iPhone or Blackberry: Which smartphone is right for you?

Appearance

When considering a new phone most people look for the right combination of wow factor and functionality. There are so many styles of phones in the market today (touch screen, keyboard, slide keyboard, stylus, and no stylus) that it really comes down to personal preference.

If you speak with iPhone supporters they will tell you that there is no better device on the market. They will tell you keyboards are archaic and the touch screen is the only way to go.

The Blackberry supporter on the other hand will tell you that the iPhone is clumsy and difficult to type on.

Winner: iPhone

In my opinion the iPhone simply is a more streamlined design. Having no bulky keyboard attached to your phone keeps the phone thin and allows for a larger screen.

Feel

For me it depends on the person. For the individual who has good finger dexterity the iPhone touch keyboard is extremely friendly. The auto-correction feature on the iPhone will often pick up any mistyped words and correct them automatically.

For those who may have more clumsy fingers and find it difficult to use a touchscreen the Blackberry may be a better choice. There is a learning curve associated with the touch screen technologies and if you have used a Blackberry for a number of years this change may be unbearable.

Winner: Blackberry

As someone who has owned several incarnations of the Blackberry and an iPhone I have to say that using the Blackberry keyboard is still easier and more precise. The feel of the keys and the layout of the keyboard enables you to type faster and more accurately. The iPhone requires you to pay more attention to what you are typing and shifting keyboard screens to get to numbers etc. In my opinion it is just slower and a little clumsy.

Applications

When it comes to applications I consider two factors.

  • Ease of obtaining the applications
  • Number of free and useful applications available

This pins two applications against each other. In one corner you have iTunes which controls access to iPhone. In the other corner you have Blackberry App World which controls access to Blackberry applications.

Winner: iPhone

Since introduction into the market place the iTunes store has exploded with free and pay applications for the iPhone. If you can think of an application that you would like there is a great possibility someone has already created the application and it is available for download. The iTunes store is easy to navigate and the download/installation process is flawless.

Although Blackberry App World offers a lot of similar applications it is a step behind iTunes and simply doesn’t have the same selection of software.

Accessibility

Most people have two major concerns when it comes to their smartphone selection.

  • Can I get my email on the road?
  • Will it sync with my calendar and contacts?

Both the iPhone and Blackberry will sync with Outlook, Exchange, POP3 email accounts, Hotmail accounts and pretty much any other email account you may have. The key differentiator is whether or not your company uses the Exchange server.

If your company uses Exchange 2003, Exchange 2008 or Exchange 2010 the iPhone will work out of the box and sync your email, calendar, contacts all wirelessly through your cellular network or wifi. If you have a Blackberry you will need to install the Blackberry Enterprise Server Express to achieve the same results. The installation of this software will take up additional resources on your server and you will require an IT professional to install the software and re-configure your Blackberry devices.

Winner: iPhone

Although both units achieve the same end result the cost of installing and managing the Blackberry Enterprise Server Express is too high to be ignored.

Security

When it comes to securing your smartphone for corporate use the Blackberry wins the race hands down. Much like your local network you can design a security policy for all of your Blackberry users which locks out many of hte features which could lead to security leaks. At this point in time iPhone doesn’t have the same level of enterprise features that Blackberry offers. That being said iPhone has not targeted the enterprise market to this point however that will change over time. Expect Apple to release enterprise tools for the iPhone in the near future.

Winner: Blackberry

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