Further Explanation on Why we are Waiting Sooo Long for BlackBerry 7 Smartphones to be Released

Waiting on new BlackBerry Smartphones...
By Kevin Michaluk on 17 Jun 2011 09:46 am EDT
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Reflecting upon Thursday evening's RIM Q1 Results and earnings call, the pieces finally fell into place so we can more accurately tell the story of why it is taking so long for RIM to bring the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 and other next-generation BlackBerry Smartphones to market.

On the historic call, which featured both Co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis delivering the results commentary and tag teaming the Q&A period, the following was what Mike had to offer in regards to the lull in new BlackBerry phones:

We were already well down a development path to the next-generation BlackBerry handsets when we realized that in the US the features and performance arms race demanded that we upgrade the chipset and port BlackBerry to a higher-performance platform. This was an engineering change that affected hardware and software timelines and pushed out entry into carrier certification labs.

It's only two short sentences, but if you've followed the BlackBerry development path for a few years there's a lot you can gather from them. Specifically, Mike is saying that devices like the new BlackBerry Bold 9900 at their design inception were not originally intended to get the 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset that they are going to launch with. That makes sense considering we've been hearing about devices like Magnum and Onyx III since before that chipset even existed.

From what I've gathered, RIM was originally going to continue to use Marvell for at least one more generation of their top of the line GSM BlackBerry Smartphones, bumping up from the current 624MHz found in devices like the Bold 9780 to 800MHz likely via the Tavor MG-1 (and on the CDMA side going with something like the Qualcomm MSM 8655 800MHz). With RIM typically having a pretty big lead time on their device development cycle, the progression from 624MHz up to 800MHz fits the way they have rolled out platform upgrades over the years.

But someone at somepoint in recent months must have woken up one morning and realized that 800MHz would be laughable in their top tier devices compared to the onslaught of high-end specs being ushered in by Android phones, so relegated 800MHz to the low end (BlackBerry apollo/sedona - the new Curve) and realized they needed to do something more compelling for their flagship devices. With Marvell's offerings looking lackluster compared to Qualcomm's, for RIM that meant a big undertaking relatively late in the commercialization cycle of these new devices as they would be abandoning Marvell for the new high-end phones.

RIM has always treated the development of their GSM and CDMA devices independently, as the devices were on different chipsets. Just think back over the years as to how GSM and CDMA BlackBerry devices would launch at different times and even physically look different (think Bold 9650 and Bold 9700) and could have significantly different performance. For CDMA, RIM would just license Qualcomm's radio stack, but on the GSM side RIM wrote their own - one of the reasons why that Bold 9700/9780 has always gotten such awesome battery life as RIM maintains finite control over the part that can eat the battery away quickly. Again wanting to maintain control over their radio stacks, this late change to Qualcomm meant RIM having to re-write that code for the new chipset, and in doing so, must then go through the technical acceptance process with carriers all over again. That again explains why on the call Mike said this is some of the best code they've written to date, and that why once one devices gets approved it should move quick from there (it probably also explains why RIM is pretty confident the smaller 1230mAh battery in the 9900 will still get good battery life - they're killing it with the code). Now having only one chipset to worry about for both GSM and CDMA will definitely speed things up for RIM down the road once they get through the process one.

Beyond the radio side, RIM would also would have had to put a ton of time into adapting the BlackBerry OS for some of the other features offered by the new chipset, like the dedicated GPU which RIM is tapping into to power what they have dubbed as "liquid graphics." Yet another reason for the delays, which I'll save for another article to dive into, could be the fact RIM forgot about phones for a little bit while they worked around the clock to push out the PlayBook.

Thinking back to when I first went hands on with the new touch Bold at BlackBerry World in May, I pretty much felt that was a device that RIM could put on sale right then and there (and I probably would have bought ten). Sure, it still had a few little bugs, but it felt ready enough for me. After yesterday's earnings call, I get the sense that it's ready enough for RIM too at this point, but they just need to finish getting through this TA process yet again. 

So if you're reading this and happen to work for a carrier in the T.A. department and test this stuff out, do CrackBerry Nation a favor and approve it fast! I want my BlackBerry Bold 9900 aready!

158 comments

vasyok

They need to hurry up.

MrxXx

Indeed!

RIM wil have a very tough times to go. People are currently switching, even the bb addicts and lovers. Al the excuses given by the CEO's doens't make sense.
They are the reason why the company is in the position were they at now. They thought their weir kings that can't beat off their thrown. Well CEO's, I got something new for you:

Maybe you two were also a sleep and didn't see the news in the Middle East, their kings thought also that nobody will trow them off their thrown and were safe. Now their asses get kicked and also for them its TOO LATE!

This is because my fellow friends, you don't wont to listen and see what people want. just like the people in the middle east. And when people dont get what they want, they come in rebellion my friends, just as we no come in rebellion. And you and your company ( you as kings and you administrations/ right hands ) is now in danger!

frozencloud

RIM need to do something and something fast. With all the news since the last earning announcement....it is looking really bad for RIM. I just hope it wont be too late when they do release BB7, before everyone think BB is a crappy device as many people do with Window Phone 7.

From what I saw yesterday at the AT&T store....not a single person looked at BB device, if they were..the sales people lured them over to the Android device and just called BB as old technology.

chevalia

MrX.....really?!?!?!?!?!? *blank stare*

Jimcmf

will RIM be ok. I'm getting a bit worried.

Kevin, are you going to the July 12th meeting?

Jim

Jimcmf

Get people to work 24-7 on it.
Everyone is not happy now.

mechanic_joe

Great post, thanks for shedding some light on yesterday's comments :)

daumpda

They only figured that out 3 years late - I hope that isn't too late.

Kiddo2050

100% right. The key point in your article that is kind of glossed over with the technical issues is that they thought 800Mhz was good enough.

Why? I can see your post about focusing on the playbook, but that is IMO wrong. They key point is when the iPhone came out RIM bet that carriers would make data really expansive and push the use of data sipping blackberries.

The classic mistake RIM made was to ignore end consumers (in favor of cozying up to the carriers). But carriers have to bend to public desire and so with iPhoen and Android they end up saying sorry RIM we don't want your phones because consumers don't want them. Recall Verizon even rejected outright the Storm 2 refresh, they didn't even want to carry it.

Hopefully they have learned to look to what end consumers want.

Laserpointer

Poor planning. I think you should put together a group and buy them Kevin. You are a lot smarter and sharper than those two bozos.

npunk42

Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it's a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.
- Lex Luthor

jbliv63

Nice analysis and insight; it's going to be an interesting year ahead for RIM. The good news is that it's always fun to cheer for the underdog, which is unfortunately where they are right now.

nomoredroid

it almost sounds like they were going to release a few refresh phones and then thought better of it. These guys seem a bit out of touch with the mainstream. AND you can see how concerned they are about the US market....they are telling us they dont want to be another Nokia. I think this is good and honest, but they need to produce now....get the next generation phones ready immediately (post bold touch devices) so they can become the leader they were for so many years

npunk42

RIMs leadership stems not from the newest and most popular technology. It was from reliable devices and services. The phones they designed were first and foremost well functioning. No deathgrip, which still is an issue now with Apple, no updates that change how your phone operates like Androids last one. If it takes slow to be steady, I'm with slow.

diegonei

I would agree in a normal day. Not the day after the stocks went from 35 to 28. :/

RIM better face the next 24 months as a drag race.

bquinney

Therein lies the problem with a lot of the heads of these companies. They see the changes happening but approach them pretty sheepishly. Then, when all else fails and there's no clear resolve to their current path, they quickly (yeah right) change plans and delay what they were coming out with. Time-to-market is a critical factor in technology. We waited a long time just for the Playbook, as an example.

rommelh

so true. when they _announced_ the playbook, it was such a great and innovative device. by the time it came out 6 months later, the ipad2 had already been released and it was now just middle of the pack. i fear the same will happen with the bold touch, although that isn't a great/innovative device - that's what the 9780 should have been.

