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Blackberry Alive and Well in Jamaica and the Caribbean…but

I watched Bloomberg West - the daily tech news TV show on Bloomberg TV yesterday and analysts are pretty much calling RIM, the company that makes the Blackberry device- irrelevant, near dead and a perfect take over target by companies like Google. Yes there are some undeniable truths- the company's profits

  • lol yea @Tony I’ve pulled a fare share of battery’s in my blackberry life-cycles. My iPhone runs for weeks without rebooting once. blackberry is by far the best illusionist on the planet though, Copperfield, David Blane and Chris Angel could learn a thing.

    they fooled millions into shelling out thousands of dollars on an application married to a particular hardware.

    its genius when you think about it but it obviously couldn’t last for ever. reality has to catch up at some point lol.

  • Tony

    @Gladstone… Not to mention that the Blackberry OS since the beginning of time has sucked. The only Blackberrys that gave little or no problems were the original ones like the 7290 and the 8700. I remember when Digicel launched with the 3310 and 3210 and if that phone gave probs they would come into Comtech and raise hell. I’ve been threatened by a woman with a machete who dropped her phone in the toilet and we couldn’t fix it. But if each of us here, past & present Blackberry addicts, looked past our addictions why should we be paying 20gs to 70gs for a phone that we have to be doing a battery pull on when it freezes? And why aren’t we going into stores and raising hell about it? Instead we pull our little batteries and wait for the phone to boot back up so we can continue our messenger convos.

    Who here isn’t an experienced battery puller (past & present)? Lol

  • Yep…. thats a solid post there @Tony. highlights a lot of the key facts as to why blackberry has a dismal future.

  • Tony

    I used to be a diehard Blackberry fanatic. In fact I worked in Telecoms for 12 yrs and in the last 3yrs I’ve used and owned 17 Blackberrys (even when I worked for Nokia and even when I assisted in the launch of the iPhone at Claro and had one for free).

    However, in the last 8 months I’ve gone without using one. I got one last week for work and am willing to admit that the addiction is no longer there.

    Owen, I’m not sure which Blackberry you have that has the best battery life but that was one of the first things that turned me off from the phone. I use my phone for both personal & business and more than once I’ve had to carry an extra battery, buy a car charger and have 2 wall chargers (one at home & one at work). I don’t recall ever having to do that with any of the 3 high-end Nokias (E63, E71 & N8) that I owned.

    JA2BK hit it right on the money. The data plan has always been the behind the scenes factor that keeps ppl hooked to Blackberry along with the messenger of course. Nokia realized this too late after they began to be overrun by RIM. Not sure if many of you know this but Nokia does offer a data plan exactly like RIM’s here in Jamaica for $1200 but by the time it was introduced Blackberry had already captured the market share and as such it has made little or no impact.

    Another interesting fact… Apple became the #1 Mobile phone producer in the world in 2011, surpassing both Nokia and RIM. The original iPhone was truly before its time, introducing technologies to the public that no other manufacturer has been able to surpass to date and it is still continuing to do so with the iPhone 4S and the iPad series. RIM became a follower when they tried to introduce their touchscreen garbage in the form of the Storm #FAIL!

    With apps like Whatsapp under constant development, competition from Android phones such as these new Samsungs, Motorolas and of course the iPhone slowly but surely Blackberry is losing ground even here in Jamaica. Even the great Digicel has recognized this and will be slowly shifting towards Androids especially with the rumors that RIM will be going under in the next 2yrs or so.

    Another interesting fact is that many a diehard Blackberry user is slowly shifting to alternatives such as the Galaxy and in particular the iPhone. It is a known fact that the Blackberry Playbook has had little success since it’s launch especially because of Apple’s Ipad which continues to redefine both the Telecoms and Technology markets worldwide. What the Playbook offers can easily be said to be comparative to maybe the original iPad and with the anticipated launch of the iPad3 on 2012’s horizon it is going to be forgotten like the Motorola RAZRs & SLVRs of the past. Blackberry has had Android apps pending on its platform for months since RIM’s acquisition of QNX which develops apps for Android devices and was to develop Android apps for the Playbook so that they can capture some of that market. It still hasn’t happened.

  • I tell you this Blackberry vs iPhone vs Android always brings out the diehards. The great thing is that consumers have choice. This mobile space is no one horse pony race!

  • lol ye owen you kinda sound like a die hard bb user.. truth is i’ve hated blackberry since the first one i’ve ever used. Palm (That was an epic smart phone) the Iphone 4 is the first ever iphone that was “insanely great” as jobs would say. blackberry’s on the other hand i still just dont like them.. non of them. the os just never felt right. the threw on eye candy on it but underneath it all the operating system never really evolved ever.I wish i could find the article where BGR points out the little changes that have been made since the bb1 under all that gui snazziness and maybe development of BBM its all the same.

    I for one dont think i should spend that much cash on a instant messaging device. #fail

  • Hmmm mever thought of it from the point of view of the cost of data plans. Interesting.

  • Yess…they skipped a product release cycle and that seemed to have hurt them big time. It gave their competitors time to further innovate and grab more market share in the consumer market. I’m waiting to see what they come with early next year.

