Smartphones

Poll: BlackBerry users, what are your future plans?

Are BlackBerry users sticking with the smartphone giant or looking to jump to one of the newer platforms? That's the topic of the latest TechRepublic poll.

While BlackBerry is narrowly holding on to the No. 2 spot in global smartphone sales, it has Android and iPhone breathing down its neck as more and more new smartphone customers flock to those two platforms.

But what about BlackBerry's large installed base? Are BlackBerry users sticking with the smartphone giant or looking to jump to one of the newer platforms? That's the topic of the latest TechRepublic poll.

BlackBerry 6 is RIM's answer to the touchscreen momentum of iPhone and Android devices, and the BlackBerry Torch 9800 (right) is the first smartphone powered by BlackBerry 6 to hit the market. It features a revamped multitouch interface that represents an important step forward.

Is it enough to keep BlackBerry users in the fold? Many of them won't have a choice because their IT departments will stick with BlackBerry -- especially the devices like the Curve, which IT department can get in large quantities for free or next-to-nothing from wireless carriers if they sign big contracts.

However, more corporate environments are beginning to experiment with iPhone deployments, or are at least giving their users a choice of devices. And, beyond that, more users are starting to simply choose their own smartphones and connect them to the corporate network.

We'd like to hear from BlackBerry users on their smartphone plans for the near future.

Take the poll

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

36 comments
zaki67
zaki67

i shifted from Galaxy S to bold 9700 (against the tide ) biggest advantage is battery life ,biggest disadvantage is browsing the web.Ill give the torch a try hoping it will have the best of both worlds.

redbarn01
redbarn01

Until Android developers figure out simple email tasks & features like proper attachements, spell check, auto-BCC & single mailbox dumps, BUILT INTO THE OS, I cannot swtich to Android. I'd love to for all the other features and would happily be a google guy *mail, calenders & contacts), but really this lack of remedial email features make it a non-starter. I hope for the best!

MobileAdmin
MobileAdmin

Having read through all the replies it's not clear if this decision is on some personal level for your own use or a larger deployment scale. The bulk of whining is about the desire for a large display similar to iPhone, resolution wise. I've used a Android X and it's way too large for a phone, it's really a mini-tablet. Do people really think Blackberry will not have a similar screen in the future? To me Android / Apple know they cannot beat RIM on their core strengths so they go the "better hardware spec" route. At some point it just levels off as how high a resolution, CPU speed can we squeeze into a mobile device / smartphone? Will we need a Dual Core 2.8hgz with 2gb ram to conduct our lives when mobile?? Are we still talking about phone / PIM functionality? I'll tell you this while yes I love my iPhone hardware wise and it's a very nice looking device I still use my Blackberry 85% of the day for doing anything business related. I know everyone is just pinning for the one device that pefectly blends personal / work functionality but being the guy behind the curtain I don't know if I ever want to combine those aspects. I do not want to limit my personal usage and don't want to carry my work into my personal life. So if I have to use seperate devices I will do so.

tbostwick
tbostwick

Well - the Torch is a nice phone, and a QWERTY keyboard is the way to go for doing ANY typing on ANY smartphone. As a BB user of 2+ years, I'm waiting to see when iPhone is going to be on Verizon. Qualcomm is manuf. the chips and guts for the CDMA network that is Verizon, and of the variety that the iPhone would need to run it (all sources point to Jan. 2011 rollout). Verizon missed the 1st banwagon when Apple asked, it won't make that mistake again. The Torch is a nice piece of equipment, and I'm sorry, the Samsung Galaxy S isn't as nice as the iPhone or Torch (IMHO). If iPhone isn't headed to the V network, then I'm sticking with my BB.

