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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Member since:

People don't buy iPhones instead of Blackberry or WP because iPhone has a better OS or better hardware, they buy it because they *think* they like the design and because is trendy and fashionable.

Really!? How do you know that? You went and interviewed everybody?

Whether a product is cool or not is temporary. Apple was not cool when they launched the iPod, and they weren't really still that popular when the iPhone launched. The iPhone was radically better than other smartphones, and that is why it became popular. The combination of better hardware+software, high prices and good marketing made the iPhone cool.

Reply Parent Score: 4

pandronic Member since:

The iPhone was radically better than other smartphones

I don't agree with that. At launch the iPhone 2G was not able to run any apps, was not able to shoot video, was not able to send MMS, did not have 3G, it did not have a flash, you could not change the battery or upgrade the storage. That was in mid 2007.

At that time I had a Sony Ericsson K800, that was launched at the beginning of 2006 and it was at most a mid-range dumb phone. It had video, MMS, 3G, xenon flash, changeable battery, upgradeable storage, apps I could download from various app repositories like and I could surf the internet just fine with Opera Mini which rendered websites almost like its desktop counterpart. Also I could set any mp3 as a ringtone, browse the filesystem and transfer files over Bluetooth to and from any device - things that the iPhone still can't do. That phone is still being used every day as a work phone by my GF - while my friend's iPhone 2G gathers dust in a drawer for years because it can't hold a charge for more that a couple of hours and because it's slow to the point of being unusable.

So, how the fuck was the iPhone better? It was all smoke and mirrors and it still is.

Reply Parent Score: 6

arpan Member since:

You're listing a list of features. A feature isn't useful if it's users don't use it.

People could actually use the features that it had. That's how it was better.

Oh, and it had a fully featured browser, allowing it to access regular websites, not just mini-sites made for WAP browsers. That one feature - access to the whole world wide web - made it more powerful than every other phone on the market at the time.

Reply Parent Score: 1

arpan Member since:

Oh, and I had a Sony Ericsson Symbian device as well. Decent phones, but they couldn't compare to the iPhone's ease-of-use and full browser.

Reply Parent Score: 1

mkone Member since:

The mistake you make is to look at the things it couldn't do, rather than the things it could.

At the time it was launched, it had the best:
- Web browser on a mobile phone
- Music player on a mobile phone. Actually, best music player anywhere
- Maps applications on a mobile phone.

So, it didn't have a hundred features that its competition didn't have. It had three or four done so well, it was much better than the opposition.

Reply Parent Score: 3