Tuesday, 20 March 2012

BlackBerry Porsche: Gadget of Communication or Status?

Few years ago, the usage of blackberry phones by Nigerians became a fad that spread like wild fire. From Curve and Tour to Javelin and Bold, if you are not using these devices you hide your phone whenever it rings not to talk of the menace of; "can I have your PIN", that has now become an anthem. When some are saving money to join the league of Blackberry users, RIM stormed the market with the likes of Playbook, Torch and most recently Porsche.

The BlackBerry Porsche P’9981 which is one of the latest inventions from Research in Motion (RIM) is sold for as high as $2350 equivalent to 350, 000 in Nigerian currency and is already on purchase in various mobile markets. The alarming cost of this device has raised dust and speculations from various individuals as to why it is priced so high and what functions it can deliver to prospective customers to be categorized as a luxury brand. The craze for this device make many to wonder: is it just another communication gadget or a status device?

BB porsche design was gotten from the Porsche car

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Speaking with a staff of BlackBerry Slot in Computer Village Ikeja who craved anonymity, she said the phone is collaboration between Porsche Designs & Research In Motion (RIM) the owners of the Blackberry brand. The device has a Stainless Steel body, hand-wrapped leather back cover, sculpted QWERTY, crystal clear touch display, Exclusive PINS, exclusive Porsche Design UI & a bespoke Wikitude world browser, 1.2 GHz processor, HD Video recording, 24-bit high resolution Graphics, 8 GB-on board memory that is expandable to 40 GB with micro SD card & it operates on Blackberry 7 OS. It has a 5 megapixel camera, weighs 155g weight in hand and also comes with a desk charger cradle, she added.

Ada Nwosu a Business woman who currently acquired the Black Berry Porsche phone said “I got the phone for N390, 000 and I just realized that it doesn’t have many functions as such compared to the other BB phones in the market. The only difference is that you can talk on it and it helps you write out what you say”.

She added that the phone comes with two chargers, a normal charger which chargers the phone when connected to power and a desktop charger which helps charge the phone without being connected to power. Left for me it is just for identifying class.

Another user of the trendy device, Mr. Akinwunmi, he applauded the manufacturer and claimed its first of its kind. He claimed that as a company managing director, it will really be an advantage to his status holding such high class device.

‘Apart from the fact that people claim its expensive lets take a closer look at what the device can do that regular blackberry cant do. That includes accelerated internet connectivity, expandable inbuilt memory capacity, and Microsoft office 2010 among others. To me it’s the best bet’ he revealed.

According to BBGeeks.com, BlackBerry devices have been around since 1999, they really didn’t start gaining traction until the early 21st century. BlackBerry’s popularity really started its surge recently. In November of 2004, Research in Motion announced that there were over two million BlackBerry subscribers worldwide. This was up from one million earlier in the year. Less than a year later, subscribers totaled 5 million. However, in the past two years, RIM has added another 9 million subscribers, and now boasts of 14 million subscribers. In less than three-and-a-half years, 13 million people have gotten their hands on BlackBerry.

“Gone are the days when phones were designed to receive calls and make out calls. We have different applications for various functions and human beings always love to distinct social class with items and gadgets even if its functionality is of little difference” claimed Segun Lawal.

Jide Sobajo a marketer with a financial firm is of the opinion that the phone is too expensive and a luxury brand. It no longer serves as a mere communication item but to distinguish financial capability.

The very first model of the BlackBerry was the 850 which ran on two AA batteries which progressed to the 857/957 series with a rechargeable lithium battery. The next upgrade was to 5810, this is when we started to see some further integration of the BB, a full color screen. Then came the 5000-6000 series followed by 7200-7250 series released through Sprint and Verizon and first to have the Bluetooth capabilities. With the advancement in technology we had the 8000, 8700 series and now with the 9000 series and beyond.

Information has it that RIM has plans to collaborate with Ferrari and Lamborghini to design BB phones similar to the car brands just as was done with BB Porsche. Which means, very soon there will be Blackberry Ferrari and Blackberry Lamborghini: only God knows how much these will go for.

Does this now show indication that the BlackBerry brand is suddenly becoming a luxury brand and would be utterly expensive to purchase by the Middle class individuals?

With this invention, is it still a gadget of communication or that of status?, Time will tell.

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