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.
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.
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 ?