Have you ever asked a diehard BlackBerry lover “Why doesn’t RIM add an SD slot, or infra-red, or an MP3 player, or fully functional Bluetooth, or WiFi, or a digital camera, or (insert just about any feature that BlackBerry PDAs don’t already have)?” To some BlackBerry users, adding new features would be like changing the name of Wrigley Field to a Cubs fan.
You will get a very good reason as to why you can’t add these features to BlackBerry and chances are, they have something to do with security. Research in Motion has earned a well deserved reputation for having very secure devices. The problem, however, is that you don’t have a choice to be a little bit less secure. I am not going to go off on a tangent as I have already posted why I am a bit worried about Research in Motion, but, I do hope that some alternative hardware configurations come out in the future. I know that RIM targets business users with the BlackBerry but one can only imagine that with some of the free BlackBerry promotions that have come out lately they are trying to widen that demographic.
When you take a look at some of of the forums out there, questions are posted quite regularly by new users asking about features such as those listed at the beginning of this post. It amazes me at how fast and how furious the replies to those questions come out and shoot down any possibility of adding anything that could affect security of the BlackBerry. I actually agree with many of the reasons that some of these features would not but such a great idea but I acknowledge the fact that many existing and potential BlackBerry users would gladly trade a bit of security for some of of those features as well.
For all you you BlackBerry traditionalists out there I have four numbers for you… 7100. Remember about a year ago when the discussion about the BlackBerry 7100 really got going? Many thought that the 7100 was going to be a huge mistake and that they would never sell. “Who would would ever use a BlackBerry without a full QWERTY keyboard.” “Bluetooth will make the devices to insecure.” After almost a year and several gadget of the year type awards later, the 7100 Series BlackBerries are doing pretty well.
To make a long story short. Innovation is good. More importantly, it is required to sustain growth. My belief is that wireless email in the coming years will be as common place as voice command dialing. Not everyone will have it, but most will. To stay on top in that type of market, Research in Motion has to think not in terms of the 3 million subscribers they currently have, but the 30 million that they want to sign up.
I think that the blackberry’s should add more features to them. I assist the users here at my company set them up and I belive if they had more features I would like to have one myself.
Why don’t you get a Treo if all the extra toys are important to you? RIM has built a reputation, and RIM takes care of it’s customers. If you were in RIM’s shoes and you had 70% of your customer base telling you to make it secure and you knew that bluetooth is very insecure, would you make apps for BT data transfer? No you wouldn’t. The same goes for IR. You also wouldn’t have a card slot where data can be saved from the handheld, then popped into any laptop and copied off. It’s not smart to that stuff when your business is built on security and stability. It’s also not smart to have these options on a ‘consumer’ line of devices because a lot of people are told to ‘get a blackberry’ and then the think that the $199 consumer model is the way to go, when all of a sudden they aren’t allowed to have it on the corporate BES. Bad move to lean away from the total security of what RIM has built thusfar.
I don’t know of too many users out there that just go out and buy a BlackBerry and set it up on their BES without some direction for their Corporate IT departments. All an IT staff has to do to stay off unsupported devices is create a policy stating which devices are or are not supported. Most IT departments wouldn’t allow a user to hop over to Best Buy or Comp USA, buy whatever laptop they want, then expect it to be connected to the production domain and supported like a company laptop. Why should it be in differnt for BlackBerry Devices.
You are right, RIM has, as I mentioned as well, built a strong reputation of being very secure. They definately don’t want to come out with hardware configurations that are not secure, however, there are varying degrees of security. What may be sercure to company A may not be secure at all to company B. I know of several organizations that don’t allow any BlackBerries with Bluetooth regardless of how secure the BlackBerry version of Bluetooth is.
All I am suggesting is that RIM investigate alternative hardware configurations. If a company sees an external memory slot as a security threat, don’t allow that type of BlackBerry on your network.
Looks like RIM is finally coming around on adding a camera phone and MP3 to the BlackBerry. Let’s hope that think about removable memory as well.
how do i down load voice ringers to my 7100i