Research In Motion on Aug. 3 announced five new BlackBerry smartphones that the company says, are vast improvements over their predecessors. The devices, which include two BlackBerry Bold models and three versions of the company's BlackBerry Torch, all run BlackBerry 7 OS. According to RIM, browsing the Web on BlackBerry 7 is 40 percent faster than on BlackBerry 6 and up to 100 percent faster on BlackBerry 5.
As nice as that might be for those who are long-time fans of RIM and the BlackBerry, aside from the performance improvements, there isn't much the company will be offering in the new smartphones that will make the average customer think twice about buying an iPhone or Android-based handset. In fact, the latest generation of BlackBerry smartphones seems rather boring. In a marketplace where innovation and neat new features grab attention, being boring doesn't bode well for RIM's sales figures.
Read on to find out why the latest slate of BlackBerry smartphones, as solidly designed as they may be, will fail miserably.
1. What's the difference?
When one examines the five new BlackBerry smartphones RIM is planning to launch, they will find a set of devices that don't break any new ground. The smartphones come with physical keyboards, comparatively small screens and an operating system that has the same feel as previous versions of the software. If RIM is having trouble with sales of existing smartphones, why would it offer up products that are hardly any different? It doesn't make much sense.
2. BlackBerry 7 doesn't work out so well
There's little debating that the BlackBerry 7 OS is a better version of RIM's software than the previous options. However, it's still not Android or iOS. The operating system simply isn't as well-designed or as forward-thinking as its top competitors. Consumers looking to have the best experience will quickly discover that. BlackBerry 7 is nice, but it's no iOS or Android killer.
3. RIM forgets about the iPhone's features
Against its better judgment, RIM continues to offer up products that fly in the face of what the iPhone is all about. Like it or not, Apple's smartphone is the benchmark by which all other handsets are judged. And the onus is on RIM to try and match that. But the handset maker didn't do anything of the sort. Instead, it stuck to its game plan andthat game plan is failing miserably.
4. The physical keyboard is a loser
RIM seems to believe that customers will want a physical keyboard. So these devices come with the typical physical keys current customers have come to expect. However, these days, consumers are favoring smartphones with virtual keyboards. That's why the top handset makers in the business aren't wasting their time on physical keys. With their tired, old physical keyboards,RIM's latest line of devices smack of obsolescence.