Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 6th Dec 2013 00:23 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

RIM grew into one of the world's most valuable tech companies. The BlackBerry became the indispensable accessory of business executives, heads of state, and Hollywood celebrities - until iPhone and Android came along and spoiled the party. Today the company, which has been renamed, simply, BlackBerry, is burning through cash as sales keep falling. On Nov. 21, BlackBerry shares closed at just above $6, the lowest it's been in almost 15 years.

Over the last two months, Bloomberg Businessweek spoke to dozens of current and former BlackBerry employees, vendors, and associates. Here is their account of the thrill of BlackBerry's ascension - and the heartache of watching its demise.

Aside from of course the personal tragedies that may arise from a possible complete BlackBerry collapse, I have little to no connection to the company or its products.

Except for one product.

I hope they release it as open source before it's too late.

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Why this disinterested negativity?
by boblowski on Fri 6th Dec 2013 14:11 UTC
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This barrage of BlackBerry bashing by people who admit to have never even used one, made me curious. So about two months ago I bought myself a Q10 (coming from a Galaxy S4), morbidly curious, expecting some kind of monstrosity to arrive on my doorstep...

After using it daily for a good six weeks now, I've really come to wonder what is going on here. What is all this negativity about?

The device itself feels solid, everything is responsive, nothing to complain about. Call quality is top. Camera, sound, screen are all decent to good depending on your demands, but certainly not bad. Whether you like a physical keyboard is of course a personal question, on average I think I myself might prefer it over a virtual keyboard.

BlackBerry 10 OS seems to be very well suited as communication tool. BlackBerry has some trouble explaining the (what they call) 'BlackBerry Hub' to customers, but it's really a very nice and convenient integrated communication environment, unifying all the different communication channels and linking all communication history to contacts. For what I need a phone for, it beats anything else I've ever used. Heck, it even beats many of the desktop CRM systems I've used.

Integration and synchronization (ActiveSync) for contacts, calendars, tasks and notes is supported out of the box and works well. The way notes and tasks are integrated in the rest of the system took me a bit of time get used to, but is very helpful and gives a lot of info and insight into my schedule.

The browser is good, every single site I need is rendered well and is usable, including Flash based sites. PDF's and office formats are supported out of the box, and my audio and video is handled correctly as well. Oh, and BBM with integrated voice and video conversations is really pretty neat, especially since it's fully integrated with everything else.

What stood out most for me is the level of usability and the integration of all the different parts. Every item can be tagged, searched, shared with and linked to. For just about every item there are short-cuts and small bits of cleverness to speed-up things to call/text contacts, add quick notes and reminders, change or update appointments, quickly share info. And judging by the amount of smaller and bigger updates I get the impression BlackBerry is putting a lot of effort in building and improving the OS.

Come to think of it, this whole BlackBerry feels more 'Apple' than any other mobile platform on the market, including Apple's iOS itself...

Could it be that most reviewers come from a different background and only focus on the 'smartphone' part of a device, without having any experience with or eye for the 'communicator' part? Or is it really as somebody (was it here on OSnews?) said just a few days ago, that the complete tech-press is nowadays run by 14-year old adolescents that only need 30 seconds to decide something is 'stupid' and 'boring'?

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