A lot went wrong for Blackberry when they rushed their touchscreen Storm handset to market. Despite selling 500,000 units in its first month of release, it shipped with an operating system that held together less like a mature operating system and more like an unstable element created in an atom smasher, existing for a mere microsecond before detonating into an atomic explosion. RIM released patches, but the damage was done, and the Storm’s sales have plummeted… it is now very definitely known amongst most consumers as an iPhone also ran.
So has RIM learned their lesson? Not a lick of it. According to RIM’s co-CEO Jim Balsillie, buggy smartphone OSes are “the new reality” because companies will rush to release the phones “by the skin of their teeth” both while the handsets are still relevant and before big sales days like “Black Friday.”
Sorry, Jim, but that dog don’t hunt. This is only the “new reality” of capitalist incompetence and greed, which is the same as the old reality. There’s a perfectly viable secondary strategy available, which both Apple and Palm have followed with success: work in secret on a phone and an operating system that are excellent in and of themselves, without being compared to the competition. Design them both together; the limbic system to the body. Then work on them while they are done, and then release when you’re damn sure you got it right. The world needs less Blackberry Storms and more Pres.