In a column for his SuperSite for Windows explaining why he has never covered the BlackBerry, Paul Thurrott makes a damning case for RIM’s demise:
RIM didn’t declare bankruptcy or exit the market for smart phones or anything. What they did announce, however, was that their next generation mobile OS, now called Blackberry 10, won’t ship until the end of 2012, a full year from now. This comes on the heels of one of the worst years I’ve ever seen any tech company experience, and I’d remind you that this happened during a time in which both Yahoo and HP were stumbling around blindly, looking generally foolish and without aim. RIM makes both of those companies look like huge successes by comparison.
RIM’s downfall started with the BlackBerry Bold 9000. It was a great phone, but it looked like an iPhone with a physical keyboard and was the first BlackBerry I owned with serious stability issues. RIM became reactive with the 9000 and it’s been all downhill since then.
RIM succeeded with consumers for a while because its Facebook integration outclassed everybody. If you wanted to use Facebook on a phone, you got a BlackBerry. The Pearl and the Curve were immensely popular with college students in particular in the mid-late 2000s for this exact reason. As a power smartphone user with a notification fetish, the BlackBerry more than fulfilled my purposes (and I think it may still be unmatched). Great notifications, though, are a drop in the bucket against the power and stability of modern iOS- and Android-based smartphones. The fact that the BlackBerry is still difficult to build apps for and the BES duplicates functionality and adds overhead at an enormous cost are just the nails in the coffin.
Updated at 5:15 PM with a little more context in the first graf.