Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

How BlackBerry blew it again

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This past week I've been constantly fielding questions from followers asking for my opinion on BlackBerry 10. To summarize my thoughts on BB10, I would say that it is a significant stride for RIM -- but there are better smartphones on the market. The iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 are much better phones than the BlackBerry Z10, in my opinion.

I truly believed BlackBerry 10 was going to be a hit. RIM hyped it up for so long and fans stood at attention waiting.

I feel RIM delivered a good product all around, but it didn't deliver enough products. Let me explain. Every BlackBerry user that I see in the business world today is using the Bold. The BlackBerry Bold was the business phone; it had a nice screen with touch capabilities and sported a physical QWERTY keyboard. I have never seen any faithful BlackBerry users walking around with a Torch or a Storm (the RIM product that was touch-screen focused). The reason you never see anyone walking around with the Torch or Storm is because they both sucked! BlackBerry was dominant because it was the only kid on the block with a physical keyboard. People loved that feature about BlackBerry.

When BlackBerry 10 came out, RIM made the mistake of following what the cool kids were doing. The cool kids were touch screens, and BlackBerry wanted to be one so they released the Z10. Didn't BlackBerry's mother ever ask the question "if everybody jumped off the bridge, would you?" BlackBerry is allegedly going to release the Q10 soon, which will be an updated version of the Bold.

I feel that it's the same story over and over again with our beloved Canadian smartphone company -- it just makes too many marketing and product release mistakes. If BlackBerry only planned to release one device, it should have been the Q10. Instead BlackBerry released the Z10, which nobody cared about, to be honest. We all want the Q10. Business people and general users want a physical keyboard!

I was sitting around with a few people this past week talking about smartphones. At the table were three Samsung Galaxy users, and three iPhone users. There were those users who stood up for their phone choice and didn't want anything to do with BlackBerry. But four people were in agreement that when RIM released the Q10 they would jump on it in a heartbeat if it was good. Why? Because they could write an email with a physical keyboard much faster and efficiently than they could with their respective touch screen devices. A general consensus was that it was easier to text and type while under the influence as well.

As some of you may know, I am currently rocking the Samsung Galaxy S3 as my daily driver. I am enjoying the phone for the most part. I really only dislike two things: the way email attachments are included and how music is synced. Other than that, I really enjoy the device. It is made on solid hardware and the screen is big and beautiful.

I am still attracted to the iPhone for music syncing capabilities and FaceTime.

I've been in communication with BlackBerry and that they have told me that I am on the list for receiving a Z10 to review. I am looking forward to using the device for a week or two. It will allow me to develop more stable and solid impressions.

RIM made an interesting move this past week. It announced it would henceforth be known only as BlackBerry. I think this a decent move, as it boosted morale and got BlackBerry some more press attention. However the only way it affects the consumer is that we can no longer refer to the company as RIM. It really doesn't impact the consumer.

To conclude, I am slowly losing hope in the company. They aren't making the right moves at the right times -- plain and simple. I will 100 per cent lose hope in the company if it butchers the release of the QWERTY keyboard model. If the release of the BlackBerry Q10 is done properly, and a buzz is created, I will most certainly buy the device and make it my daily driver.

What do you think of BlackBerry? Let's connect. Send me an email: db@thedavidbell or converse with me on Twitter @thedavidbell. I respond to absolutely everything. Let's talk!

 

David Bell (@thedavidbell) is a young entrepreneur in Winnipeg. He specializes in emerging technology and online aspects of business, including web and social media consulting. Access his company online at iBXMediaGroup.ca. He is an active member of the YouTube community (http://www.TheDavidBell.com), with more than two million views and 5,000 subscribers. He was also a Dragons' Den contestant. Email: db@thedavidbell.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 10, 2013 A15

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