Why Too Many BlackBerries Can Make You Sick to Your Stomach

Even if you like BlackBerries, you can evidently have too much of a good thing.

In analyzing the latest bout of bad news from BlackBerry maker Research in Motion—namely, that new versions of the phones now won’t be available until late next year—the New York Times noted that the Canadian company has released no fewer than 37 BlackBerry models since 2007. And few customers, it seems, can tell the darn things apart.

“There are BlackBerrys that flip, BlackBerrys that slide, BlackBerrys with touch screens, BlackBerrys with touch screens and keyboards, BlackBerrys with full keyboards, BlackBerrys with compact keyboards, high-end BlackBerrys and low-priced models,” the Times reported. “The BlackBerry Torch 9850 and 9860 are touch-screen phones that are on some shelves next to the BlackBerry Torch 9800 and 9810, touch-screen phones with slide-out keyboards.”

What in the world is RIM thinking? Here’s one guess: They’ve tried to appeal to every taste.

“Most businesses—today’s large U.S. corporations are perhaps the worst offenders—pride themselves on being willing and able to supply any ‘specialty,’ to satisfy any demand for variety, even to stimulate such demands in the first place,” Peter Drucker wrote. “Most large companies typically end up with thousands of items in their product line—and all too frequently fewer than 20 really ‘sell.’”

Companies need to toss things out—to abandon products—but they don’t. And this, Drucker[EXPAND More]

said, was a great danger. “Indeed, the basic problem of U.S. competitive strength in the world economy today may well be product clutter,” he wrote. “If properly costed, the main lines in most of our industries will prove to be fully competitive, despite our high wage rates and our high tax burden. But we fritter away our competitive advantage in the volume products by subsidizing an enormous array of ‘specialties.’”

Apparently, Canadians have not, at least in this regard, learned from U.S. mistakes.

Where do you see “product clutter” in today’s marketplace?[/EXPAND]