The Old is New Again

This is just a ramble about the value of the “old” BB10 devices like the Z10, Q10, and Z30. I am in no way trying to discourage anyone from getting a Passport or Classic and I have my eye on both.

T. Rowe Price is a full service brokerage house that also offers investment management, retirement plan recordkeeping, and advisory services. In the mid 90’s they were growing like crazy, and hiring and expanding their offices. The 10 years ending in January of 2000 was one of the most noteworthy decades the financial markets ever experienced. The S&P provided over 15% annualized return, the overall market capitalization of the NYSE and other exchanges exploded, and myriad new investment products were created. It was the internet wave of network technology and the “dot com” craze. During this time, T. Rowe was making huge investments in information technology to support their expansion, but they were difficult to work with because they didn’t seem to have a coherent strategy guiding their buying decisions. What happened was a nightmare for their vendors (e.g. IBM) because the stuff they bought wouldn’t play with their other stuff and big integration issues were created that became the “fault” of their vendor(s), and their vendors’ job to fix.

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The point is, they bought the latest and greatest technology without a lot of thinking about why they needed it and how they were going to use it and fit it in with what they already had. I must say that these are all merely my personal observations over a several year time period. This “technology for technology’s sake,” or “latest and greatest” phenomenon happens with mobile phones too. People often buy something, not because they need it, but because they want it merely because it’s new. I’m not advocating everyone stop doing this, I’m just pointing out that just because there’s a new phone out, doesn’t mean the old one is bad, particularly when it’s a BlackBerry.

Anyone who has spent time in sales and marketing knows what “feature, advantage, benefit” means, but I don’t want to assume you do. A feature is pretty simple, it’s an aspect of a product or service that you can identify, e.g. on the Z30, a feature would be the stereo speakers. An advantage is what the feature gives you, so in the case of the Z30 speakers, it would be loud, stereo sound. A benefit is what you actually buy; this is very significant. A benefit is less tangible, it’s often a feeling or tied to emotion. Remember, we make buying decisions emotionally and then justify them rationally later. Benefits are also personal to each individual. For instance, the benefit of the speakers might be being able to hear your kids better over BBM video chatting, or being able to show off your phone to Apple users, but the benefit would actually be even deeper. The benefit of showing off your phone might be self esteem; feeling better about yourself for having a good phone that others will covet. The benefit of hearing your kids better over BBM might be feeling like a better parent or feeling closer to your kids who are geographically distant. The reason any of this matters to a salesman or company is that you want to talk in the language of benefits to really get customers’ attention and in order to connect the dots and make a sale.


But what’s my point? It is that a spec on a phone or other feature is not a benefit and people who go out and buy the latest and greatest merely because it is so are just buying the benefit of the excitement and buzz that comes from the novelty of the phone, or the benefit of the feeling of esteem that comes from having a coveted device, or the feeling of being a part of the crowd and not being left out. This last phenomenon is likely in operation with all the iOS users who flock in lines to get the latest Apple app launcher. (Kudos to Brad for that one; I love it! “App launcher” )

Again, this is all not intended to discourage anyone from getting the Passport or forthcoming Classic; I think at this point with BlackBerry working out of a financial hole, any reason to get a BlackBerry is a good reason. But I do think it’s worthwhile to question what device is best for you and why, and to realize that it’s very likely the BBRY 10 device in your hand is just fine and may actually better serve your purposes. Having said all this, I plan to get both the Passport and the Classic, but I’m doing it with open eyes and the understanding that the Passport is not really the right phone for me, it will very likely just be something I use for a while and show off to people to try and get them excited about BlackBerry since people generally don’t get excited about my Q10; although one Bold user seemed to take a shine to it recently.


I think the fact that there are so many Bolds still in circulation and that your Z10 still works well and runs the latest version of BB10 is a good thing! I know we’d all love to convert those users to BB10 in order to get the device sales, but it does speak to the quality of the hardware and software. Who says a device is only supposed to be used for two years!? I like to think there are people within BlackBerry bristling with pride over the fact that there are still so many Bolds in circulation and that they take pride in the fact that this Z10 I’m using is built to be used for several years. I guess this is not something the folks at Apple have as their phones are bending and their OS is in need of constant fixing.


So go ahead and get the Passport or the Classic. Just remember that the phone you already have is still good and may prove to be a good fall back or secondary device. And if you can’t swing a Classic or Passport anytime soon, don’t worry! If you’re using a BB10 device, you have the most efficient, secure, OS on the market and hardware that is built to last a long time! We can’t all keep up with the pace of technology. Sometimes, the new device you’re looking for is the “old” device in your hand.

james pisano

RIM/BB fan since 2009. Wouldn't consider entrusting my career, life or privacy to another platform. Foremost, I am a student of life. Some likes: longboarding, nature, Baltimore Orioles, technology, driving, music, reading and Taoism. Politically independent.

  • G-bone

    Any BlackBerry is a good Blackberry!
    My advice?
    Get the new ones (if you can) and spread the love with the old ones with friends and family.


    • Sage advice G-Bone!

      I did that with my Bold and my Storm 2, but I wish I still had my Bold!

    • Azensun

      What G-bone said! ^^

  • shanerredflag

    Yuppers… love the Passport though locco_smiley_4

  • Anthony

    The Passport has better specs. It’s not only a “new phone”. The camera is better, the keyboard is better, the mic for recording voice notes is better, etc.

    The Q10 and Z30 are still great choices. The on-screen keyboard on the Z30 is excellent. The Q10 is small but powerful.

    • Agreed Anthony. But the Passport may not be for everyone. Some people prefer a one handed device that’s smaller. In this case the Z10 or Q10 may be the “better” phone.