BlackBerry is Truly Over

BlackBerry 9650

BlackBerry 9650

I very rarely call the “time of death” of a company.  It’s really not my place.  But, after my customer service experience with RIM (Research In Motion, the makers of BlackBerry smart devices) the other day, I think it’s safe to say that BlackBerry has passed on! RIM is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you weren’t holding it in your hand it’d be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are now history! It’s off the twig! It has kicked the bucket, shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile!! This is an ex-Parrot!  Err, um … smartphone.

All kidding aside, I had a 53 minute call with RIM’s customer service/tech support departments that was so remarkably annoying, that I am sure there is no hope for the company or its products.

The BlackBerry 9650 is about the best BlackBerry RIM has ever created.  It has a physical keyboard and it’s powerful enough to get real work done.  It’s 3G, has decent still and video capabilities and, although not “modern” by Android or iPhone standards, it was big step up for BlackBerry enthusiasts.

That said, there are many things that BlackBerrys don’t do in 2012 that I consider fatal.  First and foremost is the lack of compatibility with Google Apps for Business.  Now, it is possible that BlackBerrys are compatible with Google Apps for Business, but I will never know.  After 30 minutes on the phone with Verizon and 53 minutes on the phone with RIM, (the call was dropped at 53 minutes and I could not get back to the person and she never got back to me), the only thing I am sure of is that I’m done with RIM forever.

This particular BlackBerry belonged to my head of client services.  She was having trouble getting it to see Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts in our corporate Google Apps for Business account.  I was pretty stunned at this development, so I said I’d do it (figuring it would take me 2 minutes).  To my surprise, three hours later, I’m writing this article and she has a new iPhone.

The very sad news is, I know exactly what is wrong and exactly how to solve the problem.  It’s not a Verizon issue; it is squarely a RIM problem.  Any skilled tech, who knows what an MX record is, could solve this problem in 10 seconds.  But … and I do mean, but … there is no way to reach this person inside of RIM.  There is only the voicemail tree, customer service operators reading from scripts, supervisors who will waive the $49 one-time tech service fee, but will not come to the phone. Then there are junior tech support people who don’t know what an MX record is, endless three-to-five minute periods on hold (with highly distorted rock and disco music blasting) and a mysteriously terminated call at 53 minutes – no resolution – just silence.

Alas, RIM … we hardly knew ya.  It’s so sad to see a once great product die such a slow, agonizing death.  But it’s truly over.  There is nothing, short of reinventing BlackBerrys, that can save RIM.  From the BlackBerry Playbook debacle (someone inside the company actually thought that it was a salable product), to the needless complexity, to the lack of features — there’s nothing good I can say – even the benefits of BlackBerry ownership have ceased to be.

I loved every BlackBerry I ever owned, right up to the time each and everyone one of them became obsolete.  With the Samsung Galaxy S III about to break all Android sales records and a new iPhone around the corner – I’m sorry to inform you that, we did all we could … but RIM’s self-inflicted injuries were too severe.  Despite all our efforts … well, you know how this ends.



Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is Managing Director, Digital Media Group at Landmark Ventures/ShellyPalmer a technology focused Investment Banking & Advisory practice specializing in M&A, Financings, Strategic Partnerships and Innovation Access. He is Fox 5 New York's On-air Tech Expert and well known for his work on Fox Television's Shelly Palmer Digital Living as well as his daily radio report on United Stations Radio Networks. For more information, visit


  1. Geoff says:

    If you’re going to write a blog you need to get your facts straight. The BlackBerry 9650 is NOT a touch screen phone. If you can’t even get the phone you’re writing about correct, you have no credibility as writer.

