It has been 6 months since the BlackBerry Pearl was first released on T-Mobile. We know that you generally take about a year or so for your CDMA versions of BlackBerry devices to come out after they first appear on your GSM competitors, however, I don’t know how much longer you can afford to play this game.
I call it a game because, according to RIM President and co-CEO, Mike Lazaridis, the java based nature of the BlackBerry allows it to be “quickly ported over” to CDMA hardware. If it is easy to do, the only reason I can see that you don’t is because you are trying to gage the amount of time you can make your subscriber base wait without bolting along with the decreasing licensing fees you pay to RIM for new devices the farther you get away from their initial launch.
I understand that this is smart business in the corporate world. It won’t, however, work in the consumer world.
Consumers are fickle. They want what they want when they want it and when they want it is always now. They won’t view devices like the Pearl or the 8300 as a business device, but as a cool new phone that they can take pictures with and send and receive email on. I am a die-hard Verizon user and truly believe that you have the best network out there. I can honestly tell you, however, that I would switch to T-Mobile in a heartbeat to get the Pearl if it were not for the fact that my company pays for my Verizon service.
Why would I switch when I am a die-hard Verizon subscriber? Simply because they have the phone I want, you don’t, and their service is good enough. In fact, where I live, T-Mobile service is actually pretty good and although I hate Cingular, their service around here is not too bad either…. Their customer service just sucks.
The problem for you is that if a die-hard network loving Verizon user like me would leave because you don’t have the phone I want, what do you think your chances are of signing up new consumers who want the latest greatest BlackBerry devices as soon as there leaked, let alone come out on your network a year after everyone else gets them.
Don’t make the mistake of letting T-Mobile and AT&T come out with two CameraBerrys before you come out with your first. It’s time for you to come out with a CameraBerry now.