Blackberry and Static Make a
April 20, 2004
reported in the WallStreet Journal and an email from Blackberry,
the devices have been crashing due to static problems associated
with clothing and vehicle seats.
Blackberry has the "always on"
feature which makes it susceptible to electrostatic discharges in
the normal use environment.
The problem affects Blackberry models
857 and 957. The other models have not had the complaints as yet.
We are not sure what was done to the later models to keep ESD at
Some users report crashes when they
pull the devices out of their pockets…"POP!"
Manufacturers of the Blackberry devices,
Canada's Research In Motion Ltd., says
the problem is limited in scope. "Research In Motion has investigated
this issue extensively," the company's technical-support group
said in an e-mail message. "Due to an uncommon combination
of clothing materials and dry winter environmental conditions, an
electrostatic discharge may occur, which can cause the handheld
to go into storage mode," meaning it shuts down, according
to the e-mail.
Materials such as wool and polyester
produce more static than cotton or poly-blends, and a leather holster
for the device seems to cut down on the problem, according to their
This is reminiscent of the Palm problems
of a few years ago. It may be the future for handheld devices such
as flash sticks unless the companies fully understand the techniques
of mitigating ESD in the "Use" environment.