Americans: We are Ashamed to Own BlackBerrys Now

Have you ever excitedly unwrapped a big Christmas present under the tree only to discover it’s an oversized, chunky sweater hand-knit in a tragically unfashionable pattern by your beloved grandmother? If so, you might have said, “I can’t wear this. It’s outdated. It’s not cool. Everyone will make fun of me.” 

Well, that sweater is now your BlackBerry.

The New York Times today ran a somewhat controversial article that basically interviewed a bunch of American BlackBerry users who were decidedly ashamed that they still owned the RIM smartphones. Here are some snippets from the piece.

“I’m ashamed of it,” said Ms. Crosby, a Los Angeles sales representative who said she had stopped pulling out her BlackBerry at cocktail parties and conferences. In meetings, she says she hides her BlackBerry beneath her iPad for fear clients will see it and judge her.

Craig is also not a fan.

“BlackBerry users are like Myspace users,” sneers Craig Robert Smith, a Los Angeles musician. “They probably still chat on AOL Instant Messenger.”

Neither is Victoria.

“I feel absolutely helpless,” said Ms. Gossage. “You’re constantly watching people do all these things on their phones and all I have going for me is my family’s group BBM chats.”

Or Nick.

“This is the sign of a desperate company,” said Nick Mindel, a 26-year-old investment analyst. “Come on, BlackBerry, I always had some faith, but you just lost a customer. Frankly, I don’t think they can afford to lose many more.”

And here’s Rachel again.

“I want to take a bat to it,” Ms. Crosby said, after waiting for her phone’s browser to load for the third minute, only to watch the battery die. “You can’t do anything with it. You’re supposed to, but it’s all a big lie.”

In the US, BlackBerrys went from a dominant 50% marketshare in 2009 to a paltry 5% today. The platform has fared better here in Canada, where RIM is headquartered.

Research in Motion will attempt to reverse this stigma are positive but, clearly, RIM’s battle is all uphill.