BlackBerrys are Everywhere at CES 2013 (Seriously)
This week's International CES 2013 in Las Vegas is packed with BlackBerrys, but it's not really the attendees who are using themit's the CES staffers, vendors and booth attendants on the tradeshow floor.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
I’ve seen more BlackBerry smartphones at the 2013 International CES in Las Vegas this week than I have at any other non-Research In Motion (RIM) event in years. In fact, I’ve literally seen hundreds of BlackBerry devices, and almost all of them were BlackBerry 88xx models, a BlackBerry that was released years ago. All of the CES staffers at the badge-holder pickup areas, which all attendees must visit before entering the show, are equipped with BlackBerry 88xx smartphones that are attached to badge scanners. And the majority of booth vendors and attendants, at least from medium-to-large-size companies, also have BlackBerry 88xx handhelds with scanners, so they can scan attendees badges for future marketing opportunities.
Why, you might ask, are all these people using years-old BlackBerry devices? (At least I asked that question.) I don’t have an official answer, but I’m guessing the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), which organizes CES, bought a whole bunch of scanners for the BlackBerry 88xx devices in the past, and they don’t want to have to buy more scanners and/or devices. And the BlackBerry-equipped scanners seem to work quite well. So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
I admit, it seems a bit odd that the staffers from CES, the largest consumer electronics show in the world, where thousands of cutting edge technologies are unveiled and demonstrated, are all using what many consider to be obsolete smartphone hardware and software. But this is a good example of how lots of businesses, organizations and governments still see value in BlackBerry smartphones, even if many consumers are avoiding the aging BlackBerry platform these days like the stinky guy on the bus.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.