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May 24, 2007


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Sean Howard

Hey Paul,

I just bought a new blackberry 8800. The latest and greatest up here.

And let me tell you, based on what I've learned from you, I think they are BEYOND ready to be disrupted.

The keyboard works no where near as good as my old model. It's actually HARD to type. And this is the ENTIRE primary purpose of the device.

It gets better. I can't play email attachments. It's the whole reason I bought this device. To play my mp3 or wav voicemail attachments from my PBX. Nope. Can't do it. Have to buy 3rd party software (or use their high end exchange services).

Usability takes a drop across the board. Beyond the keyboard. Want to switch from calendar to email? (only the number one things I want to do... ever gotten an email asking about a meeting date/time??? crazy, eh?). You can't quick switch between those two apps. No. That would be insane!

Oh. And let's not forget the new "no see in the glare" of direct sunlight screen. That's just BEYOND brilliant.



(been a bberry user WAY too long)



Thanks for that. Glad to see you back. Sounds like you're having a bad time with your new toy.

You know, I agree with you, and you've just written a perfect lead-in for my long awaited piece on the iPhone. I never saw the appeal of a Blackberry -- it doesn't solve a problem for me that I need solved, and it adds one more piece of crap to my load of things to carry, remember to bring with me, and not leave behind or lose somewhere.

I understand that there are people who either require being in constant contact, or who are simply addicted to their email tether, but I think that market is saturated, and RIM hasn't figured out how to move beyond that niche. That would require some sustaining innovations that make it easier to use, more versatile, more open, better integrated, more generally useful -- more appealing to people like me and beyond that into the mainstream.

But, I actually enjoy the time away from my notebook, and if someone needs to reach me that bad, they probably have my cell number anyway.

Mike Urlocker, my partner at The Disruption Group, would disagree I think. He is also a Crackberry fan, and was the original analyst to identify it as a likely big winner in the market. He doesn't understand why I don't get it, and I don't understand what value he sees in it. He still sees it as disruptive, and I see it as ready to be disrupted.


"it doesn't solve a problem for me that I need solved, and it adds one more piece of crap to my load of things to carry, remember to bring with me, and not leave behind or lose somewhere."

I think the market of people (I am one) who feel exactly this way is huge, and one of the key groups targeted by Apple for the iPhone. (The other group is entertainment; the buy once, play on many things people.) Most of the people I work with still carry cheap/free phones, not because they can't afford expensive phones/pdas (they're all making way over $100K), but because they've tried them and they were not useful and ended up in drawers.

Alas, for marital harmony and a MacBook Pro, I'm willing to wait for v2 of the iPhone.



You caught my meaning exactly about why Sean's comment was such a good lead-in for my iPhone post. I too am (or should be) a prime member of that audience, but nothing will convince me to go with AT&T, so I guess I'll have to cry in my Apple juice. Apple had better hope that the number of people who lust hopelessly after the new toy dwarfs the number of people like me.

I also tried a more complicated phone a couple of generations ago, but it was so poorly designed and inconvenient to use that I couldn't remember how to use most of the extra functions. I've never learned much beyond the basics on anything since. The iPhone will break that mould, for phones, for PDAs, for "smartphones", and for true handheld computing because the interface is so intuitive and well-integrated. Thanks again.

Sean Howard



gotta wait a year to get it in Canada... whimper....

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