The BlackBerry-to-iPhone Switch: Converts Speak

CIO.com's smartphone-watcher Al Sacco found six gadget-geeks who recently made the switch from BlackBerry to iPhone--and two more who went from BlackBerry to iPhone and back again. Their stories shed light on reasons why you might want to switch from a BlackBerry to the iPhone...and why you might not.

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What the iPhone Does Best: "Although the iPhone doesn't use 'push' technology as well as the BlackBerry, it does everything else perfect," according to Jackson. "Organization, placing calls, e-mails and text. I can view my site with no problem and it leaves me worry-free when it comes to needing to get something done."

What BlackBerry Does Best: E-mail, push notifications and BBM.

Most Missed BlackBerry Features: BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)

What RIM Could Do to Get You Back on BlackBerry: "RIM needs to concentrate on the consumer now and not the corporate business world," Jackson says. "I believe if [the company] did that, it could jump right back into the game." And possibly into his pocket once again.

From BlackBerry to iPhone...And Back Again

1) Subject: Byron Kerr

Twitter: @BlackoutRF

Byron Kerr, a.k.a. @BlackoutRF
Byron Kerr a.k.a. @BlackoutRF

Age: 20

Bio: College student and self-proclaimed "phone fanatic" who has been using various smartphones since 2006.

Smartphone History: BlackBerry Pearls 8100 and 8120; BlackBerry Curves 8310, 8320, 8330 and 8900; BlackBerry Storm 9530 and Storm2 9550; BlackBerry Tour 9630; BlackBerry Bold 9000 and Bold 9700; Apple iPhone, iPhone 3G, and the iPhone 3GS.

Current Device of Choice: BlackBerry Bold 9700

User-Type (Business v. Consumer): Consumer

Catalyst for the Switch: "I originally went BlackBerry in 2006," Kerr says. "When the iPhone came out, I was amazed by its capability to be a media device but still get the phone aspect out to the masses."

Kerr had to see what everyone was talking about, so he made a short-lived switch to the iPhone.

"The one thing that keeps me coming back to the Blackberry after every device is BlackBerry's almost perfect use of e-mail," Kerr says. "No other device has the e-mail capabilities that BlackBerry has. That is important for me."

Regrets: "I don't necessarily regret my decisions, because I switch devices quite often," Kerr says. "But I always come back to some form of BlackBerry."

What the iPhone Does Best: The iPhone's on-screen "virtual" keyboard is hands-down the best keyboard of its kind, Kerr says. "I also like the media player UI," he says, which is also a cut above the competition.

What BlackBerry Does Best: "Nothing compares to BlackBerry e-mail," Kerr says. "Also the stability of the BlackBerry OS is another feat that I have yet to see topped by another manufacturer/OS.

"Another thing BlackBerry is best at: battery life," he says. "Sometimes days go by without a single charge on BlackBerry. And with BlackBerry OS 5.0, battery life has improved substantially."

Most Missed iPhone Features: "I miss the iPhone's simplified use of the music/video player," Kerr says. "It syncs up perfectly with iTunes, and the organization/UI that the iPhone uses is amazing.

"I also miss the ability to hack/jailbreak the iPhone to change the UI around," he says. "Besides themes on BlackBerry, the UI is pretty bland/basic, which is good for some, but not appealing to me."

What Apple Could Do to Get You Back on iPhone: Improve average battery life and enhance the iPhone e-mail client.

2) Subject: Paul Zammit

Twitter: @pawl03

Age: 19

Bio: College student studying software development in the Republic of Malta

Smartphone History: Nokia N95; BlackBerry Curve 8900; BlackBerry Storm; iPhone 3G; BlackBerry 8900

Current Device of Choice: BlackBerry Curve 8900

User-Type (Business v. Consumer): Consumer, "who likes to feel connected at any time and any place."

Catalyst for the Switch: "A friend of mine persuaded me to switch to an iPhone; everything about it sounded more appealing"&at first, Zammit says.

"I still loved BlackBerrys, so later I decided to swap my old Curve for a Storm. That was a painful move that I regretted. The touch-screen is awful, the OS is sluggish, and I couldn't upgrade my OS--it kept locking my phone when I tried, and I had to revert back.

"Then I decided to sell the Storm, and go for a used iPhone," Zammit says "I always wanted to give a touch-screen device a go, and when I got the iPhone, I loved it. Around two months ago, I got a new BlackBerry 8900, and I got to experience BlackBerry OS v5.0. I haven't looked back at my iPhone since."

Why Switch Back to BlackBerry: "iPhone lacks a lot of what the BlackBerry 8900 offered me," Zammit says. "Battery life is bad compared to most BlackBerrys. For the iPhone to keep going for a whole day on a single charge, I had to minimize Internet use, switch off 3G, and just stick to mostly SMS and brief calls. I gave up looking on Twitter and Facebook from the iPhone because it wasn't worth" the battery drain.

"Also, iPhone third-party apps do NOT integrate well with the OS. For example: I take a picture and want to send it to Facebook," Zammit says. "I'd have to close my camera, launch Facebook, go to pictures and upload from there. With BlackBerry, I could easily select 'Send to Facebook,' with a simple click."

"One last thing that made me switch back to a BlackBerry: Notifications," he says. Push notifications have improved for the iPhone, according to Zammit, but there's no comparison between iPhone notifications and BlackBerry notifications. "The LED notifications on BlackBerry are just great. And the fact that apps could easily run in the background (multitasking) is also a big plus for BlackBerry.

What the iPhone Does Best: Web browsing, via mobile Safari; software/hardware integration; and the "great-feeling" touch-display

What BlackBerry Does Best: Notifications and alerts; ease of use for e-mail, messaging and other social apps

Most Missed iPhone Features: "I do miss the games and other 'fun' apps for the iPhone, that's basically it," Zammit says. "[But] when I planned to play a game on my iPhone, I had to bring along the USB charger&because just two hours of gaming could easily drain the iPhone's battery."

The ease of tethering on the iPhone is also impressive, according to Zammit. "I could tether on any computer--Windows Vista onwards, and Mac OSX--without additional software," he says.

What Apple Could Do to Get You Back on iPhone: Improve average battery life; allow multitasking; and improve third-party application integration with the iPhone OS.

AS

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