBerries and cell phones, there is simply to many devices that have them. My father is a VP for a global company and told me about it, he said what can we do? Have them make a cameraless Blackberry just for us?
    There are at least two major objections to cameras on current devices.

    Some of the market is still blocked to any equipment with integrated camera. Defense-related is the primary area but also many other industries which claim to be security or privacy sensitive. Forcing thia sector to stay with obsolete designs which have been on the market for several years is pushing the users away.

    Even on top of range phones the camera is often not fit for purpose, with minimal features, poor resolution, low sensitivity, and disgraceful optical quality. Putting it bluntly the camera on my Bold isn't worth a fart, I've seen a better lens at the bottom of a beer bottle and any kind of useful photo needs a proper camera. Even a $10 fixed focus supermarket camera gives better results.
    03-14-09 11:58 AM
  8. zarzamora_hermosa's Avatar
    I agree that RIM should probably figure what it is going to do. However, financially, it would be stupid not to expand to consumer devices. However, features like a camera I have found persoanlly useful even in the professional setting.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    03-14-09 12:03 PM
  9. Zencyl's Avatar
    arent there blackberries without cameras? i use the camera daily for personal use/pics of wiring layouts, dangerous aspects of projects going on, desktops, violations of our policy. Everyone at work has a camera phone and pictures are sent all the time.
    03-14-09 12:04 PM
  10. Xopher's Avatar
    It would not surprise me to see a new model come out without a camera. We might not hear about it as much as we hear about the other new models, but since there are many companies still wanting camera-less models, I'm sure the need will be met. After all, it's what kept the 88xx series around so long.

    I also don't see RIM trying to make two different operating systems. It would become as confusing as the 48,376 different versions of Windows Vista.
    03-14-09 12:36 PM
  11. robotsarefriendly's Avatar
    I sure the RIM folks check these boards. I'd hate to thing we're doing all this free "market research" for naught.

    On the one hand, they do the business side well, but as Classc1 pointed out, we aren't all tech savvy so the simpler the interface, the more market they can potentially have. Trying to please everyone can spread them thin, though.

    As for the camera, it does have a great deal of use for me for work. I can take pictures of equipment to show to technicians, take vids showing how something is supposed to operate, take snaps of things malfunctioning to show to the engineer, etc. Sales reps, real estate folks, etc can take pics of the product.

    But of course, to each his own.
    03-14-09 01:12 PM
  12. Fiasco's Avatar
    I personally never use the camera on my 9000. This is my first BB to have a camera, and it is useless to me. But then I own pro cameras so my case is obviously different.

    Funny thing is I know of a few companies where they allowed me to bring in my camera equipment to shoot corporate portraits, but they had me turn over my Bold at the front desk and collect it upon leaving the building.

    I mentioned the irony of that, and they just told me "it's policy."

    I do wish RIM had made a 9000 version without a camera.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    03-14-09 03:03 PM
  13. MeTHoD-X's Avatar
    I didn't really intend for this thread to become a camera phone vs. no camera on phone debate. I can certainly see the merits of having a camera on a BlackBerry for some professionals.

    The point I was trying to make is more broad. It has more to do with the phone and the experience it provides users as a whole. RIM has a number of different options in my opinion:

    a) Try to be all things to all people. If RIM continues to go down this path as they have been doing, I would argue it's only a matter of time before they have to "dumb down" the phones operating system. The average user who picks up a BlackBerry is lost. Some may call them "stupid" but I would call them normal. We're geeks for the most part so you and I have to take a few steps backward to see things from John and Jane's perspective.

    Currently the newer BBs play movies, music, take pictures, take videos, surf the web. play video games and of course the main thing BB is known for: push email. Now, with the exception of push email, a BlackBerry is only mediocre (at best) at all of the above. The pictures on my Storm are horrible, the video is "ok", the multimedia experience is NOTHING compared to an iPod, the games available are nothing compared to a PSP or DS.

    b) Branch off with different brands. For example, the Curve and Storm could be branded as average consumer (high end) smart phones while the Bold could become synonymous with business (with or without a camera, that's not what my overall point is).

