Oh, BlackBerry. You used to be my CrackBerry. Now you my WaybackBerry. Ain’t that WackBerry?
You gather dust in the winter of your years, hanging out in my Sentimental Dead Electronics Bin along with a DVI cable, an old TiVo box, a tower PC, a DVD-RW recorder. OK, that last one never really did me any good. But still… *sniff*. You know?
Fact is, I never really liked my BlackBerry. It was my first “smartphone,” but it never felt very smart to me. More like obstinate. Stubborn. Unresponsive. Difficult. Cranky. Stuffy.
I didn’t enjoy my BlackBerry, I just depended on it. Too much, as it turned out. It was always crashing, the browser sucked, the little rollerball mouse thing would stick and/or stop working, and I always felt kinda square carrying it, like I was a business traveler on a layover at the Charlotte airport. Even Diplo couldn’t make the little bugger cool. Although I’m not so sure Diplo’s all that cool either.
InformationWeek has been covering BlackBerry since the early days, the pre-9/11 days, back when it used a proprietary wireless network and there were no such things as app stores and cars cost a nickel. They’ve been through the good times, the bad times, the salad days when so many white-collar cube jockeys were given BlackBerries by their IT departments. The days before “bring your own device,” when obsessive security trumped ease of use.
IW columnist Randy Siegel, in his article “BlackBerry: The Fax Machine Of Its Era,” digs a grave for BlackBerry and proceeds to bury it alive:
Just as the BlackBerry is dependent on existing corporate infrastructure, the fax is dependent on telephone system infrastructure. The resulting technology is clever and works per se, but is ultimately limited because it is not an open system that is holistic in nature and/or flexible enough to deal with additional applications.
Because of its propriety architecture and limited capabilities to interoperate, BlackBerry seems destined to join past IT innovation heavyweights such as Wang, DEC, Palm, AOL and many others.
Don’t be sad. The old bastard had its day, and its way, with us. It forever changed the way we communicate.
You know, like AOL.