Kiddo2050

I catch your general drift but I don't fully agree. The Playbook is still technically better than the iPad 2. Hardware is mush better tand the OS is better. But RIM needed to have the native SDK out BEFORE the playbook was out. We are still waiting on it!

RIM screwed up two years ago, now I think they are on track (I mean it seems not to be their faults - technically - that the 9900 is not out (of course I know it's indirectly their fault because they didn't get it to the carriers on time, but we seem to be sitting waiting for the carriers now.

To me it really shows how analysts are just so dumb. They had buy rating on RIM two years ago when the should have been asking harder questions "Where is your OS alternative to iPhone?" They only knock the stock now, when RIM has an OS, has TAT and working with You i, and has made a number of other good acquisitions.

Once 9900 hits RIM will look a lot better, and I think QNX phones will follow a year or so later and they will be able to "re-enter" the US consumer market.

Playbook will not be done until Playbook 2 comes out, but that isn't really abnormal. Apple was lucky with the iPad in that everyone went app crazy, but really iPad 1 is a piece of sh*t while iPad 2 is a decent tablet.

NO_CARRIER

Have the native SDK out before the device is released? That's like building the roof for a house before the foundation. It doesn't work that way. Even the iPhone needed a full year before the SDK was released, and it was delayed twice. RIM having the NDK available by summer is extremely aggressive, I don't know if they can pull it off... it's a huge undertaking, especially since they plan on incorporating work from TAT into the NDK as well and keep it all fluid / not clunky.

jmherndon

Agree! and I don't think the company is served well by two CEOs. I want a company with one guy at the top!

KRol

Agree, but none of those two... They were great but now its over... the should step down and let some fresh mind with a different vision and way to do things, take over

AbuYazeedUK

624MHz up to 800MHz - that would be really crap compared to the devices that are coming out now, the same goes for their RAM memory 256 > 512 > 768 (or what ever it is) that's rubbish! at last put a 1gb in there!!

diegonei

It is not really, since the devices perform well on those specks (512/768 specially) and apps are not that big. We're not talking iPhone apps that can easily go 100mb here.

And QNX might just allow them to use that space forums claim nobody uses (you know, dedicated media memory, 4gb on the Torch for example) to store your apps. That would leave all the 768mb for the OS and running apps only. That's pretty sweet.

NO_CARRIER

It's unfortunate the consumers think only in terms of raw numbers, but not in terms of benchmarks or efficiency. Reminds me of the 90's and early 2000's with US automakers. Pushing raw HP and Torque numbers, but take it to the track and it just couldn't keep up with the efficient vehicles coming from overseas with smaller engines, which would run out of juice half way through the race.

gp48

Yeah, it makes sense. Too bad they were late figuring out what direction they needed to go. I hope they stop the bleeding and right the ship soon. I love my Blackberry and look forward to new, faster devices.

RyMac04

Great analysis Kevin.

I just don't see how it took them this long to see that in the "US the features and performance arms race demanded that we upgrade the chipset and port BlackBerry to a higher-performance platform". We've been yelling and screaming about this for 2 years now.

At this point it's time to finally stop denying that RIM is falling behind, and it seems RIM has done the same. At least that's the first step in the stages to recovery - and the future, while it's still far away, looks bright.

timmartin

And now their shares are going in freefall as their top investors pull the plug. Not looking at all good. Kevin would be right in thinking a Microsoft takeover could be a real possibility.

liquid_metal

None of this matters to me, they've just totally lost me. Apple would never, ever, have sold me a phone way too slow to run its shipped OS well enough, and that's what RIM did with the 9650.

Customer = Lost. I want to buy something that's a happy marriage of hardware and software, and that can't be the case when they make so many different models. Either one will be right and the rest junk, or they'll all be less than they could be if there were just one great model.

Stewartj1

Agree. They lack focus.

jmherndon

Agree the 9650 can't keep up with os6 and even it was last minute attempt to "compete" instead of refresh.

mrtouchedme

That's your error for assuming and not researching, the 9650 was originally an OS5 device, OS6 wasn't confirmed for it until 3 or 4 months after it was released and shipping (with os5)! RIM was kind enough to develop OS6 for the 9650 and allow us to upgrade to it, if we chose to! It was never advertised or guaranteed to run os6 in the beginning, like the curve 3g or style were! My 9650's run os6 fine though, just as fast as they ran os5 originally! If you aren't happy with the way os6 runs, downgrade to os5, that's the os it was built to run!

liquid_metal

They kept mighty quiet about the processor specs and let rumors be established that it had a 600+ MHz CPU, supposedly confirmed by reps at a conference. It feels more like 300. It's MUCH, MUCH slower than the Torch, with MUCH worse battery life too. It's not even remotely in the same league. It was also sold to me with "WiFi Mobile Hotspot" advertised on the store display and confirmed by calling tech support. But it does not have hotspot capability, it can only serve as an internet modem for a single computer over USB.

Deceived as to the CPU speed, deceived about hotspot capability. They know after making a lengthy decision to go with BlackBerry rather than Apple, you're more likely to keep it than return it, and that's what happened. It's the best CDMA BlackBerry, I made the decision expecting a better phone based on that fat 512M of memory they advertised and the lie about a faster CPU to go with it.

But it's actually slower since it has to collect more memory with a CPU that seems no better than the Curve.

If it can't run OS 6 well, then it should still ship with OS 5, with an optional upgrade to OS 6. But they want that "Blackberry 6" logo on the display to sell more units. If it's advertised so prominently, then you assume it's capable of running the OS. Deceived again.

They have utterly lost me as a customer, I'm not going to be duped again, and can't wait to replace this rectangular turd in my pocket with an iPhone 5, even if it costs $1000.

I have no doubt that the ip5 will be great, but have serious doubts if the new BB models will be much good. They're like recycled trash instead of new material.

ElSteve9

GOD, I'm glad someone else said this! I regularly see that stupid clock scrolling through a plain text EMAIL. OMFG.

I hate this phone sometimes. Sometimes it's almost enough to switch. I'm serious. Like a lot of people who love BB on here, this horrendous performance crap is getting on my nerves too much anymore. I want a blackberry because blackberries just WORK and I can be productive. The more I see that clock, the less true this is.

-Stephen

Kiddo2050

You obviously never owned the iPhone (original whatever the hell they called it) It was such crap it made me go back to blackberry. I recall actually being ecstatic about getting a Bold 9000 after having the iPhone for a year. That's just how bad the iPhone was.. think about it.... horrible phone.

Also I owned the macbook Air, what an utter piece of sh*t. It could not play two 10 min you tueb video back to back without over heating.

The playbook may be half baked but I enjoy using it. The Air was terrible from day one, I never liked it.

Apple TV utter failure.

The main difference between apple and RIM is that negative comments are not allowed by the apple community.

As you can see Apple has lost me as a consumer and I used to own about 10 apple products. I won't go back now mainly because of the cult of Apple which I cannot stand.

RIM is far from perfect. In fact they have made HUGE errors, but don't come on here spouting that Apple wouldn't have put out bad products. The fact is not only would they do, they have done it time after time.

liquid_metal

Apple did sell me an iPhone that was useless as a phone, but I blamed that on AT&T's coverage. Apple has shipped some problem hardware (Apple /// with hardware defects, iPhone 4 antenna), but I've never used an Apple product that was unable to adequately run the software shipped on it. The nearest thing to that I remember was when System 7 came out (first to use virtual memory on a Mac) it was borderline on slower models, but in my experience it was never as bad as OS 6 on the 9650.

veii

Qualcomm MSM 8655 800GHz. I'd definitely buy a Blackberry with a processor like that! ;)

You'd probably get HTCs legendary 5 hour battery life then though.

Stewartj1

There you have it. Out-of-touch leadership unable to foresee the obvious.

This is why I see a gloomy future for RIM unless they replace thier clay-footed executive.

