Weekly Contest: ‘Why Europe first?’

11 Comments

Map of EuropeIt has not been the best week to be a North American BlackBerry user. While we (in the form of America first, then Canada shortly after) usually get the best RIM devices first, this past week saw not one, but two separate launches of slick BlackBerry handsets in Europe rather than our side of the pond: the BlackBerry 8820 in the UK, and the BlackBerry 8310 in Germany. Sure, some may say that these are just updated versions of devices we already have — and that AT&T is hopefully getting the 8820 soon — but this means that our esteemed friends in Europe have been first to receive both the only relevant Wi-Fi BlackBerry, and the only 3G GSM BlackBerry (something that still burns our Rogers using hearts to this day).

So break it down for us, trusted reader: why is RIM showing Europe so much love? Do they feel the need to compete in a savvy European market with more fully loaded devices, or are they just trying to spread their product launches around? Or, is this a depressing sign that, like the BlackBerry 8707, there are just some BlackBerry devices that North American shores will never receive? Post the best answer as to why RIM has European fever this week (other than to just break our hearts) and you’ll receive a free copy of Magmic’s newest release, Chuzzle!

LAST WEEK’S WINNER was Ralf, who pointed out that until recently, BlackBerrys were (and still are, in some cases) behind in terms of consumer functionality. Enjoy your games, Ralf!

  • http://www.tfnn.net/forum TD

    The European market is very mature and devices can be launched across all of them at once if desired as there is no CDMA requirement. The Euro carriers are also some of the most powerful in the world. Vodafone is one of the largest and owns Verizon. TMO is european, etc. The question should not be, ‘Why does Europe get a new device first?’, rather, ‘Why has it taken so long for a Euro-first launch?’.

  • http://www.miblackerry.com miblackberry.com

    Why not?

    Signed by a European user :-)

  • http://averysmallbird.com Collin

    TD is right for reasons that he doesn’t clearly explain. The long history of state regulation and the proliferation of standards across the EU has created a reasonably standard (in terms of sophistication, billing standards and frequencies) cellphone network in Europe. Europe, like Japan but unlike the US, has already settled on what 3G should mean. As a result, real wireless broadband has spread across the continent a lot faster than here in the States (also population density may factor in). I don’t know the exact numbers, but I believe that there is a substantial gap between the two markets for HSDPA, meaning more people can use it. Here, it is still pretty much worthless to include HSDPA. Apple knew this, so it bet against 3G. EVDO is finally growing up, but carrier politics limits the markets (despite this RIM has long support EVDO, smartly too if I may add). Also, Americans are still neophytes and tend to accept technological change slowly. Essentially, by going to Europe, RIM has avoided large limits on there market and avoided corporate politics.

  • Jacob

    They can make more money in Europe. It really is that simple.

  • Eric

    EMEA has in the past had very steep voice and data rate plan unlike what we see here in the US and Canada with acceptable unlimited all you can eat data plans and now UMTS/HSDPA or 1xRTT/EvDO Rel A 3G networks. note while UMTS (3G) is growing rapidly in EMEA, it is often spotty and UMTS vs. great coverage and HSDPA.

    This is where wifi (and VoIP, Skype) has been popular – to save voice and data charges. Samsung launched the BlackJack with ATT as SGH-i607 w/ HSDPA but in EMEA and Asia it is thw SGH-i320 and SGH-i600 with UMTS/WiFi and think GPS to boot. non US require wifi.

    my opinion wifi is yesterday – give me HSDPA or EvDO Rel A with simultaneous voice/data.

    cheers

  • http://der-blackberry-blog.de funrun

    Haha, I’m German, and also using Vodafone. Ill get the 8310 soon. Why do you have a problem with that? Do you think its normal, that Americans get everything first?

    Europe is a bigger market than the USA, because, at first, RIM is new in Europe, and we have more people.

    Greets, funrun

  • Edward

    Phone availability in the US relies on the US carriers “picking up” a phone and agreeing to certain rules and limitations with the phone manufacturer. Apple’s iPhone was released very exclusively by AT&T because of a binding contract signed between the two parties. Even the popular Blackberry Curve is AT&T only right now because AT&T picked it up (being the biggest Blackberry provider in the country) but RIM had to agree to a 90 day exclusivity deal with AT&T. Also, in many ways, Blackberry has flooded the market with new models in the states. AT&T has probably refused to sell some of these new devices for 2 reasons. First, it is looking to unload all the devices it has in stock. It doesn’t make sense to market the 8300 Curve for 3 months and then release the GPS variant. Second, it is entirely possible AT&T has not decided on its Wi-Fi longterm plan as far as the 8820 goes. T-Mobile will probably want to work out some the kinks with its new Wi-Fi at home before carrying the Blackberry. Also, maybe carriers are afraid business users using Wi-Fi will hurt their current data plan profits as many business people will have access to Wi-Fi at home and work.

    What I want to see is Blackberry release 3G (HSDPA) Blackberries in Europe (where 3G is much more common) and then bringing a 3G berry to the states.

  • dario betancourt

    European market is better choice because operators have more chances to implement solutions across the continent involving several countries. This is in my concern a good opportunity for RIM to increase their reputation (I know they already had a lot!) deploying solutions in a market with high economical potential. I think they also had a mature solutions because in USA had a lot of hot spots but in Europe had a lot of solutions over mobile network. doe example in Spain, user can check in their cellphones the next turn for the that are waiting in the bus stop only sending a mesage and the answer depend of the site without the user send any information regard it

  • Mazen

    Regardless of the win, I do want to post my 2 cents worth here because this is a question asked time and time again and NOT just for the blackberry or other tech devices but many different products.

    There may be several reasons complex in their understanding but a basic idea to wrap your brain around is the fact that America is a country that is based on trade before anything else. Adding to that, having lived in multiple places around the world, I find that the people in America for some reason or the other are far far far more compliant about the treatment and products they receive and when.

    There can be many reasons to the above, education, individual lifestyles, public information but I will personally say the safest bet is to blame the media since it has the biggest effect on how Americans think and even learn of new information.

    Again..american media being fueled by advertisers who are in turn fueled by corporations see it in their best interest to limit services for a reason so they can earn costly premiums which unfortunately many Americans (did i mention very trendy ppl too) will gladly pay for and not question.

    That trend thing too..this is one of the reasons as well..maybe if Americans weren’t as willing to pay for the premium services the actual companies would work harder to ‘bring it’ for them.

    Just think..for a nation that refuses to mostly acknowledge an outside and co-operative tie with the rest of the world
    ie. alienates itself from many world-wide customs/standards (metric..need i say more..systems based on 10 are far easier to use!)
    this is a selling point for a business in itself.

    To give a very small example, having lived in Pakistan and working with products that had multivoltage but european plugs..all the extension cords I bought there were multi sockets and would accept both american & european plugs.

    Yet here in the US, its sad that even the most expensive extension cord wouldnt have an option for a european plug..which is where your overpriced $10 conversion plug from radioshack comes in.

    Regardless…my apologies on the rant but I’ve felt this like forever and in closing i feel that as an individual or as a nation, when you close yourself off from the world, in your belief that you are somehow self-sufficient or perhaps superior you stop learning and start dying.

  • LexLuther

    Simple. Europeans like pretty things and North Americans value utilitarian devices. Go pretty in Europe,then hit the consumers in North AMerica with what works.

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