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.

Thread beginning with comment 578182
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
arpan
Member since:
2006-07-30

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

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I think you're both mostly right. The thing is, the original iPhone was a web browser with a phone thrown in. The browser was unparalleled in mobile, but the rest of the phone was sparse and featureless. It has steadily improved over the years, in large part because of the app ecosystem.

When the original iPhone was released, I had a Treo 650 that I'd already been using for over two years. I was, of course, wowed by the iPhone like most people, but with the $500 price tag and the fact that my phone did so much more at that time, I held off on buying an iPhone for several more months. When I finally did get one, within six months I had become so frustrated that I sold it and got my first Blackberry, which at that point was the only phone better than another Treo (for me).

Reply Parent Score: 4

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Opera Mini is not a WAP browser, it can access pretty much full web.

Reply Parent Score: 2

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

But as it used a proxy server to pre process the content and a bespoke custom protocol to deliver the content to the browser engine, it wasn't actually a "real" fully featured browser. It was all "smoke and mirrors". The fact that if you typed in your Facebook credentials, it then transmitted those to a server in Norway and processed the results and sent back the page to your phone, you don't see a serious flaw in that? They ended up fully encrypting the protocol, but not for the first few iterations.

Reply Parent Score: 2

pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

Opera Mini was a full featured browser. It benefited from the 3G that the K800 had and also had the Opera Turbo feature (serverside compression) - it was great considering the cost and performance of mobile data in 2007. In fact all the decent phones at the time had 3G and Opera Mini. The reality distortion field is strong.

Reply Parent Score: 2

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Opera Mini was a full featured browser.


No it wasn't. It used a custom protocol between itself and a proxy server that simplified down the web traffic. What you saw was mainly smoke and mirrors in the early versions. I had a K800i myself. I used it all the time, but saying it was "full featured" is stretching reality somewhat. A better description is that it "made the best of what it could do to make the full web fit on to a tiny screen with limited power."


It benefited from the 3G that the K800 had and also had the Opera Turbo feature (serverside compression) - it was great considering the cost and performance of mobile data in 2007.


As all of the data was coming from a proxy server with a far simpler bespoke protocol, it wasn't exactly hard for that to be true.

In fact all the decent phones at the time had 3G and Opera Mini. The reality distortion field is strong.


True, but 3G was a lot slower in 2007. Well, in the UK at least. When I got my iPhone 3G, a lot of the time it was just as fast to use the 2G connection, and the 2G connection would often pull the data down and render the page in about the same time as the Opera Proxy server used to. The K800i was slow.

For the record, Opera Mobile was a full featured browser, but that was never on the SE K800 or any other dumb phone really (if at all.)

Reply Parent Score: 2