NEW YORK (
) -- When former
Sex and the City
star Kristin Davis tweets, I listen. But does
(BBRY - Get Report)
The other day, in
Best Buy and Microsoft: The Blind Leading the Partially-Sighted
, I made the case that
(MSFT - Get Report)
abject failure with the Surface tablet comes down to the fact that it just not a very good device:
Because it's the major markets, where Apple and Microsoft already have significant retail presences, that matter. The issue isn't about sales channels; it's about the devices. Both the quality of the devices and the marketing. Microsoft blows on both counts; Apple doesn't.
That statement should cease being opinion; it's obvious and objective fact. Microsoft could have
(BBY - Get Report)
hand a joint and a Surface tablet to every person who walks into one of its stores and the soulless big box would still generate more revenue off of the snacks it sells at the checkout line.
So let's flesh this out, as it pertains to
the artist formerly known as RIM
Microsoft has crappy devices; BlackBerry doesn't and never has. Microsoft put out some snappy commercials showing what its tablet can do and
(AAPL - Get Report)
iPad apparently cannot. The ads made people laugh, but they failed to sell Surfaces. In fact, Microsoft spent more money marketing and writing off inventory than it made in tablet revenue.
BlackBerry, as Davis's Tweet nicely illustrates (she has a way about her), started this whole smartphone craze. Apple didn't. Apple just came along and kicked Blackberry's ass while James Balsillie was busy failing to bring a National Hockey League franchise to Southern Ontario. BlackBerry will never recover to the extent that it overtakes Apple; however it can do better.
Davis is hardly alone in her love for that QWERTY keyboard. As an iPhone 5 owner, I have even given the new BlackBerries a look. The one with the keyboard. Unlike Microsoft, RIM doesn't need new, different or better devices. This next generation is good. It just has to stop trying to be everything to everybody. It has to cease futile efforts to compete with Apple. And it has to play to its strength.
I see the company marketing to folks who love the physical keyboard. But it also feels a bit like
People are holding out for this style of phone from us and, once we get it out there, they'll come back in droves
. Not sure. BlackBerry needs to find a way to make a unique push, remind people of what got them hooked on their smartphones in the first place and, more importantly, deal with the droves of us stuck in two-year contracts we could, with the right deal, be lured away from.
Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.