Using a BlackBerry is Cool

BlackBerry 9900

The New York Times published an article that is one of the poorest pieces of journalism ever. The article is titled The BlackBerry As Black Sheep, and it was supposedly based on the results of interviewing a handful of BlackBerry owners. Here is a quote from the article:

“The BlackBerry was once proudly carried by the high-powered and the elite, but those who still hold one today say the device has become a magnet for mockery and derision from those with iPhones and the latest Android phones.”

First Things
Yes; the BlackBerry smartphone needs to be improved upon in a number of ways. There is no question about that. The platform could use more apps, better cameras (the best camera on any living BlackBerry smartphone is a 2007 5-megapixel grade unit), and better performance. So, we are clear – BlackBerry has its deficiencies (like all other platforms, actually). Now, let’s move on.

People With Issues
First, if someone is really ashamed of the device that they carry, I would expect that they would replace it with something that they are proud of. Secondly, if you are ashamed (I mean ASHAMED) of the phone that you use, honestly, you have big issues. I mean that.

One Rachel Crosby mentioned in the NYT article is quoted as saying, “I want to take a bat to it”. She shouldn’t be WANTING to take a bat to it. She should have done the deed and replaced it. You want to? If I don’t want something, I get rid of it. Simple. There’s more from Ms. Rachel:

“I’m ashamed of it,” said Ms. Crosby, a Los Angeles sales representative who said she had stopped pulling out her BlackBerry at cocktail parties and conferences. In meetings, she says she hides her BlackBerry beneath her iPad for fear clients will see it and judge her.

There’s actually a picture in which she holds up her BlackBerry. Guess what model it is? I have copied it over from the NYT article for your convenience.

Blackberry-rachel
Yes; Rachel should get rid of the 3-year old 8520 and get a 9900.

This lady is holding up a low-end BlackBerry 8520 released in 2009 (that’s three years ago!), and running OS 5, and she’s complaining? She should sell off the darn thing! With an iPad and mentions of cocktails, she should be able to purchase something that her clients are more comfortable with. I doubt that any of her clients will judge her if what she has is a BlackBerry 9900.

If she’s carrying an 8520 and not a 9900, I doubt that she owns an iPad (unless the iPad is official issue). She should quit grandstanding.

I have carried around some of the most expensive mobiles in the world, and I have carried around the lowliest of feature phones. The last thing I felt was shame or embarrassment. I love my super mobiles, but my self-confidence isn’t tied to any of them. I’m cool with whatever mobile I happen to own at any point in time.

Another set of people who have big issues are those who somehow experience orgasms from making fun of people who use a mobile different from them. I see some of those sort of folks around here too, and on social media. Pathetic. I love Al Sacco’s response to the NYT article, and I quote him here: “Anyone who mocks or makes fun of someone based on their smartphone has some serious growing up to do.” See his full response, Why Using a BlackBerry Can Still Be ‘Cool’.

I agree with him. There are lots of people with issues in this sad, sorry world.

BlackBerry Not Cool?
BlackBerry cannot be cool in the UK where the highest selling smartphone last year was a BlackBerry model. BlackBerry cannot be cool in South Africa where it literally owns the smartphone market. Shameful South Africans. Or worse, pathetic Nigerians in high brow communities here in Lagos and Abuja who are found tapping away on their BlackBerry phones everyday. This in a country where 50% of the smartphone market has been cornered by the BlackBerry brand.

Thankfully, the article at least mentions two other countries where BlackBerry is also successful – India and Indonesia. This list isn’t exhaustive. Note also that BlackBerry still sells more than Windows Phone, and we don’t hear of that platform being the black sheep or being uncool.

I haven’t used a BlackBerry in about two months, but while I had one, I was more productive on it than I was/am on the HTC One X, a super quad-core Android smartphone. And I had no hint of shame or embarrassment being seen with it. I felt proud showing off my Berries at every occasion. Yes; at cocktails, business meetings and conferences too.

Use What Works For You
Dear friend, look around you – life isn’t judged by what brand of phone you use. So, be sure to ignore rabble-rousers and decide what your needs are. If a BlackBerry will serve your needs best, then go buy that BlackBerry and give small-minded people the pleasure of showing themselves up for who they are.

BlackBerry fans are eagerly expecting OS 10, and I’m hoping that RIM pulls this off, as I prefer to have more choices available than be forced to have to choose between only two platforms. In the meantime, thumbs down to the writer and the editors are New York Times for junk journalism of the worst. The New York Times simply wanted more hits on their website.

