A former RIM employee has gone to Reddit to answer the many insistant questions of a fan base that feels increasingly unsure of the company’s future, and hopeful for the prospects of a BlackBerry 10 device.
The unnamed man left RIM in 2006, so many of the questions pertain to the growing infrastructure of the company between 2000 and 2006. One such question asked why the browser, until BlackBerry 6, was so slow, so which he responds, “At the time (don’t know how it is now), ALL traffic had to go through RIM’s infrastructure. So downloading a 50k webpage is equivalent to downloading 25+ emails.”
There are some other choice excerpts, including why RIM chose to continue pursuing the business market until it was too late:
That’s a good question. There came a big challenge around 2005-2007. Does RIM focus in on the existing business market, or pursue a consumer model. At the time, the numbers suggested that the smartphone market wouldn’t become mainstream for a little bit longer, thus the focus on the technology as opposed to the UI/UX.
Then the iPhone came along and things changed drastically. I don’t believe the BlackBerry brand is irrelevant per se, but it’s more of a function of the market saying that the BlackBerry experience needed to grow significantly, and there wasn’t a good opportunity to do so at the time.
As for BlackBerry 10, the former employee feels that its success hinges on BBM integration, but a much more robust version than we see today.
I believe, in order for RIM to get market dominance again, they need to make BBX (or BlackBerry 10 or whatever you want to call it today) an OS that integrates seamlessly with BBM. BBM needs to offer Push-to-talk, multiple video conferencing, LBS based social networking, near field communications, replace your wallet, replace your cable tv set top box, and do everything it already does today, on as many different devices as possible. It also needs to attack the 16-19 year old market and get them to be loyal BBM users with high switching costs.
There are lots of other tidbits in the thread, so take a look at the full IAmA Reddit for more.