iPhone vs Blackberry for the Business User

I am sure there have been many posts similar to this, but none have taken it from the perspective that I am about to take – MINE. Yes I may be biased towards one, but it will be your job to figure out which. Actually it shouldn’t be too hard as my opinions on the matter are strong and may come out as I type this out… but maybe not…

Let me start by saying the iPhone ROCKS….. Did I give it away too soon? Let me try a more subtle approach. The Blackberry SUCKS… Actually I don’t mean that at all, but I have given it away haven’t I? Being a Canadian I really should be a RIM advocate and being a PC user I really shouldn’t be an iPhone advocate, but my god, what an interface Apple has given us. Also being a Canadian I should be a Nortel fan, but I am not. Simply because I am Canadian does not mean I will support Canadian companies, as much as I’d like to, I cannot, when the products are inferior. Now don’t get all worked up over that, I was not talking about the BlackBerry, I was talking about Nortel.

Certainly the Blackberry’s physical keyboard has some advantages over the softboard of the iPhone and the filtering capabilities of the Backberry’s email are an advantage, but as far as I can tell that is where it all ends. Why else would RIM come out with the Storm???

Ah yes, there is also the battery life, which on the iPhone is not so good, but in this day and age, when do you not have access to power of some sort in a 10 hour period.

Now let’s talk about usability of both products in the business world. Certainly access to email is one of the most important aspects, and the BlackBerry has handled that quite well, but I have found that the “real” browser experience and the wealth of applications available for the iPhone has made my laptop almost obsolete, at least when I am on the road. Personally I have found the email capabilities on the iPhone excellent but that could be in the way that I use email as some of my BlackBerry collogues don’t want all their emails sent to their mobile device and they like to sort emails in ways other than the “most recently sent”. I read emails as they come in and try and respond immediately and if I can’t, mark it as unread and wait until I’m back at my laptop. This works well for me, but it may not be the way everyone else works. Perhaps these are things Apple is working on, I don’t know.

My biggest reason for being on board with the iPhone is that there is no integration software required to get it working with your Exchange server, if you have one. Simply set up Mobile access on exchange, open SSL on your firewall and presto, you have email, contacts and calendar. No BES servers, no licenses, no additional server administration and that’s the real bonus. So where does that leave us? With two products that are both amazing in their own ways, with lots of room for improvement from both RIM and Apple and with some really cool products that competitors are developing that may blow them both away….. I can’t wait for the future.

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