2008 Called, And They Want Their Phone Back

This is a question I’ve wondered about for some time. Tam has the predictably amusing take on it. I’ve hated Blackberries from the moment I first put my hands on one. That went double when I had to support a few of them in a business environment. Crap, crap, crap. Yet they are very common in the business world, due to corporate America’s tendency to buy crap. By comparison the modern smart phones are light years better. I’m not surprised that Android based phones have overtaken sales of Blackberries. Good. Even though I may be personally partial to the iOS, Android is still 800x better than any Crackberry.

Even Apple needs to watch out, because Android is surpassing it in sales as well. The only way Apple is going to compete head-to-head with Google is to ditch AT&T and offer their phone on more carriers. Now that I have the iPad, my incentive to upgrade to an iPhone 4 is not that great. I’m waiting for the iPhone 4V, the V being for Verizon.

10 thoughts on “2008 Called, And They Want Their Phone Back”

  1. Buy crap? How do you think IBM was able to sell so many printers? IT would do a fair analysis, including support costs, decide to buy something else, and then an IBM VP would take the boss golfing and come back with a sales contract.

    Same with BBerrys. Of course they justify it using ‘security’.

  2. A note on the last part (though I don’t disagree that Apple can rest on their laurels rather than competing, or that carrier choice is the biggest negative until the AT+T exclusive ends).

    Apple doesn’t need to (and doesn’t, in any market) compete on “greatest total sales”.

    All the shitty Android 1.6 phones in the world (and they still sell them! Lots of them, that have NO upgrade path to 2.x!) won’t “beat” iOS.

    There are Android phones that are real competition, but I’m not sure that they’re even the majority of current sales, and definitely not of installed base.

    I wish Android as a platform was less fragmented and carrier-crippled, on the grounds that it’d be more competitive and a better spur in Apple’s side if it was.

  3. (Oh, and Verizon? Not going to happen, is my bet. Well, not until Verizon rolls out a GSM network.

    CDMA phone means two SKUs and endless customer confusion.

    iPhone on other GSM carriers? The moment it’s possible.

    iPhone on CDMA? Never.)

  4. Honestly? I think Blackberry’s success in the business world is less due to corporate America’s tendency to buy crap than it is to the fact that they got in on the smartphone craze so early, and were one of the best options at the time, and ended up as the “business standard” through pure volume of users. Once a brand becomes the de facto business standard, it’s almost impossible to convince management to move to something else, even if that something else is far superior.

    It’s inertia, pure and simple. Apple’s iPhone only broke that inertia because it was shiny and because there were enough executives in the right places that are Apple fanboys to force some companies to go with the iPhone instead.

    Even with that and with Apple starting to push into business, RIM still pretty much owns the business market through inertia – most IT departments will fight against changing simply because of the amount of work involved in switching everybody over to a new platform, and they don’t want to deal with multiple platforms at the same time, either, so it’s all or nothing. It usually takes someone high up in the company to decree a company-wide change, and most of them don’t know enough to know the difference.

  5. Sigvald: There are chipsets out there now which can speak both CDMA and GSM, so it would just be a matter of engineering an iPhone that had one of those hybrid chipsets. It is possible to have a single iPhone to rule them all.

    Jake: A very good point.

  6. Oh, it’s possible.

    But given that Apple hasn’t already done it for the rest-of-world market, I don’t know that I suspect they’d do it now just for Verizon.

    They can already use, hardware wise, everyone else’s network in the US anyway.

  7. I actually can’t figure out why non-corporate users ever even started using BlackBerries. It’s a good keyboard if you’re used to it, but other than that, they’re weak.


    If you run Exchange, there’s nothing else like it, not even close. Rock-solid ultra-reliable sync of all PIM info; meeting scheduling including availability views; policy enforcement, intranet bridging, and remote wipe. Nothing else even comes close, including (last I looked) Windows phones.

  8. I do everything on my Blackberry to the point of foregoing my work computer most of the time and my home computers often. I’ve had the touch screen wannabees you push here and they are the true crap, in my opinion.

  9. Sigvald: The fourth generation successor to both UMTS (“GSM”) and IS-2000 (“CDMA”) will probably be LTE; Verizon plans to start rolling out LTE this year, AT&T and T-Mobile in 2011 (Sprint is a renegade and going with WiMax instead). In this future, the next or following generation iPhone could be available on Verizon.

  10. Although the iPhone beats it for every other purpose, for those whose primary use is e-mail you can’t beat Blackberry’s real keyboard, IMHO.

    Personally I would tolerate a somewhat larger Blackberry (maybe 20% taller and wider) to have a bigger screen (maybe even bigger keys).

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