  2. Michelle Nos says:

    As Geoff said below/above you are an i-d-i-o-t sirr. first of all jjust bcse u spent an hour over the phone with tech support and u lost connection “somehow” does not mean RIM is over and BlackBerry sucks. Losing conneciton with support, or bad tech support, is NOTHING new and happened with me with IBM support, Lenovo Support, Dell and hell Rogers or Fido support in Canada few times … and all those companies are still standing. Also the BlackBerry Bold 9650 isnt touchscreen so ur just some jerkoff trying to spreading negativity in the area u suck . U should get Fired from FOX

  3. Ak Postbox says:

    What a pathetic try at increasing your google page rank. The problem is with you and not RIM. I have google apps for business and BB syncs perfectly well with my google apps for business account. The email, contacs and calendar all work.

    Did u even try following what they have on their help files.

    And u got 1 hour of tech support with a company, and u say its dead! Wow man… U really suck. Get a life…. And maybe learn some tech.

  4. Cry me a  iRiver! You see are trying to tarnish BlackBerry’s reputation, which makes you look like the biggest iRetard I have ever seen! The 9650 doesn’t have a touch-screen nor does it even have 7.0! Good luck paying Apple support when you can’t get your stupid little emails from your mom cause you’re whiny little twit! 

  5. Greg Weiss says:

    I was amazed seeing last week in Sydney Aust the BB billboard to Think Different. (How Apple)  I did. That’s why I now use an iPhone.  Previously I had a Bold and changed it 13 times in 2 years b/c of faults.  Now on to my 2nd iPhone . Surprised it’s taken this long. Keep up the good work. 

  6. Guest says:

    I’m surprised you’ve taken this long to call it.

  7. Hollywood5459 says:

    You do know, folks, you can disagree with someone’s opinion, but when you lower yourselves to name calling and denying happenstance of someone else without knowing that person, then your opinion becomes worthless. If you say I can’t figure out a phone. True. When you say that about Shelly and his train, especially with your any-mouse finger-mouth, then you blew it.

  8. Shelly’s frustration with RIM’s #custserv was no doubt exacerbated by having experienced the superb customer service that Apple offers. It’s a shame that it appears that there is an error in this article regarding the description of the Blackberry 9650 and it is true that Mr. Palmer does from time to time publish articles on his blog with sexy clickable titles (horrors). In his defense, the Blackberry 9650 he called RIM’s customer service about was not his and he was concentrating on the mx record issue.  As far as RIM being in trouble, most of us know that he is calling that correctly. 

  9. Jeremy Abel says:

    Thank you of your review, Shelly. It appears that RIM’s inability to innovate and give consumers what they need to succeed in today’s digital era will be their downfall. Customer service is an asset that companies like RIM could probably use to win back the on-the-fence customers… However, I just traded in my Blackberry last week for an iPhone. Working in the world of website design and development, it’s really quite challenging to stay updated to new trends while on the go when relying on a bite-sized screen. Given the ease-of-use and intuitiveness of the iPhone, there was really no need to continue with the frustration of an RIM device.

    Again, thanks for sharing!

  10. jojomogir says:

    Shelly, I agree with you, but this call is a little late, don’t you think? In my view the fat lady sung on BB quite a while ago.

  11. Heprotter says:

    Last week I traded my
    Blackberry for a new Motorola Razor Maxx.   It became clear to me
    that the gap between what a Blackberry can do and what the a new Android can do
    has become increasing large, most likely because Blackberry has failed to
    invest in new products.  My wife and teen son became MAXX users several weeks
    ago and I found that their 4-G devices could do many tasks that my Blackberry
    could not (including being a 4-G hot spot for a laptop when traveling).
     Blackberry and Verizon could provide me with no estimate of when a 4-G
    Blackberry would become available.  And, after learning to access my email
    accounts as “messaging” I could manage my email as I had become accustomed to.
     Poor service and poor product investment and development is why
    Blackberry is dead.

  12. Eric says:

    Within the group of companies I work for the vast majority use Blackberry and that’s several thousand people. I’ve watched them all suffer at different times, so this very week my upgrade was an HTC One X. Now that’s a real portable office, and the phone is good as well.

  13. Oscar V says:

    Shelly, I invite you try the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930
    Then, we can talk!

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