Five Reasons BlackBerry Storm Is An iPhone Killer3:12 PM EST Fri. Nov. 14, 2008
With the BlackBerry Storm, Research in Motion (RIM) Ltd.'s first-ever, touch-screen device, set to hit stores on Friday, Nov. 21, there are bound to be a lot of comparisons with the Apple iPhone as the two touch-screen titans battle it out for smartphone dominance. Both handsets carry the same price: About $200 with a two-year contract. And each operates on its respective carriers' high-speed 3G network -- the Storm on Verizon Wireless and the iPhone on AT&T.
But when it comes right down to it, the BlackBerry Storm will be the superior mobile device and represents a true iPhone killer.
Here are a few reasons why:
1. It has a better camera.
The iPhone 3G comes to the table with a puny 2 megapixel camera and, at the moment, doesn't offer video capture. The BlackBerry Storm, however, features a 3.2 megapixel camera with video capabilities, variable zoom, auto focus and a flash that has the ability to provide continuous lighting while recording video.
For many smartphone buyers, a decent camera is becoming a more important component. And the BlackBerry Storm does it right. In the day and age of content sharing, the Storm makes it easy to snap and upload high-quality photos while also sharing video -- a win-win.
2. BlackBerry set the gold standard for corporate e-mail.
While the iPhone is capable of making e-mail look and work pretty much exactly as it does on a home computer and supports e-mail from Yahoo, Gmail and AOL, along with most IMAP and POP mail systems, it's BlackBerry that takes the biggest piece of the e-mail pie.
The Storm continues BlackBerry's 10-year legacy of mobile e-mail, working with BlackBerry Enterprise Server for Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino and Novell GroupWise. It also ties in e-mail access for consumers with most popular personal e-mail services. While the iPhone does now integrate with Microsoft Exchange, it doesn't have the proven track record of corporate e-mail greatness that BlackBerry brings to the table.
3. BlackBerry offers easy access to view and edit corporate documents.
The BlackBerry Storm comes preloaded with the DataViz Documents to Go suite for editing Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files from the handset. For mobile workers, this capability has become a must. The iPhone, however, offers document viewing, but not editing for Microsoft Office applications, though there are downloads available that will enable editing.
Still, having that capability out of the box puts the BlackBerry Storm one more notch above the Apple iPhone 3G.
4. The Storm's touch screen is "clickable."
Maybe a minor feature, but the BlackBerry Storm's "clickable" touch screen could be a deal breaker when considering what smartphone to buy. Sounds a bit petty, but you know you want to check it out -- it's the world's first.
The clickable display responds like a physical keyboard and supports single-touch, multitouch and gestures. The BlackBerry Storm's clickable touch screen depresses slightly when the screen is pressed, allowing users to feel the motion, and is released with a click, similar to that of a physical keyboard or mouse button. The clickable screen gives users confirmation that they have made a selection.
Certainly, someone at Apple central will devise an application that makes the screen clickable, but having the first device with that feature will make it a draw.
5. BlackBerry is launching its own take on the App Store.
Last month, RIM unveiled plans to launch its own application store, similar to the AppStore for the iPhone and the Android market for the Google Android-based T-Mobile G1.
BlackBerry's Application Store Front will enable users to find and download applications to their smartphones. It's set to launch in March 2009. The storefront will let developers set their own prices for applications, similar to Apple's AppStore, and developers will retain 80 percent of the revenue their applications bring in. BlackBerry users will be able to buy directions directly from their smartphones and pay for them through eBay-owned online payment service PayPal.
Apple's AppStore caught flack for offering dozens of applications deemed as useless and unproductive. While there's no proof yet that BlackBerry's application store won't fall into the same hole, BlackBerry has said it plans to allow companies with BlackBerry Enterprise Server or BlackBerry Professional Software have control over which applications users can download and use.