CrackBerry Asks: Do you want removable storage in BlackBerry 10 devices?

By Adam Zeis on 11 Jul 2012 12:53 pm EDT
 32GB PlayBook  

BlackBerry devices have long been short on internal storage, but thanks to included memory card slots, users have been able to store large amounts of photos, video and other files on microSD cards. The cards come in various sizes -- everywhere from 2GB to 32GB and beyond. While having the ability to swap out cards and choose your storage size is handy, what if your device only had internal storage? The BlackBerry PlayBook currently offers no removable storage but is available in a 16GB, 32GB and 64GB model. The iPhone and some Android devices are the same, opting for different phone models as well (the iPhone 4S for example is currently available in 16, 32 and 64GB models).

Our question today is this - would you rather see a BlackBerry 10 device with removable storage or multiple models (like the PlayBook) without? Let us know in the poll above which device you'd prefer, then tell us why in the comments.

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

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CrackBerry Asks: Do you want removable storage in BlackBerry 10 devices?


I disagree if it makes the phone slower at accessing files, accessing pictures, zooming in/out of pictures, etc. When you try to zoom in/out of pictures and it's grainy or slow because the phone is trying to pull the image off the SD card, people will then complain and say BlackBerrys are slow.

That's a lame excuse. Get a fast SD card! SD cards are a must because:

* RIM doesn't have to manufacture and sell 2 or 3 different versions of the same darn hardware!
* Entry users can buy the product and upgrade their memory as they see fit.
* Users can carry two or three SD cards so they're never caught out of memory.
* Devices without SD cards appear to be closed, proprietary, and "Apple-like".
* Cloud services are fine, but one still has to download stuff to edit and share.

Of course, RIM should not allow users to install apps on removable SD cards due to the security risks!

No! With cloud services, easy pc-to-device networking, bluetooth etc., removable storage is becoming an anachronism.

Nice to have but definitely not a _crucial_ component!

Screw cloud storage... I want to handle my data locally not save it on a remote server I have no access to... And I don't want to use any of my mobile data plan for something I could NOT waste it on...

Because data is cheap, fast, and ubiquitous?

Local storage means I can access media without needing a network connection. Very handy when traveling and access is spotty or non-existent. Ever try to stream a movie over 3G while cruising at 20,000 feet?

It also means that I'm not dependent on some third-party staying in business on the $5 I send to them every month for the security and safe storage of my data.

Local storage is superior in every conceivable way. If RIM won't provide it, I'll find a company that will.

The ONLY reason I don't mind the missing SD card slot on my PlayBook is that I can easily use the SD card on my phone through bridge. Still, I would very much prefer removable storage on the unit itself.

I agree, a microSD slot is a no-brainer. It annoys me to no end the PlayBook doesn't have one. If RIM doesn't include one in their BlackBerry 10 devices, that might just be the straw that breaks this camel's back. Only apple does stupid crap like that.

Are you really saying that lack of a micro SD card on the best phone on the planet will stop you from buying a BB10 phone? Really?

Basically for me it's a crucial component because I don't want to give up anything from bb 7.1 to bb 10. I want to keep my removable memory and I want to keep my dedicated camera button. PLUS I want to keep all the great features of BB OS and just add all that is great about QNX and the beauty that a TAT polished UI can deliver.

Sure there is a rumor that BB 10 devices will come in multiple memory capacities up to 128gb but even with that I would still want to have microSD or at the very least usb otg.

It's simple. If the BB10 devices don't come with removable memory, I won't be buying one. And I guarantee there are lots like me.

As well, business people want to be in control of their data, more in control than having to rely on a "cloud" and trying to find wifi zones when possible.

i will go for the 32GB version. I don't really think I'd need more than that on a phone, but it's def nice to have expandable memory.

the problem with removable storage is it will effect sales of devices with larger memory.

Boldly sent from my 9930
Removable storage is something I have great fear that will be a thing of the past. I really hope that it's supported on BB10 devices!

I know a lot of people say to just use cloud storage, but there are plenty of people on limited data plans so I really don't understand why so many think this is a better solution than just having expandable memory.

This is a very vital part for me. I do not want to buy a new phone because I am out of memory. Anything I download onto my device is something I will be using and will not be deleting to provide more space (so forget that shhh). Especially if BB10 has the PaceMaker App, I love having over a hundred songs on my media card. Removable memory for the win! That's Trini $0.02...

At minimum all BB10 devices will have 16GB internally.

Two years ago, removable memory was important, today it is not.

