I’ve been using a BlackBerry since 2005. I got hooked as part of the “CrackBerry” generation in Washington, DC, and have gone through scroll wheels, track pads, and touchscreens. I currently have the Bold 9930.
Why am I such a “sucker”? To be sure, I’d be thrilled to get an iPhone. It’s gorgeous. The app ecosystem is unparalleled. And the integration with iCloud and my beloved iPad is tantalizing.
Yet I can’t make the leap for one stubborn reason: when it comes to a phone’s most important facet—its keypad—no one can touch the BlackBerry. For someone like me, who uses a smartphone primarily for email, the ability to type both quickly and accurately is absolutely critical. When I type, I need to think about what I’m saying, not whether I’m making typos (as is the case with my iPad). I need to look forward, not backward. The BlackBerry’s physical keys, curved and tapered, “each one subtly reaching up to meet your thumbs on either side,” as the tech blog Engadget puts it, allow me to do this in a way that I just haven’t found even remotely possible with a touchscreen.
Also, I’m not a fan of unorthodox capitalization or abbreviations, both of which seem more common on phones without a physical keypad. I want full control over my words.
Sure, it’d be wonderful to have a bigger screen, a better camera, more apps, and so on. And carrying a BlackBerry these days is like using an AOL email address: it marks you as dated and uncool. But when I need to respond to an urgent email or draft a memo while stuck on the subway, I have full confidence that my beloved BlackBerry will facilitate these mission-critical tasks.
What about you? Why do you remain with RIM? Share your reasons in the comments.
Addendum (9/18/2012): This post is quoted in today’s Express.
Addendum (9/18/2012): Well, well, well. This may be just the reason I need to take the plunge: a piece of hardware that wraps around the iPhone, equipping it with a physical, BlackBerry-esque keypad.