Oh Blackberry… Once a pioneer of wireless email and the innovator of instant messaging services, it used to be the pride and glory of every self-respecting business person, before it found its way into our bad books – and stayed there for what seemed like forever.
Now Research in Motion (RIM) are prepared to make up for our suffering and go after their prodigal sons lured away by Apple, Samsung and other manufacturers by launching brand new software and handsets.
Yet there are still a number of reasons that have made us forever sceptical towards the possibility of a better future together, no matter how different they swear it will be this time:
Constant Outages No company is perfect these days and blunders are all too common when someone is trying to come up with something utterly innovative. Even if that someone is Apple, as we all learned after its embarrassing attempts at cartography last September. However, it is even more humiliating to a company when it fails to provide its trademark service – as it has happened during several Blackberry Internet Service outages throughout the years, the most extensive of worldwide data disruption taking place in October 2011 – to which their most effective reaction was an apology, as the service carried on being down for days.
No Social Skills
Sticking your head into sand and waiting for the storm to pass is surely a way of communicating – for an ostrich or a three-year-old, but not it communications are part of your trade. RIM has long been renowned for turning a blind eye on system glitches and customers’ growing dissatisfaction with their products, yet it was the previously mentioned outage in October 2011 that really caused people’s outrage over their deliberate abstinence from any forms of communication.
Effectively, it took days for them to admit the issue and apologise and even then, their promises to tackle the problem ASAP held no timelines or updates on the progress, making it clear it was a considered tactic. The good news is that they repaired their services eventually but we all know what they say about broken trust?
Wrong Weigh Category
Out-of-date technology is among the main reasons most of past Blackberry users have shunned them for iPhones or Androids, which the company has now strategically chosen as starting point for executing improvements.
Although many have praised the progress RIM has made in developing software for Blackberry 10, the prognosis of its ability to take on smartphone giants like Apple, HTC and Samsung are pretty grim – mainly due to the fact that these changes are made years after iPhone has set a new standard for phone software.
In short- more competitive phones now won’t make up for years of bad performance as you shouldn’t expect taking out Golliath just because you own a sling.
There Have Been Too Many Chances (Phones)
RIM has often been ridiculed for sporting an appaling number of phone models compared to their once-rivals in smartphone market which, allegedly, also affected their sales catering to modern men’s almost genetic indecisiveness and outdating their own stock before time.
However, their most unforgivable sin towards their loyal users has been the lack of any significant improvements: while shiny new features came and went, in essence the handset still remained a broken toy. After all these times of fooling us, the shame’s really on you, RIM.
This might be the case where RIM might as well be crying over spilled milk, as despite the best attempts to clean up their act, Blackberries are already stuck with a certain reputation that may see their products not making most people’s wishlists, shopping lists and, worst of all, Christmas lists for quite a time.
Last October The New York Times publicly labelled Blackberries as “black sheep” as a constant source of embarrassment to their users, frowned upon in cocktail parties, conferences and self-respecting clubs. But it’s what’s inside that really matters, right?
With all of these not so recent RIM failures in mind, what are your feelings about Blackberry’s prospects in the future? Do they deserve another chance? Share your thoughts below!
Elise Lévêque is a bubbly French-English translator with a passion for social media. When not busy communicating ideas (and pretty pictures) between the brightest minds in the universe, she also blogs for White Pages.