CrackBerry Asks: Are you embarrassed by your BlackBerry?

By Kevin Michaluk on 16 Oct 2012 11:08 am EDT

* Update: The results are still pouring in, but I'd say we're at a level of being statistically significant now. And it appears about 1 in 5 BlackBerry users are admitting to feel a little embarassed by their BlackBerry. Keep in mind this poll is on CrackBerry - meaning we could see it bump even higher among the more mainstream base. Even if it not, 1 / 5 is still too high in my opinion, and it only means one thing... RIM has got to get BlackBerry 10 to market asap and tie it to some awesome marketing. In the meantime, be sure to check out our pal Al Sacco's post on CIO he just put up, talking about Why Using a BlackBerry Can Still Be "Cool". *

Here's a poll I never thought I'd be putting up on CrackBerry, but after an article yesterday by the New York Times titled the BlackBerry As Black Sheep (with a post url of blackberry-becomes-a-source-of-shame-for-users), I felt compelled to.

Nicole Perlroth wrote the story for NYT, quoting a sales rep by the name of Ms. Crosby who told Perlroth that she was ashamed of her BlackBerry and that she quit pulling it out at cocktail parties and has resorted to hiding her BlackBerry under her iPad at business meetings.

Personally, what I find shameful here is the article Perlroth wrote, surveying all of 2 people and posting it as representative of BlackBerry users everywhere. Looking at the 100+ comments left to her post, it appears many others agree with my sentiment as they too are tearing into the article.

And honestly, I was contemplating on writing a post here that really tore into it as well (it's not the first time we've had to correct NYT's apparent love for beating up on BlackBerry), but I'm going to take the high road this time around and instead turn it into a poll to see just how many people feel among CrackBerry readers may also feel this way. 

Look, I'm sure there are **some** people out there who may feel embarrassed by their BlackBerry, especially if it's an older, entry level model. I actually heard a local radio announcer just the other week say something very similar to what Ms. Crosby did, so she's not alone. I would assume among BlackBerry's 80+ million user base this is a small issue, but if it's bigger than I expect then it's one that BlackBerry's marketing department is going to have to figure out how to address as BlackBerry 10 advertising ramps up. So vote on the poll above and let us know where you stand, and be sure to sound off in the comments.

As for being referred to as a Black Sheep... well, let's just say I'd rather be called a Black Sheep over an iSheep any day. ;)

Reader comments

CrackBerry Asks: Are you embarrassed by your BlackBerry?


I think the level of embarassment can be determined by an individuals tax bracket. I guess having an iphone gives them something in life to be happy about though, so I am grateful for that.


EVERYONE I have made one of the more comprehensive reviews of this article. It can be found in the forums on page 4 of the thread "very uncool NYtimes article about blackberry" found in the general discussion section.

******* CHECK IT OUT *********

Well, I feel embrassed only if I put a nude wallpaper on the phone, and pull it out during a mass in my church! If you are embrassed by your phone, I don't know what to say? Do you also embrassed by your car? By your house?

My first impression is that is weird and not very healthy. Why be "ashamed" of a tool that you use? Even if you believe that you didn't make the best choice and your friends are all using something else -So what? That tool is not you and there is nothing to be ashamed of.

The iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Android all have strengths and weaknesses - no one platform is better than all of the others in all respects. We simply look them over and pick the one that suits our purposes better than the others, based on what features are the most important to us.

I'm no fan boy, but I do like my BlackBerry. Should my 9900 crap out today, I'd go buy another one just like it.

No, I am not ashamed to bring out my BlackBerry in any setting.

Maybe its just me but I have an idea, take it for what it it or hate it.(Or just laugh)
Ad campaign "blacksheep"

Take the "black sheep" name and run with it. Do and ad campaign "black sheep vs isheep"
Make it cool to be a black sheep rather than an isheep.

Isheep all do the same thing good, bad, and ugly (simple design,walled garden, imaps) fence with sheep going to the gate over and over to turn around and do it again to look at the flowers, then pull up imaps and get lost going to the food bin.

Then show blacksheep (with Rim logo) breaking out of the walled garden, walking effortlessly around email,tweets,facebook,linkedin, etc then pull up bb traffic and navigate to store to use nfc. Add in a tie in with music apps and video.

Blackberry sheep DO!
What do you want to DO?

