The BlackBerry stigma: folks no longer wield BlackBerries with pride

By , Oct 16, 2012

It’s just sad that such a great company can become so disillusioned and lost in time. Apparently, as reported by The New York Times, BlackBerry devices have become a magnet for mockery and derision from iPhone and Android owners. Worse, people apparently suffer from shame and public humiliation because their BlackBerry cannot do cool things like iPhones and Android devices.

Now, I use both the iPhone and an Android device and it never even crossed my mind to judge someone by their smartphone, even if that’s apparently how some bosses behave these days. As a result, people are becoming increasingly wary pulling their BlackBerries in meetings (I’m not making this up).

Remember, stylish (and mostly black) BlackBerry phones with their clickety-clack keyboards used to be a status symbol of the high-powered and the elite. What a difference a few years make…

Nicole Perlroth, reporting for the somewhat sensationalist New York Times:

Rachel Crosby speaks about her BlackBerry phone the way someone might speak of an embarrassing relative.

“I’m ashamed of it,” said Ms. Crosby, a Los Angeles sales representative who said she had stopped pulling out her BlackBerry at cocktail parties and conferences. In meetings, she says she hides her BlackBerry beneath her iPad for fear clients will see it and judge her.

Really, what kind of a person becomes ashamed of their handset?

And since when bosses judge workers based on devices rather than performance?

Have we come to this?

She also said this:

“I want to take a bat to it,” Ms. Crosby said, after waiting for her phone’s browser to load for the third minute, only to watch the battery die. “You can’t do anything with it. You’re supposed to, but it’s all a big lie.”

A Los Angeles musician, another BlackBerry outcast, likened owners of the device to Myspace users, saying “they probably still chat on AOL Instant Messenger”.

Check out the source article for other smart quotes.

Now, RIM teased and teased the upcoming BlackBerry 10 software and devices until folks stopped paying notice. The last we heard, BlackBerry 10 super phones are set for release in the first quarter of 2013.

Here’s a clip with a Mexican sales representative showing off the final version of the upcoming BlackBerry L Series running a work-in-progress BlackBerry 10 build.

Another clip from three weeks ago takes us on a tour of key BlackBerry 10 features.

And this video gives us a glimpse of Active Frames, a new software feature RIM hopes will become a key differentiator for BlackBerry 10 devices. It’s basically a nice multitasking concept that does away with flipping back and forth between the running tasks in favor of a more elegant approach: you just flick your finger quickly in an upward motion to minimize the running program.

Neat, huh?

RIM will need all the whizbang it can possibly get just to remain afloat.

Some five percent of smartphone users in this country still have BlackBerries in their pockets, per pretty much all surveys.

Five bucks says most are federal government employees because they sure ain’t business folks – corporate America is abandoning BlackBerries for iOS and Android.

Heck, even Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer traded in employees’ BlackBerrys for iPhones and Android phones. The move didn’t just highlight RIM’s troubles, it demonstrated just how uncool the once might smartphone has become.

RIM faces an uphill struggle for relevancy.

It lost over half a billion dollars in the first quarter of 2012. BlackBerry sales were down 40 percent. And with a net loss totaling an astounding $753 million in the first half of the year compared to a profit of more than $1 billion a year earlier, RIM is also fighting for its survival.

Now, if you think the company cannot possibly fall lower than that, have a look at this call-to-arms clip the Waterloo, Ontario-headquartered company issued to its fleeing developers.

How’s that for a today’s WTF moment?

According to a RIM spokesperson, the company is working with “top tier app developers to ensure BlackBerry 10 has the apps consumers want when it launches in Q1 2013”.

The problem is, it may be too late now to prevent RIM’s demise.

Correct me if I’m wrong.

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  • jose castro

    blackberry seriously, ur done… no one wants ur phones anymore.. apple and Samsung basically destroyed you

  • http://twitter.com/rashadnoor2005 R N

    Blackberry should move on already, i haven’t cared about them for over 2 years.

  • Guest

    I threw my blackberry away in 2007 when the first iPhone was released. And I still am an iPhone user.

  • http://twitter.com/lukejmulholland Luke Mulholland

    Video 2 – 0:15 – Most awkward high 5 ever?

  • DrPeril

    I love how you’re trying to be nice to BB and still said “[…] in this country still have BlackBerry […]”, ha “still”, love it.

    I remember setting up Crackberry’s for my senior VPs when they were still cool and even then it was a massive pain for us in IT to support them. The phones themselves were so hard to use none of the VPs (who were so excited to get them) ever used them for anything but calling, and even then preferred the office land line because of quality.

    RIM is a sinking ship, perhaps even already sunk. The last CEOs ran it into the ground thinking that no one could ever unseat them as the serious business mans phone. Sadly, stagnation is not looked well upon in todays electronic markets.

