28 July, 2021

What iPhone, I Have The Blackberry!

India didn’t have Netflix then and Jio was yet to be concieved

Photograph by AP
What iPhone, I Have The Blackberry!

Ten years ago now seems a long time in the past. The iPhone had just arrived in India then. Airtel was the dominant market leader among a host of mobile service providers. Jio had not even been conceived. And the most desirable and smartest smartphone was the Blackberry, a slab of black plastic that hardly fit into your palm but offered a world of possibilities with its Qwerty keyboard and the quirky scroll ball. It was the time India’s business capital, Mumbai, was yet to recover from the 2008 terror attack and the corporate sector was still in the grip of a fear psychosis. Companies were investing hugely on ensuring security. The bull on Dalal Street was not exactly fuming from its nostrils. To make matters worse, the year 2009 dawned with the Rs 7,000-crore Satyam scam that shook the country’s corporate sector and necessitated the introduction of fresh checks and balances.

Ten years ago, India was a different place altogether. The telecom sector was discovering new prices and was shifting gear to get into a radical per second billing, though rates were still...

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