I have officially left the Blackberry world. Haven’t missed all that much. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it. But I personally think that RIM has developed the phone & its ecosystem with some inherent weaknesses:

1.Endless settings. You can set every push notification, text, & calls to a gigantic combination of vibrations, clicks, sounds, tones, and so on. This is no longer the 80s where all pushbuttons on the starship have so many different colors, sounds, for every different operators! User don’t invest their time configuring this all that much. Pick a few simple ones and move on.

2. The Mean Number of Clicks between Main Menu and Function. It’s quite baffling if it takes many steps before the phone computes the actual function. For instance, I usually need to bring up an additional menu to act on something that I already selected. This means, for a two-step access, I now need 3 actions to get there. Every step in a mobile phone is one step too long.

3. Functionality & contents of apps. I’ll put it this way: software is more flexible than hardware. I was struggling to get more apps and functionality out of the phone. More cool stuff please… where are the developers?

If you can cope up with the above, by all means, it is a great smartphone! Stay with it.

In order for RIM to hold the fort, this is what I think the existing strengths that they should focus on:

1. Push Notification. This is the single most powerful concept that RIM has brought into the smartphone world. It’s less intrusive than alarms but more annoying than in-app notifications. The key is to get this right is the balance between being informative & annoying.

2. Blackberry Messenger. Uniting Blackberry users! If you have data connection anyway, this is a heaven for those who prefer texting, saving you from the expensive (to users) small-cost high-margin revenue of SMSes to Telcos. Telcos should be quaking in their boots with the rise of direct messenger service in between users through the data plan.

3. GPS. It doesn’t matter if it’s only real time 2D dot on a Google Map – I just found this feature very, very useful in planning & modifying a journey.

What’s your experience with Blackberry devices?