    RIM is an expanding company and they will not just give up on their new found success in the mainstream. They have an obligation to their shareholders, like it or not. Thus, if they are going to make a proper transition they need to stop trying to be a business phone AND a consumer friendly phone, else they will fail at BOTH.

    There needs to be clear FOCUS on each market demographic. Each phone needs to be more tightly focused else consumers (myself included) will opt for a niche phone that fulfills their primary needs first and secondary wants... second.

    I'm not saying business oriented BlackBerries should be restricted of games, cameras, fart apps, etc... I'm simply saying that particular product line shouldn't have any of that in primarily in mind when they make the phone. They should have their typical business person in mind FIRST and all that other jazz can come second. Focus on having the absolute best text communication on the market with an advanced highly configurable operating system and stability/reliability in mind.

    For the average consumer demographic, the operating system can be "dumbed down" and made much more simpler. Their primary focus can be on pretty themes, simplicity, multimedia, etc.

    I'll conclude my rant by saying that if there is one thing starting and running a marketing firm has taught me is that a company can't lose it's primary focus and drift off into other market demographics without either making compromises (ie: dumbing down the OS) or completely alienating it's core audience. Try to please everyone and you end up pleasing no-one.

    /Rant
    Last edited by MeTHoD-X; 03-14-09 at 04:49 PM.
    03-14-09 04:43 PM
  14. Bison's Avatar
    I agree with the camera part under one condition. The space eaten up by it gets used towards something instead of just plain stripped with nothing to replace the feature. If I am paying $200+ including a 2 year contract for a phone you best believe I want an All in One phone. You are stupid to accept otherwise.

    BB's are NOT cheap people which is probably why we want as much shoved in there as possible.

    I do agree there should be multiple versions of the BlackBerry Business over here, Hipsters over there models available and be broken down and sold in the cellular market like that.

    A few years ago BB's number 11-13 million in the U.S. alone, now there are 24 million and growing each year! They have to set the lines. Beware of creating too many subdivision phones and collapsing, remember Motorola?
    03-14-09 05:17 PM
  15. Souless Poet's Avatar
    I'll conclude my rant by saying that if there is one thing starting and running a marketing firm has taught me is that a company can't lose it's primary focus and drift off into other market demographics without either making compromises (ie: dumbing down the OS) or completely alienating it's core audience. Try to please everyone and you end up pleasing no-one.



    I would say that there are plenty of people pleased with their blackberries....and that by expanding there demographic...and losing focus as I interpret what you are saying is happening...they are gaining a quite larger audience....look at all the new people to crackberry with the introduction of the storm....it is all about perspective...I see RIM striving in an economy where some of the big boys are not....they are pumping phones pretty quickly....so it appears to me as if they are expanding there reach and are successful at doing so. Just my opinion.
    03-14-09 05:33 PM
  16. Sirhill's Avatar
    After reading all of the post I would say that change is alway good. The company that I work for allow bbs with cameras but they also disable the camera if you use the bes servers. I have used a lot of differnt phone and I can't help but think that bb are the best for what I need and do. I do think that thing can be better but I also think that a person needs to know what they arer jumping into when buying any smartphone. I think RIM is on the right track and the switch from bussiness only to more consumer based has already started. All we need to do if we are true fans is sit back and watch the evloution of RIM to a more consumer phone with an oustanding os(not dumbed down). I hope you guy are ready because I am.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    03-14-09 05:57 PM
  17. armedtank's Avatar
    My company has just started allowing Blackberries that have cameras, they were absolutely forbidden before. Not so much because we were worried about losing our own IP, but that was the rule for many of our clients who were far more worried about the damage a camera in the wrong hands could do now we disable the cameras via BES when necessary for a customer.
    03-14-09 08:11 PM
  18. shanek83's Avatar
    You can disable the camera on a BES, so why create a lesser model without a camera, or 2 different models, one with and one without, when you can just have a phone with a camera and the ability to disable it if need be?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    03-15-09 02:36 AM
  19. elvin1983's Avatar
    You can disable the camera on a BES, so why create a lesser model without a camera, or 2 different models, one with and one without, when you can just have a phone with a camera and the ability to disable it if need be?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    This was exactly the direction that I was going to go with this. With all of the options that BES offers to the administrator, you can pretty much send your employees a phone that will only let you send e-mail and make phone calls... no sms, no media, no browser, etc.

