BlackBerry's Storm Rolls In -- Do You Need One? - InformationWeek

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11/21/2008
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BlackBerry's Storm Rolls In -- Do You Need One?

With the launch of the BlackBerry Storm -- and Apple's midnight-hour iPhone upgrade -- comes the long-awaited battle between the smartphones. Which will prevail -- the Storm or the iPhone? Lest all the hype cloud your good judgment, a better question might be: Does your company really need either one?

With the launch of the BlackBerry Storm -- and Apple's midnight-hour iPhone upgrade -- comes the long-awaited battle between the smartphones. Which will prevail -- the Storm or the iPhone? Lest all the hype cloud your good judgment, a better question might be: Does your company really need either one?Positioned to be an "iPhone killer," the BlackBerry Storm wants to ride the wave of smartphones that are attractive to mobile people because of their ability to keep you plugged in. With hundreds of folks lined up at Verizon stores around the country this morning, the Storm is off to a good start. But Apple doesn't intend to let BlackBerry hog all the glory, as it released the iPhone 2.2 software upgrade just hours ahead of the Storm's debut.

First, let's talk about the brand-new Storm. The big thing everyone is talking about is it has BlackBerry's first touch screen. My bet is the gadget freaks will love the clickable screen because it's something new, but a reason smaller-business owners might want to consider the Storm is a lot of people find a touch screen is easy to use -- it can be more intuitive. The learning curve when you're actively clicking and scrolling on a screen can be less steep than when you're flipping through screens, getting lost.

BlackBerry Storm

So the Storm has a touch screen, and the iPhone has a touch screen, and each is retailing for $199. What's the difference between them, then? For every article I've come across stating that the Storm is the way to go, I've read another contradicting that theory.

The wise thing to do when considering which phone to choose for your business is to identify your business's needs.

But that brings me to another point: An even wiser thing to do is to consider whether you even need a smartphone. Because is all this talk about the shiniest, newest toy just a lot of hype? Does your business need every bell-and-whistle-laden gadget available?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How much memory do you need?
  • Do you need a really good camera?
  • Do you need to send photos?
  • How technologically capable are your employees?
  • Do you need GPS capabilities?
  • Do you need to be able to watch and/or send video?
  • How much are you willing to pay per month for service?
  • What are your security concerns?

Once you identify which features are vital to your business, you can conduct more practical research involving the specifications of each product and therefore make a smarter decision in purchasing a phone, whether it's a smart one or an old-school, "dumb" phone.

But back to the beginning -- because the excitement really is contagious -- which do you think will prevail in the war of the smartphones -- the iPhone or the Storm?

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