We really love the boys and girls over at RIM, but if you haven’t already noticed, they’re pretty much stuck in 1998. Why do we say that? Well, RIM’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis (who is absolutely brilliant) started spewing off his nonsense on data conservation at MWC and how “manufacturers had better start building more efficient applications and more efficient services. There is no real way to get around this.” Oh, but there is, Mike. It’s called actually having a wireless data network that can handle the things consumers and businesses want to do on their phones, and it’s called planning.
RIM’s sell to the carriers back in the day, who were incredibly hesitant on supporting the “wireless data revolution,” was that RIM’s architecture and back-end infrastructure meant carriers could trust them to optimize and in a sense, load balance their users (BlackBerry subscribers). This worked great when people were sporting monochrome displays and transferring little bits of data over GPRS networks. It was smart, and you know what, it was necessary. The thing is, we’re in a year called 2010, and if you haven’t noticed, people are doing all sorts of things on wireless networks. RIM’s pitch to carriers about data conservation doesn’t mean a single thing. It’s just another scam, and another bullshit tired line while RIM constantly delivers lackluster news and updates.
Wireless networks are being positioned to one day take over regular data at home. There’s the already-launched WiMAX service and the upcoming 4G roll outs from AT&T and Verizon in the U.S. alone. Do you really expect carriers to give one shit about BlackBerry’s “conserving” data when people are buying MiFi devices and having their entire mobile office jump on their networks? While people are downloading torrents over 3G, streaming video, downloading MP3s, and running servers from their data cards? What’s so scary is that looking forward, data conservation isn’t the answer. It’s the opposite. You need to support what people want, and people don’t conserve. That’s just the way it is, and manufacturers don’t care about the carriers like RIM does, let alone people. People leave their water running while people are dying of thirst. People buy things they don’t and won’t ever need. You think people really give two shits about data on their smartphones? No.
Data conservation is why almost every data-related activity on a BlackBerry is painful. That’s why I have to wait for my email to load when I scroll down too fast, because RIM is “conserving that data.” That’s why my attachment viewing experience is so fucking terrible that I forward all of my attachments to my iPhone. That’s why file sending is non-existent on a BlackBerry, because it chunks the data into little kilobyte packages and makes it useless.
Things that might have worked a couple of years ago are already outdated, and things that worked ten years are instantly a non-starter. This is just another sad sign that either RIM is delaying their entire reinvention, or they’re slowly losing it with each passing day. Since I’m a RIM-loving BlackBerry-toting thoroughbred, I surely hope it’s the former, though none are exactly ideal.
I mean, Microsoft is hot again…