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Blackberry Trounces Windows Mobile

BlackBerry_Curve

I was at a party last night and was shocked by how many people were sporting the BlackBerry Curve, including my wife.  Even a couple people who used to have Windows Mobile devices have made the switch. 

One of them used to have the Sprint Mogul PPC 6700, which is a really cool phone:

Sprint_ppc6700

I couldn’t believe he had a Curve.  So I asked him why, and he told me that the form factor makes it so he can hold the Curve in one hand.  He said that Gmail Mobile for BlackBerry has really added a lot of functionality to his new device.  He loves the keyboard because it allows one-handed operation, as opposed to the PPC 6700, which requires two hands.  Even though the device does not have gps, you can find your location easily by with Google Maps.  He also likes the included media player.

I thought to myself that lots of phones have a similar form factor, such as the Samsung Ace, BlackJack, Palm Treo, and the Moto Q, to name a few.  So I figured there must be more to it.  He didn’t just get a new phone, he got an entirely new operating system.  Just then I spotted a girl I knew and went to say hi.  She, too, had a Curve.  So I also asked her what was up with that (I was the life of the party).  She told me similar things to my other friend, but added one important thing.  She loves the trackball.  With one hand you can navigate anywhere on the screen, just like with a trackball mouse on a computer.  You just click the trackball when your cursor is where you want it, then start typing.  This eliminates the stylus completely.  She told me she missed the touchscreen on her old Treo, but absolutely loves this new way of interacting with the device.  She can now do everything with one hand easily. 

CurveBall

I asked her if she minds only having Edge support instead of the faster 3G.  She couldn’t care less, she said, because the OS is very responsive.  The screen may not have as nice resolution, but for her purposes, it’s great.  She also uses and loves Gmail.  She showed me her family pix on the attachment viewer.

What really put it altogether for me was when  we dropped off our middle kid at another party earlier in the evening (isn’t anyone sick of Pump it Up yet?) and one of our friends agreed to take her home.  My wife pulled out her BlackBerry and got our friends’ vitals and typed them in very quickly.  She used the cursor to navigate through the fields and the excellent keyboard to input name, address etc. very fast. 

None of these people were power users in the Windows Mobile sense.  That is, they didn’t care much about third party apps, spreadsheets (though it sports an Excel and Word viewer), WiFi, 3G access, and gps.  But they are power users in the BlackBerry sense, and with its tremendous ease of use, and excellent form factor and features, Microsoft should take note, especially if they want to increase their market share from 13% to 40% by 2012.

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May 18, 2008 Posted by | Blackberry, Opinions, Windows Mobile | Leave a comment