Bahrutile

i think Rim is a smart company, but being the top dog for a long time in the smartphone game, i think they did not see the impact that android was going to have on the market... i dont think the iphone worried them much. they should though have noticed the race to release the "iphone killer" palm pre was to be that, it failed, most phones failed, then android hit and changed the playing field even fore apple...

mcjohn

Kevin is so insane he might just be right! Hopefully RIM learns a lesson here and plans well in advance for the QNX phones.

Stewartj1

I hope so too, being a big Blackberry fan but the past few years and then this "we didn't see the writting on the wall" statement makes me feel sad and not optimistic.

:((

nighthawks

somebody, please fire two CEO
we need new leadership

Scroat

Would be tough to get those guys out. Mike is the founder and the both of them own a large chunk of the company.

Rarebird13

So, all the wait is still about "catching up" to avail. Products? Since they're not coming out with any truly new tech, merely new phones that MAY prove competitive, RIM is basically (un)marketing itself into irrelevance. As each cycle passes with no new phones, and no serious "awe" factor on any that we're awaiting, the diehard BB fans are the only people who will care- and quite frankly, I doubt we're enough of a market to sustain a tech company. While I appreciate careful development for a quality product, I think this was a lame excuse. RIM was simply caught WAY behind the cell technology curve, and now they're scrambling- and I need a proper replacement for a bold 9000 that still doesn't exist (at least on AT&T). Sad...

Erik L

You have to understand that RIM is a huge organisation and you cant just make your market-philosofy do a 180:/ It seems they are headed in the right direction now though, im just hoping they can catch up before they get lapped:P

ElSteve9

Erick:

I think most commenters here understand that. They aren't disappointed that the product development cycle is so slow as much as they're disappointed the company leadership didn't see what is so painfully obvious to many of us.

But what you said is true, of couse.
-Stephen

gsansone

There is something frightening about reading that the two-CEOs were not more aware of the chipset arms race going on in the market. What have they been doing??! At some point they have to stop operating like a separate entity on its own island and realize that RIM's users are the same as every other maker (they are competing in the same market) and learn how to compete head-to-head or run the risk of being left in the dust.

Kiddo2050

It likely isn't as bad as people here think. You have to recall that product cycles at RIM are 3 years. So when they say they saw the need to move to faster chips that doesn't mean that they only saw it last year.

I'm not making excuses, product cycles should be shorter for the type of business they are in, but it's unlikely that they came to this realization at the same time you and I did.

I was happy when I got the Bold 9000, and the 9700 sold well but it was around that time that things sarted to go bad. It seems that even if the CEOs saw it then they's still be in the mess they are in. So it looks like they not have been fully asleep at the switch to get caught the way they did.

No BB Drone

come on ,you dont truly believe that do you. You cant be serious. When you see all you competition moving to qualcomm's snapdragon and you stick with marvell at 625 mhz ,you are a damn joke in this industry.

And the fact that they almost wanted to bring out these rehashes at 800 mhz is a damn disgrace. And the way they want to sell and rebrand os 6.1 to 7 is even more dirty.

Say what you want about apple , but my Ipod touch 4 started out with os 3 and will later this year be heading to OS 5, now thats how you support your product, you make them feature proof. Rim still comes out with pos screen resolutions on these so called new /late phones but say they have learned? How about these so called new phones wont support their glorified QNX? How have they learned. They put loyal users in the dark everytime with these tricks of promising a grane upgrade/update (remember the os 6 hype ?) and then failing misareably short.

In a year from now you will see samsung already talking/thinking about the galaxy 4 , with quadcore support and android ice cream super deluxe infinity whatever. Apple following suite and htc taking up more and more youth male fanboys (15-55) like they already are doing. And what's left for qnx ? Nobody wil lgive a damn about qnx. Will just be seen as a web os / androind wannbe , wich it really is aswell.

Rim dropped the ball , and like the rock famously said years ago about stone cold Ffing up: austi ncan take his ball ,and go home !

I suggest lazardis does the same , and give his company out to somebody who knows what to do with it. Sell it to steve jobs......

Pete6#WP

At least someone did wake up and realize....

My question is, why have they been sleeping for so long.

The 1.2Ghz Qualcomm chip is already one the market in mumbers and here's RIM saying "Oh, maybe we should use this."

RIM's marketing and market research is just appaling.

ElSteve9

Well, that's true. At least they did wake up.

BB is still selling enough phones that, a year from now (I pray) when they begin releasing qnx phones, they won't be in as irrelevant a situation as Palm was. They'll have to fight to reassert themselves as a top performer, but they'll be better off than Palm.

mdguy99

First off the issues in product development could be minimized if BB marketing department got there act together. Take playbook. The current version is 1/2 a device without a companion phone, so for pete sake market it that way! Instead of the be all and end all it could have been the high end secrete weapon and felt exclusive. And Queen music in commercial, and a bad song at that, PLEASE!

rickster21

rimm stock is down 21% this morning... that's it. i'm done... going to sign up for an android phone today after work. this is foolish

johnmarki

If you had a Sony TV would you sell it when their stock dropped?

Kiddo2050

+1 some of the posters on here must be 10 years old.

Coraya

I made the jump last week to iphone. Crackberry is struggling. And when crackberrybisstrugglung it's a sure sign that RIM is too. I've never seen so many excusesto stay with blackberry which is all tuis site co
Es up with. Yes the devices are great but the 9930 in reality could have been released back in 2006 or even 2005. The hardware is extremely dated. I listened to the poscasts religiously on Crackberry every time they came up. I remember times I waited nearly 3 months just for one podcast to show up nut now there are three in a month? That's desperate. People have to wakeup to what's going kn. Blackberry is dying. They haven't released a new device in over a year. They're sinking fastand the only thing that will save them is a miracle. No battery pulls for me on my iPhone. No hourglass. My iPhone 4 outlasts my 9650 in battery like by half a day. This phone is great. I'll go back to blackberry once they come up with since like Mac osx. They're still atuck in the realm of windows 95 with their devices and that's no joke. Go to iPhone for Verizon or even AT&T. Just leave your blackberry behind. It's dragging you down. and yea yea we don't have bbm but we're going to have imessage which is proven to be even faster than bbm here on Crackberry and TipB. Sorry RIM. your lack of sight lost you loyal customers. I'm a previous owner of a blackberry 8330, 8530, 9630, 9650. Yes. Been here a while. So long Crackberry. I do wish Kevin Michuluk and the crack team well. This isn't their fault. I'm migrating today over to TipB instead of checking these blogs everyday. And my pages load up soooooo much faster. And no crashes :) in the new poster boy for iPhone. RIM broke my heart and I found another device that truly gives me what I want. A new live which DOESN'T let me down with 10 minute start ups. iPhone > blackberry. iPhone > android.

NO_CARRIER

I bought a new phone for the gf this weekend. I'm an android developer, and we have been through 4 phones together already. They've all died for various reasons... some hardware, some software. Android *was* a great platform to develop for, and it's nice to have root control over the device. (i.e. rooting the device/changing the ROM) But after her phone dying on her before a job interview, she demanded a change---the new phone I got her is a WM7 phone---the unloved platform. I highly suggest you give these devices a try, very stable so far, I'm very impressed with how fast this platform is. A lot more apps in the market than I thought there would be. Check a youtube review of the Samsung Focus. Picked it up for $230 brand new. Didn't go with a BB device because she watches videos on her phone to/from work while on the train, so the Super AMOLED display makes sense for her---and I'd much rather wait for a new QNX device before I give BB a try.

jmherndon

It seems they are in the right direction, but its just too late. I noticed early on in my Blackberry addiction that being a RIM user means having to wait and its proved itself over and over again. Then, you don't get what you should when you wait. Why should I settle for RIMs lack of apps, poor quality apps and slow devices when I can pay the same for another phone and data package and get so much more for my investment? I will be going to iPhone in two weeks and cannot wait. Maybe in a year or two I'll give RIM another chance....but they have lost me by relying on the enterprise market to sustain them..

jcbrunson

The link to the Bold 9900 is bad, should be http://crackberry.com/blackberry-bold-9900

It was misspelled in the hyperlink.

drethos

why for one of if not the oldest smartphone manufacturer in the world did they slack behind so far that it came to this? wouldnt you strive to be on the cutting edge? i mean get the best of the best hardware. even for all androids faults they do get the best of the best hardware put into the highend devises.

zensen

Having the best doesn't always equate to a better phone. Battery life plays a big part in that. I do think rim left it late relying solely on marvell to provide the chipset for them. Re-writing code takes time and unfortunatley for rim they are taking a beating in the hardware.

