The once corporate BlackBerry has become a major player on the university campus, with around 2% of all university students in the UK owning a device. One of the main reasons is through needing to "feed instant messaging and texting addictions", according to the Financial Times of London.
Over 1,000 students were surveyed last month by Mobile Youth, where Nokia was the most popular brand of phone with 30%, Sony Ericsson following at 27%, and the iPhone trailing behind along with the BlackBerry. Yet iPhones lacked in the results as the on-screen keyboard is no real match for the QWERTY-keyboard which enables better instant messaging and texting it seems. Also, with phone charges being so high with the iPhone compared to the BlackBerry which holds dedicated data plans, this seems more affordable with students during the recession.
A spokesperson from BlackBerry mentioned the in-built Messenger application which is essentially a free messaging application which comes as part of the inclusive data plan: allowing BlackBerry users to chat, share pictures and files, along with setting a presence to alert other users where you are and the details of your availability.
Also, the emergence of more affordable devices such as the BlackBerry Curve 8530 which can be picked up at a few dollars a month also leads to more students picking up these devices. At the end of the day, the spokesperson assured me that the customers will be looked at and devices and products will be suited to them better over time.