We just caught a story on BlackBerry’s poor penetration into China, even in light of the go-ahead given in July. Viable language support is still an issue, and a tough nut to crack for RIM. China Mobile is offering group plans for anyone who smuggles the devices in from Hong Kong or elsewhere, but they’re still unavailable for sale locally. There’s upwards of 600 million mobile users in China, and needless to say, RIM wants to get through the logistics so they can get in on the action.
Tag: editorialPage 2 of 2
We’ve really got to give props to the Engadget boys for their open letter to Palm. For a company that’s clearly having trouble, sometimes tough love is the only way out of the rut. It was even enough to warrant immediate response from Palm’s CEO. Now, given that RIM’s doing a hell of a lot better than Palm right now, a little constructive criticism never hurt, right? (Well, minus the bruised ego, the sense of hopelessness, the awkward re-adapting to new standards, the inevitable failing to meet them, and the tenuous reassessment which generally results in doing the whole damn thing over again).
Given RIM’s position, maybe some praise is in order, too. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So, BBCool readers, this week we ask: what’s in your open letter to RIM? Praise? Hate? What’s in Engadget’s letter that you would include? What could be left out? Feel free to either write the letter out in full, or just give the bullet points. Instead of the usual Bplay goodies for the best comment, this week we’re giving away our Impatica ShowMate, worth a whooping $249.99. Take a look at our review to see if it’s something you would get some use out of.
Here’s the clincher, guys. We know folks at RIM read the site. If you have a legitimate beef with BlackBerrys, odds of it getting heard are pretty high. As for you lurking RIM employees, maybe you’ve got something to say to the boss that isn’t quite working its way through the pipes. Now is your chance to don some anonymity and voice off on what needs to change internally or externally.
We all know that Palm’s not doing so hot, but the Engadget crew has laid out all of Palm’s problems and what they need to do to get back in the game. It might not be BlackBerry-related, but the open letter is a really concise way of identifying what customers’ baseline expectations are for smartphones these days, and there are more than a few things on the list that RIM’s managing to do that Palm isn’t. Don’t mess with the keyboard, make your handheld look nice, add Wi-Fi, support multitasking, embrace developers, cultivate multimedia, get with Google, and make better ads all seem like things that RIM is doing, but there’s also a couple things that BlackBerry could take a hint from. Do you guys think there’s anything RIM could learn from Palm’s mistakes?
We stumbled upon a rather biting piece on inconsistencies between RIM’s marketing team and their site developers. The long and short of it is that BlackBerry ads catch the eye, but click-throughs fail to close the deal with a customer who’s already sold. The editorialist, Matthew Roche, dares RIM to to make their marketing full-circle, from first click right down to sale. It sounds like a no-brainer, but as a company that has traditionally left those things to carriers, RIM could be a bit out of their element. At very least, accurate and simple redirection towards local carriers should something they can handle, right?
An editorialist over at ITWeek has suggested that software should be developed for metering time spent on BlackBerrys so that corporate users could be paid overtime for working while not at work. With the feds here in Ottawa, it’s a given that you’re either on your BlackBerry nonstop, or you’re not a “team player” as it were.
The viability of something like BlackBerry overtime happening would not only rely on the corporate goodwill of management, but also on the costs of setting the system up. There would be an excessive amount of back-end paperwork in terms of payroll, involving dishing out pennies and dimes for two-second e-mail checks, not to mention administrative costs of maintaining whatever software solution was involved.
Of course, those aren’t absolute roadblocks – there are reasonable solutions to be found that could encourage extra productivity through BlackBerry usage while not being too much of a managerial hassle. If any corporate users out there have a system like this in place, we’d love to hear from you.
BlackBerry’s browser has stepped up to the plate for a round of fisticuffs in an InformationWeek comparative review. The contenders were the Palm Treo 755p, the BlackBerry 8300, the HTC Wing and (cue dramatic lightning) the iPhone. In the end, the iPhone ends up on top, citing big screen, full-bodied page viewing, and more prominently, eschewing the reliance on menu-based browsing as deciding factors. BlackBerry’s browser hasn’t ever received top marks for browsing, with most folks opting for Opera Mini instead. The potential for tabbed browsing in the next BlackBerry browser update is promising, but is that enough to make mobile web surfing an enjoyable rather than a bearable experience?
As much as phrases like “the interface is discoverable at a level almost below conscious thought” reek of Apple fanboyism, it can’t be denied that web browsing on an iPhone with swooshy finger motions makes sense for mobile, and chewing through long menus, a relic of the desktop interface, doesn’t.