Dear CrackBerry: Give it to us Straight!

We Demand Release Dates!
By Kevin Michaluk on 27 Jul 2011 02:12 pm EDT
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Elect CrackBerry Kevin to the RIM Board of Directors next year and I Will Deliver You Results!!

I just received this email from one our readers (thanks for sending it in Erik!) and felt it needed to be shared and responded to here as I think it does address a lot of frustrations that our readers are feeling this week:

I'm writing you because I consider Crackberry to be the #1 source of Blackberry news and commentary.

We're approaching 3 months since RIM Announced the Bold 9900, and we still don't have a release date. We were told at their AGM on July 12 that seven OS 7 devices were now coming, but with ZERO details. When Jim Balsillie actually said, "I'll do anything to make you sleep better," to shareholders, no one frankly had the balls to stand up and demand to see something tangible. Demand to see at least a couple of these seven devices while the whole world was watching. I personally would have stood up and screamed it if I was there!

My point is that if you look at the comments of Crackberry's recent articles, 90% of them reflect anger and frustration to RIM's vagueness and total lack of information, along with their history of flagrant delays. Crackberry and many other media outlets (even MSNBC) ran with this fan night tweet claiming that RIM would announce most or all of the so called seven phones yesterday. When it turned out to be nothing but a local gathering in Toronto, Crackberry made no mention of the monumental letdown that it contributed to.

I strongly feel that you owe all of us an article on this subject. Something direct and to the point, without beating around the bush. Again, it's not RIM bashing, it's accurate reporting. This notion that RIM is trying to protect sales of their ancient inventory at this point is no longer valid, as anyone who buys an OS 5 or 6 device today will not be able to buy an OS 7 device "later", as there's something in the industry known as CONTRACTS. One sale now voids that potential sale in the future.

Look at recent article comments! Look at your forums! Give us an accurate article that all of the Blackberry loyal deserve!

Erik raises some really valid points here that I will address straight up to him and I'm sure it will make for interesting discussion (so feel free to sound off after in the comments with your thoughts). So here's my response to Erik....

Hey Erik,

Thanks for the email! My thoughts (apologies in advance for the rambling... lots to get done so typing this out fast)...

Re: the AGM and officially seeing other BB7 devices sooner. RIM did actually have Bold 9900s on hand at the AGM (along with PlayBooks) for people on hand to test out and use. Look, RIM could have announced every BB7 device at BlackBerry World, but only chose to do one because of the time to market issue and not wanting to overhang sales of existing in-market devices. They needed to show investors and analysts what the new hardware platform looks like. They did that by showing off the 9900/9930.  Also showing off the new Torches (essentially the same device as 9900 just on different form factors) and Curve  wouldn't have added any value here other than to potentially further hurt sales of existing in-market devices.

I agree with you that from a pure-consumer standpoint this completely sucks... especially for anybody who's going to buy a BlackBerry right now on contract and be stuck with it while new BBs are about to hit (you know that person's next phone in turn probably won't be a BB), but that issue will always exist in retail (same issue for people who buy an iPhone 4 the week before Apple announces an iPhone 5). That's why people need to do their research on sites like CrackBerry and make a wise purchase decision and not just walk into a store and buy something relatively blind on info. I do feel bad for the people who are buying BBs right now with so much better ones coming out just around the corner. My advice is to wait for the new stuff. But standing up at at the AGM and screaming to demand to see BB 7 devices I don't feel would have added much value to the current situation... plus, look at all the leaks we've seen of everything... 10 seconds on crackberry or google and anybody who wants to see them, will see them. The saying buyer beware exists for a reason... necessity.

I think the thing to also understand here is that RIM WANTS ALL THESE NEW BB7 DEVICES ON SALE YESTERDAY (or even longer, as in since early 2011). I think people at RIM, like Co-CEO Jim Balsillie are just as frustrated as we all our with the fact we're all waiting for these new phones to hit the market. I'm pretty sure they are folk at RIM saying, damn, if we would have post-poned the PlayBook a bit and gotten these BB7 devices to market first, we'd be wayyy further ahead right now (whether or not that would have made a difference to where RIM is at today I'm not sure of - I think it can be argued both ways). Heck, that's why Jim brought Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis onto the last investor's call... to take the fall for the slow rollout of these new devices.

I personally don't think RIM sees it as wanting to sell out inventory channels of existing product before introducing new products. YES.. that problem may exist (and likely does), but it's actually the carriers in this case, not RIM, who would be delaying the release of the devices if that were the hold up. The problem as it was relayed by Mike L on the last investors call was that it was technical acceptance holding up the devices. If the actual problem is AT&T is sitting on a bunch of Torch 9800s so they have no interest right now in selling the Torch 2 (etc. etc. per other carriers/devices), I'm not sure what RIM is able to do about this in the short term other than wait with the rest of us... do they buy back and write-down unsold inventory to make room for new phones? Do carriers just continue to promote in-market devices until it makes sense to start moving next-gen stuff? Is this even an issue right now (on the record RIM has just said it's a technical acceptance thing with the new BB7 OS, and once one carrier certifies a device the rest will follow suit quick).

It seems like from a RIM standpoint they're ready to go on selling these BB7 devices... hence the meetup in Toronto next week showing them off. I feel it's less RIM protecting in channel sales vs. it just being a business issue that has to get dealt with. We have seen quite a bit of release date info floating around (and some been sent into CrackBerry), and it seems pretty clear that for the carriers that are carrying multiple devices of the new BB7 models, that the release dates will be closely tied together.  For example, the latest info we had on Rogers was August 20th, 25th, 30th for the Bold 9900, Torch 9860 and Curve 9360, respectively. So we should be just weeks away now from seeing these new devices hit. And for people who are on carriers that for whatever reason may be slower to release the new BB7 devices, we'll just have to make sure we're educating people on how easy it is to unlock and use a BB on another carrier!

Regarding the whole False Tweet/Facebook thing this week: Yeah, I'm just as ticked off as you are here. Put it this way... I sent an email to Adam and Chris on Monday night saying let's all make sure we're awake and at our computers early in case RIM shoots off these device press releases at 6am. In re-reading the RIM tweet and their Facebook status update, I definitely feel RIM's social media team made a bad call on this one. I think they didn't realize just how much everybody out there is waiting on official announcements, so a teaser like this was taken to mean that the real deal was coming... not the announcement of a Fan night and a Facebook update (that's what the Facebook status update was referring to when it said "Hey Team BlackBerry, what's shiny, new and social all over? We want to tell you all about it. Can you guess what it might be? Tune in tomorrow for details!" Seriously.. I guess the word social was the tip off here that they were annnouncing a Facebook update, but when jonesing BlackBerry fans see shiny and new and BlackBerry in a sentence they think phones).I guess we could have/should have followed up with a post on this sooner saying WTF?!... but I guess you can consider this the follow-up response to that now. Our bad. We'll work harder!

I think that addresses your main points in your email. On the RIM standpoint, I share your frustration and wish we had clearer direct info, especially on release dates. With the BB Fan night coming next week, it only makes sense that they'd officially start announcing other new BB 7 devices, so hopefully between now and then we see that happen. And hopefully we also see carriers announce some dates soon. I think the best thing here is the fact there's so many people PASSIONATE on knowing this info. It shows there's still a lot of love and demand for BB, even though the general media message seems to be on the contrary lately. Maybe the solution here is to get me on RIM's Board of Directors at next year's AGM... I'll make sure as a company RIM does a better job on this type of stuff! Do you own a bunch of shares by chance? Let's vote me in!

Thanks again for the email, and here's to hoping we can some more info and new BB7 devices SOON,

Kevin

PS. Anymore questions shoot them in the comments here, and I'll chime in as best as I can with responses. 

Reader comments

Dear CrackBerry: Give it to us Straight!

112 Comments

FIRST!

And I'm mad at Bla1ze for trying to tell me that Facebook post was for new devices and not new for the Facebook app and confusing the entire planet. Should go with my gut next time ;)

FIRST!

