I’ve always loved the fact that my BlackBerry has a real keyboard, I don’t feel an on-screen equivalent can compete. I will also miss how tightly it integrates with Outlook, even though RIM still sticks with their dubious decision to cripple the functionality when not linked to Microsoft Exchange. However, these are sacrifices I am willing to take, which goes someway to showing how disillusioned I have become with RIM’s flagship brand.
It is clear, that even with their latest devices, RIM lags a few years behind the competition in the form of iPhone and Android devices. I speak to many mobile application developers who simply do not create for BlackBerry, there is no commercial justification. And it is all about the ecosystem. Not many thought there was a market for tablet computers, many tried and failed, not until Apple launched the iPad did we all realise we could not live without one. It is all about the user experience defined by the ecosystem, and a big part of this is the apps that run on it. If the developer community has abandoned your platform, your days are numbered.
RIM’s centralised network through which a lot of your data passes appeared to be revolutionary when it was devised all those years ago, but it now seems antiquated, and dare I say it flaky. An outage lasting for a week in 2011 showed the inherent flaws in such a system and left millions of BlackBerry owners worldwide with a mobile no better than what the sort of clunky green screen Nokia device we lusted after when Matrix hit the big screen.
Despite us all contributing to RIM’s bank balance via our friendly operators for this service – even when we weren’t getting it, all we received in exchange was some free apps that no-one asked for. Thanks a bunch!
So it’ll be goodbye BlackBerry and hello Android! Why Android rather than Apple? I’ll save that for another time.