Why I’m keeping my Blackberry a bit longer: a user’s rant

I am tired of reading snarky analysts who deride the Blackberry. I know what’s happening with the company, I read the papers. I know about their co-CEO hubris, lack of foresight, and how the visionaries at Apple told the public what they needed to buy, changed the paradigm, and how the iPhone has revolutionised the world; I can recite much of the hagiography of Steve Jobs easily.

Blackberry-or whatever it morphs into next-will soon be pickled in an HBR column of ‘what-ifs’ and ‘lessons learned’. Today’s FT shows a graph of its demise, a smaller shadow graph of the Palm underneath. Not pretty. So be it, that’s the way the system works.

But I plan on using my Blackberry for some time.

I have a business, and can ill afford to be off-line anywhere (like many of us). Most of my communication is (yes, I know.) through email, the balance is texting, phone and skype.

Not social media. EMAIL

And you know what, folks? The Blackberry works a damn sight better for email than the iPhone or Galaxy. Is this some dirty little secret that no one wants to say out loud? Oh, and yes, the battery lasts much longer too, but that’s another paradigmatic issue.

I’m able to write more cogent or longer email replies on the Blackberry than I can on iPhone or Android. Am I more adept at it? Maybe, but the one-finger approach doth not lend itself to emails on a phone, for which Blackberry owns the market, full stop.

Perhaps if I used my phone for multiple apps, movies, music, games, or social discourse, I’d eat my words. But I don’t watch movies on it, or take many pictures, play games with it, nor have a facebook page to write on.

I work on it, and the push of emails makes it easier to use than even whipping out an iPad.

I have it set to wake me up each morning, look at the time on it rather than use a watch, it provides the search engines when I need to use them, and the phone volume and reception are just fine.

It is a terrific business tool, and I have no plans to give it up. At some point down the road I’m sure it will become obsolete, but c’mon, it’s not like I’m driving a Corvair..

So to all the smug bloviators out there who wonder why anyone would still use a Blackberry, scale it back a notch. I may work anachronistically, but for me it’s a rational business decision, driven by substance rather than style.


Written by Neal Horwitz, President of Henry Hale Maguire


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