Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Scroll to top

Top

53 Comments

Blackberry vs iPhone packages

Marc
  • On October 11, 2011
  • http:/www.marcforrest.com

 

I dunno, maybe it is just me. But given the last 2 days’ issues with the Blackberry BIS service, things really aren’t looking bright for BB users around the country. I asked a couple of questions earlier on Twitter about BB vs iPhone and got some pretty heated responses, so I thought the right thing to do was do a blog post with some of my (personal) thoughts :)

I have been called an “Apple Fanbooi” plenty times given my somewhat affinity to Apple products. 100%. I’ll take the knock.But surely there is some logic. I am really not going to get into the technicalities about Apps, constant OS updates, superior hardware (show me an 8MP camera on a BB).

I thought I would take a quick look at some of the”misunderstandings” that exist between iPhone & Blackberry, and hopefully try and clear up some of the air.

1. BBM

The biggest drawcard for Blackberry IS BBM. There is no doubt about it. I have previously worked out though that you need to send close on 500,000 BBM’s to ensure you cover your R69 a month BIS fee. (That obv excludes browsing etc)

iOS5 is being released this Wednesday. Included in iOS5 is an awesome new feature called iMessage. Essentially a BBM “replacement”. I use the word replacement very loosely, cause you need to have either the other users email address or cellphone number stored in your contacts to send a message. With BBM, you just need to have a pin, and then anyone can add you (Security) . Also, remember you will also now be able to communicate through iMessage to iPad users as iMessage comes standard in iOS across all devices.

2. iPhone uses way more data than BB

Probably. But given that the most data used on an iPhone is used to download apps, then that makes sense. The majority of browsing and now iMessage is generally compressed data, which means you don’t end up using all your data. Last month Vodacom increased the data bundle included on the iPhone packages to 500MB from 250MB. For free. I can promise you now. 500Mb is a lot. I hardly reach that in a month, but I do have wireless at home and work, which is what the iPhone takes preference of. Still. 500MB is a crap load. And if you follow me on twitter, I mentioned yesterday that a little birdie told me that unlimited smartphone data bundles are just around the corner. Watch this space :)

3. iPhone contracts are more expensive

I think this is where people are mostly uninformed. My iPhone contract with Vodacom, the iPhone 120s, gives me 120 free minutes, 500MB of data, and 100 free sms’s. This costs me R450 a month. Most months I hardly ever go over that. Maybe the minutes, but more often not. That’s with the phone. Actually, I think I may pay another R20 on top of that and I got my 16GB iPhone4 for free.

The equivalent Blackberry package which I could find on the Vodacom site is a Blackberry BIS 100 package, which goes for R349 a month (yes, R100 a less) which includes 100 free minutes, “unlimited” BIS internet. No free SMS’s. Which actually scrap. Who the heck SMS’s anymore? We have iMessage & BBM. That’s just the package. If you looking at the new Blackberry Bold 9900, you looking at R429 a month on the BIS 100 package.

29 rands. That’s the difference in price.

In all said and done, BB has a HUGE pre-paid market. Which, honestly, I can’t see iPhone competing with. But let’s say, RIM (The company that owns & runs Blackberry) does fold, which is looking more and more likely every day, there is no alternative to the pre-paid market.

4. Apps

I know I said I wouldn’t touch on this, but my friend Ewan, just replied to a tweet on Twitter about this.

Apps. We all know Apple’s ecosystem revolves around apps. They have revolutionised the smartphone market (around the world) by allowing people to add value to their phones by downloading and installing apps. One thing Apple has got right, is that apps are moderated before they are added to the app store. Yes, some of them are crap, and some of them do crash, but 99% of the time, out of all the over 500 apps I have downloaded (eish !!) the majority have been workable. If they don’t or they are crap, they get deleted and never seen again. Also, you develop 1 app for 1 OS. No screen sizes, hardware.

Blackberry also has an app world, but there is no moderation on the apps. Anyone can upload apps, and more often than not, the apps are terrible. Again, this I can’t vouch for as I have limited BB use, but from what I have experienced & people have told me, that the apps crash more often than not. Or you get complete rubbish apps. From a development perspective, you need to develop your app across 3 operating systems and multiple screen sizes. Same goes for Android.

But that said, and is something I am experiencing at the moment. Do Blackberry users actually download & use apps from BB app world, APART from Facebook or twitter ? Any other apps you use ?

Taking my fanbooi cape off here, There is no doubt that Apple’s app store far superseeds that of Blackberry & Android. Just look at the number of apps as an example.

————————————————————

I got asked about Android. Yip. Cool OS. Shit phones. Except for the Galaxy S2, which I would take in a heartbeat. There is still no free instant messaging platform there (Google talk doesn’t count). Also there are no Android specific packages (that I know of) which means you pay for your data.

So again, I know I probably sound like the Apple fanbooi. But like I say, that’s fine. I totally take it. But really, if you are looking at upgrading your phone/contract do the maths before claiming the free internet & BBM for R69 a month. You may be pleasantly surprised.

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below, or if maybe I am missing the whole point. I dunno, maybe it is just me ?

