You've probably heard enough about the Blackberry Storm, but humor me for a second. There are a number of ways that the Storm beats the iPhone because of what I call the second mover advantage. RIM deftly did what any wise competitor would do, they exploited the demand for features that aren't yet available in the iPhone (copy and paste, a decent camera, for example).
There are also a couple of key omissions and difference in the Storm that don't make it an automatic, however. Here are some key advantages that the iPhone has over the Storm:
- Wi-Fi – This one sticks out like a sore thumb and will probably create the biggest wedge between the Storm and the iPhone. Whether I'm at home, the office or any retail establishment I always seek out a Wi-Fi network with my iPhone because it's much faster than 3G. Wi-Fi is much better for larger downloads and doesn't count against AT&T's 5GB download cap. Wi-Fi makes apps like Dictionary (the offline wikipedia reference) can quickly eat away at it possible.
- QWERTY keyboard in portrait mode. For some strange reason the Storm uses a SureType keyboard – the weird on with two letters on each key – in portrait mode (pic), which is strange to me. I'm not a fan of SureType and don't know why RIM didn't include a standard QWERTY keyboard, or the option for one, in portrait mode like they do in landscape. I expect this to change in a software update.
- Applications – Because the Storm is brand new, there are very few applications available for it expect for a few IM clients, Flickr, Facebook and Verizon's GPS application Navigator. The iPhone didn't have any third party applications when it launched either but now has over 5,000. Expect this to change as developers join the party.Will iPhone devs port their wares to RIM?
- Mac connectivity – Out of the box the Storm has no Mac software. It does include Media Sync which will sync your non-DRM iTunes to the Storme. If you don't have a Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) you're going to have to rely on third parties like Mark/Space or PocketMac to sync contacts and calendars from a Mac to the Storm. A better option is to install the Windows software in Parallels orVMWare.
- Keyboard –Input devices, especially keyboards are highly subjective and highly personal which is why this is on both of my lists. Some people will like the "clickable" keyboard on the Storm while some will prefer the iPhone keyboard. Because I'm more experienced with the iPhone keyboard, the extra step required to physically click the Storm's keyboard slows down my ability to type. But I've also only used it for 24 hours and it's also a function of training, so that will change.
Don't forget to read my post (and the 100+ comments) on the advantages of the Storm over the iPhone.
Would you trade your iPhone for a Storm?