Why do u think google gave manufacturers a standard hardware to base their tablets on? Cause it was optimised.

Optimising hardware takes time. This is why rim have been renowned for their battery usage. Even apple needs to underclock so battery isn't wasted on useless cpu cycles.
Playbook looks great because the hardware ad the software was I'm assuming easier to optimise and that's why we haven't had 1 ghz phones yet. Unfortunately qnx isn't ready for phones either and tho their longterm looks bright. Its the short term that needs to be address and that could really do some harm in their market share.

bbmman1586

When I first received my Bold 9650, I was happy like a kid with a new toy, but like all kids do, they eventually get tired of the toy and want something new. My contract is up in July and I want a new toy to play with. But hearing about delays and blah blah blah doesn't make me a very happy customer. No to mention, their minimal spec upgrades are starting to turn into a laughable joke. I'm glad that they FINALLY woke up and smelled the coffee for whats need to be changed in the US market. But if they don't make a good enough effort or some promise for their phones by the end of the year, I'm going to have to turn to the dark side.... Apple. :-(

brucep1

Kevin,
with the move of bringing the Android Player to the Playbook, do you think they ever though of just porting over to the Android OS? I'm sure this idea is over now with QNX, but can you imagine if they would have brought the email capabilities and battery life to Android? If they could have figured out a way to increase security of it, they might have had an amazing product. I just wonder how much thought this was given before they bought QNX. I wonder if it was even mentioned. Just an idea, not saying i was supporting it.

Ghostnyc

Great article, thanks for offering some insight. However I still find it disturbing that a company who was on the forefront of technology simply got comfortable/lazy and fell so far behind. The comments by the Co-CEO's only exemplifies that at the core of RIM's problems is lack of leadership & vision.

Seriously speaking- are there any members of RIM's executive team registered to Crackberry? A quick scan of the blogs would reveal a great wealth of information including more than a few threads of constructive criticism from people who love gadgets and who are addicted to their crackberry's. For Lazaridis and Balsillie to essentially say "we were caught off guard" is complete bullshit. It would have been more appropriate for them to accept responsibility for their lack of action. Saying "sorry we fell asleep at the wheel" would have been more honest.

Jamma3

This is so funny 1.2ghz and all other phone companies are starting to use duel core chipset.
Still behind. RIM needs help everyone has been saying this and they still don't get it.
So the next phones coming out is a stop gap until QNX next year. Why bother buy a phone now.
They've been getting away with this for years making refresh phones and people had enough.

brucep1

Because there is a good chance that QNX won't be on devices until 2013

No BB Drone

Till 2013 , wo if that is the case , then rimm is dead for sure

golfafire

So is the release date still August 2011 roughly? or does this mean a further delay?

BacktoBB

RIM is history! Google and Apple have cleaned their clock in the U.S. and abroad, and I think that it is too late to recover.

johnmarki

US? Correct. Abroad? Wrong.

avmsam

agreed. RIM is still dam strong overseas. my family overseas no one there wants iphone but many people have multiple berries.

johnmarki

While RIM is being dashed against the rocks, I feel that a strong overseas following will let them weather the storm. The US isnt the only market. the E.U. is gobbling up these BB's.

afrikanac

what are you talking about? I live in Europe and the last time I saw someone with a BB was ages ago. When the torch came out none of the carries even took time to announce the device. In Europe people are buying Andriod and IOS...

judehrlich

Unfortunately, I am starting to agree with you. There are things about the BlackBerry that I absolutely love, but it is NOT keeping up with technology in any meaningful way, and not quickly enough. Many people (myself included) have simply stopped waiting for RIM to step up its game and stepped into the iPhone/Android market.

My feeling is that RIM should focus on fewer designs, put out one or two that are really spectacular. Tremendous energy went into the Playbook, but it was certainly too little too late and IMHO is a failed product.

bschmidt25

Agree with you. I was in this boat last year. Wife was coming off a two year contract with a Sprint 8330 and I wanted to move her over to T-Mo and get her a 9780. After months of waiting and no solid launch dates, she looked at an iPhone and went for that instead. Good thing we didn't wait. It would have been another two months.

Personally, the iPhone is not for me. But if RIM doesn't get it's act together - and quick - I'm going for an Android next time around. There are so many great devices out on that platform right now and RIM simply is not putting out compelling products and is taking a long time to do so. The Playbook was an unnecessary diversion of resources. QNX sounds great on paper, but who knows when we're actually going to see handhelds with it. Perhaps it's time for the co-CEOs to step aside and let someone with a better vision and ability to execute take the reins.

ScottsdaleHokie

Poor planning and ZERO vision.

RIM, say hello to Palm and Nortel.

pkcable

I read this somewhere on the forums, I got Verucaitis (think Willy Wonka, and that famous brat charactor), and I want my 9930 and I want it NOW!!!!!!!

Statehouse

stock is crumbling right now...will close under $20.00 on the day. was at $70 a year ago.

crisgq

im not going to lie but im about a week away from switching to an Android. RIM really has failed us. i use my BB both as a casual/work phone so like most pple you want the phone to be good for work but also good for stuff you do besides emails and so on. RIM needs to realize that they need to keep up with the technology. face it their cameras suck ass. they need to go to a 8mp camera just to name a few things. The APP store is way behind... i have a torch, the things is barely a year old and they are going to release the torch2 with what? a few lil updates.. cmon we need MORE.

Crucial_Xtreme

Obviously the hold up is the last minute switch to a new SoC. This is new territory for RIM & its showing. I wouldn't say RIM is killing the code. The 9810 doesnt last 180 minutes currently with wifi, BT, & the network connected. The problem is, OS7 is basically the same as OS6. Structurally there's not much difference. So why all the problems & the atrocious power management? Part is improved LCD screens with much better resolution. Lots of it is a dedi GPU. A first for RIM. All while using the same size or smaller size batteries. Yes the processor & architecture of said new processor is more efficient, it still takes optimization. And if you've been around the BlackBerry OS for any length of time, you know getting this optimization takes a while. Hence the hold up. The last thing that needs to happen is for these devices to be rushed through TA. But of course that's what's happening.
For the BlackBerry faithful, they'll be content with these new devices, to a point. But aside from a couple new things & new icons, OS7 is the same as OS6. It should definitely still be OS6.1.
Either way, these devices & OS7 are another stop gap. Until the QNX HH's get here. Which are currently in R&D. Hopefully it'll be enough to keep us afloat until QNX HH's reach customers hands.

Detective M Downs

I've come to respect your opinion on all-things BB, and your statement has me thinking its time to switch platforms!!

Crucial_Xtreme

PM me in the forums & we'll discuss things

JAGWIRE

Great post =D. thanks for the info Kev.

sjsplaty

The reality is that CEO's should have foresight. It's not as if Blackberries have been the fastest, most powerful, feature-laden devices all along. But, hands down, they still do email the best, and the enterprise security is tops. A good CEO should not just see the writing on the wall, but be able to predict which wall is going to be written on, what color the paint is going to be and what the message will be, and what the response will be. A chimpanzee could foresee that consumers would want more powerful, state-of-the-art smartphones, and at least one of the co-chiefs should have known that.

All that being said, lets not rule them out forever. If I remember correctly, Apple's stock stagnated for YEARS around $27/share, and they had no innovation whatsoever during that period, cranking out year after year of minor Mac upgrades. Then they came out with a new Mac line, adopted the Intel processor, invented the iPhone, ipod, ipad,etc, and all of a sudden, they were on top again (like in the early '80's) But, realisitcally, Apple hasn't really innovated in a few years. the ipod touch, the iphone and the ipad are all basically the same device in different sizes and with different features added or subtracted.

