The BlackBerry Advantage - Here's an article that says it all:
I could have just ... Smartphone Reviews forum
The BlackBerry Advantage (or why an iPhone does'nt cut it)
The BlackBerry Advantage - Here's an article that says it all:
I could have just posted a comment in Greg's post about the iPhone's SDK and about how scared to hell RIM should be about it. But I think I have quite a mouthful to say about this and since I've got the keys to this blog, you'll have to put up with my long rant disguised as analysis.
Greg focused on the infamous SDK, but that is only one of the things that Apple announced this week. And that is not really the juiciest part of the news. The SDK will help developers make applications a lot more easily, but Apple seem - oh, what a surprise - determined to keep a very tight clasp on what is developed and allowed to be installed on the iPhone. We know what the justification is: security. But we also know that nobody sells and charges dearly for mind-boggling idiosyncrasies like Apple. Nobody really knows what criteria Apple will apply in accepting or rejecting applications into the iStore catalog. Neither does anybody know how much and how often such already muddy criteria will change with the wind, star conjunctions or ebb and flow of the tides.
More important than the SDK, Apple also announced push e-mail and enterprise-focused security features. Well, I am a Blackberry newbie, have had it for 7 months only, but for how many years have RIM been offering these services that Apple haven't even started offering yet? Seriously, I don't know. But it's been a lot. Apple have just announced theirs, they ain't even running yet.
Side comment: imagine if it had been the other way around, RIM copying something from Apple. Imagine the Apple fan boys gloating about how innovative their idol company is. But the truth is that Apple are still catching up with something that RIM has been doing for years. Apple still are the little tomato who falls behind in the classical joke: catch up, Timmy.
And we don't know what it is going to be like. Security features from Apple? Hum. The iPhone hackers don't seem to have had exactly a hard time jailbreaking that phone over and over. Apple's desktop operating system and browser can't afford to brag too much down in the pub about how secure they are either. Can Apple really deliver on the security field with the iPhone? That is going to be fun to watch.
What about push e-mail? Oooh, RIM are so doomed not! I know a bunch of people who hate the Blackberry and rub in my nose that push e-mail can be implemented in just about any phone by means of certain alternatives. Half true. It's never really the same, the Blackberry e-mail experience remains unmatched even though the aforementioned "just about any phone" includes the likes of Palm, Symbian and Windows Mobile, three platforms that actually let developers develop freely with very little restriction, and don't act as if they were doing the developers a favor. Actually, why no one else seems capable of matching or even beating the Blackberry experience is something that beats me. It shouldn't be really that difficult, but anyway Enter Apple. Four firmware revisions and still no copy-and-paste or multiple SMS recipients in sight. You and what army are going to make me take Apple's attitude towards communcation and data handling seriously? Look at the entire mindset behind a Blackberry phone. Look at how nearly all possibilities seem to be taken into account. RIM don't make that kind of goofy blunder. RIM have been making a serious work tool from the ground up. Apple, in comparison, will try to turn what is clearly a toy (pretty much an iPod glued to a phone) into a serious tool, **IF** Steve Job's formidable egomania really lets that happen as it really should.
There is another very important missing piece in this puzzle: so that is what Apple has to show us in 2008; now what does RIM have to show us in 2008, and how long will it take for Apple to catch up with that? Apple is not the only innovative company around. They only get all the applause and reputation because of their powerful marketing. Apple has a very strong hand on the realm of appearances. But in the real world, other companies have been making straddles and RIM certainly is one of them. RIM could come up something big this year too. Who knows? RIM know, Apple don't, neither do we. Yet. Should RIM fear Apple? We can't really answer that question until we know what RIM have in storage.
Even if RIM turn up empty-handed in 2008, we can play a little of this guessing game already:
how many years will it be until Apple let me use the iPhone as a simple hassle-free pen drive connected to any PC (and when I say "any PC" I really mean any PC: Windows, Linux, Mac, Unix etc.)?
how many years will it be until the iPhone can handle as many media formats as a Blackberry rather than just whatever Apple and Steve-in-a-bubble think the whole world should be using because he is too cool for other formats?
how many years will it be until the iPhone works without the infamous iTunes, that an awful lot of people hate, but is uncompromisingly imposed on all and sundry by the company that is led by the man who obviously thinks that "a pair of jeans and a turtleneck should be enough to anybody"?
