As BlackBerry 10 arrives today, BlackBerry-builder Research in Motion has the opportunity to get us excited about the new software -- and has already made a right mess of it, ducking questions about the iPhone and failing to find a single interesting thing to say.
BlackBerry boss Stephen Bates appeared on breakfast television and radio to talk up the next generation of BlackBerry software, but ended up dodging questions and parroting a meaningless string of corporate-safe buzzwords.
On BBC Breakfast telly and on 5 Live Breakfast radio, BlackBerry bod Bates served up vacuous, unrelated spin in the face of questions regarding the delayed launch of BB10 and the fall in market share in recent years -- and even when directly and repeatedly asked, "What went wrong?"
Instead of seizing the chance to answer what is essentially the only question the average person cares about -- why buy BlackBerry instead of the iPhone (or Android phones, if you're more tech-savvy)? -- BlackBerry's European boss elected to burble various combinations of the words "deliver", "unique" and "transition" until my brain dribbled out of my ears.
Yeah, I know it's naive to hope company bosses could hold their hands up and say, "Yeah, our bad." But few -- if any -- technology companies get a national spotlight like RIM has today. What a fantastic opportunity! With all this attention from the mainstream media, it's the perfect moment for RIM to say something honest about its problems, something piercing about the competition, and something mouthwatering to get us excited about BlackBerry's new dawn.
Perhaps RIM is mindful of the disastrous press when former boss Mike Lazaridis walked out of a BBC interview in 2011, objecting to questions about BlackBerry security problems. So the company line has gone too far in the opposite direction, chucking the BB out with the bathwater and electing to say nothing at all, in the process completely failing to give us any idea why we should be excited about BlackBerry 10.
Of course, BlackBerry 10 and the new phones may turn out to be corkers, and hey -- I've got my fingers crossed. I'd love to see something new and cool and exciting to challenge the Android-Apple duopoly.
But on public appearances so far, today has started out as a BBshambles.
What did you think of BlackBerrybod's performance? Is BlackBerry 10 about to blow the phone market wide open? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.