Crackberry should STOP sucking up to RIM and constantly letting them off the hook. This article is yet another perfect example. If RIM has the phone(s) ready to go, then why not sell unlocked versions on their web site. Give me a F'in break. Bend over Crackberry, enjoy the RIMming!

I bought the PB with the understanding that the email and PIM apps were "60 days" away. I don't believe a damn thing coming from that company. Total lack of execution. Complete void of management leadership. The Co-CEO's (WTF is that all about - ego maybe?) should be replaced IMMEDIATELY!

Customers and shareholders need to hold them responsible for the complete meltdown of both product and distribution execution.

Second!

I'm mad at RIM. RIM should have used it to actually announce new devices, time was right..spotlight was on them and everyone was watching.

Soooo true what you are saying! What's important there is that RIM managed it to get everyone's attention, many people were checking their social media accounts and I personally felt a very high attention, it could have been then perfect moment to introduce their new devices maybe combined with a huge advertising campaign in cities, tv, business and social media, including games and promoting NEW stuff!
Cheers

Crackberry should go black for a day in protest of the lack of any real news from RIM why should you make it seem like stuff is happening in blackberry land when the people in control are doing NOTHING.

I like my blackberry, I like my playbook, iI like RIM products but I HATE the management of the company.

Honestly I can't see RIM "announcing" the other devices at all ... what a joke, what is left to announce. RIM grow some balls work with Rogers and launch your phones in Canada before AT&T and let them feel the heat from consumers who can't get products that are on the market elsewhere.

I hate the way RIM is always sucking up to ATT and I am a customer of ATT.

AArgh!!! I like blackberries and not Jim and Mike, get rid of them for the sake of RIM.

Agree with the frustration, wanting to see RIM succeed but i have lost alotta hope in the past 6 months. Maybe this new lineup coming all at once will ease my frustration...

Fifth!

Edit...now Sixth

I kinda feel that it's Crackberry's responsibility to echo the frustrations from the loyal BB fans here. RIM pays attention to what this site says, in one of their PB launch videos, it used CB's review in the video. I feel like I have to get the not so good news from other less friendlier websites for my favourite company.

Eighth!

Yeah, ARE you guys hiring? I don't need to get paid or anything, I just want the honour and the swag (t-shirts and coasters will be fine, but I'll take an OS7 phone if you insist )

Kevin are you or another member of CB going to attend the Fan Night, or is this a closed event and you need to win or get invited to attend?

Ok, well if you are in the vicinity of the Fan Event, lol, swing in there, grab me a 9930 and drop it off, it would be much appreciated.

Well I live very close to Toronto, and maybe you could hook me up with a pass for the event if I can't win one (i'll take the pass and phone and hang out with the one and only Kevin)

CBK:

How about an impromptu Crackberry meet up in Toronto when you're in town next week? That is after the dust settles from the Fan Night excitment. PM me, I have venue suggestion...no affiliation, just a cool place I recently found by accident in the city. If you want to email me directly with help in organizing, please ask Michelle Haag for my email address.

Piece!

the brother :)

If you haven't yet, be sure to listen to our last Crackberry Podcast where I verbally relay the stories....

i think that does a better job than written posts (would be 20,000 words and take forever to read).

couple more posts on the way about some of the things that i need to find the time to put out on some of the things we saw.. Perimeter Institute, Ripple for BB story, etc. but definitely listen to podcat as a first step for the play by play of the trip.

Great letter and great response. The sentiment and outlook on RIM is so grim nowadays. Even die hard fans are turning into cynics. I really hope RIM wises up and makes the major changes they need.

It's so weird b/c every day seems to switch from RIMmageddon to RIMpire Strikes Back. *SIGH*

I think part of the RIMPIRE Striking Back is actually embracing RIMageddon.

You can't ignore the bad news... you have to embrace it, work with it, and make it positive. I'm trying to convey that via our content... I hope that overall message is coming across.  Have some content and events in the works that are definitely more on the RIMPIRE Strikes Back side.

I think our CB friends have been sleeping with the enemy a bit much and it has clouded what CB was really good at, getting us insights and thinking from the side of the consumer reporting the truth at no price. After a few elbow rubs with RIM we don't see leaks anymore, we see official releases without leaks (615) and no date in sight for product releases that are supposed to save this Company with such blindly loyal customers (that keeps shrinking in the US).

I am not saying let's R. Murdock our way into our info, but lets not be Tom Cruise hanging out with TMZ.

In short, tell us what you know!

I wouldn't say sleeping with the enemy....

In general, we're in the same place that most tech sites are...  if/when we agree to an embargo, we honor it. 

When it comes to things like leaks, etc., we have no policy on not posting them... if we're sent in something, we post on it.  and if it leaks anywhere (on another site,etc), we'll always post on it.  i don't really think it matters who/where it leaks, as long as we post it up asap if we think it's pertinent/relevant.

as for the tell us what you know... probably the single best way to get our insight and where things are at is to listen to our podcast.  that's where we talk about a lot of the stuff that's in a grey area... it's more our take on it (not necessarily backed up by evidence so not something i'd want to blog as fact).  

but i get where you're going with your comment here... i agree with you and do think there's some room for us to further ramp up the type of content you're looking for... between murdock and cruise. 

Im so ready to leave Blackberry......Why do i have to put up with this. As a loyal Blackberry customer for years. I keep from going to a Droid smartphone thinking that RIM will do some kind of dramatic change overnight. I've been holding off and enjoying my Torch but it does not come close to compare to the smartphones outhere. As soon as i get a good deal from another provider im GONE.......Crackberry your one of my favorite sites and i learn alot from other readers and the forums........

I really want to stick around but the grass is not only greener on the other side its lush and confy......

i share these same sentiments. i've been holding off for as long as i can. we haven't even seen or heard anything more of what might be an os 7 lite for current devices, which would actually breathe life into the current os 6 devices so people wouldn't be hesitant to keep buying current stock. it seems like they've just called it quits on the current devices, and dragging their feet on os 7 devices, when really what people want is a qnx os bb.

sorry, but i really don't think i can wait around for them to sort out their mess. i'm heading over to android.

I have to disagree (only slightly) with that statement. As a proud owner of both a bold 9700 (yeah, I know, it's old) and an HTC Desire HD, I can honestly say that for a lot of my intents and purposes, I go to my blackberry first. Partly because it's my work phone, and partly because it's just that much more reliable.

As I type this, I just had my Desire crash on me. I'm not saying that Blackberry is infinitely better. RIM has major improvements to make in a fairly short period of time. The OS 7 devices may end up only being a stepping stone in that direction, and I'm really hoping RIM makes good use of this first step. I'd actually like to see a Playbook 2 come out and really show the world just what Canadian ingenuity can do!

I'm on my way out as well, sadly. My Bold keeps crashing or freezing, and even reboots aren't helping much now-a-days. I've been waiting and waiting for the Bold Touch, and now that it's almost here, it's almost too little too late. I've secured an Android tablet, and I've been contemplating getting an Android phone to use as a hotspot now. The only thing keeping me to RIM at the moment is BBM...and that thread is very thin.

I don't want to leave BB, but I feel as though my back is against a wall.

Ok, lets get another point straight since Kevin's going to answer more questions.

I saw a new post come up late last night on BGR.com, it was titled "Did RIM lose its BlackBerry software boss just ahead of QNX" and, being a RIMpire fan, I obviously read it, only to find the article pretty disturbing, since it actually refers to RIM losing a top exec employee, which lead a -tiny- department at RIM, the FREAKING SOFTWARE DIVISION!.

Now, this is another point that CrackBerry didn't address, and it's been more tan 8 hours since the post went up, and I consider that this post at least requires an intervention from CrackBerry, something we could read that would deny or accept the information because I believe BGR is just being sensationalist-much here.

