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Old 10-10-2008, 05:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default RIM, the Bold & future BlackBerrys

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Just a quick discussion and collection of thoughts on RIM and its "release" of its BlackBerry phones as of recent.

I have read a few articles which state that RIM developed the Bold in conjunction with recommendation and encouragement from AT&T in anticipation for their 3G service expansion and that RIM grudgingly followed suit. I have also read articles which state that RIM during all of this already had plans for the innovative touch screen [Verizon] Storm (formerly Thunder), the Curve 8900 (formerly Javelin) also with no 3G and the Pearl 8220 (formerly KickStart) as their flip phone iteration.

I haven't owned a BlackBerry before but have used them many times and from what I've read on the internet RIM are known for their device stability and their services "just working" when they release their devices (their timing not being of the highest accolade).

Along with the dodgy release of the BlackBerry Bold, this brings me to a few conclusions;

1. The BlackBerry Bold was more a rushed device and the plans that have gone into the previously mentioned devices weren't as meticulously implemented.

2. The faulty OS and stability issues which RIM generally isn't known for is to do with their inclusion of 3G of which is fairly new-ish territory for them.

3. Their main new markets (more consumer orientated) were targetted with the Pearl 8220 and the Storm, with the Curve 8900 to replace the Curve 8300 as the wide spread business device. Which leaves the Bold as the more elegant novelty that struggles to find a place in the market (especially with that price).

4. The old RIM stability and reliability when it comes to device usage and service will come in the form of the Curve 8900, as it may not have the 624MHz processor of the Bold but it does have the smaller size, more memory and I PRESUME better battery life with the lack of 3G (which seems to be the primary battery killer, along with faulty OSs)

If I have made any blatent errors or poor generalisations do not hesitate to point them out, these are just some thoughts. Discuss...
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Old 10-10-2008, 06:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Broadly agree. 3G's benefits accrue more to the carrier (one tenth the transmission cost of equivalent GPRS I'm told) than to the user, who continues to be plagued by spotty performance and poor battery life. Which seems to leave Bold out in the Cold, esp as BB data compression largely negates 3G's higher speed.

Have posted previously that Bold looked/felt like a kneejerk reaction to iPhone rather than a step forward in itself. Also sure that chaotic launch was influenced by ATT, thought no wish to intrude into ATT/RIM's private grief.

Upside of consumer slowdown may be to extend product life cycles and allow players like RIM to consolidate; also, less incentive for carriers to roll out 3G however.

Pleased I dumped Bold after a fortnight (too big, heavy, Storm even chunkier at 155 grams BTW), now sitting tight to wait for Jav, which seems like a more "RIM like" evolution of Curve. At last, a "proper" BB could be just around the corner. Good.
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_uk View Post
Broadly agree. 3G's benefits accrue more to the carrier (one tenth the transmission cost of equivalent GPRS I'm told) than to the user, who continues to be plagued by spotty performance and poor battery life. Which seems to leave Bold out in the Cold, esp as BB data compression largely negates 3G's higher speed.

[...]

Upside of consumer slowdown may be to extend product life cycles and allow players like RIM to consolidate; also, less incentive for carriers to roll out 3G however.
holy crap, is this a good post!

insurgent, thanks for the starter. good thoughts.

myself, the BOLD felt a bit (very much, actually) like a rush job. OS issues aside, yes the device as it released is fine for the power business user (3G!! but no camera), though even that doesn't fit entirely with RIM's recent marketing.

the original trifecta release of BOLD-ThunderStorm-Javelin across the three 'berry-friendly US carriers seemed a huge coup for RIM, but then the little flippy Upstart - er, KickStart - mucked up the mix. so now the BOLD seems like the awkward cousin along on the family trip.

personally, i am impatiently awaiting the arrival of the Javelin. it's a big step for me as it will be my first full-QWERTY 'berry (i went 7100t>7105t>8100), but the thing looks like a classier, all-new all-different update of a proven model.

