You might not recognise the name, but Stephen Bates is the ‘laughing fool’ whose business card says Managing Director for Europe at Blackberry – the besieged smartphone maker.
We missed his live interview on the BBC first time round, but a great blog by Willard Foxton at The Telegraph drew our attention to it. We’d like to share Stephen’s pathetic performance with you.
From the mighty days when a monochrome Blackberry would give you secure email, across the globe, on a device with a charge that lasted for 3 or 4 days – RIM has moved from ~90% market share to barely breathing in no time at all.
Any poor sod who bought a 9900 will know the pain of which we speak. For the rest of you, here’s an idea of the kind of stupidity we’ve had to put up with:-
Great. But at the expense of (a) the battery and (b) the complete lack of grip on the reverse.
Start working with a Blackberry 9900 in the morning and you’re lucky to be able to make a call by tea time. The slippery rear means that if you rest it on any surface that’s not completely flat – there’s a good chance it will slide straight off.
Tell your story (but tell it quick)
Not only has Blackberry’s flagship suffered from poor battery life, it also struggles to understand when it’s near your ear. Result? Calls get cancelled, lost, diverted, conferenced etc with staggering regularity. You’re speaking with someone about a vital business arrangement, 2 seconds later your Blackberry has decided to randomly redial someone else and you’re suddenly speaking to their voice mail.
No concept of preferences
When you open the browser and tell it to clear out the cache, Blackberry gives you a list of things you might want to purge/save – including passwords, cookies and pushed content. You click the boxes and then – next time you access the menu – all of your preferences have gone and you need to set them again.
Music? No, sorry, never thought you’d need that
With a brand as huge as Napster available for so long, why oh why didn’t Blackberry make a partnership? The irony is that Napster worked for Apple devices before Blackberry ever realised that people might like music. It’s this kind of strategic inadequacy that has led them into the dark hole where Blackberry lives today.
Camera? Why would you want to take photos?
Warships use starshell to light up target zones at night. If you’re not sure what they might look like – then take the flagship Blackberry Bold 990 and shoot a street in the early evening. Every single light explodes across the picture – rendering it useless. On the Blackberry 10, we’ve seen that Blackberry has solved the problem by delivering a ‘black square’ where the picture should be. This has been described by Gizmodo as the worst camera experience they have seen in a very long time. Nice.
I don’t like Apple & Samsung, because there is no keyboard
It would take a Muppet not to understand that one of the ONLY benefits to buying a Blackberry is the keyboard. So what have Stephen Bates, Kermit and Miss Piggy decided to do? Launch the ’10’ with no keyboard. If that doesn’t alienate what little support they have left, we don’t know what will.
Gone are the days when Blackberry’s flagship 9700 would ‘take a licking and keep on ticking’. We know one Bold 9900 user that’s had 3 replacements in a single year – one of which was because the phone decided to start dialling people when it was ‘off, resting on a shelf in the car’. What was it? Lonely?
Business Tool with no software
Even now, after the launch of the ’10’, Blackberry is still asking £469 for a Bold 9900 through discount specialist Argos. It’s a business tool but you can’t word process, spreadsheet or any of the other things a business person might want to do without spending more money on poxy little programs. Sure, Apple has apps to buy, but it doesn’t specifically say that’s perfect for business users. Why not take the stress and hassle out of trying to access Blackberry’s weak-arsed effort at copying Apple’s App Store – and just give people software that’s useful. You’ve charged them £469 – please let them use it ‘straight from the box’.
Willard Foxton’s take on Blackberry hits right on the line between comedy and tragedy. We thoroughly recommend you read this analysis. If you get to the part about Blackberry being a ‘faded Hollywood star that’s turned to erotic films to try and pay the rent’ – with a dry eye – then we’d be very surprised.
Back to the headline?
If you want to see a grown man struggle to answer the most basic question?… Then this is the interview for you.
Want to see simple questions make a European Managing Director seem like the slipperiest second hand car salesman you have ever seen?… Then prepare to ‘need a shower’.
Click the pic to feel a bit sick.
KitGuru says: Remember, Stephen Bates is not a Saturday staff member taking time off from revision to make a few quid in Carphone Warehouse. This guy has a real job, pan-European, fronting a desperate company that’s fighting for it’s life. Scary? We would not want to be a shareholder right now. KitGuru is off to move ALL of our phone contracts away from Blackberry. No joke.
Comments below or in the KitGuru forums.