There was a point in time where I followed BlackBerry news almost religiously. I was a proud member of the CrackBerry Nation and followed every little tidbit of new and leaks from the Waterloo-based handset firm. I obsessed over BlackBerrys and had dreams about the concept devices that were perpetually delayed. (Those "concept" devices ended up being the BlackBerry Storm and the Bold 99XX, the former being one of the biggest letdowns in mobile phone history.)

I used to be the resident BlackBerry guy here at PhoneDog, but have since lost touch with the aging platform.

At one point, I slaved away behind my computer fixing BlackBerrys for long enough to be about as familiar with any problem that could occur as I am the back of my hands. And, despite knowing Research In Motion's time at the top was coming to a quick and abrupt end, I tried to keep morale high amongst my fellow BlackBerry enthusiasts. Even through the thick, I remained interested, always intrigued by what will come next from the firm. Up until late last year, there was a faint light of hope inside me, hoping the company could pull through the turbulence. New and improved hardware, an entirely new variety of BlackBerry software, version 10 which is based on QNX, and a new CEO should be enough to keep hopes high, right?

If Thorsten Heins were to have his way, each and every person who ever owned a BlackBerry would be drooling over their computers each and every night, waiting on 2013 and the new era of BlackBerry, the new era of Research In Motion. While I've had my doubts over the new CEO, the man is proving to be charismatic, well-rounded and level-headed.

By all means, I'm sure Research In Motion is capable of a turnaround. Currently, it is most definitely between a rock and a hard place. But I'm convinced it has just enough oomph for one more crack, on more shot to make things right and to make a comeback. With all the companies Research In Motion acquired over the last three years, something of worth has to come of it. Right? The Astonishing Tribe, QNX Software Systems, Documents To Go, Torch Mobile, Cellmania, etc. All of that can't be for nothing.

And, to be entirely honest, I hope it amounts to something. I hope RIM makes a full recovery and can bring a new level of competition to the smartphone market, because, between you and I, the competition is growing a bit stagnant and Apple has a knack for making things a bit stuffy.

Nonetheless, I have almost completely lost interest in RIM and any respective work they do between now and the official launch of BlackBerry 10. In fact, I'm not even sure I will care what the BlackBerry 10 devices entail. The only part of BlackBerry world that I found remotely interesting wasn't even RIM's own work, it was licensed work from Scalado, which has since been acquired by Nokia.

What finally made me realize that I've all but written RIM off was a piece that I skimmed across in my Google Reader account last night as I was about to doze off. CrackBerry's fearless leader Kevin Michaluk asked, "How's this for a BlackBerry 10 Slider?!" Embedded at the top of the article was a (Torch-like) vertical slider donning a picture of Kevin riding a unicorn you can see above. I chuckled a bit (and immediately had to look up the pictured From The Editor's Desk piece), then thought to myself, "There hasn't been a single BlackBerry 10 leak or concept phone that has interested me in the least." Nothing from the Canadian handset maker has caught my attention or made me think, "I have to have that," or, "I want that."

And while I'm sure RIM has a few tricks up it sleeve yet, I constantly feel as if RIM's efforts will be in vain. It's as if after all of this time and after so many setbacks and delays, all of this work is being done simply to catch up. Unless the company leapfrogs the competition – I'm not even sure how that would be possible at this point – like Jim Balsillie said it would, I can't imagine anyone caring or this last stitch effort turning out any differently for RIM than BlackBerry 6 or 7.

Deep down, I have a special place in my heart for Research In Motion. BlackBerry is where everything started for me, including my gig here at PhoneDog. But I can't help but think of how uneventful their recent history has been, how uninteresting the next five months will be for them or how BlackBerry 10 may not be the company's saving grace.

Here's to hoping BlackBerry 10 is present and fully-featured by CES 2013. But I have lost almost all interest either way. Tell me, folks. Do you still care for BlackBerry. Are you holding out for a BlackBerry 10 device? Do any of the leaked devices or concepts strike you as awe-inspiring or amazing? Or have you given up on Research In Motion entirely?

Image via CrackBerry

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44 Reactions to this post

"Can RIM (BlackBerry) make it?"

