Thursday, November 27, 2008

BlackBerry Storm in a teacup

RIM have been highly successful in the enterprise push email market. So succesful, that anything mobile email related is instantly compared to Blackberry (even POTUS doesn't want to give it up).

However, as Apple starts to creep up its mobile market share with at least a potential new model every year and email/Exchange support, it may be enough to make RIM a casualty.

RIM have not sat back and watched this potential market-share threat of course and we're starting to see the first consumer-focused Blackberries appear into the market, as a response.

The one right now that's getting all the focus is the Blackberry Thunder (but more consumer Blackberries are due early next year). There's already many reviews on the web so I'll keep my own comments brief.

In short the BB Thunder is disappointing. The high resolution display is amazingly sharp and bright and the device has good solid build quality but the major feature of the clickable screen is a novelty and rapidly becomes irritating- taking at least twice as long to do anything as with the non-touch Bold (I just could not get used to the two letters per key on the on-screen keyboard in portrait mode). The browser is ok but multi-touch iPhone users will find it sub-par  - no pinch and zoom of course.

There's nice transitions and a medium reponse time when navigating menus and traversing around the OS (except the flip into landscape mode), but the built in native applications don't cut it -the media player crashed several times when trying to play any video for example. It's nowhere near as stable as the Blackberry Bold and left me with a similar impression of the nokia N96 when it first came out - buggy and unfinished. Perhaps some of the issues will be fixed in firmware updates.

RIM have a lot to learn when it comes to consumer-based devices it seems and it's yet-another-iPhone-clone that doesn't come close enough to provide any serious competition.
However I'll still be using the Bold for email until that iPhone with keypboard appears.