So I'd like to know what the CrackBerry team thinks! is this an "omg this is bad" situation? or is it a "ok, it was time for them to kick him out" situation? or is it fake altogether?, will this delay even more the release of the new devices? was this the possible cause for RIM changing the "big announcement" on Facebook to a social event?. I want your opinion because you're the experts here, and you're the guys we turn to when news like these go up, and there's a reason why we do that, because CrackBerry IS SIMPLY THE BEST FREAKING RIM-RELATED WEBSITE, so shoot!

I don't think this is an OMG situation at all, especially in light of QNX doing more and more of the BlackBerry work.  David Yach has moreso been in the guy in charge of this stuff, and with this week's RIM management shakeup I think RIM is setting itself up to better tackle all these software/development tasks. So I definitely don't think it's that big a deal at all right now and don't think it has any impact on current devices, etc. Put it this way.. guys high up typically aren't  that hands on.

It seems like beyond the senior changes that RIM announced, a lot of other high level changes have been made within RIM and we're doing some digging into what it all means.  We heard yesterday that both Jeff McDowell and Jim Toban we're let go from RIM... these were Sr. VPs. This means there is a LOT of change happening at RIM right now.. I think it might be a few more days before we fully see the extent of changes and what they all mean.  Once we get a grasp of what's happening, we can follow up with more.

Talking about walls of txt LOL Kevin, use the return/enter key once in a while man ;) :)

As for the txt itself, well, I think that BB fans/users are getting used to waiting for updates/devices or whatever.

I do the only thing that I CAN do, just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride waiting for all the good things to come.... :)
Complaining about it won't help, alltough I can understand perfectly why people starting to get angy with RIM, so come on RIM show us what ya got!

Sorry about that. When I write emails I tend to go off in long paragraphs (just ask our editorial and forums moderator teams on the group emails they sometimes get from me)

Although I am eager to buy the new Bold that's coming out I am perfectly happy with the Bold I have now because even though it's semi old tech it's better than anything else out there. I think the pressure seems to be on because Andriod releases 5 new Phones and Tablets per week and honestly I'm so sick of hearing of a new andriod phone or tablet...every manufacturer and my grandma are making one it's OVERKILL. Although Apple and Andriod in my opinion are kids stuff, Apple at least doesn't wh*re out it's OS, they are more like Blackberry making a solid OS and installing it on a good phone form factor. There is only one iphone updated and released annually and people fall all over themselves trying to get one. Blackberry only has a handful of phones with annual/constant updates. I think it's a great formula and the giant blackberry following is proof that it works. Make a good product, update it and support it and you got a winner. The PlayBook I think came out at a right time because when it's paired up with my bold I am not left wanting anything. The playbook is a beast already and when the future updates come in it will only be better.

I must say Christy05h, I agree with you whole heartedly. It appears that nearly everyone who makes a Cell Phone nowadays puts some form of Android on their devices. Neither Apple nor Android can sway me with an OS whose main objective is to be able to play better games while I'm waiting for my burger. I think that somewhere along the way we've forgotten the purpose of the Smartphone. RIM in my opinion still understands that purpose. If they start putting out devices just like Apple and Android, then the only difference would be the Blackberry Logo on their Devices! As for being able to pair your Blackberry Playbook with your Blackberry Smart Phone, (Via Bridge) Speaks of RIM thinking ahead not being stuck in the past. And I laughed when I heard certain Fanboys trying to say how horrible it was to put out a WiFi only Device. I guess when you can't pair your phone with your Tablet for free, you've got to have something to complain about. Nevertheless, I see a great deal of Strategy in the way RIM is handling the Smartphone War. I seriously doubt that the people that started the Smartphone craze are about to lie down and play dead anytime soon!

Sure, if anything RIM is losing the PR game...with many of the tech websites and bloggers constantly hammering BlackBerry devices and many BlackBerry supporters crying out it is going to have an effect. More than anything Apple knows how to market their products and make it seem like it's the best thing ever that it has consumers, bloggers and tech sites chompin at the bit wanting one. On the heels of the Apple App hype Andriod flooded the market with a very similar product and gained much of the market share quickly and many people jumped on the bandwagon... admittedly I was one of them a year ago I defected from BlackBerry and bought an Samsung Epic 4G and then and HTC EVO Shift 4G and they were decent phones but I think at one point during my millionth angry birds game I realized I wasn't happy...I wasn't happy with the forceclosing, I wasn't happy with having to reboot my phone at least once every morning and sometimes two or three times during the day, having a dead battery after a few hours, I never used any of the apps and I was just utterly disgusted with the over-saturated andriod market with a new phone every five minutes. After the shine wore off I was able to see clearly and came back to a phone and company that never had let me down. I may not be alone and maybe others will come back to, I just hope it won't be to late.

I've put off my phone upgrade for 9 months waiting on a successor to my Storm 2. They have 6 weeks to announce a release date, and another 6 weeks to release. When my birthday hits (Labor Day weekend), if they dont have a release date, I am going to jump in bed with the Evil Empire.

At least we now know they'll officially announce some handsets on Aug 3. As far as release dates go.......who knows.

They definately would be much farther ahead if they teased BB7 at Dev Con in Sep 2010 and then had BB7 devices at CES with release throughout Q1/Q2 depending on carriers. Playbook should have been teased at BBW 2011 and released at Dev Con 2011. Especially since they still don't have PIM on the damn thing. It would be one ting to wait for the Android Player, but PIM!? Showing off the PB before BB7 did exactly what Kevin is saying they don't want to do by announcing the other BB7 devices now. It froze the market to an extent. Why get invilved in BB now since they are waffling between 2 very different OS's? I think a lot of Dev's are standing back and waiting.

And just think what these BB7 would devices would have meant in early 2011. 1.2 ghz chips! All the Storm 1 users hitting their 2 years etc.

As far as carrier sitting on inventory, RIM should by it back from ATT with all their cash then re distribute to the rest of the world. Torches in Costa Rica!

Just my Thoughts!

I just can't hear this whole "it's now waiting on certification from the carriers" bullshite anymore. Mike L. didn't see the "arms race" until it was too late, and then had to backtrack to add faster processors, which in turn delayed everything a year.
Pretty sad if you ask me.

Yes, Definitely sad. I would have much preferred them to release a lesser product just to get a new phone out.

I get tired of the growing internet culture of having to shoot somebody down and "own them" if you differ in opinion from them. People get upset at being called trolls for being a "realist" or "non-fanboy" when its really just the fact that they are unable to articulate a view in a tactful manner and come across as jacknads

I honestly don't feel in any way that RIM bottle necks in hardware development. If anywhere, its the software side of things. The hardware for the phones has been ready for ages, just waiting on some software tweaks and for the carriers to test it (read: Decide which release date makes them the most money).

I think the bigger question people should be asking is, Is it worth buying an OS7 device when it won't be compatible with QNX which will be out 6-8 months later?"

I mean if I have an iPhone4 at least I will be able to upgrade to iOS5 thus extended the life of the device. It's bad enough that the original Torch and other phones of that time will not be compatible with OS7 (which is really 6.1) but for me to waste money and buy a device that is really an evolutionary dead-end because RIM can't get QNX together soon enough is unacceptable.

That is an interesting question to debate.

I guess it comes down to money, how much you love BlackBerry, and what kind of a rush you're in to upgrade, and have the latest and greatest.

If you're an 'average' consumer, you're maybe only going to use the phone for 20% of it's capabilities, be it BBOS or QNX, so you could probably get any of them and be happy.

If you're more tech savvy, you're going to want the latest and greatest regardless of money and contract and what makes sense.  

maybe we'll run a dedicated poll/story on this topic soon. thanks for mentioning

Thanks for the reply Kevin. This has been bothering me since the shareholders meeting where Jim or Mike (can't remember who) promised that QNX smartphones would be available in "early" 2012. And it does make sense for the average consumer to not really care about what OS they have.