 

 

Comments

  1. David Greenway (@davegreenway)

    I personally use my phone almost exclusively for messaging, and as a cellphone reviewer I get to play with a lot of new phones. With these two things in mind, the reason I choose BlackBerry as my primary phone is that I feel that the unified inbox and the keyboard allow me to manage multiple platforms and accounts better than on almost any other phone.

    A physical keyboard is still better than any touchscreen I have used to date, and while the iPhone has the largest app store I feel that Windows Phone Mango offers me the next best messaging experience after BlackBerry.

    I also only have about 5 friends on iOS as opposed to over 100 on BB which will mean that iMessage won’t be nearly as good for me. We should also wait and see how good iMessage is under full load before we tout it as a perfect replacement for BBM.

  2. @David
    Cool. Thanks for the comment :)
    Fair points as well. Much appreciated.

  3. Greg

    For a lot of people, an iPhone (or any touchphone) isn’t an option because it doesn’t make it through the day on a single charge.

    All the criticism levelled at the iphone as being a crap voice phone is wholly justified. I was a long time iPhone user until I moved on to Android then eventually WP7. It was like night and day for both data and voice reception.

    500meg might be enough now, but you’re about to join us WP7 users ( :) ) in a cloud-based phone experience … wifi is an option, but you have to configure all your apps to basically tailor your entire life and phone experience around your data plan. That sucks. I don’t accept compromises like that; I have the MTN Uncapped R289 package, and it totally changes the way you experience phones.

    My advice to anybody now is to get WP7. Brilliant messaging phone, EASILY the best social network phone, best unified inboxes, best UI (IMO), and generally the breath of fresh air the phone world needed.

  4. za5

    One of the flaws in your argument is that you assume that people will buy the top of the line Blackberry – in your example you mention the BB 9900 which I think it top of the line.

    Most Blackberry devices in SA from what I’ve seen (based on the mobile web work that I do) are the Blackberry 8520.

    These users are either prepaid or contract users. The prepaid users in most cases paid just under R2000 cash for their 8520 BB and then pay R60 a month for the BIS (free data) service – that obviously excludes voice and SMS usage. I know students who have a BB 8520 and use it 98% of the time for data only, they hardly make any calls off it.

    The other group of 8520 users are on contract, so for example on Vodacom, they can get R135 of airtime, BIS (free data) and a free 8520 BB handset for R149 a month on a 24 month contract.

    Based on those costs it’s very hard for you to convince those people (most of which are young or students) that a R500 a month contract is a better deal.

    I did a quick browse through Nasua Mobile and Vodacom sites and couldn’t find anything on the iPhone 3Gs contacts or costs. I suspect the iPhone 3Gs contract will be much cheaper than the iPhone 4 however I doubt it will be as cheap as the BB 8520 contract or cash costs.

  5. I totally agree. I had a BB 9700 Bold and I owned it for about 6 months, I kept praying that I’d bring myself to loving the phone (it cost me 10K) as much as I did my iPhone 3G 16GB (Got smashed because I played GolfSwing and it slipped from hands). But I just didn’t love it, they do not spend the amount of time on the little details like Apple does.

    One of the things that frustrated me the most, was the claim that it was suited to enterprise users. Specifically people who want to get things done optimally. I completed lost count of the amount of times that I overslept and was late for work because of the phone – It has this little joystick thing that controls ‘clicking’, and movement. What always happened was that I would accidently move the stick downwards unto ‘Turn Off’ and click, instead of just ‘clicking’ on ‘Snooze’. Now I know that this doesn’t sound like a big thing – but that was just one of those things, one of those types of little things that made me despise the phone. It wasn’t just the alarm, there was cases like these all over the OS.

    The App World seemed cool to me, until I started actually downloading apps. It’s true horrible apps live in that world – And a plethora of apps that do the exact same thing was duplicated all over the place. As for development and future proofing, they have absolutely no care, for example the current OS that the BB’s run all use Java to develop apps (I’m a Java Developer), very cool language, I’m not going to say anything bad about it – But you get this SDK you need to learn and become familiar with (same as IOS) but now you get familiar with it, because you invest all your time into it – And then RIM decides no – we are going QNX (New OS AIR-Based), which looks like a good move because it’s really an easy platform to develop rich apps (I’m a Flex Developer too). So now you wasted all your time learning this SDK, the new OS comes out and you need to start learning from scratch again.

    I recently started learning Objective-C, and the IOS SDK – The cool thing about this is that cocoa makes app development from between the Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Ipod touch seamless – It might not be cross platform in the traditional sense, but when iCloud comes out – You will probably end up wanting to own all of these devices any way. The point is, the OS will not change – or it will atleast give developers the option of properly migrating their code. This in turn brings the same beloved apps from your old device, to your new improved device even quicker.

    As for the Galaxy S2, I read this morning that the 4.2* inch screen is a pain, and if you hold the phone in 1 hand, you cannot reach all the points of the screen with your thumb – like you can with an iPhone. Although Android does look like a better alternative to BB, but it will never come close, or even gain the momentum like IOS.

