iPhone vs. BlackBerry

Some of my close friends might think this article is going to be biased due to my well-known allegiance to Apple products. But really, choosing between an iPhone and a BlackBerry (BB) shouldn’t be that hard, or is it?
Two common perceptions: (I’ll try to be as neutral as possible here)
You should keep in mind that iPhone’s main appeal is definitely in their unbelievable array of Applications. I would say, 60-70% of their apps are considered “fun apps”, while the rest is considered functional apps. That’s why many people perceive iPhone as some sort of ‘hip’ phone more suitable to teenagers. I can argue all day long against that particular view, but, for the sake of my neutrality, let’s consider that as a valid perception.
Perception 1: iPhone is a technologically advanced phone that is hip and fun to have around.
As for BlackBerry, their ability to receive emails in real-time (called ‘push’ email) is definitely its main charm. There is an air of professionalism about BlackBerry. The look, the feel, and most importantly, the usage are directed toward people who dream of having a perfect business phone. On top of that, there’s BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) which allow BlackBerry users to interact with each other.
Perception 2: BB is a phone that combines functionality and social networking flawlessly.
These two perceptions alone should eliminate quite a few of us in choosing the right phone. You should be able to identify yourself, and get the phone that matches your personality more.
If those two facts above don’t convince you enough, then we have to look at certain aspects:
1. Mental
Wait, mental aspects? Yes, mental DOES come into equation in choosing the right phone for some. See, it’s all about people’s perception. People who are familiar with both products will consciously or unconsciously make comments (and sometimes judgments) about your phone of choice. If you don’t mind negative comments by owning one of the products, then you should continue reading. [If you DO mind, skip the rest of the aspects below, and jump to the ‘Conclusion’ section]
2. Why BlackBerry?
a. Push notifications: real-time emails so you can be notified at any given time. Think of it as SMS and Email combined into one. Great for business people on the go.
b. BBM: it’s the flagship feature of the phone. It allows you to interact with other BB users. Think of it as a chatting device that’s always ON. You can send pictures and even voice messages with this thing.
c. GPS: bear in mind that this article has been adapted to Indonesia’s current navigation environment. While iPhone’s GPS rely on Google Map for its data, BB’s GPS has its own map that includes a detailed map of Java and Bali. Its turn-by-turn function is fully operational.
3. Why iPhone?
a. Apps, apps, and more apps: there are over 1 million Apps in iPhone’s own App Store, there are many more wonderful third-party apps from independent repositories (a Jailbroken iPhone is necessary to get those apps). More importantly, many of these apps are available to enhance the functionality of the phone itself. From task management to photo editor, you can get all the apps that suit your needs.
b. Browsing heaven: iPhone’s superb touch screen technology has allowed users to make a full use of its screen. With a screen big enough to display a full web-page and a browser fast enough to upload all the contents, iPhone’s browsing capability is absolutely peerless. You can almost forget that you own a regular PC or laptop to browse with. It’s that good, almost.
c. Proximity sensor = endless possibilities: its mind-blowing sensor technology allows you to have a full control of your iPhone by tilting it back and forth, left to right. It also detects sound (ie: Stethoscope app) and even air (you can transform it into a virtual flute). No joke.
Of course, in the end, no product is perfect. While iPhone is clearly more advanced in terms of both hardware and software, it lacks the compatibility and functionality of BlackBerry (not to mention BBM). I hope most of you would be able to make a decision based upon reading this article. I can understand why some of you are tempted to buy both phones, but why would you spend an extra $700-$800 to have an extra phone that completes the other? You can buy a netbook AND a dedicated iPod with that amount of money. Besides, having BOTH phones doesn’t just mean an extra $800, it’s actually $800 plus whatever amount you are going to pay for an additional dataplan ($20-$35 extra per month). To me, it’s just not worth it.


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