I wouldn't recommend downloading a movie from a cloud service, but with 16GB of storage you should easily have room for ~5 hours of video while still having plenty of room for everything else.

Plenty of room for everything else? I doubt that.

One hour of 1080p MP4 video of good quality can take up 2.5 to 3 GB. So five hours could take up to 15 GB. I have the Playbook 16 GB and it has less than 16 GB free. So I can only store about 4 hours.

For a two week vacation this is way to little memory. Even 32 GB would be not enough. I could reencode the video to lower quality. But which would look ugly if I connect the Playbook to the TV in the hotel room via HDMI.

I would prefer to get a MicroSDXC slot like the Galaxy S3 has. So I could use multiple 64 GB cards as I see fit.

With removable storage, I should easily have room for (unlimited) hours of video.

Just because you don't need/want to carry more than two movies and a slideshow's worth of data doesn't mean the rest of us are content with such a tiny limit -- especially when expandable storage is so damned inexpensive.

Even the cheapest of no-name mp3 players have an SD card slot, there's no reason that a high-end phone shouldn't as well!

Not to troll but if I didn't want additional storage I would buy an iPad.

I like the option of moving my personal data between devices and being able to backup and add media at leisure.

I definitely don't like the "oh, your storage needs changed after you bought the device, well then ... throw that perfectly functional gizmo away and buy a new one."

Not having a microSD slot was the very first negative impression I had of the Playbook. After years of having external storage on my BB phones it was a real let down.

And before "the cloud" comments roll in ... ever try moving a full movie off the cloud onto a gizmo using 2G cause you happen to be just right out of optimal range of a cell tower with no wifi hotspots to be found? I wish I had LTE-level speeds everywhere I went but that is just not my reality.

Removable memory isn't about the amount of storage, I would still buy a 64GB device with a memory slot. Removable memory is about exchanging data with other devices, cameras mainly but also laptops and the like. USB OTG would be an acceptable option as well though. No amount of network bandwidth gets me the transfer rates I would like to have to make a device an
effective photographer's companion

Exactly how is battery life even affected? BBs have have SD card slots for years, and battery life has never been an issue.

The main effect this would have on battery life, is the room that the physical size of the SD slot would take up, leaves less room resulting in a smaller battery.

Come on. The tiny space a MicroSD slot requires would give you perhaps 5 minutes more battery life assuming they would carve it out from a non replaceable battery.

But I hope they will use replacable batteries.

True on your point on the extra power... Your would burn more juice and waste time on the "cloud services" .....

Oh, I've heard/read about the "size" issue before. Usually it's more about device size than battery size - that's a new one to me.

Sorry, I don't buy it. The "physical" room for a microSD card is negligable and can easily be made to fit anywhere in a device. All it takes is a bit of thought in the design process. Yes, there is the connectors and the additional circuitry, but if they can place the SD slot ON TOP of the SIM card slot in my Torch, it just can't be that problematic. Also didn't seem to be an issue with my old Pearl 8100 which was even smaller.

What's more important than size for me is how easy it is to transfer data between your device and computer (microUSB). I hate close systems like iTunes sync (and to some extent BBDM for transfering files to PB which do not transfer correctly in Explorer) and would sacrifice storage size on device if it is as easy as drag and drop data to the device.

Without a removeable battery and memory - might as well gag an i-phone. Hey just for S&G why not make its connectors proprietary as well? Multiple models with non-removeable memory is a colossal failure in that you never want to cut off a line of sales. I have a 32gig card in my 9850, because I am past 18 gigs of media storage. If you had to jam in applications and media? And most music is coded at 320. What if flac is fully supported? The space will fill too quickly with all but a 32 or 64 gig model.

Remember BB10 devices will include tablets and other devices.
I would like removable storage in new tablets in addition to internal

BB 9800 n Playbook -

Removable storage for sure! It can be used as a back up of your information if your device breaks and the internal memory is no longer accessible

Want? More like "require".

I have an SD card that I've passed from device to device. If I have to go through the hassle of transferring everything on it to a BB10's internal storage, I may not bother.

External memory would be nice, as long as the apps and other device specific memory can be stored on the memory card. Only the core system files would be stored on the internal memory. This would allow for us to cope with "memory leaks" a little better.

It sucks when you have 30 mb free on the device for apps, and have 2GB free on the memory card just waiting to be used.

One model, expandable memory FTW. Keeps products from becoming outdated too quickly. Why build another SKU when the end user can just buy a bigger memory card?

My Bold with a 32GB micro SD is an awesome music player that just so happens to make phone calls and send/receive texts too. I seriously and honestly wish there was a port of the BB music player for Windows.

