Allan Ripp thinks BlackBerry could make a comeback by bringing back a dumbed-down smartphone (The Wall Street Journal, 10/8/13). Allan admits that he was slow to let go of his Motorola flip phone in favor of a BlackBerry, but was forced to make the switch because his clients complained about his relative inaccessibility, as in: "Where the hell are you and why haven’t you responded to this mother-of-all demands I sent all of 30 seconds ago?" His dependency on the device came quickly, but his grief began when he dropped his BlackBerry Bold, cracking the screen.
By that time the Bold had been discontinued, so Allan was forced to get a Q10, which "looked sleek and ultra-functional" – until he "tried to use it." Among other things it lacked the "nifty little keyboard and actual cursor," replaced by a "nonresponsive" touchscreen that "sent icons and messages whizzing by like the view from a bullet-train window." So, Allan got the screen fixed on his old Bold, but senses that he’s "not alone" in his "aversion to the prevailing smartphone gauntlet of flicks and jabs and kazam-like bursts of the hand."
He also suspects he’s not the only one who has "little use for the phone as an entertainment multiplex and archive of all human achievement (or personal newsfeeds), who merely want an easy-to-use workhorse device in order to stay connected." His advice to BlackBerry: "Market the hardy Bold and Torch as the Volkswagen of phones, in a stripped-down, app-free version that boasts a working physical keyboard and cursor for the no-nonsense user and a battery that lasts all the livelong day," adding: "There are a lot more of uncool types out here than you think."