BlackBerry: Why breaking up is hard to do
September 24th, 2013
11:40 AM ET

BlackBerry: Why breaking up is hard to do

By Kristie Lu Stout

Hong Kong (CNN) - I can't even remember the last time I thumbed a message on its itty-bitty qwerty keyboard.

And yet, I stubbornly keep my BlackBerry in my bag and on my desk, fully charged.

As with my Palm Vx of yesterday, breaking up with a beloved gadget is hard to do, especially when you have history.

My BlackBerry and I go back over 10 years. We met at a telecom conference in Hong Kong. I will never forget the wonder of our first wireless e-mail.

Look, I'm no softie when it comes to loving and leaving my electronics. I've thrown out old Macs. I've recycled expired Sony Ericsson handsets. I've even trashed now-antique digital cameras.

But this is the longest and saddest gadget breakup I've ever gone through.

I can no longer accept its limits: A disappointing apps portfolio, clunky interface, and frankly lame camera.

Over the years, we grew apart. I started to dabble in social media and mobile photography. The tools on offer from other devices were far better in functionality, speed and resolution. I wanted my BlackBerry to change, and yet it never managed to deliver.

And suddenly, I felt like it just wasn't there for me.

I have stopped using the beloved device. But like the other 50 million BlackBerry users still out there, I just can't pull the plug.

Read more: BlackBerry's dwindling users ponder uncertain future

As with others suffering relationship issues in the digital age, I turned to social media for advice.

"Make it quick. Drop it in the tub. Better for both of you," advised Beijing blogger Bill Bishop.

Michael Sommer tweeted, "If it's not wounded or sick, no mercy killing. Put it into a vitrine."

After looking up the word "vitrine," I realized that putting an expired gadget in a glass box is like taxidermy for a deceased pet. Sorry. Just can't go there.

But not everyone was as keen to ditch the BlackBerry.

My ever-compassionate colleague John Vause said, "Don't do it... it will get better... I promise."

On Monday, BlackBerry announced that it was being taken private - a headline that raised hopes among loyalists that change is sure to come.

Meanwhile, my pal Eunice Yoon implored me to keep hope alive with the reminder, "the typing is so much easier!"

But the doubt has already settled in, and I'm already starting to see my BlackBerry in the past tense.

"Just for fun, I fire up my circa 2005 Treo 750 sometimes," reminisced J. L. Gatewood.

That's one beautiful ode to throwback gadgetry. BlackBerry, I'm not quite ready to throw you out. You remain fully charged.

soundoff (One Response)
  1. PCGuy514

    With all due respect, you are just MISLEADING with very bad information and poor research.

    1. the link to the forbes article claiming 50 million users is speculation at best a blatant Lie to say the least.
    76 million worldwide from 79 million in Q3 (http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/28/4156088/blackberry-q4-2013-earnings-z10-sales-subscriber-base
    72 million, down 4 million from the previous quarter (Q1 results)
    Numbers over the last two quarters, bad but not even in rage of what you implied as fact without research...

    2.) when you said:
    "I can no longer accept its limits: A disappointing apps portfolio, clunky interface, and frankly lame camera.Over the years, we grew apart. I started to dabble in social media and mobile photography."

    I couldn't help but wonder if you have ever tried a Blackberry 10 device?

    Make no mistake in blame its blackberry poor marketing fault but do you know that a blackberry 10 device has nothing in common with your old bold 9900 in the picture other than namesake and a few (re written)apps.

    The point i want you to understand here is that the old software and the new software is two completely different programming languages. kinda like how old mac OS9 vs OSX+ are two different beast...

    while you are entitled to stick with or move on from your beloved 9900/9930, I would strongly encourage you to tryout a new BB10 device and research your facts a bit BEFORE you pass such a blanket fate on all of blackberry...

    And as I always tell my clients use what works best for your needs. (even if its not a BB)

    September 25, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Reply

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