cellular technology

Blackberry Storm From Verizon

Blackberry Storm and TyTN II - Small Business Blog Last few weeks I was diving into a few gadgets I was missing on before. The place where I sit throughout the day has the worst possible reception spot for AT&T network – my AT&T Tilt (TyTN II) drops to GPRS in the middle of downtown Manhattan. A dozen steps towards any window improves the situation, but it’s not always possible. I asked people around, but since mostly they’re wielding iPhones with bad enough reception already, there was no way of knowing what would work. Testing with regular phones as well as Samsung Blackjack showed that the problem persists to the spot, rather than device (especially since I had flashed an updated version of radio). Recalling my previously very much decent experience with Verizon, I went to the closest store and bought Blackberry Storm.

Now, usually I would go for Windows Mobile device, but I wanted to explore a bit into realms of other mobile OSes. I was mostly interested in Blackberry, since it has, by far, one of the biggest markets. Besides, it just look different from anything RIM had produced before.

My overall impression is mostly positive. The phone is a tad smaller, significantly thinner and definitely weights a lot less than TyTN II. Storm has a 3.5mm headphones jack – something that’s been missing from a lot of HTC devices. I also liked the screen and the idea behind the different approach to touch (honestly, I love it). The cellular service was a lot better in my spot and I was almost sold to keep the phone. Although, after couple of weeks of light use I figured a few things that prevented me from staying with the phone – at least for now.


Blackberry vs. iPhone

RIM’s BlackBerry is the leader in the smartphone market today, but now that the iPhone 3G has become more attractive to both consumers and the enterprise, RIM needs to stop the iPhone onslaught as soon as possible.

There’s no argument about it – devices designed as business tools will work out better for business tasks then devices designed as status symbol. From my personal standpoint – the iPhone isn’t good or bad or evil – it’s just useless.

When you are indeed a business professional your tasks include sending and receiving e-mails, checking and updating schedules, going to meetings, taking notes and, possibly, sharing your thoughts with peers. While passive parts can easily be done with any device, including iPhone, the active parts, that include typing or some other kind of active interacting the Blackberry is ahead by leaps and bounds.

Instead of thoroughly analyzing let’s do the funny thing – let’s look at the way both devices are being positioned in minds of customers. In other words – what do we know about these devices from advertisings, promotions and other PR stunts.

Anything you know about the iPhone is related to entertainment – you can watch YouTube, listen to music, browse the web, run cool Apps. Any poster you can find projects iPhone as a fun cool gadget that will bring envy to your peers eventually making them go through same artificially-induced demand curve that ends with 10 days wait for shiny new thing.

Whatever you see or hear about Blackberry has nothing fancy, cool or entertaining about it. The device is much bulkier, calling it pretty would be an overstatement and it has that vibe about it that you’re connected to your job 24×7. Everything you know about Blackberry is about getting more productive on the go.

Surprised? Did’t think so. The distinct difference between the entertainment center posing as occasional work desk and work power horse occasionally serving as a music player cannot be missed.

So what’s in it for small business? Whether you need to project your status image among collegues and peers – go with the iPhone, you won’t miss. If you need to get the job done – the Blackberry should be your answer.

P.S. Neccessary disclosure: I own and alternate between Samsung Blackjack (creature very similar to Blackberry) and AT&T Tilt.


Gadgets As A Conversation Pieces

Gadgets as a conversation pieces - Small Business Marketing and Web Design blog There are couple of gadgets that I possess that make great conversation pieces. One is Lenovo X61p laptop, which I reviewed earlier, another one is famous HTC Advantage 7501. Both, as it turns out, attract a lot of curiosity.

When I am working (or blogging) at the local Starbucks with my X61 a lot of people pay attention to the small yet strong laptop figure. Most of people I see around me use large, bulky, flashy laptop, like Dell, Toshiba or Apple, with 15 and 17 inch screens. X61p that I own has only 12.1 inches and resolution of 1024×768. However, it doesn’t look like cheap plastic hardware, more like a business tool for a person on the go. It also attracts looks because it’s different from other laptops around, so it naturally stands out. And any conversation it starts can be turned into potential sales pitch. After all – it isn’t hard to predict the sequence: “Nice laptop you got there! – Thank you, I travel a lot, so I have to have as light load as possible. – Oh, wow, what do you do? – Web design, we create web sites. Our customers are all over US, so I get to travel a lot sometimes.” – and so on.

The HTC Advantage (follow this link if you want to see where I bought it and don’t fall for any price above a grand) is very unique. It doesn’t look like Amazon’s Kindle (another great conversation piece, actually), but I do read books on a subway using HTC Advantage, so people become naturally interested. Again, the sequence is very much the same. Although last time I got asked, the lady pulled out her Blackberry and started researching Amazon for HTC Advantage right there and then.

Generally speaking there is a lot of stereotype bashing going on right here. Being equipped with so many advanced gadgets makes me look like a geek. On the other hand, these gadgets help me make more contacts with people I would otherwise miss. Not a geeky behavior at all.