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For years, I was a loyal Blackberry user. I had the 7290, 8700, and then the 8310. Heck, I even had the RIM 850 and 950 before I moved on to higher-end devices. I loved how RIM made their phones so reliable and messaging-friendly. The instant communication features that RIM had available for their phones were something that kept me close (and most importantly, loyal) to them.
But then the mobile phone landscape changed. Apple introduced its iPhone, and while I was smitten with its beautiful and gorgeous interface, I couldn't bring myself to buy one. For me then, Blackberry as a mobile phone platform was satisfactory and sufficient for my own needs. Great battery life, incredible accessibility as offered by its features, and so on. What more could I ask for?
But as the years wore on, I noticed that RIM wasn't doing too good of a job keeping up with the Joneses, so to speak. While the phones coming out were still reasonably top-notch devices in their own right (and in comparison to others released by other companies, too), the software was starting not to cut it anymore, particularly in the face of other phones that were making enormous strides in their offerings, consumer-centric focus, and overall end user experience.
Still loyal to RIM and its line of Blackberry phones, I stood steadfastly and did my research in preparation for another phone upgrade. I even decided on a Blackberry 9700 (Bold 2), and bought the thing. Yet 24 hours after having bought it (under the same carrier, no less), I realized it was more of the same. Nothing had really changed, aside from a few cosmetic touch-ups that RIM had applied to what was still an old OS beneath the surface. I was unsure of what to do.
Off to the store I went again, with my 24-hour-old Blackberry 9700 and the store receipt in hand, ready to look at other options. My eyes scanned the aisles, quickly considering the alternatives I had before me. Then they settled on one phone that managed to catch their attention – similar form factor to Blackberry phones, but with a much more advanced OS (and a touchscreen): the Palm Pixi.
Having already tried the Pixi's OS on a Palm Pre, I decided to take a chance and trade in my Blackberry for it. Upon activation of the phone, I was shocked to see how easily I made the transition in how I handled the phone compared to my old Blackberry phones. Typing was a pleasure as the satisfying clicking sensations emanated from the keyboard to my fingers, and the familiar form factor offered me a soothing and comfortable transition that I mastered rather quickly.
The OS and phone itself was pure genius. Touchscreen and physical keyboard capabilities merged into one and managed by an easy-to-use, intuitive OS that actually had good battery life management that ended up lasting me on a full day's use. Push e-mail worked remarkably well, too. This phone was everything that the Blackberry was not – modern, smart, and “with it.” So now I lay my Blackberry to rest and begin my mobile life anew with the Pixi.
Farewell, RIM. Farewell, Blackberry. May you get with the program ... And fast.
(Note: I wrote this as a mixture of it being a commentary and a story at the same time; don't get me wrong - I like RIM and Blackberry phones, but in the end, my own needs as an user weren't being met anymore, and I felt compelled to make a switch - hopefully someone at RIM reads this and learns from it before folks start switching over elsewhere en masse to get their mobile fix.)