how many years will it be until Apple give up on that stupid idea that in order to use any single Apple product, we have to give up on the rest of the world, gladly embrace their entire product line and rock meekly to a handful of condescending music box tunes?
how many years will it be until the iPhone has copy-and-paste? That one should go down soon, even Apple wouldn't be that stubborn and ridiculous;
how many years will it be until the iPhone can be used with any headphone or headset, including the Bluetooth ones, without ridiculous hardware hacks?
how many years will it be (as Dave Barry would say, I'm not making this up) until the iPhone SDK supports third-party apps' multitasking?
how many years will it be until the iPhone can be used with multiple carriers without requiring Jailbreak?
how many years will it be until the iPhone does not require Jailbreak or the unforgiving claws of the iStore's Politburo to accept third-party applications, and iPhone owners don't have to mess with their firmware every freaking month?
how many years will it be until the iPhone is sold contract-free or with very generous subsidization prices offered with the high usage contracts that big companies typically purchase for their staff?
how many years will it be until companies decide it is OK to pay through the nose just so their employees can prance around with a designer label toy, tilting it like children to play games with the accelerometer?
That's a lot of catching up for Apple to do, and the best part is that Apple's weird elite designer label policies will never let most of them happen. The worst part is that the above is not just a sulky laundry list of things that make Apple and the iPhone suck. They are rather just a few examples of the serious mentality problem that has made Apple the best and the worst technology company in the world at the same time. Too many times have we been left with the impression that it is run by an idiot savant that comes up with brilliant stuff just as often as he comes up with pointless stuff that just doesn't make any sense. Here is the big question: how many corporations will be willing to jump on board of that ship under the command of an idiot savant? RIM, in comparison, are slightly less brilliant than Apple, but are nowhere near as often caught making pointless blunders.
Even after Apple officially launch all the promises they made this week, the iPhone will still be much more of a toy than the also fun and media capable but far more serious and robust current line of Blackberries. And RIM haven't even launched anything new this year yet. If anyone should be looking at the dice and counting the spaces ahead of the opponent with apprehension right now, that one is Apple. It's RIM's turn to play, and even before that next turn, RIM have the better cards and a lot more coherence in their designs and decisions.
awesome write-up...well said...BLACKBERRY RULES!!!!
Very convincing arguments made.
In my eyes, the iPhone is a multimedia experience. There's nothing wrong with that and in many ways, the Blackberry devices can't match the eye candy.
However, BB users want stable, business class devices. It's great that they are looking toward the future with the introduction of media type applications, but the core Blackberry is about email, contact management, phone, and security. Plain and simple, it's geared more toward function and less toward eye candy.
And that's why I purchased a BB and why I feel it's the best device for me. I don't care about looks. I want the thing to work and from what I've seen with my friends' iPhones, they are somewhat hit or miss.
At least that's my take on it...
This is not for or against BB or iPhone just analyzing the marketplace and consumers....
Push email - RIM is not doomed because iPhone is now supporting exchange. This new functionality will give users (all types) another choice. I'd imagine the iphone will grab marketshare from Symbian and WM phones in the beginning before grabbing any from RIM. Competition is good for innovation.
When Microsoft released a web browser, was Netscape scared? I'm guessing not at first, but where are they now?
When Microsoft released Excel, was Lotus scared? I'm guessing not at first, but where are they now?
how many years will it be until the iPhone can be used with multiple carriers without requiring Jailbreak? & how many years will it be until the iPhone is sold contract-free...
- This is just a business model they chose to use and it seems that they are doing ok. I asked in another forum about why RIM did not offer unlocked and unbranded phones in the marketplace. The answer I got was " But that affects what percentage of the users? unbranded, likely less that 0.1%. unlocked, again very few, and you can get your phone unlocked by the carrier."
Apple is not the only innovative company around. They only get all the applause and reputation because of their powerful marketing.
- It's all about making money... From a company's perspective, if you can get it through marketing, why would you not do it? This is one of the reasons there's marketing in the first place.
That's a lot of catching up for Apple to do
- Yes I wholeheartedly agree.
You are talking through logic and reason - Lots of consumers do not!
I really see this whole clash between the iPhone and Blackberry as follows...
The iPhone is a multimedia experience who is trying to enter the business marketplace.
The Blackberry is a business device which is trying to enter the multimedia area.