Using a BlackBerry is Cool. I know from experience.

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0 Thoughts to “Using a BlackBerry is Cool”

  1. Baoku Iseotan

    Mr. Mo, great one for BlackBerry. Just like human beings, no OEM or platform or smartphone should be written off as hopeless. And like fashion, everyone should be able to find and wear what’s comfortable and suitable for them, and not what’s in vogue. Last time I checked, variety is still the spice of life.

  2. Eye_Bee_kay

    Sure; if I say I am hungry, or that a thing is ugly, or express OPINIONS on other subjective issues, debating it would be a waste of time and energy.

    I guess the post can be summarized as – “use what works for you”

    but…

    ///
    Dear friend, look around you – life isn’t judged by
    what brand of phone you use.
    ///

    hmmm…

    Dear friend, look around you – life isn’t judged by
    what brand of CAR you DRIVE.?

    it should NOT be, but it IS! #fact#

  3. In as much as I wish to agree with the spirit of this article, I’d also have to observe my reservation too.

    This opening statement;

    “The New York Times published an article that is one of the poorest pieces of journalism ever.”

    Kind of shows your inclinations without considering the fact that the article was adapted for their North American viewers where the Blackberry sales make less than 4 % of total smartphone sales!

    In addition, being ashamed of your smartphone is nothing to throw derision at! At several occasions, I’ve been ashamed of my smartphone too. Especially, at periods when I wish to upgrade mine and was lacking financially. For many other folks too, upgrading their smartphones is not a bread and butter affair. It involves saving, planning and then execution!

    Also, I’ve been pressured by peers to get a blackberry phone. Even ridiculed sometimes. People just assume that I should get a BB “because of my status.” I’m yet to yield to the temptation because I’ve never found that platform compelling, though it works beautifully well for countless of my colleagues.

    In context, in North America, unlike what you have in Africa, India, Brazil, Indonesia and countless other countries, there are only a minority of folks that now use Blackberries. I wouldn’t go out on a limb to blame anyone who at one point or another feels ashamed of his/her smartphone in the US. I’ve been there before, at this part of the world too!

  4. koweiszki

    ramblings of a pained bb user (??? )

  5. koweiszki

    thumbs-up @afewgoodmen…. an embarrassment in d developed world is a status symbol here,& we get angry wen we r dissed. read d article without bias & u will c dia reasons for d shame.. a useless phone dat lacks numerous fxns(according to d article(yes I read it too)). accept dat oda platforms do more,bb is jes feeding off d backwardness of dis backwater continent where internet is expensive. over there there is wifi everywhere & free & fast. pls lets not go into d bb argument.

  6. olafam

    I will still choose a BB over any apple product anytime, why? It because blackberry works for me.good one MM.

  7. bosun99uk

    BB10 maybe, but these current BB NO WAY. It doesn’t work for me.

  8. koweiszki

    “I’m ashamed of it,” said Ms. Crosby, a Los Angeles
    sales representative who said she had stopped
    pulling out her BlackBerry at cocktail parties and
    conferences. In meetings, she says she hides her
    BlackBerry beneath her iPad for fear clients will
    see it and judge her.

    as d above clearly states,Mrs crosby has an ipad,hence,she is well-to-do & can afford any mumu bb

  9. belushi

    lol…BB and its late fame in the 3rd world.

  10. keweno

    The article was poorly written irrespective of the audience.
    Mister mobility nailed it here.
    I’m sure this will soon turn into BlackBerry Vs the rest debate.

  11. Noni

    I don’t know the kind of Nigeria some of you inhabit where you are judged by the phone you use or the car you drive or feel embarrassed by either – thankfully in my world these things hold no status or meaning.

    Someone snub me because of the phone I use? I laugh. Chances are they are people I don’t associate with and just do it from an eye point of view. Let them stay there. I’ve had my Samsung D600 since 2006.

    I could not afford a new phone. I couldn’t surf the net on it with any degree of comfort, it didn’t have wifi. But that phone and I have had many journeys, I always said I would replace it eventually with something I liked. And in that space of time I’ve been given three phones, used lots more, but my D600 has remained constant. I’ve whipped that baby out in public in all sorts of places. I still remember the lady with the white SGS2 giving me strange looks when I used it on a plane prior to taking off. Now I have a replacement, but it’s there as backup, just in case.