But I am a tech savvy user and love the organizational value of a BlackBerry device and the 100 plus contacts I have on BBM is great, but it really bothers me that it's taking so long for RIM to get these "superphones" out. It almost feels like OS7 is just a smoke screen to make RIM more profit and fool consumers (hence the reason why they changed the name from OS 6.1 to 7). My contract is up this Dec. so I'm really debating whether it's worth buying an OS7 device when possible 4-6 months later the OS will bricked. Just not worth it in my eyes and because of that it actually has me at least "thinking" about switching to Android.

Please understand I'm not a RIM-basher or anything, but I'm tired for waiting and tired the hearing lame excuses about not having duo-core chipsets available when Samsung and Motorola seem to not have a problem at all, which makes it just look like RIM didn't know what they were doing until they started losing market share rapidly.

The problem is that OS 7.0 is not the "latest and greatest" - it is a .1 upgrade from the current 6.0 OS mascarading as a major upgrade by giving it a 7.0 name; a name that is supposed to wow consumers into thinking that this is a major enhancement over the existing devices.

Personally, I don't have a problem with this type of marketing strategy - quite frankly, I'm actually suprised that RIM would be so agressive with this strategy given how inept their marketing usually is - but to think that this OS is THE next big thing that will save RIM; stop consumers complaining about how antiquated, obselete, and non-fun, a Blackberry phone is; and in essense will be the holy-grail which will catapault RIM back into the Number 1 spot of cell phone manufacturers is ludicrous.

I would supsect that alot of of people, at least those who are really in the know about the upcoming QNX superphones, will simply bide our time and wait until these are delivered.

In my case, my 9780 in combination with my Playbook, does everything I need a phone to do. Do I want a flashier phone? Yes. Do I want a faster phone? Yes. Do I want to buy one of the "Mythical 7" phones and then purchase a QNX phone next year? No. There is simply not enough to make me move.

I have an answer to that question. :)

Yes, its definitely worth buying one. Just because it might not be compatible with QNX doesn't make OS7 phones useless when the QNX phones come out. What is wrong with OS7 phones anyway? We don't know of any extra features a QNX phone might have over OS7. We can speculate, but that's it.

And I doubt QNX will be released 6-8 months afterwards. It'll be around November-December 2012 in time for Christmas.

RIM is turning over a new leaf and they should do this right. Release devices before Christmas consistently. Do NOT leak future devices or announce them WAY before they are done. It degrades the value of their current products and gets people frustrated without a release date. It's like saying, "Check out what you can't have for LONG time!"

Apple does a fine job at this and RIM should follow. The iphone4 holds its value remarkably well for a device released over a year ago.

Although I'm a big RIM fan and get excited for new leaks....I shouldn't be hearing about QNX phones and they shouldn't talk about it. I shouldn't be seeing the 9860's amazingness until a couple weeks before it gets released. I want to see RIM hush up about release dates. And once it is released, keep it supported and awesome.

RIM should have a team working on the QNX OS for the phone but make sure those phones are not leaked and keep it secret. The spotlight should be on what people CAN actually buy, not something they might eventually.

I completly agree, and even if QNX is released 6-8 months afterwards, it will be a long time before QNX is polished enough and can catch with OS7, that is why they are talking about a single Super Phone for the first gen of QNX phones, they realized they cannot just replace the whole lineup overnight, but they know they have to release something...

The first QNX device will not be for everyone and will have problems, nobody should be planing on buying them thinking QNX will be superior on every aspect to OS7, IT WILL NOT!. For regular people, OS7 will be a great OS until 2nd gen of QNX phones arrives (at least) and by then your contracts with OS7 phones should be upgradable...

I hear what your saying,

But the fact that QNX might not be polished enough, bugs me even more. To think that not only OS7 is a bricked OS, but that the next OS in line will take time to get it's feet is unacceptable. It's been in development for a long time. I have an iPod Touch 4G and I'm pretty sure iOS 5 won't need a "ton of time" to get it's feet (like iOS 4). The least it will do is extend the life of the OS on that device. It's just sad that RIM can't do this. It's the fact that buying an OS7 device means having a phone with a non-upgradable OS on it. Once again I'm not bashing RIM, just being honest in my frustration.

I can understand your frustration, but you are not doing a fair comparison, IOS5 is an evolution of IOS4, not a whole new OS built from the ground up like QNX, I don't think there is any way around this, RIM recognized the only way forward is to migrate to QNX and we all welcome that change as BBOS seems to have reached its potential limits, we just don't want to pass through the migration process and unfortunatelly it has to happen...

The first QNX device is already out - it's called the Playbook. RIM has already spent time on the QNX platform and still has time to polish off QNX for it's upcoming phones.

While I agree with you that first-generation phones, or any technology for that matter, may be buggy, I dont think that this will be particularly problematic for the new superphones in any major way. As in essence, the Playbook is beta testing the software now.

For me at least, I'd rather have to put up with a few bugs in a fresh, powerful, and, importantly, upgradable OS, than be stuck with an antiquated and obselete-before-it-is-released 7.0 (really 6.1) OS.

Granted, not everyone will feel that way and if they are happy with their purchase, more power to them. But QNX can't come fast enough for me.

Playbook is not a phone, it does not have all the phone radio driver's for GSM, LTE, CDMA and whatnot (which is pretty importan, complicate and requires certifications and carrier acceptance), it does not do SMS, it does not have PIM (we are all waiting for it later this year but we are yet to see it), it does not connect to the BES platform, it does not connect to the BIS platform, etc. etc. There is a lot of work needed to make this a phone and compare it to OS7.

Also, OS 7 is not obsolete in any way, it is an evolution of OS6 and will have improvements / new features, people just have the wrong idea it is obsolete just because they know a new OS is comming.

Finally, I share the way of thinking with you, I preffer to play with the latest, but I'm not a regular user and I do my homework so when something does not work I'll be prepared and I'll not be whining about it. That is why I will probably buy it when it comes out, but I don't recommend it to regular not technical people.

The RIM CEOs promised the QNX superphone would be out in early 2012 at the shareholders meeting earlier this month. Furthermore the QNX platform has the ability to run Android apps. That feature alone trumps anything OS7 (6.1) has to offer. More to the fact, seeing that apps like News360 are available for the Playbook but not any current devices (and not likely the OS7 devices) proves that better apps will be available for QNX (Android & non-Android).

If RIM is so late on these phones, which have been shown to us since April!!! then the QNX phones won't appear till 2013. Forget QNX for now, my friend. They can't even crank those OS 7 phones out the door what makes you think the OS 8 phones will be ready next year?

On RIM's defense, they're transitioning from a much older platform to a new OS entirely. Every step that is made is integrating new technology into several new hardware platforms. It's also a big job to test the software on so many platforms. This is why I really think they should produce less phones so they can do it quicker and better. Why try to support 7 different platforms? Yeah, the Bold and Torches share the same specs, but there are still differences in how the UI works considering the different screen dimensions, integration with physical and soft keyboards, etc., etc.

I think they should sell the Storm-type device, the Bold, the Torch, and the Style -- four devices. Maybe you might add a Curve Touch to the mix, but do you really need it? However, now they're showing leaks of another Bold device.

Regarding QNX, it's not the be all and end all for RIM or BlackBerry. Really, it's not what's under the hood that matters in the end. It's really this: does it get the job done in a manner that is acceptable for the user. I think OS 7 answers that call. I think it's about what you get in the end.

For me, the GUI is a bit dated now but still very functional, and I like what it can do for me. Don't forget that familiarity is important to the average consumer: your non-techy friend, for example. Voice universal search, for example, is a really nice enhancement that I will use a lot.

I'm convinced that RIM has re-written a lot of the core BlackBerry software to make it perform much, much better. I also believe a bunch of QNX folks were behind that UI and core utilities re-write.

I'll buy a new 9860 the moment it appears in stores. I HATE that they killed the Storm name in favour of Torch, when the Torch is known as a slider. What were they thinking?