For Blackberry to survive, they have to have enough multimedia apeal to keep people from jumping ship. The opposite is true for Apple.
Competition is good and I think we'll get better devices. I really prefer the BB to the iPhone so I really hope that RIM takes notice and focuses more on multimedia applications. However, I'd leave them sooner if they mess with their business reliability.
Just my $0.02.
May I say that for most users of BIS, the discontinuance of MAIL CONNECTOR made the advantages of BB diminish. I know have to get my emails 10-20 minutes late unless I use the blackberry email which doesnt leave a copy on my desktop as the aforemnetioned Mail Connector did. I am rwally forced to use IMAP on blackberry and for this the IPHONE is visually better I think.
I still like my BB but I am wondering if I would swap it for a windows device if RIM does not bring out BB UNITE soon
Originally Posted by ikkoku
Kudos for a very well written neutral analysis! I agree with every single point you made.
The issue for me is not Apple vs. RIM, as that is simply competition which I support completely. As we know it's the very foundation of our free enterprise system.
It's also important for me to clarify that I have a true fondness for certain Apple products. Therefore my post should not be read as though I'm bashing Apple because I am not. I'm simply sharing my experience over a decade of observing the company, it's culture and it's employees as one of their customers.
That said, the problem or annoyance I have, is with Apple's questionable ethics. All too often they choose to mislead the public and the very customers that have been so loyal to them. The very customers that are willing to pay for the overpriced products that Apple sells.
And I'm including myself in this category as I've purchased over 10 laptops, a couple of desktops, and some iPods in the last several years. So it's a mixed bag for me. I love their designs and the functionality of some of the better products. That said I recently purchased two new laptops that are near mirror images of the other as they both have the exact same processor, same 4GB ram, same hard drive speeds and capacity, and the same optical drives, graphics cards etc. The exact same configurations. Thus the only difference being the price. This is where it becomes a real eye opener, as the Apple MacBook Pro was a full $1700.00 more than the comparable ThinkPad.
Yes it's true and cannot be denied or hidden. Why would I pay this obscene price? Because I'm a true tech lover who enjoys having choices and I went into this eyes wide open. I knew full well what to expect. In this case at least the MBP is a very nice laptop devoid of all the shortcomings of the iPhone which I also tried just to see what it was like. Bought it, used it for a week or so, then dumped the iPhone on ebay.
I have a very hard time watching the stupid commercials bashing PC's & suggesting that the Mac is the be all and end all. Let's face it those of us power users, engineers, designers and developers who are highly educated in a variety of OS's such as Windows/Linux/OS X/ Unix, can see right through the smoke and mirrors which are the mainstay of Mr Jobs dog & pony show.
I refuse to join the followers and just cave into the company line. It's also important for me to state that I'm NOT suggesting that I'm putting all users in this group, just the ones that have already professed their dedication and undying love for Jobs and company.
One reason I know this as fact is that I lived only a few miles from the Apple Campus in Cupertino and owned a large retail business that was frequented by many Apple employees, over a period of many years. They were the most arrogant self absorbed people I have ever come in contact with. When the likely reality was prior to becoming Apple employees they were most likely very nice people. People who simply got sucked into the Arrogant Apple Culture. They were very highly paid, allowed to choose their own title on their business cards such as "rocket scientist" etc. Therefore they bought into the hype and their ego's swelled to great proportions.
It's one thing to promote your product in the most competitive way, and quite another to misrepresent the product and create false expectations. I will be the first to acknowledge the marketing expertise of Apple, however I don't believe they have to overdo it to the point of being so misleading. It's their arrogant posturing that I find repulsive. I also find it quite interesting how they have attracted otherwise intelligent people to participate in this cult like behavior that makes up "the Apple faithful". Those individuals that hang onto every word out of Steves mouth as though he is a supreme being which they all adore and worship. Following like lemmings they will buy whatever their hero puts on the table.
Then even worse is the way they take everything so personally in their forums and come out swinging with anger and rage at anyone who dares to think for themselves and share a personal opinion, no matter how mild. As you see, one cannot belong to the Apple herd without abandoning themselves and their individuality.
That aside I find the response of other companies like HTC, Samsung, et al, very refreshing. Also it' these very companies and others that are working diligently at this very moment to create some very useful new technologies and handsets. I believe that in approx the next six to twelve months the flood gates will open and a huge selection of exciting new products will be released.
very well said.. No matter what i Don't like the Iphone and I had the choice to use either or but I am still sticking to my 8310
Originally Posted by archer6
Let's hope so... then we can play with new gadgets... and have this discussion again.
btw, which store did you own? I used to work on Mariana (sp?) when SUN was there.