the ThunderStorm overall seems cool, but a screen of that design really should be reserved for media-first devices (re:iPod touch/iPhone or the NOKIA N81) and to me the 'berry should always remember its first, best ability: messaging.

hate the KickStart, and hope that it fails. its too flashy and RAZR-like and is too far removed from the original intent. naming it the Pearl makes me worry the candybar SureType is potentially jeopardized should people flip for it. (sorry, i couldn't resist that one.)
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Old 10-11-2008, 10:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's tough to speculate on a handset's performance and/or popularity until it has been in the marketplace for a while. The Bold certainly hasn't been a rousing success so far, that is for sure. As for the other models, time will tell.
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Old 10-13-2008, 03:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The 3G/iPhone concept caused for RIM's gold-rush mentality. Too bad. Hopefully the Javelin is a step (albeit tiny) in the right direction for RIM.
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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In regards to most of the posts so far, referring to the Bold as a rush job, is very misleading (and seemingly misinformed). It has been stated by many with accurate info that the Bold was in development for quite some time, and perhaps longer than the iPhone. The issue, in this users opinion, falls more on the shoulders of standardized hardware combining new technology (HSDPA/3G), and getting it to work.

@Insurgent - Good synopsis of what has happened to this point. Has the process been different for RIM or different for the carriers? It would seem that RIM and at&t have been doing their typical homework, while other carriers were quick to get the Bold out the door. Perhaps they were tired of hearing all the at&t/Apple/iPhone press.

Also, I don't know how you can describe the Bold's place in the market, when it has yet to be released in the largest BB market (US) . This would appear to be forecasting based on opinion.

@penk - This is a target rich post for my disagreement. I find it hard to believe that you have spent any amount of time with the phone when you point to "3G!! but no camera". Be honest, have you used the phone? I highly doubt it.

The fact of the Bold release is that RIM, at&t and the other carriers have all been running with their own agendas, and that all in concert has made the largest market of users (US) very unhappy. Especially as we sit and watch the iPhones getting added to the at&t network by the hour.

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Old 10-13-2008, 05:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insurgent View Post
Along with the dodgy release of the BlackBerry Bold, this brings me to a few conclusions;

1. The BlackBerry Bold was more a rushed device and the plans that have gone into the previously mentioned devices weren't as meticulously implemented.

2. The faulty OS and stability issues which RIM generally isn't known for is to do with their inclusion of 3G of which is fairly new-ish territory for them.

3. Their main new markets (more consumer orientated) were targetted with the Pearl 8220 and the Storm, with the Curve 8900 to replace the Curve 8300 as the wide spread business device. Which leaves the Bold as the more elegant novelty that struggles to find a place in the market (especially with that price).

4. The old RIM stability and reliability when it comes to device usage and service will come in the form of the Curve 8900, as it may not have the 624MHz processor of the Bold but it does have the smaller size, more memory and I PRESUME better battery life with the lack of 3G (which seems to be the primary battery killer, along with faulty OSs)
1) The Bold was not rushed, & was in development long before the iPhone. These are two distinctly different devices, designed for different target markets, thus should not be compared. However the press has chosen to compare them. The engineering was indeed meticulously implemented. That said, this is the most complex device ever created by RIM. Due to the varied protocols of of the various 3G networks world wide, RIM is still in the process of sorting out what remaining bugs appeared after the device was in the hands of the users as is the case with Orange in the UK. You will notice that the Bold running on Rogers network in Canada, is flawless. Thus it's a matter of tweaking the software for each carriers network. There is no question in my mind that when the Bold is released by AT&T it will be up to RIM's normal standard of excellence.

As far as launch delays these are attributed to politics. AT&T betrayed (so to speak) their long standing relationship with RIM as the largest purveyor of BB's to the public, in favor of signing on with Apple. Why? Because one of the largest challenges each carrier faces today, is gaining market share through attracting new customers. The iPhone exclusive has made this possible for AT&T. It's all about the money as usual. 32% of iPhone sales have come from customers defecting from Verizon and signing on with AT&T to buy an iPhone. Thus it's AT&T that pushed back it's testing and approval of the Bold, so as to focus on the iPhone. The revenue generated by the iPhone is staggering as compared to any other phone AT&T currently offers.