Yes, too many blunders will leave too many scars that cannot heal. I hope they learn their lesson and start listening to their fiercest supporters -- those who really want to see BlackBerry succeed. However, if RIM continues to stiff folks like us, we will succumb to the enemy in shameless defeat.

remember that episode of "family guy" where brian dates that girl from the library? He held back from having sex with her because it enticed the girl but in the end she ended up in the car having sex with cleveland? yea......cleveland is android right not and im about to get in the car....you can be all the "mysterious" you want , i'm going to android. this is how you LOSE customers...

true blackberry fans waited atleast 6 months for the playbook whats 6 months for the 9900 =).

the runaways can all cry when everyone is hold their brand new 9800s and bold 9900s

Thanks to Eric for communicating very well out collective frustrations with RIM's current market position. While it serves no purpose to reiterate the issues once again, I will add that RIM's credibility with carriers must be seriously compromised. I can only assume that moving new RIM products through carrier certification must significantly more complicated than previous and getting carrier marketing resource allocations even worse.

While I fully understand Kevin's natural reflex to defend RIM's recent Corporate maneuvering (or lack of), I think we all need to have periodic doses of reality from folks like Eric. With this in mind, I was somewhat disappointed in Kevin's recent podcast describing his trip to Waterloo. I thought it was all very interesting but he never once reported any sense of urgency or any sense that RIM employees understood the perilous market situation RIM is in. In fact, he seemed to describe a atmosphere of "business as usual" during his meetings which was very much the theme presented at the Shareholders meeting.

I'm pulling for RIM in every way possible but I think RIM's one-year product vacuum coupled with this "peekaboo" product announcement strategy is really getting rather tiresome. I can't imagine "outsiders" take on all of this, it certainly could not be anything positive.

Yo EchoTango,

Good comment.

Agreed on it being a good dose of reality from Eric. I actually don't really see myself as trying to defend RIM, but rather just seeing both sides of the equation. I get where consumers are frustrated. I also get where RIM is a company that needs to make money. So I think I try to explain RIM's actions more than justify/defend them... looking at it from the corporate side a bit more than just from the consumer side (where we just want new awesome devices and want them now!). 

It's also pretty clear now looking back at my trip to Waterloo that it was a little bit of the "calm before the storm". to me it was pretty business as usual.. don't get me wrong, I think everybody at RIM was and is aware of the challenges they've been facing, but at the same time i dont think i saw panic anywhere.  

Things might be a bit different this week though.. when layoffs happen for real and managers get moved, now RIM from the top down is saying we gotta get our act together and haul ass.  I almost feel like going back to waterloo right now to see how things are playing out.

 

As someone who has been extremely loyal over the years (even switching a few people over to the BB brand), I am about ready to leave. The Torch is a wonderful phone... when it works properly. The fact of the matter is that the dated hardware cannot support the OS. It lags, it freezes and it makes me want to blow my brains out.

The "new" lines of phones would be awesome... in 2009. It's perplexing how such a large and successful company can be utterly obtuse when it comes to the nature of the market in which it exists.

And if you're going to write such a lengthy reply to someone's email, you may wish to use that large button on your keyboard titled "ENTER". Reading such a daunting wall of text is difficult, even more the most avid reader.

Added some line breaks for the others that follow... sorry.. was so excited to post I didn't really put any formatting effort into this one (which i dont really do with emails...which is kind of what this was).

 

I knew i should have written you in on my proxy vote. Hopefully RIM is taking all the "free" advice from you and this community that they can.

Your going to see RIMs market share drop even further until the QNX devices are released, the OS 7 is a stop gap and everyone knows this. I for one will not be buying a new RIM device until QNX. The question is can they wether the storm until then??

Give us a QNX Handheld leak, who cares about these devices anymore, they've been leaked for over a year now.
Kev, if your trip to Waterloo was the calm before the storm, however it was just business as usual then therein lies the problem. It's was business as usual when the iPhone released, it was business as usual in 2010 when RIM made no innovations and released NOTHING. The business as usual approach has been whats gotten RIM in this mess and changing nothing in terms of that approach will just keep them going backwards.
If anything Kev, I think your insight would be more useful in terms of marketing and PR work for RIM because that crap yesterday was horrible. Imagine Apple tweeting that, the world would end cause the iSheep community would lose their minds if Apple didn't announce anything the next day like RIM did. RIM's marketing and PR needs a kick in the pants to turn this situation around only after they start releaseing new devices.

When will you people on here wake up to the fact that RIM is all but finished. The time has long passed for them to compete with IOS or Andriod and their credibility is all but toast. Think about when GM or Ford were failing, this is much the same but with no bail out. Releasing a few new phones with specs that are over a year old in terms of technology is no way to attract customers. Those two fuckin asshole CEO's don't even have the balls to come out and say, "You know what- we screwed up, but we are going to leave no stone unturned in transforming this company back into a market leader". I am so sick of all you cheerleaders for RiM who are living in a fantasy world. Nothing will ever get better for BB, and soon they will be a name from the past...

i think if kevin made the board of directors iti'll be the first time a fan of a company / creator of fansite and lowest percentage shareholder (at his very very large portfolio holding of 1 vote) made a listed companies' board hahahah

I think ideally we would all want the new blackberries to run QNX os. However right now a QNX blackberry would suck. None of your current apps would work. Anyone that has a playbook knows UI is awesome but apps lacking. So they best thing at this point would be for RIM to get QNX really up and going and be prepared to release the device with the most popular apps that we already use. I think if for example OS7devices drop in August it will be almost a year before we see a great QNX device.

By continously complaining and still holding a BB, you're not going to make thinks change.
I used to be loyal to BB since 2008, I had 14 (!?!) of them (Form Pearl to all Curves, from 9000 to 9700, form Tour to 9650, from Storm to Torch), I really used to be RIM fanatic (Consider that I leave in Switzerland, I had to buy most of them on my trips to the US).
I sold my Torch two months ago as a protest to RIM for being so slow with releases while others were enjoying new devices every year (Apple) or even every week (Android).
Abandoning BlackBerry is my own way to tell them I'm not happy! The fact that I still come to CB almost 20 times a day, shows that I'm ready to jump back and I'm really waiting for a full review of the Torch 9860 as this may be my next phone.
I currently have a Galaxy S2 and I know now what it feels to have a beast phone but still, I'm missing something.... Not really BBM as I only had 5 contact :-( but I, as a sales guy, was really feeling important with my BB with a lot of people engaging a conversation with BB questions...
Now, I have the ultimate phone but nobody seems to care.... I really miss BlackBerry....
Kevin, stay loyal to us, I understand that you are in between but, as long as you are not part of RIM's Board of Directors, you should really be more on this side, the die hard BlackBerry fans

Kevin,

Has anyone ever expressed that it's such a shame that they are a slave to the carriers? I can kind of understand their position, however certain things like firmware updates being restricted to carriers pushing them out when they eventually feel like it... unless we get lucky and get an odd leak here or there seem kind of dated by today's standards.

Here's a perfect example of where Apple is doing it right-they made the phones so they are tweaking and updating the firmware-not the carriers that just sell the devices and run the infrastructure. For example, Nobody wants their Internet Service Provider to limit their Microsoft Windows computer and not give them updates when Microsoft releases them, that would be stupid... Which is the current situation.

They could just provide the latest updates available on their site to anyone that had a supported device. The hardware is all the same and it doesn't really matter what carrier you run. We've all used unlocked devices or loaded up firmware from the wrong carrier on our devices by deleting Vendor.xml. It's such a shame that the carriers are restricting us all from having the latest firmware and bugfixes because they don't want to take the time to 'certify' the software all the time because it's such a moving target. They are selling infrastructure and as such should be treated as such, IMHO.

Heck on that note... why doesn't RIM just release the 9900 unlocked to anyone that wants it. Why must they sell it through a carrier at all. I would gladly pick one up and swap my Torch 9800 out for it. If the carriers have any issue at all with the devices it has to be software related if the FCC has given clearance for the devices they should be able to operate correctly anywhere a supported network/carrier is available. Just put in a SIM that works and go! If the carriers have an issue we can always update the firmware to fix any issues.