    To the point of the article, yeah I often find myself making jokes about folks stuck with a blackberry — but they usually start with a little techno-phobic self deprecating humor…

    In the end judging yourself or someone else based on their handset is ridiculous of course. But I see folks with old Nokia flip phones take less crap than users of even the most current blackberry junk-ware.

  • rohta

    Ok. BB phones are not as cool as used to be. But embarrassing/judging someone because he/she is using one, is just ridiculous…

    • http://twitter.com/therealjdizzle Jason Masters

      No it’s not you mean you’ve never been at a stoplight behind a really crappy shitty ass car and say damn that’s a real piece of shit!! Don’t lie we all have its natural.

      • rohta

        Some people has this kind of nature. Maybe most people. I might not like BB, but I will not look for someone as inferior, just because I use iPhone and the other not. To say that BB is a shit is one thing. To say that the user is a shit is another completely different story. As you said, the car can be a “crappy shitty ass”, but it doesn’t necessary mean that the driver is whatever you said.

      • http://twitter.com/therealjdizzle Jason Masters

        your rational is flawed typically what you ascribe to the way you respond to the car you will to the driver why do you see road rage ? people get angry behind cars that smoke up or are loud and ugly and they ascribe that to the driver as well. I believe you want to believe you don’t judge like this but it is human nature it happens all the time and yeah I can see people embarrassed by their phone I can also see people judging a person by their phone now maybe you are by some long shot entirely different or are just claiming to be but for the most part this is normal I mean if you were in an elevator and there was a well dressed man and a person dressed like a bum and who stank you wouldn’t have a judgment in your head you’d be lying if you said otherwise.

  • DrPeril

    Also, that movie. Wow… I mean, wow that’s bad. I can’t even sit through it all I’m so embarrassed for them. What’da bet they jump the gun an release OS 10 Vista style – half now, half later – to avoid becoming completely irrelevant.

    When you have to make a terrible… and wow is it terrible… knock off of a song (which I assume they picked because it was the least expensive to license) begging your customers not to forget you, you’re done.

    That’s not a music video — it’s Blackberry’s death knell.

  • http://twitter.com/randomprice Sol Estravís

    You should come to Argentina. EVERYONE has a blackberry. They are like iPhones in the US. Unbelievable.

    • macboy74

      Yeah I heard that Blackberries were hot in some other countries as well. But in the US I think their done. It’s all about iOS, Android phones and a few thousand windows phones here and there. Then again there are a few BB loyalists here in the US like are douche of a leader.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jomasadi Jose Santos

        In Dominican Republic a lot of people use BB I dont know why!!!!!!!!

      • http://twitter.com/iDavidxr David Rivera

        Because in our country, more advertising for Blackberry, but I keep loving my iPhone.

      • Mitt Ramen-knee

        @macboy74, You said “our Douche of a leader”? I think the only Douche here is you. Loser traitor. Go live in Argentina. And take your BB with you please.

      • macboy74

        When did i ever say i used a BB? Havent had one in 6 years. And since you want to drag politics on to a tech blog that fine by me. Yeah that’s right I said our douche of a leader. If you support his bs you’re a fool. You think this country is in bad shape now vote for Obama again moron. You must be a deadbeat welfare collecting fu*k cause them are the only people that vote for him so you and the other freeloaders can get a free ride.

      • Ray V

        @macboy74: You were the one that initiated talks about politics, don’t put the blame on someone else. Just go back and read what you said. You are so full of hate that it’s probably not healthy for you. Step outside man, have some fresh air or something.

  • http://twitter.com/khoobler Kyle Hoobler

    Blackberry sell to nokia or Samsung they will actually use the tech from it. Apple only makes flagship phones so we wouldn’t see any cool new blackberry styled phones! To all the apple fanboys who will dislike this post get over it

    • philadelphia

      I didn’t understand anything you said.. But I’ll dislike it anyways.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604885391 Richard Borkovec

    Anyone who judges anyone based on a phone, has some serious mental problems that need worked out. BBOS 10 looks pretty promising, but like most people, I think it may be too late. If they teamed up with Nokia, Samsung, and HTC, I think they’d have a bigger chance, but RIM is too stuck in their ways.

  • ExRoot

    Humm…..You are embarrassed by your phone? People need to get a grip!

  • philadelphia

    Watch the BB10 video.. Not too bad. It’s def not iOS but it’s better than android.

  • Dan

    What a ridiculous statement, hiding her phone and afraid to be judged. If it’s that bad, just buy a new phone!

