Steel Cage Match: Blackberry versus iPhone
So Apple cut the price on the iPhone to just a leg. The iPhone is never going to get more than a few percent of market share for phones anyway. We all know what its really competition for: the Blackberry. Slate's Paul Boutin examines the real tussle for the iPhone, which is getting people that type with their thumbs to switch. He takes a fair look at both, likes the iPhone a lot, but it's the Crackberry for him.
Aside from the obvious benefits of Visual Voicemail, it's hard to conjure a scenario in which any of the iPhone's gee-whiz features will help you get any work done. Multitouch is fun to play around with, and it's neat to rotate the screen from portrait to landscape. I'm skeptical that either feature will ever help me meet a deadline. Apple hasn't yet succeeded in turning its fetish object into a productivity tool, but BlackBerry's maker, Research in Motion, has done the reverse. The company made its business tool into a fetish object by starting with functionality (check out the original model) and gradually growing into sexy shapes like the Pearl and the Curve.
I've never seen a better encapsulation of both the appeal and annoyance of the thing than this: "Whenever I visit a tech company here in Silicon Valley, the work focus is inevitably disrupted by some dork who whips out his Apple phone for a demo. (Yes, I've seen the thing you can do with two fingers on the photos. No, I don't want to see it again.)"