Why BlackBerry Storm Is An iPhone (and G-1) Killer

83 Comments

Having followed activity in the BlackBerry ecosystem over the past few weeks, I have come to the conclusion that BlackBerry Storm should be called BlackBerry Stealth. Why? With little media coverage, its forthcoming launch is the sleeper play in the smartphone market; it is poised to make major market penetration on its launch later this fall. Let’s look at the reasons:

The carriers: BlackBerry Storm was designed for two major carriers, with proven 3G network performance, who aren’t able to carry the iPhone: Verizon (s VZ) and Vodafone (also coming to Canada on Telus and Bell). This opens up access to several large existing customer bases (70 million at Verizon) with strong presence in both consumer and enterprise markets. For roaming outside North America, the Storm for Verizon/Bell/Telus includes the appropriate European/Asian-supported GSM bands.

A smarter touch screen: It employs new “haptic” touch keyboard technology with three keyboard options: QWERTY in landscape mode, SureType and Traditional 12-key in Portrait mode. Kevin Michaluk’s “First Impressions” review talks about his user experience with the keyboard and its unique features. One example: Hover on a letter and you’ll get other language options for the letter such as “é”. This YouTube video demonstrates the dynamic nature of the Storm’s keyboard.

Enterprise ready: IT managers already supporting BlackBerry within their IT infrastructure will readily accept the Storm as simply one more BlackBerry device. There is a legion of stories building about IT managers’ refusal of employee requests for iPhone support. With its multimedia features, including syncing to iTunes, Storm presents an opportunity to have a touchscreen smartphone that easily meets both business and personal needs.

A BlackBerry App Store is coming: Last week, RIM held its first BlackBerry Developer Conference, at which the 700 attendees learned about the BlackBerry App Store opening March 2009. Unlike Android Market, struggling to get to 100 applications, there currently exist more than 4,000 applications available via various web-based stores. The BlackBerry App Store makes it much easier to purchase applications directly off the device, both existing apps, as well as new ones that will appear as a result of developer support announced during the conference. Some developers will be backed by the $150 million BlackBerry Partners Fund.

Major general-purpose applications appearing for BlackBerry: Several applications I have been using on a Nokia N95 are now becoming available for the BlackBerry. Last week, I saw a demonstration of SlingPlayer for BlackBerry (still in pre-alpha, not yet released) on a Bold. Yesterday, there were two announcements: an alpha release of the popular “live-to-Internet” video recording application Qik became available and Truphone Anywhere for BlackBerry became available.

Background processing: While the Storm brings a different user interface, its underlying operating system is still the traditional BlackBerry O/S. I have been using a Bold for the past eight weeks and an iPhone for about three months. One key differentiator is BlackBerry’s ability to handle true background processing of data-based applications. For instance, you can run IM applications, such as Skype IM, via iSkoot, in the background, keeping you up-to-date on IM messages in real time while performing other data applications such as web browsing or checking your email concurrently. On the iPhone, you can make voice calls and play iTunes while looking at an application; otherwise, applications stop running until you return to it. Full background processing on the Storm, as on all recent Blackberry models, not only brings a significant productivity benefit to users but also allows notification and delivery of time sensitive information in real time.

What does it lack? Wi-Fi support. Probably because Verizon does not support UMA/GAN. Yet Wi-Fi is becoming important for creating additional access points in places such as warehouses or high rise buildings, where cell phone signals can become too weak.

Bottom line: Combining the Storm’s feature set and its carrier customer base, along with AT&T’s forthcoming Nov. 4 launch of Bold, BlackBerry Storm is lining up to be the “stealth” contributor to sustaining BlackBerry in its smartphone market leadership position, with a low-key, performance-based approach to the market.

Disclosure: The author has held a minuscule number of RIM shares since 1998.

83 Comments

Brad

Great post. But as most of us know, the storm has had its problems. I bought mine the first day that it came out. Hopefully with the new firmware update it will be faster and more reliable. I am a fan of the qwerty keyboard in portrait mode now.

JoeP

“BlackBerry Storm Is An iPhone (and G-1) Killer!”

Ummmm. never mind….

Blackberry Storm Man

The Storm is BlackBerry’s most appealing all in one device yet. This is the perfect Storm for me, and all that I would really need in a smartphone. Bottom line, it’s by far the greatest phone I’ve ever had.

abcyesn

What’s the difference between a BlackBerry and an iPhone? A keyboard. Once Apple ships the iPhone 2.0 software, with proper Exchange support and push email, the only real difference between the the handsets is the BlackBerry’s physical input. But it looks like RIM will be ditching it’s one advantage in a rumored new handset, the BlackBerry Thunder.

According to the Boy Genius Report, the new handset will be RIM’s first true touchscreen phone, with just four physical buttons. Available sometime in Q3, it will be an exclusive to Verizon (in the US) and Vodafone (Europe). The eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted that this requires support for both GSM HSPA and CDMA radios, which means this thing will work pretty much anywhere in the world. The picture above is not a leaked shot but a fantastical conjuring from the depths of Photoshop.

