RIM calls buggy smartphones the 'new reality'

By on January 26, 2009, 10:55 AM
The BlackBerry Storm’s initially buggy software was the product of it being rushed to meet the Black Friday sales rush but, apparently, this is just part of the “new reality” of making complex smartphones in large volumes and should have been expected. At least according to Research In Motion CEO Jim Balsillie, who calls the Storm “an overwhelming success” and says the subsequent software glitches that need to be fixed are inevitable.

In a way he is right – software patches are indeed nothing out of the ordinary – but there is a difference between ironing out some kinks or actually improving a device and just giving up on the idea that products should work fine right out of the box. In other words, Balsillie thinks it is acceptable to ship buggy products and expects consumers to deal with the problems until a patch is due.

His comments are upsetting, sure, but they also highlight some culpability in the consuming public who rushes into getting the latest gadget and is all too eager to get a good deal that companies often choose to take shortcuts to get their goods to market. That’s not to say RIM is the only company with products that had major problems at launch. The far more popular iPhone 3G ran into serious issues as well with connectivity, stability, and performance. Is this a justifiable practice or would you rather wait a bit longer to get a smartphone that is robust and reliable from day one?

User Comments: 8

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Easily would rather have a working product out of the box... I remember the XBOX mag was raising hell a couple years back about having 360 games patched up w/ downloads after they've shipped and was raising the same sort of point...
captain828 said:
Sreat... now it's the "norm" to have buggy hardware.Seriously, if the manufacturers want to survive this crisis than they should at least ship usable hardware, 'cus everyone is a lot more mindful of their purchases.
DarkCobra said:
RIM executives should be ashamed in even suggesting that the intentional premature release of KNOWN seriously problematic devices (such as their STORM) should be accepted as our future. They knowingly rushed the STORM to market even though they knew it wasn't really ready just to grab the Xmas rush market. As PROOF, they announced that the product was indeed problematic and they were working on a fix even BEFORE they released it! "Just buy it now and we'll fix it later!".Two months later and they're still trying to fix this thing after multiple leaked (beta) updates and an official update. I do give them credit for sticking with it and continuing to try and make it right. Electronics of all kinds will always benefit from updates and improvements. But RIM set the bar to a new low in what they did here and they should be ashamed. You don't release a product you KNOW isn't ready with the promise of "we'll make it right down the road!".
tengeta said:
Just like its standard and ok to have 3 out of 10 HDD's come DOA, 5 out of 10 motherboards DOA, and your chance of buying 3+ LCD's with getting no stuck/dead pixels is so minimal you might as well bet on it in Vegas because those odds could make you rich if you won it.Make failure the industry standard, its a good thing.
Jibberish18 said:
It would be nice for hardware to come out mostly, if not completely, bug free from the start and then later on the companies could improve upon the device with updates. But instead you get hardware that keeps users from performing certain functions properly and people look at you like you're crazy when you complain. I think it's the "norm" nowadays for hardware to come out with problems because people are used to it and choose not complain, just wait and hope. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't. Sometimes you're just plain abandoned for help. I think it's pretty ridiculous. And of course we know why the Storm has the problems that it does, it was rushed. Still, at least they seem to be quick with the updates.
SkateNY said:
Sorry people, but there's no excuse for the disaster that has become the Blackberry Storm, just as there is no excuse for Microsoft's most recent debacle, AKA, Windows Vista.In each case, there is a mature and profiting company that had more than enough resources and more than enough time to do a much better job than they did while, at the same time, charging their customers a premium price for what was hyped as a breakthrough product.What a shock. Another rushed-to-market iPhone killer bites the dust. The Storm almost makes Microsoft's Zune look good. And that certainly takes some doing.Apple's Steve Jobs set the standard, and continues to stay on the same course: Forget about competing; just do what you do best. And you know what? If Apple wanted to do it, they could become one of the nation's biggest banks right now. They have zero debt and more cash than any of us could possibly spend in a lifetime.What irks me most about the Storm -- or, more accurately, Storm apologists -- is that so many people were so willing to bash reviewers who forewarned them that the Storm is/was a broken toy out of the box -- perhaps the most notable reviewer is David Pogue -- yet they not only bashed him and others who provided similar reviews, but then went out and bought one anyway.Worse than this, the so-called positive "reviewers" and self-reported Storm owners who, seemingly paid by the word, told us how much they loved their Storm; how much better it is than the iPhone; how much better it is than anything else available in the Universe. These people are not only reprehensible for their moral failings; they're disgusting examples of what the most mean-spirited, most greedy and most despicable among us can be. Stupidity sometimes kills people. Other times, it just helps people part with their money in a speedy fashion. But those who suffer from it ultimately get both.
windmill007 said:
Have you storm bashers actually used the product? Sure the OS had some bugs in it when it was released and they very quickly got a working OS out to the masses. Does it have some quarks still sure. Is it a disaster? Way far from it. I love my storm and all it can do. There is even some beta OS out there and they are looking like RIM is going in the right direction. These OS are very complex and as I think as long as they fix the issues we can't complain to much. I mean I can stream Slacker Radio, I have Weather Bug, Garmin GPS, Movies, Mp3's, and awesome blackberry email. I can type fast on its virtual keyboard. Was I paid .. heck no... i pay them but I actually use my product. Do I like bugs...no...but it is a very usable product in its current state. So you bashers need to go back to your seemingly awesome iphone;)[Edited by windmill007 on 2009-01-27 09:01:12]
DarkCobra said:
You're being a bit too defensive. Listen, I too have a STORM and while I've installed all the beta leaks and the official update there are still some issues with it. Yes, nothing is perfect and there are many things about it that I too like as well. But what has recently angered so many of us is the outrageous statement released by a RIM exec. where he brazenly states that future RIM products will indeed be released even though they know they are problematic! THAT STATEMENT is the topic of this thread.He rationalizes that we should get used to buying their products now and rely on them to make them right "down the road". This is wrong and the message that needs to be sent to them is that this is unacceptable. Products should NOT be released until they are at least reasonably ready and correctly perform ALL the functions that are present. Upgrades have traditionally been for "improvements" . . . not "repairs" that make the initial hardware finally work! The idea of "Just buy it now and we'll make it work right later" is wrong. I'm sure if you think about it you too will agree. Peace.
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