I've already been through the nightmare of crappy firmware and early leaks having used an Storm 9530 for over 2 years. I can deal with a bit of crappy software or incompleteness... looking at my PlayBook right now, if it means we have access to easy updates and and accessible hardware without having to bow down to the carriers just because they don't offer the product. I can run any unlocked phone on my network as long as the bands are correct.. so why are we limited in where we can get a BlackBerry?

They are moving in the right direction with the PlayBook, although far too slowly... They have a strong hold in several markets for the time being, however if they continue to be restricted in fixing their software and firmware issues in a timely manner they are going to find themselves in the same situation Palm ran into.

Jesse.

As I see it, not announcing new product dates is a bad mistake. It's not like RIM's current offerngs are all that competitive. The Bold sells to people who want a Blackberry, who are waiting like me for the 9930, Curve sells to bargain hunters, many of whom turn against BB products when they find you can't get as many flash-in-the-pan playthings for it and that it has an inadequate camera. I don't know who buys the Storm now. But seeing as how Bold buyers are not going to buy now, and Curve buyers will move to the next discounted phone that comes along, it makes more sense to say "Hey, next month we are releasing X, Y, and Z on these dates from these carriers and here are all the cool features they will have!

Where is native e-mail/pim for the Playbook? Where is a finished Android Player? Why isn't RIM working hard to get high demand apps like Netflix, Kindle, Hulu, etc. out and working on the Playbook ? Why doesn't RIM communicate anything effectively? It has been 90+ days since the Playbook release, and I believe 60+ since BBW. Loyal Crackberry nation has been extremely patient with RIM, way more patient then they deserve BTW, but it is now just becoming ridiculous. RIM owes the Crackberry nation information. The words "summer" and "steady cadence" are not acceptable!

Sorry, that developer probably got his pink slip last week. Feature will be delayed indefinitely.

Crap! I'm trying to be positive but there's really no good news here. When are we going to get some good news?!!!

Oh, there was some good news today. Facebook 2.0 with Facebook Chat. Love it. Can we change topics? Actually, I'll just switch to another article. Too depressing to think about!

I second this. I've been trying to get some friends of mine to buy the playbook and it's impossible to convince anyone to buy it when it doesn't have native email. I really don't think RIM realizes just how bad it is not to have a native email and calendar for casual users. I've had to admit to a couple people that the ipad or android tablets may be a better choice for that very reason.

Kevin, do you know any info about when PIM is coming out? I really mean anything. Normal people don't care about "coming soon", they will just buy something else. If you don't know then can you try to get RIM to give up some info? This is truly getting silly.

i don't think we'll have to wait till devcon (october).

i'm guessing they'll tie it to the launch of the playbook with radios in it.

hoping by end of september.

I don't know how many times I'll be saying this (probably right up to end of RIM when someone gobbles it up for the name, keyboard and security protocol) but RIM can't market itself out of a box and likely never will.

For a technology firm to screw up social marketing like yesterday, I mean, WOW! For them not to have cleared it up today is flabbergasting. Apple uses gaps and silence to build excitement and anticipation, BB turns it into frustration and resentment.

BB is run with an engineering mindset. Engineers do not see, understand or value marketing. Apple has exploited marketing to the point of reaching and well surpassing critical mass, where BB is at the tipping point of people leaving en-masse. I'm sure the argument at BB today is sounding like “why WHY don't people get it!" with a bunch of yes men saying "oh, I don't know Sir(s), we're doing great stuff!"

At first I was willing to give the current leadership a shot, they have good ideas. But now I feel BB needs to be shaken, violently. Maybe then someone over there will see the value in a simple next-day tweet to correct a message gone wrong and doing damage.

New and better HARDWARE and SOFTWARE are always great, but that's not the main problem with RIM. It is the current and most pressing issue that must be solved in the short term.
If RIM doesn't start looking at the big picture as APPLE has, it will slowly but surely lose market share to appl, goog, msft...
The main long term problem is content distribution. Apps, music, TV shows, movies, media.
I'm sure the hardware and software experience can be improved, but can RIM deliver on the other aspects?

Its so easy to connect your iphone and have it sync all your media or just download it. Its all very seamless. If RIM wants compete then it must focus, as I'm sure they know, on content integration.

RIM just doesn't deliver on that side.

The carriers/RIM don't want to take a bath on the millions of 9780's and 9800's left out in stock inventories.

There's only so many grey market handsets Nigeria/Indonesia/India will take.

I think some people forget that RIM puts out phones once a year, yes they have many models but they still put them out once a year. Android has a whole slew of companies putting out devices so it just looks looks like many phones. Think about it this way they never really say the company who made the phone they just say the new android "insert name here". Yes we know who made it but maybe not the average customer. I see this everyday, people ask for the newest android not the newest HTC, Motorola, Samsung, etc android phone, just android.

I said all of that to say this, if you look back a year and see what phone was released when, RIM has only missed the earliest release by a few months, so all they people crying about why these phones are not out yet are crying to early. This has been when RIM has released most of their phones, so give it some time and these phones will be out.

Great job in the reply Kevin another job well done.

I'm not normally compelled to enter these types of exchanges, but today I must make an exception. It is very apparent that the RIM ship has been taking on water for some time now and all this current rhetoric is nothing but desperate gasps of a doomed, albeit dedicated, crew. I've been nothing more than a dedicated BB user. However, my instincts are telling me to seek dry land as soon as possible. I have no reason to wait; I've waited for inspiration, but while the cheerleaders are doing their stunts, my shoes are filling with water. Adieu.

Can RIM ever really WOW us again? Crackberry addicts have been saying over and over exactly what RIM needs to do to stage a major comeback but our voices are falling on deaf ears.

Now Crackberry..instead of simply stating the truth, you seem to promoting the RIM hype machine (sub-standard hype machine).

What is going on? Kevin can we just have the simple truth?

They're paying Kevin to do some PR work since they can't do it themselves. Whisper: They just lost their marketing guy.

Nice effort Kevin, but I don't buy that "protecting existing device sales & inventory" rubbish. AT&T would kill to sell a hot device like the 9810. They'd ship back all the unsold 9800s back in a flash so RIM can sell them to the third world. All carriers want the latest and greatest hot devices. They won't wait to sell of old inventory.

I want to chime in here because a lot of these people, talking about wanting to jump ship to go to an Apple or Google Android product are not really loyal to the Blackberry brand.

Apple, imo, is overpriced junk. It always has been and it always will be. For what you pay for one of their mac books, you can get a pretty sweet PC laptop. The bulk of Apples customers are loyal to the brand, and are like a cult. No matter what comes out, they buy it.

Yes. Research in Motion does face some challenges ahead but I think they can handle it. And I do hope that we hear about new devices dropping on the carriers next month, but the QNX berries need not be rushed because if they don't get them right the first time, that may just be the last nail in the coffin.

Even if RIM failed, I do not believe the brand would go away. Someone, hopefully a Canadian or American company, would come along and purchase them to keep them from falling into the hands of certain foreign countries.

Apple, imo, won't be in punch of a position to do anything much longer. We all know Jobs is very ill, and no matter how much money he throws at the problem, I don't see him recovering. I see two possibilities (and I am in no way cheering the fact that he is ill). He either steps down and someone replaces him, or he steps down to a coffin, and someone replaces him. Either way, his departure will affect Apples stock significantly. Apple went to hell the first time he left, and he came back and revived Apple. I have no doubt that his final departure will likely be the end of Apple, although it may take time.

Google and Android, on the other hand, are an entirely different issue. We'll cross that bridge later.

