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.”
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.
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.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.