08-06-11 10:10 AM
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  1. Buzz_Dengue's Avatar
    BlackBerry 7: Dead on Arrival?
    ARTICLE DATE: 08.03.11 By Sascha Segan

    RIM announced two new BlackBerry Torch models today, along with the first real release dates for its BlackBerry 7 phones, and nobody seems to care.
    That's because BlackBerry 7 isn't what the company needs. Everyone knows what the company needs: its next-generation OS, QNX, on phones. This isn't cutting-edge analysis here.

    I was at the launch of BlackBerry 7 in May, and it isn't a radical change. There's nothing radical about these new phones at all. The new BlackBerry Torch 9810 looks so much like the previous 9800 that AT&T had to release a chart explaining the differences.

    There are differences, to be sure. But they're the kind of differences you'd see when you're building on a successful platform: a faster processor, more memory, new graphics acceleration. The current BlackBerry OS isn't a platform for the future; even RIM admits that. RIM's phones need a gut rehab and these new Torches aren't it.

    The End of BlackBerry as We Know It
    BlackBerry 7 has a role. RIM's core business customers need to replace dying phones with something compatible, and RIM needs an OS to run messaging phones for the next several years. But a RIM that relies on BlackBerry 7 just becomes the world's biggest provider of cheap texting devices.

    Organizationally, RIM seems to be in disarray. The company is laying off staff, executives are leaving, and its stock price and North American market share are in free fall. The company knows it's in trouble, as evidenced by the open letters executives have been sending out.

    Let me add that this is one of the most poorly organized device launches I've seen in months. The devices were leaked months ago, but today's launch came as a surprise to many in the press and even to some of RIM's partners. It wasn't a good Apple-style surprise, either. (Apple warns people that a surprise is coming, so they're properly prepared for it.)

    The BlackBerry PlayBook is running RIM's QNX OS, but it isn't driving conversation. After receiving lukewarm reviews, RIM shipped (not sold) a half-million units in the first quarter, which sounds good until you hear Apple sold (not shipped) 4.7 million iPads in a similar time frame. Discussion of the PlayBook seems to have faded in favor of the relentless drumbeat of Android tablet announcements.

    RIM's Secret Strength: Carriers
    But within this announcement lies one of RIM's secret strengths, and the possibility of rebirth.

    Notice that these new BlackBerries—these unimpressive new BlackBerries, these incremental updates to a dying platform—are launching with three U.S. carriers, just to start, in both GSM and CDMA models. RIM has always been a great partner for carriers, and RIM has a secret sauce that carriers need: the ability to deliver more Web pages in fewer bytes than its competitors.

    I've found it mind-boggling that when data caps are in the news every week, RIM is not drilling, drilling, drilling into consumers the idea that with BlackBerry, you get more data for your cap.

    Unlike HP/Palm, RIM clearly hasn't burned any bridges or lost the faith of its carrier partners. Remember, here in the U.S., the carriers control what gets to market. Stay friends with the carriers, and you get phones on shelves.

    Americans want to be able to choose the phone they want with the carrier they want. Consumers hate exclusives. Samsung's Galaxy S line, LG's Optimus One and RIM's BlackBerry Curve all rode to spectacular sales by offering Americans what they really want: the ability to get a great phone irrespective of carrier.

    Carrier agnosticism means even more in RIM's core market: business. Businesses need to be able to force carriers to bid against each other or to switch contracts without having to switch OS platforms or retrain staff. Having a product on multiple carriers makes it much more business-friendly.

    So the situation for RIM isn't hopeless. If its QNX-based phones work well—and that's a big if—the company could debut its next-generation smartphones on every U.S. carrier at once (or at least on three or four). If Apple sticks with AT&T and Verizon, RIM could play up the huge diversity of service plans and networks you get to choose from with BlackBerry.

    A big, cross-carrier launch could revive RIM's fortunes. Just let it be soon, because BlackBerry 7 just isn't a powerful enough engine to run the company alone for long.

    BlackBerry 7: Dead on Arrival? | News & Opinion | PCMag.com
    08-03-11 02:50 PM
  2. Buzz_Dengue's Avatar
    Hey, it closes on an upbeat note in the last few paragraphs, if you trudge through it.
    08-03-11 02:59 PM
  3. rollingrock1988's Avatar
    Stupid.

