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2/1/2013
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BlackBerry 10: Right For You?

Use these smartphone decision points to compare BlackBerry 10 to its Apple, Android and Windows Phone rivals.

BlackBerry 10: Visual Tour Of Smartphones, OS
BlackBerry 10: Visual Tour Of Smartphones, OS
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)

The BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 won't reach store shelves in the U.S. until March or April. That leaves plenty of time to weigh the pros and cons of the smartphone platform before taking that crucial leap to adopt it. Here's a look at some of the strengths and weaknesses of the new platform from the company formerly known as RIM, as compared to rival operating systems from Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

First, some basics. BlackBerry 10 and the Z10 and Q10 will be widely available from U.S. carriers. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless have all committed to selling the devices when they are ready. Pricing will be reasonable at about $149 and $199 for the Q10 and Z10, respectively. Both phones will support all four carriers' LTE 4G networks. In other words, you'll have your choice of carrier and won't have to worry about missing features.

Out of the box, BB10 covers the essentials: email, social networking, messaging, basic apps (think calculator, alarms, file management), and of course contacts and calendar management. It has a good browser, an app store and can playback your music and video content. Android, iOS, and Windows Phone all offer these same features. You're not going to lose any of these basics by switching from another platform to BB10.

So, what will you lose by switching?

If you're coming from Android, you're going to lose device choice. True, the Z10 and Q10 offer a small selection, but Android wins hands-down when it comes to the variety of form factors. Android devices are big and small, cheap and expensive, rugged and high class. You're going to lose access to apps.

[ BlackBerry has hired Alicia Keys as its global creative director. Isn't this celebrity-as-tech-guru trend getting a bit silly? ]

You're also going to lose native support for Google's services. Yes, BB10 supports Gmail and Google Contacts, and Google Calendar via IMAP, and BlackBerry developed its own version of Google Talk and YouTube for BB10 devices, but this is as far as it goes. There's no Google+, no Google Maps, no Google Drive, no Google Docs, no Google Voice, no Google Search / Google Now. Sure, you can access some of these through the BB10's browser, but you and I both know browser-based apps and native apps are two different things. If your business has "gone Google," switching to BB10 simply doesn't make sense.

If you're coming from iOS, you're losing access to 800,000 apps. BlackBerry World has about 70,000, many of which are ported Android apps. The selection just isn't there, yet. You're also losing access to many of the same Google services that are available to Android. You're losing access to an incredible array of accessories. Devices such as the iPhone have more accessories available than any other device on the market. Being so new, BB10 does not yet have such accessories, and there's no telling if, or when, it will catch up.

If you're coming from Windows Phone, you'll lose some device choice and access to apps, too. Windows Phone 8, which launched during the fourth quarter of 2012, is available from many U.S. carriers in a wide variety of devices, colors and price points. You'll lose tight integration with other Windows equipment and services, including XBox gaming. The app story isn't as severe as it is with Apple and Google, but there are plenty of marquee apps missing from BlackBerry World that are available in the Windows Phone Store (Amazon, CNN and eBay, to name a few).

Does BlackBerry 10 get you anything not offered by Android, iOS and Windows Phone? Very little.

BlackBerry 10 offers BBM, its wildly popular instant messaging service. BBM has been duplicated by Apple, Google and Microsoft, though.

BlackBerry offers BES 10 to enterprises, while Apple and Google do not offer such device management tools. BES 10 can also be used to control Android and iOS devices. If your business is already invested in BES, and has historically used BlackBerries, BB10 makes a lot more sense.

BlackBerry 10 supports NFC. Android and Windows Phone do, but iOS does not. BlackBerry 10 supports wireless charging. Android and Windows Phone do too, but iOS does not.

The Q10 offers a QWERTY keyboard. iOS and Windows Phone don't support QWERTY keyboards, but Android does. This is an important factor for many business users, for sure.

It is important to point out that the app-gap will be closed over time, though it could be months and months before BlackBerry catches up with the best apps.

BlackBerry has also said that it will ship up to six devices this year, varying in price range. That will help close the gap with Google and Microsoft in terms of device selection--eventually.

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Tom LaSusa
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Tom LaSusa,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/4/2013 | 6:13:41 PM
re: BlackBerry 10: Right For You?
Douken,

You can-- but we screen all comments that include a URL to help curb SPAM.

