Recently Inside BlackBerry has posted a couple of articles about individuals who are using both the BlackBerry Classic and the BlackBerry Passport. You can read both posts here and here . It wasn’t long ago that carrying two phones was almost a business necessity. An iPhone or an Android for apps, and a BlackBerry for actual communication. The times have surely changed, and yet we still see many people carrying two phones.
Many years ago I carried two phones for business. But it was before the big app debate, and it was really more just a case for business. For me to get my business calls paid for, I needed a bill handled a certain way, and instead of trying to wrangle it to work, I did what many of my colleagues did and just got another phone. And it was a dumb phone at that. I didn’t need any apps at that point. True mobile computing was still a long way off. For work, all I needed was a phone to make phone calls. And I had a cheap flip phone that handled the job nicely. Of course, my personal phone was a BlackBerry Curve. And while I used it for business often, in terms of calendar, notes, task lists and of course e-mail, it was my personal phone. The company did not ask me to use my BlackBerry for that, but it made life quite a bit easier.
I left that job many years ago, and dropped that second line. Now I’m different than many in that I didn’t concern myself with an iPhone or Android for business. My steady string of BlackBerry devices did absolutely everything I needed for my jobs. There were no apps that weren’t already baked in to my BBOS phones that I would need to get my job done. Now I did go through many iPods and Android tabs, but while many times I justified the purchase thinking I would use it for work, each and every time I quickly discovered that not only were they not needed, but that they actually slowed me down when trying to use them as opposed to my BlackBerry.
As I said, I’m different from many out there. So many of the business apps that people in varying fields need, that were only to be found on iOS or Android, I simply had no need for. And I carried one phone. But I saw many people move on to Android and iOS for apps, or because it was the popular product. And I saw many of those who also carried a BlackBerry. Always as a second phone. And most always for communication. As the years went by, I saw less and less of those people around me, although I know that they still exist, as I run in to them throughout my travels through the internets.
In recent years, I’ve seen a new version of dual wielders. More and more often around me, I see businesses that have moved on to iPhones. The old sturdy laptops and the tank like handheld devices used by many of the businesses I come in contact with, have been replaced by iPhones. I’m sad to say it, but around me, iPhones really have, at least for field employees, taken over the enterprise space.
I’m consistently seeing field employees, with company issued iPhones in hand, reaching for their personal phones, sadly, always Android, to do mundane things like make business related calls.
Just this last week, I was dealing with one of these field reps, he had his iPhone in hand, going over items on his iPhone with me. At one point, to get an answer I required, he reached in to his pocket, and pulled out his new personal android phone to call his supervisor. A work related call, on his personal phone, while he held his work issued iPhone in his hand. A short time later, he needed a calculator, and once again, his personal phone came out. Already guessing the answer, I asked why he didn’t just use the iPhone. And he very honestly answered waving the iPhone back and forth in his hand, ‘This is a piece of shit’. To which I laughed and agreed. He went over various reasons why he ‘hated’ his iPhone. Things we at UTB are very familiar with. Things like trouble making calls, trouble getting back to where he needs to be after leaving an app to use another app. In short, it just doesn’t work.
And thanks to Apple, a new form of swashbuckler is born. And this time, it’s not high level executives flipping phones about like rapiers, making business decisions and deals on two phones at the same time, like was so common in the movies from the 80’s. Instead these are field employees, carrying two phones, because they have to carry one for work, and the other, to do basic phone functions which the work issued iPhone just doesn’t work for.
And as shake my head in wonderment at the decisions these companies are making, I realize in the back of my head, that I too carry two phones. In fact, three phones go with me nearly everywhere I go.
But there is a difference. These are three BlackBerry phones. And I don’t need all three. I just want them. When BB10 came out, I picked up a Z10. And loved it. And finally had a phone that not only did everything I needed, but everything I wanted as well. And I carried one phone. Later down the road, Nik got me a deal on a Q5 and I began carrying two phones. Both active, both with their own number, but duplicated most apps so it was seamless jumping from one phone to another. Recently, I picked up a Passport, but I still carry my Z10 with me, and my Q5 is in my car, ready to swap the sim from my Z10 when I start missing it again. Next up? I’m trying extremely hard to not go down and pick up a Classic, until I can see the Leap. I’m trying to limit my gadget spend this year, but I have a pretty good feeling I’ll be swapping between 4 BlackBerry phones soon.
And thanks to BlackBerry, a new form of swashbuckler is born. And this time, it has nothing to do with requiring a second phone for functionality. This time it has everything to do with loving the BB10 experience and wanting to use it on multiple form factors.
I recently saw someone commenting on a BBM channel saying that BlackBerry is making too many phones, that there’s no need for the varying form factors. I disagree. Right now, BlackBerry doesn’t have anywhere near the users that Android and iOS have. But I know myself, and quite a few others within UTB, carry multiple BlackBerry phones. In fact there’s one fickle blogger that shall remain unnamed (James) that seems to switch devices multiple times a day. All BlackBerry.
Apple may depend on it’s users wishing to replace their phones due to breakage, bending, or lack of space to keep their sales figures growing, but BlackBerry can depend on fans like those found at UTB who just want to collect and use the whole set.
Do you use multiple BlackBerry devices? Sound off in comments and tell us about your lineup.