    My company, like many others, offers BlackBerrys to it's upper lever employees, and I've noticed lately that every one of those people who walk thru the door of our branch are carrying some form of a Curve, whether it's an 8310, or the 8350i they just sent my boss to replace his old nextel BB, they're upgrading. I've used my personal BB 8330 to snap pics of a forklift that we were selling, e-mailed them to my work e-mail, then sent them off to whomever they needed to go to. It was something that came up out of the blue, but there I was ready to go with the easiest soloution. The resoloution might not have been a clear as most digital cameras, but it was set to take the pic to a large size screen, and to me it was a good, clear picture for the purpose needed.

    The way I see it, I think the business side of BB needs the consumer side in order to stay viable. RIM has an amazing hold on the business market, that is not likely to be taken away any time soon. With the direction that the consumer market has turned will only benefit the business side of things. Whether a camera is benefical or not, in most circumstances, it really can't hurt, and if it is deemed that it is unnecessary, then have the BES admin disable it, it's that simple. To me, it's not worth keeping around old technology (87xx) no matter how reliable it is, when it won't be able to keep up with all of the firmware upgrades. And it's certainly not worth developing an entire new device focused just towards the business user, it won't be profitable.

    I don't think dumbing down the OS is the solution, people will learn how their device works, whether it's an iPhone, Palm, Motorola Q, or a BB, if it's what they want they'll learn it, that's what I did! I think the solution is in the BES service. Make it as customizable as possible, and leave it up to the corporation in question to make the call on what is necessary and what isn't. It isn't up to RIM to make the call, in the end, it's the company that deems what is necessary.

    And, as far as consumers go, the BlackBerry name carries alot of weight, in functionality and status. So for those people who feel their device is a status symbol (and don't lie, we all feel it a little bit), you really can't go wrong when someone asks you what kind of phone you have and you respond "I've got a BlackBerry". Sure sounds alot more substanctial than "I've got an iPhone". Just my opinion!
    03-15-09 03:09 AM
  20. Branta's Avatar
    Whether a camera is benefical or not, in most circumstances, it really can't hurt, and if it is deemed that it is unnecessary, then have the BES admin disable it, it's that simple.
    The camera is still physically present. How do you prove to the Gatehouse Gestapo that it is not a camera when they can see the lens?

    You think I'm joking? Try going to some of the sites I visit, where "security regulations" require a phone to be surrendered at the gate. Too bad if you know the site and left your phone in the hotel room - you ain't getting in until you hand over a phone.
    03-15-09 08:15 AM
  21. robotsarefriendly's Avatar
    I think that the big thing that RIM, and all smart phone producers, are facing is a blurring of the lines. More people are carrying just one phone for business and personal so they want business over here (on the phone) and hipster over there (on the same phone). They don't want to settle for business OR fun. It's a tricky line for them to walk. Add to that the fact that things that were once just "fun" (podcasting, My Space, Facebook, streaming media, etc) are becoming more important to businesses and the line gets even blurrier.

    With all that in mind, it's very difficult for a company like RIM to set its focus on either business or hip. If they decide to go with just one, or even say "business on the left, hipster on the right", they start to lose whole huge chunks of people. If Blackberry ONLY did business, or ONLY did fun, it wouldn't be much of a device for someone like me.

    Bison, thanks for using "hipster" in your post! I think that works great and I'm glad I got to use it!
    03-15-09 09:31 AM
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