Bad UI, Not Buggy Apps, killed the Blackberry

So CNN Money reports, What Killed BlackBerry: Terrible Apps, but I disagree, I left because I couldn’t seem to install/update apps. I LOVED the Unified Message Inbox, that connected Facebook, Email, and SMS. I HATED that LinkedIn never worked — on the BUSINESS PHONE?  Blackberry App World was a buggy painful experience in contrast to the App Store.

I still miss my Blackberry keyboard, but I don’t miss my crash prone buggy phone… I loved my Palm Treo 650, best interface ever, but the damned thing was buggy, the Phone Application would hang/crash, and they refused to support Syncing to my Mac… and they kept breaking the third party application I bought… trying to force me into buggy Palm Desktop instead of supporting Apple iSync.

I think that the bad syncing with the Mac did more damage to Blackberry than people let on. So many Web developers are Mac people… not just the graphic artists.  Internet Executives, road warriors, old Unix die-hards, all toted Apple Laptops around.  People obsessed over the fact that 90%+ machines ran Windows, but when you take out the embedded machines, public kiosks, and other devices that people didn’t control, Apple’s Marketshare was WAY higher.

Apple may have forced you to use iTunes, but people LIKE iTunes.  Over time, they made it so you can use the iPhone totally untethered from a computer of any kind.  You can sync with your computer, sync everything via the Cloud, etc.  I absolutely LOVE the fact that when I update a Contact on my machine OR phone, my other computers all sync as well.  With my Blackberry, everything was unsynced until I plugged into a machine, and even then it was haphazard if it would sync.  MobileMe’s death was the final death knell for me (Apple pushed me off Blackberry), because my phone was totally unusable.  Had Blackberry embraced iSync instead of forcing me into using third party software (which they broke and forced me to use their horrible one), I might still be with them.

But that’s how market leaders are destroyed.  2% of the market here, 2% there, and pretty soon, you’re NOT the only dominant player, and that lets your competitors eat your lunch.