Dearest Thorsten Heins (BlackBerry CEO)
I thought I would write you an open letter, detailing my wonderful experiences with my BlackBerry device your company produces.
If I could go back 3 years, to when I first opened that shiny box adorned in lavish silver and retrieved my BlackBerry in all its auspicious glory, I would punch my past self in the throat. This gleaming piece of technological excrement has cost me thousands of rand, a hairline that used to be regarded as a fringe and my index knuckle on my right hand; from when I forcefully punched through a wall in frustration. Yes my BB and I have been down an arduous path and indeed a fall from grace, worse than if those photos of Hansie tattooing 4th graders ever surfaced online. The past promise of entering the social media realm, having emails at my finger tips and making Bluetooth voice calls has been replaced by dropped calls, malfunctioning internet and at times a frozen screen where everything is black and no sound is heard. I actually like my phone more when the power is out, because then I could put it in a sock and use it as a weapon against intruders. If BB is a smart phone, then it is in one of those extra special-needs classes; where the walls are padded and none of the kids are allowed sugar.
Fellow infuriated BlackBerry users will be well aware of the best built-in app the phone has on offer: a tiny clock that you can watch circulate on-end whenever trying to perform tasks. Are the guys at RIM trying to use this clock to hypnotize us mere mortals into believing this phone is of any worth? Affectionately named “The Clock of Death”, some say it was modelled after the wall clock at the last supper, just before Judas betrayed Jesus. That’s right; it was implicit in the killing of God’s son. And now it pops up when I’m trying to check football scores.
Another feature that I am rather smitten with is a battery life shorter than a Friends’ episode. In fact, when fully charged and coupled with the amount of time spent watching the death clock; you get a full ten minutes of usage: great for the environment, pretty shitty for texting. The screen is too small to watch porn, the 3G connection is slower than Oscar without his prosthetics (and on ketamine), and the app store is about as useful as non-alcoholic beer. Gold medal material.
So why did I get another one? Simple really; free data. In a country where you can buy a house for the price of watching a YouTube vid, and for someone who likes to FaceBook stalk teenagers at lumo parties, it is simply unaffordable for me to get an IPhone or S3, despite their monthly fee being roughly the same. Do I regret the decision? More than the time I drunkenly drove through a roadblock in my dad’s convertible and told the officer Saab backwards was “Baas”. But now I am stuck with my mistake for another two years. I’m in a technological wasteland, without sustenance or reprieve, or indeed signal in Tokai.
The now imminent release of the X, touted as the BB messiah to end suffering and anguish among users, will not have free data and will struggle to sway previous users that have experienced the gruelling torture of previous models. When my contract finally ends circa 2014, you can be guaranteed I will be switching to Apple, or Samsung, or Nokia, or two cups tied together with a piece of string. Until that day, I wait, with the patience only the clock of death can inspire, with just a single warning to all those who cross my path: Dont fuck with me, I have a blackberry in a sock.
*Follow @Stroobz on Twitter as he sends out smoke signals as a preferred method of communication, and tries to get squirrel porn off his computer screen before his parents walk in.