RIM Makes History
But not the kind of history they’d like. They’ve made their first big mistake.
In time for 3GSM, the new full keyboard RIM is out. Sans trackwheel. Mistake.
As discussed here on several occassions, this is a big mistake for Mike and Jim. Mike talks about consumers liking the “mouse” on the Pearl, and how it is impossible to move horizontally with the trackwheel. But none of RIM’s enterprise customers need to move horizontally across the screen to read emails, and the RIM doesn’t need to perform like an iPod to sustain its market cap.
The 4 million or more enterprise users (some of whom, like me, are on their 4th or 5th model by now) that rely on their Blackberry will be none too pleased to find out that the thumb trackwheel is no longer the primary driver to operate the 8800.
Even Penguins star Sidney Crosby makes a mistake now and again.
I’ve been politely campaigning against RIM forcing the enterprise customers to use a consumer device (ie ditching the trackwheel in favour of a cell phone ball interface) for some time:
Now that the New York Times has caught up to us tech bloggers:
Can Executives Find Happiness With a BlackBerry Minus Its Scroll Wheel?
…can the launch of an 8820 (?) be too far behind, complete with the trackwheel that we’ve all grown to know and need? Without it, a RIM is on the road to being just another PDA.
There’s still time to amend the product roadmap, fellows, and tell everyone that you never dreamed of doing away with the trackwheel for enterprise types. You just wanted to “give us some choice”. If you specifically kept the digital camera off the 8800 for security reasons, shurely you can put a trackwheel back on for CUSTOMER SATISFACTION reasons.
It wasn’t that long ago when the once-unassailable Sony thought they knew what their customers wanted when they launched the BETA video format (who leads the TV market now?). Chrysler was also convinced consumers would love the K-Car (who got acquired by Merc?). The Liberals were certain about Paul Martin’s appeal, just as the P.C.s were about Kim Campbell in 1993 (neither was still party leader two years later).
All have been in business longer than RIM, and each was subject to an occassional error in judgment — despite the approval of a focus group or two.
Mike, what if we all say “please”?