Eric Schmidt still loves his BlackBerry

by: J. Angelo RacomaMarch 22, 2013
"What's in my pocket? Well, a BlackBerry, of course!"

“What’s in my pocket? Well, a BlackBerry, of course!”

Well, this is awkward. While most companies today are “dogfooding” — that is, they’re forcing all their employees to use their own products — we hardly hear of a top executive pining for a competitor’s product. It especially becomes more interesting because BlackBerry is currently in the minority today, with Android having fast overtaken other mobile platforms.

In an interview with the Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Schmidt — currently executive chairman at Google — says he still loves his BlackBerry smartphone, mostly because of its QWERTY keypad. While keypads have been fast overtaken by capacitive glass touchscreens as the preferred input method for smartphones, there’s no denying that physical keypads do have their advantages. For one, keypads give a tactile feedback, which makes it easier for touch-typing. In particular, BlackBerry keypads are quite famous for their ease-of-use.

Which brings us to the question: why aren’t there more Android smartphones that sport physical keyboards? Sure there are mid-range devices like the Samsung Galaxy Pro and the Samsung Replenish, but these are hardly current devices. In contrast, BlackBerry is offering its latest line with both QWERTY and full touchscreen options (the Z10 vs. the Q10).

Aside from Schmidt’s love for BlackBerry keyboards, it seems he’s not too comfortable with the screen size of the popular Nexus 7, too, preferring instead the bigger size of a full iPad, for instance. Using competitor products is not exactly new, though. Google employees are free to use whichever desktop computing platform they want, and engineers are frequently photographed using Apple MacBooks. Even Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer had been famously an iPhone user even while she was still vice president at Google.

Still, this highlights the more open nature of the corporate culture at Google. This means that while Android is currently top dog in the mobile platform race, Google is perhaps aware that they can still learn a lot from competing platforms, especially if there are features and functionalities that have a solid fan base.

Does anyone still like having physical keypads on their smartphone?

  • The only good keyboard android phones I can list are 3 Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE, Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G, Samsung Captivate Glide. Only BEAST QWERTY Keyboard Android Phone is the “T-Mobile G-Series” But since the G2x there hasn’t been any new ones. Honestly that was the beginning for Android HTC Dream G1. Now we don’t see it. If the G3 comes out it better live up to survive 2 years. Sigh Whats happened to the G Series.

  • Just great , if you want android you have to give your privacy ,nothing is free(security =blacberry). WE GOT IT. And duh , its not about keypad.;-)

    • Greg Bissell

      haha you are ignorant to say the least

  • I used to think that way.

    Then I started using swiftkey.

  • kascollet

    Somebody please, fire the old man.

  • loki

    not surprising, google isn’t a phone company, they focus on service, which spans multiple platforms.
    it’s just happen that they own android os..

  • MasterMuffin

    I like the design of Nokia E7, have they patented it or why there aren’t any Android devices like that (screen goes in better angle when typing)

  • Filip Justin

    Great, why don’t you build a keyboard phone?

  • DannyL

    The Android platform is not secure for users who handle sensitive data on a daily basis. Blackberry and iOS are more stable. Even the President has a Blackberry. I say that (with disappointment) as a GS3 owner.

    • Gandalf

      Indeed. I think Schmidt’s Blackberry ownership is more about stability and security than about physical keypads.

    • Greg Bissell

      Wow you arema misinformed idiot

    • Nacos

      Really??!!! How many times have you been hacked? How much data have you lost in the open as a SG3 owner? How many viruses have you had so far? Can’t you see beyond corporate marketing and psychological manipulations? If you bought the news about the president owning a BlackBerry BECAUSE it’s secure enough even for a president, probably you can’t.

    • Dude, I have owned all-a BlackBerry, an iPhone and a Galaxy Note 2 and have not faced a single problem with android. This is all a marketing gimmick and Android is as secured OSas its rivals. Sure, there are some loop-wholes in the Play Store and it allows malicious apps to get in contact with some personal data of users but BlackBerry doesn’t even have applications (ofcource it does but in contrast to the ones found on Play Store, its nothing). And there are a few applications on the App Store that have a hold over the data of iPhones as well. All the UDID leaks and everything. For your information, UDIDs are Unique Device Identification Identity (or something like that) that every iPhone has. The UDID has all the personal data-Contacts, your passwords, browsing history, every move of your is recorded; all this stuff that has leaked more than once. And don’t you like the ability to download anything and everything over the internet? That is the best part of android. I can download apps, games, movies, songs, torrents and what not directly on my phone. And that is the feature that I enjoy the most on my phone. Downloading apps from different sources, I use the Play Store but since I have a Kindle Fire too, I use the Amazon Store as well and then I check the Yandex Store and for the apps that are not available in my country (or are very expensive), I have torrents. And to enable downloading stuff that is not from the Play Store, you have to go to the settings, check the Download From 3rd Party Sources and it gives a warning that this enables viruses, malicious softwares to get a hold of your device. If you love your security more than alk this, don’t check that box. Besides, who doesn’t have an Anti virus on their phone? And the Play Store has some corrupted apps because it gives you the ability to tweak your phone completely. Does Apple give that? BlackBerry doesn’t even give you good apps, no possible tweaks there. And heres a tip:whenever you download an app from the Play Store, read the reviews,ratings and see how many people have installed the app (if the number is below 10000, don’t bother to install the app because it is probably not safe. And these aren’t actually tips, this is COMMON SENSE, I think that you lack it.

  • Nacos

    …so, are you saying that if I’m John, the manager at the most famous boutique, I should walk around only in skirts? Why can’t we, as human beings, be more tolerant and simply accept that somebody’s performance has nothing to do with their personality, preferences, sexual orientation, gender, skin color or religion? The only metric should be performance. PERIOD!

  • m-i20

    This guy is a doosh.. shpuld be fired


    A few months back they did an interview with Samsung’s top executive and he uses an iPhone, iPad and a Mac for his daily devices. I just don’t think Apple would allow that from its top employee’s.

  • Christian Hume

    I am very much a keyboard guy – now that Nokia is returning to the market later this year, I hope that they find a way to being back some their flagship QWERTY models, even if in smaller production runs. The E-Series is an excellent example. A way needs to be found to make the E-Series compatible with Android while keeping the QWERTY keyboards. There are people who are not into touch screens, and our numbers are greater than is thought.