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Print 62 comment(s) - last by frobizzle.. on Jan 28 at 12:46 PM

RIM says that software glitches are now the norm for complex devices

The smartphone market is booming and the most popular of the smartphones is the Apple iPhone. With the sales figures the touch-enabled iPhone is racking up, it's no surprise that virtually all of the cell phone makers have rushed devices to market to compete with the iPhone.

One of the competitors that many had high hopes for was the Blackberry Storm. The Storm was the first touch screen device to come from Blackberry. Unfortunately for Blackberry, the Storm received some of the worst reviews of any Blackberry device.

The problem according to many users is that the Storm is besieged with bugs that hamper performance and results in overall sluggish performance. RIM, the maker of the Blackberry handsets, didn’t apologize for the problems with the handset. Rather RIM co-chief Jim Balsillie said that scrambles to launch products on time and software glitches are part of the "new reality" of making complex phones in large volumes.

Smartphone users are to assume, according to Balsillie, that it is normal for a device that barely functions to be rushed out simply to meet the Black Friday shopping rush. The Wall Street Journal reports that people familiar with the matter say that RIM moved 500,000 Storm's in the first 30 days after its November 21 launch.

By comparison, the Apple iPhone 3G moved 2.4 million units in its first quarter on the market. The iPhone now holds about 16.6 percent of the global smartphone market. Balsillie says that RIM considers the Storm an overwhelming success and is making 250,000 devices per week to keep up with demand.

RIM is working to fix issues with the Storm and to add features that users have asked for. One of the complaints that will be addressed in future updates is that users can’t type on a full keypad in portrait mode, which only allows a keypad with multiple letters at this time. Verizon, the exclusive carrier for the Storm, and RIM released a software update to address some of the early issues with the Storm that the companies claim fixed many of the early complaints users had.

As for returns, Verizon won’t issue a specific number. However, a Verizon spokesman said that the rate of returns for the Strom is in the single digits (percentage wise) and the spokesman says that is normal for any smartphone.

Sources close to the launch say that Verizon and RIM rushed the Storm to market before the software was fully vetted in an attempt to get the Storm into stores in time for holiday shopping, despite glitches in the software and the stability of the operating system.

The Storm's operating system was reported to have been a challenge for RIM because the OS was optimized for Blackberry devices that used keyboards, click wheels, and trackballs for navigation rather than a touch screen. Part of the OS tweaks made was to integrate compatibility for the accelerometer that changed the orientation of the screen when the phone was rotated.



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Considered a success by RIM,...
By Goty on 1/26/2009 10:05:10 AM , Rating: 3
... considered a failure by pretty much everyone I know that has used one.




RE: Considered a success by RIM,...
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/26/2009 10:26:07 AM , Rating: 2
My initial impressions of the Storm:
Good:
+ It has an awesome camera. I went on a vacation and end up unexpectedly using this over my SLR at Point-and-shoot. Takes a bit of practice, but very convenient.
+ Good battery life.
+ Click keyboard -- not for everyone, but I like it.

Bad to Horrible:
+ Glitches, glitches, glitches. I had one time when half my keyboard numbers disappeared, which was only fixed by yanking the battery pack. Oh this occurred when I was supposed to be calling in to an important meeting btw. Another time it gave me the descriptive message when trying to email a pic "Could not send more".
+Verizon Wireless. After being absolutely killed by a huge Verizon overage of my net card (you'd think they'd want more traffic and would allow you to buy it), I canceled this service two months ago. Now I only have the Blackberry. And I just got a $394 bill on it. Now I only go to text pages on it. I've sent a few low res pictures and texts, and made a fair amount of calls but nothing excessive. I'm calling Verizon today and would LOVE to hear their explanation on this one. Verizon Wireless is pretty much the worst carrier in the world IMO in terms of exploiting the customer with overages and fees.
+Lack of software. Where's all the software promised?
+Relatively poor browser. No tabs. Still no flash? C'mon.
+RIM denied DivX from licensing its product to the Storm. Apparently mobile DivX worked out the box for the Storm, but RIM refused to allow it.


RE: Considered a success by RIM,...
By Goty on 1/26/2009 10:50:34 AM , Rating: 2
The "clicking" keyboard would have been alright had they found some other way to implement it (i.e. not a flimsy piece of convex metal behind the screen). As it is, there's no way to "turn off" the click, and it makes clicking in the corners of the screen nearly impossible.


