Rob Enderle over at IT Business Edge wrote a bit of a review on the Priv by BlackBerry. Titled “The BlackBerry PRIV: The Perfect Blend of Business and Fun” it is a very nice review of a very nice phone.
There was one aspect of the post that stood out for me, an aspect we BlackBerry users should be very familiar with;
I’ve never liked to have the same stuff as everyone else. When I was in private school, I regularly got in trouble because I wasn’t willing to wear the school blazer. Instead, I wore a Navy pea coat (granted, in my defense, the temperature was often in the 30s and the blazer wasn’t very warm). In any case, I like to be different. In an iPhone and iPhone clone world, the PRIV does look very different, particularly when you drop the keyboard.
Since the advent of the iPhone, with BlackBerry’s market share dropping, those of us that have stuck with the brand know this feeling all too well. Apple created a marketing strategy about being different, about standing out from the crowd, and quickly became the crowd themselves. Now, everywhere you turn, you’re faced with an iPhone user. Be it a hipster, a grandmother, a child, or an average Joe, it seems that everywhere we turn we’re faced with an iPhone. And if not an iPhone, some slab of an Android phone that looks like every other slab of an Android phone.
We BlackBerry users were different though. We’ve always been different. Rather it was a Bold, a Curve, a Z or a Q, and especially now with the Classic, Passport, and Priv, we’ve been different. There is no denying that our BlackBerry is a BlackBerry. Even our full touch slab phones had the BlackBerry look!
If you’re like me, you’ve been proud of your BlackBerry. While the online naysayers have been trashing our choice in phones for years, we BlackBerry users have been proud of our devices. We don’t shy away from letting people see the devices we carry, in fact we show it off. We want people to see our phones. We want other’s to ask about them, and they do! While I’ve often had to defend my choice of phone online, in comment sections and forums, from the faceless and the anonymous, we rarely run across that in real life. Sure, our friends may tease, but that’s usually because they know how much we care about the devices. We may have had to fight with carrier reps to get our phones, but there was an agenda there. More often than not though, people have been surprised by out phones. And with the advent of BB10, people have been amazed and shocked when they see what our phones can do.
With the Priv, I am noticing a whole new reaction to the phone. Strangely enough, people know about the phone already. They have questions about the phone. There is no needing to prove what my phone can do any longer. Instead, it is a completely different attitude. I liken the feel of driving up in a sportscar and having people asking what about it. There is a sense of awe. A sense of want. I’m not longer trying to convince people that this is a great phone, I’m simply assuring them of what they already think.
What happens if BlackBerry becomes *gasp* popular again? It is very possible. The responses to the Priv is showing us how many people are getting bored with the same old thing, and BlackBerry is definitely not the same old thing. What happens if I’m walking down the street and every other person I pass is carrying a BlackBerry instead of an iPhone? Of course I’ll be exceptionally happy for BlackBerry. And I will know, that I stuck with them through the thin times. I shall know that I didn’t jump ship to another brand and platform. I’ll remember all those times that I fought for BlackBerry, and I’ll feel a totally unwarranted feeling of personal victory. And as those that made very public exits from our community for other platforms, begin to sneak back in, I shall welcome them back in, as an internal laugh track plays in my head.