“Does RIM meet your software expectations?” (Weekly Contest)

Jealous BlackBerry

Opera’s monthly report for June took a look at the popular handsets that folks are using with their mobile browser all around the world and BlackBerry got all kinds of gold stars – being one of the top most popular handsets to feature Opera. Commenter mikedoan said:

…Do the results that you speak of really point to the BB’s popularity as a handset or is it just another indication/reinforcement of the fact that most BB user’s receive a substandard browsing experience (using the native BB Browser).

That leaves us to wonder about all the other stuff that has been left out of the BlackBerry experience, like, say, HTML e-mail viewing and how much of an opportunity stuff like that presents for BlackBerry developers. Are third-party developers just being clever in finding the gaps they can fill, or is RIM just doing a poor job of loading up BlackBerrys with all the functionality they have? What are your baseline expectations for a smartphone, and is RIM meeting them? How much does RIM depend on developers to pick up where they left off? Give us your take on what the BlackBerry has to offer and where software developers fit and win five device skins from Decalgirl and six months of service from SugarSync.

Our iPhone 3G versus BlackBerry contest got lots of interest. Some folks, like Jorge and Michael were fully considering the iPhone’s fresh enterprise offerings due to its ease of set-up. From an IT perspective, the switch makes sense, but Andrew points out that power users will get sick of the touchscreen keypad when the iPhone is locked down to strictly an e-mail device. The iPhone also doesn’t quite stand up to security concerns, as MobileAdmin points out.

While MobileMe might be the most commonly-agreed factor hitting RIM where it hurts, others, like Ed, pointed to RIM losing out in the consumer department because of the growingly-popular touchscreen experience, and that the BlackBerry Thunder should come out as soon as possible to meet that demand. David and blee were quick to bash RIM for not marketing their competitor sufficiently.

It’s a really tough call this week, but I think we’re going to give the BBCool shirt and a year’s subscription to SugarSync to Stac. After seeing the demand face-to-face, and knowing how much easier it is to get e-mail rolled out from an IT standpoint, he’s clearly seen how the iPhone is nailing RIM right in the kisser.

Thanks for ALL of the great participation, guys. The iPhone versus BlackBerry debate is a heated topic, and not one that will be resolved any time soon.

6 Responses to ““Does RIM meet your software expectations?” (Weekly Contest)”

  1. 1 Amnon I. Govrin

    As a Curve 8310 owner (and a very happy one to get all the new features with OS 4.5) I have 2 cents:

    cent #1 - A friend of mine just got a Pearl 8130. Playing with it I realize that the biggest thing missing from that phone are the shortcuts I have on my Curve, from opening applications to jumping to a menu item quickly. Someone (RIM or other) can come up with a simple solution - since every key in SureType keyboards has upto 2 characters on it, have the same shortcuts as qwerty BBs. If a there are 2 matching shortcuts, to get to the 2nd one one would have to press the key while holding ALT. If only one matches (1st or 2nd character), just allow with / without ALT. Presto! One less gap in skinny-berries.

    cent #2 - That same friend of mine made me realize about another BB gap - MARKETING. Now that we’re in consumer-land and not just stuffy business-people or people who read Dilbert every day, it needs to be clear how much BBs are ahead everyone else in stuff that matters to any people with more than trivial e-mail needs. In the few days my friend (and his wife) had their Pearls, every 2nd sentence was “I can’t believe I was actually considering an iPhone”. Until real use is done with a BB (and again, if you read 5 e-mails a day you can be happy with eye-candy in lieu of functionality), it is easier to misinterpret glamour and pizzaz with the words ‘better functionality’ and stay in ignorance. Close the marketing gap just like you’re closing the functionality gap (I mean who would have thought about cameras, memory cards or playing YouTube on a BlackBerry just 3 years ago?) and us adicts won’t have to start ad-hoc demos when facing a “victorious” buyer of an iPhone or Windows Mobile device. I can imagine a campaign titled “It’s the little things that make life easier” which would show any of the million little things - shortcuts, selecting multiple e-mails, filters, etc. and at the end of any of those ads show the consumer side like ‘and yes, it can also play YouTube’ (for example) to put those things in perspective.

    Lastly (this is taking a life of its own…), here’s what RIM is not missing - the point. What I mean by that is that I am very happy to say that with all the consumerized features, what counts is still there - great productive OS which didn’t lose its greatness of the past (something PALM was not so fortunate to understand). RIM is still a leader, not a follower.

    So to end this saga (anyone still reading???) - sure, the browser could be better (anyone remembers the browser in 4.0? 3.x?), I think the core competence of the BB OS can be further improved and marketing - new, consumer based marketing - are the gaps I see to a more anti-oxidant filled world.

    Tap, tap, tap… Is this thing working?!?

  2. 2 Bla1ze

    Developers are just good at filling in the gaps that RIM is leaving behind, but honestly..the RIM OS is at the brink of it’s limits..developers know it…RIM knows it…and they are gonna need to expand into a different platform soon..not to mention their developer program does nothing for ISV’s at all…we witnessed this when Neil over at devberry basically called it quits on the BlackBerry platform and moved on too more satisfying programs, even with RIM’s new developer fund in place, it really offers no real incentive for developers to work on the platform. Hell RIM still won’t even open up some of their API’s to the community to improve the apps that developers are creating, it;s almost as if they wish to hinder the growth…maybe that is really what’s up…RIM has realized they can’t stretch the OS any further and just aren’t ready to move on yet lol!!

  3. 3 JG

    I’ve had every blackberry from the 8700 on. Even added a new line of service with ATT just to get the Curve without blocked GPS. I recently “switched” to the iPhone and it’s super nice to have full html email capabilities. I don’t use it for a few emails a day…I check 6 email accounts all day. The full web browsing experience is great and I can log in to accounts, make changes, etc, not just browse through some mostly text news.

    I have a friend who’s major company is about to jump off blackberries. The explanation I got didn’t make too much sense, but regardless, they are losing ground. RIM is missing the boat if you ask me.

    The reason I put “switched” in quotes is because I’m never happy. I bounce around. I am waiting for the Thunder to see if they got it right. I hope so because I’ve always been a fan and whether I switch back or not, I would like to see them move forward.

  4. 4 Sulochana Sikchi

    No, I wish it should surpass iPhone on every count!

  5. 5 Nawaz Ali

    I actually think yes, RIM is doing a really good job when it comes to use a device, I own a Blackberry Pearl 8100 and i am relly happy with it, however as being a softwaer engineer i do realise that RIM does lack the OS part to be open for the developers to write BB applications, its really so damn hard to write applications for a BB device compare to other Simbian based or Widnows based devices. I think RIM should think about it.

  1. 1 Blackberry Insider - All your Blackberry News » Comment on BlackBerry Gaps (Weekly Contest) by Bla1ze

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