Sometimes an earthquake is all a company needs

It's not often that I get to lord my Blackberry over other people, so I will do it every single chance I get.

At times I feel like a heretic living in the middle of the Bible Belt: iPhone users are not content to love their iPhone in private. They are not content to relish their newfound position of hip, hop happeningness. They are only content if they can convert the unwashed heathen. That's me. That's especially me.

I could have escaped their condescension and patronization if I used Android. But no, I have a Blackberry, and I have not yet heard the end of it.

I shouldn't be surprised that my high tech geek friends have such an irrational hate on for RIM. For the longest time, the Crackberry was the holy grail, but it was mostly the business type, the commerce students, and the middle management yuppies that had them. For the longest time, the tech geek was on the outside looking in. 

All that changed when the iPhone burst on the scene, and the developer community embraced it like it was covered in cocaine.

And those of us who had Blackberries soldiered on or, even worse, took a small chance on a company that had brought such innovation in the past. In the end, the Blackberry is not as good as the iPhone. But it's not a bad phone, and it certainly doesn't deserve the dragging through the mud it gets.

 So when I hear something good about RIM, please allow me to be smug for a bit.

The 5.9 magnitude earthquake that shook the East Coast Tuesday exposed a major strength or RIM. After the quake, the giant spike in call volume meant massive service interruptions for users of AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. But not so for Blackberry users. BlackBerry Messenger service can run on both a phone’s data connection or local Wi-Fi; once more, RIM showed why it has gained a reputation for reliability and security.

 The same effect was found in the Chilean earthquake of 2010; immediately after of 9/11 in New York: BBM was the only service left standing; and in London, BBM was unfortunately too reliable and secure. Rioters used it as the main vector to communicate.

Likely this will only slow the Apple and Android juggernauts. But there is a chance that RIM's reputation will be remembered. There is just a small chance that RIM's fortunes might start to turn around, on the backs of its rock solid security. And if it does, maybe my RIM stocks will start to be worth something again ...

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