Here at BlackBerry Cool, we thoroughly enjoy making BlackBerry and iPhone comparisons due to the transition that is occurring over at RIM. As RIM is dealing with an increasingly large consumer base, the device is constantly being compared to the iPhone, and RIM must think about how it’s going to create a BlackBerry device that satisfies consumers, but remains true to its enterprise user base.
In the end, enterprise will always be a focus of RIM’s products, because it gives them a competitive edge. This doesn’t mean that RIM can’t satisfy two different types of clients, it just means they’re going to have to get creative and innovative – fast.
CNet recently published a piece regarding the switch from BlackBerry to iPhone, and then the revelation that made the author, Adam Richardson, switch back again.
According to the author, “Basically it comes down to the fact that the iPhone is really good at the stuff I do 10% of the time, but pretty poor at the stuff I do 90% of the time.”
Again, it all comes back to the fact that RIM makes an enterprise device with its core values being security, reliability and efficiency. These are the features that have the author converting back to BlackBerry.
Here is what the author describes as lacking in the iPhone:
- Typing – The iPhone has a very frustrating typing experience.
- User Interface – While the iPhone is a simple interface to learn, the BlackBerry interface is far more efficient once you learn it. Shortcuts make the BlackBerry experience much faster, while the iPhone experience remains consistently slow and simple.
- Cleanliness – As with any touchscreen device, the iPhone’s screen soon gets covered in grime.
- Memory – While BlackBerry users often complain about the amount of available application memory, it is a clear benefit of the BlackBerry that it offers the opportunity to expand at a relatively low cost.
Form Factor – The device is too thin to be held close to the ear for a long period of time.
Battery Life – The iPhone has a much shorter battery life than the Bold.
Generally, the issue here goes back to the fact that the “iPhone is really good at the stuff I do 10% of the time, but pretty poor at the stuff I do 90% of the time.” Here are some issues with the iPhone’s email:
- Separate Email Accounts – Going back and forth to get email from separate email accounts is not only inefficient, it is incredibly frustrating.
- New Emails – You have to unlock the iPhone to see if there is a new email. This is ridiculous if you’re checking your email every 3 minutes.
- Sent Folder – The sent folder isn’t populated in real time, so you have to wait for the server to find an email you just sent. This time could be crucial if it’s an important business email.
- Font Sizes – The iPhone has no ability to customize font sizes, therefore impeding your ability to view multiple emails at once without scrolling.
Again, the calendar is a feature that is used by smartphone users on a regular basis so it’s crucial to have a system that is both efficient and easy to navigate. The iPhone, being a strictly consumer device, is lacking in calendar functionality in many respects:
- New Appointments – Creating new events on the iPhone is a slow process. The iPhone’s UI means it takes several navigation clicks to create a new even, versus only 2 on the BlackBerry.
- Weekly View – The iPhone does not provide a weekly view for the calendar. This is crucial and the BlackBerry offers it because they understand the need for a good calendar.
- Snooze – You can’t snooze for meeting reminders.
- Date Navigation – You can’t navigate to specific dates on the iPhone calendar system. On a BlackBerry, it’s incredibly easy with the simple G (go to date) shortcut.
- Event Comments – The iPhone calendar system doesn’t let you add comments to accepting or denying event requests.
While many BlackBerry users are always on email, having a decent phone is an important part of a quality smartphone. The iPhone lacks the following:
- Dialing – Dialing specific contacts on the iPhone is tedious if they are not in the contacts.
- Muting – Muting the call on the iPhone requires looking at the screen. On a BlackBerry, muting the call if you’re on a conference call is as simple as pressing the top button.
Adam Richardson said it best, “I’m not trying to bash the iPhone and say no-one else should like it; this is a very personal choice. But at least for the time being, the Bold is a much better match for my needs.”