Here is the question that needs to be asked, what are the benefits of having fixed storage? I don't know why the PB has it, but if I want to use it as my main device I can't because I would either need a cloud network, or an adapter for my external harddrive.

Fix storage only benefits the manufacturer, not the consumer. Take a look at the iPad, for example. You can buy a model with either 16, 32, or 64mb of storage -- each tier will set you back an additional $100.

Now, a 32gb card will set you back $20 or $30, a 16gb card between $10 and $20.

Now, if Apple had an SD card slot, no one in their right mind would opt for the more expensive 64gb version. Right now, it's sold to people who just want/need the extra storage.

RIM followed Apples lead there -- hopefully to pointlessly mimic Apple, rather than to purposefully screw us, the customers. I'm hoping that RIM has learned their lesson and will give their users what they want and need (e.g. Removable Storage) rather than follow Apples "screw the customer" lead.

Exactly what I thought, 16 gigs seems good enough with all this wireless cloud storage crap, and then an SD card, what more do you need?

I want a device to have at least 16GB onborad storage. I think it should be used for device storage like apps, OS, Add ons, ringtones, settings, contacts, etc. Removable storage would be more for media like Music, Pics, and Movies. I myself have used 1.1GB on my 9900 but I have 29.1GB used on my Memory Card. So all in all Yes I have to have expandable memory. I want my phone to have room for everything but I want more so let me expand.

I hope external memory is always provided as an option. There are plenty of good uses that can be used with it.
- backing up to your SD card
- storing apps, music, movies on your sd card
- you can't access the cloud when you have to data access (I.e. In airplane mode)

My old 8900 died last year after a life of long and useful service. After a ridiculous argument at the Rogers store about getting a BlackBerry loner vs a piece of crap "just a phone" with a missing battery door while they sent mine in to be repaired, I left with a loner 9800. I pulled my 16GB microSD card from my old phone and popped it in the 9800. All my music, pictures, documents, backups, videos, ... everything, were on the new phone before I left the store. When Rogers lost my 8900 a month later and I bought my 9900 Bold, I did the same thing with the card. It's a no-brainer. If I wanted to do it any other way I'd buy an iPhone and just shoot myself. It's the one big frustration I have with my PlayBook and it's a 64GB. There is no faster way to move data or better way to BE IN CONTROL of one's data than to have it on an SD Card. I always carry two to swap them (one has just big movies on it). If I ever have to video the cops beating the crap out of someone, I expect that 2nd SD card will come in handy.

Provided it doesn't come with significant tradeoffs (e.g.- battery life shortage, subpar user experience due to how OS addresses each type of memory, further development delays), who wouldn't want the option? If I could have a full 16 or 32gb for apps plus the option of adding a microSD card to store media locally, that seems like the best of both worlds.

Removable storage 100%. Why? On top of other benefits of portability... Because the costs of scaling up in microSD cards is not nearly as much scaling up on hardware. Look at the Iphone. to go from 16GB to 32GB, lets say, is about $100 more. a 16GB microSD can be had for like $10 normally.

I want a platform with minimal memory leaks, huge internal memory, and an external SD card. I'm from India and 3G is not just expensive, but unavailable in most places, even wifi isn't so readily available. So connecting to a cloud from my 'berry is just not viable. If the folks at BlackBerry really want a global platform/device, then they should also consider this.

BlackBerry Curve 8520 | BlackBerry Torch 9810 |
Oh how I love the BlackBerry!! <3<3

RIM has cited the technical reasons why onboard memory is preferred. But I get tired of seeing the pricing for onboard levels of memory always being more than the equivalent increase using SD or microSD cards. It's almost as if the manufacturer is saying, "I'll say how you get your devioce and I'll charge you extra for more space, just because you want the device.".

Actually, the better question is: if RIM does include the option to have expanded memory via a storage card, can that memory be used not only for the storing of apps, but also the launching/running of apps?

It's no good if the memory card can only store applications - apps need to be able to be run from it as well.

Memory is SO CHEAP NOW . This is a industry game that needs to end. All devices like phones and tablets should have max memory like 32 or 64 gb . Its just a big game and excuss to charge more for different memory configs.

I dont care if BB10 just has 16gb of memory . Later on you can add cards and stop the games.

This, in my opinion, is one of the things they do right, and hate to see it dissapaer. I know "cloud", but would rather have a card I can remove or wipe it myself, as everything on it is personal

connor83 comments. I think it's good to have at least 16G of internal memory only for apps 4 them to run smoothly and beside it another 32G internal space for docs, pics the user may need. Adding to that an expansion slot for an expandable memory card. Just bring to us something great.

