In reading through stuff on Mashable, it came to my attention that RIM, who make the BlackBerry, still exists as a company. I sort of assumed after I had done some rather successful shorting of their stock, when you could still do that as a non-institutional investor, back in 2008-9, that they’d be completely bankrupt by now. I was a big BlackBerry user when the competition was Palm and Windows CE, having even been the owner of a Quark back in the day, but they failed to innovate. Canada’s tech industry are clearly influenced by the Amish… It’s as if technology is great up to a point (in their case 2003 not 1850), then you can never add to it. After going through 4 ‘Storms’ in a fortnight, when they came out in the fall of 2008 without getting one that worked, I like most people said, ‘this sucks’ and bought an iPhone.
Now, this company, valued at $9 per share (I really should have kept that short position), is not only going private to be broken-up but is also bringing BlackBerry Messenger to iPhones and Androids (for people who seemingly have pockets big enough for a phone sized for 2003). Why? Honestly, who cares about BBM? It’s 2013, and the First World moved on last decade.
I had one friend who had to use a company provided BlackBerry until last year; they switched to iPhone 5’s. He was the last person in the US, other than Barack Obama, who used a Blackberry. Right, that may be overstating it, but I have 4 messaging clients installed on my iPhone. I communicate with friends around the world for free using these apps, so why would I want to pay for another one that works with a phone no one I would want to communicate with via instant message uses?
Alright, that’s not fair… I do occasionally get a few emails with a mobile signature saying it was sent by a BlackBerry from more distant contacts. Of course, that was always the point of the damned things: text email. BBM was an afterthought, and like most of the other messaging clients it’s monitored by the NSA. FaceTime and iMessage, which are built into my iPhone, iPad and this Mac apparently have not yet been cracked. Maybe they will be hacked by them in the future, but for now we’re safe from Snowden and friends. Sure Whatsapp isn’t secure at all, but I only ever use that to communicate with a few people who sold their soul to Google. Needless to say, I just don’t send anything risqué or non-PC to an Android user, and I don’t keep BlackBerry users in my phonebook.
Clearly, I won’t be bothering to waste any of my frivolously unlimited LTE bandwidth downloading BBM. No, I’ll be too busy using an iPhone as an iPhone; utilizing apps that allow me to do just about anything you can think of on a tiny computer, which actually fits in the pocket of my jeans. Funnily enough, RIM once made a BlackBerry that almost fit in a pocket: they called it the Pearl, I had one in 2006, it never could quite sync with a Pre-Intel Mac, and it kinda sucked as a BlackBerry. I would have to swap the SIM into an old Motorola Razr to go out with just phone, card, ID, and cash, which more-or-less defeated the purpose of having a smartphone. Having just made that statement, I’m apparently quite old, and even I don’t give a crap about BBM for iPhone. RIM is clearly going the way of the Dodo, and nobody I know cares.