Haven't been here for almost a year. When I came to this great forum last February I was the first 8800 customer and wrote an in-depth review here.
In June I bought and iPhone and had been using both my iPhone and a BlackBerry on the ATT network ever since. Today I have bought a curve, and would like to give a very unbiased comparison/comparative review for BlackBerry and iPhone.
1. How do I do it?
A SIM card with BB Data plan ($40 not including voice plan) can actually work both in a BlackBerry device as well as iPhone, since iPhone really uses an inferior plan. Only thing I have to do is to switch the SIM card. I will not be able to use visual voice mail on iPhone, but everything else (PUSH email on BB and EDGE on iPhone are fine).
2. Why do I do it?
Each phone has its strength and weakness and I will talk about them at length here. It has really become most convenient for me to switch between the two depended on my current needs.
Some people say iPhone has a superior mail. I think they are talking about the HTML capability and attachment reading. As for the email function of the device as a whole, BlackBerry certainly beats iPhone hands down.
a. iPhone has no off line reading of email. This is just incredible. An email that was downloaded once could not be read again, unless the said email is short. I had attempted to download emails that were 100+ pages in length (I dump ebook text into it), hoping to make it into an off line e-book, but iPhone has to negotiate every time.
b. iPhone can't perform search.
c. iPhone email does not automatically check itself, no matter what the setting tells you.
d. iPhone email takes a long time to read, because it does not display a portion of your email until the whole message is downloaded. If I receive a 9mb email with three 3mb pictures, it will freeze for a long time, attempt to download all images, before displaying the text content. This is extremely frustrating and practically rendering reading such large attachment emails impossible in EDGE area.
BlackBerry's media player, like every other cell phone, is childplay when it's compared with iPhone. There is not substitute for seven hours high quality movie/TV show playback on iPhone glass screen on a transpacific flight. Since I bought all my TV shows on iTune, it comes as no brainer to buy iPhone.
5. Desktop paper:
I like how you can get rid of all your icons on BB and display your favorite wallpaper. This is not possible with iPhone.
iPhone has the best camera I have seen in any phone, period.
What can I say? Loud volume is simply one of the MAJOR advantages of a BlackBerry. Speaker phone, handset, ringtone, they are so loud you can wake a dead horse. I never worry about not hearing my phone ringing on a screaming airplane.
iPhone on the other hand, completely fails. In fact, I use my BlackBerry every day as alarm clock because iPhone's alarm clock volume is only enough to wake up ants that live in my room.
I still don't like iPhone keyboard. Granted, it's probably the best it could be on a glass surface, but nothing could beat BB keyboard, especially the type on 8700/8300 which each key is separate.
This really comes to me after a while, when I realize that every time when I am using iPhone, I don't have a desire to type emails. With a BlackBerry, o boy, I can write! I would even write essay, draft, on a BB because it has been almost as comfortable as a PC keyboard!
iPhone definitely beats every non-BlackBerry out there with its extremely intuitive interface. However, due to its limited buttons, I find it frustrating, VERY frustrating actually, to not able to switch program or copy/paste, etc. In fact, I think another MAJOR advantage of BlackBerry is keyboard short cuts: Alt-Back, U-calculator, A-address book, O-option, M-email, etc. Using short cuts I can keep my screen completely empty.
iPhone spoils me with its browser. I can finally access parts of the internet where BlackBerry is not invited to, such as banking sites, secured company sites, or airlines booking sites.
iPhone however is quite slow in loading those pages.
Another MAJOR advantage of a BlackBerry is its battery, one that never dies, especially when compared with iPhone. Oh come on, let's not even go there.
Apple wins this one hands down. When my iPhone was broken by a stupid non-iPhone certified stereo, I brought it in to an Apple store, at 2AM. (I was a 24 hrs apple store on 5th ave when I was traveling in NYC.) They immediately gave me a new one in 10 minutes.
I wouldn't want to drop my iPhone to the ground.
So far, BlackBerry seems to beat iPhone to the stone age, no? Well, then why do I find myself switching to iPhone sometime?
14. Multilingual support:
Apple is an amazing company. Do you know any electronic device that has built in multilingual support, even at first generation iPod??? I was truly shocked when I saw my iPod mini in 2004 displaying Chinese character correctly on its black and white screen.
Yes, iPhone is amazing when you want to browse foreign websites. Since I receive many emails in East Asian languages, I would sometimes swap my SIM card to access those emails.
15. Secondly, do you know any phone that can receive foreign language text message natively? I don't, except iPhone.
I had used foreign phone in America that could input and output foreign language, but when you send the foreign text message to it within American network, it still fails. Not with iPhone, I can receive foreign text message from anywhere, may it be a Nokia 75 from ATT network or someone from another country, iPhone displays my sms in the correct language!
16. When I need to travel for pleasure for a weekend, instead of bringing my laptop, I feel comfortable to bring just my iPhone and a BlackBerry, because I know I can access all websites that I need to, and chat to people from other countries on iPhone for sure.
With Meebo.com on iPhone, I can easily chat with someone in foreign language. (Read foreign language and reply in English of course.)
This concludes my comparison of these two, I hope you enjoy it. I am looking forward to receiving my new curve tomorrow.
By the way, I want to thank ATT Wireless Office of the President as they always work wonders for me!