back to article RIM chief: buggy smartphones the 'new reality'

A Research In Motion (RIM) executive has admitted that malfunctioning smartphones are now par for the course, thanks in part to the complexity and high-volume production of devices like the BlackBerry Storm. Jim Balsillie, RIM's co-CEO, said that software glitches on smartphones are now part of the “new reality” as firms rush …

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Anonymous Coward

True

It's very sad, but it's true.

I have worked in the consumer electronics field for many years, writing software for this stuff. Some of the code is, quite frankly, shit. Commercial pressures (especially in something like the mobile phone market), poor project management, a seemingly never-ending desire to cram more and more functionality in (even though the existing functionality doesn't work correctly), and (in a seemingly increasing number of cases), poor software implementation all contribute to the problem.

Personally, (and I'm sure I'm not alone with this), I would like my phone to work as a phone flawlessly. I would readily give up the camera, the MP3 player, the web browsing etc etc, as long as the PHONE bit of it worked. But manufacturers and the people pushing services to you that you can spend money on (ie - the network providers), don't want this; they would rather you buy another phone in 6 months time in an attempt to replace the buggy crappy one you have already. Unfortunately, your NEW phone is likely to be worse!

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Coat

What an idiotic thing to say

...and I don't mean from a PR point of view. Why on earth should shitty product be acceptable?

My phone performs as expected 99% of the time. The web browser occasionally craps out if I try and open too many pages, and from time to time it benefits from a restart, but in daily use I'm not aware of any material bugs.

Why yes, mine's the one with the iPhone in the pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

Blame.

The fault lies only with consumers who accept critical bugs in core features as the acceptable price of exciting new features, so just shrug their shoulders and move on to the next upgrade every 18 months.

After all, why should any of the manufacturers spend extra money on software quality if they don't actually need to in order to sell the product?

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Law
Paris Hilton

RE: Blame.

Bollocks, pure and utter bollocks. I've had several buggy phones, and by time you have bought the phone, or been locked into your new contract the telco's don't care, and say deal with it. I bought a samsung u600 once with my renewed contract from Tmobile, loved the phone, hated the firmware - it crashed constantly, you couldn't turn off the full sms tone after SENDING messages (very annoying in office), and worst of all it was branded tmobile everywhere. I updated it, voiding the warranty, using the generic firmware floating around the net, only to find the official firmware was just as crap. Eventually (few months) I gave up, bought a second hand N95.... which was buggy again, but I then flashed with latest firmware released by Nokia, which didn't void the warranty this time, and it was perfect, didn't have a single crash, battery life was improved, menus and application stability was improved, gps locking was great... so I stuck with that phone for about 18 months until I shifted from tmobile and their crappy custom firmware's, and to o2.... ok, so I went for an iPhone (I was getting the £35 unlimited data contract anyway) so I just got that out of interest.

Phone works fine, most stable phone I've had from initial firmware, but I'm missing the missing features I got in older phones, such as streaming music over bluetooth (saved me money on cd's in the car, as it is bluetooth unit with ability to control music player on the phone), and being able to pass images over bluetooth.... oh, and being able to spell in proper english.... every time I type in realise it tries to correct me, the cheeky b*stards.... I selected English, not merkin!!

Paris - because once upon a time I considered getting the Sidekick... and tmobile laughing at me in store when I asked about it, and them not selling it at the time in uk was possibly the best thing they ever did for me...

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It's an ...........

iPhone Killer isn't it?

I've had an iPhone for a couple of years and, for my use, wouldn't touch any other make. For me (stupid as I am) simplicity is the key. If there are any bugs I don't know about them because they've never affected me. I agree wholeheartedly with Ian Davies.

It seems to me that other manufacturers still haven't cottoned-on to what makes (for me and probably for most people) a good mobile phone ... it's the WAY it works. I hope other manufacturers do eventually make something with the ease of use of an iPhone because competition is good for the industry. But they haven't yet.

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Quality Assurance is Dead

What a pitiful admission. Had to rush it out the door so we did so even though we knew it

was substandard and bug filled. Makes you want to rush out and buy one. Would you trust

their next product to be any better. I think not.

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Gates Horns

Just Phones?!

Seems to me that the mobiles are only following the computer industries lead of writing crap and rushing it to market even though they knew it was still buggy (any flavour windoze comes to mind).

Mine's the one with the long antenna!

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Stop

wow, news alert...

I worked in mobiles for 7 years until end 2006. there were several reasons I left the industry, but as a system test engineer for protocol stacks (whose job ended up in china, I might add) the quality of the software going out of the door made me wince.

i mean, it was pathetic. actual protocol stacks going out the door with known bugs in. as for the rest of the phones, well, worse.

nokia are particularly awful for putting out half finished firmware, but SE are just as bad. it's the major reason I'm using a p990: the thing sat in a drawer for 2 months after I bought it and i checked SE fora for news on better firmware. now it's good and i've been using it solidly for 20 months.

i knew blackberry was on a downward curve after using my wife's one: fonts all over the place, badly drawn dialogs-how can companies expect to get away with this stuff?

the whole mobile phone industry has gone insane trying to pack too much in too fast without properly testing it, and the project management which co-ordinates it all is almost always pathetic with a lack of joined-up thinking.

now, I work for a tetra radio company: mission-critical devices which, first and foremost, have to work: and which have lifecycles measured in years.

and it feels so good to work for a company that makes quality digital comms devices.

the mobile industry should stop, take stock and back off.

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