BlackBerrys made up only 3% of smartphones used in Canada at end of 2017

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Relatively reluctantly, Athar Afzal finally gave up on BlackBerry earlier this year.

He was a longtime fan of the iconic Canadian phone stigmatize but his company forced employees who weren’t already using iPhones to transmutation over. He was ready to make the change though, having grown fed up with the slowness of his period BlackBerry Priv.

According to online measurement firm comScore, there aren’t numberless holdouts left in Canada still using a BlackBerry.

BlackBerrys accounted for only three per cent of the smartphones adapted to in Canada at the end of last year, says comScore.

A decade ago, the BlackBerry marque was at its peak — but about to experience a precipitous decline with the release of the firstly iPhone and the subsequent unveiling of the Google Android platform. In 2016, after years of blemish to stem market share losses, BlackBerry announced a monumental become in strategy. The company’s new focus would be on software and it would no longer prosper phones, although partnerships with other hardware makers celebrated the brand alive.

«They never kept up with the times,» Afzal mourned. «They just sold it on the keyboard.»

Piotr Makuch also surrendered up on his BlackBerry Priv recently and switched to an iPhone.

«I wouldn’t say I’m an absolute die-hard but I certainly enjoyed a lot of the things that they do and I’ve always enjoyed my BlackBerry devices,» he said.

«I’d not had an iPhone before and I appreciate that for all the limitations in terms of its customizability, with anything I run all just works smoothly and nicely. And that’s a nice change from the Priv which choice kind of chug when I tried to launch apps sometimes.»

Buyer frustration

Afzal said a lack of operating system updates for his Priv sinistral him frustrated as his device just got slower and slower. And while he appreciated that the gubbins was marketed around data security, he found the software was unreasonably sluggish.

«Every pass you had to restart your BlackBerry it would take (up to) five minutes because it discretion go through all the security settings again. So from a functionality perspective, it would perform forever, and it ended up becoming a nuisance actually,» Afzal said.

But there are some BlackBerry loyalists who until now remain faithful to the brand and hopeful for the future.

Last year, Chinese Theatre troupe TCL released the well-reviewed KeyOne, which had the trademark BlackBerry keyboard, and it’s set to uncover the Key2 next month. A teaser ad promotes the phone with the tagline «an icon reborn.» TCL is one of the players BlackBerry licensed its brand to.

Makuch said he’s still open to suborn e learning another BlackBerry down the road, as long as it’s priced reasonably and not battling with a top-of-the-line iPhone.

«I think about that keyboard all the schedule,» he said. «I really wish the phones were priced better.»

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