As much as I hate Apple, Steve Jobs is a great CEO...he is an innovator...a seer. THAT is what RIM needs now to drag them out of the doldrums. With some good leadership and some innovative products, RIM could recover very nicely. And let's not forget: they have almost $3 BILLION in cash and cash equivalents, and outside of North America, they showed strong growth in the rest of the world. I wouldn't necessarily rule them out yet, and might even buy some LEAP call options with the stock trading down here.

Ghostnyc

Very true- regarding Apple's resurrection due to Steve Jobs. In addition lets recall that RIM is a publicly traded company. Im sure shareholders/Board of Directors are upset and if we use history as a guide- HEADS SHOULD ROLL. Particularly if RIM ends up firing employees to compensate for the faults of executive management.

The CO-CEO's NEED TO BE FIRED. There is still time to make a difference. For example- scrapping 2011 smart-phone line up running OS 7 would be a great start. The goal should be introducing QNX on handhelds ASAP if that means missing out on the remainder of 2011 so be it. Secondly focus on Playbook should be increased, particularly on their anemic app store. These major conferences are great and all, but RIM should be doing everything under the sun to attract developers/programmers to build apps for PB. E3, Schmoocon, etc - all gatherings that attract talented people who could prove helpful. Another thing they should consider is simply allowing the talent they have acquired (QNX, TAT, etc) to build the absolute best device they can, without restriction. It would hard to imagine that their combined talents couldn't deliver something exceptional.

OZALLCAPS

young and a bb fan. kevin next podcast you really need to talk about the android hack of a bb the motorola xprt. while i'm anxiously awaiting my bold touch, sprint is releasing this and the samsung replenish. Both are android devices with front facing keyboards (very similar to blackberry). what are your thoughts and what would make an average consumer pick a blackberry over any of these 2 devices. all three devices would be at the same level when the bold touch finally does come out

Dammerung2010

The Droid Pro (Motorola Xprt) is a piece of junk, it's cheaply made, the keypad is atrocious, and battery life is mediocre at best. One of my former coworkers switched to one from a Blackberry Curve 8330 and even though she likes the Droid Pro she wishes she had just gotten a newer Blackberry.

tobegone

"...piece of junk"? sorta like the slew of 9650's released with the sunken in crooked trackpads? please, bb apologists need to just stop it already! i've had a curve and 9650 since oct '09, and despite my allegiance, am all too familiar with bb's shortcomings across the board... when my upgrade's here next oct - i-am-out!

davidinLA

The Bold 9650 was a complete joke! I even switched carriers to get the Bold 9700. How does a $650 phone come with a sunken-in and crooked trackpad? Technology has always been about better quality and faster speed.

I could care less about a front facing camera on a phone but if people out there want that, why not sell it to them?

By the time the 9930 gets released the next generation iphone will be released. It will be another blow to RIM.

golfafire

so when are they talking of a release now? still this summer?

aerosnout

So let me guess this straight, the phones are being delayed so the phones could be better. Are they going to be much better? faster? what? i don tknow anything about Specs, i just want the phone now lol.

fongghoul

it appears that blackberry is always playing catch up. aside from the email capabilities of blackberry phones, it seems that rim is lacking in innovative genius in their r&d and corporate offices. the playbook will be regarded as one of their colossal misteps as is the delay in any innovative new phones. sure their new bold touch will have the new chipset, but the phones won't be 4g compliant which is the future, so their new phones will start out behind the eight ball. going back to the playbook, who actually owns one? rim is talking about making it compatible with android apps? ok that's fine. it may rescue the playbook, but probably at a cost of releasing BBM to the android platform. if android phones get bbm, there will be no need to ever get a blackberry phone since bbm is the best thing of a blackberry these days. rim is being run by a bunch of morons, i predict that in three years, rim will be rather irrelevant and people will be asking why the name of this site is "crackberry." what does "crackberry" mean? sad

fongghoul

it appears that blackberry is always playing catch up. aside from the email capabilities of blackberry phones, it seems that rim is lacking in innovative genius in their r&d and corporate offices. the playbook will be regarded as one of their colossal misteps as is the delay in any innovative new phones. sure their new bold touch will have the new chipset, but the phones won't be 4g compliant which is the future, so their new phones will start out behind the eight ball. going back to the playbook, who actually owns one? rim is talking about making it compatible with android apps? ok that's fine. it may rescue the playbook, but probably at a cost of releasing BBM to the android platform. if android phones get bbm, there will be no need to ever get a blackberry phone since bbm is the best thing of a blackberry these days. rim is being run by a bunch of morons, i predict that in three years, rim will be rather irrelevant and people will be asking why the name of this site is "crackberry." what does "crackberry" mean? sad

bAAx

the negative vibe here is staggering.
you wonder why the whiners even got a BB. who else has such tactile keyboards, the security, the encryption and compression of data, not to mention a no frills buisnesslike demeanor &presentation. the BB is a communication device first and foremost and to me it still excells at what it does. I dont want a mediocre android device, nor a toylike iphone. i feel RIM is on the right track in perfecting their formula and will very gladly wait for the faster 9900 to bridge to my PB.. itll be a killercombo!
go RIM!
ps <3 the PB

mpscan

The vibe HERE is negative????????? Have you actually read/heard what some of the professionals are saying???

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/h?s=RIMM

Compared to some of the analysts, everything in the comments here would be considered positive news.

avmsam

get a grip. no one still consider android mediocre or iphone a toy. CEO's are using iphone. many government are testing it as BB replacements. you might be living under a rock. all the comments you make were valid years ago, not anymore. no one cares about compression of data or encryption or security. consumers don't 2 shits about that crap. they want end user experience/features.

mckillio

These devices won't be historically late as long as they're out between August and October. I would highly recommend buying some RIM stock, since they're likely to get bought out/they can't get a whole lot lower.

nomi1978

Am I the only one that thinks those are BS excuses. There is no way they just decided to use 1.2G processors.

I also understand its not as easy as just slapping a processor and then it works, that is evident with the playbook and how they had to change processors mid development, but they were just late. Too many resources spread thin and now they are weaving excuses.

adel1986

If the stock falls to around $15/share two things will probably happen: IMO, the shareholders will attempt to remove the current execs and the company will be in serious jeopardy of being acquired. Serious in that they will be in the cross hairs of multiple companies hit list. They're already on Microsoft's and dual CEOs large share off RIM can only increase the chances of them not going quietly. If it does happen, it will be hostile.

avmsam

what a shitty excuse. u mean they were gonna release a phone that had worse specs than what is expected in the new bold touch? are you kidding me. their excuse is that they didn't realize what the market/consumers wanted and then when they figured it out they had to adjust/delay. WTF

chiefbroski

I'm a big fan of Blackberry and RIM. I own a storm and a playbook. I was attracted to them because their plans were cheaper than iphone at the time. Now, there's no difference between the the price. I chose Blackberry storm for the decent battery life, touchscreen and good quality phone calls, flexibility with the software that Apple didn't have.

I'll be the first to admit that I was wrong in thinking that RIM wasn't in that bad of a shape, but the way Jim and Mike have expressed themselves, they still hold too much to their pride and refuse to show much of the humility we were looking for.

I am excited for the new touch Monaco or w/e its called. But after more than two years (because in canada we suck with our 3-year plans) of being stuck with the crashing, slow, laggy, and inability to install more than 8 apps with my Storm, I am so hesitant to put myself through the same headaches with the Storm.

I don't buy their excuses with their "business" devices anymore, a business device is a device that works. Period.

As much as I feel for Blackberry, and I think they will pull through, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think that if it wasn't for the work email integration, bbm with my gf and battery life, I would like to have a smooth phone that didn't crash, had a smooth google maps, large screen, worthwhile apps like google earth and higher resolution screen...

The torch doesn't fulfill any of those requirements better than most androids or the iphone.

