Research In Motion can’t seem to get out from under the magnifying glass. The company’s every (public) action is under heavy scrutiny; and the general populace is waiting for the company to do something great. Something bold. Today isn’t any different, unfortunately. Indeed, even the results are the same. At a recent shareholder’s meeting, it was revealed that instead of focusing on QNX Software, RIM is still going forward with BlackBerry 7, and to bring it to the people’s attention the company says that there are seven new BlackBerry devices heading to market “soon.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean there are seven brand new, never-before-seen devices coming to market. It just means that there are seven phones coming – which probably means that we’ve seen some of them already.

Not surprisingly, RIM is staying quiet on the exact details regarding the handsets in question. But, considering that at the same shareholder’s meeting the focus was on BlackBerry 7, we can probably safely assume that we’ve already seen some of the new handsets in question. Specifically, the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 will be on tap, and the Torch 9850/9860. As I said above, we’ve already seen these phones, and these aren’t the phones that are going to bring Research In Motion into the New Year or even into the current year against their competitors. These aren’t the devices that are going to make new customers go “Wow, that’s a BlackBerry? I’ve got to have it.” No, these are just more BlackBerry devices, staying the path rather than forging new ones.

RIM still has fans out there. There are still people out there that are expecting great things from the Waterloo-based company, and who still have their fingers crossed that something takes a quick turn for the better, and all of that talk about the company’s inexorable demise disappear entirely. But, that talk of RIM’s gloomy future isn’t going away, even with this latest bit of news. Even as you tread across the Internet now, the stories don’t paint a pretty picture about RIM’s future, even in light of these seven new handsets. And that’s because none of them, even the ones that we don’t know about, are going to rock the socks off new (or existing) customers. Despite not knowing the full details about the remaining handsets, it’s suggested (by RIM) that BlackBerry 7 is going to power those other devices, too. And that is simply not good enough.

BlackBerry 7 is an incremental upgrade from BlackBerry OS 6, and one that may bring some new features to the table, but not enough that warrants a second look from the consumer base. Furthermore, BlackBerry 7 separates itself from previous OS versions due to the fact that it isn’t backwards compatible – so development for the new OS will have to start fresh, and those with handsets currently on the market won’t be getting the new OS goodness. But, obviously that isn’t important to RIM at this point. They simply want people to buy the new handsets, so forgetting those who already own a BlackBerry makes the most sense.

For RIM, this shouldn’t be about quantity, but it should be about quality. Instead of launching seven new handsets, maybe launch three new handsets, and make them as high-end as any one of the smartphones out there from your competition. Even if RIM wants to continue to skip over dual-core platforms, they can still pump out 1.2GHz-powered handsets, and stick QNX to run the show, and suddenly RIM has a fighting chance again. Quit cutting corners with these handsets, and provide a smartphone that people actually want. You don’t need to push out 7 bland, run-of-the-mill BlackBerry devices in hope that some of them sell. Instead, build three stand-out handsets that people actually drool over, and suddenly you’ll notice that you’ve got a hit on your hands and people aren’t talking about RIM’s death knoll anymore.

Hearing that RIM is launching 7 new handsets sometime “soon” doesn’t sound like a move that will win the company any new love from the market. What it sounds like to me, is a diversionary tactic. It’s a bid for time, which would line up with the other report that the co-CEOs at RIM only have six months to show their ability to run the company. However, this tactic won’t work. Because unless these seven new phones are going to launch within the next six months, and somewhere in there RIM’s got one device that’s going to literally make the public’s jaw drop, there’s not going to be a change. These devices aren’t the way for RIM to force them back into the limelight, and it won’t get people talking about how RIM is finally competing against the likes of Apple and Google.

Let me just reiterate here that we don’t know all of the devices RIM plans on launching “soon.” And, we don’t know when those devices are actually going to find their way to store shelves. With that said, there is some room for BlackBerry fans (or hopefuls) to believe that the company has a high-end, stand-out device waiting in the wings, ready to be shown off sooner than later. There is that hope, and until RIM proves us wrong, there’s no reason not to wish for the best.

Where do you stand in this? Do you think these 7 new handsets are going to be anything special for RIM, or do you think it’s just going to be more of the same, and the conversation surrounding RIM won’t change at all? Let me know in the comments what you think.

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40 Reactions to this post

"Should RIM focus on improving the BlackBerry experience?"

