The BlackBerry Is Being Squashed By Apple and Android: Fans Of This Once Dominant Device Are Dwindling

October 18, 2012  |  

Last week, for no reason whatsoever, as I typed a text message, the trackpad on my BlackBerry went berserk. As I tried desperately to find my friend at a packed outdoor event, the cursor just wouldn’t go to the little box so I could write a frantic, “Where r u?!” No matter which direction I ran my finger across the little mouse, the flashing dot went where it wanted to, all over the screen, driving me crazy.

After relaying this to another friend, I was told that this was just one more reason not to have a “bootleg BlackBerry.” One source in this New York Times story says flatly, “I’m ashamed of it,” and claims she won’t let it see the light of day in public places. “I want to take a bat to it,” says another, whose BlackBerry failed to get online after a three-minute wait.

In the U.S. as a whole, the tide has turned in favor of iPhone and Android smartphones. Once the favored device of the corporate elite, the BlackBerry is now the butt of jokes. Even businesspeople are turning elsewhere. The lack of apps, reliable Internet access and quality picture-taking capabilities has driven away users.

Research in Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry, has a new device coming next year, and it couldn’t come soon enough. The company is reporting losses totaling $753 million for the first half of this year.

In response to the Times article, RIM’s CEO Thorsten Heins wrote a letter to the newspaper saying:

I’ve just come from visiting carriers and partners in all parts of the world, and they have told me that there are millions of BlackBerry fans out there who not only find great value in their device, but also pride in being a BlackBerry owner.

…BlackBerry remains the leader in providing security for corporate customers, which is why more than 90 percent of the Fortune 500 rely on BlackBerry.

But the fact is, among consumers, BlackBerry is not the move. Verizon sold 651,000 iPhone 5s in nine days last month. And a quick Google search of Samsung shows that the smartphone war is definitely happening between that company and Apple, with no mention of BlackBerry at all.

Using my insurance, I was able to replace my phone with the malfunctioning trackpad. Of course, they’ve replaced it with the same model BlackBerry. So it’ll be a little while before I’m in the market for a new phone, and in the meantime I’m going to give some thought to what my next move should be. At that point, I think I’ll want to join the rest of my friends and get a phone that can snap cool pics, use Instagram and go online with ease.

Are there any BlackBerry devotees out there? Any suggestions for what sort of phone I should get next?

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