Is RIM making a big mistake with the Stealth?

16 Comments

And it’s minor caveats like the lack of a camera (which is a small thing to have, but a major omission for any consumer device) that leads me to doubt whether RIM can produce a successful “lifestyle” lineup. It seems as though RIM is caught between trying to satisfy consumers while making sure their devices are enterprise usable, an I think they might end up satisfying no one. This is a lot to proclaim from a few scattered rumors and one grainy image, but it’s there if you look.

Consider these words from BlackBerryForums poster “mrogers” after learning about the Stealth:

If I may say…this is really pushing the limits of what is supposed to be a professional, corporate, work-centric device. However, it’s clear from RIM’s movements in the last year that they really want to push into the regular consumer space. You know, the people that buy SideKicks and pink RAZRs. To do so with the BlackBerry line, however, would taint that brand’s value with the corporate world. Right now, “BlackBerry” is synonymous with “secure, easy to use, no camera, no removeable storage”; in other words, not much of a security threat. I think, for RIM to succeed in the consumer market and continue to succeed in the corporate market, they need to launch a whole new line — we’ll call it code name StrawBerry.

StrawBerry devices could be slick handhelds packed with cameras, removable memory cards, full data Bluetooth, even (shudder) different colored casings — anything that would appeal to the general consumer but that might compromise the BlackBerry brand could have free reign on these devices. RIM already has a great platform that outperforms Palm, Microsoft, and whatever the heck SideKick uses when it comes to mobile communication — they just need to add the things that matter most to the average Joe.

I think “mrogers” hit the nail right on the head.

  • Spanky McTony

    I don’t think it’s safe to assume that the “stealth” will look like it does in the photocopy, even if it was done that way for the 8700 when it was leaked.

    Also its called “stealth”, I think if there could ever be an apple connection ever, they would hide the real device shots until launch. This whole removable media thing makes me think that if the only difference is a media player and they want it to make a big splash, it’s hopefully iTunes-related. Maybe they’re leaving the camera out this round so they can trumpet the importance of that potential collaboration. Maybe that’s why they’re keeping a tight lip on the software implementation of these new media features too.

  • Spanky McTony

    I don’t think it’s safe to assume that the “stealth” will look like it does in the photocopy, even if it was done that way for the 8700 when it was leaked.

    Also its called “stealth”, I think if there could ever be an apple connection ever, they would hide the real device shots until launch. This whole removable media thing makes me think that if the only difference is a media player and they want it to make a big splash, it’s hopefully iTunes-related. Maybe they’re leaving the camera out this round so they can trumpet the importance of that potential collaboration. Maybe that’s why they’re keeping a tight lip on the software implementation of these new media features too.

  • Shawn

    I really don’t think that lack of camera should be looked down upon. As part of the professional services group of a software company, there are plenty of clients that forbid camera phones on premises and some places it’s just illegal. Quite honestly, I have a Moto V635 before and I rarely used the camera but it’s hard to find good high end phones with Bluetooth and EDGE that don’t have cameras. So I found myself in plenty of cases having to leave the phone at the reception desk or in the car. I think the music player and removable media would be a great addition but I see more uses for the removable media. It’s hard being on site and having to upload a file to our corporate servers when I can’t get to email via a VPN or the web. Having the ability to pull it off the removable media and sending it via EDGE would be a very great benefit.

  • Shawn

    I really don’t think that lack of camera should be looked down upon. As part of the professional services group of a software company, there are plenty of clients that forbid camera phones on premises and some places it’s just illegal. Quite honestly, I have a Moto V635 before and I rarely used the camera but it’s hard to find good high end phones with Bluetooth and EDGE that don’t have cameras. So I found myself in plenty of cases having to leave the phone at the reception desk or in the car. I think the music player and removable media would be a great addition but I see more uses for the removable media. It’s hard being on site and having to upload a file to our corporate servers when I can’t get to email via a VPN or the web. Having the ability to pull it off the removable media and sending it via EDGE would be a very great benefit.

  • Shawn

    I really don’t think that lack of camera should be looked down upon. As part of the professional services group of a software company, there are plenty of clients that forbid camera phones on premises and some places it’s just illegal. Quite honestly, I have a Moto V635 before and I rarely used the camera but it’s hard to find good high end phones with Bluetooth and EDGE that don’t have cameras. So I found myself in plenty of cases having to leave the phone at the reception desk or in the car. I think the music player and removable media would be a great addition but I see more uses for the removable media. It’s hard being on site and having to upload a file to our corporate servers when I can’t get to email via a VPN or the web. Having the ability to pull it off the removable media and sending it via EDGE would be a very great benefit.

