After nearly 14 years, I am no longer using a Blackberry.
At the T-Mobile store in Oak Park, IL on Feb. 13, I dropped my two year “relationship” with AT&T and turned off my iPhone 3G and my Blackberry Torch 9800. The salesman and I held a little good-bye ceremony for the Blackberry. And then I fired up my new iPhone 5S. I love it.
Synchronizing the iPhone 5S with my iTunes account was a breeze – including selectively porting over the 10 days of music / 20 GB, 24 hours of podcasts, and 55 apps I have organized on my iTunes database. Think about it — iTunes is one of Apple’s most significant customer retention initiatives.
I will miss Blackberry’s keyboard and its functionality. But that no longer makes up for all the other negatives. Furthermore, I am no longer writing the same number of “War & Peace” emails on my smartphone as I used to. Every type of corporate communication is much more abbreviated now.
One day, Harvard Business School will be doing a business case on the fall of RIM and the Blackberry (if they have not done so already). One thing I know as a marketer is Blackberry never understood individual consumers. They squandered the passion millions of consumers had for their device, from President Obama to Oprah Winfrey to me. The consumer mindset was simply not hardwired into the DNA of Blackberry’s culture or infrastructure. This fact still feels tragic to me.
P.S. A note about my switch from AT&T to T-Mobile: T-Mobile’s “no contact” plan is what sold me to switch, plus I am saving about $25 a month. They have been aggressive in their marketing to get the word out on this plan. It is working for them enough that AT&T is firing back with similar offer. But here’s the deal, my two year contract with AT&T was up on Feb. 8, 2014. Did the company ever contact me once to inform me of new offers? NO. AT&T was hoping I wouldn’t notice the contract end date and hoped I would just keep paying what I was paying. Not much of a customer retention strategy if you ask me.