2) As far as the upcoming Javelin / Curve 8900 as an EDGE device it has so such challenges to face. A refresh of the Curve this will be a very popular model.

3) Regarding the Pearl 8220 Flip, this is a lower priced consumer BB designed for the sole purpose of bringing more people to the BB platform.

4) I predict all three of these new BB's will be up to the normal legendary BB standard of reliability, stability and functionality. All have been well designed, engineered, tested and when ready for release will be exemplary new models.
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Old 10-15-2008, 05:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I may stand corrected in the assumption that the Bold was a rushed device hardware-wise, but in terms of the software a lot of the carriers rushed its release. I think time should have been taken from the outset before even announcing it, I think the leaks and information that came out around the time of the iPhone were more in response to it than anything else.
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have high hopes for the jav.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insurgent View Post
I may stand corrected in the assumption that the Bold was a rushed device hardware-wise, but in terms of the software a lot of the carriers rushed its release. I think time should have been taken from the outset before even announcing it, I think the leaks and information that came out around the time of the iPhone were more in response to it than anything else.
I certainly agree with your assessment regarding the iPhone effect. I also concur with your opinion about not announcing the Bold so early in the product development cycle. This I most certainly blame RIM for. With their depth of experience, I was very surprised that they would make such a mistake. At the end of the day, none of these rumors, and continued delays are helping RIM who once had a stellar reputation. For their own good, it would be very beneficial to pull out all the stops (if they have'nt already) and get this phone released in the US.

Cheers
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:12 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'll never understand what's taking RIM so long to release the bold. Are they still taking their sweet ass time testing it? What's the deal?
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by macfreak86 View Post
I'll never understand what's taking RIM so long to release the bold. Are they still taking their sweet ass time testing it? What's the deal?
The main issue is that RIM began "talking about this phone" in May. Thus setting everyone's expectations that it would be released relatively soon, as there initial comments suggested a summer time release. Now summer having come and gone, we have a lot of upset BB users. However that said, I have a theory, which is just my opinion based on a lot of business experience, as I own a very large company. I understand marketing, politics of the market etc.

Apple entered into an agreement with AT&T which offered AT&T a once in a lifetime opportunity to lure customers away from other carriers just to get the iPhone. This solved one of the most challenging problems for every carrier today. That is to increase their market share at a time when nearly everyone has at least one cell phone and have no reason to change carriers. But the incentive to get an Apple iPhone was so great that 34% of new iPhone users came directly from Verizon over to AT&T, and that is just one example.

So, here is how it relates to the Bold. RIM was on track with the Bold. Part of any mobile phone makers process is getting the carriers approval for the phone. This is done by submitting the phone to the carrier for testing. So RIM submits the Bold to AT&T for testing. However AT&T drags their heels on the project as they are busy allocating their resources to the far more profitable iPhone. They are not about to lose an opportunity to grab a huge amount of cash from defectors of other carriers to AT&T for the iPhone. Now most importantly, do not read this as I'm an iPhone or Apple hater because I'm not. I've been a loyal Apple customer for years, having had over 10 laptops, including my present MacBook, MBP, iTouch, iPhone 3G, etc. So I'm merely reporting my viewpoint based on personal experience in the business arena.

Cheers.
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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So, here is how it relates to the Bold. RIM was on track with the Bold. Part of any mobile phone makers process is getting the carriers approval for the phone. This is done by submitting the phone to the carrier for testing. So RIM submits the Bold to AT&T for testing. However AT&T drags their heels on the project as they are busy allocating their resources to the far more profitable iPhone. They are not about to lose an opportunity to grab a huge amount of cash from defectors of other carriers to AT&T for the iPhone.Cheers.
I think archer6 is half right, indeed that theory has previously been echoed elsewhere on BBF.

