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Why I’m Ditching My BlackBerry in 2012

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BlackBerry Smartphone Closeup
BlackBerry Smartphone Closeup
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I’ve always loved the fact that my BlackBerry has a real keyboard, I don’t feel an on-screen equivalent can compete. I will also miss how tightly it integrates with Outlook, even though RIM still sticks with their dubious decision to cripple the functionality when not linked to Microsoft Exchange. However, these are sacrifices I am willing to take, which goes someway to showing how disillusioned I have become with RIM’s flagship brand.

It is clear, that even with their latest devices, RIM lags a few years behind the competition in the form of iPhone and Android devices. I speak to many mobile application developers who simply do not create for BlackBerry, there is no commercial justification. And it is all about the ecosystem. Not many thought there was a market for tablet computers, many tried and failed, not until Apple launched the iPad did we all realise we could not live without one. It is all about the user experience defined by the ecosystem, and a big part of this is the apps that run on it. If the developer community has abandoned your platform, your days are numbered.

RIM’s centralised network through which a lot of your data passes appeared to be revolutionary when it was devised all those years ago, but it now seems antiquated, and dare I say it flaky. An outage lasting for a week in 2011 showed the inherent flaws in such a system and left millions of BlackBerry owners worldwide with a mobile no better than what the sort of clunky green screen Nokia device we lusted after when Matrix hit the big screen.

Despite us all contributing to RIM’s bank balance via our friendly operators for this service – even when we weren’t getting it, all we received in exchange was some free apps that no-one asked for. Thanks a bunch!

So it’ll be goodbye BlackBerry and hello Android! Why Android rather than Apple? I’ll save that for another time.

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10 thoughts on “Why I’m Ditching My BlackBerry in 2012”

  1. Pingback: Time to uninstall the Linkedin BlackBerry app | Mobile, Technology and Startup Business Musings



    Alias Sir George the Dragon Slayer
    Knighted in Canadian Dragons’ Den 2009

    1. Hi Brian,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I think you have explained in simple terms what is effectively a very complex and temporal problem., ie. what worked last year might not be enough this year.

  3. This post is so devoid of substance. What is it that you’re missing on a BB device? What do you think an Android device can do that a current BB7 device cannot? Snicker all you want, but BB10 devices will shock everyone when they are released later this year. If only people could see what is coming, they’d be singing a different tune already.

    1. Hi Todd, thanks for your comments. Have you used Android 4.0? I’ve been using a Galaxy Nexus alongside my Torch for 4 weeks now and the Android phone is streets ahead. I’m interested in what BB10 will bring, but I will already be tied into an Android device by then. Do you have insight into BB10 that is not in the public domain that you would like to share?

      Also I won’t forget in a hurry the 1 week outage that RIM’s flaky network caused last year – hasn’t and wouldn’t happen on other platforms. And what compensation do we get? Some free apps that are not the slightest bit useful.

  4. While being a week without email is not easily forgotten, your Android will help you remember the good things you’ll miss in BB. Battery life that goes almost a week instead of almost a day; the keyboard, the discovery that apps hang around open in background when BB neatly closed them; the Google privacy piracy you didn’t have to put up with.

    Why not WindowsPhone7? Much more fluid and smarter. There’s iPhone if you want something tidy that just works. But I understand all the reasons people pick their platform. I just think if email is that important to you, BB’s fluke email blackout is not particularly swaying. It’s likely a one-time event; I’m sure some careers suffered because of it. It hadn’t happened before, and I’m sure steps are in place so there’s no repeat. If Android flakes out on something, who you gonna call? It’s so with all of them, recalling iPhone’s you’re-not-holding-it-right antenna defect.
    What do you LOVE, is what should sway you.

  5. Hi James, thanks for taking the time to share your views with us on the blog. I think Windows Phone 7 will perform very well if the market decides it has room for another platform.

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  7. Hi Philip
    I don’t think you’re alone in switching from RIM. Let’s be clear though that I am not a BB user nor ever have been, the simple reason being that they do not have the application footprint of Android or Apple and are too restrictive as devices…I was somewhat shocked to learn from Vodafone (when purchasing some BB’s for my company) that there can be upto a 20 minute delay in receiving emails…whilst I appreciate email is “store and forward” 20 minutes in this day and age simply isn’t acceptable.
    Also what I find slightly baffling is that RIM is switching it’s focus purely to commercial users. My company deals with graduate recruitment and all students appear to have BB’s (one assumes due to BB messaging). Whilst students may not be big spenders now you can bet that these leaders of tomorrow who will be making purchasing decisions for their companies will not look to RIM if the support they received as students is less than ideal or that the devices themsleves are a poor relation to the dear old iPhone.
    Yes I have an iPhone, yes it frustrates, yes it’s a bit useless as an actual telephone but I can get my emails immediately and I spend much more time emailing, messaging and playing…sorry, USING apps than I do making calls.
    RIM have some work to do

    1. Hi Philip, thanks for your comments and raising some valid points. Yes, you can wait up to 20 minutes for emails to come through with BIS, it is quite archaic, whereas if you sync with Gmail it is fairly instant.

      The lack of apps is an issue, and RIM has the possibility of addressing this if they focus on Android compatibility with BB10, but if they go down the same route as with the PlayBook, this will be very restricted. BB users really need too be able to download apps from Google Play, rather than face unnecessary barriers.

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