Why I won’t be going back to BlackBerry from iPhone
March 23, 2013No Comments
After using BlackBerry phones for years before switching to an iPhone, I was intrigued to see whether the Z10 could tempt me back. But glitches and a lack of apps left me cold.
My story begins back in the spring of 2010, when I first became a BlackBerry user. Two years and four BlackBerrys later, battling the urge to dropkick my phone into outer space had become a daily struggle. Reader, I gave in — I bought an iPhone.
I wasn’t the only one, either. RIM — or just plain old BlackBerry, as it’s now known — was beset by one crisis after another, and watched its worldwide market share dip dramatically.
BlackBerry 10 launched in January and, despite being massively overdue, was supposed to revive the company’s fortunes and prove that it could still be innovative and relevant in the smartphone world. BlackBerry has previously been brazenly confident about BB10, making all manner of claims about the new operating system and accompanying batch of phones, not least that it will ”win” against iOS and Android.
So far things aren’t looking great for the Z10, which came out in the U.K. in February. Despite BlackBerry claiming the phone had had “the best launch ever,” it slashed the price of the handset a mere month later.
According to Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, the success of BB10 will be partly reliant on whether it’s able to lure back former BlackBerry users – such as myself — who have drifted. Perhaps, then, I should give the Z10 a chance, I decided, and see if the time had come when I’d be happy to go back to BlackBerry.
The BlackBerry years
I was poor, I was in need of a smartphone, and I felt left out because all my friends used BBM, the free BlackBerry-to-BlackBerry messaging service. Your first smartphone — even if it’s not brilliant — changes everything. Having the Internet in my pocket was a 10-year-long dream finally realized. Sure, the gadget was slow and finicky to use, but it was also a revelation.
Things quickly turned sour between BlackBerry and me, though.
Over the course of the next two years I used two Curves and two Torches. Being tied into a BlackBerry contract meant that even on the more high-end devices, I was lumbered with 2G “BlackBerry Internet” — a service so slow that I would frequently reach for my phone, then put it down again, weary with the thought of how long a task would inevitably take me. I endured poor battery life, the “white screen of death,” and had to perform regular battery pulls.
Within a couple of weeks of me acquiring it, the first Torch I used, the 9800, fell victim to acommon Torch problem with no fix — it wouldn’t charge, and it wouldn’t turn on. The 9810 fared a little better, but for a premium phone, I found build quality to be very poor. Decent apps and games were scarce, and the menu systems and built-in applications quickly started to look dated, uninspired, and charmless compared with the ones on rivals. I was reviewing phones far better than my own, and I needed something with a decent camera for work.