    This turned out to be much longer, then a simple – yes I agree with you.. but these are my points:)

  6. David Greenway (@davegreenway)

    @Greg

    “My advice to anybody now is to get WP7. Brilliant messaging phone, EASILY the best social network phone, best unified inboxes, best UI (IMO), and generally the breath of fresh air the phone world needed.”

    Agreed…Especially the People Hub, it is remarkable. I love my Windows Phone 7 it is by far my favourite touch screen phone

  7. I missed a point on my previous comment, I swapped my BB 9700 Bold, for an iPhone 3G 8B, this phone was 2K at the time, compared to my 10K BB- And I was happy afterwards again.

    @za5, my point is – IMHO the top of the range BB, didn’t come close to the bottom of the range iPhone (at that time).

  8. Interested to hear why you think RIM will fold? I doubt very much whether two days of down time is going to close a company. If that were true, Microsoft would not still be around.

    I like having options… if everyone had an iPhone it would be rather stale. BlackBerry have been ahead of Apple of some aspects for years? The new BB 9900 looks like a great phone.

    As I said on Twitter last night, I hope RIM sorts their shit out as I like looking down one them. Made the switch to Apple earlier this year and haven’t looked back.

  9. @za5 Yip, You are right. But my thinking is what is going to happen to these people when RIM/BB eventually dies. I know it is just an assumption at the moment, but if we look at the history of the company, things aren’t looking too shiny. My bet would be for Google to buy them, and they have the power to turn everything I have written above on it’s head and dominate the smartphone landscape. Very possible

    @Greg as I mentioned on twitter, you taking a knock on the unlimited data with calls from unbundled minutes on the data sim. That doesn’t make much sense to me. Sure you getting UNLIMITED data, but is there a pay off with the voice costs etc. You mentioned though that once you have unlimited mobile data, voice usage plummets. I dunno if I agree with that though ? I have a family and use my phone often to communicate with my children, who can’t type yet, when I am not around.

    @Greg & @David I have been reviewing the Samsung Omina WP7 for the last couple of weeks, and I honestly can’t understand what it is all about. The UI is amazing, but to me it seems to lack functionality. The app store seems dry, but I believe Mango sorts that out though. Again, there isn’t much of a community (yet) though ? Maybe I am missing something ?

    @Dylan Thanks for the comment. Awesome points you have there

    Thanks everyone for the comments. Loving the debates…keep em coming :)

  10. David Greenway (@davegreenway)

    @Marc you should be able to upgrade it to Mango now, check it and see if it says you can update it.

  11. @Rory I also see the possibility of RIM folding – and it’s not just the downtime, it’s all the bad public relations, high up staff writing public letters – and just all the bad press.

    And it depends on how you look at “have been ahead of Apple of some aspects for years”. If you believe that delivering a product before its been polished, just to get something out before the competitors do – as “being ahead”- then sure – I see that. Apple will never release a feature until it’s ready – no matter what happens. Many developers find this very hard to do – not just RIM.
    Also I don’t see BB integrated throughout our lives as well as Apple is – I’m talking tablet world, pc world, phones, and just people who want to listen to music. iCloud will make this even more seamless – They take every aspect of your life and join them – into a seamless experience.

  12. Greg

    >You mentioned though that once you have unlimited mobile data, voice usage plummets. I dunno if I agree with that though

    Well, you still have a few hundred bucks to plough into voice data before you get to the BB/iPhone contract price. Then you still have your uncapped data. Best of both worlds. With Skype coming soon, it will plummet even further. Why make a voice call when you can Skype to your kids for “free”?

    >I have been reviewing the Samsung Omina WP7 for the last couple of weeks, and I honestly can’t understand what it is all about. The UI is amazing, but to me it seems to lack functionality. The app store seems dry

    Yes, only post-Mango can I unreservedly recommend WP7. Update your phone today. It’s available for the Omnia now. App store is plenty full, it has >90% of the top apps on iOS/Android, and thousands of smaller ones. Doing a non-Mango review now is pointless. It’s like me reviewing iOS4, 2 days after iOS5 comes out. Totally irrelevant.

    >Maybe I am missing something ?

    Not to be a dick about it, but your problem was exposed when you said: “I have been called an “Apple Fanbooi” plenty times given my somewhat affinity to Apple products. 100%. I’ll take the knock”

    Personally, I try my hardest never to be a fanboy, because they get bogged down in the past and miss all the cool new tech.

  13. @Rory No No, it’s not just these 2 days of outages which promoted me to say RIM is on the down. It’s pretty common knowledge that the company itself is in a HUGE slump at the moment. Their share price – http://iguy.me/r02rwg is right down at the moment, and most of the top brass have left the company over the last couple of months. Very concerning. Also the fact that there is no redundancy in place for these 2 days outage’s does def show some concern ?

    @David Yea, actually. I will do that. See if I can and what a diff it makes. I know when I first got it I had to set up a new hotmail account for the USA so I could brose the WP7 app store.

  14. @Greg
    100% fanboy me :) Is this some of the cool new tech we miss: http://www.quora.com/Siri/Why-is-Siri-important#ans752714.
    Also I don’t really care about the cool new tech, I like the cool new tech that works like it’s advertised :)

  15. Greg

    @Dylan Siri is unproven tech. We’ll see. Until then, your comment’s validity is in limbo.

