Q and A: Why This Non-Profit Founder Ditched His iPhone 6 Plus for a BlackBerry Passport

Case Study

Ever since the BlackBerry Passport launched in September, we’ve been hearing about “conversion stories” where a power user found it so compelling, he or she decided to ditch their brand-new, competing flagship phone for it.

You can add nonprofit co-founder Gerard Truesdale to that list.

Image Credit: Gerard Truesdale (LinkedIn)

Image Credit: Gerard Truesdale (LinkedIn)

A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, Truesdale considers himself a “prosumer,” using his devices for both personal and professional needs. While he’d been on the Z30, he switched to the iPhone 6 Plus – until the BlackBerry Passport pulled him back into the fold.

(Check out our other interviews with satisfied BlackBerry Passport users, including celebrity chef Tyler Florence, this senior hospital executivemanufacturing executive, software engineertech journalistlegal administratorpharmaceutical CEOsoftware managerinsurance salesman, and these workers from multiple industries.)

Young: What do you do, and how does your phone of choice factor into that?

Truesdale: I’m currently a full-time law school student and I run a Non-Profit I founded 5 years ago aimed at mentoring and helping high school males get to college called Crossroads: Pathways. I use my phone for e-mails, surfing the internet, social networks, and communicating through text/BBM with friends.

Young: Tell us about your recent phone history, and why you decided to switch from the iPhone 6 to the BlackBerry Passport.

Truesdale: Today marks one month that I have owned my Blackberry Passport. I’ve used a Blackberry since 2008, but last year I decided to try out the iPhone 6 Plus. While I’d been using a Blackberry Z30, I went the iOS route. Apple makes an awesome device and there is no question about it. However, for my particular use case, the Blackberry Passport fits better. When I first started reading about the Passport back in October I was intrigued by its design, speed, and the fact that it was a BlackBerry.

The Blackberry Passport tackles my needs with ease – I can download any of the social media apps that I had on my iPhone 6 just fine on my Passport. With the inclusion of the Amazon App Store as well as the ability to side-load apps securely, the Passport fills the so called “app gap.”

This is a device meant for people who need to get work done in a way that surpasses any other platform. Blackberry sets a bar so high regarding reliability, security and the quality of the phone that it makes the Blackberry Passport hard to beat.

Young: Juggling multiple messaging, email and social media platforms can be challenging – do you find the BlackBerry Hub to be an asset for you?

Truesdale: I think the Blackberry Hub is one of my favorite things about BB10. Being able to see all of your accounts at one time is a major advantage.

After being on iOS, I really appreciate the fact that my Blackberry Passport will show me all of my sent messages, even ones sent from my computer. The e-mail function of iOS was limited to me – I could only attach a photo or contact to an e-mail. On my Blackberry I can attach a picture, file, contact, PDF, cloud file, maps and directions – basically anything that I want.

Also, when communicating with other people through e-mail for my non-profit, I generally receive the e-mail two minutes quicker than the rest of the staff on iPhones!

Young: There’s also BBM, which works really well with the Hub. Do use that, too?

Truesdale: I love that BBM is still relevant, with a bigger and better format. Since jumping back to the Blackberry, I’ve actually convinced seven of my old iMessage comrades to download BBM, and they all love it.

Talking on BBM brings a sense of security and accuracy, and it’s even fun. The stickers that are available really make a conversation more entertaining, much more than a simple emoticon.

BBM voice calling is superb because it’s so clear and reliable and I can’t wait for cross-platform video chat to be available. I think that will be an advantage for Blackberry because a Blackberry video call is much more clear than iOS’s FaceTime application.

I really think the new features of BBM – retractable message and timed messages – only make the experience more entertaining, and with BBM, there’s no need to use SMS. It does the same thing but more quickly and securely.

Young: Overall, how do you like the BlackBerry 10 OS?

Truesdale: I find BB10 to be a very efficient and productive operating system. I get more work done on a Blackberry than another platform because not only does the keyboard make you want to write more on your e-mails, the OS is so fluid that you just want to find a way to be productive while using it.

For example, the way that LinkedIn and Evernote interact with BB10 makes it very easy for me to access and sync files and reply to messages. I find it much easier to see my contacts in on BB10 as it automatically fetches social network information behind the scenes so you see your contact’s entire information clearly.

The camera functionality is good, too. When I went to a Charlotte Bobcats game last Tuesday night I decided to bring my Passport instead of the iPhone6 Plus. Surprisingly, the Blackberry performed just as well as the iPhone and I even had more battery life than I usually do after the game. In terms of taking a picture, editing it, and uploading it to a social network, the Passport performs right on par with the iPhone 6 Plus.

Young: How about the keyboard? Was that a factor?

Truesdale: The keyboard on the Passport is flawless. I think for somebody with large hands, the keyboard would work out well. After a week, I was typing emails faster on my Passport than I had on the iPhone 6 Plus by a large margin.

The intuitiveness of the keyboard is awesome, too. Being able to navigate web pages without touching the screen as well as the capability to flick words into a sentence from the keyboard is amazing.

Young: I’m really glad you dig it! Everyone at BlackBerry is proud of it.

Truesdale: The Blackberry Passport allows me to get work done quicker and more precise than any other Blackberry that I’ve owned before it or any other platform that I’ve used. From the red blinking light to the size and clarity of the screen to the security and reliability of a Blackberry, I can’t find a better solution for my needs.

Pricing and Availability

The BlackBerry Passport has the best mixed runtime among ALL rivals – check out this infographic.

Ready to make the jump? You can get your factory-unlocked BlackBerry Passport from ShopBlackBerry.com at these links:

(Check ShopBlackBerry for the exact price in your market.)

…and at Amazon HERE, and since February 20th, AT&T is carrying the BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry Classic at att.com and in AT&T retail stores.

Gerard Truesdale loves his!

About Matt Young

Matt Young is a writer and editor with experience in tech, music, news and entertainment. A current Performance Evangelist for Radware, Matt has previous experience with BlackBerry, and Avaya. He has a degree in Journalism from San Jose State University. Follow Matt on Twitter @techunraveler.

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