Storm Customers Left To Run Unsupported Software

Seems like yesterday's rant about my Blackberry Storm kicked up quite a firestorm (pun intended.) One thing's for sure: taking sides about Smartphones (Blackberry, iPhone or Windows Mobile) and computer operating systems (Windows, OS X or Linux) will get you plenty of comment flames, and some pretty nasty ones too. Looking past that, many commenters who were happy with their Storms were so because they are running newer versions of the Storm OS. The problem for most users is those aren't officially released OS versions, they've been leaked and aren't supported by Verizon or Blackberry (RIM).

REVIEW IS OUT OF DATE - I had all of the listed problems, and more, when the Storm was first released. The OS patches fixed all of these issues within weeks.This doesn't mean the reviewer would now "like" the phone, but the bugs he listed have been gone a long time.  - comment by Anon

Response: Could the story here be that these problems have been out there for a LONG time, i.e. since the Storm was launched last November 2008, and RIM / Verizon hasn't issued an official release to the masses that fixes the problems? Hmm...  - Mitchell

It's an "attempt at your own risk" proposition, which means you're on your own to hunt for a solution on the forums, live with it, or downgrade to an earlier version if there are problems. Your average Blackberry business user might not be up for that kind of a technical support adventure. That's not normally a problem for techies and gadget lovers like myself, but with all the other projects I'm involved in at the moment, I decided not to head down the path of experimentation but instead stick with the supported Storm OS versions. I guess you could say I can only live on the bleeding edge with so many projects at once.

"Everything in this post is valid and not one thing has been fixed in the 4-5 months that I've owned it. This thing was a huge disappointment." - comment by dizplacement

Blackberry Storms are running OS version 4.7.0.75 and have been for a while now. The Storms Verizon sells today are running 4.7.0.75 (based on what some commenters said.) If you run the update program on the Storm, it reports that .75 is the most up-to-date release. In the meantime, newer improved versions have been been floating around to download and install that address some (maybe even all) of the problems I wrote about yesterday. The official Storm OS upgrades, since I bought my Blackberry Storm on launch day, have been pretty limited and not addressed the problems I talked (ranted) about.

I agree the storm works great. I have one question for the author, What firmware version were you running when you were using it? 4.7.0.76 is not very good I agree but if you try the later updates like 4.7.0.113 that is a great version of the firmware. - comment by Cam

Therein lies the problem. Are customers who purchase a new device, especially something like a new generation of a Blackberry, to always expect they will have to venture down the path of running experimental and unsupported software for the first year or so until all the kinks get worked out of a product? I believe many would say "yes", that's part of what you sign up for as an early adoptor. But here's where other factors come into the picture. Blackberry is known as a brand for business users, and most business users don't have the time to jack around with being their own technical support department for a cell phone, PDA or Smartphone that's unreliable, unresponsive and just plain a chore to use. As a product creator myself, I don't believe customers should have to live with crappy software just because it's a new product. New products have an even greater responsibility to quickly respond and fix product issues, because there are likely to be more of them early in a product's life cycle, and in part as a way of supporting those early adoptors, whether they be gadget techies or your average busy business user. I hold vendors, and myself, to a higher standard and I believe we all should.

We've come to expect buggy and sometimes flaky 1.0 software but will this same software approach fly in the consumer mass market of cell phone and smart phone devices? Apple got away with it with the iPhone because the iPhone's experience was so unique, with nothing else like it on the market. Blackberry didn't have that luxury with the Storm, their answer (some would say copycat) to the iPhone. What RIM failed to understand is that the guy playing catch up has to meet a new, higher standard that's raised beyond the entry point Apple enter at with their 1.0 product. Following the same road traveled by Apple isn't good enough, especially for RIM whose business users expect a much more reliable and trustworthy Smartphone product for the business user.

From a personal standpoint, I use my phone primarily for business; talking to customers, doing conference calls, and arranging meetings, etc. Based on past experiences with all types of Smartphones, I tend not to run experimental software or lots of applications on my Smartphone for the very reason that I don't want to have problems. But the Storm's lagged so far behind with any official software release to alleviate its fundamental problems that they grow beyond any annoyance tolerance level and become an impediment to using the product unless you're willing to go the path of experimental software.

I had the Storm for just under a day before returning it. Anyone who has a Storm that doesn't experience the slowness and the "out to lunch" feature (never heard that term before, very apt) isn't pushing the device very hard. And it doesn't take much to push the device...  - comment by Jim O'Hara

I follow the forums and know about the new versions of the OS but with the Storm I decided to stay with the official releases and not venture too far off the farm. My thinking was... Blackberry knows business users and how to support them, right? They'll get the needed fixes out to customers to make sure they have a usable, stable Blackberry Storm, right? Apparently not, at least that's how it's proven out so far with the Blackberry Storm.

But then again, one person's "out to lunch" Smartphone is another user's happy experience.

your a retard bro mine works fine  - comment by Anon

Kewl. I'm very happy for ya, bro.

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