Berries rotting on the vine

I look up from my screens to see a sales rep standing over me. I can tell he’s frustrated. Before I can open my mouth, he slings his Android phone down on my desk. How do I know it’s an Android? It’s always an Android.

“I can’t type on this thing! I can’t see pictures in my email! I can’t get the company email setup! Can you show me how to use this thing?

He has gone out and bought an Android phone. He moved to it from the Blackberry Whatever he had before. He’s used a Blackberry for years. He misses his tiny tactile keyboard. He misses the familiar corral of icons. He misses that every single Blackberry looks like its predecessor. ((With minor changes.))

Why did he buy something he doesn’t want to use or even likes? He wants to do more with his phone. Maybe he wants to use Twitter and Facebook. Maybe he wants to stream music. Maybe he wants to graze through a vast application landscape. Maybe he simply wants a decent web browser.

Not a week passes when I don’t meet another Blackberry switcher. He’s left the comfortable, familiar tap-tap of the keyboard behind. He’s leapt headfirst into the alien world of Android phones because he wants more. ((And isn’t on AT&T or Verizon or doesn’t want an iPhone.))

He wants a web browser that can reasonably assemble a modern web page. ((He doesn’t care about flash.)) He wants to read the links he gets sent throughout the day. He wants to pull up the NY Times. He wants to check his stocks or send a quick Tweet. He wants to look at the new pictures of his niece that just popped up on Facebook. He wants all of this outside s tiny picture window. He wants the luxurious 3″ or 4″ display.

He wants more and more is not what RIM((Research in Motion)) is delivering. They got left behind. Apple’s iOS devices are eating their lunch Microsoft and Google ((and their army of partners)) stole the leftovers and their wallets. Just today, announced 2,000 layoffs.

People all across our company are dumping their Blackberries and moving to iPhones or Androids. ((I rarely see the iPhone people. Email setup is simple and consistent across providers.)) Judging from the news, this is not unique to our company.

It’s always the Android folks that stand over my desk or grab me in the hallways. It doesn’t matter which Android phone they’ve purchased on which carrier. Their tale of woe is always the same.

I miss the stock “Google Experience” my original Motorola Droid provided me. It’s a maze of skins and user interfaces out there now and trying to walk someone through a simple task like setting up email is an exercise in futility.

Every Android is unique to each provider and manufacturer has to put their mark on Android so even if you can successfully navigate one phone, a similar phone can have a completely different UI. ((It’s very frustrating from a support perspective to provide documentation or help over the phone.))

Every week I see more and more people turning from the Blackberries to Androids because they’re cheaper than iPhones and they offer a similar experience.

RIM is losing their base of business men with a choice. They will still cling to the government employees and those with more draconian IT departments but the writing is on the wall.

No one is buying Playbooks. ((We got one to test out but it’s almost useless without a Blackberry paired to it.)) No one is buying Blackberries. They all look the same.((Storm and Torch being the exceptions.)) There has been no innovation in the Blackberry patch in some time.

Instead of producing new phones and creative ideas, they’re pushing out the same phones over and over with slight differences. They are rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic as the ship goes down.