  • I agree with you Michelle, the Developers Group is LATE!

  • Well let’s see what they do in Q1 2012. They said they have some good news to share them. Let’s hope that it’s not that they have decided to sell.

  • Gary

    I think Blackberry has 3 choices if they want to bounce back:

    1. Make the OS open source like what HP did with webOS.

    2. Adopt android or windows.

    3. Drop prices.

  • I am intrigued by this new development. Why now? Is this Developer Group too little too late?

  • I am not sure what effect the maturity of the product has on its longevity per se – Mac, PC, iPod, etc – the more critical aspect might the ability to innovate and engage consumers.

    Re BlackBerry, truth be told, it was not developed or design for mass consumption – was designed for corporate users, and it serves that purpose well. However, over time, it gained mass appeal, and for all intents and purposes I don’t it engaged (or acknowledged) that. However, with the competition it is now facing in the consumer market, it has been floundering to react … Do recall a post I did

  • JA2BK

    I think it all comes down to the cost of the data plans for Blackberry. If they had similar pricing structures for other smartphones, Caribbean people would drop the Blackberry in a heartbeat. The devices cost about the same price (possibly even less as I’ve heard friends and family quote crazy prices for Blackberry vs buying in US and having someone carry one down) as the blackberry. Only thing cheaper is a dumbphone. So, level the data plan choices and you will see the market shift as it has in the US. Since most people are paying the same rate for data on iOS, Android, and Blackberry, it becomes clear that it is best to get the device that does more. What is keeping some folks up this side using a Blackberry is the friends and family in the regions you mention as having high Blackberry penetration.

  • Ron

    Blackberrys are popular in the Caribbean because:

    -It became fasionable – and that’s not something that will fade as easily in the Caribbean – we are less interested in the actual technology and how it compares to IPhone and Andriod;

    – Blackberry Messenger, which many are hooked on by now. BBM is part of the reason the BB is fashionable. The BB plus BBM means that you belong to an exclusive club (it’s not really exclusive but this is the way fashion works).

    – and mostly because (in my opinion) it’s the most affordable full-featured smart phone on the market. This is also another reason why it will remain fashionable for a while in the Caribbean. IPhone is too expensive for most people. Android is not a contender for those solely concerned with fashion. No other brand or OS is popular enough worldwide to be fashionable. BB is the only choice.

  • Maybe Jamaicans are not heavy mobile app users because they don’t see the ones that are relevant to them outside of Facebook, twitter and FourSquare. And I agree with you since RIM has launched their local Developers Support Group, maybe we will see more Apps relevant to Jamaican and Caribbean people in the new year.

  • Sound like a diehard Blackberry user. But are Blackberry the cheapest smart phone around though?

  • So in a nutshell Michelle you are saying that in this superfast tech innovation climate, only the company with the largest and most engaged ecosystem will survive. Further that devices like the Blackberry can become faddish to consumers along the way too. Is it because Blackberry is more of a mature product while Android and iOs devices are the latest and greatest ones to the game?

  • Honestly, I don’t know if they can, but I am sure they would love to…

    Although RIM might be doing all kinds of promotions, etc through its agents and the like, I think there are two elements that its has no control over that must be considered: (i) its competitors, and (ii) consumers.

    IMHO, Android manufacturers and Apple have not truly begun to pay attention to the Caribbean. Should this happen, I think RIM will be in trouble…

    In Jamaica, LIME is beginning to promote the iPhone with attractive postpaid plans; Samsung appears to be strengthening its presence; and the merger between Digicel and Claro (which was also licensed to sell iPhones) should be completed early in the New Year. All of this seems to suggest that changes are on the horizon…

    Second, it is almost inevitable that BlackBerry will go the way of the Motorola Razr, Samsung Blue, and all of the other fad devices we might be embarrass to admit we once owned. We as consumers are fickle, so I am a bit surprised that the BlackBerry has had such a long run…

    Further, if RIM continues to dominate the headlines with bad news (as it has this year), it will only be a matter of time before the BlackBerry is not be seen as a status symbol, but as something whose time has passed…

  • People seem to miss the point that BB’s are probably the cheapest smart phones you can get for your money, they have the best battery life and still get OS updates for old phones. Buying a iphone or a nexus from digicel costs how much money? Data plans data plans, I think its $40 dollars people megabyte? Not to mention full screen phones break if you drop them and get all sorts of weird cracks in the screen.

    Every time I see someone saying RIM is dieing they alway pushing some alternate iphone or android agenda. Those phone are not practical. BB apps suck btw.

  • Jamaican BB users will probably never give up their blackberry phones unless RIM goes under and completely discontinues its services. The average Jamaican does not accept change readily, even if it is better, unless the crowd is moving in that particular direction.

    Jamaicans are not heavy mobile app users, unless its the facebook or twitter apps, so RIM’s under performance here does not really make a difference.

    Blackberry will continue to hold because BB is a major part of the overall hype. “If you nuh have a BB yuh caan chat to mi” as some would say.

    It is more likely to see changes within the developer community