• Share Your Favourite BlackBerry Stories Here

    It's the end of an era for BlackBerry; the company announced yesterday that it will no longer be making its own hardware. I'm old enough to remember when BlackBerries were everywhere—especially here in Canada. Maybe I'm being unnecessarily maudlin and patriotic, but I wanted to share my favourite BlackBerry story with you here today.

    If you've a story of your own, I'm hoping you'll do the same.

    So, the year is 2011, and I've just started seeing the young lady who will eventually move in with me. She's never had a smartphone or a data plan, so I convince her to sign up for upstart Canadian carrier Mobilicity by buying her a BlackBerry Curve 3G, like the one you see above. I'm thoughtful that way.

    She liked the phone, but the real hero of this story is BIS, BlackBerry's proxied Internet service. I think at the time it was only a $15 CAD add-on to her already cheap calling plan, so she ended up with unlimited data for about the same price as what she was paying her previous carrier for just calls and text.

    I know, pretty boring story so far. Bear with me... So in January of 2011 we both went to a Howard Forums meet-up sponsored by Mobilicity. I didn't really know Howard at that point; I was just another forum member and Mobilicity fan. I ended up winning a second BlackBerry that night, a Bold 9780. Obviously, that went immediately to the girlfriend, and her Curve 3G went into a drawer. I was already an Android guy by that point (sorry).

    BUT THAT'S STILL NOT THE STORY! Cut to March, 2011 and we're taking our first vacation together, to my brother and sister-in-law's place in Bermuda. For whatever reason I went a few days early, and brought the Curve 3G with me. Why? Digicel, the island's largest operator, had a prepaid SIM for visitors with unlimited data, but only through BIS. All I had to do was get the Curve unlocked and I could be untethered and available for updates on the girlfriend's inbound flight.

    I have a crystal-clear memory of standing in downtown Hamilton (Bermuda) under clear-blue skies reading Hangout pings (Android guy—remember?) from the girlfriend, as her plane was getting de-iced before takeoff from Toronto. Schmaltzy as it sounds, it was one of those moments where technology could make someone far away seem very close. And in this specific case, it wouldn't have been possible without BIS—or, I suppose, some very expensive roaming charges.

    The Curve was eventually gifted to a friend, and the Bold... well, despite not having international roaming turned on that Bold somehow got free data during our second vacation together to Africa later that year. Still haven't figured that one out.

    Anyway, that's my fondest memory of BlackBerry. What's yours?

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Share Your Favourite BlackBerry Stories Here started by acurrie View original post
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. aiharkness's Avatar
      aiharkness -
      Years ago I was in the Baltimore area when the earthquake occurred. We were actually in a car when it happened, and pulled into a brew pub moments after. The overhead lighting was still swinging and the people in the pub were talking about it.

      All of us started contacting wives and family. I don't remember if any of my colleagues had smartphones or not, but they at least had feature phones. I was the only one with wifi capability and BBM.

      No one could place a phone call or send an SMS. I connected to the pub's wifi and was communicating with my wife over BBM in a matter of seconds.

      That's my favorite story of why communication is #1 and when it really matters it matters a lot.

      I don't remember what I was using or what year that was. Could have been a 9700 at the time.

      Now I'm using PassportSQW100-1/

      It may be the end of an Era, but could be a new Era, provided fans can still buy a quality hardware device running BlackBerry's OS.

      We'll see.
    1. rambo47's Avatar
      rambo47 -
      Way back in the day I was a Palm Treo user. The Treo was the first true consumer convergence device, marrying calendar, address book, and phone. And you could play Dope Wars on it. I wasn't high enough up the food chain at work to rate a corporate-issue BlackBerry but I needed something to replace my freezing and crashing Treo. The BlackBerry 7230 was my first. Radical new blue color, a color screen - sort of. It was barely color, but it wasn't grayscale or greenscale like older BlackBerry devices. In those days, if you carrier a BlackBerry business people took you more seriously. It was a status symbol and told everyone you were serious about your job. Sounds silly these days, but back then it mattered. Anyway, that was the beginning of a 10+ year love affair with BlackBerry.

      I've gone iPhone now, but I've never completely gotten over BlackBerry. Even now I keep a 9370 on a prepaid line with Verizon. And somehow I got BIS over WiFi on this prepaid line. $30/month, NO DATA ALLOWANCE - wifi data only - and Verizon hooked me up with the service books for BIS. Thats the unicorn of prepaid and BlackBerry. I don't know how long it will last but I'm milking BB7 for as long as it lasts.
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