Skip to main content

BlackBerry: Why breaking up is hard to do

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Struggling BlackBerry announces it plans to become a private company
  • CNN's Kristie Lu Stout refuses to let go of her BlackBerry device
  • But she says other smartphones offer better apps, functionality

Editor's note:

Hong Kong (CNN) -- I can't even remember the last time I thumbed a message on its itty-bitty qwerty keyboard.

And yet, I stubbornly keep my BlackBerry in my bag and on my desk, fully charged.

As with my Palm Vx of yesterday, breaking up with a beloved gadget is hard to do, especially when you have history.

BlackBerry: From cool to afterthought
BlackBerry may have a buyer

My BlackBerry and I go back over 10 years. We met at a telecom conference in Hong Kong. I will never forget the wonder of our first wireless e-mail.

Look, I'm no softie when it comes to loving and leaving my electronics. I've thrown out old Macs. I've recycled expired Sony Ericsson handsets. I've even trashed now-antique digital cameras.

But this is the longest and saddest gadget breakup I've ever gone through.

I can no longer accept its limits: A disappointing apps portfolio, clunky interface, and frankly lame camera.

Over the years, we grew apart. I started to dabble in social media and mobile photography. The tools on offer from other devices were far better in functionality, speed and resolution. I wanted my BlackBerry to change, and yet it never managed to deliver.

And suddenly, I felt like it just wasn't there for me.

I have stopped using the beloved device. But like the other 50 million BlackBerry users still out there, I just can't pull the plug.

Read more: BlackBerry's dwindling users ponder uncertain future

As with others suffering relationship issues in the digital age, I turned to social media for advice.

"Make it quick. Drop it in the tub. Better for both of you," advised Beijing blogger Bill Bishop.

Michael Sommer tweeted, "If it's not wounded or sick, no mercy killing. Put it into a vitrine."

After looking up the word "vitrine," I realized that putting an expired gadget in a glass box is like taxidermy for a deceased pet. Sorry. Just can't go there.

But not everyone was as keen to ditch the BlackBerry.

My ever-compassionate colleague John Vause said, "Don't do it... it will get better... I promise."

On Monday, BlackBerry announced that it was being taken private -- a headline that raised hopes among loyalists that change is sure to come.

Meanwhile, my pal Eunice Yoon implored me to keep hope alive with the reminder, "the typing is so much easier!"

But the doubt has already settled in, and I'm already starting to see my BlackBerry in the past tense.

"Just for fun, I fire up my circa 2005 Treo 750 sometimes," reminisced J. L. Gatewood.

That's one beautiful ode to throwback gadgetry. BlackBerry, I'm not quite ready to throw you out. You remain fully charged.

Opinion: Why I'll never ditch my Blackberry

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Sat July 26, 2014
The reported firing of artillery from Russian territory is a sign Vladimir Putin has escalated the Ukraine battle, says CNN's military analyst Rick Francona.
updated 4:46 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
The young boy stops, stares, throws ammunition casings at the reporter's feet without a word.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
A picture taken on June 28, 2014 shows a member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) putting on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry, where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated. The World Health Organization has warned that Ebola could spread beyond hard-hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to neighbouring nations, but insisted that travel bans were not the answer.
The worst ebola outbreak in history spreads out of control in West Africa. CNN's Michael Holmes reports.
updated 8:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
ITN's Dan Rivers reports from the hospital where those injured by an attack in Gaza were being treated.
updated 9:03 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
updated 2:08 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT