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Summary:

If something like this was even hinted at for the iPhone, the tech pundits and analysts would be pulling their hair out claiming it’s the end of the world. Heck, I’m sure Thurrott would have written a few articles on all his Windows sites about it […]

If something like this was even hinted at for the iPhone, the tech pundits and analysts would be pulling their hair out claiming it’s the end of the world. Heck, I’m sure Thurrott would have written a few articles on all his Windows sites about it by now. Yet here is RIM having a serious quality issue with their latest device, resulting in it being pulled from the market, and there’s been little said about it. In fact, the silence is deafening.

At this point, it’s only UK-based carrier Orange that pulled the plug. When other carriers were asked about it, Rogers said only that they have a software update coming, and AT&T simply replied that they’re planning to release it this year. The latter is not much of an endorsement.

In any case, even if it’s one carrier does that really matter? The Bold is RIM’s latest and greatest model for sale. It’s their flagship model. (Do not confuse this phone with the Storm, which will not be available for another month.) The Bold was introduced only five months ago, and was RIM’s first serious shot at the iPhone. A bigger, brighter, and crisper display than they’ve ever used. It includes 3G (a first for a BB) and WiFi. It has a processor roughly twice the speed of other BBs, and an improved web browser is also part of the package. Heck, they even designed the thing to look like an iPhone as much as they could. 

In short, the Bold was not just a typical update to an existing BB model, it was clearly RIM’s attempt at a serious entry meant to increase sales (or at least keep competitors at bay) over a couple quarters while they put the finishing touches on the Storm and brought it to market. RIM has been smart enough to take the iPhone seriously. Getting the Bold released (with 3G/WiFi and a design like the iPhone), working furiously on the Storm (full-screen touch and virtual keyboard like the iPhone), and significantly increasing their advertising are all part of RIM’s strategy to combat the Apple threat. These seem like reasonable steps, even though it’s lowering margins and causing the stock to get pounded

Unfortunately, RIM forgot one very important thing: the device needs to actually, you know, work. I don’t know if the product was rushed to market, inadequately tested with Orange, or what it is, and won’t hazzard a guess. But I do know that when it’s so bad a carrier refuses to deal with all the customer complaints and has to pull your flagship product for “a couple of weeks”, you’ve got a big problem. This is true whether the tech press calls you on it or not.

  1. Man you have a serious hate for RIM!

    Did you ever actually OWN a Blackberry?

    I mean, the groundbreaking-background-working-apps-coming-soon-to-iphone (or simply call it PUSH notification apps) was actually invended by RIM about 10 years ago… Did you know that?

    So who is copying who?

    As well as MANY things inside the iphone, for exampe:

    – The one-press sleep button on the top.
    – Punctuation commands while typing.
    – Push email
    – Push calendars

    + others…

    And I can also predict possible future things iphone will eventually COPY from RIM?

    – Flashing led notifications
    – Shortcuts (many, many inside blackberry)
    – Copy/paste
    – Push/background Instant messagging

    And also some possible future copies from the new Storm:

    – Keyboard rotation?
    – Real button under touchscreen? (actually the new macbooks have it under the new trackpad…)

    Oh and yes… battery life… (with all push apps, foreground AND background activated)

    Too bad RIM with the Bold copied the silver border around the phone is it?

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  2. Simon,

    RIM hate? Please. Knee jerk much?

    I linked to a very favorable article on the Bold, and also gave RIM credit for taking the iPhone seriously and implementing a reasonable strategy as a result.

    The POINT of the article, which you obviously missed, was that the Bold has been pulled from the market by Orange. This is a big thing. Care to comment on that, or do you just want to ramble on about how no phone ever had a “one-press sleep button” until RIM did it?

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  3. Um, how many patches did the iPhone 3G need again?

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  4. Telcel, the service provider in Latin America also had an issue recalling iPhones… Patches, etc.
    And no serious BB user would even consider an iPhone. Blackbeery Bold sold out in a couple of hours, just like the iPhones did. The
    Big difference… The Bold wasn’t sold at differed pricing and payments. So, I wouldn’t worry to much about RIM.

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  5. Huh, two posts bashing Apple competitors in a row with little-to-no Apple content (the Windows 7 post had exactly none, this one offhandedly mentions the iPhone).

    I’m not digging it.

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  6. Philip,

    I honestly don’t believe this was a bash piece at all. I pointed out that RIM’s flagship phone was pulled by a major carrier. If you don’t think that’s significant, OK, we’ll have to disagree about that.

    As for RIM, I like them. I like them because they took a market right out from Microsoft’s nose. The mobile Exchange market was MS’s for the taking, but they were too stupid, or slow, or lazy to grab it. RIM came in and kicked some serious butt. And they did so while building a loyal customer base. In this regard they have something — a very Good Thing — in common with Apple.

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  7. Even stranger than the non-response from the media about the quality issues of the bold, is the blinders exhibited by the respondents to the article! :)

    This is why blogging and tech reporting is such a thankless job. Here, someone writes a perfectly good article about a rather astounding occurrence, and all he gets in response is a bunch of goofballs rattling on about their own concerns.

    Out of the six posts I’m looking at as I write this, one is a tedious promotion of RIM that ignores the article content completely, two are from the author, two are just short “anti-iPhone” statements, and one bashes the author (again, irrespective to the actual article content).

    Wow, this is an intellectual group! :-)

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  8. Hey mr intellectual… probably you too forgot to mention the main reason why us goofballs are moaning… this article has been written with no care about basic journalistic rules.

    Words fly dear Jeremy, but concepts remain.

    This is a blog and no one excpects an author to be prepared like on paper, and this equals to us frustrated geeks

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  9. Actually I DO OWN a BB Bold since about a month and a half now (it’s actually on sale here in Germany at T-Mobile) and I have yet to see it slow down, crash or somehow do something wrong?! So, actually I don´t get, what kind of quality issues should be there.

    And finally, yeah, since 2.1 my iPhone 2G does work again! Only took…hm…lost track of updates. still love it more than the Bold when it comes to music, apps and video. But BB mail is just so rock solid…

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  10. Just a really quick message (written on my BlackBerry Bold by the way) that you shouldn’t believe everything you hear in the news ;-) I have a Vodafone branded Bold that I unlocked and then decided to use on O2 instead – I can actually do little with written words to express how impressed I am with this device and how thoroughly addictive, intuitive and powerful it actually is. I’ve owned both the Iphone (non 3g) and Touch and despite their unique niceties they just weren’t for me in the end, and as a business tool Apple mobile devices just don’t cut it.

    I’ve had no problems whatsoever so far, excellent battery life, no crashes, superb responsiveness – the list really could go on.

    Play with a bold, see if you like it – just remember at the end of the day everyone is different and you need to choose what is best for you! Personally, I’ve fallen in love.

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