I'm as much of a RIM supporter as any BlackBerry addict is, however according to their playbook, when your flagship device is launched with numerous software and hardware flaws, it's okay to tell the general public that software bugs are a "new reality" with high volume handset production. Company CEO Jim Balsillie told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that the Black Friday launch was reached "by the skin of their teeth," and when pressed about the software bugs, said they were a normal part of wide-spread device launches. Regardless of the bugs, Mr. Balsillie says that RIM considers the Storm "an overwhelming success," and stated that the company is making 250,000 of the devices on a weekly basis.
Forth-quarter results are due on Thursday for Verizon Wireless, and as the sole U.S. provider of the device, investors will certainly be interested as to the success of the phone. Sources close to the company said that approximately 500,000 devices were sold in the first month; a solid starting number - but no match to the 2.4 million iPhones sold in the first quarter after its launch.
After the launch and subsequent pandemonium surrounding the iPhone, Verizon Wireless sought a partner to create a device with similar intentions, and RIM was the ideal match. However, due to the incredibly fast growth of the smartphone maker - 6.9 percent of the smartphone market share in 2006 to 15.9 percent today - partner relationships were strained as RIM sought to produce devices for each of the respective carriers.
All in all, new things are released, and bugs are bound to be found in a first-version release. I get it. But it is interesting to think about RIM's statement; openly admitting that software bugs are a normal (and presumably, acceptable) part of a mass release doesn't seem like a comment that would come from the maker of the BlackBerry. But then again, innovation isn't always coupled with perfection.