BlackBerry vs. iPhone: RIM Has First-Mover Advantage

I recently tied success in the imminent BlackBerry vs. iPhone struggle to market segmentation.

Of course, there’s also first-mover advantage.

Kudos to RIM for timing the release of the “Pearl White” version of the BlackBerry Pearl on the heels of a week’s worth of iPhone buzz.

I wonder how long it will be before someone makes the iPhone skin available on the “Pearl White” BlackBerry Pearl.

RIM has significant first-mover advantage and also the potential to capitalize on the iPhone marketing buzz.

Apple needs to move quickly and deliver a very solid 1.0 version of the iPhone, as they’re already in catch-up mode.

29 thoughts on “BlackBerry vs. iPhone: RIM Has First-Mover Advantage

  1. No way dude. I have a BlackBerry 8700g and I have to say that it’s a complicated little piece of hardware for what it does.

    I have a degree in computer science and I’m a power user. I add visual basic script to my PowerPoint presentations and I can do things like make the Microsoft Office paper clip talk to the audience for me. The thing is, I just don’t want to spend more than ten seconds figuring out how to get my cell phone to do exactly what I want it to do. The BlackBerry has a bit of a learning curve and requires a lot of key clicking to get tasks done.

    Apple has a talent for simple interfaces without sacrificing functionality, and I think that’s exactly where and why the iPhone will shine.

  2. You could be right! And if you are, and it works for me, I’ll be trading in my beloved BlackBerry for an iPhone! Ashamedly, there’s no loyalty when it comes to consumer electronics.

  3. I just picked up a Blackberry Pearl and I love it. i-phone is just hype just like all their other products. I’ve gone through 2 i-pods already (poor quality). I now have a zune. And I’m certain the Pearl out performs the i-phone. 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing your perspective, Eddie. For a variety of reasons, which I hope to blog on soon, I believe the Pearl is more important to RIM’s future than many of its other offerings. I’ve met other people who have a Pearl and they also rave about it. As for the iPod, I’ve heard nothing but positives, so it’s refreshing to have a dose of reality introduced here as well.

  5. I bought a pearl about 6 months ago and I’ve had a so so experience with it. I’ve had too many problems with it and I’m on my third one now. The mp3 player has been alright, but the video is horrible. I can’t get anything to play on the dumb thing. I’ve called customer service many times to try and figure out how to play video, but I still can’t get it going. It’s frustrating! It shouldn’t be a secret to know how to use all of the phones services. I do however like the calender and the speaker phone. I’m excited for the iphone because I know it will be EASY TO USE and will have what I’m interested in.

  6. A different reality indeed! Thanks for chiming in Jerry. If your experience is typical, the Pearl has a long way to go to challenge the iPhone – or at least the anticipated iPhone 😉

  7. Hey – I am a business professional and would love the fun loving party stuff that an iPhone can do – but I want a Blackberry Pearl to manage my emails, my phone calls, contacts – even view documants – Can iPhone do that? I need help should I wait for iPhone or get the Pearl. Come on expertts – give me your feedback THX

  8. “… but I want a Blackberry Pearl to manage my emails, my phone calls, contacts – even view documants – Can iPhone do that?”


    How the iPhone will do all of this, and how well, is all to be determined.

    “… should I wait for iPhone or get the Pearl.”

    It’s definitely too early for me to give that kind of advice!

  9. I guess the real strength of the Blackberry is on push email. Personally I find the cal, todo lists and other productivity functions of the Blackberry quite retarded when pitched against something like the palm treo, so I am sure Apple will have this licked. My only concern is whether iPhone will be able to do push email, and whether mobile phone carriers who currently support Blackberry push services will adopt the same/similar for iPhone.

  10. I do have a blackberry and I travel a lot outside US, I love to be able to change the sim card in Europe. Can I do that with the Iphone?, it is posible to have another carrier than Cingular… I hate them and ATT as well. Love T-Mobile. Would be possible to find Unblocked Iphones?


  11. OMG! It has to have Push email – if I have to check for email every 15 min instead of be alerted to it I’ll be more neurotic than ever 🙂

    Thanks for the feedback!

  12. The Pearl is awesome. I take it everywhere with me. I have a 2gb mini card for movies, mp3 and pictures.

    Jerry, have you tried downloading a program called Super? That is what I use to convert my movies to my Pearl and it works fine.

    I don’t have the data plan so I’m probably missing out on a lot.

    Apple does have an edge with the OS X.

  13. Me again – I’ve settled on the BB Pearl – at least long enough to see how the iPhone does in the market – I know a few test subjects 😉 I pick up my Pearl next week, so does anyone know of a great software for syncing it with my Mac?? I heard Pocket Mac sucks and that there are others out there – any ideas??

  14. i dont know if i should get the black berry pearl or bb cuve or the iphone. i would only use the phone for these purpose: web browsing, instant messaging, txting, abd multimidea. can some one give me a straight answer off all the pros and cons of these phones

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  16. bob – go for the iphone if you want to do some serious web browsing – as it uses safari and full-out web capabilities. the iphone also utilizes an ichat style for texting, which makes each text message a dialogue box between you and the person, which could be cool since it’s instantaneous. multimedia – youtube on iphone is a lot of fun.

    But personally, I don’t like the iphone as much because I prefer to have a physical keyboard. I own the pearl right now and think it’s great, can’t wait to upgrade to a Curve. Plus, the BB has been reliable and very practical in its entirety. I love it.

    Syncing will be hard if you have a mac, but there is software available out there to make it work well.