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Rob Lyons Make the phone bigger. Bigger screen, bigger keyboard. Blackberry needs at least a 3.5 inch screen. Make a sideways slider as well.
Worldfamous McCrea Rim should call it quits..blackberries are dinosaurs...
Santos Jaco Uh that deserves a big fat DUH!
Trinity Kolarova Hoodrich my new phone came with added facebook chat app but u can download it anyway so not that new lol! tid bits lol r hype* so u buy new phone :(
Jason Villegas every smart phone is the same just little tid bits different..you want a great phone buy anything. there is nothing that is new..just manipulated
Aaron J Brown Me iPhone.
Aaron J Brown Flip yea. My storm 2 was a nightmare. Had to replace it four times. The only good thing about it was the email and notifications. I am pleased with
Brandon Durkin good luck with that Alex...that's like Cubs fans saying "there's always next year" even tho they know the Cubs are gonna suck every year for eternity haha
Alex Cruz Im sticking with u RIM , I have faith In u guys
Darren Penix i was a diehard blackberry fan/user, but found they are so boring and limited. rim needs to step it up
Charles Shell i have a blackberry and i hate it!!!!!!!!!!!!!:/
Gary Brown Blackberry is not a bad product, its just not android or apple. They need to keep what they do well and work on the other stuff like OS, app world, better camera and better advertising. I remember when I was going to get my phone, I had to choose between Droid and storm 2 . I had a blackberry but I switch and glad I did.
Zach Cline Blackberry sucks.
Edwin Batista YES they do. And they need to stop with all their 'enterprise' BS, seriously there are BETTER ways to implement and execute those ideas.
Zach Cline Blackberry is not better than any iPhone or android device. That is laughable.
Josue Fonseca Rivera They should quit and go away, their devices are crap.
Paul Davis To be really honest, even though the HTC status needs to have a second color option such as black, that phone could give RIM even more a run for its money. If all of the companies took a serious step in that direction, RIM could be pushing up daisies soon.
Paul Davis They are starting to finally catch up, but sadly they should have been gearing up like Android has for the past couple of years.
Brandon Ricker QNX on a new super "hero" blackberry smartphone, not OS 7 its so blah, a complex simplified system on a small screen, they should make a BB playback phone 5"
Nick Kalman They need better specs phones. BlackBerry Torch has great OS but specs not that good. They need more touchscreen phones with modern specs
Sokpeah Proeun My first blCkberry wasnt so bad bold 9700 was a great phone, so many times I dropped that phone in water and it still works. Its durable and sleek looking, better than any iphone or android it just lacks the power which makes up for more battery life.
Steve Moore Yes, I can hardly tell one model to the next. I like messaging, battery life, and notifications. But everything else is plain and kind of boring. BlackBerry OS needs major updating.
Kenny Hernandez Blackberry needs to create a model that's completely touchscreen without without the clicky screen. Like a smaller version of the blackberry Playbook
Mychael Rendón no, they should keep it crappy as it is now
Paul Davis I just kind of wish we could use their phones without having the need of a data plan. Their phones are top knotch when it comes to just being a texting/camera phone. I'm sure they do not want to hear "great phone as long as you just text on it".
Louis Bevans Blackberry the Baltimore orioles of the cell phone world, once great but not any more.
Joseph Navarrete My blackberry torch is awesome. All we need is more space for more functional apps. And a better processor.
Eturnus Omega Noodle They desperately need too.
James LeBlanc Definitly!
Robert Centennial They should focus on not blowing smoke up peoples asses with the CEO lying about the date native email on the playbook would be released.
Mitch Evans I switched to android. So glad I did.
Kevin Christian Ronquillo i wish it was on the same level as android..
Logan Astorga I <3 Blackberry. My only problems are the App Market and some of the lag issues that is has. :l
Jason Svatos Agree 100%. Their current model of releasing countless devices across various networks clearly isn't working anymore. The market is over saturated with smartphones enough as it is. Right now they need two, solid killer devices - one touch screen, one keyboard. That's it.
Brandon Durkin Blackberrys blow
Arvydas Gr They should start using WP7 and ditch that OS
Juan José Sebastián Garcia I can't believe people still buy them.
Anthony Scott Pancurak idk idc, over there junky software. Only thing thatll get me to comeback to them is a broken android phone

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