Great article over at BGR: What happened to Research In Motion and where are they going?
This mirrors exactly how I feel. I worked at RIM briefly and really want to root for the home-town hero, but I’ve now owned 2 iPhones.
BlackBerries are still the kings of messaging. That’s their one and only purpose and they’re great at it. Unfortunately, these days people want much more from their smartphones and the BlackBerry operating system is far too old and cumbersome to keep up. For me, messaging is only part of what I want from a smartphone, so I can’t see myself going back to BB until there’s a major overhaul. It’s a shame because RIM is very innovative on the hardware side, but I left with the impression they’re paralyzed by fear on the software side. They are terrified of changing or breaking anything, which means they haven’t innovated in software for at least the past few years.
As an example, I think of my iPhone almost as a laptop in a small case. I don’t feel like there’s any limit to what it can really do. BBs still at their core feel like a souped-up pager with a keyboard, which isn’t surprising because it’s likely still a lot of the same code from back then.
Here’s what RIM should do: scrap the current operating system and start from Android (the open-source mobile OS started by Google). Add all of their security, push messaging, integration to corporate BES servers, etc. Done. Then they’ve got a modern OS with the features that people (and businesses) want from their BBs. I’d likely buy one of these.
Too bad that won’t happen.