Rachel Crosby speaks about her BlackBerry phone the way someone might speak of an embarrassing relative.
“I’m ashamed of it,” said Crosby, a Los Angeles sales representative who says in meetings, she says she hides her BlackBerry beneath her iPad for fear clients will see it and judge her.
The BlackBerry was once proudly carried by the high-powered and the elite, but those who still hold one today say the device has become a magnet for mockery and derision from those with iPhones and the latest Android phones. Research in Motion may still be successful selling BlackBerrys in countries such as India and Indonesia, but in the US the company is clinging to less than 5% of the smartphone market — down from a dominating 50% just three years ago. The company’s future all depends on a much-delayed new phone coming next year; meanwhile RIM recorded a net loss of $753 million in the first half of the year compared with a profit of more than $1 billion a year earlier.
Among the latest signs of the loss of cachet: One of the first steps Marissa Mayer took as Yahoo’s newly appointed chief executive to remake the company's stodgy image was to trade in employees’ BlackBerrys for iPhones and Androids. BlackBerrys may still linger in Washington, Wall Street and the legal profession, but in Silicon Valley they are as rare as a necktie.
The companies that previously issued staff BlackBerrys have started surrendering to employee demands for iPhones and Android-powered smartphones.
Goldman Sachs recently gave its employees the option to use an iPhone. Even the White House, which used the BlackBerry for security reasons, recently started supporting the iPhone. (Some staff members suspect that decision was influenced by President Obama, who now prefers his iPad for national security briefings. A spokesman for the White House declined to comment.) NYT