RIM Selling Beta Hardware; Do You Buy?
In an interview given to The Wall Street Journal, Research in Motion CEO Jim Balsillie was “ballsy” in implying that the company pushed the BlackBerry Storm on Verizon Wireless out despite some minor glitches to meet the Black Friday deadline. Moreover, Balsillie made the comment that such software glitches, essentially being a “beta” hardware user until all the bugs are ironed out, will be the “new reality” in the smartphone market.
RIM isn’t the first firm to roll out a product with glitches that are remedied by subsequent patches. In the smartphone market, Apple has been under a lot of heat for releasing buggy iPhones, which took several software updates to correct. HTC has also released software patches for its phone, as well as Samsung and Palm. On the Windows Mobile side, I don’t recall any bugs that are glaring and make the device as unusable as those found on early releases of the Storm and iPhone.
In these companies’ attempt to be first to market to capture market share away from the competition, the rush to the finish line often precedes concerns for releasing a perfect device on the promise that consumers will get software updates.