“Research in Motion can no longer say “There’s no place like home.” The BlackBerry maker is losing adoring fans in its own territory, Canada, to Apple’s iPhone,” wrote Brian X. Chen of The New York Times this past Thursday. As much as I’d like to argue that BlackBerry admiration is alive and well among smart phone users, Mr. Chen’s top-ranking smart phone despite BlackBerry’s Canadian roots. (RIM is based in Waterloo, Canada.) The overthrow of the BlackBerry is not just limited to our Northern neighbors – the BlackBerry is quickly dying out in the United States as well.
I remember the days when BlackBerry fever was alive and well. Two years ago, I could not saunter to class without being accidentally body-slammed by a BlackBerry user who was so engrossed in his cell phone that he failed to watch where he was walking. I, too, experienced “BlackBerry blinders” when travelling from New Jersey to New York City for various job interviews. Yellow cab drivers irately yelled at me to walk faster, as I leisurely strolled Times Square, happily lost in my LinkedIn application. Everyone who was anyone was on BlackBerry Messenger (shortened to BBM), a messaging application reserved for CrackBerry users. “BBM me” was an extremely popular common phrase among my friends and colleagues, BBM being a proverbial verb.
Fast forward to 2012 and BlackBerry Messenger is a virtual ghost world. Over the course of a year, I went from having over 50 BBM contacts to just five. Nearly all of my BlackBerry-using friends have upgraded to an iPhone. Many claim they switched to an iPhone because they found their RIM devices unreliable. They claim their BlackBerry devices would annoyingly freeze or shut off unexpectedly. They tout their iPhones as having faster, more consistent Internet and better phone service.
Personally, I love my BlackBerry and do not have any problems with it. Though I’d like to get an iPhone within the next year, I am unsure as to how I feel about a touch-screen phone. Also as strange as it sounds, I have a sentimental attachment to my phone. It is the phone to which I received “Happy 22nd birthday” texts messages from friends and family. It is the device I used to call family members and inform them of my college graduation. I am unsure how I’d live my life without it.
TU readers, are any of you current or former BlackBerry owners? Have any of you switched from a BlackBerry to an iPhone? How do Apple smart phones compare to RIM devices?