It was March 2010 when I wrote about the inevitable collapse of BlackBerry
(NASDAQ:BBRY). (See: Why BlackBerry Users Will Defect
Given the meteoric rise of Apple's
(NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone line and the grand debut of Google's
(NASDAQ:GOOG) Motorola Droid just a few months prior, the BlackBerry as we then knew it already began looking stale, stodgy, and antiquated in comparison. And over the course of three and a half long, stubborn, disastrous years, those characteristics only grew more extreme and ingrained.
But despite the company's rock-bottom market share, shriveling coffers, and a reputation that's analogous to the living dead, many BlackBerry users can't bring themselves to switch to a more supported platform and will likely hold onto those tactile keys until the screen finally blinks out.
Thanks to devoted fan sites like CrackBerry
, holdout users still have a place to meet and discuss their devices like a slightly less-depressing version of AA. One forum on the site, in fact, asks commenters to chime in whenever they spot the rare BlackBerry in the wild
. Aside from the occasional appearance on police procedurals, present-day BlackBerry users include Barack Obama and prime minister David Cameron.
There are a few reasons why many BlackBerry users refuse to defect, but one major reason, as offered by law firm partner Roberta Kaplan to the New York Times
, is productivity. "I just can't write a whole paragraph on an iPhone, but I've written 10-page briefs on my BlackBerry," she said
. Art director Robin Zachary agrees, saying she can "type faster than a speeding bullet" with those tactile keys.
Another common trait among users is an admission that they're no longer spring chickens; they feel the technological world is too far gone to catch up. Kaplan admitted that she's "not cool or even retro-cool," and Zachary conceded that there's a party going on on Instagram
(NASDAQ:FB) and she feels "left out."
But 25-year-old law student David Shapiro seems to have summarized the common conceit of modern-day BlackBerry users: Their device is the exact opposite of a status symbol.
"There's a certain frivolity about the iPhone: playing games, watching videos, Pinterest, Snapchat," he said. Shapiro believes that owning a BlackBerry now is a total in-your-face rejection of encroaching technology which, in and of itself, "is its own kind of status thing." A white-collar rebellion, if you will.
So while we could very well be witnessing the final days of BlackBerry, its users will feel like anti-establishment badasses as the Canadian ship finally reaches the ocean floor.
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