The Blame RIM Phenomenon Part II
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  1. #1
    AgentBlackBerry's Avatar
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    The Blame RIM Phenomenon Part II


    A few weeks back we introduced the "Blame RIM Phenomenon." The idea behind this "phenomenon" is that due to either lack of communication, explanation, or plain and simple user ignorance, RIM ends up getting blamed for certain problems that are not entirely their fault. In Part I, we discussed apps and how it's up to the developers of these apps to bring them to different OSes and platforms. This article will focus on how carriers decisions can negatively affect how RIM is perceived at times as well.

    Carrier Decisions: To release a device or not. If so, when?

    Carriers mostly, with a few specific exceptions, control which devices they will carry and when they will be released. It's one of the main and important things that is not up to RIM.

    For example, AT&T decided to delay the release of the Bold 9900 over 2 months (November 2011) after T-Mobile released theirs at the end of August. That decision was completely AT&T's and like other carrier decisions, they are the ones that hold the keys to when things happen.

    The confusion.

    This has also confused many people that don't understand why their favorite phone model isn't available in the carrier of their choice. I know a ton of people, myself included, that would love to get their hands on a white BlackBerry Bold 9900. Unfortunately, the main carriers that support the Bold here in the U.S. do not have it. It's out in Canada so why not here? Two words: Carrier decisions.

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    Carrier Decisions: To make an OS official or not.

    We've all seen an OS get leaked one day and then a few days/weeks later the same build gets labeled as "official" by a carrier. So, what makes the difference between a leaked OS and an official one? This has mostly to do with how RIM gets its operating systems out to each carrier around the world and what these carriers, in turn, do with it.

    When RIM develops an OS for a specific BlackBerry, they send it out to all the carriers that sell that BlackBerry model for their testers to use and try out. That carrier then decides whether or not it's good enough and if so, they make that particular OS version their "official" operating system. They add a couple of carrier-specific things to the OS, like the vendor.xml file; etc and push it out to all their customers with that device. Sometimes these testers will leak out the operating systems they are using to different sources, like our very own blog here.

    Let's take for example the Bold 9900's 7.1.0.267 OS. The first leak of this OS was back on February 16th. This same exact OS was made official by SK Telecom on March 6th, and then also made official by Telus on March 10th. Same operating system as the one that leaked, all that's different is that for these two carriers it was good enough to label it as "official." The fact that these OSes are in essence the same, is what enables users to, in this example with Bold 9900s, be able to load another carrier's 9900 OS on their own Bold 9900.

    The confusion.

    Many carriers that currently carry BlackBerry 7 devices have yet to make any versions of OS 7.1 official for their customers. That has apparently confused a lot of them into thinking that RIM is being slow or just ignoring that specific network for some reason. The amount of tweets @BlackBerry or forum threads that start asking when BlackBerry will bring a specific OS to their carrier is simply astounding. As we have seen, that is just not the case. All these carriers have OSes at their disposal and it is up to them to give them the nod as official builds or not.

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    Carrier Decisions: Allow or block certain features.

    Many of you may not remember, but for the longest time Verizon blocked GPS on all the BlackBerry devices they sold. AT&T did something similar when they blocked BlackBerry Maps in order to try to force their customers to use their AT&T Maps app instead. Eventually each of these carriers would drop these blocks (the latest coming from AT&T with OS 7) and instead focus on other features from which they could make more cash out of.

    The confusion.

    Sometimes, newer features like mobile hotspot, NFC, Bluetooth file sharing, using the BlackBerry Bridge Browser on a PlayBook; etc are blocked or simply require the user to upgrade their existing data plan in order to continue using them.

    Tethering is possibly the greatest example of this, as carries try their best to make more and more money any way they can. A user can have a 2 or 3GB data plan and stay under it even while tethering. To carriers though, that's irrelevant. If you tether, whether via a connected device or mobile hotspot, they will ask you to upgrade to a "tethering plan." Unfair? Absolutely. Does it have anything to do with RIM? Not at all.

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    A negative wave that will hopefully change.

    These days RIM hasn't really garnered much good faith from many of its users. It's almost understandable that many of them would be quick to blame the company for short comings that are in reality caused by others. Whether it's apps or specific carrier decisions, there's no doubt RIM is trying their best to make the end user experience the best in the future with BlackBerry 10.

    So, next time you wonder when that OS will become official for your carrier, why that phone isn't available to you yet or why a certain feature is blocked on your device; trace it back to the real culprits and let's not be so quick to blame RIM.
    Last edited by AgentBlackBerry; 03-12-2012 at 01:24 AM.


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  2. #2
    alepjumper's Avatar
    alepjumper is offline BlackBerryOS Enthusiast Follow alepjumper On Twitter
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    Such an informative thread! Thank you
    AgentBlackBerry likes this.

  3. #3
    grimreaper's Avatar
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    AgentBlackBerry, this is one excellent article, if it were up to me, I'd sticky this

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    fresh is offline BlackBerryOS Noobie
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    Very informative article

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