This story says a lot for the position of BlackBerry in the hearts and minds of Britain. Two teenage thugs in Sheffield mugged a schoolboy for his mobile phone. They then handed it back because it “wasn’t good enough.” The muggers wanted a BlackBerry.
It is no wonder. You only have to open your eyes in London or any other British city to see that RIM’s finest has become the companion of people with, let us say, a poor image. During last year’s urban riots, Blackberry’s messaging service was said to be the technological hub of the disturbances, responsible for massing the troops in desirable locations.
No self-respecting businessman now cares to be seen in public with a BlackBerry. Whether it be Android, Windows Phone or iPhone, anything is now a better bet in the fashion stakes than the once-mighty BlackBerry.
It reminds me of the unenviable position of the famous Burberry clothing marque a few years ago. Knock-off Burberry hats, scarves and accessories became the badge of chavs. Not the sort of people who would normally buy Burberry. As a result, Burberry was left with a massive PR problem. Fortunately for them, the fashion craze among chavs seems to have died down.
Meanwhile, with the BlackBerry the nightmare is only just beginning.