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Spencer Craven They still have 12 billion dollars in their pocket, 77 million blackberry users they still have a chance :)
Kevin Joel WP can help BB out. There have been high end concepts which if bb pursues they can have a comeback
Duncan Wynn Jr. I believe BB can do it amd I'd love to see what 10 has in store for us !
Jesse Ling I've said it already a hundred times;BlackBerry is no longer consumer relevant.It's a business device.Period.However,with the advances in technology combined with the recession making everyone expect more for their money RIM has some serious weaknesses to tackle before they're out of trouble.They have to outdo all the lousy Android handsets trying to seem business chique(Motorola XPRT anyone?No?Samsung Replenish maybe?)which offer pitiful Enterprise or security features(which you'll be lucky to even find on them)and they have to make more powerful fast web browsing devices.Not an easy task.
Bladimir Mora RIM is not dead RIM can do much more they just need a little push
Odin Johnson I would like to see BB phones running Android. If they could do this and still keep the features that BB is known for like BBM and BES I would love it. Apps would no longer be a problem. Part of RIMs current problem is not enough apps and over priced apps in my opinion.
Wasim Mazahreh I lost reaction when the first iPhone came out. RIM has been dead for a long time.
J Litz Van There is*
J Litz Van There are still a large amount of people who love their Blackberry phones. I think they can turn things around but they have to do something huge & fast! Even if they don't, I still think there is a good sized market for their devices. I love android & all, but I wouldn't mind rocking a 9900 as a secondary phone.
Joel Williams No. I'm sick of their stupid infrastructure and trying to troubleshoot that crap. They need to cancel bbx and sink into a deep black abyss and never be heard from again.
Brent Legendre Their name recognition and reputation is far worse than their product. But sheeple of the world buy what they are told by mind controlling media outlets. People no longer discern for themselves what is good or bad. We let "experts" tell us what is good or bad.
champion_eric No, Nok/MSFT is going to take 3rd place making it Android, iOS, WP8
Joel Diaz Ahhh finally an easy question today!!! No!!!!!!!!!!!
Jeff Hammond Beginning. Ha ha
Vicente Reyes Well ya. If theirs not alot of competition, then tech will stay at a high price, or nothing hardware wise will get up their as fast as its been
Gaby Piñeyro Lol, come on guys really? , don't kick the fallen ones, lol lol
Jeff Jones They're still in business? Color me surprised.
Adam Cuong Tran They're too dumb to understand...the only way for them to save themselves is to integrade android and ios system creating a hybrig performance operating system that utilize both android and ios apps...bunch of dummy !
Henrick Rawlins Yes they can. It's a matter of focus
Kevin Schomer Beginning to lose interest? Most people completely lost it awhile ago
Yannis Pyrros How very true.... They took a leading smartphone brand and flushed it completely down the toilet.... They should be having the biggest share after iPhone imho....
Max Larrieux No, they have been finished long ago. If they want to survive, they need a major revamp of the OS.
Juwon Donte Who knew blackberry were still in I thought they stopped selling those years ago lmao poor blackberry
Tony Abiama For the last time, RIM is done.
Hector Castro BlackBerry are like feature phones aka dumb phones they should go away nobody really cares
Gilberto Perez blackberry???? what is that???
Jan Michael Cruz Waiting on BB10, make or break for them.
Jordan Reckmann Yes they will! BlackBerry 10 will be a sure hit!
JerryandAudrey Smith With their next phone, they will be D.O.A.
Nick Kathrein It takes tons of money to support a new phone OS because of all the time it takes to get app catalogs to build up. I had WebOS which is great but the apps weren't there and made the tablet useless. I don't see how Blackberry is going to get the apps they need to get people to buy their phone. I'm not sure if all the features will be built in and when it ships that corps need and if they don't buy the phones they are dead.
Jeff Irvine RIM is done. Nokia needs to get on the Android train. My old Nokia phones were still the best for call quality and signal.
Pablo Echevarria I honestly think the only way out for them is to make a truly advance phone high end phone with an upgraded OS and get rid of that damn keyboard. They have to hit that premium market like the iPhone has. Rim have always been associated with class and security. Now they need to outclass the competition.
Brain Roopull It will greatly depend on what they're introducing next year. They've staked their future on it. In the past, they've been amazingly boneheaded on insisting to NOT give customers what they demanded. I think the market has room for them, but I'm not sure they have the $ to make it long enough to re-establish themselves. Just look at MSoft and the WinPhones. It's a great OS, and the new phones are just stunning. Even so, they're struggling to gain any marketshare.
Cory Wood Do us all a favor and put them out of there misery.
Ian Baylon I thought blackberry died years ago when android was released.
Mason Schmidt Someone will end up buying it for BES and the infrastructure and dump the rest.
Robert Centennial I hope not I only breath to watch them die.
Bernie Fen No. Unless they join forces or merge with other reputable company and help them overhaul their system UI but that's just my opinion.
TB Ogungbadero I'm surprised its still struggling. You'd think someone would have put it out of it's misery by now.
Anthony Evans Jr them and nokia need to just die

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