Walking through a shopping centre the other day I heard a distinctive cellphone ping that brought the memories flooding back and thought: Oh little BlackBerry, I do miss thee.
Remember the time (not so long ago) when the BlackBerry was the ultimate accessory… when people went out for a coffee and would proudly place the BlackBerry in plain sight so everyone could see they had one, people would flash them around at meetings, gleefully sharing their joy with their friends. It was the cellphone that was the first smartphone of choice, that introduced us to WhatsApp, and wasn’t it marvellous that you didn’t have to pay for data all the time?
I remember when I got an upgrade on my contract and moved up to the sexy BlackBerry Curve. Wow, it wasn’t all black but had these shiny, silvery curves and could do more cool stuff. The internet surfing was still crappy but messaging and planning facilities were brilliant. It was light and small and fitted comfortably in the pocket.
But Apple and, more tellingly, Android came on strong and the death knell was sounding for the maverick BlackBerry, at least in this country where it was once so dominant.
It’s remarkable how quick the fall from grace was. Sony, Samsung and Apple led the charge, and whereas many consumers were initially a bit sceptical about Chinese brands, they’re now commonplace, particularly the popular Huaweis.
My only gripe about the BlackBerry was the keyboards with those tiny buttons – a real pain when typing. The modern touch screens are so much easier. Oh ja, and there was that underwhelming internet experience. Yes, the BlackBerry had a lot going for it, but we’ve now transitioned beyond that, and Android does feel like home.
I look back on BlackBerry’s reign with a great deal of nostalgia, perhaps like many did recently at the relaunch of the Nokia 8210 – a brilliant little phone. It’s destined to become a relic, an almost ran… perhaps in 10 years time there’ll be a retro release…