    101010
    08-03-11 03:00 PM
  4. grover5's Avatar
    I'm excited to get the 9900. I have to admit I'm becoming increasingly annoyed with articles telling me I don't or shouldn't want it because the writer doesn't want it. I agree that QNX phones will be exciting too but for now I would rather have the 9900 than any other smartphone available or rumored.
    08-03-11 03:03 PM
  5. jd914's Avatar
    BBOS 7 is better than anything RIM has put out in the past year which is nothing. I'm sure BBOS 7 will pacify the complaining masses. Is it too little too late? I think so.
    scorpiodsu and htc_maple like this.
    08-03-11 03:08 PM
  6. scorpiodsu's Avatar
    I don't disagree with the article. I'm not looking into another blackberry device until QNX. In my opinion, upgrading the hardware really doesn't serve a huge benefit when the platform itself just isn't capable of the things that the hardware is necessary for. I will say the devices are more sleek than previous devices but I'm beyond "sleekness", I need more functionality. And the OS7 blackberries will not provide me with enough key differences to justify spending that kind of money or even extending a contract on. Now, when the QNX devices comes, I'll certainly be intrigued.
    08-03-11 03:11 PM
  7. scorpiodsu's Avatar
    I'm excited to get the 9900. I have to admit I'm becoming increasingly annoyed with articles telling me I don't or shouldn't want it because the writer doesn't want it. I agree that QNX phones will be exciting too but for now I would rather have the 9900 than any other smartphone available or rumored.
    I agree, it's all personal preference but I think the majority of "writers" are looking in the grand scheme of things. And that is the OS7 is not what RIM needs to reverse the tide. Now, I do think it will satisfy a lot of people but if we look at the scope of things these devices mean very little. RIM news the brand new OS out not devices with basically the same OS and capability.
    08-03-11 03:14 PM
  8. southlander's Avatar
    Hmmm.

    "Everyone knows what the company needs: its next-generation OS, QNX, on phones..."

    Followed by:

    "The BlackBerry PlayBook is running RIM's QNX OS, but it isn't driving conversation..."

    Sounds like a contradiction to me. What RIM needed to do was modernize the BBOS it had to buy time to fill in the holes with the QNX stuff (NDK, apps, security cert., etc.). Seems to me like they are executing.
    08-03-11 04:04 PM
  9. mmcpher's Avatar
    This is from PC Magazine, so the guy is presumably a professional, yet he starts his article with,

    "RIM announced two new BlackBerry Torch models today, along with the first real release dates for its BlackBerry 7 phones, and nobody seems to care. That's because BlackBerry 7 isn't what the company needs. Everyone knows what the company needs: its next-generation OS, QNX, on phones."

    Who is "nobody" and who is "everyone"? Do they talk to each other? Trade notes? Does "Everyone" have some sort of prescient insight into what the coming QNX OS handsets will look and feel like (very futuristic)? We are talking about phones, right? How is it that some companies can release a series of nearly identical, slabbish models, each succeeding one with similar, small OS tweaks, and its just recieved as transcendently better and better? There are already as many rectangular touchscreen devices as there are brands of bar-soap in the super-market, yet the reviews leap after trivial distinctions as if they're some transformational breakthrough.

    I get that RIM is in a position, mostly of their own making, with a new OS and handset released now, and a planned release of new QNX phones in 2012. They are open to a charge that the new releases are just stopgaps. So its not as if the article is baseless, but the need to sound snappy and snarky over rides the imperitive to be professional. To resist the urge to re-write the old tropes over and over again (like the one that said, about 22,000 times that the latest release, although commendable, was not the Iphone killer). (By now companies have figured that if they can induce enough people to buy their new handset, the fact that it won't obliterate competition is something they can live with) My guess is that many people will like the increased speed and power of the new Blackberries, and I was mildly surprised by the way RIM has bundled these devices in a marketing sense -- there is a certain "something for everyone" appeal to seeing the slider, traditional keyboard and touchscreen side-by-side-by-side that way, each presumably with compatible software.
    lotuslanderz, kbz1960 and Zizzzzy like this.
    08-03-11 04:18 PM
  10. miktro's Avatar
    Can't wait for for these new phone they look and sound amazing.
    08-03-11 04:28 PM
  11. Economist101's Avatar
    there is a certain "something for everyone" appeal to seeing the slider, traditional keyboard and touchscreen side-by-side-by-side that way, each presumably with compatible software.
    "Something for everyone" reminds me of something I hear often, which is that "consumers want choice." Not at all. Consumers want to find something they like. Period. The thinking is that the more options a manufacture offers, the more likely an individual consumer will find what they like. However, if the consumer doesn't find a device they like, "choice" becomes irrelevant.

