This past weekend the New York Times ran an article on how BlackBerry offers too much choice which results in hurting the brand. The problem however is less with the total number of choices, and more with the confusion around how they are presented. Instead of going to the store and buying a BlackBerry Curve you have to choose between the 9300, 9330, 9350, 9360, and 9370. For those of us that know the (minimal) differences between these models the choice is easy. For everyone else, they shouldn’t even know that the choice exists.
The good news is that within the United States the situation isn’t actually all that bad, with carriers in the US avoiding the more pointless models (9380, 9790, and 9981). Currently they are only offering a total of 15 models that fall neatly into 4 product lines (Torch, Torch Slider, Bold, and Curve). The below image is designed to show the current offerings in as simple a view as possible.
As a developer, referring to different devices by their model numbers makes things easier, but knowing these details shouldn’t be required in order to buy a phone. Lets reduce the model numbers to the small print, because it doesn’t need to matter.