~Blacksheep by choice~
*if this concept by some chance is used I would like credit for it (and $$$$ wouldn't hurt either)

I can tell you this....there is nothing sexier (mobile tech-wise :-D) than a woman pulling out a Bold 9900!

I spent almost whole day yesterday tryin to make comment on that nyt article but somehow it won't let me lol. I went to the article right after I saw a post on fb about RIM's tweet replying the nyt tweet about the article. I stopped trying when I saw they changed the title to 'The Blackberry As Black Sheep'. The original title was 'Quick Hide The Blackberry, It's Too Uncool'. They changed it after many people defend blackberry in the comment. Just so you know, my best guess was the writer of that article tried to do his/her part of lowering RIM's stockprice and keeping it as low as possible before BB10 launch.

It's about the experience, and I still get the best experience out of my 9930 than anything else I've tried. Definitely not afraid to pull out my Bold and DO.

Seriously? Are there people out there who own and use a Blackberry AND they're embarrassed by that? WTF get yourselves one of those "other phones" and be a nice little sheep with 'em.
Good grief, I can't believe this.

I'm the only one in my office with a blackberry and i get shit form them daily. I don't care fact I am happy I am the odd one! My blackberry satisfies me !

I'm not embarrassed at all. Whoever tries to put me down, I'll dismiss and say they sure lack the appreciation of being able to enjoy the use of any device they have. NO WONDER they're in so much debt.

Buying the latest-greatest adds up. $300x10 androids is... $3000. Doing the math is simple. Now keep adding it up.. $30,000!! Crazy eh? Anyone who tells me to switch, can go F+++ themselves WITH their unappreciation, down their stomach with their iGARBAGE or iSPYDROID behavior. Yeah, I said it. I hate to be a bit crude, but people need to realize that REALITY SUCKS and to show some respect for people's CHOICES.

Ah, lifestyle journalists ... just like a fashion journalist mocking the very styles they were wearing last year... assuming the author actually had a job more than 4 years ago they would have been a Blackberry user, but its imperative to turn on the technology that once made them look cool themselves, just to demonstrate how almost painfully cutting edge they are ...

People that are embarrassed by the fact that they own and use a phone that works are the very definition of insecure.

I don't understand why everyone is responding with such hostility. There are many good reasons to stay with a Blackberry. But there are many antiquated and annoying aspects to the experience as well. Most of us are waiting and praying for BB10 to come out and solve this problem - keep the good stuff, and overcome the bad stuff. That will be a killer combination. But while the article was silly in that it used a sample size of one, the embedded video was a little more illuminating with feedback from a few more people. But the fact nobody can ignore is that 25 percent of US (that's 25% of the diehard fan-boy dedicated Crackberry addicts) voted that we are embarrassed being seen with our Blackberries. All the anger and angry comments in the world won’t change that fact. Kevin noted as much in his update. There is a real problem here, and it has to be addressed with the utmost urgency.

I've seen the article in the NYT and watched the subsequent video. Sad. One woman said she hides her Berry UNDER her iPad at meetings so she won't be ridiculed? I guess in a society where you have designer dogs and breast augmentation, you are bound to find people that are actually "embarrassed" by the smart phone they tote. Good grief people!

Does the Berry "work" for your needs? That's the bottom line. I still think my 9780 looks sleek and up to date. Even if I didn't, I don't care what others think. It works for me.

I have a friend whom was on a Nextel Flip Phone until about two months ago. When she finally upgraded, she only went to a texting phone. Why? Because to her, the "Cell Phone" is just that, a CELLULAR TELEPHONE, period. She uses her iPad for everything else. She could give a flying squirrel what anyone thought of her old Nextel Flip Phone. It worked for her.

For me and millions like me, I use my Berry everywhere because it's a powerful business and personal communication and PDA for my needs. Sure, I'll probably upgrade to the "10" when it's out for a while and they iron out all the first gen bugs, but until then, I'll use it and not even give two seconds of thought to whom around me may think I'm a Dinosaur.

I jumped ship about 6 months ago and went with an Android and then an iPhone to see what I was missing. All I could do was lament on how I missed my BlackBerry. My friends thought I was nuts when I went Back to Black, but who cares? I'm not toting a smart phone to "impress" or "fit in" with anyone. I'm toting my Berry because I have got to get stuff done during the day. A lot of important stuff, and the Berry helps me do that.

Sheesh. Embarrassed by using a BlackBerry? Society gone absolutely crazy. What's next, worried that my traveling coffee mug is not the right size and color? :)