Back at the dawn of this century, and years before the iPhone ruined everything, the Blackberry was king of the hill. It was the device that democratised mobile email and business communications. In fact, it unwittingly set the ground-work for the “always on” existence that plagues us today.
It’s vice-like grip on email and BBM, the secure chat app, combined with that dinky little keyboard, topped off with epic battery life made it the dominant player in the emerging Smartphone marketplace. That following only increased as it became the darling of older school kids in the late zeroes.
However, last week saw the final, miserable end of the device, although in reality it hasn’t been a proper Blackberry for five years. The take, I suppose, is that the fall from hero to zero is often as steep as the rise. Today, except the diehards and nostalgic twenty-somethings, most don’t even remember the device. It’s forgotten entirely.
The Blackberry slid into irrelevance due to the Apple iPhone, with it’s virtual keyboard, touch screen, and app store. Whilst they are both ostensively communication devices, the Blackberry was quite clearly rooted in corporate-style, monochrome communications of the 20th century, whilst the Apple iPhone was arguably the first 21st century invention, and full of awe and cooless. It was hipster long before hipster became cool, and then uncool again.
Farewell little friend