By now, everyone knows the deal with Apple’s iPod. It has sold millions worldwide, become as ubiquitous a term for portable music players as Q-Tip is for “those little cotton things that clean your ears” and has clearly penetrated the mainstream consciousness (confirmation: your mother talking to you on the phone about the latest podcast she’s downloaded). Taking a look at the past week of BlackBerry news, I can’t help but wonder if RIM’s precious device has reached the same level.
First, the popularity. Perform a quick Google search under the heading “BlackBerry” and see how many articles pop up daily about the popularity of BlackBerrys and how various corporate bigwigs can’t live without them. Also, consider the number of pictures competing BlackBerry news sites post of celebrities using BlackBerrys as some sort of status symbol. The BlackBerry is also one of the few devices that, like the iPod, has reached “killer” status — meaning that all competing PDA devices must be referred to by the media as “BlackBerry Killers” at least four times in any article.
RIM and Apple also seem to share a similar design philosophy for their plucky little devices: release a hot new device every year, but keep them limited in features, making sure they do one thing very well (BlackBerry – email, iPod – music).
Sadly, the BlackBerry seems most similar to the iPod in its evangelical fan base. “Macheads” are well known throughout the tech world for their rabid love of all things Apple, scouring the ‘net for reports on rumored devices, tech specs of the latest releases and vehemently defending the iPod on forums against all off the “killers” out there. However, if you check through the last week of BlackBerry Cool postings, you’ll find two posts to a poll about “BlackBerry Killers,” three post about new BlackBerry releases, mocking of competing devices (and Windows Mobile devices in general), and photos of a man-sized BlackBerry that we know all of our readers would want sitting in their living room (admit it). We’d only go through a 12-step program for our CrackBerry addiction if we were still allowed to check our email every 15 minutes (most likely using some archaic “pull” email device).