Best,
Tom LaSusa
InformationWeek Community Manager
ImNOthere
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ImNOthere,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/3/2013 | 3:16:07 PM
re: BlackBerry 10: Right For You?
..
friendly1013
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friendly1013,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/3/2013 | 1:17:04 PM
re: BlackBerry 10: Right For You?
I wont even begin to list all the reasons this article is ridiculous. I will offer this however. After reading this piece of uninformed, unbalanced garbage, I feel the headline should read "My horribly biased and uninformative writing: Right For You?"
RGC
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RGC,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/3/2013 | 2:11:07 AM
re: BlackBerry 10: Right For You?
So after reading most of the comments and the article here are a few things to think about. BlackBerry is still in trouble and that is a fact. BB10 aside for a moment as they are under pressure to reduce fees and that is where they make a lot of cash. BB10 does look good and I hope it does well, but I think it is a little too late. Remember, they are porting DROID apps too... The apps may be free on your DROID, but prices for the exact app change when they hit the blackberry app world. Seen it to first hand... As of right now there are very limited accessories for BB10, unlike iOS. Who really cares about security these days... I think it has been very relaxed due to byod taking over. On top of all of this why would you buy a BB when you may have been burned by them in the past? Not knowing where the company will be or if it will be split up does not make me want to go out and buy one. Look what happened to Nortel... Could happen to BB one day. Changing their name does not help either, it is the same old business with less people working there. Some very good people left there due to the uncertain times and some good ones were let go...
I hope BB10 does good, but I have moved on like many others. Been there with BB and just got tired of the battery pulls, etc. Hope they will be around in the future, but their market share is very small in he US right now... I also don't see people wanting to line up to buy their devices in the US like iOS phones. Oh yeah, they outsourced a good portion of IT to NCR and the CIO left too. I think they are imploding in many areas and more cuts will be coming.

Smartphone business is tough to be in. Always have to be one step ahead.
RGC
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RGC,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/3/2013 | 1:50:01 AM
re: BlackBerry 10: Right For You?
.
JasonC6180
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JasonC6180,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/2/2013 | 9:21:07 PM
re: BlackBerry 10: Right For You?
I find it curious that 'essentials' include social networking. BB remains, regardless of market share, the best business tool for 'business'. I can look up a company contact, type an email, and access my calendar faster than any of my other iOS co-workers, despite not having access to 800,000 apps - if i want to play games, I have a computer; I use my smartphone to do work.
nerdy4u
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nerdy4u,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/2/2013 | 8:05:42 PM
re: BlackBerry 10: Right For You?
You forgot the changeable battery. A BIG plus.
technews2103
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technews2103,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/2/2013 | 7:12:38 PM
re: BlackBerry 10: Right For You?
Another biased article but here are a few things you should have mentioned when you write a title like yours:

BlackBerry Hub, Peek,
Flow, true multitasking,
best HTML5/Ringo tested browser,
best security,
BBM Voice/Video/Screensharing/Groups,
70K Apps at launch day(most for any platform ever),
Time shift camera, Photo and Video editing(StoryMaker) built in (courtsey Jaycut),
most secure, most efficient with data compression,
free Docs to Go premium edition,
BlackBerry Balance for Business users, NFC...
most popular apps Facebook, Foursquare, Linkedin , Twitter preloaded and skype, whatsapp, instagram coming soon

gaming score support via scoreloop integration,
seamless Box/ Dropbox integration,
built in HDMI port, DLNA
the best virtual keyboard by a long distance

And truly refreshing user experience
FritzNelson
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FritzNelson,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/2/2013 | 6:49:38 PM
re: BlackBerry 10: Right For You?
I am optimistic about how these new BlackBerry phones will actually be. I've seen them in action, and there's some exciting stuff there. But I really have to wait and use them, first. Everything else is just conjecture and speculation -- but isn't that a fun sport, too? While I am optimistic about the phone, and while I'd like to see BlackBerry compete with Android, iOS and Windows Phone, the one thing those others are developing is an ecosystem of data gathering -- about location, about media & entertainment, about my social footprint, about my purchasing, about my browsing. And while that is pretty scary on the one hand, it's also pretty powerful. I see BlackBerry offering a great new phone and OS, but not a cloud-based personal digital assistant ecosystem.
hrrmph
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hrrmph,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/2/2013 | 6:28:29 PM
re: BlackBerry 10: Right For You?
Its the only high-end 4" to 4.5" class device that I know of with good local storage expandibility: A micro-SDXC slot that is good for 64GB and possibly more in the future.
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