I really don't want to give up some freedoms with Apple, but it's unfortunate that I'm to the point where I'm considering it.

judehrlich

And now for the good news? Perhaps RIM is finally (*finally!!!*) getting the message? As its stock continues to drop and drop and drop? I hope it's not too late............ honestly, I don't know what they were thinking. Too focused on Canadian hockey, perhaps.

lnichols

Just get OS7 out. Can't believe that carriers can let phones out that you have to hold a certain way, or last 3 hours of use on a good day, but Blackberry devices get held up for so long.

diegonei

Maybe it is because those said devices you have to hold a certain way or only last about 4 hours are not being sold to the US Government and some other major players?

And as I typed, the stock moved to 27.74...

aerosnout

sucks that i may have to leave BB (RIM) if my Tour dies before they release a new BB; i would have to go over to IPHONE,

dk501

So Apple announces this week that they are going to START implementing a device to device messaging system (Hello BBM) and will in the future have push messaging and "cloud systems" (Hello BIS\BES), none of which Android has, and RIM is the one lacking behind everyone else, not on the cutting edge? Maybe someday RIM will start making devices that crash all the time and are very unsecure so that they can "catch up" with everyone else. Yes, maybe RIM needs to add more "cup holders" to their devices so that more people who don't understand technology will buy them, but the only place RIM is behind is in their marketing department.

It would also greatly help their cause if RIM made fewer devices. When I develop apps for iPhones I develop one app and it works. Period. When I try to develop an app for BB I have to change all the screens for different devices, worry about touch screen or track pad, oh, this device has orientation so I have to handle that, handle OS 4.2 through 7 now, get fed up spending too much time on it and quit. If there were maybe an entry level, consumer and professional model all with the same form factor but maybe different specs that I could develop one app that works across all of them it would speed up and make third party development so much easier. But then again I love the irony of using my BB to handle my business of developing iPhone apps!

qnxqnx

You are all still in DENIAL.

Going forward RIM will NOT be able to keep up with the device and eco-system race. Not with antiquated processes and high costs Canadian contract manufacturers - Celestica.

Playbook was designed as a BB companion device, not a tablet mobile computing hardware. The only thing good is the QNX.

RIM should get the last generation of the OS 7 devices out, run it via NOC, but also gradually open the NOC up to allow other devices to securely connect via NOC, and phase itself out of device business.

License the QNX core to MSFT and GOOG as the new multi-core kernel. or Samsung as an alternative platform.

The beginning of the end of the paging devices business started on June 16, 2011 at RIM.

RIM is far from dead, it will earn $3.50 a share just from the revenue of NOC, and it still has billions in cash. Transform the company into a software and service business, avoid becoming another Nortel.

Of course, all of you will think I am out of mind again. Try the Samsung Galaxy S II out and then imagine it with either QNX or iOS 5.

It is no longer the battles of devices, it is wars of the eco-systems.

RIM needs new leadership, new directions and stop being defensive, arrogant and in-denial.

Long live the QNX !!!

zensen

You're delusional :)

sashas

So what I read is RIM was looking to make a subpar product instead of caring about their customers by making the best piece of hardware. And then they had a revelation that nobody would buy that so they decided last minute to change the CPU.
At least I now know they're not looking out for me. And they wonder why people are switching to the iPhone and Android devices?

mckillio

You mean they changed processors at the last minute to appease their customers, i.e. they are looking out for you?

jyva92

ahh no...more than likely to stay competitive.

crack.jack

i guess the developers in RIM were hired when Lazaridis started his career...!! that's the way I feel seeing how sluggish RIM is, in releasing their products.

- First you have to be on the news always to create the hype else you wont sell your product
- You should not only create the hype but get that to reality as fast as you can because when the hype goes down, sales goes down as well.

estarno

Look at it this way- RIM finally woke up and realized their products are not up to par, and never have been since the release of the iphone. At least in the consumer market anyway.

We'll see if their course correction works or not, it's usually too little too late with this company but I'll give them one last shot to sell me on the 9930. At least they admit they've been releasing lackluster devices...

mckillio

You're wrong, up until the iphone 4. The first two iphones were 300+Mhz as were the curve, and the first Bold was 624Mhz when the 3G came out and the 3GS was 600+Mhz.

br14

Based on a Canadian newspaper article last year, RIM apparently moved from concept to realization of the Playbook between May 2010 and March 2011.

It seems a little odd they couldn't have moved faster with phones that are using the same OS and design if not the same chipset.

I'd say it's more likely that RIM was all set to go ahead with the same old hardware and the carriers "woke up" and rejected the devices.

And RIM will exist as long as the carriers want their products. Given the amount the carriers make from RIM I doubt the company will go anywhere for a while.

TomFooleree

Playbook did not require the Certifications that a cell phone requires which greatly reduced development time.

mckillio

Alright, I'm confused. When were the devices delayed? This article says nothing about the dates. As far as I know these devices were supposed to be out this August right? Have they been delayed past that? If not, I wouldn't really say they're delayed, it'll be about a year or sooner since the last gen of devices.

afrikanac

Blackberry fans should read what other people have to say about RIM and not be brainwashed like zombies. Read what gizmodo has to say about BB:

http://gizmodo.com/5812832/ten-reasons-why-blackberry-is-screwed

Cheers

Nightfox111

They should have just release the 9790 4 months ago with OS 6.1 and then they could followup with 9900 in September and OS7. The two look totally different and it could have worked!

But really, WTF where they think! They need product now, and now they are so delayed they are over lapping with the QNX phones for 2012 Q1. Which for whatever reason will get pushed out to Q2 or Q3 now.

So now we have OS7 (Well still waiting)... which they already said will be on the low end phones and QNX with the high end phones by first have of 2012!

They didn't throw out a bone saying they are coming out with a 10in playbook! Nothing, and management wonders why there stock is trading at 4 time earnings?

I have words for management, which I can't use in public!

kevinnugent

You know they are done when a Crackberry Kevin article about RIM does not have one single "awesome" in it.

ezekg21

RIM is done and reports are finally evidence to prove it!!! too far behind to catch up. They got too cozy thinking bbm and push email would keep folks around...wake up!!!! RIM technology is as old as the Reagan administration. The once mighty empire has fallen. How long did they think blackberry users would accept the "Same Features/OS But New Housing" scam they have been selling??? hahahahahaha Good luck. oh what about "Liquid Graphics" ?? What a joke!!! How about calling it "Liquid No New Features"

#teamdroid #teaminnovation

Bob ex. bb9700 user

jginel

RIM only needs four devices: The Torch, 9780, 9900/9930 and a Torch device that shares the same dimensions as the 9900/9930. While they're at it, put back the 2nd speaker on that 9900/9930 device like the original 9000. That was the best sounding device on the market.

The reason for the two different sets is strictly for size; some folks prefer the smaller Bold and others like the original Bold's platform and size. Over the years, they simply have to stay on pace with the hardware: chips, etc and continually improve the OS and browser.

By far, the majority of the people I know fall into two categories: Business users and heavy "texters." As a business user, I’m nuts about the email, ease of keeping in touch and I love the fact that all of my notes written in my Outlook contacts downloads onto my device without abbreviated content.

Blackberry is about accessing emails; that was their primary purpose before combining a phone with the email. It still does this better than any other phone on the market so I think they just have to get back to their roots and make it even better still. I miss the “column view” in OS5 – I use a 9700 right now with 6.0.0.576 – and reading web pages is a “drag,” so much so, that I’m really considering downgrading to 5.0 for a better browsing experience. These are the types of thing RIM needs to get a grip on.

I’ve been using BBs since the 8700g and have never been tempted to abandon them. The ease of communicating and the UMA feature – TMO – is incomparable. I haven’t used an iPhone or android device but then again, I’ve never found the need to. They come off – to me – as high end toys and I just don’t enjoy “playing” games. JMHO

SD619

Yup...I agree!!!

RIM clearly needs an immediate change in leadership and a new visionary who can attract more BB users and developers to a competitive product line.

RIM, wake up and get Kevin on the company payroll already...

