Over the past week, stories about BlackBerry filled up my reader – lots of articles and rumors about the new OS, handsets and their strategy. Well, the wait is over and RIM kicked-off its annual WES BlackBerry conference. Overall, what I saw is a little lackluster – much more evolutionary to get them close to Apple and Android but still nothing revolutionary that helps them leapfrog the market. I’m disappointed by a company that once drove mobile innovation.
The headline for RIM is it’s upcoming summer release of BlackBerry OS6. During the WES keynote, RIM showed the following video highlighting its new features:
The features are nice and the interface is slick but they have one major problem… no one wants their touch screen phones yet they continue to showcase features for touch screen phones. No matter how good the OS, consumers these days want devices that have “style” to them – just look at what Apple, HTC and Samsung are releasing this year. RIM announced two new handsets this week, evolutions of the Pearl and Bold… but no new touch screen device? I’m confused since they only showcase the new touch screen features in the OS 6 video. It doesn’t make sense. I’ve said it before and will say it again… BlackBerry needs a game changer, fast. They are clinging onto their dominance in the enterprise but slowly IT managers are getting comfortable with different platforms and are allowing workers to choose their handsets to match their lifestyle instead of forcing them to conform to one corporate-standard. Watch out BlackBerry, you could sleep yourself to death… a la Palm. I’m an avid BlackBerry user who’s ready to drop his handset for something fresh.
Google announced this week that they scrapped plans to release the Nexus One for the Verizon network. I read a few articles that criticize Google or that it’s a step back for the giant, but I don’t think so. HTC just released the Incredible for Verizon, that is… well… incredible. Should Google care? No! Why not? Because the phone runs Android, so all Google cares about is getting its OS in as many hands as possible. Google is not in the phone business, it’s in the ad business.
To end this week’s summary, I’ll give a quick update of Palm. Last week there were rumors of several possible suitors for the financially-troubled company with HTC being the “crowd” favorite. HTC officially stepped down this week (probably because Palm’s financials are just too scary). So, that leaves Lenovo as the front runner. And the troubles continue for Palm…
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