  17. by the way how many email accounts can you have with the iphone?????

    presently i have 4 on my blackberry and its not a pearl……all you folks that want a pearl just go buy a good camera

    been using blackberry since its inception i think i have a 8260???? all i know it works in moscow and mexico paris and prague

    i have my msn account my apple account and my att account on my blackberry….

    the only reason i ask this question is i lost my ipod and want to replace it and thought maybe the iphone would fit the bill….but i guess i will just go buy a ipod and keep my bb

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  19. In December 2007, it was time to execute my Verizon “new phone every 2 years” upgrade. I wanted a smartphone but wasn’t sure which to choose. I found a number of posts where iPhone owners tried the BlackBerry Pearl and found it superior. And I had been persuaded that the iPhone was the best phone on the market. So, I bought the BlackBerry Pearl 8130. I love my 8130 so much I started a blog on it at

  20. I bought a BB Pearl 8130 last week and it’s a huge headache. I am taking it back tomorrow as soon as it stops snowing. I dislike it so much, I’m willing to suck up the $175. fee for ending my contract with Verizon. As someone pointed out way early on in this post, the learning curve for BB is absurdly and unnecessarily high. Additionally, it has many bugs and flaws that I simply don’t want to live with for two years (can’t turn off the keypad dialing sound; trackpad still imagines it’s in use when it isn’t, so incoming calls don’t ring; can’t tether to a mac for modem use with Verizon without paying additional $15/month; too many menus to have to sort through to do simple tasks, etc. etc.). I knew I should have jumped in and gotten the iPhone instead, but I felt choked by my Verizon contract. Not worth it. Can’t wait to unpack my iPhone in a couple days and feel free again!

  21. I recently received a BB pearl and I find it great! The only think i disliked is the web browsing (which was fixed with opera 4 mini) and i also dislike how it plays music, but I figure that there will be an app for organizing playlists and such (i haven’t found a good one but i do know of one). I use my BB pearl for msn instant messenging (using Jive talk; works great) listening to music while at work, and browsing the web (opera 4 mini; fixed my problems that i had before with browsing). I know of friends who have the iphone and it does have some features that BBs don’t have but i asked one of my friends that had both (BB first then Iphone, he told me he prefered the BB over the Iphone. But for my opinion about the iphone? none that i can give.

  22. I run a Houston based referral service and I am very torn between the Pearl, Curve, and Iphone. This will be my first smart phone, so the uses I would like out of it are strong email support, maybe some multimedia, and a lot of surfing (I noticed that the Curve doesn’t render some pages properly). I like the Iphone but is it too large to fit in your pocket? Also, if I understand correctly, there is a new pearl coming out for TMobile (the 8120). This should give the Pearl WiFi. What do you guys think? If anyone here switched from Pearl to Curve or to Iphone (or vice-versa) I would love to hear why. Thanks!

  23. I gave my iPhone to my 14 year old nephew, that’s what I think of it.
    It’s a toy, nothing more and the Curve 8320 has all the multimedia capabilities of the iphone, + GPS + WiFi + Corp email and full keyboard.

    iPhone is an over-priced, over-hyped toy. I can’t believe I fell for their teen marketing ploys!

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  25. Very interesting question.. iPhone vs BB Curve. I have been a avid Apple fan (as my name implies) since about 2002 (since the initial release of OSX). Anyway, I have both an iPhone (4G and 8G) versions as well as BB Curve and Pearl (yes I know it sounds like I need a life)…
    Anyway, here is my take on both devices.

    iPhone: The only real advantage I feel is important is the full web browser. I tried the original AT&T service and almost threw the phone out the window every day. I then unlocked the phone and ran it on T-Mobile.. wow what a difference in usability…

    BB Curve: This little device is ALMOST perfect. I have to admit that I prefer the real keyboard vs. the virtual one on the iPhone (they both have their pros and cons). Mail is far superior on the Curve (even when not using Exchange). The only complaint and I hope that someone somewhere gets this message is that the web browser is horrible… I installed the Opera Mini 4.0 version and it is usable except for the clunky interface (it was designed to work on a phone so it does not take advantage of the full keyboard of the BB).

    Summary: What can I say about the iPhone… it is a great platform, with very poor strategic direction from Apple. Since it’s initial release 1.0 there have been 4 updates.. each update aimed at adding services that will increase Apple revenue… never mind about adding basic services to the apps like the ability to attach a picture to an email and send it from the phone. Never mind about the ability to save a file from an email message… and oh yes you would think that since it is a ipod player as well, it would be simple to incorporate the ability to extend the sounds available for events??? Nope… only ringtones which (by the way) you have to purchase from the iTunes store (if they are even available)…

    The BB curve is a much more open (and by that I mean configurable) platform than the current iPhone. This may change when the 2.0 development platform is release for iPhone, but given Apples current stance of controlling the release of every app, it will remain to be seen what they ‘allow’ on the shiny little platform. Till then, there really isn’t a perfect phone… If solid email is your highest priority, then I would have to give the edge to the BB Curve. If however, web surfing is your highest priority, then the iPhone wins hands down with the fantastic ability to stretch and shrink pages as you navigate the web (Opera allows this but the interface is analogous to Text-mode DOS vs GUI applications…)

  26. I have a BB and what I like the most is the VoIP feature that lets you talk when connected to a WiFi network without using your plan minutes. I work offshore,and there are no cell towers out there, so most cell phones do not work. We do have internet service on most vessels, and the BB’s Voice calling over Internet Protocol (VoIP) connects to the wireless internet allowing me to use my BB to make phone calls when other cell phones are rendered useless for offshore.

    I use T-Mobile service and can make unlimited VoIP calls for only $9.99 a month, and as I mentioned before, it doesn’t count against my plan minutes. Any other phone is useless for offshore use, and that’s where I spend most of my time. Thanks to the BB 8320 I can stay connected to home will offshore.

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