Business is becoming more and more reliant on mobile phone and mobile technology. As phones become smarter and companies become more global, the need to access email, paperwork, presentations, and data has reached a level that makes it almost essential. This is why many businesses issue or recommend smartphones to their employees.
The two biggest phones making waves in the smartphone market are the BlackBerry and the iPhone. The Blackberry is a staple of finance, politics, and business work everywhere. In recent years however, the iPhone has been making waves and eating up market share with its slick interface, touch screen, and applications.
With mobile trends changing rapidly, this leaves the business owner in a predicament: which phone should his or her business be using? Which one is a better tool for conducting business? To answer that question, we need to analyze and compare each phone and its platform:
Comparing the BlackBerry and the iPhone
There are certain features that are central to business – how fast is the phone? How easy is it to use and learn? What can it do? How reliable is it? These are questions that should be asked by the business internally before choosing or recommending a phone.
Keyboard: The BlackBerry is known for its keyboard. On most versions, it’s a qwerty keyboard that makes it easier to type with two thumbs. The iPhone has a touch screen keyboard that can cause more typos and errors - although if you’re a trusting person, the iPhone’s autocorrect system is amazingly accurate. For most businesses however, Advantage: BlackBerry.
Email: Email is essential to all business – quick correspondence and updates can land or lose big deals. Both phones have fully capable email systems, support multiple emails, and provide alerts, although the iPhone doesn’t push new emails as often as many businesses would probably like. The BlackBerry keyboard is a factor in faster emails as well. Advantage: BlackBerry (slightly).
Internet: The iPhone’s Internet capabilities are simply superior. Even against the BlackBerry Storm -- the touch screen BlackBerry -- the iPhone simply has a better interface for zooming, entering in content, and loading information. Couple this with the many applications that support in-app browsing as well. Advantage: iPhone.
Applications: This is perhaps the most underrated feature for businesses. Phones can do so much more than calling and emailing these days. Cameras on both phones can send detailed specs and information to partners quickly. Web applications like Facebook and Tweetie make updating a company’s account simple on the road. Budget Trcker helps set budgets for companies. Feed Reader helps keep employees up to date on industry news.
The list goes on and on, and while both companies have application stores, the iPhone has more apps, higher quality apps, and more developers working on new ones. Really think about applications and how they can improve your business productivity before choosing a phone. Advantage: iPhone.
Which phone to choose? It depends on the purpose.
Finally, when a business must decide on a phone, it needs to take a hard look at its employees and the purpose of the phone. Are the employees early adopters or an older crowd? Would they be willing to use applications to enhance the business? Does the company plan to develop apps of its own?
Honestly, neither phone is simply “better” for business. It’s about needs, goals, and which phone fits the company’s culture best. If a company only needs phones for emailing and keeping company executives in the loop, then the BlackBerry is likely the better choice. If applications and better Internet proves to be a bigger priority, then the iPhone is the way to go.
If I have one piece of advice to give, it’s this: do not underestimate the usefulness and productivity that iPhone applications can bring to a company. These applications extend the functionality of phones in ways that make them comparable to even a laptop, and this trend will only increase as mobile becomes a more robust platform.