Swellboy on… forsaking his BlackBerry

Our man succumbs to an iPhone and finds himself wanting to buy it things

Image: Brijesh Patel

I have finally done it, something I would never have thought I was capable of. I have abandoned my BlackBerry.

I remember that way back in thefirst decade of the current century it seemed like I had fallen in love. Herewas a device that meant I would never be separated from my work; ratherlike Linus’s rag in the Snoopy cartoons, I carried it with me and at night, justas I was dozing off, it would chirrup to announce the arrival of some hugelyimportant piece of junk mail that needed to be dealt with absolutelyinstantaneously, if not sooner. New parents who complain of sleep deprivationwill be familiar with the feeling.


But gradually, almostimperceptibly, BlackBerry and I have grown apart. It is sad and Ifeel guilty – perhaps I could have done more. But in recent months there werethree of us in the relationship: me, my BlackBerry and Microsoft Outlook 2013. Clearly, Outlook 2013 was jealous and every time I tried to bring Outlook and my ageingBlackberry Torch together my contacts would multiply with fecundity andphiloprogenitiveness until I had almost 9,000 of them. It was to say the leastinconvenient and, thinking about it, I could have called the Technopolis hotlineand sought the advice of my colleague Jonathan Margolis. But, in my heart, I knew what he would say: namely, switch to an iPhone.

And, reluctantly at first, that iswhat I did, throwing myself in at the deep end with an iPhone 5s and a contractthat seemed to stretch so far into the future that my children might end upinheriting it. Yes, I find the absent keyboard a pain. Yes, the battery needstopping up about as frequently as a Lamborghini being driven at speed throughEurope. And I miss the BlackBerry data roaming package. But even I could notresist the ineluctable technological tide any longer. It is a dilemma that manypeople I know have recently faced and we are allfinding the same thing: a more or less childlike delight at having a brilliantnew toy. Just something as “simple” as having all one’s music on one’stelephone – a feature that I genuinely believed to be neither here nor there –has improved my life. It is not quite like finding God, but I do feel akin to a prodigal son for whom a moderately fatted nut roast has been slaughtered.


All in all, it is a little like getting a newpet. I want to cosset it and buy it things. I daresay that thisinfatuation will pass, but for the moment I am enjoying the novel sensation of findingmore to like than loathe about a new piece of technology.