Open letter to RIM: New BlackBerrys offer little excitement

An open letter to Research in Motion: Your new BlackBerrys offer little new, exciting or anything particularly to be desired.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Dear Research in Motion,

Ever since I started this job in early 2008, I have owned a BlackBerry.

The truth of the matter is, though back then the BlackBerry was solely for the business types, and I for one put myself within that category for good reason, your range of phones have since exploded amongst the younger consumer.

And that changed everything. For we share that business-like sense of self-importance, passed through from the older to the younger generations who now share in the glory of sleek productivity and always-on communications.

We made you billions. You're welcome.

But we're leaving you. We're leaving for warmer, sunnier climes, where the hills roll and the fruit is sweet. That fruit, provided by Apple, is the iPhone market.

And I want to join too.

(Image via Flickr)

We have known for months that you were bringing out a whole new range of BlackBerrys, and the announcement today came as no surprise.

But there are a number of serious issues that you have yet to resolve. One of, if not the most significant is that the BlackBerry is no longer competitive amongst Generation Y'ers.

The new phones will revamp the Curve and in particular the Torch range, by offering touch-based devices which will seemingly rival that of the iPhone. But to say 'rival' is pushing it at the very least.

Though little has been publicly said in today's shareholders meeting, the leaks from your company have showed little to be desired, very little to be excited about and frankly, nothing more than an 'upgrade' to the existing range of BlackBerrys.

You're not even allowing older phones to run the new BlackBerry OS 7 operating system. That will automatically annoy a vast number of die-hard users who have to upgrade their phones to your upgrade-like new releases.

Is that all we are to you? 'Existing' customers?

I have long been a fan of the BlackBerry, partly for hardware and software absolute compatibility; the device operating systems are designed wholly and exclusively to run on dedicated devices. Again, this is why the iPhone has taken off a storm.

QNX-based BlackBerrys will be more powerful, sure. But the overall appeal of the BlackBerry has gone downhill since so many of us have jumped aboard the iPhone train.

But ultimately, the trend is showing that more people of my generation are turning to the iPhone over BlackBerrys and Android devices, with the latter still being extremely popular over your products.

Sometimes there just isn't a definitive explanation to hit the nail on the head and say, "this is why, fix it".

I suspect that in this case, it falls down to a common trend of Generation Y'ers following their friends in their decision making purchases.

I will stay, and no doubt I will remain a reluctant BlackBerry user. But it isn't for the social aspect, nor is it for the social status. I email -- a lot -- and for that, I need a QWERTY-keyboard.

Tempted by an out-of-contract iPhone, which will no doubt set me back a great chunk of my month's wages, I could not stand to use the touch keyboard for anything less than for a Google search at a time.

Then again, I have just regressed to the age of 15 and bought an outdated HP iPAQ smartphone, which at least has an Exchange-capable operating system.

We'll see.


Zack x

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