May 15, 2013

Blackberry, Netbooks, And Are We Really That Stupid?

Twitter tells me that Blackberry, the company formerly known as RIM, is launching a new phone, and that it has a keyboard. Because, you know, that’s what all the cool kids want, physical phone keyboards.

That kind of snark is common these days. Everyone is doing touchscreen, Blackberry obviously doesn’t “get it” and thus they’re stuck in the 00s. It’s almost Bill Gates bad, you know!

Except that it might not be, of course. 

New Blackberry yay?!
The Blackberry Q10 has a physical keyboard

We’ve been through this before. The industry is so certain of something, the (so called) analysts know precisely what everyone should be doing, retail knows what sells, and the customers know exactly what they want.

Just like with the netbook, and where is that now again?

It’s easy to proclaim the truth of today as universal. It’s hard to remember that what might seem unstoppable at the time, might in fact not exist in a year’s time.

Remember these?
Remember these?

I think Blackberry are digging their own grave; they’re doomed. I think the notion of a mobile phone with a physical keyboard is ridiculous most of the time, but I do realize that it will sell because some people are still more comfortable with these bulky things. In a similar fashion, I’m “certain” that the touchscreen can’t nor won’t replace a physical keyboard for my longform typing.

Which it will, there’s no doubt about it. After all, I can thumb-type this on my iPad mini despite the fact that the MacBook is literally three steps away. Yet I’m certain I will always prefer the physical keyboard over the touchscreen.

Or at least I would be, if I was daft enough to not heed my own words.

I don’t know, and neither do you, nor anyone else. We can guess, we can say what we think now, but tomorrow’s another day.

Godspeed Blackberry. There was a time when I really wanted one of your phones, just as with the Nokia E series. Then today, or yesteryear or something, caught up with reality, and I joined the sighing masses for a while, forgetting all about netbooks and how fast things can change.

Whenever you think something is an universal truth in technology, you’re wrong.

All hail The Next Big Thing. I’m thinking drums.

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere. There is also a newsletter.