RIM Still Hasn't Recovered From The Blackberry Storm

It's now a two horse race between the iPhone and Droid.

The Blackberry Bold is getting good attention but the mobile SmartPhone world has become a two horse race between the Apple iPhone and the Motorola/Google Droid. Even with the new Blackberry Storm 2 model, the Storm missed its window to be a serious contender against the iPhone (despite all my ill advised  pro-Storm predictions). (Gizmodo has good reviews of both the Droid and Blackberry Storm 2.) Monday RIM's stock took a dip after their being downgraded to "sell" but did recover some of that ground yesterday. Even GigaOM's assessment is saying RIM may be at serious risk of even losing its loyal business customer base, having only two models in the top 25 of mobile Internet phones (according to AdMob).  While it appears the Blackberry Storm 2 addresses many of its original’s failings, including adding more processing power, two-finger multi-touch for better typing, and a better operating SureTouch screen, current Storm owners are left to fend with their original units. The Droid with its Google Android operating system is the horse Verizon appears to be riding into this next phase of the race, even though RIM may finally be beefing up its web browser capabilities through the Torch Mobile acquisition. Meanwhile, RIM's moving on to new models like the Blackberry Bold, an updated traditional Blackberry model SmarPhone.The Storm is a perfect case study of a product rushed to market when it was far from ready, and a vendor (RIM) who wasn't ready to quickly address it's slow and buggy operating system. The market moves to fast in the SmartPhone world. At the time the Storm debuted, Google Android phones were still a coming thing, but a year later that situation has reversed. Droid's got the momentum and RIM's finally coming out with a decent model of the Storm, though not everyone is yet sold on it's innovative but very different SureTouch screen.What did the Droid do right that the Storm didn't? First is the hardware. The Droid is responsive. If there's one univeral truth it's that users get very irritated with slow hardware and software. That was certainly my experience with the original Storm and the dearth of official software patches to fix the slowness problems. SmartPhones are all about convenience, doing something right now like looking up a contact, making a call or surfing the web. The Droid does this easily and quickly. The Droid does appear to have its flaws, particularly the camera and there are some questions about its keyboard, but user experience overall is very positive.The question in the market now is will the Droid give the iPhone as serious run for its money? Much to early to tell but with the Android OS, Google's push to bring developer's apps to Android, the right Motorola hardware, positive product reviews, and some Verizon marketing muscle, the Droid is certainly the next best in line to take on the iPhone. Verizon's certainly placing its bet on the Droid.

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