For the first time in its 14 year history, Research in Motion's Blackberry mobile phone handset is going to come fitted with a function allowing the device to be turned off.
"To be honest, this was never really something that our customer base has asked for.", said Mike Lazaridis, founder and CEO of Research In Motion, "However, the customers wives and children have been asking for this option for a long time, and as a family-friendly company we felt we had to oblige".
But Blackberry users we talked to were not terribly impressed with the idea. Many didn't understand the concept at all, and asked how they would be able to send emails if the device was switched off.
Research in Motion have been at great pains to point out however that even with this new switch the Blackberry will remain, as a current, the only device that passengers on board an aircraft can use when the aircraft is taxiing, taking off or preparing for landing and that owners will still retain the privilege of being able to ignore all requests from cabin crew to turn off their device and keep happily tap-tap-tapping away.