Blackberry OS 5.0 and Why Apple Got it Right with the iPhone

You all probably know by now I love my iPhone, not there aren’t things that don’t drive me crazy about it (beyond just the poor battery life).  Apple does like to control every last aspect of the device and they can drive us all crazy with their ridiculous App Store approval process (and where is my iPhone app for Google Voice already?). There is however one area where Apple got it right is that they control the OS when they decide their OS is ready for the device they release it via iTunes the individual carriers are not involved. On the other hand we have RIM who can only pass OS upgrades out via the individual carriers, who seem to generally take 8-12 weeks to test and finally release any updates.   This morning an an article on the new Blackberry OS (5.0) caught my eye, it provided a list of existing devices which will officially support OS 5.0

It would appear now that RIM will be making available to carriers BlackBerry OS 5.0 upgrades for a variety of their previous generation models. Models that are expected to have OS 5.0 upgrades available include: Bold 9000, Curve 8330/8350i/8900, Pearl Flip 8220/8230, Storm 9500/9530, and Tour 9630. Right now, these are the only previous generation BlackBerry models expected to be able to run the version 5.0 OS.

It all sounded good until you get to the next paragraph

The one part of the situation that RIM will not likely be talking about is the fact that it will be up to the actual carriers to pass the OS 5.0 with their devices in technical acceptance testing and then decide if they will actually make it available to their customers. What this actually means is that you actually may own a device that is able to run version 5.0 of the OS, but the carrier may elect to not make it available for whatever reason.

So yep you got it RIM will release the OS to the mobile carriers, who may or may not actually make it available to subscribers, where is the logic in that?  Yes I know there are ways around the carriers to upgrade the OS on a device, but I really think RIM needs to work harder with the carriers to improve this process. I also wonder how Apple will deal with this as the iPhone becomes available on more networks, but I hope they stay with their current model.  BlackBerry OS 5 on the horizon

4 Responses to Blackberry OS 5.0 and Why Apple Got it Right with the iPhone
  1. Jason Hook
    October 26, 2009 | 9:55 am

    I completely agree with you on this point. I’m not sure how Apple managed not to make itself a slave to the carriers but it does RIM no favours at all to be in this situation.

    Given BlackBerry users can upgrade the OS on their device in spite of the version supported by their carrier it would be better if RIM were able to control the distribution of the OS themselves.

  2. Scott Petricig
    October 26, 2009 | 12:38 pm

    Yeah, unfortunately most device/OS makers work this way.. Windows Mobile & Android are the same way, the carriers basically decide when you get the new OS update. Although I can see how RIM can be compared to Apple here as the devices and OSes are both made by their respective manufacturers, whereas other OSes are on a variety of different makes/models of phones.

  3. Bilal Jaffery
    October 26, 2009 | 12:52 pm

    Sadly, its from support perspective and possibly due to the nature of the business (corporate, security etc). Ofcourse, Apple had the strong arms to negotiate their terms with the carriers when they launched.

    Others, not so lucky. 😉

  4. sam
    December 15, 2009 | 2:06 am

    { Link }