Can RIM survive in today's mobile market?
We ask questions like this on a regular basis as a part of the ongoing speculation of "What's better?" in the ever-changing mobile industry. RIM has taken a beating as of late, but they're fighting back with the release of the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930, Torch 9810, and Torch 9850/9860. Three different design choices on three different carriers for three different types of people.
I get tired of the speculating, so I'm putting it to the test myself. Beginning today, I'm going to use the BlackBerry Bold 9930 as my personal device for 30 days.
It's been a while, but the BlackBerry platform is nothing new to me; I'm a former die-hard BlackBerry fan, having used several devices between 2005 to 2009. I loved the physical QWERTY keyboard, BlackBerry Messenger, and push email capabilities, but as the competing platforms progressed, I caved to the better web browsers, app stores, and cameras that come with iOS and Android.
It sounds easy, right? 30 simple days? Wrong. Ask anyone that knows me and they'll tell you that I switch devices more than I switch pants (I promise, they looked clean when I put them on this morning…). I keep accounts open with all four of the nationwide wireless carriers, and since July, I've personally used the Samsung Infuse 4G, HTC Inspire 4G, Apple iPhone 4 (GSM), HTC DROID Incredible 2, HTC EVO 3D, Motorola DROID 3, and Apple iPhone 4 (CDMA).
(Hi, my name is Aaron, and I have a problem.)
Keeping my rabid habit of switching in mind, I know that I'll need some motivation to keep a device for 30 days, so I'm throwing in a twist. If I move the Bold 9930 off of my personal line for any reason before September 16th, I'll immediately give the device away on my Twitter or Facebook page. A $509.99 value, yours for FREE (sleazy sales voice included)!
This isn't going to be easy. I'll miss the web browsing and media experience on my iPhone. I'll miss Google Maps and the Gmail experience on my Android devices. I'll miss the large displays that iOS, Android, and Windows Phone provide. But it's a challenge, and I'm not one to pass up on a challenge.
Are the latest BlackBerry 7 devices legitimate contenders to Android, iOS, and Windows Phone? At $249.99 - $50 more than the iPhone 4 and many high-end 3G Android handsets - is the Bold 9930 worth buying? Is BlackBerry Messenger still an interesting form of messaging in the age of iMessage and Facebook Messenger? These are the kind of questions I intend to answer in my quest to determine whether BlackBerry is still relevant in today's mobile market. Join me as I blog my journey with the BlackBerry Bold 9930 over the 30 day period in a column titled "BlackBerry Challenge." Wish me luck!