El Platanero

I simply don't get it. Everybody wants RIM To produce their "tomorrow phone" now. I don't agree that RIM is victim of falling behind as much as bad marketing. The only thing that keeps happening is that they advertise a new device that doesn't come out until six months after it was anounced. I was going to wait for the 4g playbook from sprint but got tired of waiting. That only happened because they advertised too early. All of RIM's technology is behind in time.....yes even the playbook with no native email or calendar. This is not me complaining but defending RIM. If they are behind then you would expect it to take time to develop technology of today so really we have a couple of choices. You can stop waiting and just get an oversized iphone or you can wait on the company you've trusted to produce EXACTLY what you like. I've had an itouch. I wasn't impressed. It was like a pocket sized tv or playstation. If I want to watch movies, which all devices will be able to do, I can watch my 47 inch hd television. If I want to play videogames, nothing beats the graphics on a ps3, not even the ipad.

Yes all these things are missing in the playbook and it feels like its taking forever for my blackberry bold touch to come out but I rather they take their time and do it right. They have my attention since the first time I typed on a blackberry phone and no other device has come close to meeting my needs so even if I want to scream for dear life with the hopes that something happens I'm stuck, I'm a Crackberrian, plain and simple. I don't care what everybody else wants. I want my blackberry device.

Now hurry up hahahahhahaa.

pjmacklin

call me naive but it seems rim is in a tough situation which ever way it goes. especially amongst the crowd that frequents this board. on the cuttting edge of technology, or believing themselves to be, will complain something's dated as soon as it hits the market. they'll complain if time is spent polishing a product for mass consumer use. it still mystifies me, desires aside, how many folks legitimately have devices more sophisticated than they actually need? and, too, who has the time, energy or funds to swap phones every time something new comes to market?

No BB Drone

this has to be the dumbest reaction yet. Wanting a phone that is on par with other phones is NORMAL. I cant properly browse for shit on my 9700. How is that acceptable? Not to mention it's slow as fuck and has no apps

jyva92

"Mike is saying that devices like the new BlackBerry Bold 9900 at their design inception were not originally intended to get the 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor..... RIM was originally going to continue to use Marvell for at least one more generation of their top of the line GSM BlackBerry Smartphones, bumping up from the current 624MHz found in devices like the Bold 9780 to 800MHz."

- Most absurd thing I've come about on this site.

RIP RIM

alsaund

Any word on whether any of the three phones will be 4G or when the playbook might be?

Gazza12

I've had only 2 BBs the 7100g, and the Bold 9000 for 4 years or so. Blackberry does what it is designed to do like no other brand. They just need to keep on doing what they do best........the best business smartphones around.If you want gaming etc go elsewhere.
I just wish they would come out with a horizontal slider.

I was going to get the Bold Touch but think I'll wait for the QNX models.

The hardware on the 9000 is still rock solid.

southlander

I bought my first BlackBerry in July 09. It is a Tour and has a 624 MHz CPU I think. I very clearly remember the first Droid ads were just out and coming out. In the VZW stores were also the original Droid and the Droid Eris. They both have CPUs that are around the same clock speed. ~ 600 MHz. The iPhone 3GS was the current Apple product -- again a 600 MHz CPU right? So it is interesting that at that time RIM had a competitive CPU in their phones. But since then the Apple and Android crowd have doubled the CPU clocks while the latest BB's still have 624 MHz CPUs in them. I guess RIM must have missed how important the specs would become in the marketing of the devices.

bunkarama

In all fairness to RIM it's not like we have seen competition for faster processors before, I mean don't we all still use computers with a 486/ 33 mhz running Windows 95?

Talne

I really like my old Bold 9000 but....well, does anyone know how to remove a BlackBerry Forever Tatoo?

2 PhoneUser

OMG now they come out and say this. I remember last year when RIM said that there phones were 2-3 years more advanced than anything out there. I had rooted for them but when I went the fun of the Storm, and Storm 2 - I finally had enough with the ridiculous stories about upgrading the firmware. What you want your 6 month old phone to run a totally new OS - stop your being greedy. If you want that by a new phone, I did IPhone and Android, they both have allowed me more than 1 OS upgrade.

Also I knew RIM was definitely in trouble when they were going to give up the consumer market and concentrate on the business market. - (hoping for days gone by?) We were a totally BB shop until the 3rd quarter of last year. Now everybody wants a work phone but one that can also handle their personal applications as well.

I really wish RIM well as competition does make everyone perform better. But with revelations like this, I don't miss jumping ship 8 months ago. It sounds like more of the same excuses not any innovation.

rgm#CB

Its down right crazy that RIM was going to release new phones with chip sets behind the competition. Why can't these 2 CEOs get it.

calyth

The chip set doesn't matter if the software is crap. Takevthe moto xoom vs. Playbook. The xoom hasn't updated to android 3.0, so there are browser crashes, playing youtube at 720p stuttered (try the tomb raider video). Playbook has less crashes, at least for 1.0.5, and playback is smooth. It known that the android build xoom usedis crap.

The problem is two folds. There is poor direction to build the right apps - imo theyve done a poor job catering to the communications needs for consumers, and their os is so ancient, updating stuff takes time.

My htc desire z is on a 800mhz Qualcomm. It ran more reliably than the galaxy s

mike22

Rim just take ur TIME with the 9900\9930 so its perfect.

P L E A S E dont rush like the storm 1 and 2 cause the
end result they where JUNK beleive me Im a tech for verizon
and they were the worst phone ever,we replaced thousands
of storms 1 & 2

DJBS4LIFE

So pretty much this means... The new Bolds won't be out this August? I hope they aren't pushed back till fall :(

mortys11

They will f@ck it up again and release it in late Sept after the iPhone 5 and nobody will know because all we will see and hear are the iPhone 5 line ups. The 9900 is the same old shit that they have told their customers they will phase out in the next few months for QNX phone...u gotta be a sucker to buy a 9900. That's like buying an iPhone 4 after they announce iPhone 5 coming in 30 days.

Rim guys had made too many mistakes in the last few years and they are now paying for them.

Storm 1 and 2
BB Style wtf?
Torch flop
Torch 2 attempt to fix flop....didn't they learn anything from Storm flop
Playbook ( no email ??? I wish I could have been at that board meeting)

RIP

Bundynation

My favourite article to date,

These are the kinds of updates we should be getting directly from RIM! I remember hearing about an 800mhz cpu before the 9780 came out and was expecting it to come out with it (9780, 800mhz).

If only that was the plan all along, I'm sure RIM would be doing a lot better right now.

Bundynation

CrackedTheBerry

It is therapeutic to read, and then commisserate, pessimism of RIM.
I got a Bold 9650 just twelve months ago, and this thing is a "piece" to say the least. Before this phone, I had a Palm Centro, the last phone ran the legacy Palm OS--going all the way back to Palm Pilots! There are still things that ancient Palm OS does so much faster and better than a BlackBerry (a heritage of a touchscreen to say the least!), but that is a whole different conversation.

I feel duped with this phone. It has 512MB of RAM, which apparently OS5 only allocates half. I was all excited about OS6 and its new features--the promises of a Webkit browser, etc. "It's going to be a whole new phone in a few months," was my thinking. What a huge let down! It was horrificly slow and characters couldn't even appear on the screen as fast as I could type them in. The main menu with all these ridiculous categories for organizing app icons? It's a BlackBerry--who has apps? Especially so many that they need to be categorized?

I've since downgraded back to OS5, and tolerate all its glitches and deficiencies--which aren't much compared to OS6. But at least I have the legacy browser with "column view" to actually READ content on a website (imagine that). But it takes more than five minutes to boot! Are you f--king kidding me?

RIM is a classic example of just a corporation loosely run by stooges and ass clowns. It's contemporary fodder for movies and shows like Office Space, The Office, and The IT Crowd. You simply hire accountants and PR people to put up smokescreens and do accounting shenanigans to make the company appear profitable.

