Like so many RIM – Research in Motion – BB users, last week’s worldwide Blackberry outage was a big inconvenience for me. I was traveling and even more reliant on the efficacy of BB’s email platform. A by-product was that for whatever reason the lack of messages was somehow combined with a fast depletion of my battery power so that for a time I could not even make telephone calls. Thoughts of iPhones and Androids were dancing before my eyes.
I’ve been a BB user for more than ten years. Most of us that are BB aficionados defend the lousy platform as being acceptable because the email is excellent as is the telephone. Conversely BB web browsing is slow and clumsy and the Apps are the worst of any of the smartphones.
I was with a friend on Sunday and he too claimed to have been a BB addict for almost fifteen years. He now has an iPhone and has for the past year. He noted that the iPhone telephone is terrible but email was ok, but his most interesting observation is the iPhone is a small version of an iPad. That something I’ve not heard anyone say that before.
My friend also noted that in 2010 at a friend’s daughter’s sorority rush all the ‘sisters’ have to throw their mobile devices into a pile and cannot use them during rush. Of the 38 devices 37 were Blackberrys. This did not surprise me as my own daughter who is a freshman this year has a BB and her primary reason for getting one was the BB Messenger service – immediate and ‘free’ texting. However he added that this year in 2011 of the 35+ phones – only one of them was a BB and the rest were iPhones. In his opinion BB is already dead since once the younger set rejects the BB platform they are truly going to be toast.
BB has been espousing its new forthcoming operating system (QNX – pronounced CUE-nix) including an entire new generation of Blackberrys. We’ve all seen what a disaster the BB Playbook tablet has turned out to be. So to say I am skeptical would be an understatement. The New York Times had an article about Blackberry today – http://nyti.ms/pp1J93 – I did not know whether to be optimistic or pessimistic after I read it.
Another friend of mine last week showed me his BB Torch (he is an email junkie like me) as well as his new Samsung Android i997 – a big touch screen, thin and fast web-browsing smartphone. And it was only $ 99. For him carrying two devices makes sense. I don’t think I could carry two phones around with me all the time.
As usual whenever I write about Blackberry, or any non-Apple platform all the Apple acolytes chime in that I am totally missing the boat. They say that the iPhone (particularly with the new 4S and Siri – a true world phone they aver) is the only way to go. However I also hear snippets that iPhone email can be problematic and that the phone is the weak link, while the Apps are fantastic and web-browsing is great. Since I primarily use my smartphone for email, telephone calls and THEN web-browsing and Apps, I remain unconvinced.