It was a long and contemplative weekend for the BlackBerry faithful. We’ve seen many delays in the past few years, but none quite as deflating as Thursday’s announcement that RIM won’t release BlackBerry 10 devices until Q1 2013. When Bold 9000 got delayed from July, 2008 all the way to November it was annoying but it didn’t threaten the company overall. When the PlayBook OS update got pushed from October to January it was a relatively major disappointment, but it wasn’t an update that held in it the future of RIM. This delay — I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m not the only one whose faith in RIM and the BlackBerry has been tested. For those who aren’t aware, this site rolled out in 2007 as the brain child of SEO and internet marketer Rae Hoffman. While I was always the primary content guy, she’d occasionally chime in with things that interested her. In the early goings she wrote about upgrading from the 8700 to the 8800. That was days before the iPhone launch, and it goes to show how little BlackBerry owners thought of the iPhone at the time. She also was known for complaining about the required “is” in the BlackBerry Facebook app (for those who remember such a thing). And yet, this weekend:
Dear RIM – we’ve been together 8 years now… after 2 dead BB’s in 7 months, I have no choice… I’ve left you. Love, Rae
— Rae Hoffman-Dolan (@sugarrae) July 1, 2012
This was in a way a response to the delay. Had there been the possibility of a new, more reliable BlackBerry on the horizon, perhaps she would have stuck it out and purchased a new BlackBerry off-contract. But with a selection of the same old BlackBerry devices for at least the next six months, and with that possibly extending to nine months (or even more, pending future delays), the choice to move on became obvious. I have a hard time imagining other long-time users choosing differently. I’ll fully admit that in the past few months I’ve found myself using my BlackBerry less and less. Writing for several mobile-centric websites I have the privilege of owning phones on the three major platforms (with Windows Phone and even a Firefox phone surely coming down the pike). The BlackBerry used to be my favorite; as recently as 2009 I said that if I had to ditch either my Android or my BlackBerry, I’d keep the BlackBerry. But the last few years have changed that. Thursday’s announcement really just put a bow on things. What does this mean for the future of BBGeeks? I’m not sure. We’ll be back with a tip tomorrow, and we’ll feature some more useful apps and accessories for you later in the week. But if RIM doesn’t have a future, and the BlackBerry doesn’t have a future, how can a website dedicated to all things BlackBerry have a future?