RIM BlackBerry Curve 9320, 9220 and 9230 Release Date
news and announcements
New BlackBerry Curves Shipping Globally
Good news! Towards the end of May, RIM started shipping out the new BlackBerry curves to retailers around the world in a rather quiet launch. Right now, you can pick up the BlackBerry Curve 9220 and Curve 9320 if you know where to look. Check out the Curve 9230 / 9220 product page for the an up-to-date list of buy links.
RIP RIM's BlackBerry: New Phones WIll Be Dead on Arrival
We just learned that RIM plans to launch a couple of new 2012 phones, specifically the Curve 9230 and 9320 in addition to the rumored London handset that we learned about last year, but we don't think it'll be enough to save the company from certain ruin. It's too late for the BlackBerry platform, or operating system, to make it out of this smartphone game alive.
First, the BlackBerry OS is dead. It died last year when businessmen looked down at their teenage daughters' iPhones and wondered, "Why doesn't mine do all that cool stuff? And the stuff that mine can do, why doesn't mine do it just as easily and seamlessly as hers?" Nothing makes you feel older than comparing your BlackBerry feature phone to a full fledged Android or iOS device that wirelessly mirrors itself on your HDTV, that painlessly syncs all of your data and media, and that serves as a mobile studio/office for (insert artist or business occupation here). Clearly, that wasn't always the case.
There was a time when business folks could look down at their BlackBerries and feel superior about its capabilities, but that was before every phone did email, IM and wireless, automatic back ups of your contacts. Though it is technically a smartphone platform, the BlackBerry OS is severely limited, making it more a feature phone that focused on email. And everyone knew that's why'd you get a BlackBerry. Back then, your teenage daughter's Nokia candybar could barely play Snake, and the contacts system sucked bad for all phones. You had to manually enter every name and number into every new phone, but not if you had a BlackBerry. Nope. BlackBerry owners are a part of RIM's ecosystem, and that comes with a lot of perks.
But the iPhone changed things. Though the original iteration was rather disappointing, the iPhone 4S is amazing. Plus, Apple's antics in the smartphone game inspired others, such as Google and Microsoft, to also challenge the definition of a smartphone as a mobile computer. So new operating systems, Windows Phone and Android, emerged, but RIM tried to add features to its feature phone OS. You can't turn a feature phone OS into a smartphone OS, so people started jumping ship for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.
It's also important to keep in mind that the youngest and most critical customers for any brand are high school and college students, and hardly any of them even know that BlackBerries exist or ever consider purchasing one. Adults copy the technological habits of young people too, and young people eventually become adults with jobs, power and cash too. If you lose the kids and the students, you lose your future. And RIM lost them.
But more importantly, RIM is merely imitating instead of innovating. Sometimes companies can get away with that, but Google and Microsoft are already riding on Apple's coat tails. It doesn't seem like there's much room left for more imitators, and that's probably why Microsoft differentiated itself with its homescreen style instead of merely using square icons in rows with a wallpaper. That's one of the reasons why Google open sourced Android. Differentiation. Innovation. RIM's new OS, BlackBerry 10, may be just as powerful and beautiful as its competitors. But it's just that, an imitation. As everyone else adds something to the mix, BlackBerry is just playing catch up.
Perhaps RIM would do itself a favor if it ditched the BlackBerry OS in favor of Windows Phone or Android. BlackBerries feature stellar build quality; hardware is their specialty. It succeeded in the past because it offered a reliable, well-built device that does a few critical things well. Now that all smartphones can do all of that and more and better, all that RIM has left is its hardware. The business community would probably go bananas for a BlackBerry Bold with Windows Phone 8, and the build quality of some of these cheaper Android phones is absolutely horrid.