Let’s pretend for a moment that we are BlackBerry trolls. Perhaps we are a fan of another brand, and are afraid of the fact that BlackBerry makes a superior product, and we simply don’t want others to know how good it is because we are afraid it would be bad for our brand of choice. Or perhaps we locked ourselves in to a contract with another brand of phone, and we see what BlackBerry can do compared to our phone and we are just jealous. Or maybe, just maybe, we have shorted the stock, and need the stock price to drop even lower, so we don’t lose our pants.
It’s been a hard ride for us trolls. When BB10 came out, it just wasn’t quite ready yet. Some people had issues with random shutdowns. Some had battery issues. It was easy for us to bet against BlackBerry. But BlackBerry didn’t die the way they were supposed to. They continued to fight. As they were looking for a strategic partner, we told everyone they were selling out and were going out of business. When Prem Watsa stepped in with his pal John Chen, we told everyone that they were simply getting the company ready for sale. But that darned Chen started making changes. Making changes that are actually working!
Well at least we could continue to tell people that there are no apps. Sure they have the ability to download and run android apps, but the first iteration of that was kind of clumsy. They had to actually attach their phones to a computer! So let’s run with that! Let’s tell people how difficult it is to sideload! Let’s make them think that they need to be computer nerds to be able to do it! Let’s tell them that the apps just don’t work right on BB10!
Yeah, let’s pretend we were some of those people. Now, think about what you would do if you caught wind that BlackBerry and Amazon had come to an agreement to have the Amazon App Store pre-installed on the phones. The lies that we have been telling the populace were about to be completely shut down. The environment we had fostered, will be shown for what it is. What do you do? Do you change the argument, once again, to suit the reality you want? Do you change the argument now from a perceived ‘app gap’ that you have held tight to even after the gap was no more? Do you perhaps try to cut that good news off? Do you attack it before it arrives? Do you change it to it not being about the lack of apps anymore, but to a lack of Google Services? We know that it would take a miracle for Google Services to come to BlackBerry. Google would need to change their core values to allow a non-android phone access to Google Services. Let’s tell people BlackBerry 10 is not viable without Google Services.
In the forums I used to frequent, I would be attacked by talking about people being on sides. Be harassed for pointing out the line in the sand. By those people that were obviously standing on the other side of the line from me. Why? Because they wished to be able to say that they were BlackBerry users as well, that they knew as much as I about the platform, and cared about it as much as I, all the while hurling insults and telling lies about the platform and telling people to not get a BlackBerry, lying to others stating that iPhone was a better phone or android was just as secure. And I was told that I should be wearing a tinfoil hat because I called out the ‘usual suspects’ as they flowed in to threads to bash and troll. And I saw so many BlackBerry fans resort to apologies when speaking about the platform they loved. When the fans spoke about BlackBerry, they would always throw in a “my opinion” or “I know it’s not for everyone” or some other form of apology for what they thought before the trolls could throw it in their face.
There is a line in the sand. BlackBerry has been attacked. We all know it. Even those of us that were beat in to submission by the trolls recognize it and can point out to the people that are standing on that side of the line, or this side of the line. And the only people that refuse the line exists, are those that are trying to convince the BlackBerry fan that they are standing on their side of that line by themselves.
Now, as people are attacking the choices of BlackBerry, look at their past. What side of the line were they on? As they tell us BlackBerry World is no more now, that BlackBerry has sold out native apps and are going full android, what side were they on before? We know where our battles lie. What were they saying during the 10.0 shutdowns? What were they saying about BlackBerry being up for sale? How did they twist Chen’s words when he was asked a theoretical question about selling the handset business and he gave a theoretical answer, even while explaining what he meant at the time? Now, as they tell us what having an android app store pre-installed on our phones means for the future of BlackBerry, remember what side of the line they were on all along.
This is a great day for BlackBerry fans. A horrible day for BlackBerry trolls. But there is one group of people that I’ve seen a variety of reactions from today. Some are justifiably worried. And I’m talking about our beloved BB10 developers. What does this mean for them? In all honesty, I don’t know. But I do have some ideas. More on that later tonight.