As yesterday surely proves, I am an iPhone fan. A "dyed in the wool bought a Macbook and am learning a new programming environment just to develop for it going to buy the 3G version even though I have absolutely no need for it" fanboy.
But I also own a Blackberry which is why I had to roll my eyes at Don Reisinger's post entitled "Apple may have killed the Blackberry". In it he says...
But then, in a moment of pure triumph, Steve walked onto the stage and unveiled the new 3G iPhone.
Sure, it was exactly what we expected (minus the MMS), but it also was a call to arms. Instead of maintaining its status as the consumer's cell phone, the iPhone is now the every-person's cell phone and has RIM firmly centered in its sights.
RIM may be the leader in the enterprise market right now and companies like Microsoft will constantly claim that they can hold their own, but rest assured that this is a two horse race. And although the BlackBerry has led the way, Steve Jobs just dealt a decisive blow that will not only force RIM to capitulate, but could see the end of the BlackBerry line altogether.
Over react much? A few things to remember...
- Blackberry has had GPS for years and the iPhone still doesn't offer turn-by-turn directions which, again, has been in the Blackberry for years
- Blackberry supports cut and paste which is a big thing when you are trying to do business on the road and interact with two different colleagues about the same issue (or any number of other scenarios for that matter)
- Blackberry has a built in "To Do List/Task Manager" application that syncs with Exchange. iPhone does not.
- Battery life is much better on pretty much any Blackberry and that is of the utmost importance for a business user
- Blackberry's come with REMOVABLE BATTERIES. Most business people I know carry around a spare.
- Blackberry supports MMS (which I would assume is of almost no use to business users but still deserves a mention)
- Blackberry's support Video recording
- Almost all Blackberry's have better cameras (same 2 MP but with 5x Zoom)
- Almost all Blackberry's come with MicroSD slots
- Blackberry's sync technology is more mature. Assuming the iPhone is using ActiveSync which is licensed from Microsoft I can personally attest to the Blackberry having better sync capabilities.
- Blackberry has an excellent search function (which is paticularly good at searching through e-mail but can search the whole device if you need it). iPhone has none.
- Blackberry's support voice dialing, iPhones do not (though I've never been a fan of the feature)
- Blackberry's allow you to record quick voice notes, the iPhone doesn't (very important to a lot of business users)
- iPhone's bluetooth capabilities are crippled by Apple so that you can only use an ear piece. Blackberry can use any Bluetooth device and supports stereo sound
- Blackberry's can be used as a tethered 3G Modem for a laptop, the iPhone can not
- Blackberry is easier to use as a phone (iPhone takes several screen clicks to get to Spearker for example while Blackberry has one hardware button)
- From what I can tell, the iPhone can't be locked down by administrators in the same way a Blackberry can
- The iPhone offers nothing (enterprise feature wise) above and beyond what a Blackberry can do. Organizations with a Blackberry infrastructure already paid for aren't going to switch to something that doesn't improve on anything just to use iPhones (believe it or not most companies would prefer their employees not have great web access on the road)
and the biggest point of them all...
- Most Blackberry users use their phone for e-mail 95% of the time and the iPhone's soft keyboard is vastly inferior to every Blackberry I've ever seen.
Beyond that I have to say that the Blackberry has a lot of fine tuning that the iPhone still lacks. One example: unless you purposely choose to turn the feature off the Blackberry alarm will sound even if the phone is turned off. For a business person using their phone as their alarm clock that sort of thing matters and little things like that are what make the Blackberry better suited for business users.
In the end, the iPhone is trying to serve two masters (business and casual users) while the Blackberry is only interested in one. For that reason the Blackberry will probably always be a better business choice (at least until there's an "iPhone Business Edition" from Apple)