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