    Who am I trying to impress? Why should I feel embarrassed? There are more important things in life. As much as I love technology, my phone is a means to and end, not a reflection of me nor my ego. I would still use my D600 again in public, people’s opinions be damned!

  12. eye_bee_kay

    @Noni, all that you have said up there sound idealistic. that is the way things should be. unfortunately, it is not the way things are..

    believe it.

    I once had a friend that was using a Benz 190E. he could afford far better, but had this mindset of practicality and eschewing flamboyance.

    He wanted to take a N20Million loan from a bank. One of his friends in that bank told him he needs to upgrade his car, otherwise the Its that will approve the loan may balk! How about that?

    He was forced to upgrade to a Nissan Infiniti!

    Depending on what you do, the way you are perceived (especially in business) is definitely important. and some of the ways people assess you (rightly or wrongly) is via your accessories (get_up), car, where you live, your carriage, etc.

    it is often not about you. it is frequently about them, and perception is often more powerful than reality!

  13. EyeBeeKay,

    I once had a friend that was using a Benz 190E. he could afford far better, but had this mindset of practicality and eschewing flamboyance. He wanted to take a N20Million loan from a bank. One of his friends in that bank told him he needs to upgrade his car, otherwise the Its that will approve the loan may balk! How about that? He was forced to upgrade to a Nissan Infiniti!

    This cool story is a different kettle of fish. Your friend wasn’t embarrassed or ashamed of his Benz.

    Your story tells me that he took his money, decided on a car HE LOVED, went out to buy it, and drove it proudly. I cannot see shame in his actions at all. Yes; He was compelled by business circumstances and expectations to upgrade. That’s good business sense.

    Where’s the shame?

  14. I hate this attitude in people-speaking outside the context and the issues….haaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

  15. keweno

    Inferiority complex is a recurring decimal here. I have negotiated big deals with my nokia torch light phone on the desk in front of me. I didn’t give a damn what anyone thought about the phone I use. Some people just have inferiority complex that’s all.

  16. Noni

    EyeBeeKay – what is idealistic to one is reality to another. That’s the way things are – believe it. We cannot always have what we want, and sometimes we should just make do until.

    Being embarrassed about something that works perfectly fine is very different to being frustrated by the limitations of a thing.

    If your company gives you a Blackberry 8520 there’s little you can do about it. You can be embarrassed by others whose companies give them iPhones, but what can you do? The company has their reasons for allocating what they have, and if you must hide it beneath your iPad because you feel embarrassed in front of your contacts…well,your choice.

    If, on the other hand you have the means to upgrade, even to buy out your current contract but you’re just hanging in there feeling embarrassed…again, your choice, but I wouldn’t go whingeing about it. It makes the person look petty and silly.

  17. michael99uk

    There is one thing everybody has failed to remember and it is that countries like US AND UK are FIVE(5)GOOD YEARS ahead of us the third world country name is not just a name they mean it,maybe in five years time we will understand the article ,and if you are the smart one like most of us here you will have to move with the world on bb cos bb is what d world use now.i dont have anything against bb it is a business phone and it delivers on that path but other phones can do business stuffs as well and a lot more.

  18. michael99uk

    What i will say is PUBLIC OPINION is very easy to follow,the question we need to ask our selves is ‘WILL I STILL BE USING A BB IF EVERYONE ELSE IN NIGERIA CHOOSE ANDROID/WINDOWS PHONE/IPHONE , Thats how you will truly know how much you love your HANDHELD.

  19. michael99uk

    countries like US AND UK are FIVE(5)GOOD YEARS ahead of us

    The argument of the US and UK being “five years ahead of us” is one that seems weak.

    1. How did you arrive at that figure or time frame?
    2. Even if that figure were true, the number one selling smartphone in the UK last year was BlackBerry. That punches a hole in that argument.

    It can also be argued that South Africa is some years ahead of us, yet BlackBerry is undisputed king there.

    Sorry; I just don’t buy it.

  20. Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News says:

    “There are two types of people: BlackBerry users, and all the others.”

    Source

  21. Eye_bee_kay

    Parochialism & narrow_mindedness have their places.

    This seems to be one such instance.

    // “There are two types of people: ANDROID users,
    and all the others.” ///

    Father forgive Brian, for he knows NOT what he is saying!

    (** runs for dear life **)

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