Now all they need is about 590-million more people just like him.
Though BlackBerry’s smartphone sales have fallen to less than one per cent of the global market, the company seems curiously unwilling to let the fight with former rival Apple go. On its own blog today, the Waterloo-based device maker reprinted a testimonial from fansite CrackBerry. The self-described rant was from a fan who strayed from the company’s devices, tried the competition, and then decided to get back in black.
Texas police officer Patrick Collins says he was encouraged by friends to toss his BlackBerry and “get out of the caveman age” by trying the iPhone 5s. He writes about how he sold his BlackBerry Classic on Craigslist and dove headlong into the world of Apple fanboyism. He described his feeling after opening the box on the new (to him) device.
“Initially, I was impressed,” says Collins. “It seemed easy to enter info and setup new accounts and enter calendar dates, etc. Man it was breath of fresh air to open up the appstore and know that any app I can imagine was not only there, but made specifically for this phone. So, for the briefest of moments, I was happy. Then two, three, and four weeks passed, and boy, did those weeks of heavy daily use bring out the true colors of the almighty iPhone.”
The Texan says it wasn’t long before he had the distinct feeling that the emperor had no clothes.
“These iPhone people have been had,” he says bluntly.
“The operating system is numbingly simple. The lack of customization compared to the BlackBerry is insane for a phone I thought was for the artsy hipster crowd. If you want a personalized ringtone, you better be willing to buy one. If you want to use any Gmail accounts, you better be willing to use the old fashion ‘fetch’ feature since ‘push’ is not available for Gmail addresses. For those that don’t know, ‘fetch’ does not immediately notify you if you receive an email. It instead ‘fetches’ it on predetermined time-intervals, which also drains the already terrible battery.”
Collins says he was also bothered by things such as the inability of the iPhone to open a pdf attachment, trouble with themes and privacy settings, and even trouble setting the volume to the alarm. He says his weeks with the iPhone to him contradict BlackBerry’s unhip image.
“Now, I can give a good chuckle when someone says ’get out of the stone-age’, knowing they have a very attractive, and well marketed, inferior device,” he says.
The testimonial lends further fuel to the “will they or won’t they” question about BlackBerry’s ongoing intent to play in the hardware business. Many saw the BlackBerry’s Android-powered Priv as a sign that the company was nearing the end of its ambitions around making mobile devices themselves, if its ongoing moves into the Internet of Things and Mobile Device Management spaces hadn’t already done so.
Cormark analyst Richard Tse, who currently has a “Buy (Speculative)” rating on BlackBerry says he thinks the company will likely shut down its hardware business in the next year-and-a-half, a move he thinks could immediately drive $0.60 to $0.80 of EPS to the company’s bottom line.
What is clear is that the smartphone business has become a bad one for anyone not named Apple. The Cupertino-based company may have a rival in the form of Samsung in total device sales, a more important metric shows just how dominant it has become. With an average sale price near the (U.S.) $700 mark, Apple pulls more than 90 per cent of the profit from handsets produced worldwide. Surely, BlackBerry sees greener pasture elsewhere.