So long, Blackberry. You were awesome, for a minute

Dear Blackberry 8310:

It’s hard to write this letter to you. You’ve been at my side now for almost two years. You’ve kept me up to date on the important things in life, like the Facebook status of the random people I’ve collected as friends over the years, the insightful links of a few hundred thought leaders on Twitter, and the comings and goings of dozens of people on Foursquare. You’ve kept me in contact with my wife, which is always important (right, honey?).

Despite that, we have reached the end of our run together. Today, the value depreciation algorithm arbitrarily set by AT&T will allow me to upgrade, yes upgrade, my phone to an iPhone 4. You’ve been a good phone, and you’re smart, but you just haven’t shown adequate progress. Later today I will journey to my local Apple store (the good one), and make my purchase.

I know it’s tough hearing this news so suddenly, but you had to know, right? I mean think about all of those “App Error – Restart?” messages you’ve thrown at me in the past six months. How about your limited storage capacity that renders you unable to store a lot of really useful apps? All of the garbage apps by AT&T that can’t be deleted are just pain in the ass. I hate to pile on, but there are two other problems: you get hung up processing simple tasks and you’re not 3G. That’s bad, you know? I mean opening my inbox shouldn’t cause the hourglass to appear for a full minute. I keep that box nice and empty for you. And I basically can’t use the web because “Edge” is just fast enough to send a text that reads “OK”. Not to mention your web browser has some serious problems rendering web pages.

But most of all, the reason I’m buying and iPhone instead of one of your newer cousins is because the ecosystem around the iOS platform is still the best by far. You’re just too hard to develop for. I know, you say you want to keep your tight security to appeal to enterprise clients. Don’t pigeonhole yourself like that, or you’ll soon become like Palm. Soooooo not cool. Take a look at the apps in the Apple App Store. Go ahead, it’s OK. Look at how Apple has generated a revenue stream and a product demand in one interface. Remember when you did that 10 years ago? It was fun, no?

Can I give you some advice? The best thing for you to do is adopt the Android operating system. Yes, seriously. Even though it is open source, you could work with Google to lock down certain parts and develop your own fork of Android. It would give developers the flexibility to create all of those cool-kid apps that catch the attention of the retail market, but still appeal to the enterprise. Because, let’s be honest, not one of my friends who previously had a Blackberry bought a second one since the iPhone 3Gs was released. Many have jumped ship to iOS or Android very enthusiastically.

Today is a bittersweet day for me. I know it doesn’t seem that way to you, but it is. You taught me that phone email and texting are awesome. You taught me that I do want to know whose green snots are flowing like a river. You taught me that I do want to know who is the Mayor of Target, and that I should get the Turkey Club at Village Deli because “it so f—ing awesome!!!!”. You taught me that people I’ve never met will give me meaningful information on topics I didn’t even know I cared about.

It’s been a good run, but it’s over. Don’t worry, though. After I clear your memory of all of my personal data, you’ll go in the drawer with my wife’s Blackberry 8310, too. Eventually, the two of you will be donated so someone else can use you. Kind of like those toys at the end of Toy Story 3. So, see, it won’t be that bad after all!

With much love,
Tim

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