  • admin

    “As part of the professional services group of a software company…”

    But that’s just the point, Shawn. This is a great device for you, but not 16-20 yr old kids who love taking pictures of their friends on their cell phone. That’s the market that RIM needs to hit if they want a “consumer” or “lifestyle” BlackBerry to work.

  • admin

    “As part of the professional services group of a software company…”

    But that’s just the point, Shawn. This is a great device for you, but not 16-20 yr old kids who love taking pictures of their friends on their cell phone. That’s the market that RIM needs to hit if they want a “consumer” or “lifestyle” BlackBerry to work.

  • http://www.gunmecha.us/ Jamison Banks

    “As part of the professional services group of a software company, there are plenty of clients that forbid camera phones on premises and some places it’s just illegal.”

    And that’s the rub. Professional services, heck try the US Military/Government which bans anything with a digital camera. Rumor has it they have a deal with RIM that they buy blackberries as long as there’s no cameras on them. Government sales make up a full 10%+ of RIM’s sales.

    Obviously, RIM would NEED to make a specific difference in the lifestyle devices . . . but that nagging contractual agreement may be what’s biting them in the butt.

    I’d hate to think the reason is lack of technical expertise. C’mon RIM, get a move on.

  • http://www.gunmecha.us Jamison Banks

    “As part of the professional services group of a software company, there are plenty of clients that forbid camera phones on premises and some places it’s just illegal.”

    And that’s the rub. Professional services, heck try the US Military/Government which bans anything with a digital camera. Rumor has it they have a deal with RIM that they buy blackberries as long as there’s no cameras on them. Government sales make up a full 10%+ of RIM’s sales.

    Obviously, RIM would NEED to make a specific difference in the lifestyle devices . . . but that nagging contractual agreement may be what’s biting them in the butt.

    I’d hate to think the reason is lack of technical expertise. C’mon RIM, get a move on.

  • Shawn

    And what does a 16-20 year old need with a Blackberry? Somehow I don’t think full push email is something at person at that age needs. RIM has done very well doing what they do best. I’d hate to see them try to expand their market and lose sight of what actually made them what they are today.

    Other idea is to make 2 versions. One with a camera and one without. I know that Palm and Windows devices do this. I don’t see why it would be any different for RIM to do the same.

  • Shawn

    And what does a 16-20 year old need with a Blackberry? Somehow I don’t think full push email is something at person at that age needs. RIM has done very well doing what they do best. I’d hate to see them try to expand their market and lose sight of what actually made them what they are today.

    Other idea is to make 2 versions. One with a camera and one without. I know that Palm and Windows devices do this. I don’t see why it would be any different for RIM to do the same.

  • http://www.beverlyhillsclassiccars.com/ Andy Cohen

    Blackberry is the best device and does everything it does better than any other device. Much better than Treo, and much better than Q Phone. But in order for Blackberry to retain its dominent position as the premier multi function device maker, they need to add different models that do different things. Keep on the same track they are on for corporate customers, but making a device that also has a camera, mp3 player, TV and video capabilites, much faster internet access,and amfm radio will only make Blackberry more successful and apt to retain its number one position. Also these new devices need to look more fashionable with nicer metal finishes and other colors. The best needs to keep getting better!

  • http://www.beverlyhillsclassiccars.com Andy Cohen

    Blackberry is the best device and does everything it does better than any other device. Much better than Treo, and much better than Q Phone. But in order for Blackberry to retain its dominent position as the premier multi function device maker, they need to add different models that do different things. Keep on the same track they are on for corporate customers, but making a device that also has a camera, mp3 player, TV and video capabilites, much faster internet access,and amfm radio will only make Blackberry more successful and apt to retain its number one position. Also these new devices need to look more fashionable with nicer metal finishes and other colors. The best needs to keep getting better!

  • http://kozen.de/ kozen

    The current GPS BlackBerry 7520 and 7100i are quite successful but theis are iden phones. So I really would like to see some more GPS BlackBerrys in the market, especially for GSM and/or UMTS networks.

  • http://kozen.de kozen

    The current GPS BlackBerry 7520 and 7100i are quite successful but theis are iden phones. So I really would like to see some more GPS BlackBerrys in the market, especially for GSM and/or UMTS networks.

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    It’s 2012 and I just read this comment. So much has changed.