| | Consumerization -- new word.
Well, I think they were hoping to do so. Consumer market is probably more profitable. They'll buy a new phone before their contract is up...
I think RIM has been trying to break into the consumer market. Look at the disaster that was the 7100. Crap keyboard, horrible phone quality, and, at the time, a slim profile. I had statistics at the time, showing that my users went from sending 100's of emails a day on the 6710 to less than a dozen on the 7100. But it didn't fly in the consumer market.
Enter the Pearl. Sleek, small, very sexy. The usage of the Blackberry for email never regained its previous numbers. But, the Google apps, Yahoo! app, BBweather, ColorPearl, Facebook, Webmessenger, (how far away is Sling) etc. I now see more lay people with Pearls than business folk. And serious Business folk are still stuck on the 8700. Loads of highschool and JR high kids with the 8100 and celebrities with the 8800.
Another thing I have noticed. I have a pearl. I try to be my lusers to the punch. I am finding that the consumer apps break core functionality of the blackberry. Call logs truncated, Inbox truncated, basically the users are demanding more of the device than it was designed. So I spend a great deal of time troubleshooting now. Deleting accounts and recreating them so someone's entire inbox can be on their handheld. And don't forget the business folks who want every message in outlook to be on their handheld at their disposal -- and we are talking upward of 2GB of work data now.
So we are standing on the point at which 2 audiences are diverging. And for many of us, they are only converging into a blur. Think of all the personal usage of corp laptops, now we have consumer apps on the Blackberry. We've given our business users a great toy. The consumer caught on and changed the game; the business user will catch on that the wares are available, and our business users are sometimes fresh out of university, consumer electronics is something they grew up on.
Some of us IT folks have a policy that was inherited and we must live by:
1. There is no Policy, Make the users happy, we work them 10 hours in the office, 6 hours at home, and all places in between, 8 days a week. Toys, tech treats, etc are the elixir that keeps folks happy. Give them wireless broadband cards, Macs, Blackberrys, and make it all work.
On an aside, I have to mount a business case against using Google Docs for work. Only I have realized with recent announcements, that Adobe, MS, etc are all moving toward web based applications -- Software as a Service. Everything that makes sense, doesn't matter.
The rules change. We have to adapt. I mean its not like we are getting rid of our mainframes, dumb terminals and acoustic coupler modems, right?
Systems Psychologist, Network Sociologist, User Therapist.