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BlackBerry Users Can't Stop, Won't Stop


Despite ever-shrinking support and a manufacturer on its deathbed, many BlackBerry users can't give up on their precious devices.

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.

See also:

Google Has Big Plans for Google Now

Tech News: Developers Release Console Game Controllers for iPhone; Disney Adds Twitter's Jack Dorsey to Its Board

Apple Inc.'s China Deal May Not Be a Slam Dunk
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