  16. @Greg
    It’s not unproven – It used to be on the AppStore, Apple bought it, removed it from the AppStore, and got ot polished.

  17. Greg

    >It’s not unproven – It used to be on the AppStore, Apple bought it, removed it from the AppStore, and got ot polished.

    Well it never made massive waves before Apple bought it. It wasn’t a gamechanger then, and it’s totally unknown whether it will be now. ie. Unproven.

  18. Karr

    i found the blackberry easier to use as i like a phone with a keypad, touch screen isnt for everyone. if apple made a phone like the nokia e7 i’d go for it. back to my choice on the blackberry. it was mainly to run 4 email accounts, the facebook/twitter also sold me. BBM doesnt interest me that much. Whatsapp still does a good job, and i don’t mind paying that $1 a year as you can chat to friends across every smart phone market.

    it seems the people that complain about their blackberry don’t really understand their phone and just bought it for BBM…a post on the blackberry facebook page earned me comments of hate, saying im a loser and had no friends because i stated “guys try living with no electricity for a day instead of not having BBM for a day” :/ strange world

    overall the iphone beats the blackberry hands down, the apps, the phone layout is simple, it reboots less than a BB and you don’t need to reboot it everytime you install a new app, which is highly annoying!

  19. @Karr Shot for the comment. Just to clarify (but I am sure you already know) iPhone can run multiple email accounts. The touch keypad can be intimidating in the beginning, but it def is something easily learnt.

  20. BiancaW

    Why does it have to be a competition. Can’t we all just live in harmony with each other?

  21. @Bianca Nooooo…It’s not a competition. Love & Peace. We all as one. Just comparing Apples To (apples ? ) Blackberry.
    We love them all. One and all. Forever

  22. xdoomx

    1. keypad. If you use a mobile device for communication you will appreciate this. iphone users dont communicate on device nearly as much as BB users. Fact. Thats where the ‘crackberry’ term comes from.
    2. email/calendar/enterprise. BB is a serious phone. Unless you’re a busy and business person you wont appreciate the organisational integration. I hardly ever, ever turn on my laptop or desktop anymore. Ever! Thats a big step for someone like myself that literally lives and breathes the internet.
    3. Data. I LIVE on my phone. Email, pictures, corporate attachments of mb sizes DAILY, facebook and twitter uploads. My bill last month was R195.00 Thats everything! (my phone was bought cash on ebay)

    iphone is a great device, perhaps the best, but it lacks in enterprise. I work for one of the countries largest retailers and as much as our internal ios fanboi’s try it just cant provide the functionality a large organisation needs.

    sent from my Playbook ;)

  23. Leb

    Mahahhah at XDOOMX …

    In general.

    The corporates could do with a rethink of their usage of systems, just saying… times change.. systems change.. This actually pertains to apple as well a solid corporate offering would be good.

    One major concern which no one brings up is that BB has been declining rapidly in the “bread & butter” markets – US / Europe / UK look at some sales figures from that side. When a company loses its income stream things get neglected… for a year now i have been saying that BB will fall over at some point. Before i get chewed out I know the corporate offering has been unaffected. but a company that has had so many chances to up its game over the past years, and still produces the SAME KAK again and again.. and lets be serious BBM is purely their old push email system rebuilt as an IM ? that was the product that put BB on the market in the first place.

    Back to market share… why do you think BB is pushing so hard into emerging markets? because quite honestly its all they got left… ? Grasping at straws?

    Before making the switch from BB my key reason to stay was the keyboard. 2 days of the iphone keyboard… and trust me it is a lot faster, on my bold i was always like oh sh1t i need to type up that document, ahhh i will do it when i get into the office. Now my iphone is as important as my laptop.

    I guess people will always choose an affinity to products… must make me an apple fanBoi.. bollocks.

  24. Woohoo for iPhone. Either way, I have been drawn to the Apple side, by my boss and all the Apple equipment we exclusively use. Fanbooi or not, I can’t wait for the iPhone 4S to make its appearence as a option in Vodacom’s contracts.

    Yes, I’m upgrading at the end of the year, but will wait, impatiently, for the iPhone 4S.

  25. Danette

    I consider my bb to be much more user friendly than other phones i have checked. It seems like you are favouring Iphone here. And yes, actually, an Iphone contract would cost me way more than my bb contract (like 250 rand difference). But yesterday I got furious with this Blackberry mess and me having to constantly use my own airtime to sms people. I put my simcard into my old Samsung E250 and viola, I use Opera mini to facebook. Old school and being cheap, works best! I would never go Iphone though. I hate touch screens and love qwerty keypads way to much. I’m just hoping BB gets their shit together.

