The BlackBerry as Black Sheep
By NICOLE PERLROTH October 15, 2012
Rachel Crosby speaks about her BlackBerry phone the way someone might speak of an embarrassing relative.
"I'm ashamed of it," said Ms. Crosby, a Los Angeles sales representative who said she had stopped pulling out her BlackBerry at cocktail parties and conferences. In meetings, she says she hides her BlackBerry beneath her iPad for fear clients will see it and judge her.
The BlackBerry was once proudly carried by the high-powered and the elite, but those who still hold one today say the device has become a magnet for mockery and derision from those with iPhones and the latest Android phones. Research in Motion may still be successful selling BlackBerrys in countries like India and Indonesia, but in the United States the company is clinging to less than 5 percent of the smartphone market - down from a dominating 50 percent just three years ago. The company's future all depends on a much-delayed new phone coming next year; meanwhile RIM recorded a net loss of $753 million in the first half of the year compared with a profit of more than $1 billion a year earlier.
Among the latest signs of the loss of cachet: 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. BlackBerrys may still linger in Washington, Wall Street and the legal profession, but in Silicon Valley they are as rare as a necktie.
As the list shrinks of friends who once regularly communicated using BlackBerry's private messaging service, called BBM, many a BlackBerry owner will not mince words about how they feel about their phone.
..***** Moderator's Note *****
I'm no longer following fashion: is Salmon going to be this year's color again? Have hemlines gone up, or down? Are immature children still buying electronic devices based on what the local thought-leader says is "in" this week?
Bill Horne Moderator