RIM, you're dead to me now

CNET's Jim Kerstetter, a longtime BlackBerry user, has stuck up for you for years. Now he feels betrayed.

Commentary I can't believe you did this, RIM.

I've stuck up for you for years. When the iPhone came out, I said, "Looks great, but what kind of security does it have?" When Google and its posse of handset makers started selling quite lovely smart phones, I said, "OK, sure, but what about network reliability?" And when Microsoft came out with its new Windows Phone stuff, I said--well, actually I didn't really say anything at all.

RIM tweets about BlackBerry outages.
RIM tweets about BlackBerry outages. Twitter; screenshot by Larry Dignan/ZDNet

I've endured taunting by my wife, as she caressed her precious iPhone. I've tried to explain to my daughter when she asked why my phone doesn't have cool games like her mother's phone, that my BlackBerry is a work tool, you see, and I have no time for such things. I've even endured the giggles of coworkers who can't believe I'm such a fuddy duddy, sticking with you. "For God's sakes," they say, "embrace the future." And when things got rough with the other families, I even sent you to Vegas to learn the casino business.

But this gaffe, this is too much. I woke up yesterday and did the first thing I always do: I went to my BlackBerry to check my e-mail. This simple act is, mind you, very important to me. Has a big story broken overnight? Is there a crisis I need to deal with? I'm sure I'm not the only person who does this every morning.

And you know what I saw? That's right, nada, nothing since about 5:30 PT (I'm sure other people experienced slightly different outages). I waited. I saw your apologies on Twitter and on your site. And on TV. I appreciated that you care. Really, I did. I'd have appreciated it a lot more if you didn't go down for more than a half a day, of course.

Here's the thing about BlackBerry users: We're people who, at least when it comes to our phones, appreciate function over form. We've stuck with our little, not terribly stylish bricks because they worked. They didn't drop calls at bad moments. The e-mail came in and was easy to access. The point was simplicity, lack of worry. It just worked.

Can I really say that now?

Last night, before I went to bed, I saw my e-mail reappearing on my phone and hoped, really hoped, that even more new e-mails would be there in the morning. They were. Thank you for that. And I'm sure a few million government employees, along with President Obama (I think), were happy to walk into the office this morning a little better informed about what their day was going to bring.

But this may have put me over the edge. You broke my heart, RIM. You made me look all kinds of foolish. Saturday morning, I'll be looking for a new phone . I won't be visiting the BlackBerry section.

 

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