As you can see from the above pic, the reactions I’ve been getting to my Passport these past 3 or 4 weeks have really been screwing with iPhonian and Androidian minds. What I’m finding is that the handset itself is different enough to provoke an interest – and that’s usually enough to allow those people to listen where, interestingly, they didn’t seem to want to with the Z10 or Z30. Before, when I had the ‘oh my God! You use a BLACKBERRY!’ conversation you were on the back foot before you started. The software was (and still is) head and shoulders ahead of their crappy iPhone or Android messes but they weren’t interested enough to care.
This changes when you produce the Passport. Here’s a couple of cases in point:
Case # 1
I’ve been having a load of work done around the house and a new electrician was assigned to the job the other day. He nipped out to his van to make a call and I saw from my drive that his hand was miles away from his ear as he was talking on his new iPhone 6 Plus. He finished and was stood in my drive doing stuff on it.
Open app, do something, stab home button, open another, do something, stab home button, open another, do something, stab home button – so SLOOOOOOWWWW!
We’d been chatting so on his way back I asked him how he was getting on with his new baby.
‘Well, I was due an upgrade and it’s ok, I suppose. But one of the things I hate about Apple is the lack of privacy. If I’ve been on a webpage and deleted the history it STILL shows a picture of the last page. It just pops up!’
‘I’ve got one of these’, I said, showing him the Passport, resplendent with it’s physical keys.
‘What the F**K is THAT!’, he exclaimed. At this point I’ll be honest, I was expecting to hear a load of ‘Wrong shape, BlackBerry? Who are they?’ type nonsense but instead I got this…
‘My God! That is MINT! I love it!’
And so, 5 minutes later he’d seen REAL private browsing, heard about the battery life, seen flicking words up on the keyboard, seen scrolling on the keyboard for web pages (all 10.3/Passport stuff) but then I threw in the Hub, Time Shift, and, wait for it… File Manager and Remote File Access which blew his mind.
‘Dear God I wished I’d shopped around…’ he said, staring back at the lifeless aluminium paperweight, ‘seriously, I’m getting me one of those.’
Since he was interested, the day after I showed him Blend. ‘So, here’s my Passport, flip it over and it’s in Power Saving Mode. Click on Blend and I’ve everything there, see? Email, texts, BBM, everything.
‘No WAY!’, was the response, ‘I HATE you! Oh crap, Apple are SO OLD!’
Fast forward a week and he was back to do some more work…
‘Just to let you know the iPhone is going back. Yesterday it started randomly opening apps and that, on top of everything else – I’ve had enough. I’ll be honest, when you first showed me your BlackBerry I was like, what the hell is that! But it all makes sense. I’m getting one.’
And so, some shared links later and we are done.
Case # 2
I bought my Passport from Carphone Warehouse. Here in the UK, they are the only high street retailer to sell it. I ordered it online and went to pick it up from the store where I got some interested questions from the staff when I got it out of the box as they have NO BLACKBERRIES ON DISPLAY and it was the first one they had sold but then, of course, it wasn’t set up so other than holding it there wasn’t much else to do…
So, as I’d had to go into town and I had 5 minutes the other day I popped in. Behind the counter, and available, was the store rep who got my Passport for me from the back office. He wasn’t my preferred guy, to be honest, it was 2 others who were agog at my square beauty but I thought I’d ask him anyway:
‘Hi, you won’t remember me, a few weeks back I picked up this (Biggly brandishes Passport) and a couple of your colleagues said they’d really like to see it in action. It’s set up now and I have 5 minutes, are they about?’
‘I do remember you, yes! But they’re not here. You could show me though, I haven’t seen one going yet’
And so, in 5 minutes, I go through the same routine, keyboard flicking, keyboard scrolling, Hub, Time Shift, File Manager, Remote File Access (making sure he can see all the top apps on the screen too – wouldn’t want him to think there aren’t any!!) and he says the immortal words.
‘THAT is a complete game changer. BlackBerry have pulled it out of the bag. They really are back, big time. Wow. An iPhone is awful compared to that. I can see Android manufacturers trying to copy that. Amazing. So FAST! Thank you!’
Now, I’m not naive. Of course he probably sold someone an iPhone 6 two minutes after I left, let’s be fair, that’s his job and his bosses won’t let him have any BlackBerry’s in store to sell but…
The Passport is letting us, the users, change perceptions. One person at a time in a way you can’t with a Z30, just because it looks like all the others you don’t pique enough interest before you start for them to listen long enough.
Whip out your Passport and they just can’t help themselves… ‘Wow! What is THAT???’
And you’ve got them for 5 minutes – which, with BB10, is enough to beat all the others into next week.
Oh, one last thing.
They all absolutely LOVE the fact that apps pause when in active frame while you do something else.