Why I Switched to Android: 7 BlackBerry Geeks Speak

Why are so many gadget enthusiasts abandoning RIM's ship to go Google? CIO.com's Al Sacco chats with seven formerly loyal BlackBerry users who've recently switched to Google's Android platform for some straight talk on the big shift.

Tue, September 21, 2010

CIO — Lots of players are trying their hands in the modern mobile game. What used to be a contest dominated by just a couple of companies, namely Nokia and Research In Motion (RIM) (RIM), in both the consumer and enterprise spheres, now has successful players ranging from Apple (AAPL) to Google (GOOG) and perennial mobile hanger-on Microsoft (MSFT).

Motorola (<a title=MOT) DROID X and RIM BlackBerry Torch 9800" />
Motorola DROID X and RIM BlackBerry Torch 9800

Apple, with its iOS-powered iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, and Google, with devices based on the Android mobile OS, seem to be having the most success. That's due largely to both the "freshness" and functionality of their respective operating systems. Indeed, these two companies are stealing the most prospective smartphone users away from BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM).

A few months back, before Android had gained the public support it's currently seeing, and while Apple was barreling along, full-steam ahead, I spoke with a handful of hardcore gadget-geeks, folks who live and breathe mobile, who'd recently made the switch from a BlackBerry to the iPhone. The idea: Spotlight the factors that lured them away from RIM and into Apple's "arms." (Check out "The BlackBerry-to-iPhone Switch: Converts Speak" for details.)

Since then, Android has stormed the scene like a ravenous giant, devouring new subscribers in hordes and stealing buzz from RIM and Apple.

So I've hit the Web yet again to corral another collection of well-informed mobile enthusiasts and experts who'd recently dropped the BlackBerry for Google Android devices.

Every one of the seven sources featured in this story was located on Twitter, and I both respect and trust their opinions, because I read many of them on a daily basis. Every source also has a background using both BlackBerry smartphones and Android devices--and in some cases, others handhelds, as well. Most of them use their smartphones for both work and play.

In other words, these folks know smartphones.

Keep moving for straight talk on why RIM is slowly losing market share to competitor Google, what the company could do to retain and regain users, and the future of RIM's BlackBerry OS, according to former "CrackBerry" addicts. If you're not interested in the specifics, skip right to my conclusions.

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