Blackberry: approaching the sell-by date?

By in cloud, general, mobile, products, strategy, Uncategorized on 26 September 2010

I was having a meal with friends last night. And its becoming a habit. Not the going out bit, but finding something to write about when I do. I was asked if I still used my Blackberry.

Well, the answer was I do, but I just use mine as a phone now, I don’t use it for my emails. Reason being, lack of opportunity. Let me explain.

Here in the UK, use of a mobile phone when you drive is illegal. So that’s out the window. One of the many downsides of being an old fart like me is needing glasses for reading. Anything smaller than a newspaper headline and I’m snookered.

Now, that means unless I’m sitting down somewhere, the opportunity for that quick flick through emails is gone.

And most sitting-down places have wireless access. That’s the other reason…

How networks have sneaked up on hardware

Networks and tinware are always racing against each other. One day hardware’s out in front then the next, the network. And mobile networks are leading phones currently.

Sure, many mobile phones now feature built-in WiFi connectivity but its messy and an inconsistent user experience. And that means it won’t get too far unless it improves.

Yes, sure, we have the lovely looking iPad. And great as it is, its a big thing to carry.

What I want for Christmas – well sooner please, Santa

A growing number of business people like me now have their email service in the Cloud. That means I don’t need some clumsy, flaky software like Outlook or a phone specially designed for email.

What I’m looking for is something with a great mobile browser, like Mobile Firefox or Safari. And it should be a paperback sized, wireless enabled, instant on, instant off Internet device. But where can I buy it?

Hold the line

I don’t think I’ll really be waiting too long. These mini-tablets are already in the pipeline. Microsoft did its level best to try to stop manufacturers making anything that didn’t have Windows on it, but it was like King Canute pushing against the tide.

I could be wrong here, but Apple may have got the form-factor of the iPad wrong. Sure, iPad’s so cool to be seen with at the moment, but will be really want to lug that tea tray around with us once the novelty wears off?

A utility product, like a pair of jeans

We tend to overvalue what are basically tools. A means to an end, not the end in itself. Falling in love with all these achingly beautiful products then never taking them with us anywhere they might get scratched.

Take iPhone. If you drop it, the screen shatters. What’s that all about, a fragile phone?

My device should be cool, yet practical. Pretty, but pretty tough. That’s what paperback books are all about. They’re coffee stained, well thumbed, dog eared, but a great read. Please can I have an Internet device like that?

Ironically, that’s what Blackberries were all about originally, tough little tools you kept in your pocket with your car keys. But Blackberry lost the plot somewhere along the road.

But there’s hope. There’s talk of a Blackberry tablet. Let’s hope it fits my bill.

Expect the unexpected

Cool usually comes from the US or Sweden. Maybe this’ll come from somewhere else. How about the Russians?

Not so far-fetched. They made great tanks, after all. And they sure did the job!