Song: Blackberry loses to Apple

They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. If that’s the case, then Steve Jobs’ head is in the gravest danger of exploding.

Jobs, of course, is the CEO of Apple and the brains behind the now-ubiquitous iPhone. In its wake has been a flurry of “iPhone Killers” — cell phones with touch-screen interfaces that just don’t match up. Joining the ranks in late November was a challenger from Research In Motion’s successful Blackberry line, the Blackberry Storm.

Blackberry has been trying hold off iPhone’s advances ever since the first iPhone came out a year and a half ago. But with the popular phone’s charge up the ranks of smart phone sales (iPhone is experiencing over 325 percent growth in the past year, compared to Blackberry’s 80 percent), RIM immediately started researching a touch-screen Blackberry device.

Now that the Storm is here, early reviews have been hesitant to call it the David to iPhone’s Goliath. From a hardware standpoint, it does seem puzzling. After all, the Storm’s 3.25 inch display, showing 65,000 colors at a 420 by 360 pixel resolution, 3.2 megapixel camera with flash, and a touch screen that physically presses down to simulate button presses all surpass anything that the iPhone has on board.

Blackberry’s award-winning OS also offers the most business-compliant services of any smart phone. In addition, Blackberry also offers the Blackberry Application Center, a direct rival to Apple’s App Store service for the iPhone. All this comes in a package with a $199 price, just like the iPhone. From a technical standpoint, it’s at least the equivalent of the iPhone, if not slightly better in some respects.

But the Storm simply can’t compete.

In the eyes of the public, there’s just no comparison. Ask the people sitting next to you in class if they’ve heard of the Blackberry Storm. Chances are, they haven’t — and that’s the Storm’s biggest challenge.

The truth is, Blackberry is trying to be something that it isn’t. It’s trying to break into a touch-screen market with an operating system full of glitches and sluggishness. Multimedia applications and the accelerometer sensor particularly seems to mess with the software, and it’s not uncommon to wait for a few seconds before the phone recognizes that you’ve turned it sideways. The touch-screen-as-a-button idea sounds cool on paper, but in practice, it’s an annoyance that takes getting used to and does not function at all like a normal Blackberry Qwerty keyboard.

For the hardcore Crackberry addicts, the missing trackball, which is a staple of the current Blackberry generation, makes the Storm seem like a sprinter on crutches. In contrast, the iPhone’s greatest attribute is its intuitive operating system, with software so solid and responsive that you can’t help but marvel at its ingenuity. And let’s not forget the coup de grace: the iPhone is a phenomenon created by an Apple media blitz that has won over everyone — from your grandmother to your little cousin. It targeted new demographics using a “hip and cool” image to sell smartphones to an audience that would normally not buy them. Meanwhile, Blackberry has directed itself towards the Qwerty-keyboard clicking, multi-tasking business force. When its customer base looks at the new Storm, it’ll see a finicky touch screen that simply isn’t worth the hassle and gimmicky media extras.

When you can’t even win over your own audience, how do you expect to win over somebody else’s? The Storm isn’t an iPhone killer — it’s a Blackberry killer.

Comments

  • Are you joking?

    Have you ever used a Storm before? It's terrible.

    The software is messy, and typing on it makes typing on an iPhone seem like having you're own, personal dictator (translation: typing on the Storm is really annoying).

    The two things that (non-Storm) blackberries having going for them are their keyboards and their messaging capabilities. But when it comes to touchscreens and multimedia functions the iPhone laughs at the Storm.

    Advice to Blackberry: stick to what you know. The storm is better described as a drizzle.

  • Whatismyname

    Yet another .65 OS review. In case Apple didn't update you. RIM has updated the OS to .76 and 90% of any screen / rotation issues are resolved. As updates come out it will be a solid device and very capable.

    Everything seems to just forget the number of updates Apple has had to push out and they still lack basic functionality. The iPhone is a great game / entertainment device but I do email 95% of my day so it's Blackberry.

    For the record I've used only a Storm the past 3 weeks and once you adjust to the SurePress and new input method you will be plowing through email as always all while on Verizon's nice fast network on a nice large screen.

    The Apple fanboys are running scared. I'll let the sales figures when they come out speak for themselves, it's already the fastest selling phone Verizon has every had.

  • Whatisyourname

    Whatismyname… are you serious? The .76 'upgrade' reduced the wait time of screen orientation from 5 seconds to 3 seconds. Our corporation bought 10 to try out… 7 are being returned.

    I love it when folks like you say Apple fanboys are scared… its always a reflection on how they feel about themselves trying to be different.

    How's your Zune?

  • @whatismyname

    Boy, you can always tell a paid blogger, can't you?? :-)

    "My thing is perfect. period. It will Kill Apple. Period. Bla Bla Bla. "

    Yep, I am happy to wait for real figures. But the reports keep coming is from others. Storm is a drizzle. !!! I like that one. :-)

    Just a thought,
    en

  • Whatismyname

    1. I'm not paid by anyone and actually use a iPhone along with a Storm, Bold and a WM 6.1 device. They are just not the same devices and while each has it's weakness they each have a strength and to dismiss the Storm due to OS issue is a crock as Apple had them (still has them) and the device will only get better. The hardware is solid, Verizon is the best carrier in the states (JD Power #1 ranked for many years) so while NOW it might have issue it will be fine.

    iPhone will continue to do it's thing which to me is not anything I care about lately - yeah it's neat but it's dreadful to work on the thing all day and the email is just pathetic compared to BB to BES. You can scream all you want till your blue in the face but those are the facts and anyone stating otherwise isn't on BES and using a latest OS BB.

    Apple fanboys need to get beyond the thought that iTunes ecosystem and an "appstore" isn't what everyone wants. Give me rock solid network and email that works and I'm good .. of wait I have that with Blackberry.

    Morons