January 14, 2001
2:37 AM   Subscribe

The wireless e-mail device market splits along racial lines. Black users prefer Motorola, while whites favor BlackBerry.
posted by jjg (11 comments total)
My son has a child of mixed race. Will this present a problem for him, or in fact for me if I buy him a pager as a birthday gift? I don't want to create further problems for the young lad.
posted by Postroad at 6:37 AM on January 14, 2001

I'd just like to say that this white boy went for Motorola.
posted by harmful at 7:18 AM on January 14, 2001

European users prefer, um, other products. I'm sure the marketroids are quaking.
posted by holgate at 7:38 AM on January 14, 2001

European and Asian users prefer sms-capable cellphones, usually made by Nokia; the Japanese have i-mode, but then they're always about three to five years ahead of everyone else, so.Every single time I read a US article about wireless email and how it's going to be The Next Big Thing in communication, I snicker. I mean, hello, the rest of us figured out it was sms a looooong time ago -- get with the program! :)
posted by lia at 8:53 AM on January 14, 2001

I lived Italy for a while and had one of those sms-cellphones. It's not that they are "ahead" of us, but rather they live in a different situation. In Italy, which has similar conditions to other European countries, regular telephone calls are very expensive, hence dialing up with a traditional modem to check e-mail, surf the net, etc. is very expensive. So they have found that using cell phones is way cheaper. We don't need to get with any program. We just live with difference distinct conditions than Europeans (I don't know about Japan, but I think that it is the same), hence, things will, and have, develop differently. No one is right or wrong, just different reactions to different circumstances.
posted by Bag Man at 3:53 PM on January 14, 2001

lia: That's one of several things I'm jealous of re: the rest of the world. I'd like it if SMS were offered in America (I don't believe I'd buy it, but I'd like the option), as well as some of those other products to which holgate alludes.

harmful: Why Motorola? Got a lot of friends who use it, or did it simply beat BlackBerry to your market? (For the record, the article's take on African-American loyalty to Motorola in general (and StarTac phones in specific) strikes this black man as a lil' overblown. *suddenly pictures millions of African-Americans marching to stores to buy Apples and Palms containing Motorola chips* Were I to choose 'tween the two, I'd probably buy a BlackBerry. But if anyone wishes to surprise me with one or the other, well, hey (shrug) ...
posted by allaboutgeorge at 5:07 PM on January 14, 2001

I think SMS is the technology to bet on, long-term, too. But when I wanted to get a phone with 2-way messaging, I had a choice between that and wireless web. I chose the latter. Nobody I know has one, anyway ...

There's bound to be an instant-messaging style brouhaha over this someday.
posted by dhartung at 5:43 PM on January 14, 2001

Once you've had Blackberry, you never go backberry.
posted by kindall at 6:28 PM on January 14, 2001

I was seeing Blackberry handhelds at $400 and up, the Motorola T-900 was $180 with a $80 rebate. Wasn't a difficult choice for something that was basically going to be a nifty toy.
posted by harmful at 7:24 PM on January 14, 2001

Just as a kind of follow-up to Bag Man's post about the different situations elsewhere in the world... a friend of mine recently spent a year in Japan and said that it would have taken her over two months to get phone service for her apartment, so she opted for the cellphone route as it provided faster, better service. I can see the US going that route as interactions with the various Ma/Baby Bells grow more and more frustrating. Can anyone here honestly say they love their residential-line phone company and love dealing with them when they have problems?
posted by evixir at 11:31 PM on January 14, 2001

I have to say, I hated Ameritech when I lived in Detroit, but I love the former GTE (now Verizon) here in the north-of-Seattle burbs. I got my DSL more or less when they promised it (about two weeks), and while it goes down every once in a while a simple modem reboot cures that. Voice service is fine and was installed and working when I arrived from Detroit. With Ameritech, whenever someone else in my buliding ordered or changed telephone service it was even odds that they'd screw up someone else's service, often mine (I probably put in six service calls one year for these kinds of screw-ups). Doesn't seem to happen here in GTE-land.
posted by kindall at 12:18 AM on January 15, 2001

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