For the better it would seem based on customer feedback.
Originally Posted by archer6
Here's the deal from my point of view base don my users' feedback. The complaint with the BlackBerry has usually been about the devices themselves, rarely the network. Users love the push features of BES (and cheapstakes and personal users like BIS, for the most part), but hate that the devices are so limited:
I.e., no local storage for attachments, no copies of pocket MS Office, no removable storage, no free wifi, phone quality is poor/cumbersome, internet browser is limited, faster network/CPU needed, more memory wanted, device too big, keyboard too small, screen resolution insufficient, no VPN access to corp intranet without MDS/BES hooks (programming$$$$$), So releasing devices more often is great, since who wants to buy old tech? We wanted the latest devices. Ideally those devices would have the latest tech (3G, unmetered WiFi for data, metered WiFi for UMA, etc) but I suppose that's not always possible. OK, fine.
Great, but the world moves on. This was nice from a corporate point of view, but compare the 7230 with the 7290. The latter added 850Mhz in addition to 190Mhz for the United States and I believe twice the memory (16MB vs. 32MB). Also two levels of backlighting vs. one level. Similar for the iDEN 7510 and 7520. The latter offered twice the memory, a slightly different (better?) keyboard, and two levels of back light vs. one.
Take the 71xx & 72xx series, as you have pointed out. In the case of the 7200 series it has been out quite awhile and filled an important space for them.
What irked me was that the holster of the 7510 and 7520 was different since the 7520 was narrower. But people want wa smaller device, even if it is QWERTY.
I'm sure the 7520 and 7290 created a small jeolousy within companies that had already deployed 7510s or 7230s.
A better device is available for most uses. The 8100 Pearl. Some people actually preferred the harder blue case material of the 7510 or 7230 versus its replacements, too. Some people actually preferred the old keyboard as well. Same people thought the wider device fit better in their hand or didn't like that the old hoster didn't work (regarding my comments above). Same boat, different models.
However, much to the contrary, the 7130c is barely more than six months old and is already being discontinued. One of the most reliable and well designed models in the lineup, they are killing it off so soon.
Every person I have that wants the 7130 (two), is replacing it for the pearl. I guess RIM and the carriers don't think there is a sizable enough market for that device.
This is something that I do not understand. As when it was current just a month ago, RIM had three very different sizes and form factors to offer the customer base. The large full qwerty 8700, the medium sized SureType 7130 and the diminutive 8100 Pearl. Why kill off a very viable mid size model?
It's my guess that the only reason 7130 even existed in overlap condition with the Pearl (8100) was that corporations demanded the 7130 stay until the bugs of the 8100 were worked out. This would allow transition.
The odd thing about this is the 7290 is still offered. I wonder if that will finally go away once the 8800 becomes mainstream? I guess the market for old devices is more sizable or profitable (or both) in the full size QWERTY market than for suretype. That's my guess. RIM and the carriers listen to their customers. If the 7130 had stronger penetration in the corp, .mil, .gov markets - I'm specualting - I would have been kept. And likewise if the consumer market was demanding the 7130 as much as the 8100, the 7130 would have been kept. It's sort of the red-headed step child of the lineup (which isn't a fair analogy since the step child is still probably more desirable than a 7130 )
I do think this is in the customers', RIM's, and the carriers' best interests as far as the results of models that are offered.
Postscript: As a corp customer I can see being peaved if the 7130 was a standardized device and now a new device was being foistered. As a personal customer, I can't see how this would even remotely matter. For most people, assuming the bugs are worked out, the Pearl is a much more desirable device for the suretype market. If someone was buying new day, I can't think of to many people other than goldilocks types who might want one, but reject the 8100 as too small, and the 8700/8800 as too big. For existing customers, you already have your device. Why would you care whether the device is still sold or not? (as long as support and updates are still available, it's OK). Egos, aside. Time marches on.