I tried, Lord knows I tried. After being a loyal RIM BlackBerry user for years I was lured away by the sleek curves of the iPhone 3G. My torrid affair with Apple lasted almost exactly one year. After a year with the 3G and with the impending release of the 3G S I decided to make the switch back to BlackBerry.
To me it seemed like a no-brainer. The iPhone was a nice little toy to play with for a while but I needed productivity. I needed a hands on keyboard to easily reply to emails and texts on the run. I can use a BlackBerry with one hand while not even looking. Even with landscape keyboard iPhone typing is at best cumbersome compared to BB.
I practically taunted my co-workers that had stuck with or upgraded to the iPhone and made it a point to show them how much better the BlackBerry 8900’s camera was than the iPhone 3G S.
Then I tried the video. The first thing I noticed were the fairly large file sizes. The 8900 doesn’t use any sort of compression to send videos, not to mention it’s on the EDGE network, so any video that was over 40 seconds was way too large to attach to any email from the BB. RIM may tout video on the go but even using their smaller format of MMS mode recording in 176×144 (which is virutally unwatchable on any web based player) you could only take a few seconds of video if you wanted to keep it small enough email.
Even in it’s larger “normal” format, the 8900 only recorded 280×140 so if you got to your computer, hooked up and manually uploaded the video because it’s so small it still looks pretty bad in YouTube or Posterous.
The final straw wasn’t necessarily RIM’s fault but my wife has an iPhone and I really missed her sending photos of my daughter throughout the day. She would still send them but the photos would be resized to about the size of a flip phone photo on my BB.
As much as I longed for the productivity and tactile keyboard and as great as it felt having a BB back in my hands typing away at actual keys, I realized that there was just too much lacking for me.
I honestly don’t think anything will ever come close to the success of Apple’s App Store and like it or not, 3rd party apps are the future of mobile technology.
One other thing that really effected my decision was Phil Bogle’s decision to switch from BlackBerry to the iPhone 3G S. For those of you not familiar with Phil, he created one of the most popular and useful BlackBerry applications of all-time. Beyond411 (formerly Berry411). When you start to see long-term hardcore BB developers abandoning ship, it might be time to rethink your decision to stand by RIM.
Here’s just one of the reasons Phil gave for switching sides:
My primary interaction with Blackberry developer support was when they forced me to change the name of Berry411 to Beyond411, part of their trademark enforcement of anything related to Black or Berry. Other than their friendly trademark police, I was disappointed at how little RIM had to offer to third party developers. They wanted a $2000 fee just to join their developer program, offered limited promotional opportunities, and seemed to subservient to the wishes of their carrier partners.
Thankfully for AT&T’s 30-day return policy I was able to make a beeline to the Apple Store and pickup the 3G S…for good this time.