A Eulogy for My Dead BlackBerry 10 Demo, Which Lived for Four Days

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Photo: Kevin Roose

To my BlackBerry Z10 Demo Model,

Back on January 30, when you were given to me for free at the launch of BlackBerry 10 by your eager PR team, I could never have guessed that just four days later, on February 3, I'd be saying good-bye.

You came loaded with so much promise. I had heard that you were going to revolutionize the smartphone industry with your 70,000 apps, your easy toggle button between work and personal mode, and your centralized notification system. Even Alicia Keys liked you, or was paid a large sum of money to say she did. When CEO Thorsten Heins announced that he was giving you to every reporter, PR person, and hanger-on in the building that day, I felt my heart leap. And when he said that you would appeal to "people who are hyperconnected socially," I thought: That's me!

But then you died. After four days of trying you out, for no reason at all, you simply refused to turn on. I removed and replaced your battery, tried to manually reset you, and even connected you to my laptop to see if I could revive you that way. But you stayed there, motionless and dark, the lifeblood drained from your mini-USB port.

I'll always cherish the memory of the approximately 102 hours we had together. You had some charming features, like not having Skype, Netflix, or Instagram apps available. (It was like going back to 2008! A year I loved!) Or requiring a weird bi-directional swipe to get back to your home screen. Or a game called "Shake Mirror," which I downloaded from your app store. When I opened it, it said "Shake your phone to see an image of yourself," and then, when I shook it, it showed me a photo of a monkey at the zoo. That was hilarious! The game said "fatal exception" and crashed immediately afterwards, but it was still a good time.

I gave you everything, BlackBerry Z10. I loaded my e-mail and calendar into you, used you to look at Twitter, and even made a slideshow of my co-workers using your "Story Maker" feature, with some random, royalty-free punk song as the background music. I showed you off to my friends and talked up your prospects. "This company could come back!" I said. They believed me. And now you're gone, survived only by your parent company and my broken dreams.

BlackBerry Z10, you were a piece of crap, but you were my piece of crap. And I'll miss you. Whenever I pick up my iPhone from now on, I'll be looking at a solid, functional, well-designed piece of hardware with working apps and the ability to outlive a green banana. But I'll be thinking of you.

Rest in peace,

Kevin