I am sure this Blog post has been done before, but I really wanted to weigh in. At my company, the smart phone camp is somewhat divided. We have quickly dropping few “retro” smart phone users who prefer the Blackberry’s solid calendaring and Outlook capabilities and then we have the “newbies” who appreciate the flash and function iPhones and Androids have to offer. I made the switch from an ill-conceived Windows Mobile 6 phone to an Android Motorola Droid 2 Global and I’m happy with it. It has so many cool bells and whistles and I like the “pimped out” apps that come along with it. On a business level, the Blackberry has a long history, seems more solid, it’s been around longer and it seems more secure. So, really, based on facts alone, what smart phone is really better for the business of law? Let’s take a look (side: the following comparison is based on the BlackBerry Bold 9930 vs. iPhone4 (the iPhone5 will be released soon but specific specs are not yet 100% available) :
|Features||Blackberry Bold 9930||iPhone4|
|Security||BlackBerry has traditionally been more secure than the iPhone. Case in point (and I read this on another Blog), it is used by the President and other government organizations.||iPhone4 is more secure than its predecessors. According to the website: “All apps run in a safe environment, so a website or app can’t access data from other apps… iOS 4 works with Microsoft Exchange and standards-based servers to deliver over-the-air push email, calendar, and contacts. iOS 4 protects your data by encrypting information in three separate areas: in transmission, at rest on the device, and when backed up to iTunes. You can securely access private corporate networks through industry-standard VPN protocols.”|
|Calendaring||A virtual full agenda planner.||Offers fewer calendar views and fields.|
|Connectivity to the Microsoft Exchange server and the ease of mobile email make BlackBerry a better option for business, although iPhone is catching up.||In 2009, the iPhone became compatible with Exchange Server, and it supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync accounts for business use, which makes it more business friendly.|
|Battery||1230 mAh removable/
rechargeable lithium-ion batteryCDMA Talk Time: up to 6.6 hours
CDMA Standby Time: up to 12.8 daysSolid battery life. Users can usually make it through the day on one charge.
|Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery Talk time:Standby time: Up to 300 hours Internet use:Up to 6 hours on 3GUp to 10 hours on Wi-Fi
With all of the apps and screen size, the iPhone tends to suck up more battery power than the BlackBerry. With all of the “toys” included, it’s probably because the iPhone user can’t put it down.
|Storage||768MB RAM, 8 GB eMMC,
Expandable memory: Up to 32 GB uSD card(optional)
|16GB or 32GB flash driveThe iPhone has more storage, a faster CPU and more RAM making it a great candidate for game playing.|
|Keyboard||Choice of touch screen and tactile buttons.||Touch screen.|
|Video||Can play videos, but no built-in video phone capability.||iOS 4 integrates video chat into the phone over Wi-Fi|
|Web Browsing||Small screen size. Tedious mobile browser.||Large display; multi-touch system. Touch screen makes the experience easier.|
|Apps||Not super strong app-wise, but it does have the ones that lawyers need, including timekeeping and calendaring.||Yes, there is an app for this and that.|
|Versatility||Come in every shape, size and a few colors. You can get the Pearl flip phone or a new Storm touch screen or the standard Curve and it tends to be pretty durable.||What you see is what you get. Touch screen it is, in black or white. And, sometimes that touch screen can crack very easily if dropped, etc.|
There you have it. At first glance, it seems the BlackBerry is a better option for legal business users; however my suspicions are that Blackberry users are flocking to the iPhone because it’s really cool. Security was once a major issue for the iPhone but it seems they have beefed up the security, especially while using apps.
The BlackBerry was the stalwart provider, but, after reporting a very poor 2nd quarter this week with zero cash from operations one can only wonder how much longer they’ll even be a relevant competitor. I’d actually like to trade in my 3G Android for a Verizon LTE 4G phone, I’m just concerned about the cost of the data plan. How about you are you still using a Blackberry, why?