In a stunning year-end move, comedian and tech nerd Leighann Lord has joined Team iPhone, effectively ending her more than decade-long relationship with Research in Motion’s BlackBerry. Whether it was the Pearl, the Curve or the BlackBerry Bold, all of her phones have been plagued with problems including random data deletions and frequent battery pulls. “I saw the spinning watch icon so often,” said Ms. Lord, “That I thought it was my wall paper.”
In online media she has frequently lamented the need to be her own “geek squad.” Recent FaceBook status updates read:
“Day Two of spending lots of quality time on the phone with T-Mobile AND BlackBerry. Could I possibly hate them more? #pushingmetoiphonefast”
“PREDICTION: Me, stumbling drunk and crying into an AT&T store, waving my BlackBerry like a loaded gun screaming "Make the pain stop!"
And the responses were revealing:
Jim Mendrinos: Baby there's a point in every relationship where it's time to go. You need to write Blackberry a "dear John" check.
But Ms. Lord was very reluctant to give up on BlackBerry because of the ability to affordably send and receive email when travelling internationally. And BlackBerry Messenger (a free texting feature) was nothing short of lifesaving, but in the end it was not enough.
The T-Mobile Retention Department got involved hoping to keep Ms. Lord in the T-Mobile family. “Nicole” suggested switching her to a Droid. A piece of that conversation also found its way into Ms. Lord's FaceBook status update:
Me: "But you don't have an intl data or voice plan for Droid."
T-Mobile Retention Dept: "No, but we're cheaper."
Me: "Yes. Yes you are."
A source close to Ms. Lord said, “An international data plan was crucial that’s why we were hoping the merger between T-Mobile and AT&T would go through, which would have expanded her cell phone options, but the Justice Department failed to take Leighann’s needs into consideration.” This is what also knocked Sprint and Verizon out of the running for Ms. Lord’s business.
When it came down to choosing a new phone both Team Droid and Team iPhone hoped to woo Ms. Lord. Fellow comedian and Droid user Mike Siscoe said:
“The Galaxy II is a great phone. If you are used to Windows and Google then the Droid is the only answer. I cannot say enough good things about them. I have loved mine. These are the Droids you are looking for!”
But iPhone lovers plead their case on Twitter:
JohnPoveromo: @LeighannLord Come to the iSide. They have apps that bring loved ones back from the dead. Plus the Sith have unlimited data. #mindtrick
LeighannLord: @johnpoveromo Of course the Sith would have unlimited data. Evil takes care of it's own.
SanHoser: @LeighannLord I empathize; I'm tech-savvy, but I want a reliable, it-just-works phone. iPhone nails it, worth every penny. #NotaMacFanboy
Sources say that Ms. Lord still had a few months to go on her T-Mobile contract, but she considers the termination fee a small price to pay for her freedom. BlackBerry and T-Mobile could not be reached for comment. Ms. Lord said, “I got an iPhone and now iUnderstand what all the fuss is about.”