Tag: ThoughtPiecePage 2 of 8

ThoughtPiece: Touchscreen vs. Keyboard: Which is Better?

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iPhone KeypadWith the “iMminent” release of that little device from Apple, the debate has already begun as to which is preferable: a touchscreen with a virtual keyboard or a true keyboard. To me the question misses the main point, which is to ask yourself why you have a mobile smart phone in the first place. It isn’t that one is “better” than another; it is that each interface has its advantages depending on your intended purpose.

For those who need to type a lot of text, the true keyboard is most likely the superior choice. (I say “most likely” in that I have not yet tested the virtual keypad on the iPhone, and so cannot definitively give an opinion as to which I find easier to use.) So if you are like most BlackBerry users the mechanical keyboard will make the most sense.
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ThoughtPiece: Should RIM make a BlackBerry Client for the iPhone?

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iPhoneThe iPhone is surely the most anticipated cell phone ever, and will most likely go on to sell quite a few copies. It then makes sense to ask if RIM should consider making a BlackBerry email client for the iPhone (assuming Apple would allow that).

First, the advantage: RIM could gain incremental revenue from the sale of the software and the service to many of those iPhone users. One question is how many iPhone users will see push email as a priority. As analyst Robert Semple from Credit Suisse writes, “We do not believe the iPhone is aimed at smart phones, rather, it is designed to expand the high end of the traditional mobile phone market.”
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ThoughtPiece: An Open Letter to AT&T

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CingularRight now you must be feeling pretty good. You have a legendary brand name, the best marketing, the best devices, and soon you will have a magnet to attract people into your stores called the iPhone. Speaking of marketing, you seem to be everywhere. Last weekend while engaging in my usual ritual of watching sports on TV, I turned on a NASCAR race and I saw an AT&T car; I turned on the NBA finals, and it was being played at the AT&T Center.

You were smart to transition to a GSM network years ago. This is by far and away the most popular format in the world, which guarantees you the best selection of phones. You certainly get most of our beloved BlackBerry models first.

However, there’s one piece of the puzzle missing, which keeps you from totally dominating the U.S. wireless market.

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ThoughtPiece: The BlackBerry as Change Agent

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Starbucks Not too long ago I came across a fascinating article detailing at how Starbucks is not just an impressive business success story, but has changed popular culture along the way. The article lists several ways in which Starbucks has functioned as a “change agent,” including changing what we pay for coffee, our tastes, what we eat, how we order, how we meet, etc.

This started me thinking as to if and how our beloved BlackBerry has functioned as a change agent. I believe it has, in at least the following ways.

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ThoughtPeice: Email: Still the Killer App!

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Rembrandt and Manning

More than a few times someone has remarked to me something along the lines of: “what’s the big deal about the BlackBerry…all it does well is email.” To which I reply: “well, yeah…and all Peyton Manning does well is throw the football.” (For those of you more culturally inclined, I’ll say “well, yeah…and all Rembrandt did well was paint.”)

Email is easily the most widely used application of the Internet, even more so than the World Wide Web with all of the cool sites like this one. In fact, email is probably the most important advance in person to person communication since the advent of the telephone. So a device that does portable email well is a pretty significant achievement, much like a portable phone. In retrospect, it seems like genius for RIM to have realized the market opportunity that existed and to have so successfully exploited it.

With all of the recent attention showered on the more exciting multimedia features it’s easy to take the email application for granted. Yet email remains a killer app in the mobile world, and one that establishes the BlackBerry as an entrenched competitor for years to come, no matter what the efforts of Microsoft and Apple.

ThoughtPiece: Why Do Carriers Botch New Product Releases?

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Woopwoopwoop...

Is it just me, or does it seem that every time a cell phone carrier releases a new device it comes off as something out of an old 3 Stooges movie?

There are the errors in execution. The release of a new product, especially a BlackBerry with a relatively high price point that will bring in the much coveted data revenue, should be a pretty big deal with any carrier. Yet company representatives are usually poorly informed about what should be a major business event and often different reps give out conflicting information to anxious consumers. Initial inventory to the stores often falls short of demand, and is unevenly distributed across the market footprint.

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