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Over the years, I have lost official count of how many phones I have owned. I have used at least seven different mobile platforms, some clearly more than others, and have switched phones hundreds of times. I have carried as many as four personal lines at a given time and have since consolidated back to two.

Rarely, though, do I think back to the roots, where it all started for me.

However, I explained on Monday that, in light of a future promotion, I did some reflecting over the weekend. I revisited where I was when I first met Aaron and how much my preferences have changed and how my knowledge – both of the industry, products and more – has greatly expanded.

At least a dozen times now, I have explained that everything started with BlackBerry for me. And, for the most part, that's true. Technically, though, it's not the very beginning, a BlackBerry was not my first device.

I remember it quite well. I was in high school, working at The Shoe Dept. as a sales associate. A co-worker and friend from school walked in one day and we bumped into each other in the stock room, where he was entering his schedule on his phone.

"What is that?," I asked. He was holding the Motorola Q his parents had purchased for him just days before. I worked the rest of my shift and headed home, straight to my computer, where the research began. I was like an entirely new world had completely blindsided me. I had seen my mother's BlackBerry 7500 and 7100 that the school had issued her, but I had no idea smartphones had bridged the gap to the consumer world, specifically for Alltel.

The shoe store I worked at was just a couple doors down from an Alltel store. Before work one day, I payed a visit to the store and looked around. I had an upgrade coming up and money in my pocket. And I knew exactly what I wanted: the Motorola Q.

I wasn't an authorized user on the account, so I had to drag my mother to the store some days later. But within the week and $200 later, I had a Motorola Q to call my very own. I took it home and probably didn't leave my room for days. I had to learn everything there was to know about it.

After a few days with the phone, however, the luster began to wear off. I had used my mother's BlackBerrys – they were okay. But the Motorola Q and Windows Mobile were unremarkable, through and through. The keyboard was a pain to use and navigating the operating system was terrible. I went back to the store and traded the Motorola Q in for the BlackBerry Pearl 8130, which also proved to be a rash decision.

A few months later, I traded my mother for a BlackBerry Curve 8330 and carried it, proudly, until I was eligible for an upgrade through Verizon (after the merger) and purchased a BlackBerry Tour 9630. It was all downhill from there. I jumped on the Android bandwagon, webOS, iOS, Windows Phone and even QNX.

So technically, it all started with Windows Mobile for me. But I refuse to count it because the software and hardware were pitiful, and my time with WinMo lasted no more than 14 days.

What was your very first smartphone, readers? Was it a BlackBerry? Windows Mobile device? Or an iPhone? Something newer? Share your stories below!


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