  26. Dean

    “I got asked about Android. Yip. Cool OS. Shit phones. Except for the Galaxy S2, which I would take in a heartbeat. There is still no free instant messaging platform there (Google talk doesn’t count). Also there are no Android specific packages (that I know of) which means you pay for your data.”

    my htc desire has more ram bigger processor bigger screen and cost half of an iphone4, i hav more apps, how can you you say “Google talk doesn’t count”?? apple and their fan boys are all idiots, apple did not start the apps just like there were mp3 players before the ipod tablets before the ipad and smart phones before the iphone, their marketing is just good enough that the majority of you IDIOTIC DUMB FUCKING CUNTS, cant realize this and believe having an apple product wit get you laid and make you creative

  27. @Dean

    hahahaha…love how you start off slowly and then explode with your “IDIOTIC DUMB FUCKING CUNTS at the end.

    Classy.

    I love this debate. Brings in people from all corners….LOL

  28. @Dean I don’t understand why “Google talk doesn’t count” either – But one thing is that bigger screen isn’t always a good thing, I don’t know if you read my previous post on screen sizes, also processing power means nothing if you run a bloated operating system. I don’t know if you know what language android uses to develop apps, but they use Java, and Java is an excellent checked and type-safe language that works really well on a computer. It uses something called a Garbage Collector, which mainly makes it easy for developers to write software without having to worry about memory allocation, the problem with this is that garbage tends to really stack up alot, and your application becomes less than optimally performant because memory isn’t cleared as soon as you stop using it. This isn’t such a big problem on a PC but on a mobile device it does cause problems.

    I don’t know if you actually read any of Marc’s other posts, but there is a post where all these phones are benchmarked- Which makes it very clear that hardware specs aren’t everything – Well written software is what really makes a difference, and I for one know that Apple didn’t invite apps, or mp3 players etc. But they made products well enough for everyone to use and install. Applications are moderated to make sure that they are safe to install on your phone, you can actually get a lot of malware on your droid device, which isn’t cool – It won’t be nice if one of your “friends” (thats if you have any) installs a keylogger on your phone that sends all your data to them.

    The last thing, I didn’t buy my iPhone because I saw an advert about it, I was in Vodacom, the guy told me to have a look at it, I played with it and I fell in love with it – Their marketing is excellent I agree with that, but thats not the reason for their success – The reason for their success IMHO is that they sell stuff that works like it’s advertised.

    I’m not saying droid is horrible, it would be my second choice anyday – But what you can’t realise is that shouting and swearing like an idiot won’t get you laid – or makes you creative either.

  29. hahahaha I just saw this: “there were mp3 players before the ipod tablets”

  30. @Marc

    I don’t think that is really called debating, I believe it’s called flaming :)

    Hahaha, Classy.

  31. Greg

    This whole thing is the same old fanboy debate. Single-minded with blinkers on. They think “XYZ is the best”, and don’t realise that “XYZ is the best for THEM”. They don’t give the alternatives a chance, and end up living by the “ignorance is bliss” way of life. We’re spoiled for choice. Being anything else but a fickle consumer is counter-productive the way everyone is innovating these days.

    The iDevices are great in many respects, but there are very solid and valid reasons why Android, BB or WP7 are superior devices/platforms to use for the majority of people. You have to realise that just because people don’t use the device/brand you do, they aren’t mentally deficient or inferior, they’ve probably made a conscious decision not to buy your pet device.

  32. @Greg, I see that – and I agree – each one out there has something to offer that the other doesn’t.
    And I see that with my macbook, I love it – but when I want to play games, I boot into Windows.
    For me iDevices is something I don’t think I will ever switch from, I can’t really say anything about WP7 because I’ve never ever even seen one in front of me. All I know is, when I switch to Windows on my mac, I find it infuriating – just with simple things that don’t work. For me personally – I like it being stable and fast, I prefer waiting for features – Then just getting something. I promise you I never meant that anyone is inferior or deficient, I wasn’t the one yelling “IDIOTIC DUMB FUCKING CUNTS” – Look I understand you didn’t probably target that directly to me.

    My main thing is that I’ll post something saying how much I love my iDevice, then I get flamed – or trolled, or I’m called a hypnotized zombie. When stuff like this happens, I start swinging back. I’m sorry if I pissed you off – I didn’t mean too. In my experience, I haven’t had any device work as well, as my Apple stuff, I’m not saying Apple has the most features, but what I am saying from what I have tested, is that the same features on both usually worked better on my apple device.

    That’s my experience, I wasn’t single-minded when I bought my BB Bold 9700, I made a conscious decision to get it, but ended up being the wrong decision.. for me, thats why I switched back.. and that’s one of the reasons why I’m scared of switching again.

  33. Dean

    you can all say wat you want, the reason apple fan boys all try so hard to justify their stupid idevice is because of how deep a hole buying it burned. they all then continue defending and supporting Apple cause they dont wanna admit to themselves or the world that they’re wrong

    sorry i got so excited, this was just last straw in a series of events.

  34. Greg

    @Dylan it wasn’t directed at you, it was more a comment on the article and general fanboy attitude. Generalizing Android with “shit phones” or discounting free, cross-platform, open spec messaging platforms is about as bad as the “dumb fucking cunts” line.

