Blackberry 9800 Torch – A Huge Disappointment

Research in Motion was a Canadian success story.  I’m speaking in the past tense because in my opinion, they are pretty much done.  Like the old saying goes, ‘stick a fork in it, it’s done.’

They had a really nice niche market for a very long time.  Problem is, other much more capable and innovative companies have seen the opportunity, have focused their attention and have not only come to the fight but are handily kicking RIM’s ass.

Apple showed us what a smartphone could truly be.  The introduction of the iPhone in 2007 truly marked a groundbreaking day of innovation.  They showed the industry a whole new concept of what a smartphone could be all about and got the attention of the world.  This alone began to cast a shadow of doubt on RIM.  Analysts began to speculate and wonder if RIM would respond in kind with something that would balance the favour back on their side.  Sadly, RIM’s response was the Blackberry Storm – a dismal attempt at trying to copy the very successful iPhone, which incidentally was in its’ second generation, namely the iPhone 3G.

Apple followed up the success of the 3G with the introduction of the 3GS in 2009.  RIM tried again to capture the attention with their new and improved Storm 2.  Again, a dismal failure by comparison.  Another player also garnered a lot of speculation and attention that year.  Google announced the Android operating system specifically for mobile devices and started to have an uptake later that year.

Apple yet again innovated in the marketplace with the introduction of the iPhone 4 introducing the best display ever produced for a mobile phone coupled with a completely new capability, Facetime, which provides an incredibly simplistic way to initiate a two-way video conference call.  Google introduced Android 2.1, then 2.2 with major manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC and others introducing amazing devices that capitalized on the features and capabilities.

Now RIM responds with what was supposed to be the product that would save the company and regain their position as the premiere corporate mobile device.  Well, in my opinion, they have seriously missed the mark here and have yet again introduced a product that will be viewed in history as a dismal failure.  RIM has not innovated and provided anything compelling that would provide any significant benefits or capabilities.  Comparing the Blackberry Torch 9800 against the Apple iPhone 4, specification against specification, it becomes very clear that the Torch is a pale comparison.

I confess that this saddens me.  Why is it that successful Canadian technology companies can initially gain respect and credibility in the marketplace only to drop the ball and let their competitors overtake their market share?  This was certainly the story with Nortel Networks and yet again, history repeats itself.

RIM, it was a good ride while it lasted.  For my money, my bets are on Apple and Google.

About Grant Fengstad

I’m a technology professional in the travel and transportation sector and have been very involved with the Internet for over 20 years.