Who's afraid of being seen with a BlackBerry?

Veteran tech reporters respond to report that BlackBerry users are black sheep.

"Quick, hide the BlackBerry, it's too uncool," warned an article in the uber cool New York Times Tuesday. The article's claim that the BlackBerry "has become a magnet for mockery and derision from those with iPhones and the latest Android phones," drew more than a little mockery and derision from veteran tech reporters around the web.

Unlike the teeming mass of conformists who flock to the latest iPhone, BlackBerry users are independent thinkers, argues Al Sacco at CIO magazine. Sacco, who carries both a BlackBerry and an Android device, points out that he doesn't hesitate to criticize the BlackBerry when criticism is due. However, he is holding on to his RIM device because it is superior to any other he's used for messaging.

"When is it `cooler' to use a BlackBerry than, say, a shiny new iPhone 5 or trendy Samsung Galaxy S III?" Sacco asks. "Well, when you're secure enough in yourself to choose the device, or devices, that best suits your needs, without concern for what anybody else thinks. If that device is a BlackBerry than you're cooler than all your iPhone-toting friends who purchased their devices because Apple marketing convinced them it was cool."

Eric Zeman at InformationWeek has some similar advice for the BlackBerry-toting whiners in the Times article. Rather than act like the "black sheep" and "outcasts" the article paints them to be, they should just get a grip.

Like Sacco, Zeman is quick to note that he's no apologist for the mistakes RIM has made over the years. However, he is witness to many smartphone users in many venues, including many who carry BlackBerrys for good reasons.

"Some people choose BlackBerrys because they (still) make the best hardware keyboards around. That's a legitimate purchasing decision for people who need to peck out email after email day in and day out," he writes. "Besides, if the Aristo hero phone is the type of device RIM has waiting in the wings for launch early next year, the BlackBerry faithful will have their own piece of bling to show off at parties and in the boardroom."

For more:
- see Al Sacco's post at CIO
- Eric Zeman's post at InformationWeek

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