    I really enjoyed my time with iPhone, for a year or 2 it was fresh and exciting, coming off WinMo6, but Apple is a victim of its own success – iOS is undeniably an oldskool UI (static homescreen with a grid of icons – a la windows 95; no widgets or live tiles and apps blind to each others existance; no ways for devs to extend the base experience) and is too late to change these fundamental things now without SERIOUSLY risking alienating the user base, who is happy and comfortable in what they have. That’s how Windows Mobile ended up where it was. Remember that for all their faults, WinMo and Symbian pioneered the smartphone before they handed the baton to iOS, and I feel the time is coming that iOS is handing it off to devices that center around data, rather than apps.

    @Dean that was actually one of the reasons I stayed on iOS longer than I should have. I probably threw away a few hundred dollars when I left the platform. But hey. Live and learn! Lucky all the OSes (iOS, WP7, Android) have enough built-in or free apps to get 90% of what you need to do on a phone, after having a number of OS iterations, so it’s far easier to flip between platforms now. Even more so that they’re more and more tying into cloud services, so all your mail/contacts/etc follow you from phone to phone.

  35. @Dean
    My iDevices weren’t expensive at all. My latest iPhone 4 is R310 a month on one of those top-up-deals, I get free SMS, data, and voice calls included. I run tom-tom so I save money on a GPS, It has iPod functionality built in so I don’t need an mp3 player – has an awesome dictionary, whatsApp to talk to my friends – And a camera that really takes beautiful photos. To me that price tag is super low. Also I didn’t just get an iPhone 4, I had a 3 8GB, 3 16GB, 3GS 16GB, ip4, a macbook pro 13″ and 15″, and an iPad 2. I’d think I would’ve stopped – and changed after the first one if I thought it was a “stupid idevice”, It really didn’t burn a deep hole in my pocket –

    It actually saves me money, and a lot of time – I wrote an app, that I use to tracking time etc. that integrates with our invoicing at work – Whenever I need to communicate work stuff, I have my device for talking to clients on our ticketing system etc.
    When I’m writing documentation I lie on my bed and do it comfortably on my iPad – or while I’m waiting to get my car washed.

    To me it’s really become an extension of my self I cannot live without – I’ve tried alternatives, I really have, and I always end up back where I am because I find it better suited.

    You really do seam very angry at apple- or atleast at apple fanbooois- what is the reason for this? Did you own a Iphone that gave you any issues?

  36. @Greg – I love open source, all my server’s run linux :) It’s super stable and amazing. I get that. I’d really love to test one of those devices to see it for myself – I just saw a video the other day of Windows 8’s Metro UI – Looked so cool to me – the idea of having live tiles, well it did at first, but even though you can make those icons interactive, they all looked really flat to me – Then the lady opened the new “start screen”, and she said to move left and right, you should hit page up and page down. And I just don’t get it, I really don’t I would understand PG UP and PG DOWN, if the animation actually moved up and down, but this no.. Anyway – when I see things like that I cringe – It always makes me think what other detail did they leave out. Anyway I am going to test it, when Win8 comes outta beta, I will get it – and test it, before I say anything else about it.

    And I’d like to do the same thing with WP7, But for me I like to upgrade once yearly.. and the last time I had a winMobo, I had a HTC TYTN – And that thing gave me soo many nightmares, I ended up using my SonyEricson W800i again – which I also eventually got soooo angry at that I smashed it into a wall. What I’m trying to say is – I’d love to test the phone, but I’m scared of getting one, and then I kick my own ass for a year again – telling myself I should’ve gone with an iDevice – like I did the time I switched to BB.

  37. Wow. Interesting debates :)

    Right, so to clarify a few things.

    “…Android….shit phones…” – In my personal experience the only Android phones I have used have been disappointing. I took a HTC Tattoo on an upgrade once, which made me scatty in the first day. Probably my own fault for not doing enough research, but it had just come out at the time.
    I have also reviewed a number of Android device from phone manufacturers which have all seemed to let me down in 1 way or another. The Red Bull Mobile phones are another example. Very clunky phones and really tough to use. Slow, and touch screen makes you want to cry.
    That said, I have plenty comments both here and offline about some of the Android phones. Apparently the Sensation comes very close to what the iPhone offers in terms of hardware functionality (Sorry Paul. Cath did hit me, I promise. I owe you a few beers :P) and as Dean mentioned above the desire also matches up. Again, it was probably an oversight for calling ALL Android phones “shit”, but for me, out of all the phones I have reviewed, messed around with Friends phones & even looked at Demo models in shops, the iPhone seemed to be the best (from a personal perspective)

    The Android OS is brilliant. The fact that it is open source is even more awesome. I think if Apple actually balled up a bit and opened their OS to allow people to do some cool customizations (without jailbreaking) we could see a whole different market there.

    Google Talk. The reason I said Google Talk “doesn’t count” is that for Google Talk to work, you need a Gmail Account right. So if you want to talk to a friend on Google Talk on your Android device as an instant messaging option. Plenty of my friends don’t have Gmail accounts (Yip, really) while they do have whatsapp.

    So, again. Just to clear some of the air. Yes. I am an Apple fan. Yes, I love trying new devices & OS’s. But from a personal point of view, in all my years of new phones, (and trust me, I always made sure I had the latest phone. I even stood in line to get a Nokia 5110 when it was released in 97, cause I could change the cover. No lies) Apple, for me, has been the most superior device in a number of fields; hardware, software, community etc etc. Just my personal point of view.