    This is where RIM is now. They offer a ton of options, yet the iPhone outsells the entire BlackBerry line by 50%, as does the Android conglomerate/group/gang/whatever (even as only one of the Android OEMs individually outsells RIM). Ultimately, "choice" is no replacement for a popular device, and "something for everyone" is meaningless if the number of people interested in your product is falling the way the numbers seem to suggest for RIM. Maybe people will take to these new devices, but then again, maybe they won't. We'll see.
    scorpiodsu likes this.
    08-03-11 05:00 PM
  12. CGI's Avatar
    RIM won't win back customers until they have delicious apps. <--That's what most people are impressed with.

    I'm not sure QNX solves the problem either... it's the device and carrier fragmentation that makes things difficult for developers. QNX doesn't fix that. RIM needs a device strategy that involves a serious thin-down of the offerings.

    ^ All of this said. I like BlackBerry because all I need is the basic apps (with the messaging power)... but I realize that's not how most feel about their phone.
    08-03-11 05:57 PM
  13. Fuzzballz's Avatar
    ...I hope that QNX phones will be exciting...
    Corrected it for you
    08-03-11 05:59 PM
  14. calicocat2010's Avatar
    I don't know about BB7, but I wish the OS 8 Vision from one of these threads was the new OS coming.
    08-03-11 07:33 PM
  15. katiepea's Avatar
    Soo... Is this article wrong? What are these new phones offering for a new experience? Slight speed enhancements? Same app selection right? Likely less because devs wont work on it due to qnx on the horizon? Or has rim promised backwards compatibility ?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    08-03-11 08:30 PM
  16. Wretch 12's Avatar
    Soo... Is this article wrong? What are these new phones offering for a new experience? Slight speed enhancements? Same app selection right? Likely less because devs wont work on it due to qnx on the horizon? Or has rim promised backwards compatibility ?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    RIM hasn't even commented on backwards compatibility, to the best of my knowledge.

    Blackberry will probably continue developing significant apps for older models / OS' anyway, I still run BB OS 5 on my phone (older Curve model) and I'm able to do a lot still.

    Almost all technology becomes obsolete sooner or later, and from the rumours I've heard about - there won't be a QNX a Bold phone until late 2012 or early 2013 - which I see as a good enough reason to buy the new OS 7 phones, because even if they're not backward compatible, you've still got the best of both worlds....for 12-24 or so months.
    08-03-11 09:18 PM
  17. sk8er_tor's Avatar
    The author of that article is DOA.
    sergesc likes this.
    08-03-11 09:36 PM
  18. sleepngbear's Avatar
    It's no deader on arrival than any other phone. They're all going to be replaced with something else eventually. RIM is planning the future of BB around QNX. Let's be glad they recognized the need to do something more than bank on BBOS lasting forever. But the phone you buy this year is going to work and last as long as it's going to work and last, regardless of what new platforms are introduced between now and then.
    08-03-11 09:52 PM
  19. Dapper37's Avatar
    so sad, people expect rim to be just like apple or android or they are dead. get a life buddy. its a good thing not everybody wants to be like that loser. this argument will go on forever, but they never give credit where credit is due.
    htc_maple and anon(73368) like this.
    08-03-11 09:59 PM
  20. Beakman's Avatar
    Well, I agree with one point of the article: " . . . and nobody seems to care.". Sure, the many aficionados on this site and acolytes of tech may care but the millions of enterprises that issue these phones to their employees don't. The millions, many like.me who prefered a BB over other OS's and like a vertical slider don't care either. And if we need another phone and OS 7 is all there is, so be it. QNX sounds promising and it's not going to disappear, so we who don't seem to care will eventually get there but as long as the available models work well we'll use them until they need replacing.
    lotuslanderz and mmcpher like this.
    08-03-11 10:14 PM
  21. DaedalusIcarusHelios's Avatar
    It seems there are so many people are against RIM, and every one of them is quick to say that BBOS7 is not QNX, and act as if QNX is the greatest thing ever. I have a PlayBook, and the core QNX is solid and a great OS for the future, but I don't get how everyone is so down on OS7, and doesn't realize that the first QNX phone OS will probably be lacking severely in features and functions that we have all taken for granted in the current BB OS. OS7 is the original BBOS refined and polished. Now with the Liquid Graphics, the interface is so much smoother.

    I guarantee all the RIM haters will trounce on the QNX phones when they come out - whether deserved or not. Right now they are just using QNX as a way to bash RIM because its not out yet. QNX isn't going to magically and immediately fix the other perceived weakness - lack of apps.