Further more, some people need to stop reading the rants of one Jonathan Gellar. Half the crap he posts is nothing more than speculation. He posted something the other day about RIM and Research in Motion fired back and corrected him. As one poster on his site stated, BGR has become the Fox News of tech sites, or a tech tabloid. He never posts much of anything toward any Apple products. He always has his sites set on either RIM, Samsung, or some other company and its products. As far as I am concerned, his site reeks of bias and he might even be getting a monthly check from Apple. People need to stop getting worked up when he posts things.

I have every bit of confidence that Jim and Mike can turn things around and that RIM will bounce back from this. Maybe with the management shake up, some of the old guard will be put out and fresh blood and new ideas can be realized.

"I want to chime in here because a lot of these people, talking about wanting to jump ship to go to an Apple or Google Android product are not really loyal to the Blackberry brand."

So by your logic, we're all supposed to blindly follow a brand merely to maintain loyalty?

I would be very content with snappy hardware and updated screen res, but we've waited far too long for merely that. I'm one of the most patient and understanding people there are, but even I have grown cynical when it comes to RIM.

My Storm2 is almost 2 years old. Battery was down to a 10 minute phone call. Yeah, I can buy a new battery, but I can also walk into a Verizon store like I did last Saturday. A Storm2 was on display, but the guy said they don't sell them anymore. Then there's the Bold 9630 sitting next to it. It features a 3.2 MP camera and wi-fi, along with a few other things that most basic phones include...I'm actually trying to look up the specs for processing power, but its not mentioned anywhere. Wonder why. Anyway, the guy tried to sell me a Samsung Charge. Amazing display, 1gig processor, 4G (wow, amazingly fast downloads) and a kick-ass dock that comes with an extra battery that charges at the dock. Amazing performance compared to my Storm2. So, I bought it. Why not, right? I don't know when the new BlackBerries will be released. I don't know if they'll be 4G. I figure, I can't buy a new BlackBerry that will make me happy right now. I got some time to play with the Android and return it if I choose, Plus, now seems like a good window to experience another personal device. So, I took the Android home. I'm not going to get into what I liked and disliked about it, but I did spend the entire evening trying to turn it into a BlackBerry. It felt like I was cheating on my wife because she wasn't trying anymore, though I hope I never know what that actually feels like. It did, however, take only a night to figure out the Charge (lame name) could never replace my BlackBerry. I returned the Samsung the next morning. I returned a 4G mega device (loved the Flash Player, too) to go back to my clicking Storm2 touchscreen. I told the guy at the Verizon store (who thought I was nuts) that I wanted my money back, and I'll spend it again when the new BlackBerries come out. Please, RIM, do not disappoint me. How many people are buying Droids and iPhones because they have so much to offer? How many people will then become loyal to those other devices? At least for me, as much as I understand the complaint, BlackBerry is still awesome enough to compete... if they actually show up to play the game.

Deke - after reading every post on this blog, I had to respond...your thoughts reflect my concerns - you hit the nail right on the head! I tried Android a year ago and returned it after 2 weeks. I hadn't thought it through the way you did but you are exactly right; I tried to make the Incredible act like my trusted Blackberry.

Recently, I've been tempted to try the Charge myself...due to all the hype, but I'm quite certain that I'd end up returning it 10-14 days later.

The only feature I really miss on my 9650 is the Internet - on a full screen phone it is so much easier to browse and read...vrs my 2.something inch screen. Hopefully this 9860 will solve that.
Anyway, great post!

Some people understood that the Tweet was referring to another round of "Meet the..." events. Why they might have even posted such a response in the comment section of that article.

Cheap shot to blame At&t for why devices are delayed...haha what Mike?! Could it possibly be, the devices are still not made or aren't up to par to compete with At&t's best selling devices. They've been trying to get rid of their stock of Torches, why invest in something that doesn't deliver or delivers too late in the game? AT&T isn't dumb, and neither are consumers. Jim and Mike are the only ones who seem to think the consumer is dumb. Wake. Up.

Since RIM stated Facebook chat has been in the works for over a year, I guess I can see how the announcement was a huge deal to them ... But a year just for Facebook chat?! RIM needs to let developers develop apps and stay out of the 3rd party game

I don't know how many of you work for large companies/corporations, especially one in a state of "transition" (read: turmoil), but as an employee of one such company, I must say change is not as easy as it seems. This daunting task is further complicated when it is a publicly-traded company. Although the knowledgebase and future line-of-sight may be there, sustainable implementation is a slow, arduous process. One cannot just jump to the future without properly laying a solid foundation.

Apple's foundation was based on heavy-marketing and a skeleton OS. Each subsequent release added a "new, important" feature, like copy and paste or multitasking. BBOS has had functions like these for quite some time now. Could RIM do a better job of marketing? Absolutely. The question, however, ks whom should they be targetting? The fickle consumer who likes shiny new things and switched from the RAZR to the iPhone 2G to the BB Curve to the Android and who inherently will come back as new OS's are rolled out? Or to those who require a phone that does what it needs to without 89,000 other apps that will seldom be used?

Let us not forget that RIM is the only device manufacturer to-date to secure high-level security clearance with the US government. Therefore, while I continue to wait for these upgrades, I can rest assured that when they arrive, albeit delayed, they will arrive as the most robust option available. And I, for one, would prefer robustness and reliability over kitchy market-driven consumerism.

Respectfully,
Commercial Operations Engineer
Large Global Corporation

Check this scenario out. At fan day they announce that they are scrapping the OS 7 devices cause QNX phone will be out SOON! :P

Hey Kevin!

Don't feel sorry for me, I just purchased a Tour, off ebay though. In preparation of getting used to the form factor and patiently waiting for the 9900 ;) haha... i'm dropping my g2x on ebay when the tour comes in the mail! As much as I hate all this negative news, I'm still excited that the device will eventually come out, AND for t-mobile!

So I gotta say, first and foremost, Kevin, that's a really well-penned response to some very valid concerns not only towards RIM, but also some concerns towards yourselves that make up Crackberry.com.

I think everyone's got their concerns, be it OS7 essentially being a slightly fixed-up OS6, or lack of killer games, but I think some people have the notion that switching to the Android movement or jumping to Apple (I had thought to make kool-aid references, but... let's not go there) will drastically improve their user experience. Speaking from personal experience, it really doesn't. I'm a dual-device weilder, I've got a little green robot (on a rather big 4.3 inch screen) in my back pocket, and my Bold 9700 on my hip in a holster. Consistently, the Bold gets picked up more often when I want to look up anything. I've checked, I have the same distance to travel to go to that back pocket or to my belt holster, it's not anything like that. It's literally just my go-to device. Messaging clients are second to none on Blackberry with wide support and easy use. E-mail is second to none with everything from the unified inbox to push email. And battery life (generally) is still second to none (except maybe the iPhone4 in some cases).

My girlfriend picked up my Desire HD one time while I was over there to play with it, check it out.... while her Torch is in for repair for the 4th time (same problem that just isn't getting fixed). We're at the point where we're evaluating just buying a whole new phone, and I said to her ".... what about buying a new phone other than a Blackberry?" I knew her response already, as it's the same as mine and why I will always have a blackberry of some sort permanently attached to my person, but I wanted to hear it: "no way! I love my blackberry! It does everything I need it to do, and it's never had major problems...... well until now anyways." She's played with every major gadget I've brought over for her to check out or have had in my workplace when she's visited me at work, her opinion much like mine remains the same. So far, she has purchased.... 10 apps over a series of 3 blackberry phones. They've all been games. She's used it for homework en route home from classes (it's a decent commute to her college), and she uses it to keep in touch with her extensive network of friends. It does everything she needs it to out of the box. Not with the purchase of special apps, but straight out of the box. That's how it has been for the vast majority of blackberry users.

I can try all I want to make my Desire HD perform more like my blackberry.... but to be honest, the only reason I made the jump to Android was for Skype. If and when Skype finally launches for Blackberry as its own specialized app, I'll probably be leaving Android and going back to having two blackberries. Why? Because they just work. That, and, well.... try texting and walking with anything other than a Blackberry bold or curve or pearl or style or torch (using the keyboard) and tell me how often you have to stop texting to make sure you aren't walking into something.