Or a company can genuinely put out amazing, cool products that everyone wants! Companies that excel in the marketplace have maestros in their upper ranks of management, and they successfully cultivate a culture of passion and loyalty within the company. RIM obviously lacks this. Can anyone imagine the morale in that place right now?

That said, I feel incredibly sorry for many of the extremely talented developers and engineers that feel trapped on that Titanic. Their talents are being wasted rearranging deck chairs, and they obviously know it--for they can see the icebergs in their rader while the co-CEOs are in the ballroom talking about how clear and beautiful the ocean view is while sipping cocktails.

The OS7 (OS6.1) hot air hype they're blowing sounds just like the OS6 hot air from last summer. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I will ditch this phone at the earliest opportunity.

cgallaer

There's something that I don't understand when it comes to RIM and Blackberry vs. Apple, HP and Google. Why is RIM held to a different standard concerning release dates, OS compatibility with legacy devices and so forth? For example, I seem to recall that HP announced the Touchpad before RIM announced the Playbook. Maybe they announced around the time that the Playbook was announced, I'm not sure. But, I don't hear people saying that HP is "dead" because the Touchpad has taken so long to come out. Also, look how much time has gone between the Pre3 announcement and that phone still hasn't come out. And nary a peep about the replacement to the iPhone 4, or what it actually will be (a 4s or 5).

Google announces a new OS (Ice Cream Sandwich) when the previous two OSs (Gingerbread and Honeycomb) aren't fully implemented by either carriers or handset manufacturers. I also don't know if its been stated whether a Froyo, or Gingerbread handset will run Ice Cream Sandwich. But no one blames Google for taking too long to update an OS or if the OS doesn't work with legacy handsets.

Lets not forget that RIM still is very profitable and has a significant market share even though they virtually do not compete in one of the largest segments in the industry (touch screen smartphones) and their devices are very old compared to others in the market. RIM has a ton of cash and has an incredible asset with loyalty at the enterprise level. There still is a large number of consumers that like a full QWERTY keyboard, as evidenced by the DROID clones.

Have they made mistakes? Sure. One was agreeing to supply the Torch (the only quasi competitive touch screen phone RIM makes) exclusively to AT&T. This phone needed to be on Verizon so Storm 1 & 2 customers would have a handset within the RIM family that could appeal to them at upgrade time. I can't tell you how many people I knew that had Storms, actually liked them, but chose a Droid when it came time to upgrade because the Storm is such an old phone and uncompetitive with what else is out there in the touch screen space.

RIM has made some right moves, acquiring TAT, QNX and others. The Playbook is a great device. I have both a Playbook and iPad 2 and would take the Playbook over the iPad 2 every day of the week. They're moving in the right direction. People counted Moto and Apple out when these two companies were in worse shape than RIM. Those people were wrong about Apple and Moto and they will be wrong about RiM.

supaberry

i think people tend to forget that:
1. RIM's profit is down because they had to spend a lot of money for advertising this year. how many ad of the playbook have you seen lately? quite a lot. then there's other type of marketing that also requires money. they are definitely spending more than what they have ever spent before. since they are spending a higher percentage on their marketing than their sales increase percentage, their net income bounds to be lower. playbook is in its infancy age. it requires a lot of care and attention. it can be quite taxing and exhausting. just ask every parents here of how they take care their newborn baby and how much time and resources they have to spend to make sure the baby grows into a healthy man or woman.
2. Analysts tend to forget of what their job is: analyze. Indonesia is one of RIM's biggest market and it is only getting bigger. close to 300 million of people living there. and most of them can only afford to buy blackberry as iphone is too expensive for them. and some people have more than just one phone. this is just one example. there are markets for blackberry other than north america.
3. RIM is planning to buy back some stocks. what better time for them to buy it than when it is on sale? buy low sell high. I am sure they are thanking the analyst for helping with the temporary discount.

anyway, those are just my take on this situation.

cheers!

herrbremerhaven

Most technology reviewers are in the US and most investors are in the US too, which means those views will become more important than any numbers outside the US market. It doesn't have to make sense, though the US is still considered the most important consumer market. The company also used shipped numbers for the PlayBook and avoiding answering questions about sell-through.

A stock buyback is accounting negative. Their failure to acknowledge that lay-offs are restructuring is negative, because to admit that would indicate management knows there are problems that need to be solved. RiM upper management are in denial, which gives investors zero confidence in a turn-around. Putting out a dividend with that spare cash would've been positive for the company, and a better use than buying back shares.

On a positive note, I would expect the WiFi PlayBook to become discounted. There will soon be many more tablets on the market, placing pressure upon RiM to sell PlayBooks, whether or not they solve the unfinished software this year. Once the 3G and 4G PlayBooks come out, I would expect another price reduction, if it has not already happened. The other possibility is companies discounting them to move idle inventory.

Slinkee4423#CB

After owning a Tour for two years and pretty much being abandoned by RIM< Dude, My two years are up and I'm goin Droid. By RIM

EchoTango

Like many of you, I was very disappointed in the Q1 report and future guidance. Certainly this article explains the reason for the delay of two new phone. I think they did the right thing in opting for the 1.3 GHz processor over the 800MHz. I can just hear the analysts pissing and moaning about stodgy old RIM putting out last year's handsets as current models. This was the main response when the Torch came out with the 800MHz processor last year.

That said, I do think the dual CEO structure is taking a toll on senior management effectiveness and needs to change, no matter how they say they like each other. This last financial report is clear evidence of this malfunctioning arrangement.

I do think shipping 500K playbooks is a very good start for this device, given it's apparent focus on existing BB owners. So much for SJ's pronouncement that "the 7" tablet will be DOA".

jgould

After I had the same problem with my third 9700, I grew tired of dealing with a slow device that was limited in what it could do. The first device I had contained a hypersensitve trackpad. I can deal with a defective device, if it is caused by hardware. The second device started locking up and hourglassing to the point where I would simply put it away when I tried to read an email after seeing an hourglass. Somehow, after pulling the logs out of the phone (Which was a pain in the a$$ on a Mac...) the R&D Department somehow decided that the radios in the phone were bad. I have no clue they got that from the logs, and actually think that the folks at RIM wanted the device back so that they could try to figure it out. I don't have time to constantly deal with trouble shooting a device that I need to work properly.

I've since solved the problem by switching to an Android powered device that works a hell of a lot better than the 9700...

So long RIM, you lost a customer that recommended you to quite a few people. No one does notifications like you, but I think that will come in time...

Jev

Yeah, whatever... My iphone4 is coming this weekend to replace my torch 9800...

EchoTango

Congratulations, you drank the Kool-aid !

Seriously, you'll find the iP4 better at entertainment apps and the graphically centric UI. You'll miss the keyboard and the general communications performance of the BBerry. Of course you need to be prepared for the extra monthly costs you'll no doubt incur, but you know that having already paid a premium for the iP4.

Of course if you've bought into the whole Apple magic stuff, soon you're ability to discern any shortcomings will be nonexistent.

Good luck !

Tbonist

So...a friend and her family on AT&T just got upgraded to a Torch 9800 for free in mid-contract...they'd been moved from Verizon to AT&T and were at first given the 3G Curve (don't know the model number - it's the AT&T one), and with Verizon she originally had a 9630 Tour.

Do you think this means that AT&T is depleting stock of Torches to make room for Torch 2? Might this mean the Torch 2's release with AT&T might be coming soon?

captainlukas

Currently Im using the bold 9780, and Iv'e been a Blackberry user for many years but seeing the massive improvements that Android and even iPhone make regularly gives me phone envy. Today, I drove myself to the nearest Vodafone shop here in Melbourne with the intent of buying an iphone/android device simply because i believe that RIM has stopped progressing at a rate they should be.

I walked into the store, and while looking at the slick new devices i couldn't help but think to myself "give RIM one more chance" so with that, i walked out of the store hoping that the Bold 9900 will be a turning point for RIM.

If not, then unfortunately it will be the last Blackberry I purchase, and Im sure this will be the case for many others.

C'MON RIM I BELIEVE IN YOU!