Are you a Blackberry user in denial? Do you answer every iPhone fan’s curious question as to why with “It’s better for doing business” or “I’m used to the QWERTY keyboard” or “The iPhone is for kids”?
I was in Scottsdale recently with my friend/colleague. He’s got an iPhone 3Gs and was furious with it ever since he installed the new iPhone OS4, which brought the phone to a crawl. Rendered almost useless, he proclaimed angrily he was switching over to the new Blackberry Torch. We drove out to the AT&T store to get an early peek at the new device which isn’t quite yet available in Canada. In the meantime, I had recently upgraded to the new iPhone 4, which is my new favorite device all over again! Blazing fast response to scrolling, pinching and any other finger gestures, excellent quality camera with flash and video capability, upgraded apps like Google maps and Yelp (open the app, turn on the camera and wherever you’re physically walking, you can see virtual reviews next to establishments nearby), and new ones like the Compass which I desperately need – all packaged in one of the most luxurious pieces of electronic hardware I have ever seen.
While he checked out the new Blackberry Torch, I could sense his disappointment while peeking over at me engaging with my new iPhone. With its small display, bulky and cheap plastic-feeling packaging, I couldn’t understand his early enthusiasm but I digress. Not quite satisfied, he inspected the new Samsung Galaxy with Google Android sitting next to the Torch. Better in my opinion, but still not quite the iPhone. After 15 minutes, there was a pause, a giant sigh and then the words “Forget it! I’m getting the iPhone 4”. And with that, I wonder out loud how anyone could choose a piece of technology that feels dated even before it’s released, and then keeps playing catchup when it becomes available. Based on reactions to the Blackberry Storm 3 leaks, I’m not alone.
Blackberry smartphones are beginning to feel like the Sony Walkman. Leading-edge technology that cornered the market early, but got outplayed and outsmarted by ironically the same innovative company, Apple. It’s not as difficult to compete when the competition is jumping 1, 2 or 3 steps ahead with each new version. It is, however, virtually impossible when one comes along and disrupts the whole universe. So Blackberry and its users perpetuate the virtues of their smartphones for as long as they can, until denial no longer protects them from the cold, hard reality that stands in front of them in the form of a bitten apple. CDs anyone?
Rajan is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BIG Marketing for Small Business. He's an award-winning marketing strategist who is passionate about branding, digital marketing and social media. He spent nearly a decade as the marketing executive at global IT firm Peer 1 Hosting and was instrumental in their explosive growth.