I said it before, I'll say it again... I know RIM has work to do. I'm hoping they really make some major steps in the right direction. Some things can't be helped. For example, OS updates do take longer because a lot of little things can be very particular to a particular carrier (backgrounds, start-up images, crap-ware). Those are things the carriers will always want some control over. iPhone is one of a handful of very few devices that doesn't have to worry about that, hence why iOS updates seem to be fairly quick. But some things can be helped: like future-proofing devices. I know my Bold 9700 actually works just as well as my Desire for allowing me to process things, open attachments, download email (though it is obviously faster for getting my e-mail), but it wouldn't hurt for RIM to look at the current crop of device specifications and capabilities and say "ok here's what's out there now, how can we do even better than what's out there now?" The push e-mail system, data compression technology, bbm, keyboards, strong security protocols, powerful wireless antennas, and robust devices are what RIM currently has going for them. I'm hoping they soon add things like Skype integration, better low-light cameras, and more powerful processors (as in going past just the 1.2 GHz dual core machines) and a steadily growing app catalog to their list soon.

I switched to my first BB from a Nokia approximately 18 months ago. I switched to BB because it was the only phone that offered the communication and documentation functionality in a way that was as usable and secure as I needed it to be. I received my 9700 with OS 5.

My frustrations with my 9700 began when I loaded the very first leak of OS 6 to hit the web onto my phone. Suddenly my super-fast, super-usable Blackberry Bold 9700 became a brick. It was too slow, it ran out of memory, it ran out of battery, it dropped off the network, and had to think for a few minutes before taking you to the 'Switch Application' screen.

I loved the GUI and the tabbed browsing to name a few features, but got very sick of that stupid spinning clock that would appear every few minutes while my phone tried to figure out where the free memory had gone. It was from that moment that I was glued to the forums, eagerly awaiting the next leak, believing that it would be the saviour that would turn my ugly Brickberry back into the beautiful Blackberry it once was. But it never came. Unstable leak, after unstable leak, followed by an unstable official release made me realise that my phone was not built for OS 6.

But being an 'early adopter' meant that I was not willing to switch back to what was now an 'archaic' and 'outdated' OS, even if it was more stable and my phone did run faster. Instead, I began to wonder how RIM could put out such a terrible phone, that was so terribly slow, and hope that there would soon be a new, faster device with more memory that would solve all my problems. Then the 9900 leaked. And then it was delayed.

I considered throwing away my Blackberry and going to one of their competitors. Then I remembered why I got my Blackberry in the first place, and that it used to do what it was supposed to do, and it used to do it well. Until I messed with it.

Maybe I should have just left my Blackberry Bold 9700 on OS 5 and my phone would still be fast, never run out of memory, never crash, and still do everything that I needed it to do when I bought it. And maybe if I hadn't messed with it and loaded an OS on it that it wasn't even built for, then I wouldn't be so frustrated with the delay on the 9900.

But if I have to feed my need to always have the latest update on the latest device, then I guess that's just the shit I have to deal with.

I would vote for Kevin to be on the BOD, but if he was, he would most likely have to step back from Crackberry.

The annoying thing is that the twitter and facebook statement they made got everyone ready and excited but they blew the chance off, at least if they didn't plan to release/announce it the attention they got should change that and announce it + the release it, but being RIM they are incompent as ever, never have Good ideas.
If not because of bbm, I swear I would burn by bb to ashes and get a mango galaxy s2

I have a Torch and a Playbook. When I bought my Torch, I operated the system it came with until I got a notification that a new OS is available. Then I updated, and I've done so with subsequent notifications, if there have been any. When I got my PlayBook, I ran the OS it arrived with. When I was notifiied that an update was available, I updated.
Both are tools. They do what I want and each update has made them incrementally more useful. If I'd wanted a trinket or a shiny bauble, I'd have gone with android or Apple, but Apple's arrogant, android's got more games than any sane person needs. I wanted a SMART phone and a SMART, business-oriented tablet that my phone would bridge to. That's what I have... a business-oriented tool set. (My GF runs an iPad and I wouldn't trade, if she paid me.)
When my AT&T contract expires, I'll check to see if there's a useful upgrade that fits my functionality requirements. If there is, perhaps I'll upgrade.
My Torch is a great telephone and I like the few apps I've downloaded. My PlayBook is a great tablet and I like the apps I've loaded there. It strikes me as a terrific waste of time to get lathered up over whether I have to wait for an update. Blackberry is about productivity not angry birds; I'm going back to work.

Did someone mention Angry Birds? Ahh..no! Guess what genius, we are tired of Blackberry's broken promises. Have you seen their stock price lately? hmmmm....must be a LOT of people sick and tired of broken promises.

I am glad its all working out for you but others are not so, how shall we say, so willing to bent over and get RIMmed.

If the Playbook is only for Blackberry phone users, then RIM should have said that from the beginning. Not having a dedicated email and PIM app, and then saying its 60 days away from release in April, was just plain deceiving.

Pull your pants back up and look at it through the eyes of others who may not own a BB phone.

I was just as disappointed as everyone else when I realized what they were referring to. The tweet and fb status. I really want the 9900, and have been waiting to use my upgrade for tmobile.

I'm relatively new to the BlackBerry world (my 18-month-old 9700 is my first and only device so far) but I've quickly come to appreciate BlackBerrys for their many strengths, most of which exactly fit the way I use my mobile device. I love the compactness and efficiency of most BlackBerrys, the excellent battery life, the unparalleled email experience, and the overall out-of-box integration of most apps (particularly BBM and messaging).

That being said, I accept that these devices are woefully lacking in the tech firepower department. When BBs are announced (or more commonly, leaked), their specs are usually already unimpressive. By the time they are actually released, sometimes months later, they're positively archaic. Just because we love the devices doesn't justify RIM's terribly backward way of doing business. When they were the only choice in messaging phones, they could do whatever they wanted. When they held untouchable prestige and market share, they could afford to set the tone for everyone else. When everyone's idea of a "smartphone" was a Treo or something with a stylus, there was no problem with releasing devices annually. That isn't the case anymore.

Nowadays, we have new Android devices released on a near-weekly basis, many with top specs and increasing reliability. We have the iPhone, which has stolen BlackBerry's prestige almost completely, and comes from the *only* company that can pull of releasing only one single mobile device per year. It's time for RIM to get simple, not complicated. No more bullshit tweets, no more teasing, no more releasing devices that are outdated before they even hit the shelves. Improve your specs, maintain battery life, stop the leaks, and release devices quickly. You have a lot of anxious customers waiting on you. Quit screwing it up.

I am in my first month without a contract as I patiently wait for the new phones. I give three (at least)good examples of why I am going back to BB from Droid. As others stated I keep wanting my Droid to be my BB. I had to search for a "note" app that worked like the BB one, I settled. How smart is that? I liked that I could set my BB to turn off at 11PM and come back on at 7AM. Droid doesnt (havent checked in a while) do this or have an app that does. Droid will vibrate in my ear and my customers ear during a phone call. That is not a smart phone. I will say one thing I do like is how well the Droid integrates with google calender, but so did my BB when set up that way. One more thing I liked was the all into one message inbox. Droid doesnt do that. I could review my whole day in one spot, all calls, texts, emails from three different addresses. Please release the new phones soon. Anyone have any data on how many people are month to month right now without renewing their contracts? I am one. I bet there are many, all of us waiting, drooling.
Made an incredible mistake once.

I have to be honest, this is the first time I have ever began to doubt RIM. I too got a Playbook with the expectation that I would have native email, calendar, etc. by now. I am also alarmed by the haphazard layoffs taking place (knowing people close to the situation). Add to that a distinct lack of hardware/software announcements by RIM and you've got yourself a perfect storm. Who wants to put their faith in a company that has not rewarded the patience of the faithful thus far? I sure hope that this trend changes soon.