This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

BlackBerry Trackballs Get Big Thumbs Down

Seems like I'm not the only person having problems with the BlackBerry trackball. According to my readers, the problem has been around for a while -- and there are even some third-party fixes available if you know where to look.

Reader JG has had with the same problem:

"Let me say first: I love my BlackBerry. But I am now on my third 8830 model in six months. The trackball has given out twice. Verizon (VZ)has taken care of the situation every time, for free. I do not think the trackball is hardy enough to take the everyday beating of the 'business road warrior.' The one thing I have learned is to circumvent the trackball by the use of key strokes. It takes a little research, but it helps."
JT explains that you can fix the problem yourself:
"You can pop out the trackball very easily. Take a nail clipper or something else flat and pop out the ring around the ball. If you have dirt in there, blow it out and reassemble. It's easy. Good luck."

Broken BlackBerry Blues
PB explains what he does when trackball-maintenance isn't enough:
"Eventually my trackball failed completely. I found a Web site where I could order and replace the trackball assembly and that chrome ring for about $12. It's a lot more convenient and cheaper than replacing or reloading your BlackBerry. My new trackball has worked just fine since I bought it six months ago."

CS told me how it's done and has a suggestion for BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM):

"The problem is the debris and sweat (sunscreen is awful for it, too) that gets trapped under the trackball in the reading mechanism. A new trackball -- $6 bucks online -- is the answer, and is extremely easy to install. The phone companies should know this and just swap out the trackballs for free, a process that takes literally 1 minute. I installed mine myself. Excessive use is bound to make the trackball mess up. Maybe the solution is for Research In Motion to make it slightly more elementary to replace and include an extra trackball or two with every phone."

RR says the problem is oil and grime:

"Try this: Buy a bottle of 95%-98% denatured alcohol at a drug store. Put some on a small soft cloth or cotton ball and wash the trackball. Turn it in all directions. You can't hurt the trackball mechanism because the alcohol will evaporate. Remember: 95-98% -- no less."
And, BC agreed with me despite switching sides:
"Having recently replaced my BlackBerry with an iPhone, and just this afternoon gone to the Apple (AAPL) store to get the iPhone examined (it's been crashing mysteriously), I found your piece spot on, and well-written, as usual. Bravo!"
On a separate but related subject, once your BlackBerry is working perfectly, you must check out our great new app. (Yes, this is a shameless plug!) Now, with " TheStreet.com for BlackBerry," you can follow market data, create and edit your custom stock list, choose which news sections you want to read and a lot more.

Learn more about our new free service or download the program directly onto your BlackBerry by wirelessly surfing to http://m.thestreet.com.

Gary Krakow is TheStreet.com's senior technology correspondent.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,689.14 +227.82 1.38%
S&P 500 1,950.32 +23.21 1.20%
NASDAQ 4,448.7040 +65.8570 1.50%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs