Bye, Bye Blackberry; Here Come the Squiddies.

I can still remember the first time I held a Blackberry in my hand. I got that same adrenaline rush as I did when I saw The Matrix for the first time. Whoa! This is something so. very. different.

"Do you want the red pill...or the blue pill?"

I will never forget that opening scene, with Trinity running away from the guys in suits and thinking, oh, she’s the villain. And then, suddenly, everything goes down the rabbit hole.

Could ANYONE have played Neo but Keanu Reeves?

With all the remakes and rehash and blah blah blah of Hollywood, The Matrix blasted everything else out of the water. For awhile. Until Matrix Reloaded opened, and the thrill was kind of gone. There were glimmers of creativity and innovation, but I just got the impression that the Wachowski brothers might have been in the counting house counting all their money instead of on an impassioned mission to create cinematic history for a second time.

Looks can be deceiving. These guys are responsible for The Matrix. (image from heyuguys.co.uk)

And I wonder if that’s the same thing that happened with my beloved Blackberry.

Again, looks can be deceiving: Mike Lazaridis, visionary founder of Research in Motion (image from ideacity.com)

No one is more Crackberry about their Blackberry than me. I literally – not figuratively – sleep with mine beneath my pillow. Wouldn’t want to miss anything, right? Steve Jobs may have been a god, but I really challenge you iPhoners out there to tell me you prefer your virtual keyboard to Blackberry’s beloved Qwerty keyboard – that you can actually type on!

The very first Blackberry, introduced in 1997, was actually a two-way pager with a full keyboard (image from trendycellular.com)

I thought my Blackberry love affair would go on forever. But a couple of Christmases ago I got that queasy feeling that all was not right in the world. Research in Motion was apparently not in motion at all. Apple was parading new iPhones right and left, yet there was no new Blackberry device on the market for the holidays! While techies all over the world spent Christmas morning ignoring their families while they explored their shiny new iPhones, there I sat, bereft and betrayed. And how was that fuddy-duddy  Brickbreaker supposed to stand up to apps like Angry Birds?

Angry Birds debuted in 2009 and had 500 million downloads by 2011

The writing on the wall was as clear as a Qwerty keyboard. Blackberry had betrayed me. I sold my RIM stock, but since I am that person who writes novellas for emails, I could not bring myself to go over to the dark side and the arrogance of the iPhone’s predictive text intrusions. I was no Cypher. I still believed, deep down inside, that, like Neo, Blackberry was “the one”.

And yet, who wouldn't give it all up for a thick, juicy steak? (image from brotherpeacemaker.wordpress.com)

I hung on through the dreaded “pearl” trackball phase, when the tiniest grain of lint would lodge beneath the pearl and render the device unusable. And I survived the “Storm“and took the “Tour” in stride. But everything changed after I got my latest Blackberry Bold 9930. It is twitchier than Agent Smith in the subway fight with Neo. The cursor jumps all over the place while I’m typing. It seizes up and freezes up at will and many a nail I’ve broken doing the battery re-set to shake it out of its glitchy trance. Like the Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions, it is not just a disappointment, but a betrayal. Yes, I’m looking at you, Wachowski Brothers and Research in Motion!

My current Blackberry 9930: glitchy as all get out! (image from engadget.com)

The last several months have seen the predictable denouement for RIM. Too little, too late. Massive power outages last fall. A less-than-stellar Blackberry Playbook tablet  stumbled onto the market. Founder Lazaridis and co-CEO Jim Balsillie were fired in January, 2012. RIM stock has plunged 75% in the last year. Does anyone else think it’s ironic that RIM headquarters are based in Waterloo, Ontario?

Seems to me that the squiddies have surrounded the ship.

A sentinel, or "squiddy" from The Matrix

There’s talk of a buyout, a takeover, whatever. But at this point, who would really want RIM? As the Wall Street Journal aptly put it, “The question is whether a potential acquirer like Microsoft will want to catch a falling knife.” RIM is apparently betting the ranch on the new Blackberry 10 OS, but all I see is that brick wall that appears when Mouse is frantically trying to escape.

No escape? (image from ryanray.com)

There are still a few cockeyed optimists around, I guess, since RIM’s stock surged 7% on Friday. But I’m not one of them. I’m like Switch, sad and stoic, pretty sure the plug is about to be pulled, shaking her head and saying “Not like this. Not like this.”

Switch, I don't think the gun will help at this point. (image from oocities.org)

Hey, I know it’s hard to hear, especially if you’re a true blue Blackberry aficionado like me. But as Cypher said, “Don’t hate me…I’m just the messenger.”

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
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5 Responses to Bye, Bye Blackberry; Here Come the Squiddies.

  1. And there you have it folks, the only known written piece weaving the dying Blackberry brand into the Matrix. I was waiting with keen anticipation for the chicken theme to be introduced, possibly under the guise of labeling all past Blackberry users who refused to jump to their next product, but alas, this did not occur. Or the Angry Birds could really have been…….

    • Katherine says:

      I think the link can be discovered if you play the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game:

      Keanu Reeves (was in)
      The Matrix (with)
      Laurence Fishburne (who was also in)
      Mystic River (with)
      Kevin Bacon (and bacon is a natural breakfast companion to)
      Eggs!

  2. jess says:

    I miss my old Blackberry from 2007….but the “updates” back then couldn’t keep up, and like you, I experienced nothing but headaches, lost data, heartaches, and frustration from each subsequent “upgrade”. I only put up with that for two years (you’re a trooper), and I’ve been iPhone trigger happy since 2009 before the fire. While I still miss the keyboard (in my view, the only selling point to the Blackberry these days, when it works), I don’t think I would now go back, even IF it blew the roof off the coop and exceeded all expectations.

    I think you’ve weaned your way into the non-Blackberry land, with your iPad and multiple other endeavours. I will tell you that in my work field, the number of co-workers and clients who use Blackberries has dropped IMMENSELY. I cannot even remember a client I’ve seen in the recent past who had one, when they used to be the only thing I would see. Sad, but true….and one day we may (will) be re-writing this with our now- or future-must-haves.

    Miss you guys and hope to see you soon. Tarty party?

  3. Hail Steve Jobs. iHeart my iPhone.

  4. tdevir says:

    Great post! I gave up my blackberry years ago… When it comes to surfing the web iPhones rock!

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