If you have not read Part1:http://www.wesisearch.com/blog/?p=39
If you have not read Part 2:http://www.wesisearch.com/blog/?p=54
The key to success in the rapidly changing technology industry is innovation; innovation is the fuel to the corporate fire for companies such as Microsoft,Apple,Google,etc. Based on the events of the past year we can see that Blackberry maker RIM has been starving as their innovative fuel has been non-existent. Despite lackluster performances in the past, the recent changes in the form of new services,new features, and most importantly, new devices, may prove to be the fuel that will reignite the Blackberry brand.
When it comes to new features and services, Blackberry has never really been known for constantly releasing new features in the way that Apple does with big events seemingly every other week. New features for Blackberry devices have been stagnant outside of the release of BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), however with the rapid changes that have occurred in the past few weeks it appears that Blackberry is trying to take back some market share in its battle against Apple’s i os and Google’s Android operating system. The introduction of BBM music is Blackberry’s response to the ever popular itunes which has changed the music industry forever.
BBM music is a much needed innovation for Blackberry because, as mentioned in part 1, RIM lacks diversity in their products and services and that is the main reason for their downfall. When you look at other great companies in the industry,Apple has laptops,music players,itunes,Iphone’s,Tablets, an operating system etc. Microsoft has software,a cellphone operating system,Xbox,Bing. RIM only had it’s devices, and the truth of the matter is, single service companies do not survive in the 21st century, that is the reason why Wal mart sells food a couple aisles away from their t-shirts. The concept behind BBM music is a program that for only $5 a month you can share up to 50 songs with your friends through BBM. This means that if I have the new Katy Perry song and you don’t have it I can send it to you while you send me those classic Michael Jackson songs that you are always playing. The concept is great because it promotes social interaction around the love of music with your contacts through bbm.RIM is essentially trying create a social media platform for music. Great idea but flawed execution. We are not saying that the music program will be unsuccessful,we wish RIM all the success in their new endeavours, but the truth of the matter is 50 songs just isn’t enough. For some people to have 50 songs to share with your friends is a great concept, but if 50 songs were all people had on their playlist then ipods with 16,32, even 64 gb of storage allowing storage for thousands of songs would never have sold. They did sell, and a whole lot of them over the years have sold. The other issue with BBM music is the residual income that Blackberry is receiving from the consumer when they go over the 50 song limit. If you want another 50 songs you have to pay more money.Of course the math makes sense but those fees will add up without you noticing it. $5 here and there and before you know you spent $20 on top of the mandatory Blackberry data plan and the other fees handed to you from your service provider. These extra fees could be the death of bbm music.The other changes in the BBM upgrade allows for social media updates with your contacts when you achieve a certain level in a game or are attending an event,etc. very similar to google places, but a bbm social version. For more information refer to part 2.
Blackberry has recently launched four new devices which are all different in their own ways which RIM hopes will appeal to returning customers and attract new ones. All of these devices come equipped with Blackberry os 7,BBM 6,a 5mp camera,expandable memory, and NFC(Near Field Communication). Not sure what NFC is check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk5mUdeEF8c
The Blackberry Bold 9900 is an update to the Blackberry Bold flagship device. The Bold 9900 is equipped with a 2.8 inch capacitive touchscreen(uses electric pulse from body,i.e Iphone touchscreen.) a 5 megapixel camera that records in 720p quality, and 8gb of storage on board. The device has also become thinner as it is only 10.5mm thick, which is always better when thinking about pocket comfortability. It is nice to see a touchscreen on a Bold, but a touchscreen size of only 2.8 inches limits the functionality and makes us wonder if it was put on there to make the device more useful or simply to seem relevant with other devices.
The Blackberry Curve 9630 is more of an entry level device in comparison with the Bold, but is still a device that many have and will use. The new curve comes equip with a 5 megapixel( no 720p recording), 512 mb of on board storage, and is 11 mm thick. The Curve lacks a touchscreen but due to the size of the 2.4 inch screen it is not really a drawback. The issue with the Curve is the slow processor which can be a deal breaker for those wanting an extremely fast device. Overall, all the new Blackberry’s have increased in speed but are still not up to par with devices from other makers.
The update to Blackberry’s first touchscreen slider is the the Blackberry Torch 9810. Can this device really be considered an update is up to you to decide. The device has a very similar look to the first generation Blackberry Torch, which could be a good or bad thing depending on your taste. The 9810 has a 3.2 inch touchscreen, a 5 megapixel camera that records 720p resolution,and a slide out keyboard. There have been some instances in the past of screens sliding off due to bad hinges but it is rare. The Torch at 14.5 mm thick, although not 1990′s ish, is still thicker than alot of other devices. Of course this is due to the slide out keyboard, but it is definently something worth noting when considering this device.
The Blackberry 9860 is Blackberry’s first all capacitive touchscreen. The Blackberry Storm was a touchscreen but it used haptics technology which made the screen click when you pressed it, this made it not very good in quite situations. The 9860 has a 3.7 inch touch with a trackpad and four control buttons. The 9860 also has a 5mp camera with 720p recording, 4 gb of storage, and is 11.5 mm thick. The device is Blackberry’s answer to the full touchscreen devices which are becoming very popular in the marketplace.
For those who have an older model blackberry and would like to upgrade their phone, there is the Blackberry trade up program where you can get up to $100 for your old Blackberry and apply that to the price of your new one. It is unsure if this program applies to the newly launched Blackberry os 7 devices as the website still shows the previous models. This program may also only apply to Canadian users but visit the link and check with your service provider for more info. https://tradeup.blackberry.com/en/ca/web/home.html
The answer to the question “Should I get a new Blackberry?” is simple, it’s up to you. The pros and cons of the company’s structure, new features, and devices, have all been addressed and now that you have the knowledge it is your decision as the consumer to decide which device is best for your lifestyle. After all once the device is purchased it is really hard to bring it back with all those cancellation fees, contracts, waiting in line, using a loaner phone until you can get another one, you get the picture.
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