    I think people shouldn't overlook BBOS7 and the current devices. I believe they are a major improvement over existing devices. When the new QNX devices come out, it'll likely be a year or more away, and they'll be missing some functionality guaranteed. Much like Windows Phone 7 lacked cut and paste and other things that Windows Mobile 6.5 had.

    I have a PlayBook and while I love it, the OS is still a work in progress and there are even more things that need to be added for it to be a phone OS than a tablet OS.

    I for one am very excited to get a 9850 (assuming they are coming to Verizon). In two years I'll look forward to a QNX BlackBerry.
    08-03-11 10:25 PM
  22. mmcpher's Avatar
    "Something for everyone" reminds me of something I hear often, which is that "consumers want choice." Not at all. Consumers want to find something they like. Period. The thinking is that the more options a manufacture offers, the more likely an individual consumer will find what they like. However, if the consumer doesn't find a device they like, "choice" becomes irrelevant.

    This is where RIM is now. They offer a ton of options, yet the iPhone outsells the entire BlackBerry line by 50%, as does the Android conglomerate/group/gang/whatever (even as only one of the Android OEMs individually outsells RIM). Ultimately, "choice" is no replacement for a popular device, and "something for everyone" is meaningless if the number of people interested in your product is falling the way the numbers seem to suggest for RIM. Maybe people will take to these new devices, but then again, maybe they won't. We'll see.
    RIM ain't Apple, thankfully, as they sell a wider variety of devices across the world. There was a time when RIM was known for a single device, stubbornly workmanlike and indifferent to whipsawing consumer market. Many people forget that these Co-heads successfully transformed RIM on the fly and grew the company amidst ongoing and radical transformation. There was no shortage of doomsayers back then, that equated RIM's entry into the consumer market with certain company death. Something to leaven the current apocalyptic coverage with.

    If RIM is offering "something for everyone" in its trinity of pending releases, they are also offering continuity of OS and app operations. Its no doubt a delicate and complex dance to try and navigate through the carrier channels and I don't pretend to have special insight how the carrier differentiation will play out with the line-up of new RIM devices. But there does seem to be a qualitative difference with RIM compared to Apple, Android and even Win Phone.

    A lot of us out there like and hope to continue on with the RIM style UI and OS (while reasonably insisting that it be competitively upgraded in a timely manner). But we all don't share the same preferences in terms of display, keyboard and touchscreen. I credit RIM with respecting their customers wishes. How many articles in the last few years contained quotes from rival competitors that physical keyboards were done -- touchscreens were the only future so sit down, shut up, line up, pay up and start practicing for the privilege of being dictated to. There seemed to be an infectious arrogance that spread throughout the industry. I guess as long as everyone followed suit, they figured the customers could be cowed into lumping it if not liking it. I must have some recessive dino dna, because I still like the option of a physical keyboard and am appreciative that RIM has found a way to provide for us throwbacks while edging us along into a multimedia future.

    If you are looking for sea changes, watch if anything comes of Apple's rumored entry to the previously unworthy down-market, in the form of a lower priced Iphone. Maybe its a move borne of approaching high-end market saturation, but previously one of the things that Jobs always stood for was for his dogged refusal to devalue the worth of the priceless brand he so brilliantly created. Such a move may pay off in the form of even greater market share, but its not without its risks. Even if Apple is able to convince buyers of lower-end Iphones that they are as sanctified as Apple premium phone buyers, they risk upsetting that loyal and proud base that they own so completely. And there could also be an "Emperor Has No Clothes" effect, if it becomes plain beyond Apple's ability to spin that some of their products are second rate. They've navigated those waters before though, if you recall those cheesy looking toy Imacs, but even there, there needed to be some rebuilding of the golden image. In other sectors, such a downward move into a broader market often signalled the beginning of the end of sustained dominance by even the most storied companies.
    Last edited by mmcpher; 08-03-11 at 11:45 PM.
    BBWatchCA and lotuslanderz like this.
    08-03-11 11:39 PM
  23. anon3396357's Avatar
    On facts alone, what does BBOS7 bring to the table against competitors? I remember reading someone on CB forums saying OS7 was written from the ground up. I would like to see the source for that.
    scorpiodsu likes this.
    08-03-11 11:44 PM
  24. kevinnugent's Avatar
    Isn't it really just 6.1 with a new dress on?
    scorpiodsu likes this.
    08-03-11 11:59 PM
  25. ED1209's Avatar
    Oh Brother!!! I just wasted a few minutes reading this..
    08-04-11 12:07 AM
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