12.14.2014 09:10 AM

I am writing this on a Blackberry

Why? Because iPhones don’t have physical keyboards, and they suck if you have to type more than a few words, that’s why.

I had the very first Blackberry, in 2000. Along with Bruce Hartley, I was one of the first to have a Blackberry on that Chrétien campaign, in fact. Bruce and I were the cool kids.

Since then, I have written thousands of posts to this web site using a Blackberry – along with hundreds of columns, and (just this year) an entire book.

I didn’t use an iPhone to do any of those things. I use an iPhone to make calls, listen to music, take pictures, schedule stuff or calculate figures. I don’t use it to write. And why don’t I write on it? Simple.

Because it doesn’t have a keyboard that works, that’s why.

So, I read this great Sean Silcoff story – who is, full disclosure, one of my best students from back when I taught at Carleton’s School of Journalism – with great interest, nodding my head all the way through. Like many of the folks in Sean’s story, I didn’t ever get any of the newer Blackberry models. They were Blackberries trying to be iPhones.

I stuck with the 9900, on which I’m writing right now. I have a second one in my bedside table, as a backup. I’ve hoarded it, in case Blackberry never came to its senses.

It did! The arrival of the Blackberry Classic is a huge deal for guys like me. It’s back to doing what Blackberry always did best – a physical keyboard, with a logical operating system. IT’S WHAT I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS, LISA.

And, looking back on what I’ve just written, I can only imagine the atrocities that an iPhone would make of it. It wouldn’t be pretty, baby.

All I can say is this: Go Mr. Chen, go!


  1. I, too, keep to the older Blackberry. Though initially tempted by the Passport, it’s weird size and weird keyboard dissuade me. I’m also more than a little likely to opt for the new Classic as my next phone.

  2. Gerry Weiner says:

    i hve just ordered the new Blxknerry Passpory. I think I will purchase BB shares as well.

    Cheers. Gerry

  3. Bernie Farber says:

    I bought a TYPO which is the Seacrest BB keyboard that you can use on an IPhone…never looked back! http://typokeyboards.com/about-us

  4. Was it the 850? I thought they launched in 1999? Co-worker had one, though we were working in KW… factory direct, as it were. 😉

    The keyboard is the one item I do miss. Though I don’t type on my phone nearly as much as I used to, and I use Siri to dictate most of the time. (about 95% accuracy)

  5. Joe says:

    I’ve never owned a Blackberry or any Apple device but I do enjoy my Samsung Smart Phone running Android. I’m not a big texter/emailer on my phone but when I do I like the ‘suggested word’ feature. I have written entire messages by tapping on the suggested words. It has saved me a lot of time except where I have to teach the phone a new word and it keeps wanting to use the old word.

  6. The Other Jim says:

    I picked up an unlocked Passport from BlackBerry during their pre-Black Friday sale. Amazing device and easily the best mobile phone I’ve ever had. My only regret is not getting one when they were first released back in September.

  7. Brammer says:

    I want to get a Classic too, but it pisses me off that the local Costco (“Wireless etc.”) no longer stocks any BB products whatsoever. It’s kind of surprising given the business demographic of their customers.

    C’mon Costco – help support a Canadian Company – stock some BB’s!

  8. Lance says:

    I prefer the tactile feel of a keyboard for my wireless devices. I get annoyed with the no sensation keyboard as I did with my Galaxy; it just did’t feel……..natural. I guess it’s the old retro Gen X nature in me, LOL

  9. Steve T says:

    I am also a Blackberry loyalist. My old Bby Tour needed replacement, and I got a new Q10. It’s very good – still has the great keyboard, but also has a good touchscreen interface, and decent apps for the business tools I want.

    It doesn’t have games, nor cutesy apps like the iPhone. And I don’t care one bit. Like you, WK, I need a good work device. Blackberry still has that market cornered.

    (Oh, and my loyalty was rewarded when I bought a bunch of shares of Bby stock at $7, and sold at $12).

  10. MgS says:

    It’s pretty simple … I don’t use my phone as a primary writing instrument – if it hasn’t got a decent size keyboard, I don’t write on it more than a few words here and there.

    I liked the BB until they starting treating their developer community as a revenue stream, and then walked away.

    My brother has been quite happy with the new Z10/30 and now the Passport, but frankly the integration tools with the rest of my technology ecosystem suck badly enough that it’s an non-starter for me. It has to integrate across my platform without the integration utilities eating the machine alive. Has Chen brought the company and products back from the brink? Absolutely, but there’s work to be done to make it a viable ecosystem for many users.

    I do a lot of technology consulting, and as a tool, if the BB works for you, great. Is it perfect? Nope. Once I see a client’s overall environment and their needs, then there are options to talk about. These are tools … don’t buy a hammer when you want to drive screws.

  11. Christian says:

    Well, if you were hoping to pre-order one looks like your outta luck!


    Question for the BB naysayers: How do you like your crow?

  12. Don says:

    I’ve never owned a Blackberry product before and was very reluctant to try one. I’ve had iPhones and Android products, but cannot say enough good things about the Passport. I will NEVER go back to using an Apple product as a phone. Now if they could improve the apps, I would be really happy!

  13. Simon Says says:

    Dude, you need to get the Passport. Mobile office in your hand. Can work miracles during hockey practices.

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