Let me first say that I don’t think, nor have I ever really thought that BlackBerry service will be shut down in the United States. Can you imagine the chaos and disruption to American businesses if it were to? These devices are so popular that the brand BlackBerry has started to surpass the device itself kind of like how everyone used to call any PDA regardless of the manufacturer a Palm Pilot. These days, if it is PDA with a QWERTY keyboard, it is just referred to as a BlackBerry or BlackBerry “like” device.
It is quite amazing actually at how BlackBerry devices have completely changed the way mobile workforces operate in relatively such a short period of time. Email has become the business communication of choice. If someone leaves you a voice mail, you get back to them when you can. If someone sends you an email to your BlackBerry, many would stop mid sentence to fire off a reply. I would love to see some type of study that estimates the number of business transactions facilitated via the BlackBerry.
I wonder how many more piano recitals, soccer matches, and elementary school holiday pageants have been attended because of the convenience of getting that all important email at the end of a quarter that you normally would have had to stay in the office or at least online with a laptop to receive. Granted you are not paying much attention to the event because you are too busy thumbing away sending an email or checking stock quotes. Your able to be there and that is whats most important. Many would argue that the distraction of the BlackBerry actually makes that first 4th grade band concert of the year a bit more tolerable.
I remember about 5 years ago, a company that I worked for used to hire a temp the last two weeks of the quarter primarily to call sales people to let them know what faxes and emails have come in to close the quarter. I no longer work there but one of the last things I did before I Ieft was set up a BES server. My guess is that temp no longer has to call people when faxes come in.
Needless to say, it would really suck if BlackBerry service was disrupted in any way. Life would go on, but it would be a major annoyance.