I definitely want to use cards. I want my data local. I want to be able to pull it and use it in multiple type of devices. I also have different cards for different types of data.
Cloud storage can't beat local storage for everything.

removable storage is nice to have but definitely not a deal breaker to me. i think i'll go with a 32GB model BB10, given the space availability on my PB. I've still got a few GBs free and there is lots I can delete.

Bold 9900 - Playbook 32GB - Lumia 800

Definitely Removable Storage because now that Hackers are moving their Servers to Cloud Storage, I'd rather not have that risk.

Remember, by the time BB10 hits the market the device it's going to be judged against isn't the going to be the iPud, it's going to be the Microsoft Windows 8 phone/Surface tablet which if they stick with it will have a card slot and USB OTG

the thing is, how much more expensive will the phone with the most storage be? I feel like a lot. looking at the difference in the playbook prices and even iPad. yet you can buy sd card so cheap off amazon. I got a 32 gb for 12.99 a while ago.


Unnecessary increase in expenses for greater storage is also one of the reasons why I really dislike internal-only storage devices like iPhones.

~I am BlackBerry by choice~

Aside from expandable memory - portability (easy to carry an SD card around if I have 2 devices in 2 different places), transferability (ease of simple drag-n-drop files into devices - reason why I completely dislike iTunes), swapability (swapping SD card-containing files from one device to another)...those are the reasons why I like having SD slots in my devices.

Edit: Cloud storage always comes with increase/a security risk.

~I am BlackBerry by choice~

I LOVE being able to work on documents on the go and being able to save them to the media card. That is VERY important to me. That is the one gripe about my playbook. When I work my playbook (mostly riding in a vehicle, so no wifi) and save a document I pray and hope that it will make to a spot with wifi so I can back it up. Cloud services don't work for me because I need to access my documents without internet access. I want to control who sees my documents and not have to worry about someone hacking my account. Please keep the removable storage!!

Most of all in need it to work, removable and the option of un upgrade are nice but in a time of cloud based service not such a big point. At the and of a long busy day having the option of putting a fresh battery in is a bigger point imo.

As long as my handheld has an SD slot, and my PlayBook can access it, I'm good. I'd like to see the info to flow both ways; from PB to BB and BB to PB. The tab and handheld working together is one of RIM's greatest strengths and it needs to be refined, honed, and marketed.

I'd like to have the option to choose my memory card. I have a few thanks to my storm and then transitioning to the 9930. Why not be able to have one more and do more.

I myself would prefer external memory, I find it much more convenient switching it between devices and the cost of buying a device with larger memory is often a lot more expensive than an SD card.

I think the BB10 devices should definitely come with a micro sd slot. RIM want to get the masses to buy their phone and they need to make it appeal. If you think about it a lot of people will not buy a phone because it doesn't have a micro sd card slot but who is going to go "oh that phone supports external memory so i'm not gonna buy it".

Include it and everyone wins. Internal storage only and a lot of people won't buy it.

Extra memory for the win! I usually use my 9790 with a 32GB microSD as my choice of USB OTG. Do not have another stick or something else. WIth standarddized microUSB i always have an opportunity to connect to a workstation and transfer data this way.

Even on my 32GB PB it is always a nightmare to copy a HD-movie with standard-connection via USB. So therefore a microSD-Slot would have been even better to do things mass-storage like.

If BB10 will be safe for the future (bigger apps, games, mora data, navigation etc.), RIM would be constrained to insist on microSD-slots.

RIM will never get into a position where a mobile device without a slot is competitive to the shiny monoliths of Apple. So they have to score with technical opportunities. And mass storage is a big ponit - and it stays one, even during the time of crappy und insecure cloud-services lacking of stable network-connections.

yeah removable storage is old school who cares, but removable battery is crucial. this is why an iPhone sucks. well, one of the reasons lol.

If my device ever fails or breaks, there's at least a chance of recovering data off of removable media. It is critical to a device.

The fact that playbook lacks it I feel is a huge detriment to the device.

Back when there was talk about making removable storage work on the playbook I was looking at how to physically hack a micro SD reader into one of the side speaker areas.

- Being a student it is very useful to have the MicroSD card because I have a card reader on my key chain and use it as a USB for all my assignments.
- If I had only internal I would have to carry a cable with me everywhere.
- Lastly the internal wouldn't be that bad except carriers usually charge $100 for every step up in storage size. For me to upgrade from a 16GB MicroSD to a 32GB is like $10 or $20.

