Barack Obama, David Cameron, Angela Merkel and I still use a Blackberry. In fact, I quite like my Blackberry Z10 even though both Android and iOS offer a much broader application support and arguably a better user experience. So why do I still stand faithful to my BlackBerry- what is it that has captured my loyalty?
It’s simple. My BlackBerry lives up to its promise – communicate no matter where you are in the world. With du’s AED 299 (~81$) international data package for business users, I communicate with colleagues, customers and agencies no matter where I am in the world – whether it is email, BBM, WhatsApp, or social tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn. Through Voice Notes in BBM, I’ve communicated with my Dubai marketing agency while walking along crowded streets in Istanbul.
This is possible because BlackBerry has roaming agreements and data packages that telcos offer exclusively to BlackBerry devices. As anyone who traveled back home to find a shocking phone bill will tell you, 3G roaming rates are prohibitively expensive once you exit your telco’s coverage area with your Android or iPhone.
Interestingly, I have asked former Blackberry users in Turkey, India and South Africa- but none of them have worldwide packages like we do in the UAE. Is this because the UAE is still an important market for BlackBerry? It certainly looks that way when you see massive BlackBerry stands during GITEX.
So, does a significant reduction in the 3G roaming rates for non-BlackBerry devices sound a death knell to BlackBerry here as it is happening in other countries. Maybe. But until that happens, it’s me and my BlackBerry on a road less traveled. And who knows, maybe in a few years from now, BlackBerry will evoke fond memories as our first mobile phone do for us today – for me, it is a Nokia 3310 that I recall the most. But see where that landed Nokia – will BlackBerry find a similar savior.