Very interesting and informative article (read it all), there is one thing that kinda brought a bit of humor to the whole thing:
...the company that is led by the man who obviously thinks that "a pair of jeans and a turtleneck should be enough to anybody"?
Hey, what's with the "Timmy" crack?
Originally Posted by DjSmooth
I agree "Priceless!"
"A clear cut vision is the best path to success.. persistence is the vehicle you arrive in..." -Rev. Run
Crackberry @ddict for LIFE..........
Excellent write up and comments. I would add some personal experience. A friend bought an iPhone when It first became available, finding the appearance and multimedia capabilities quite alluring. Those two elements really are the appeal and selling points of the device. I have a powerbook and an eMac, and have found them quite useful and aesthetically pleasing in sharp contrast to the design of just about every other line of computers available. It really is a no brainer that someone else should have thought of . Who would not get that people like sleek looking possessions and realize that it just might be a good idea for computers and personal electronics as well? Gee golly, go figure.
It can't be denied that the cool factor of the iPhone can't be beat. It just can't. And who dosen't love a phone that can resize pictures, or turn them from portrait to landscape view automagically? But Apple forces it's users, for some reason which is harder to understand than plan 9, to try and use a touch screen without the option to use a sylus. I pound out full email-like SMS messages that actually read like human generated text, and because my mom was seduced by the iPhones coolness factor, buying one when she saw my friends unit, she is forced to send me messages like 'nce 2 C U yesterday. Get 2ghtr 4 lunch in PM?'
For some reason, people of all ages seem unable to focus on substance over sexy. Human nature seems to hard wire us this way. And the interesting thing is that I have a really hard time explaining to other people why I will never own anything but a blackberry again, and what makes them so unique. I am always met with looks that say 'well mine does that' that are tolerant at best. I'ts not what the blackberry can do so much as how it does it. It is elegant in its reliability, beautiful in its practicality, extraordinary in its community of users. I tell people it's a computer that, incidentally, has a voice phone. I suppose in our own way we have as strong a cult following as apple does minus the arrogance (as far as I have seen) and devotion to flash over substance.
A classic example that will sum up the differences in philosophy and attitudes between the two communities of users can be expressed in two words:
Best to all - Denigris
I found your post very refreshing, with many terrific points. I too have owned a number of PowerBooks, a MacBook & MacBook Pro. In addition I also tried an iPhone as an additional device (not to replace my BB). It was simply to see how it functioned as compared to the Apple generated hype.
Frankly, it's the Arrogance that I find so unacceptable. It's the horribly misleading TV ads, such as the juvenile Mac vs. PC skit.
As someone who has been in the tech business for a long time, I remember when, for a certain period of time, the Mac did indeed have a distinct advantage over the PC. However that was when the GUI was first being implemented. Once Microsoft caught up that advantage went away. All along I have been using both a PC based laptop & Mac laptop. Today I have two equally configured laptops. A new MacBook Pro & a new ThinkPad. They are both very nice machines. They are both heavily used as I do not use a desktop any longer. So the point being these are not for occasional use. Therefore they get a real workout and I have many hours of usage from which to draw my comparison.
My take is that it all depends on ones needs, preferences, budget, etc. The reason I bring in the consideration of budget is that the Mac cost a whopping $1700.00 MORE than the ThinkPad! And I repeat, for the _Exact_Same_Configuration!
So while it's true that the Mac is very elegant & gorgeous to look at, it no longer offers any superiority vs. A ThinkPad. And the truth be told, it's the ThinkPad that is superior as it has a full function three button touchpad, as well as the famous ThinkPad track stick, which I find superb.
I do not, and never have carried an additional mouse to use with my laptop. That's a ridiculous compromise to make which only adds to amount of "stuff" one must carry when traveling. Therefore if we are going to compare, Apple is the one that clings stubbornly to the horribly outdated one button touch pad. How ironic!
Back on topic of phones, I find the BlackBerry an absolute delight to use, the far superior. Smart Phone & beyond reproach when compared to the competition!
BlackBerry by RIM
via RedBerry *8310* (wap.pinstack.com)
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