    Thanks again for all the comments. What I have seen though over the last 2 days though, is that there are a lot of people who have valid arguments and can be brand advocates, and, well, the interwebs are still full of “interesting” people.

    Thanks for the comments :)

  38. Thanks Marc ;-)

    I just want to state the following…

    Yeah, Blackberry may be a popular handset, which is cleverly marketed, promoting the cheap packages, and “free” messaging service, but, as Marc has stated, RIM as a company is not doing well internationally, and there are concerns about their longevity. This really doesn’t matter to the typical South African interested in entering the smartphone market, or keen to be part of the “cool” generation. A Blackberry, in many respects, is a status symbol, and has been created into one, through nifty marketing. It comes down to this – having one makes you feel connected, makes you feel important, and that’s what people ultimately want – to feel important! It’s a basic human desire.

    I know that the audience of this blog is a generally better-informed audience than the typical man in the street, and I’d like you to think about something – in ten years time, what smartphone will you be using? I’m willing to bet pretty much anything, that – considering the rapid advances in technology that we see everyday – that it won’t be a Blackberry. The future of smartphones lies in the touch screen, and whilst that does take some getting used to (I went from the world’s worst shit phone, to iPhone, to Android), it will become the norm.

    Further, yeah, I’ll weigh in on this. I had a good experience with my iPhone when I had one. I work on a Mac at work, and I appreciate the easy reliability that I get from it. (Sidenote – I grew up in DOS, and worked in Windows for many years, before converting to Mac – and, for my work, Mac is what works best for me). But, when it comes to my mobile device, I choose Android.

    I choose Android for a number of reasons. One of them is, weirdly, guided by my kid. In fact, I wrote about it here: http://www.girlguides.co.za/features/item/160-that-little-green-monster-takes-on-the-apple

    Also…apps:

    In terms of free apps, the Android marketplace offers me more choice. Yes, paid apps are abundant, but I’m reticent to shell out for apps. I’m not a fan of using my credit card more than I need to.

    I found that, during using my iPhone, alot of the apps I wanted, I would have to pay for. That put me off a bit.

    In terms of the Blackberry App world, well, let’s just say, it’s hard to develop for, and the apps neither excite me or entice me.

    In terms of hardware…and Marc’s comment of “shit phones”…I have had better experience with my HTC Desire in terms of hard-wearing, dropping the damn thing (which I’m prone to) etc. My camera is awesome (and the HTC Sensation lets you record video in excellent HD…just a sidenote). There’s also that wonderful thing called Flash…which we all know, Apple doesn’t support.

    Another thing that I don’t think has been mentioned here, is that when getting an iPhone on contract, there is often a payin required by the service provider. That’s an instant no no to consumers, who often don’t have the extra cash lying around. As far as I know, there is no payin on most Blackberry contracts. Another attractive thing for consumers.

    So, yes, I am an Android fangirl, but I am aware of the good qualities of the iPhone too. For me, personally, Android is what works for me as a mobile device. It’s what works for my kid, my work and my personal life.

    And, at the end of the day, that’s all we really care about – making that technology work for our lives.

    (p.s. Marc, thank you – interesting debate, and even more interesting ramifications on my personal life. LOL. We’ll meet for beers soon).

  39. Greg

    @Cath “in ten years time, what smartphone will you be using?” – i’m willing to bet one that hasn’t been invented yet, with an OS we haven’t heard of yet. I don’t see either WP7/Android/iOS being dominant that long from now – the one thing constant about the mobile industry is that it’s very fickle and nobody stays dominant for long.

    @Mark “Google Talk. The reason I said Google Talk “doesn’t count” is that for Google Talk to work, you need a Gmail Account right. … Plenty of my friends don’t have Gmail accounts (Yip, really) while they do have whatsapp. ”

    I’ve just installed iOS5, and it seems that to use iMessage you need an Apple ID. You get stuck in the wizard until you have that associated, and it won’t let you go further. I tried adding another random email address that people could use to iMessage me, but you have to associate that back to an existing Apple ID. So if GTalk doesn’t count for the reason you need a Google account, iMessage is excluded for the same reason.

  40. @Greg I understood that iMessage worked with a cell number as well – guess I understood it wrong, It would have been nice if it just worked with all the contacts in your address book, like WhatsApp..
    I also dunno, sjoe 10 years is a long time to predict something like that.

  41. Just an FYI. iMessage does work on a cell number. You do need an iTunes account to work with iOS5, much in the same way you need that iTunes account to download apps for the phone.

  42. Greg

    @Marc So to summarize: they’re all tethered to an account you have to create, and you can only speak to others who have created an account on the same service.

    Oh, and another thing I remembered: “Also there are no Android specific packages (that I know of) which means you pay for your data.” … you don’t have to use the iPhone contract with an iPhone, you can buy it and use it on an Android device if you want. I used mine with my WP7 until I went across to MTN uncapped (as for hardware, I got Vodacom to give me an HTC Trophy instead of an iPhone4 at the time).