RE: Considered a success by RIM,...
By vapore0n on 1/26/2009 11:06:11 AM , Rating: 2
indeed

used it at the Verizon booth. It felt terrible. The UI was lagging bad. It just seemed like a terrible phone to use unless you dont mind 5 second delay from actions.


RE: Considered a success by RIM,...
By Fusible on 1/26/2009 6:44:04 PM , Rating: 2
It's most likely lagging since it's using .65 and probably haven't updated to the official first update .75, I've used 4 beta updates as of right now, .90 seems to be working great. But it's not perfect, neither is the iPhones current firmware. I deal with iPhones almost daily, unlocking, jailbreaking, whatever they need I'll install. But Verizon and RIM need to hurry up and have a functional OS. I don't mind all of these deals or problems for others as i learn more about my device from forums that have insider know how of how your device works. I have bricked my phone on purpose and wiped it clean on Java Loader just to get a new slate and reload the new OS. But some don't like to delve in this realm. I personally love taking things apart and see how they work. But I understand if you want something working out of the box, but it's true that most electronics are far more complex than a few years ago, since of course mostly everyt electronic is moving towards digital at full speed. It'll all get worked out, what can I say I'm optimistic about where all things are heading.


RE: Considered a success by RIM,...
By porkpie on 1/26/2009 11:42:43 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Relatively poor browser. No tabs. Still no flash? C'mon.
Are you actually rapping a phone because its browser doesn't have flash?

/boggle.


RE: Considered a success by RIM,...
By DLeRium on 1/26/2009 12:15:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are you actually rapping a phone because its browser doesn't have flash?


What's wrong with that? Just because the iPhone doesn't have it doesn't mean anything. S60 phones like Nokia's N95, N82 have had it already for a while. US phones are far behind the standards today set by other top phones.


RE: Considered a success by RIM,...
By bldckstark on 1/26/2009 12:16:26 PM , Rating: 2
That's strange that you got a high bill on the Storm. Verizon requires a $30 unlimited data plan on all Blackberry's now. My family has two of them, and we have never had an overage charge on them. Is there a 5GB limit on the phone that I am not aware of? My plan is truly unlimited, unless I want to tether. Then the 5GB plan kicks in.


By mcnabney on 1/26/2009 12:51:46 PM , Rating: 2
Read it again. He was griping about his NIC. He either has a megabyte plan or went over 5GB in a month. And no, Verizon does not want customers that use their aircard for PTP or video streaming. There is only so much bandwidth (allowable by LAW, in many markets they can literally not buy any more no matter how much they might want to) so next time you aren't getting the best speeds on a Rev A aircard think about a a-hole streaming live video of his pet ferret or something.


RE: Considered a success by RIM,...
By Souka on 1/26/2009 1:58:25 PM , Rating: 2
I run a two Blackberry Enterprise Servers at my company...we've had maybe 30 Storm (Thunder in EU) setups over past weeks. All but 2 have been returned by the users for a more typical Blackberry (8310,8320,8900 Curves...or 9000 Bold).

Most common comment? "Unreliable, I'll even take back my old beatup Blackberry...."

My $.02


By omnicronx on 1/26/2009 3:08:34 PM , Rating: 2
I think the problem lies with expectations. I think its pretty safe to say that many iPhone users were not previous RIM users. Previous RIM users have got used to being able to type very fast on their full keyboard, and the ability to quickly scroll around. Previous BB users expected a device in which you can do everything just as fast as previous BB devices. Well this just is not the case with touch functionality, not just with RIM devices, but with touch smartphones in general.

If I were to hand an iPhone to an experienced BB user, they would run into exactly the same problems. As much as everyone would like to think so, productivity on Touch only phones is not going to be the same as phones with a keyboard and a good scrolling method.

Expectations can be a bitch, and RIM should have thought about this when developing the Storm, realizing that the userbase is going to be different than that of the iPhone.


By frobizzle on 1/28/2009 12:46:30 PM , Rating: 2
So companies like RIM expect the paying consumers to be their beta testers? I don't think so!

The last mobo I bought was an Asus. I had problems with it initially. Turned out the BIOS (shipped from the factory) was a beta version. I downgraded the BIOS to the last official version and problem went away. Bottom line? I will never purchase another Asus product (of any type) ever again!

You want me to beta test? You pay me, not the other way around!


"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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