14 July 2012

Why Technology Writers are ALL Wrong About the Blackberry.

The Professor's 8 Point Product Enhancement Programme

I have been a Crackberry Addict for a very long time. I have written before that there are some fundamental issues that make the iPhone at best a toy and at worst a boat anchor. PLEASE Blackberry do not make the same mistake that Symbian made. Trying to do too much. In the end that was what killed Symbian. The venerable Psion Organizer was arguably the progenitor of the mobile hand held device. I only used the Psion 3 but it was a NEAT device and worked very well. The Blackberry replaced it because of its communication capability.

Don’t get me wrong I love the flashy platform  and apps (with all its quirks) that are on the iPhone. I have access to two of these devices but cannot break the chain with regard using my Blackberry as a professional device. So this is neither an "Homage" to the crack berry nor is it a funeral pyre homily .  Yes Blackberry has stumbled badly with an arrogance befitting a certain WW1 Austrian Corporal. This happens in organizations. It has definitely happened to Nokia and looks like it is also happening to Microsoft.

So lets start with the functionality. The value of a Blackberry is and always will be that of a communications device. It does email and text based communication better than any other device. It is an all round machine for communication. It took them a while to get the camera right but it works faster and more accurately than any other device out there. Making it great for the normal EMAIL and Social Media interactions. It also has the right business model for consumers. IE those of us who have to pay for our comms welcome the way in which the Blackberry model works for email NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE. The choice is yours.

It prevents some of the more stupid mistakes that iPhones and Android devices have.
I have an Android phone and I am far from happy with it. I have tried many different Android machines (I am on my 3rd generation of the device). I find it confusing at best and darn right annoying. Google seems to be quite happy to let us figure things out for ourselves. Lord knows how regular folk deal with the crappy UX. On the other extreme is iPhone. Yes its St Steve's way or no way. Even if it is inconsistent and darn right annoying… the faithful eat it up. I keep looking at the iPhone and wondering where the cool aid outlet is.

So lets try and see what Blackberry could do to redeem themselves.

Here are a few quick and EASY FIXES.
  1. Dump QNX. You are not ready for it. Its too hard to get it to work in the small device.
  2. Make the GPS free. Heck you are not paying for it anyway
  3. Keep the keyboard. The soft and hard variety. The Torch 2 is probably the best communication tool that ever existed. Just keep making it better
  4. Fix that AWFUL browser. Adopt something like Opera but please do a better job than what you have now
  5. Create a new function that lets you soft migrate from public data nets to local data nets. This would be a world beater and bring loads of people running to your door. (The telcos would be none too happy but what the heck they are no friends to you either)
  6. Enable a multi-sim capability. Again a world beater that is really required for many especially in APAC where swapping SIM cards is a way of life.
  7. Absorb in to the basic OS – FB, Twitter and other such services available in each country. AND allow messaging to go out to multiple Social Nets at the same time. If you can't just join them smother them!!!
  8. Demolish the App store and make it free. Developers can pay for a "verified by RIM" service.
Yup that's it. A world dominating product.

Please pay attention.