Teens are becoming obsessed with BlackBerry. How do I know? I interviewed one.
Regular readers might recall me mentioning this before, but please allow me to re-hash a conversation I had a few years back with one of design team behind the Motorola Razr.
This was clearly a fearsomely talented (and very young) guy, so I asked him what the next big handset trend would be.
BlackBerry, he replied.
His reasoning was that all the kids in Hollywood have them – and what Tinseltown does today, the rest of the world does tomorrow.
I was dubious. Unlike Americans, Europeans don't have a tradition of using qwerty keyboards (or didn't in 2007), and we prefer texts to email.
Well, I think I was a bit wrong.
Especially after quizzing Tate, the 14 year old daughter of one of my wealthier acquaintances. Tate is permanently tethered to her BlackBerry, as are all of her friends.
And it's not because of email or camera or web, but because of BlackBerry IM (BBM, as she terms it). There is simply no other factor.
The notion that software sales drive hardware was never more true.
Now, because I'm always in work mode (and always thinking of my dear and universally pretty readers – yes, I mean you), I sort of interviewed Tate while on holiday. The result was fascinating. Here are some highlights:
"I've had 18 BBM conversations already today"
This interview took place at lunchtime
"I only text or call my parents"
"With friends it's only BBM."
"People change their IDs to bitch undetected"
"And they can cut and paste entire conversations, and send them to people anonymously."
"If you go out of network range, people think you're blanking them"
"You have to be careful, because people expect a reply straight away and they get suspicious when they don't get one."
"I turn my BlackBerry off at night."
"I have to - the buzzing doesn't stop and it would keep me awake. It is the first thing I reach for in the morning."
"I use my BlackBerry in class"
"The kids can easily BBM under the table without looking. And they do. A lot. Even if the teachers wanted to, they couldn't confiscate the phones. Too many over-protective parents would complain."
"All my Jewish friends have a BlackBerry"
"At the moment it seems to be a Jewish thing, but more and more of my non-Jewish friends are getting BlackBerrys."
"I don't like numeric keypads any more."
"I've forgotten how to use them. They don't feel right."
"I love my BlackBerry, but I hate it too."
"BBM is so addictive, but it's also kind of pointless and there are times when I just hate my BlackBerry and I wish none of us had them."