The BlackBerry is still beloved by many users. In fact, it’s for that reason why AlertBoot mobile security solutions include the BB environment under its security umbrella (iPhone and Android being the other major players. Duh). But, every day you find little hints that perhaps the BlackBerry won’t be relevant at all. The latest sign?
The New York Times is carrying an article on how the users of BlackBerry devices speak of their phone “the way someone might speak of an embarrassing relative.” The venerated name in secure mobile communications for the consumer (emphasis on secure) has been subjected to much humiliation in the past couple of years, and it feels like The Gray Lady is giving it something of a coup de grâce…or at least, actively kicking it while it’s down.
The BlackBerry (or BB) is considered to be the grandfather of all smartphones, and for a device (brand?) that is so old — I remember running across them in 2001, although it was still a “pager” at the time — it was pretty advanced for its time.
The BB smartphone soon followed, a device that got it so right on so many levels. It’s still considered the yardstick when it comes to data security. Unfortunately, that’s about the only spot the device has held on to in the iPhone and Android avalanche. The BB once dominated the smartphone market. Today, it holds a little over 5% of its former dominion.
Why? The NYT article gives a number of reasons, from the users’ perspective. I can only say that if people are beginning to feel embarrassed about using your product, it’s perhaps time to pull the plug.
The Ardent Fans
Of course, not everyone is embarrassed about using the BB. Its most ardent fans keep pointing out that the BB is a fail-proof device where it matters: connectivity — email and voice: the iPhone’s calls always leave something to be desired, in my opinion — and security. Security as in, BB uses AES-256 encryption (the same used in AlertBoot laptop encryption, a part of the mobile security suite) which governments find hard to tackle, so they use other ways of accessing data, like the courts, which aren’t always successful.
The comments section of the NYT as well as slashdot.org are most revealing when it comes to why people love the BB so much…and why so many hate it with equal intensity. I’ve been following the debates for a long time, so nothing really surprises me in these forums. Well, almost nothing. Joe at nytimes.com says, “I recently avoided being mugged because the thugs saw that I had a blackberry.”
Apparently the BlackBerry’s security extends to many fronts.
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