We doubt that this is the end for a real QWERTY on the CrackBerry. Instead, it shows that BlackBerry is feeling the heat from the iPhone and possibly releasing a copycat device. Let’s just hope there’s a decent web browser and an iPod in there too.

more at http://www.Storm-BlackBerry.com the website helps a lot.

stormy

i went from an iphone to a storm. better 3g, i could care less about wifi, better camera, better keyboard, waaaaay more powerful(can you say multi-task? hahahaha). all the “awesome” apps for the iphone will be ported over and fast seeing as how blackberry outsells the iphone every year and have had a rabid userbase for about 10 years.

iphones are for 15 yr old girls trying to impress their 15 yr old friends. showing up to a business meeting with one is like riding your sons tricycle to work trying to look professional….

dude727

Wow … You’d think the Storm is all unicorns and rainbows judging by some of the bloggers out there. I waited in line — actually got one that the VZ clerk (who by the way, are so overly corporate and stuffy, it killed me to be stuck in their store) — and then walked away once I actually had the chance to try out a Storm while the clerk was processing my paperwork. The Storm is grossly under-powered for its operating system. I found the phone slow as death to the point of being painful.

You know — some people actually use these things as phones (call me crazy) — and when it takes the operating system 10 seconds to dial a number from the keypad because its memory buffers are chocked full — that’s just not cool technology.

Blackberry dorks can get as giddy as they like about this phone — call it an iPhone killer — whatever. The fact reamins that my Curve smokes this thing in performance, and I thought that was slow. Spare me this, “wait until three firmware updates from now — you’ll see!!!” business.

In its present state, this phone is a 5oz paperweight that can’t get out of its own way.

abcyesn

Let me just start by making it known how extremely jealous I am of all of you who were able to get a Storm reserved for you. For some reason, the stores near me are not offering any type of reserving and they all said 1st come 1st serve. SO I guess I am going to have to go old school for this phone and get to the store early and wait it out.

For those of you that are in the same boat as me, what time are you planning on getting there. I am going to shoot for 5:30am since the doors open at 7am.

Share your stories at http://www.Storm-BlackBerry.com

abcyesn

Let me just start by making it known how extremely jealous I am of all of you who were able to get a Storm reserved for you. For some reason, the stores near me are not offering any type of reserving and they all said 1st come 1st serve. SO I guess I am going to have to go old school for this phone and get to the store early and wait it out.

There’s already a fans website http://www.Storm-Blackberry.com check it out folks.

claire

i find that the ipohone and the blackberry storm are a bit rubbish as u cant tranfer music or pic from phone to fone unless u know how let me know thanx claire x

Trale

Oh and i forgot to mention that it also comes with an additional 8GB memory card preinstalled which means you can load up music and pics right out of the box without any extra work on your part.

Trale

Alot of people are misssing the fact that the storm does ship with 1GB of memory inside more then most blackberry users are use to and for the most part will be welcomed to man. As for will it be better than the iphone we shall see :)

Metaphor Man

Blackerry is an iPhone killer like PC is to Mac. Blackerry is an iPhone killer like Neville Chamberlain is to 1930s Germany. Backberry is an iPhone killer like Capt Ahab is to Moby Dick. Blackerry is an iPhone killer like Motorola is to Nokia. Blackberry is good, but it ain’t a killer.

Donna

Wi-Fi is not important to me.
Blackberry is the best and I will own the Storm.
Can’t wait for it to be released.
It also looks professional and not like a toy like the IPhone.

Larry

I keep reading all the post about how the lack of wifi is a “deal breaker” Can anyone of you PLEASE tell me why the Storm not having wifi is any diffrent from ALL CDMA Blackberris never having wifi. Deal breaker? How can you miss something that the CDMA BlackBerries never had.

Get over it…go give Job’s a reach a round and talk about his new iTool

psykko

… yeah, and all the products are actually made in China. :) JK

Now seriously, I own an older version of blackberry and wanted to switch from blackberry to iPhone 3g. So i bought the 3g without much thinking and now i am quietly disappointed and back to the blackberry.

bunny

all the products in market have same specification like BLACK BARRY STORM and APPEL’S IPHONE.we can say that same thing with different labels.

Matthew a

I talked to a manager at a VZW store tonight. . .He said that the phone will probably be out before the 16th of November. He said that it may be out as soon as a week before!

When I asked him about the price he said all he can tell me is that it will be a sweet price but could only get specific enough to say that it will be between $50 and $1000. No dice on the price. . .

He made it sound like it would be the 10th of November. Said they get orders in on Friday and then it wouldn’t be on a Sunday. Additionally he said that they are just waiting to make more phones because of the fiasco last year with the voyager.

robert

For the BlackBerry Storm to succeed the iPhone need not fail.

Stop pretending this is the case.

izlekop

I’ve been using a Blackberry Pearl for awhile and have been impressed by the software/hardware integration. If any company has the wherewith all to challenge the iPhone I’d bet on RIM.

Kevin

I’m a BB Curve user in Australia, where multiple carriers offer the iPhone. I must say I was blown away by the quality of the display when I first saw an iPhone, demonstrated enthusiastically by my hairdresser!

I was also impressed by it’s web browser. The keyboard was different, but I would get used to it pretty quickly. Of course it’s also 3G, which my BB Curve is not. I rarely bother trying to do anything on the web on my BB but I can see I would use the web browser more on the iPhone, typically when in a waiting room or at the airport or on a train. But that’s not very often really.

The things that stopped me moving to an iPhone for me so far is the lack of real push email, the lack of compression because I get a lot of email, and the fact that I can view all new messages in my 5 email accounts, plus any SMS messages, in one single list (one click). I gather I would have to check each list individually on the iPhone and that would not be good at all! I also like the fact that my BB can go for days in between battery charges, although I guess the BB Storm will require daily charging, just like the phones we had 10+ years ago :)

I can’t really see the iPhone taking any significant market share from RIM’s serious business users with the iPhone in it’s current form. By the same token, I can’t see RIM’s Storm persuading many hairdressers to give up their iPhone.

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