I remember the day five years ago when I got my very first BlackBerry. As a bright-eyed PR Account Coordinator moving up through the ranks, I thought I was Miss Big Shot owning my very own “too-cool-for-school” BlackBerry allowing me to stay connected 24/7 to important client-related messages, which only solidified my acceptance into the corporate culture.
That was in 2007 when “CrackBerries” ruled the business scene. You couldn’t walk into a meeting or organize a media event without every single one of your colleagues or client contacts whipping out their BlackBerries to furiously check and respond to work-related emails.
Fast-forward now to 2012. I’m the only professional in my office still checking emails on her BlackBerry. My esteemed colleagues proudly show off their latest iPhone or Android apps uploaded to their prestigious smartphones, while I sheepishly sneak a quick peek at the messages incoming through my BlackBerry as I hold it underneath the conference room table to shield it from view. That is, if my BlackBerry decides to stay connected to its mobile network and allows any incoming messages to pass through at all!
Don’t get me wrong. BlackBerry has served me well these past few years. All I ever really needed it for was to be able to respond quickly to urgent client or media messages while away from my office desktop. But my profession requires me to respond at a rapid rate, and lately my personal experiences with my BlackBerry have been less than stellar as I find it delivering messages at least 10 minutes after they were originally sent (if at all). It may be time for me to consider other, more reliable smartphone options.
I may sound like some customer who has merely grown bored with her BlackBerry and who is being drawn in by the illustrious lure of the glamorous iPhone and Android markets. However, recent data collected has documented the steady decline of the BlackBerry, even though Research in Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry product line, is planning to launch BlackBerry 10 later this year. Stats on mobile commerce show that BlackBerry is far below iPhone and Android in terms of generating sales for retailers.
Additionally, smartphone users just aren’t buying BlackBerries any more. A recent New York Times article reported that RIM suffered a fourth-quarter loss of $125 million and had a higher-than-anticipated decline in BlackBerry sales. This marked the fifth consecutive time that the company missed its quarterly financial guidance, according to the article. Compare this with iPhone sales nearly doubling Apple’s profit in the company’s fiscal second quarter this year and Android leading the U.S. market with 47.3% of the smartphone market. It’s looking rather bleak for CrackBerry lovers, if they even exist anymore.
Sure, BlackBerry Messenger is a feature that sets BlackBerry apart from other smartphones, but I have never once logged into my BlackBerry Messenger app on my phone. I initially started using a BlackBerry because, at the time, it was the best professional option to check and respond to work-related emails in a timely manner. I’m not sure how other users’ BlackBerries have been working for them recently, but my own personal BlackBerry has slowly but steadily failed me in this department time and time again. My cell phone provider offers Android phones at affordable rates. I think it’s time I quit my CrackBerry addiction and sober up to the world of Android.