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Apple And Cingular Can Keep Their iPhone, 'Cause I'm Sticking With My BlackBerry

Google is abuzz today with last Thursday's news that the FCC has granted regulatory approval to the iPhone. This means Apple's new gadget could hit the market next month -- I'm betting Steve Jobs will announce it's shipping during his keynote speech at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference (
May 20, 2007
Google is abuzz today with last Thursday's news that the FCC has granted regulatory approval to the iPhone. This means Apple's new gadget could hit the market next month -- I'm betting Steve Jobs will announce it's shipping during his keynote speech at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference ( WWDC 2007) in San Francisco on June 11. Me, I don't care. I'm sticking with my BlackBerry. It's rock solid, the phone sounds not half-bad if you use it with a Bluetooth headset, and, most important, it's got a hard keypad.That's my biggest complaint about the iPhone. How can it be a smartphone if it doesn't have real keys? I'd venture a guess that most smartphones are used to place calls less than 50% of the time. E-mail and SMS (aka text messages) are the raison d'etre for these things. (Which is why the real deficiency of the BlackBerry is its inability to do AIM.)

OK, I admit I've never been a big iPhone fan. Back in January, I posted what I supposed were the "Top 7 iPhone Questions Steve Jobs Doesn't Want You To Ask."

The snippier ones still ring true: Do we really need another "cool" gadget?; Will the battery crap out after 18 months?; and Does it come with back-dated stock options?

Of course, in the tech business we always do need another cool gadget, so in that regard I'm whistling into the wind. However, I think one question which is fair to ask is, at what price?

According to Cingular's Web page, where you can submit your e-mail address so you'll "be among the first to know when the iPhone is available," that price is $499 for the 4-Gbyte iPhone, or $599 for the 8-Gbyte model. For that kind of dough, I can get a bunch of BlackBerrys (Chocolates, too!).

Quite frankly, having a nice looking smartphone -- and I admit that the iPhone looks nicer than most corporate BlackBerrys, though the BlackBerry Pearl isn't bad -- isn't a valid reason to pay through the nose, if all the functionality isn't there (did I mention that point about the hard keyboard?)

If music players are your thing, you can get one in the BlackBerry Pearl, along with hard keys and all the other smartphone bells and whistles. Price-wise, it will cost you a lot less than an iPhone, because many carriers are offering hefty rebates.

I guarantee you that if Intel had been the company pushing an iPhone-like platform, it would have landed with one big thud. So why all the fuss about Steve Jobs's latest toy?