Nice! I hadn't seen that one in particular, but did see the Kingston Wi-Drives, which seem similar. They are smaller, but had less capacity and were generally around the same price as the GoFlex Satellite.

Since I wanted the ability to remove movies and images from the Playbook, and stream music and movies, and the GoFlex theoretically had 7 hours of battery life vs 4 hours for the Wi-drives, this was ideal for me.

I'd have bought one of the USB/wireless too, if they were less costly.

Definitely love the advantage of swappable storage as I prefer to handle my data locally...would hate to c this option go from BB devices!

They don't have to have a microSD slot, but I don't have to buy the phone either.

The only reason not to have one is greed. If the best phone on the market, GSIII can have both microsd slot and removable battery there is no reason a BB10 phone shouldn't either, especially since almost every BB ever made has had both of those things.

That's right! Don't fix what isn't broken! And make sure 64GB micro SD is supported in the future, for when those become more affordable. Any company who thinks I'm going to buy a new phone just to get more gigabytes will never have me for a customer.

if RIM retreats from making devices with removable storage, then it doesn't really know who the blackberry crowd is.

Removable storage and battery are requirements for me! After the qwerty keyboard its the next 2 things I need in a phone.
I don't think I would buy a bb10 device if it doesn't have removable storage and battery. I travel way to often where I don't have internet service, so cloud storage is worthless 80% of the time. I love my playbook but not being able to replace the battery or increase the storage is a major pain point for me. I have a galaxy tab with removable storage why can't the playbook have it?

I would pay more for a bb device with removable storage and battery. I'm ok with the touch only device not having removable battery and storage. But the full qwerty BB MUST have all that us loyal users want and need..... Bb keyboard,removable battery, storage and a GOOD camera!

BB10 FTW....I hope!

For me, removable memory (SD or microSD) is mandatory. In fact, the Playbooks lack of this is the ONLY reason I don't have one and went to the dark-ish side (Android) for my tablet. For me, it is really nice to be able to view images straight from my digital camera as well as play local media without burning bandwidth.

And I will side with many posters here. For me, physical keyboard (a given for BB10), removable (preferably upgradable) battery and removable storage are my hot points.

In other areas, I know I am going miss the four physical buttons (send, menu, esc and end) as well as the precision of the OTP. (I still don't have the hang of cut-and-paste on my tablet.)

I have a BB Bold 9650 and it's memory is TINY, like 512 MB or something. It could literally only store like 40 photos or so, what a joke! The other day, I picked up a nice 16 GB micro-SD card, without it, my phone's camera is practically useless. I think removable storage is crucial, so I am all for a micro-SD card slot.

Adding a MicroSD slot in new models is one thing, how about altering the existing OS to allowing mounting of USB storage devices via the micro USB port.. just like the rooted mod allowed us to do some time ago.

We here on CB or N4BB can talk all we want. IPhone and Samsung are pretty strong indicators that the average consumer doesn't give a crap about removable storage.
BB10 will be far and above any other OS out there. It'll do more things than we have learned about so far. For those of you who say the lack of removable storage will make you not buy a BB10 phone, you might need to rethink why you have a BB.

"IPhone and Samsung are pretty strong indicators that the average consumer doesn't give a crap about removable storage."

But Samsung phones DO have removable storage - including the new S3 (microSD up to 64GB). So how does that play into your comment?

i prefer having a 32gb at least non-removable storage in addition to the removable SD CARD slot and i would hope that apps can be stored in SD CARD so that if RIM are so tight-fisted in giving generous APP MEMORY CAPACITY i can store it all in SD CARD (that is if they will allow it). Since they are having this POLL, is it also possible to put steroids on its APP MEMORY CAPACITY? i am really hating the hourglass even in 7.1 OS.

Given enough internal memory, it may be a moot point, but I like the flexibility of having the external. Not even sure where the internal memory break point should be, but I filled the 16GB on the playbook too easily. Hence the flexibility to add more external memory to support the internal would be desirable.

External storage for me is a Damn must, I'm sure the folks at research in motion aren't going to skip out on it, if they do, it's not a problem since I copy things to and from my computer. But I hope it does have an sdxc or sdhc slot.

Sometimes I fell that the Crackberry nation listens to me... I have posted several articles in the forms only to have a survey on the same post days later... Thank you crackberry... I write my forms so that BlackBerry HQ knows what people want and need and Thank you for your support by doing a survey.... I hope RIM looks at the survey... Again thanks adam and the crackberry team