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Black Sheep Blackberry Blackballed By Business 349

Hugh Pickens writes "Nicole Perlroth writes that the BlackBerry, once proudly carried by the high-powered and the elite, has become a magnet for mockery and derision from those with iPhones and the latest Android phones. as Research in Motion clings to less than 5 percent of the smartphone market — down from a dominating 50 percent just three years ago. One of the first steps Marissa Mayer took as Yahoo's newly appointed chief executive to remake the company's stodgy image was to trade in employees' BlackBerrys for iPhones and Androids and although BlackBerrys may still linger in Washington, Wall Street and the legal profession, in Silicon Valley they are as rare as a necktie. BlackBerry outcasts say that, increasingly, they suffer from shame and public humiliation as they watch their counterparts mingle on social networking apps that are not available to them, take higher-resolution photos, and effortlessly navigate streets — and the Internet — with better GPS and faster browsing."
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Black Sheep Blackberry Blackballed By Business

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  • Of the three (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bigbutt ( 65939 ) on Monday October 22, 2012 @08:37AM (#41727463) Homepage Journal

    I used a Blackberry since I got to my place of work 5 years ago. A few months ago it was traded in for an Android RAZR. On the personal front, I bought an iPhone 3GS 2 or 3 years ago.

    For consistent reliable access to company e-mail and alerts from the monitoring system, the Blackberry wins hands down no question. On the Android, we've had alerts not show up for hours and at other times, the alerts repeat every few minutes. The Blackberry is inherently part of the system for getting e-mail. On the Android I have to use a third party app ("Good"). If the app bails, I don't get any further e-mail until I log back in to the app. The Blackberry would last 5 days without having to charge it. I have to plug in the Android phone every single morning. And the battery's anywhere from 5% to 90% charged when I plug it in. At 5% it takes 4 hours or so to charge back up to "Charged".

    The thing I dislike about both the iPhone and the Android are the virtual keyboards. Nothing is more frustrating for me than having to look at the damned keyboard while I type and still I get garbage in the message. Even worse, on the iPhone the autocompletion can be so frustrating that I have to put the phone away or I'll throw it as far as I can. I've bounced it off the carpet more than once over the past year. The Blackberry had an actual keyboard and I seldom made the mistakes I make on the Android/iPhone devices.

    Back after I got the Blackberry, I was thinking about getting one for personal use. I kept putting it off because I had such a hard time surfing the 'net. Having to spin the little ball and press on it to click was annoying, not always staying where I pointed when I clicked so I'd click on some different link. And that's assuming I could even get to the site. It's the primary reason I went with the iPhone. The web surfing worked so much better than the Blackberry. And I was able to get all my e-mail in one place.

    But you know, on the Blackberry, work e-mail and SMS alerts worked with very few issues. If I had my choice right now, I'd go back to my old Blackberry.


  • by tgd ( 2822 ) on Monday October 22, 2012 @08:45AM (#41727523)

    WTF is this world coming to if someone can be "shamed and humiliated" because of what type of phone they have?

    People were shamed and humiliated by the sneakers they wore in the 80's.

    Shame and humiliation over points of differentiation between people has been going on as long as there's been people.

    Hell, most life does it. You wouldn't get natural selection if you didn't have one life form looking down on others for one thing or another. "Oh, your feathers aren't poofy enough, you must be a lousy father!"

  • Re:So fucking what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Monday October 22, 2012 @09:32AM (#41727899) Journal
    Oh, a "business tool", that sounds so professional

    Business email may have a few different requirements (security and all that), but functionally it really isn't all that different from private email. Perhaps that is why people expect their phones to handle both kinds of email in the same manner. BB does this, but apparently other smartphones do a better job. At my client's office, managers have a corporate BB but can also get their business email and calendar on their iPhone or Android. Most of them have ditched the BB as a result, and keep in mind that these aren't your most geeky users; their primary use for their phone is making calls, checking appointments, and reading email.

    I am seeing the same trend in other areas of IT as well: what's on the consumer market is often far better than what we're using in business... and there really are few good reasons why we shouldn't have the same stuff in business either.
  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Monday October 22, 2012 @09:42AM (#41727981)

    If you want a no nonsense device with a physical keyboard and superior email and message handling, a BB is still the best.

    "No nonsense"? Have you actually used a Blackberry? They do a few things rather well but overall they are almost obnoxiously annoying to use. I'll take any of the better Android phones or an iPhone over any Blackberry any day of the week. My mother uses a fairly recent BB and good grief is it irritating. Oh it can email fine but heaven forbid you want to do anything besides messaging with it including changing settings.

    You also have to remember that the devices it is competing against are general purpose computers which happen to be able to make calls. The BB still is in a world where email is the so-called killer app. Things have changed and just email isn't enough anymore. Even if we concede that the BB is better at dealing with email and messaging, the difference is marginal for most people. The advantages of the BB don't even come close to outweighing its deficiencies.

  • Re:So fucking what? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:42AM (#41729165)

    You're drinking somebody's Kool Aid if you honestly believe that. I had been a BB user for years and switched to an Android phone earlier this year. While it blows BB devices away in most all things, it utterly *fails* to have a decent email client.

    After trying a bunch of 3rd party clients (including k-9 mail, ProfilMail, aquamail , even dinked around with using gmail instead), I was surprised to find some of the basic features the BB client enjoyed (like filtering by subject/address/etc) were absent from most of them. Others had such a ridiculous interface I forgot I was using an android phone.

    I'm using Maildroid now, which is the best one I've found so far. It does most all I require, but it is a paid app, unless you don't mind advertising in your email client. If there's one thing Android needs to improve on, is a solid default email client.

  • Too big to fail (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Monsting ( 2758253 ) on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:52AM (#41729309)
    I had a business meeting at the RIM office in Toronto in late 2005. I asked the lead technical guy i met with casually after we had rounded up after the session, when they were planning on launching a camera with their phone, not really expecting an answer. The answer I got I will never forget. "Why would RIM want to add a camera to its phones, we make business products, not consumer gadgets". In hindsight, RIM had likely already started adding a camera to their coming phones in development projects, but this relatively senior guy must have been unaware of it. But it was quite telling to me and showed clearly the mentality of a company which had found it niche and business model and refused to innovate.

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie