Are there too many Blackberry models?

I picked up a Blackberry Torch earlier this week at the Canadian launch party. I like it. A touchscreen with a slideout keyboard as a safety net for those uncomfortable with the touch-typing.

Which leads me down a general theme – I wonder: Is RIM hedging its Blackberry bets to extinction?

By offering so many different models and user interfaces for the Blackberry, I wonder if RIM has created too fractured a marketplace for itself – is RIM playing it too safe for its own good?

Let’s look at the current product line-up: there is the new Torch with the touch screen interface, but a slide-out full keyboard; the Bold and Curve with full keyboards; the Pearl with its implicit requirement for your friends to grant you creative license to accommodate your spelling; the Tour; the Storm. All of these are current models.

Perhaps RIM’s Canadian-ness makes it want to have something for everyone (we Canadians don’t like to annoy anyone). But, I wonder if this keeps it from placing bigger bets in redefining a unique user interface, the way that Apple has unified its UI across all of its platforms.

On one hand, different people like different interfaces; but on the other hand, trying to have something for everyone may be keeping RIM from returning to the leadership that Wall Street is looking for.

Still, the Blackberry Torch should appeal to youths who want a touch interface but like a real keyboard for their messaging. Also, I am told by my youth advisors that the integrated social networking app is a real winner.

What are you thoughts?

And as Blackberry launches the Torch across Canada this week, we wonder what’s next? Will we see a Blackberry Pad device in time for Christmas, perhaps as early as next week, as written up by WSJ?

2 thoughts on “Are there too many Blackberry models?”

  1. I believe that RIM suffers the same problem that GM did, so many models that they dilute the brand and confuse the consumer. Why do they need to numerically name their products? Unlike Apple they seem unable to keep a flagship device current for more than 6 months, we had the Bold 9000, then the Bold 9700, then the Bold 9750. Imagine being a Bold 9000 owner and then 6-8 months later you find out your device is being fazed out, after plopping down a 3yr contract or $600 dollars.

    They are probably afraid of offending someone, so they try and make everyone happy and doing so they make a lot of people unhappy.

    Make one keyboard only phone, one dual phone, one touch only and oh the tablet thingy too.

    AND stop changing the mini-usb port! I had 2 power supplies and a car charger for the 9000, had to replace them all when I got my 9700.


    I have a Bold 9700, waiting for the OS 6.0, would like the Torch and waiting for the tablet.

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