  • juan diego

    In Ecuador too. Everybody has a blackberry, Almost all the south american countries are the same, just because bbm

  • http://twitter.com/A_zoel M. Abdurrahman Faruq

    here in Indonesia, someone has pictured us as Blackberry country, one person can have 3 blackberrys. One for his girlfriend, his job, and for his family. awkward indeed, when I tried to forcing everyone using android or iphone, I just called a retard :(

    yap, I think it is because our country has a suck internet service, RIM server is a lot better delivering message than our own operator servers delivering whatsapp message :(

    • angelo andreean

      hahaha i agree with you, i only think my blackberry as an obligatory chat phone. because if we don’t have blackberry here in Indonesia, we surely will have a hard time to communicate nowadays. even house maid use blackberry these days..

      another thing about why Indonesian still sticking with blackberry is because it is way cheaper. besides iPhone is very expensive here, the release time is very late, maybe about 4-5 months different with US ? and most people here see a touch screen phone as a complicated device to use.

      and i do very agree with the internet service. lol it is surely suckssss.

  • http://twitter.com/BlazedKingTut Andrew ☜☆☞ Forbes

    in jamaica And many Other Carribean Islands The BlackBerry Is The Golden Device… But After the 9700 i Was Done With Blackberry… IPhone all the way

  • http://twitter.com/therealjdizzle Jason Masters

    Wow the first video was total shit looked like a ten year old videotaped it the second and third probably the most boring presentations ever for anything and the features were so weak and so late it is pretty much obsolete and the last video was just plain fucking creepy and pathetic they should just sell now while they have some pride after this failure of a release they will most likely be bankrupt

  • William Worlde

    I am a Canadian and I HATE BlackBerries! Why? IT IS TOO DAMN EFFICIENT A PRODUCT!
    Working in the support world it kept the crew functional late into the day, super early on mornings, and on weekends too. Heck, whenever our dumbass boss felt like it!
    Anyway, I got on the iP bandwagon with the 3GS and surprises – or lack thereof – are a funny thing. The iP5 is one of the most under-inspiring devices I’ve ever seen! IMO, it is a major fail, but not by sales. Apple’s marketing machine is too powerful to allow that. As I read Endgadget, iDownloadBlog, etc., it’s amazing that I now skip ANYTHING pertaining to Apple post iP5! The company is just not saying anything interesting anymore. They used to lead, like BB, now they’re playing a lousy game of catchup. Yep, I know I don’t have $XXXB, but my 3GS contributed to that; now no more. Funny thing this Economics…
    It is a damn shame that Canadians don’t shout as loud as other nations – about almost any damn thing! On the other hand, we have this kind of dumb smugness: We are great; they’ll see that; they’ll come to us. This is why BB is failing. It failed to get on the touchscreen bandwagon, or advertise over and over and over again that the American president relies on a BB to communicate the world’s most powerful nation – after China of course – “secret” info. And they keep delivering late and pushing back dates; WTF!
    Sorry to say, but ANY company that continue to operate this way deserves to die. It’s not that their product is not good, but good ole Canadian smugness and repeatedly taking their user-base for granted did them in. What’s that saying? Evolve or die. Apple reinvented itself with shiny products, but they too are not infallible. The new technology writing is definitely on the wall…

    • PeterBlood

      The iP5 is terrific and hardly a FAIL as millions of other users can attest to. You don’t know what the heck you’re talking about.

  • mwpitt52

    I do feel sorry for anyone that pulls out a Blackberry!

  • PeterBlood

    A few swipe trix wont save this Dead Company Walking.

  • http://twitter.com/arskka ArthurT

    To late BB

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1317709876 Julian Ggl

    worst presentations ever! :-& Forcing people to applause!

  • Xia

    Oh lame people, a thing exists called ‘self confidence’, ashamed of a smart phone? For gods sake I felt as proud as I still do when I held my Nokia black and white cellphone and now a white iPhone 4S.
    People just get impressed, that’s it.

  • max

    Blackberry’s os became boring and outdated and the handset’s became stale. It kind of seems to me that Apple would be heading down the same path as BB if they don’t up their game…i’m jst saying!!!

  • Nabeel Ahmed

    Well people have BB surely complain about the battery life dying on them in the middle of the day .

  • http://www.facebook.com/masonicninja Michael Scott Allen

    Lots of RIM hatred…. shame. I was a BB user until I took a job in an all iPhone company. I had to switch because the NetAdmin wouldn’t set up a BB mail interface for me alone. I never blamed him, so I switched to a 3GS. I’ve been wanting to get back to BB because frankly, iOS has stopped moving. There’s nothing truly new about it nor the iPhone 5. Sure it’s faster, but when you get right down to it, it’s still the same iOS interface that has needed to be revamped for five years. Apple won’t make the changes to iOS that would make it more usable either because they’ve established their interface as the face of that brand. iOS isn’t ever going to change so forget widgets, live tiles or other useful information because it’s not going to happen. Saying BB is dead is stupid and shortsighted. Don’t count them out yet. This is some good stuff here and they could still surprise you..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jerry-Rojas/772535724 Jerry Rojas

    You should come to Guatemala, everyone has a blackberry, because bbm.
    I don´t understand why!? but i have an ipad an iphone and i have to use blackberry because my friends.

  • aandrew

    I have a blackberry and it is absolutely terrible. I hate it. The competition isn’t so great its just that blackberries are very bad phones