However the evidence suggests it's not just about ATT not wanting to dilute their iPhone revenue stream; there have been software issues with Bold's 3G chip which has led to Orange UK pulling the device pending further testing - and they do not sell iPhone. And anyone who has used a Bold (sorry, America) will attest to its poor battery life and unstable 3G/2G handover.

For RIM's sake, that Jav had better work out of the box...
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Old 10-17-2008, 04:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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However the evidence suggests it's not just about ATT not wanting to dilute their iPhone revenue stream; there have been software issues with Bold's 3G chip which has led to Orange UK pulling the device pending further testing - and they do not sell iPhone. And anyone who has used a Bold (sorry, America) will attest to its poor battery life and unstable 3G/2G handover.

For RIM's sake, that Jav had better work out of the box...
I did get a bit off track, and omit the points you have brought up here which I completely agree with. Not to put it all on AT&T. In addition, part of the PR problem if you will is that RIM initally revealed in May that the Bolds target release was sometime during the summer. Therefore setting lofty expectations when indeed RIM (apparently) was not far enough along to make that kind of prediction.

I also concur in terms of the Javelin / Curve 8900, as my waning interest in the Bold in combination with my near total satisfaction with my Current Curve 8310, has brought me to the point that I am focusing intently on the 8900. If only it had 3G...
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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But do we have any idea whether AT&T wil get the Javelin? I'd rather have the Javelin than the Bold (smaller form factor, don't care that much about 3G), so do I just get the Bold when it comes out on ATT or do I postpone my purchase waiting for the Javelin, which may or may not ever appear on ATT? Here's my thinking--- if T-Mobile comes out with the Javelin on January or February, I think I read that they have a 3-month exclusive, meaning that AT&T won't get it until April or May 2009 at the earliest. Is that the commonly accepted timetable?
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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But do we have any idea whether AT&T wil get the Javelin? I'd rather have the Javelin than the Bold (smaller form factor, don't care that much about 3G), so do I just get the Bold when it comes out on ATT or do I postpone my purchase waiting for the Javelin, which may or may not ever appear on ATT? Here's my thinking--- if T-Mobile comes out with the Javelin on January or February, I think I read that they have a 3-month exclusive, meaning that AT&T won't get it until April or May 2009 at the earliest. Is that the commonly accepted timetable?
As to "whether", given that Jav will replace Curve, it's surely inconceivable that AT&T won't carry it.

As to "when", it does look likely from their German "launch" that T-Mobile will get first dibs on this device.

Should you go for Bold meanwhile? IMHO, Jav will be worth the wait.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:43 PM   #17 (permalink)
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But do we have any idea whether AT&T wil get the Javelin?
Just a guess on my part based on past history. The Pearl was first released on exclusive at T-Mobile, then AT&T got the Pearl shortly thereafter. AT&T got the Curve first, then it went to T-Mobile, thus I would expect this pattern to repeat itself, especially since the Javelin will be released as the Curve 8900, to replace the existing model. Another encouraging rumor of substance is that there will be a 3G Curve 8900 in the 3rd quarter of 2009. I would prefer that it arrive sooner, but so be it. I am very impressed with everything I've seen on the 8900 and will certainly buy one once 3G is included. My present Curve 8310 is the best of all the BB's I've had by quite a margin.
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:25 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default So what would you choose?

First I want to say that this is a great thread and I am happy to see that I am not the only one that can see RIM is trying to clarify what BB for what market, and that there will be/are some growing pains.

I am a business / personal user (90% email is business, voice - personal) the Storm doesn't really appeal to me.

So I am between the Javelin and the Bold, I need multi - tasking functionality and a quick processor, plus I travel to Japan often and see that Docomo is getting the Bold so I believe I can take my bold and it will work. I have a 8320 from T-mobile fully unlocked and it didn't work.

What would you buy?
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