Friday, November 13, 2009

An Open Letter from a Blackberry User

Dear Blackberry,
Please grow up, I am sick and tired of having other people flash the latest and greatest thing their phone can do in my face and all I have to fall back on is how quickly I can send and receive emails. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Blackberry, I have owned a Blackberry in one form or another since 2001, but frankly, its getting kind of embarrassing and you need to do something. Phone envy is slowly draining my willpower and you haven't given me anything to look forward to.
Let me be clear, I don’t have a problem with my Blackberry, in fact it works great and that’s why I still have it. The battery life is out of this world, the keyboard is unbeatable, my phone doesn’t crash every 3 hours, I have access to over 10,000 apps and themes, we have our own IM client (how cool is that), I can do 3 or more things at once, Email Email Email, my phone is indestructible, my phone does EVERYTHING, the platform is open, there’s a huge following of bloggers and developers who have been working with you for years, so i can find the answer to just about any question I have.
Here’s my issue, every time somebody brags about the cool thing their phone can do, I quickly whip out my Blackberry and say almost verbatim, “I can do that too, ok its loading, wait, after the hourglass, yea I know it’s hard to see look closer, that’s because it’s a smaller screen, okay it doesn’t look exactly like yours but that’s because it’s a beta version.” Then I sadly put my phone, and my self-worth away and play with their device. I am running out of excuses, my defense is all basically paper thin. I’m developing carpal tunnel from demonstrating that I can type 30 words per minute on my blackberry to compensate for its lack of other features.
It’s not only me, others have mentioned this before, that’s why you made the Storm, I know I know, the Storm was an attempt, a humorous one but still you tried. The thing is you can do better, you're better than the Blackberry Flip, honestly who were you aiming for with that?. Here is the problem: we’ve exhausted the form factor, and the OS is 9 years behind. You've used the same form factor since day one; full keyboard, screen, convenience keys, trackball, mute key, ports, that’s fine but everybody else has that, and they’ve managed to be creative along the way. I understand, it’s the old adage “if it aint broke don’t fix it” but there’s a new adage nowadays “look what my phone can do” and typing really fast, is just not that cool anymore.
Here’s what I hope to see in our future, a real browser, a more up to date OS that doesn’t click, being able to play online content such as videos reliably, WIFI in all your models, and a new form factor. I know my requests may seem a bit ambitious but those are them, and if you're worried about losing your corporate customers over these changes, NEWS, they are starting to weight their options too. In closing, I love you and I want you around but you’re starting to embarrass me in public and well, “what would you do?”
Peace and much love,

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