  43. xdoomx

    Remember that, being Canadian, RIM has ALWAYS been hated and niggled at by the US media and iDevice fanboi’s. Any wrong move over the years and they have been slaughtered. Be careful of how our perceptions of a company are moulded by an almost conspiracy like barrage of disinfo.

    I’m 38, live and breathe digital. I love computers, the internet. It’s my life I guess.
    I used a BB Torch and a Playbook. Both devices are good. I don’t understand when I see reports of how crap the Playbook is or how crap the Torch is. Both work amazingly well and have no shortcomings when it comes to actual usage. I use the ipad for testing websites and apps here at work and cannot believe how ‘short changed’ it feels. What the freak is up with that shitty camera!!??!

    One incident comes to mind when our band recorded a song in our rehearsal room with an iPhone. I asked our bass player to bluetooth it to me. The iPhone could only email the file.
    I go into a BB menu for a file on a BB and a whole menu of options are available: Email, BBM, Twitter, Whatsapp, Facebook, Bluetooth..
    The device is designed for communication.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZLzqC1M_AY&feature=related

    Your ‘address book’ – each contact can be linked to a twitter and facebook account. When you browse to their entry you automatically see their latest updates from both platforms IN YOUR PHONEBOOK.

    Until you use the device, you wont appreciate it. There are a LOT of tricks to it though. It isnt very user friendly, but if you dig around you uncover the joys. Basically what Im saying is, its for smart people hahaha!

    I mean seriously..
    What do you see more of? People sitting on their iphones or Blackberries?? (When they’re on the bus, in the car, on the train, at a concert, etc?)

  44. Uno

    I dropped Marc a mail about this, but it seems my point didn’t make it across too well :)

    I’m a huge fan of the Red Bull MOBILE packages (for a number of reasons), and I think that Android is often misrepresented. I’m currently an iPhone user, but I’ve used 2 Androids in the past, and my next phone will be an Android as well. I think that Android should have been added into the mix and comparison, and I think it’s misleading to say that “there are no Android specific packages”, as there are a number of packages that include Android phones. Let’s just talk about the Red Bull MOBILE ones, which are easily the BEST value for money out there at the moment.

    Here are the facts about the Red Bull MOBILE package:
    RBM 200:
    http://www.redbullmobile.co.za/offer/contracts/rbm-200/
    Cost: R249
    Package includes:
    200 free minutes
    100 free SMS’s
    500 MB data

    RBM 100:
    http://www.redbullmobile.co.za/offer/contracts/rbm-100/
    Cost: R149
    Package Includes:
    100 Free Minutes
    50 Messages
    250 MB Data

    And then there are the phones… I’m JUST as big an apple fanboy as the next guy (13″ Macbook Pro, iPhone 4, iPad 2 3g Wifi 16GB), so it’s a big thing for me to say this… but check out the LG P970 Optimus Black… I’ve had the RBM HD a while ago, and it’s not great to be honest (as you also mentioned earlier). But the LG… hell yeah. That’s a different world! As I said – my next phone is an Android.

    So I think you can see that the RBM packages offer you a HUGE value saving, just on cost (R200/month less than the iPhone package and MORE value). Of course I can harp on about how What’s App is the only true cross-platform messenger, or link to the huge growth in Android apps (ok lemme do that: http://tcrn.ch/ncOD4j).

    As a disclaimer – I work for the agency that does work for RBM and Cell C. This is however my own opinion and I am moving over to RBM as soon as my contract with MTN comes to a close. I currently pay R850/month for an MTN contract that just rips me off.

  45. Hey Uno.
    Sorry man. Was gonna update the post with the RMB packages, which as I mentioned, I totally agree with you, are fantastic.
    As you mentioned, let’s try and see if we can get that LG on review and give it a run ;)

    Thanks again for the mail & headsup… ;)
    Cheers
    Marc

  46. Uno

    hehe sure thing Marc :) just didn’t want to miss the boat! Will definitely see what we can do on the LG.

  47. @microfoneman

    I bought an iPhone a while ago and went pretty quickly to blackberry, fisrt to the 8520 then to a few storms, now to the bold. Recently I tried the galaxy tab and got rid of it also. My wife now uses the iPhone and the tablet, and the iphone cost nearly 2 times my monthly bill every month, and I’m on my phone much more than she is (in terms of surfing and downloading and data chowing apps, always open in the background) with bbm you can send a 6mb video to a friend for “free”. You can upload that same video to twitter, same price. Send voice notes and picture all for the same price, without a thought as to how much these little things add up. The 3 days that I had the tablet, if I didn’t have wifi at home my phone bill would have been in excess of R4000.

    Add the fact that the playbook, will surf for “free” over my phone’s BIS and I will never leave blackberry ever again.

    I agree with the thing of other unlimited contracts coming around the corner, that’s something to be concerend about, but I doubt whether they’ll be in my price range.

    If blackberry goes down, in the next few months/years, I will ride that wave down with them, until they die.

    Sincerely blackberry fanbooi :)

  48. Woh I like your posts , saved to fav! . 754583

  49. This is a great web page, could you be interested in doing an interview about just how you designed it? If so e-mail me! 992835

Submit a Comment