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.