By Tom Chivers
BlackBerry’s latest offering, the PlayBook tablet, is being slammed by critics; its parent company, RIM, is crashing on the stock market. But where has it all gone wrong? We take a look.
For a while, BlackBerry had the world at its feet. Every City buffoon who thought that Gordon Gekko was some sort of role model had to have at least two. Students wrote badly punctuated essays on them. An infinitely serious future of people tapping away on tiny keyboards loomed. But in recent months it’s all gone a bit wrong for BlackBerry, as its share prices tumble and its latest hardware is panned by reviewers. So what were BlackBerry’s biggest mistakes?
The BlackBerry PlayBook? Come on, you’re BlackBerry. You’re not about “play”. You’re about WORK. You’re about eighteen-hour days in your 35th-floor office in the Gherkin. You’re about terse little emails saying “But what about the quarterlies?”. You’re about not seeing your family for weeks at a time, about children who can’t remember what you look like, about a computer-screen tan, about constructive-dismissal lawsuits and golden handshakes and non-disclosure agreements.