Over the last day I have been thinking about the BlackBerry Torch 9800 combined with BlackBerry 6 and what it means to RIM. While many of you agreed with my assessment of both yesterday I felt like I wanted to clarify it and simplify what I was trying to get across.
The BlackBerry Torch 9800 is definitely “The Best BlackBerry Ever.” I am dying to get my hands on one and I know many of you are in the same position. What I was trying to point out in my previous analysis is that RIM NEEDS to create “The Best Smartphone Ever” if they want to woo customers away from other smartphone options.
The reason I agree that the Torch the best BlackBerry ever is because BlackBerry 6 is a very great improvement on the core functionality in the BlackBerry experience. Die hard BlackBerry fans will be tripping over themselves to get this new upgrade. The Torch will truly give you the best BlackBerry experience to date yet consumers are demanding more. The next generation of smartphones are going to be even more powerful and RIM needs to ensure that BlackBerry 6 gives them the competitive edge they need to stay on top. The new features in BlackBerry 6 are not very easy to highlight to regular consumers who purchase smartphones and are shopping by features and status alone. Just look at the main features highlighted on the BlackBerry Torch homepage:
- Touch and type design
- Visual, fluid interface
- All new browser
- Enhanced Multimedia
- Integrated social feeds
Four out of the five main features are just incremental improvements like enhancing media and combining social feeds. Nothing like Apple’s FaceTime video chat and retina screen and Android’s Mobile Hotspot features. The one thing left is the Touch & Type design yet RIM is not the first to put together a touchscreen slider that has a full keyboard…
What I was trying to point out is that RIM needs to follow through with their commercial tagline for the Torch: “Less an evolutionary leap more of a triple axel.” They either need to start teaching the BlackBerry new tricks beyond the core BlackBerry strengths or they need to move/create a totally new platform and foundation with BlackBerry OS 7.0. The effort RIM put into developing BlackBerry 6 really shows but you can tell that they are building on a foundation that was architected almost a decade ago. It is a credit to RIM that they have managed to make such an amazing platform inside a Java J2ME Virtual Machine but it is starting to look like building an platform in assembly language when compared to the competitions use of Objective C and Java.
RIM might address this by making J2ME more approachable by developers with new tools and SDK’s but what they truly need is to start to transition off the original foundation and start anew. If they can do this in a smooth migration that would be best where they can slowly transition onto a new development platform. That way they are no longer adding features to a operating system that started off as a pager. This will be a very painful move considering how much time RIM has invested in the BlackBerry OS but they need to start moving so they do not get outpaced by the competition. For a company full of engineers they also need to start pumping out BlackBerrys that include the latest cutting edge parts like high resolution AMOLED screens and top of the line processors.
In short what I am trying to say is that BlackBerry 6 is not the future of RIM in 2012. It is a transition period and a stepping stone for them until they have a chance to clean up shop and create “The Best Smartphone Ever” like we know they can.
What do you think?