Report: BlackBerry's Last Hope Is Totally Screwed (Updated)

Illustration for article titled Report: BlackBerrys Last Hope Is Totally Screwed (Updated)

Not even RIM's top executives dispute that the company's had a rough few months. But just hold on, they say, until BlackBerry 10. That's the rudder that'll turn this ship around. But if BGR's insider report holds up, that new course might head right smack into an iceberg of suck.

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BlackBerry 10 has already had a cursed feeling to it, with a legalistic name change and endless delays serving as bad tech omens. But news that BlackBerry 10 is in the same dismal state as PlayBook firmware—no native email no BBM—indicates that RIM's greatest hope isn't just half-baked. It's rancid.

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To put this in even more terrifying perspective, BGR's source claims that BB10 "isn't even as good as iPhone OS 1.0 or Android 2.0." Which, when you consider Windows Phone, puts RIM fourth in a two-platform race. If true—and honestly, I'd be more surprised if it weren't—it confirms that uneasy feeling that we've been watching RIM's Great Unraveling, a slow bleed that's picking up speed with every missed deadline, every disappointing release, and every anxious leak.

Update: In a statement to AllThingsD, RIM referred to BGR's report as "inaccurate and uninformed," reiterating that the delay was due to waiting for more efficient dual-core chip architecture and not general fumblings.

But regardless of the culprit, all that matters is that BlackBerry 10 won't be out until, just maybe, it's too late to matter. [BGR, AllThingsD]

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DISCUSSION

The scary part is not that BlackBerry keeps this mess going forward, it is that the ship is still floating behind the wake of iOS and Android. Businesses keep buying the phones. Why?

1. BlackBerry devices work. They aren't pretty - but for email, calendar and contacts they get the job done.

2. Businesses do not want their staff to have fun with corporate devices because that is not why they are paying the ridiculously high cell phone bill - a bill that gets even higher if someone is watching Netflix on their phone.

3. It is difficult to find a compelling reason corporately for suits to carry an iPhone or Android instead. Yes, they are more cool, yes there are some apps out there that may be useful - but nothing dramatically compelling. The reason you carry it is to communicate and the BB can do it.

4. Security is still the trump card. Some businesses are ignoring this (like mine) and allowing folks to branch off, but even with that choice many staff choose to stick with the BlackBerry. Yes - really.

That said, RIM is not growing at the clip they once were and many businesses are exiting. Those numbers will get worse for RIM in 2012, too. But they still have a core customer corporate customer group that will stick by them as long as they are in business and could care less how closely they match the feature set of iOS and Android.