My company recently decided to switch from Sprint Blackberries to AT&T and we had a choice between a BB Torch Slider or an iPhone4. I decided to try the iPhone. My personal phone is an aged HTC Touch Pro running WinMo 6. I’ve been off contract for almost 2 years now and am anxiously waiting for Verizon to offer a Phone7 device before I sign another contract. Sure I could go with any of a number of Android phones (some are pretty good), but I have a hankering for Phone7. It really saddens me to see the iPhone come to Verizon before a Phone7 device. I’ll wait until WMC2011 is over and hopefully I’ll have a better idea what to do (jump ship or go Android). I so want to have my current phone meet Mr. Sledgehammer!

As much as I Dislike Apple, I’m very glad to have the opportunity to play with an iPhone without a huge commitment on my part. It’s great when the company pays. Here are my thoughts on this device after a few month of using it in a corporate environment.

The built-in Safari Browser is great, it’s miles beyond BB, WinMo and other older mobile browsers

The device itself is fast enough (hard to quantify, but I know what is too slow and this is OK)

There are some very good apps (the BB in particular sucks in this regard)

  • I do miss the Office apps that are built-in to WinMo

The on-screen keyboard is at least as good/easy as the BB (I have big hands -the Torch is even tinier)

The predictive text is really bad – so bad it becomes an amusement

The display is excellent

There are a few interface annoyances that seem poorly thought out, particularly in the browser

The main interface is simple and becomes uninteresting quickly compared to say Android

  • The difference is like comparing Fisher Price Little People to Legos

iTunes is horrible

iTunes App Store is horrible – only way to find something is to know its name

It’s not great for Mail when compared to the BB

  • Mail is the primary BB function on the iPhone it’s an app you need to run
  • BB vibrator is perfect

Contacts are handled oddly (multiple books, one way sync with Outlook: desktop –> phone)

It looks gorgeous – design is great, but…..

  • It made of mostly glass – company provided a huge Otter case that doubles the thickness (I take my chances without the cover)
  • It doesn’t feel good in your hand (sharp edges)
  • It’s so thin and flat that it’s hard to pick up and easy to drop
  • You can’t hold it between ear and shoulder
  • It requires you to hold it unnaturally (antenna problems)

Manual sync of email password is required when it expires (corporate policies)

The phone experience is poor (this is the main purpose no?)

  • An errant screen touch (or near touch) will dial
  • It doesn’t even need to be an errant touch – the screen does weird things during calls
  • An errant screen touch will hang up – on long calls with speakerphone where I need to mute and unmute it’s not unusual to have it hang up a dozen times – I’d bet most of the damage reported is purposeful…..
  • Separate contact lists strike again
  • The antenna problems are very real

The seamless Wifi integration is good

  • The constant Wifi nagging when near ‘foreign’ hotspots, not so much

Only a single 15minute meeting warning alarm (meetings – you know for work)

The auto-correct feature is hilarious, but possibly the most irritating feature of iOS. If you decide to turn it off you also lose spelling correction.

No way to copy music to the device or download updates without iTunes

  • The BB never had any updates (just got a new device)
  • Music was easy to copy to the BB via microSD card

The battery life is a small fraction of the BB (BB easily 3-4 days, iPhone lucky if you get 24 hours)

The tiny Apple white cube charger is very slow (not as strong as other larger USB chargers)

Lately I have been experiencing a rapid discharge of the battery (~8 hours sitting idle) – something is wrong

  • The white cube won’t charge if the phone is nearly dead (in the red)
  • I am beginning to think there are leaky apps that run down the battery even when idle

The iPhone is less business-like than the BB (more fun = less time on work)

Over 1/3 of folks here who initially got an iPhone have traded them in for a BB Torch. This amazes me. Given a choice, people wanted the iPhone. After using it, they wanted to go back to the BB.

  • One colleague who has an iPad and his wife has an iPhone traded his in for a BB
  • He felt like all he did was charge it constantly

Summary  –

The iPhone is a much better smartphone than my 4 year old Winmo or any of the current BBs, but there are other choices that can more than compete in this arena. It’s good, but no longer reigns supreme. It has a lot of small deficiencies in the corporate environment, but I won’t be trading it in for a BB. Perhaps things will be fixed and become less boring with the iPhone5. Is this the phone for me? I have a really hard time with such a complete sell-out to the Apple walled garden ecosystem, so the answer is No. My next personal cell phone will not be an iPhone. I’ll use my company iPhone whenever I need some slacker cred, but it’s not really me!

Leave a Reply