Most people like their phone, and they like it so much they want every other phone manufacturer to fail.

The “tech chat” seems to have been predicting the death of BlackBerry and Research in Motion for years, all the more noticeable to me since I got my first Blackberry almost two years ago.

My requirement for a phone prior to getting my BlackBerry was limited only to the ability to make phone calls, something a previous Sony struggled with.

The BlackBerry 10 at the launch event: AP
The BlackBerry 10 at the launch event: AP

Once I discovered the Blackberry keyboard however, I started doing so much more work on the move. Several parts of my Firstpost columns and one entire one were composed on my phone. Could I do that on another smart phone?

Probably, but I like my current choice.

So the official, long-awaited and even longer-overdue launch of the Blackberry 10 operating system and the Z10 and Q10 handsets was of personal interest. Do I have access to a trial one? No. Did the preview wow me? Not entirely, but I still want one.

Most phones, despite the supposed zings, bangs and whistles, are pretty much the same these days. There’s only so large a screen can get before you’re holding a tablet to the side of your head. There’s only so high-res a camera can get before there’s only room for one saved image. And you can generally only play one game at a time.

Blackberry still doesn’t have as many apps as the iPhone or Android, but excuse me if I don’t need to spend hundreds on apps or play Angry Birds (which will be available on BB10, just to be clear).

Yet, as much as I might be a fan of my Blackberry, I’m hardly going to condemn or insult the choices of others. The point of choice and individuality is that you don’t have to do what everyone else does.

I might be a Mac user, but I’m not going to stand in line at 5am to be the first to get the next edition of the iMonkey.

For others, Blackberry bashing is a sport, and not a very intelligent one.

This assessment from one Daily Telegraph blogger is downright insulting:

“Blackberry is a dying brand, living out its death throes mostly being used by low-value customers. Poor youths in the first world are enticed by its free BBM messaging, but people who are dissuaded from spending a penny on a text are not really the people you want using your phone, especially when they use it to advertise looting hot spots.”

So, poor youths aren’t welcome, people who don’t buy apps aren’t welcome and people who use Blackberry are probably planning to commit a crime.

If you want a world with only one, or maybe two phone companies simply so that you, as a member of the media, can reduce everything to a battle for the telephoning soul of every person on the planet, then you must have a sad life.

These are generally the same analysts who would be explicitly against communism or socialism the grounds of being devout capitalists calling for Darwinian competition. Officially they want competition; secretly they lust for one winner to rule them all.

In the evolutionary sense, Blackberry is suffering, but there are plenty of species that survive regardless of the numbers. There are, apparently, 80 million Blackberry users – certainly not as
many as Android or iPhone fans. But 80 million is still 80 million.

RIM has made far too many business mistakes and Blackberry 10 is about two years too late. But writing off the company and its users would be an even bigger mistake.

Always a fan of the underdog, the more my friends and colleagues abandon BlackBerry for the alternatives of the masses, the more I want to stick with RIM – and not just because we’re both Canadian.So, when I’m due an upgrade in a few months, I’ll happily try out Blackberry 10 and let the chips fall where they may. If it lets me type, browse, update and make calls, then I’ll be happy.

Maybe that makes me “low-value”.

Publish date: January 31, 2013 9:55 am| Modified date: January 31, 2013 9:55 am

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