Farewell, My Sweet Blackberry


Today is a nostalgic day for me, while my Blackberry Bold 4 has been dead for years, the official announcement bringing forth the demise of the sturdy phones has put my emotions for the discussed phone on the verge. Yes, Blackberry is officially dead now.

The sturdiness, though encompassed with a bit of battery problem, was quite a rage in its times.

Smartphones have become so ubiquitous that it is easy to forget how stunningly disruptive the arrival of the BlackBerry really was. For much of the first decade of the century, across a wide range of white-collar industries, an employer-issued BlackBerry was the ultimate status symbol, the ultimate validator that you were essential to the enterprise. It made work on the go easy, stylish and sturdy. It was an essential handy tool for a business-minded person, so much so that Kim Kardashian (as rumored) still uses a Blackberry for her business deals. It made work an easy task, and clearly set the benchmark for work on the go.

Initially, it targeted the white-collared people, soon, with the launch of its oh-so-exclusive Messenger, fondly called BBM, it was every youth’s dream. Blackberry was the most popular smart phone, till iPhone came along. Everything was fine, working just fine, we were in love with the idea of hardened QWERTY keypad, with the BBM’s, with the on the go work, till iPhone came along.

The once admired tech-giant, was on its way to the junkyard. With Android and iOS in the market, Blackberry’s audience shifted to these flashy smartphones. Also, the exclusivity that lied in BBM, was made available to every one and not just to Blackberry owners. It lost its’ exclusivity, it lost its’ shine, the Blackberry initiated a fall there and then, which when merged with various factors, culminated into its’ final demise today.

The world change, but RIM didn’t.

RIM’s (Research In Motion Limited) closed system was a unique advantage, running on its own secure network, using its own proprietary software, and the promise it gave was what businesses needed most: rock-solid reliability and ironclad security. As long as businesses were satisfied, RIM thought, consumers would follow. But they didn’t.

The idea of e-mail on a belt was further made attractive and viable than Blackberry, by Apple and Google. Thus, Blackberry, failing to understand the full ramifications of their own innovation, led the way towards their downfall.

The sturdiness of the phone, the emojis that were adorable in their essence, the amazing QWERTY keyboard, the king of instant messaging- BBM, the PING!! poke or a very angry vibrating nudge, the constant nagging about its battery; all these things still hold a special place in the hearts of the Blackberry users.

They always say the first one is always special, and for me it will always be. Alive or not, Blackberry will always be the first love of my life, come what may. It was the first handle that made me fall in love with the idea of a mobile phone; it was the first that I am proud to call my own; it was the first that brought my coming into the social virtual world of bbm’s, comforting rather than scaring the social anxiety in me; it was the first that will always be close to my heart.

No matter how many updated, upgraded iPhones might come, I will always be a Blackberry person.

Yugansha Malhotra

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The Viewspaper