A requiem for another great one. Please observe a 1 second silence.
RIM, the owners of the Blackberry brand of phones has finally announced its exit from the phone market. I’m not surprised though as I have said many times to many of my friends, who are still very ardent fans of that once, great product, that the idea would eventually meet its inevitable demise. I strongly believe that open platforms, like the Android, will win out most of the time simply because of a highly populated creative common. I’ve never bothered to own a Blackberry and I’m no slacker in the ‘I have one too’ department: I have owned a Sony Z1, Sony Z Ultra and Z5; a Samsung Note 1, Note 3 and Note 5, – I no try?). I just couldn’t believe that a phone built around messaging and email functionality was a durable idea. Granted, it was way ahead of the field at the time (remember how expensive it was to own and run?) but, among other issues, it committed that Nokia-esque, strategic, faux pas by sticking too long to buttons rather than switching to touch-screens to follow the competitive trend, per the likes of Samsung and LG. There was just nothing a Blackberry could do, eventually, that an Android smartphone couldn’t too, and more. I remember one of my friends, a Blackberry fanatic, challenging me back then if my Samsung Note 1 could ‘Piiiinggg’ and I quickly showed him how to ‘buzz’ on yahoo messenger – Buzzz buzzzz! Just semantic differences. It wasn’t the phone that had to ‘buzz’ or ‘ping’, it was the App.
Many too liked that Blackberry ID thing too, e.g. 4UBIKOF9 (don’t mind me o. I know it’s in HEX), which is a personal address, a nice badge of differentiation and a recognition of social status. Then you were also entitled to that special ‘ping me on ‘1OGAONTP’; bb 9994GCE0′ speak, exclusive only to the select group of owners. It made a good lifestyle and self-image statement. There also was that warm glow of being a select group. It has had nice going but all good things must come to an end.
RIM is a highly capable technology company. They are reported to be shifting to another of their strong forts – software, where I believe they will also excel.
In the meantime, Piiiinngggg p.i.i.i.n.n.g.g.g pi.i.iiiiiii.i i i i.