Which would you pick, and why?
I’ve carried a Blackberry for approximately six years now. It is an unsurpassed emailing tool, but it lacks (a lot) in the internet department.
I recently convinced my firm to allow me to buy and carry the new iPhone 3G to see how it compared. The iPhone’s applications are fantastic – I think it’s a great tool for certain purposes. Better GPS than my Blackberry, obviously far superior browsing. As a personal device, I’d probably actually prefer the iPhone.
But as a business tool, I don’t think the iPhone is there yet. Even though Apple does a far better job with the predictive typing than my regular cell phone, I still prefer having a tactile keyboard by a wide margin. And when I was using the iPhone regularly, I found that the battery life was just piss-poor when on the 3G network. I don’t think I’ve gone more than a 24-hour period where I didn’t need to plug the iPhone in for recharging if I was using it regularly. I plug in my Blackberry for charging once a week; maybe twice at most.
If the Blackberry had more sophisticated browsing capabilities, I don’t think it would even be a close contest. But again, I think the answer to your question depends on what your primary use(s) would be.
I most definitely agree with you on the tactile keyboard; I have an iPhone and love it, but I would love for it to magically have a tactile keyboard when I need to type (and then have it magically disappear when I’m done ;)). The touch typing is a lot better than I thought it would be, but it’s still not to where I LOVE it.
For the battery comparison, though, I’m curious: is there any usage discrepency that could account for more heavy battery use? As an example, perhaps you’re going to webpages a lot more on the iPhone than you were with the limited Blackberry browser? I’m not saying you’re wrong (heck, I haven’t had a blackberry), but I’m just thinking about how most iPhone users I know use their phone much more heavily for processor-hungry apps.
Agree with what has been said. I have a 3G iPhone for myself, and a Blackberry for work (who knows what model it is, there’s too damn many of them). I wouldn’t want an iPhone for my work email, and I’d hate hate hate having a Blackberry for my personal use.
And battery life is much more an issue for the iPhone, but my BB isn’t 3G, so I guess it might not be a fair comparison.
My boss had a Blackberry, and then got moved to an iPhone as a management “perk”. He misses his Blackberry desperately. Mostly he hates the keyboard.
I have an iPhone (also from work). I love it, but I’m a Mac person anyway so I may be biased. I find I can type very fast. I am a woman and have much smaller fingers than my boss. However, it won’t let me have more than one Exchange account on it, which drives me a crazy.
My assistant has a Blackberry, and she can get all 3 accounts she needs with no problem.
Not to hijack… and without any supporting evidence other than “I love it.”… but I just got a free Palm Centro last week. I previously had a Blackberry which I gave to my brother last night.
I know my smaller hands/fingers help with speed, but I just can’t find the speed I type on the iPhone as very fast, even though it really is going fast for how the letters pop up. But I think part of that is that I type ~110 wpm (after accounting for any typos) so any thumb typing is gonna seem dreadfully slow to me in comparison. I did like the Moto Qs keyboard far more, though. Damn the iPhone for not having a magical physical keyboard that can be stored in another dimension when not needed!
It’s a fair question, and I think there is definitely some discrepancy. As I said, the Blackberry is a pain for browsing on sites that are not mobile friendly, whereas the iPhone can handle pretty much anything, so I’m far more likely to spend time browsing on the iPhone.
I don’t think that particular discrepancy is enough to account for the tremendous difference in battery life, though. And now that the Dope has gotten far easier to navigate on my Blackberry, I don’t feel like I need a superior browser anymore.
I’ve been using a Blackberry for around 5 years now, though I am pondering a switch to the iPhone once I’m eligible for a subsidized upgrade.
The Blackberry is great when it comes to its intended function - that is, sending and receiving email. I have little to no trouble with the keyboard, the messages often appear on the Blackberry before they do in my inbox and you just can’t beat it when it comes to data compression (I rarely go over my 1MB in a month, and I send/receive a fair bit of email). That said, it sucks hairy yak balls as a multimedia device. Both the MP3 player and photo viewer interfaces are simplistic, to put it kindly - in particular, I’m very frustrated by the bare-bones design of the songlist, which doesn’t present your songs in a nice tidy hierarchy the way the iPhone does.
In terms of the iPhone, my biggest complaint is the keyboard. I have chubby little fingers, which makes it hard to hit the right letter sometimes, and I do occasionally have to tap a couple of times before I get a response (the touchscreen apparently relies on moisture to detect input).
Since my iPod is practically an antique at this point, I may try the iPhone anyways and see if I can live with typing out emails on it - worst case, I’ll just go back to the Blackberry and keep the iPhone for media only.
I hold it in my left hand and type with first three fingers of my right hand. (I can’t thumb type). I also make heavy use of excellent predictive typing, which seems to take people’s inability to hit the letters into account. (For example, it knew I meant “speed” when my input was “aperx.”) I make some horrific typing errors regularly that it self corrects.
What about their relative costs? Mind you, I also want to consider subscription costs and any possible hidden expenses.
The cost of the devices is pretty negligible. I just ordered a pair of 8820s for people in the office the other day, and they were $250 apiece (actually, one was only $199 because we had an upgrade discount). I think the price of Blackberries varies a bit because there are so many models available, as someone mentioned upthread. My recollection is that the iPhone is either $199 or $299 depending on whether you get the 8GB version or the 16GB version.
