If the title surprised you, it should have. This might have even illiceted a chuckle from some of you, although 4-5 years ago this list would have probably been much, much longer. Once the untouchable king of the mobile phone empire, BlackBerry has seen its stock, profits and users drop considerably as the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy have overtaken the BlackBerry and effectively blew it out of the water. Some might say it’s a minor miracle that the company is still alive and that the phone remains available on shelves in stores across the world.
Luckily for BlackBerry, they were able to build a fierce loyalty in a small part of the population – the hardcore “CrackBerry” fiends who could not let go of the luxurious keyboard and the proper, business feel of a BlackBerry. While the iPhone and Galaxy are the phone of choice for the young, creative members of the workforce, the BlackBerry represents the staunch, powerful professionals who go to work in suits and spend their day talking to other important BlackBerry users.
While that isn’t necessarily true anymore, you’d be hard-pressed to find a BB user who would disagree with that statement; then again, you’d be hard to find a BB user, period. Take my word for it – finding these names wasn’t easy.
One simple argument that can made, especially for athletes, is that without Instagram the BlackBerry is a difficult phone choice to justify, as most athletes use the photo-sharing app for more than just posting selfies of themselves. Of course, a lot of these athletes have more than one phone, and it would appear that at least a few of them still rely on their BlackBerry’s to get the job done.
10. Igor Rakocevic
— Igor Rakocevic (@IgorRakocevic) October 6, 2014
Serbian basketball star Igor Rakocevic is now retired, but during his playing career Rakocevic was a star overseas. He had a couple of cups of coffee in the NBA, first with the Minnesota Timberwolves (who drafted him in the 2nd round in 2000) and then with the San Antonio Spurs. His career trajectory led him back to Europe, where he flourished – and he did so with a BlackBerry in his pocket. Rakocevic tweeted out that he had the first BlackBerry Passport in Serbia, and is seemingly one of the few who still swears by the phone. He has even championed the phone on social media on numerous occasions, calling it “the best phone on the planet.”
9. Paulie Malignaggi
Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi, a former IBF Light Welterweight and WBA Welterweight Champion, has posted photos of himself on social media with his BlackBerry Q10. The “problem” here is that Malignaggi posted the photo on Instagram, which either suggests that he managed to get the app on his BlackBerry (which is possible) or he is one of those athletes with numerous phones at their disposal. The first seems like the more likely scenario, as it would seem a tad foolish to transfer a picture from one phone to another just to post it on Instagram.
8. Mark Cavendish
Mark Cavendish is probably one of the lesser known athletes on this list, as for the most part – especially in North America – cyclists are not propped up the way other athletes are. The Manx cyclist is currently riding for UCI ProTeamEtixx-Quick Step and is considered one of fastest riders in the world – if not the fastest.
For someone who makes their living on being speedy, some might find it odd that Cavendish chooses to use a BlackBerry Passport. One would assume that the Passport is faster than some of the earlier BlackBerry models to frustrate users everywhere, or else Cavendish wouldn’t be using it (not would he be promoting it on Twitter).
7. Milos Raonic
— Milos Raonic (@milosraonic) October 1, 2014
Milos Raonic has slowly but surely established himself as one of the best tennis players in the world, and along with Genie Bouchard has put the sport back on the Canadian radar. Tennis has never been as popular in Canada, in large part to Raonic. Perhaps Raonic can have the same effect for BlackBerry, as he was spotted using a Passport in Toyko recently. He’ll be hard pressed to have the same effect on the phone as he did the sport, but if he does we can all say yell out Raonic’s famous catchphrase: “another win for Milos!!”
6. Nico Rosberg
Nico Rosberg isn’t the most famous driver on this list, so it goes to show that perhaps BlackBerry should focus on the F1 and automobile markets as their primary targets down the road – because it seems to be working there. It’s unclear what kind of BlackBerry Rosberg is (or has) using, but he’s definitely part of the BlackBerry team, having written blogs for the company’s site and appearing in multiple photographs using one of the newer models of the phone. There’s also the fact that BlackBerry sponsors Mercedes AMG, the team Rosberg races for, so perhaps his BlackBerry use is more “part of the deal” than anything else.
5. Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova comes in as the second of four tennis stars on this list, and as we really delve into it, we start to see a bit of a trend in terms of the kinds of sports BlackBerry has managed to associate itself with. Formula One and tennis are considered somewhat “wealthy” sports – activities watched and participated in by those of the higher class. This ties in fairly well with BlackBerry’s claim over a “niche” market, although the whole thing might be a happy coincidence. Either way, Sharapova is a pretty good name to have on your list of users – that much cannot be debated.
If you squint hard, you can see she’s using a BlackBerry Q10.
4. John Wall
John Wall is on this list because he does in fact own a BlackBerry, however he’s also one of the athletes who uses multiple phones on a daily basis. However, it would appear that the BlackBerry Classic he keeps on him is more for show than anything else, as Jefferson Graham wrote in a recent USA Today article on Wall:
If you’re an aggressive sports fan, or someone he runs into who asks for a phone number, you get the BlackBerry number. Which he rarely answers.
When does he pick up? “Whenever I’m bored and have nothing to do,” he says. And that’s just to hear the messages.
Now this seems more “BlackBerry-like” than any other entry on this list.
3. Lewis Hamilton
Like his teammate, Rosberg, Hamilton is seemingly obliged to have a BlackBerry as his phone thanks to the partnership between his racing team and the phone company. Hamilton seems to be enjoying the Passport just fine, though, and is arguably enjoying it more than Rosberg is. Most of the shots of Rosberg with his BlackBerry are at promo events or in uniform, while Hamilton has several shots of himself using the product in his everyday life.
Fear not, ladies – Hamilton still has an Instagram account (with 1.1 million followers, to boot) so Hamilton has found a way to have the best of both worlds – the serious, businessman feel of a BlackBerry combined with a strong social media presence, all despite BlackBerry’s less-than-stellar reputation as a “social media friendly” device.
2. Andy Murray
We’re not too sure what kind of BlackBerry model Andy Murray uses (or used), but he’s definitely been seen with a BlackBerry in his hand. Murray has gone from the tennis world’s perennial underdog to one of it’s top players. Murray’s “BlackBerry fame” actually came in a moment involving fellow tennis superstar Novak Djokovic – the two took part in a lighthearted exhibition match at Madison Square Garden recently, and made sure to get in a quick selfie during the match to commemorate the moment. Murray is clearly using a BlackBerry for the selfie – for one thing, he had to turn the phone around to use the main camera and blindly snap the photo, while Djokovic used his clearly much more advance piece of technology with a front-facing camera.
No word on whether or not Murray managed to convince his pal to get back on the BlackBerry bandwagon. We highly doubt he would have succeeded, if he even bothered trying.
1. Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal rounds out tennis’ BlackBerry one-two punch, as Nadal has been spotted (on vacation) using a BlackBerry Q10. The Q10 is one of the newer models that combines the incredibly popular BlackBerry keyboard with the now unavoidable touch screen technology that has taken over the cellphone community. Nadal and Murray arguably outshine BlackBerry’s dynamic duo of Hamilton and Rosberg based solely on the assumption that the two tennis stars have no attachment or affiliation to the company the way the two racers do.
If it is in fact a personal choice, Murray and Nadal must get razzed about it pretty often. Alas, it’s hard to argue anything with two millionaire tennis legends; they can do as they please. Of all the tennis players you would expect to catch using a BlackBerry, my guess would have been Roger Federer, but this goes to show that you really can’t judge a book by its cover – or hairstyle.
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