Blackberry vs. iPhone

When you’ re ready to trade in your ordinary cell phone for something with all the bells and whistles, the choice will probably come down to an iPhone or a Blackberry.  So what will it be?  Here are some Blackberry vs the iPhone opinions from users and shoppers that might help you make your decision.

The Blackberry

Early on, the Blackberry leaped into the forefront with business users.  It was quickly adopted as the standard status symbol for corporate executives as well as aspiring managers and recently minted MBA’s.  The Blackberry allowed busy business people to maintain 24/7 contact with their e-mail and unseated the Palm as the organizer of choice. They were the new toy the business elite and the up-and-coming elite had to have. Suddenly an ordinary cell phone was just not enough.

The Blackberry Pearl continues to draw in a loyal base of users.  It has enough capacity for music and video to keep the stranded airline flyer amused.  And the QWERTY keyboard makes e-mailing and texting as familiar and easy as using a laptop. The smaller size appeals to those who don’t want to carry around the larger and heavier iPhone.

The price of a Blackberry Pearl, around $199, is another big draw. Users who are looking for business functionality are happier paying the lower price and keeping their music collection on an iPod.

Another plus is the ease of battery replacement in a Blackberry. Like an ordinary cell phone, the battery can be pulled out and replaced by the user in seconds, keeping your phone and music available at all times. It also functions with most major phone carriers, giving the user flexibility in choosing and switching among networks.

The iPhone

In your pocket entertainment has never been so easy.  The iPhone’s capacity for music, video, games and on screen communication far outstrips that of the comparatively staid Blackberry.  Promoted with all the seriousness of the newest Christmas toy, this device makes one wonder why it’s still called a phone.  Sure, you can take and receive calls, but that’s more of a distraction to the real purpose – handheld multimedia playtime.

The iPhone eliminates the need to carry a separate music device – a major plus for younger users who are loath to leave home  without a full complement of tunes.  Add in video, full online browsing and an ever-growing collection of kick-butt games, and you have a must-have electronic that fairly compels users to fork out the hefty $300 or more each device costs.

But there are some drawbacks.  The first is the on screen keyboard.  Some users complain that the virtual buttons are too tiny and too close together, so an accidental slip of the finger can result in some interesting typing errors.  On-screen use without a stylus also means the screen gets smeared and dirty fast – another common complaint. 

The lack of choice in networks also annoys some users and potential users.  Currently, only AT & T users can select an iPhone. That means that the great rate plan you might find on another network can’t support your iPhone.

Finally, there is the issue of the battery. An iPhone battery cannot be replaced by the user. The device must be taken to an authorized dealer for battery replacement.  That might not be an issue in NYC or LA, but if you find yourself in a small town or abroad with the dead iPhone, you could be out of luck.

What do you need?

No matter what the fans and critics in the Blackberry vs the iPhone debate say, it all comes down to two factors:  how are you going to use it, and how much are you willing to pay. 

If most of your needs involve a phone and e-mail, the Blackberry is probably your best choice.  Smaller, lighter and cheaper, it will still give you a few extras like a built-in camera and some music storage. 

But if you’re a Beta-type earlier adapter who wants access to the latest games and mobile applications, the iPhone is probably the only real choice for you.




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