Data costs – and someone please correct me if I’m wrong because I’m doing all of this from memory – are $35 (with AT&T, anyway) for unlimited data on the Blackberry and $45 on the iPhone. I think I remember there being a $10 difference, at any rate.
I don’t have an iPhone, but I do have an iPod Touch. I also have a Blackberry Curve.
On the Touch, I can’t run a program in the background. That is, I can’t run AIM or Google Talk while I browse on Safari. Since I’m a Gen-Y text-and-IM addict, this is unacceptable.
That being said, I hate Blackberry’s browser. It’s useless and ugly. Rumor has it that the Blackberry Bold has a real browser, though. . .so
I have a BB Pearl 8100 that I squeezed out of my company wireless rep for free.
It’s my favorite phone ever. The keyboard is decent enough for banging out short emails, which is all I would ever want to do on a mobile device, and it’s freaking tiny - about a quarter inch taller than a closed Razr, and the same width and thickness.
Yeah, the browser sucks, but it’s good enough for a quickly Googling an address or reading the news while I’m waiting in line at the DMV or something, which is all I ever use it for.
T-Mobile Sidekick. My roommate has one. It has been dubbed “Das Überhandy”. Flip-up rotating screen, tactile keyboard beneath it, and T-Mobile has an unlimited internet-use plan. Battery lasted 2 straight days the last time she accidentally left town without the charger, which is pretty good for a feature-heavy phone like that.
I’m not really keen on Apple stuff, mostly because everyone I’ve ever known to own i-Anything has complained that it basically self-destructed around Day N+3, where N is the number of days the super-duper warranty lasts. Not that other brands don’t sometimes do this too, but I’m a lot less annoyed about replacing a $70 Sony Walkman than a $300 iPod. (I also cannot stand the collection of uncoordinated pointy elbows that is iTunes, and the cheaper players can be bossed around by other software, like Winamp. But this is neither here nor there.)
I have nothing in particular against the Blackberry; I just like the Sidekick’s interface better.
Which is kind of illustrative – Palm is an example of an outfit that was on top of the market and then got left behind. They were “it” when it came to standalone PDAs, but as the smartphone segment began to dominate they just could not keep up. Had Palm been able to create four years ago a Treo that would put together a Tugsten-class PDA with a good cellphone/wifi setup, expandability AND a “live” Exchange client, at a reasonable price, they would have ruled undisputed. They were not, so they’re now part of the chorus line, rather than stars.
Blackberry had the advantage on the suits’ side of being first and foremost an always-on push e-mail/messaging device, to which it was trivial to add voice telephone capability, and that was what businesses/offices wanted. The limited multimedia/web capabilities would be a nice bonus afterthought, not deal-breaking, for the managers.
iPhone has the advantage on the longhairs’ side of, as befits an Apple i- series device, being first and foremost a mobile multimedia device, to which then can be added some business-practical applications. IIRC it was critiqued of the original issue iPhone that it lacked business-office capabilities that even grafix shops would want to use once in a while.
Agree with this Palm really screwed the pooch by electing to go for a top of the line PDA (LifeDrive) instead of the smartphone way. I had a LifeDrive, loved it as a PDA, but it died within nine months… motherboard failure. Was so pissed off with the crappy lack of support that I got a Blackberry out of spite and never considered a Palm again until I got the Centro. Having it for a few days reminded me why I like Palm’s so much.
*My mother told me if I played with my Palm too much, it would grow hair on it and I would go blind
I use an iPhone at work and I think it’s great. This is the only piece of Apple thing I own (except for the sweet, sweet stock I bought back when it was $3/share; the stock I bought at $145 is good, too, though not as sweet :)) Everything looks much better on the iPhone than the Blackberry. I browse a lot and I look at a lot of documents. They display much, much better on the iPhone. Battery life sucks, even with the 2.1 upgrade, imo. But, overall, the iPhone is just way more friendly and easier to look at. Outlook isn’t exactly the same as the desktop (I believe Blackberry is, though), but it’s good enough.
IPhone. All day.
For those that are saying their fingers are too chubby, you are talking to the queen of chubby fingers.
The keyboard is so genius, it is magic. If I type ‘evwntuslit’, it comes out ‘eventually’…just like I meant it. If I actually did mean ‘evwntuslit’, I can just tap the lil’ ‘eventually’ bubble that pops up and it will pop, instead of just morphing into my message.
Also, if you are really quick at thumb typing, (I rapidly thumb type with my left hand only, while holding the phone in my left hand), soon, you will be just typing half words at a time, and then the space key. The phone fills it all in for you.
Also, it is great for googling. There is nearly no question you can’t have the answer to in mere moments.
All of a sudden, remember an obscure song you used to love 20 years ago? You tube it and take a trip down memory lane. Me and Cindy Lauper had a moment just the other night.
With all that said, I admit I don’t do alot of ‘business’ stuff on my phone, so I can’t testify for which would be the better phone in that case.
Also, if you like texting pictures, there are a few work arounds you have to do.
Sorry, Obsidian. I see you made my point already, and I didn’t pay close enough attention.