RIM BlackBerry Bold Comes Up a Little Short
RIM's BlackBerry Bold smartphone is a powerful device with a lot of storage, rich multimedia capabilities and excellent audio. But the BlackBerry Bold disappoints in several areas and, in a highly competitive smartphone space, falls behind other devices, such as the Apple iPhone and the Android-based T1 smartphone from T-Mobile and Google.When I first got my hands on an early demo unit of Research In Motion's BlackBerry 9000 smartphone-also known as the Bold-for a few minutes back in May, my immediate reaction was that I had an award winner in my hands. With its impressively vibrant screen, excellent sound quality for music and videos, new 3G data connectivity, and BlackBerry's ongoing mastery of mobile e-mail capabilities, it seemed a foregone conclusion that RIM and the Bold would find great success-whenever they got around to releasing it. However, in the intervening five months between that time and the Bold's November release, while the Bold underwent extensive and seemingly interminable testing on AT&T's 3G network, the smartphone market saw a series of dramatic shifts that undercut much of the Bold's appeal.
The second-generation iPhone from Apple brought with it a new application marketplace that redefined expectations of what people could do with a cell phone, and T-Mobile and Google reaffirmed this movement with the Android-based T1 with Google device and the accompanying Android Market. In addition, rival Nokia released several phones with loads of features for business users and consumers alike, and even Microsoft's Windows Mobile delivered a few attractive and interesting devices, such as Sony's Xperia and the HTC Touch Pro.