For once this is a telecoms related post where I’m not going to get stuck into either Telecom or Vodafone.
I was listening to Debbie Mayo-Smith gushing on about her new iphone in the new technology spot on National Radio, I think she is the replacement for the equally irritatingly enthusiasm of Simon and Marie Young with her overly ‘posh’ English accent I usually turned it off after about 10 seconds.
Mayo-Smith carried on about how “life changing” the iphone was (it’s a frigging phone for Christ’s sake) and how it had, well, features that would be fairly unsurprising to a Mac user, mainly around being easy to use.
She claimed she had a blackberry and it wasn’t a patch on the iphone because – get this – you couldn’t turn off the email function of a Blackberry but you could with an iphone (she is wrong about the Blackberry). WTF is the point of having a Blackberry if you don’t want email. Then she went on about how you could disable a whole lot of other things on the iphone to avoid costs – like web browsing, she helpfully suggested you could just use the wifi, if you happened to be in an area that had free access wifi…
By this point I understood why she hadn’t had much luck with phones, she actually just needs a phone for calls, if she doesn’t want web browsing, push email then why would you even bother with the iphone (or the Blackberry) and why the hell would you get an iphone and then disable all the internet based functions?
It made me realise just how successful Apple have been at their marketing and that a few whizz functions such as a screen that moves position when you turn the phone, and a push button screen, and pretty visual interface have suckered in bubble-heads like Mayo-Smith.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big apple fan, and this is obviously a very clever product.
I had a play with one last week and the ‘virtual’ keyboard in not a patch on the tactile keyboard on a full QWERT Blackberry. It reminded me of the very first Palm Pilot I got with the little stylus and ‘graffiti’ input system, novel, but hardly practical. I’ll happily challenge anyone to a typing race, Blackberry vs iphone and I’m sure I could out-type an iphone user and with 100% more accuracy.
There were plenty of bells and whistles and it was a sexy, although large, package, but within 5 minutes I realised this would be no replacement for my Blackberry (apart from the fact it’s a bit like comparing the running costs of a Honda Jazz to a Range Rover).
Blackberry have been making well designed handsets with clever interface methods coupled with a dead easy email system long before Steve Jobs woke up one morning and figured out he could make some money by turning the ipod into a phone. It’s just the average consumer didn’t really consider the Blackberry because it was seen as a business tool. Like Apple it isn’t until you pick them up and use them you realise what you’ve been missing out on.
It looks like Blackberry have come up with a handset that appears to address the challenge the iphone presents… called the Blackberry Bold it’s due out in Australia in August, but no news from Vodafone here yet about a launch date.
It looks like a clever handset and retains the full key board because this is still the best way to input text, it’s also thinner and more stylish that previous full QWERTY handsets. Something to look forward to.
To Vodafone’s credit the Blackberry service is something they do very well, so let’s hope that Vodafone aren’t going to shag around too long on releasing it!
I have been trying to get some kind of indication about what Vodafone plans were for the next Blackberry, a few emails later and I got this…
“Unfortunately we do not have an indication of when the Blackberry Bold (or similar 3G model) will be released in NZ”
OK, now this reminds me a bit about the mystery iphones that ‘unexpectandly’ turned up is the Vodafone rep seriously suggesting that they don’t know what they are doing with new models of mobile over the next few months? Unlikely, but that doesn’t help those of us who would rather not waste $800 odd on an old model Blackberry. I notice they are specialing off the Blackberry Curve so possibly there is going to be a new Blackberry appearing on the scene shortly