answers
answers

I like my BlackBerry I just want some cool apps that works and for free

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

OK. Here's my thoughts. Windows Phone 7 [or whatever Microsoft calls it before changing the name a few times] will be dead in the water. iPhone? Well, I wouldn't run out and get the "4" with the antenna issue [giving a free case doesn't fix the problem - it's defective], bluetooth issue, and some software bugs. It lacks proper corporate support. Fine for the individual. Android? Still a "young" OS. Who knows. Recent Oracle lawsuit over java plus its first [and not last] trojan doesn't help. BlackBerry? The 9800 doesn't quite cut it for the consumer side. d of preferred the keyboard sliding out on the long side. Still number one on the corporate side and rock solid. only hoping that RIM doesn't give into those socalled "democracies" [India, Saugi Arabia, etc.] regarding security - ooops - eavesdropping.

cttechie
cttechie

I have Storm 1 and it's already obsolete. BB's new OS 6 CANNOT RUN ON THE STORMS!! Are they kidding?? The OS 5 phones are so slow and buggy and now we finally get some light at the end of the tunnel with v6 and my phone (that's not even 2 years old, btw) can't run it. Awesome. So guess what, RIM? My Storm is going on Ebay the day my "New Every Two" comes up in a few months and I'll be switching to an HTC Incredible then. I'm done with you guys.

MobileAdmin
MobileAdmin

Considering devices are now coming out at a 3 month internal (Android), Apple refreshes yearly and Blackberry has a new device every 6 months. What makes you think whatever you buy will be supported beyond your carrier contract (typical 2 years)?? The Storm 1 came out in 2007 and has 2 OS updates. OS 5 runs nicely on the Storm 1. Apple dropped support for the first iPhone OS update wise and Android already states only certain devices will get Froyo so you will never be happy.

tbostwick
tbostwick

Backwards compatibility isn't something in the toolkit of most smartphone makers or their DEV teams. Because the technology is "throw-away" and sooo easily replaceable, they simply don't have to because they know "WE" will buy the next latest-greatest. This is really a side-point on how we, as consumers, really don't control what the market throws at us. We have to gulp it down, bitter or not, and move on. This is true of almost anything these days - but especially so with computing and wireless devices. I too have a Storm and have gotten it to work through various tweaks and such, but again, I'm holding out until iPhone is rolled out onto Verizon (it is coming soon), which has been confirmed by many reputable sites and industry consultants. I'll be more than happy on my new iPhone on Verizon's network - and not so happily say goodbye to my BB ( I love the email ease, security and GPS/Maps on my BB). I don't TXT much, don't need to as my mouth still works just as well - and I don't believe there's any life to a "social" phone (although Facebook and Twitter would disagree).

jfuller05
jfuller05

it does everything I need for my business life. For personal, I'm thinking of trying out DROID 2 in the near future. The BlackBerry is a perfect work phone though. Voice calls are great, navigation is great, messaging is great, battery life is great; why change my work phone? I use a BlackBerry Curve 8310.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

...have a 9700. Thanks for saving me some typing! ;)

ChuckV10
ChuckV10

I work in the public sector where we keep personal and enterprise devices very separate. For my personal device, and many co-workers the choice is Android. For the enterprise, we are staying with BlackBerry...

net.minder
net.minder

My 9700 is a great phone, and the touchpad works great. The trackballs on the Bold 9000's and Curves, etc. are too unreliable because they get lint and debris stuck in them, and are difficult/impossible to clean. Otherwise, the hardware keyboard is still the right answer. I would love to have a Torch, but I will have to wait until my plan makes me eligible for an upgrade. So far, my company has only allowed BlackBerries, but there is a move afoot to seriously consider iPhones connecting to our Exchange - but this initiative may die if the security and admin features of ActiveSync get the thumbs-down. If we're going to allow iPhones, it will be difficult for us (IT) to fully accept responsibility and accountability to ensure really good uptime for them. RIM is good at supporting the large enterprise in this way. Apple doesn't really want to cater to the requirements of large enterprise customers.

wmoses
wmoses

I'm afraid we have invested in BlackBerry, so we will likely stick with BlackBerry for the foreseeable future. However, I have to admit that we have been forced to provide support for the iPhone, the Android, and Windows Mobile (one each), for our users. Now if I could just figure out a way to get them to buy me one of each... :)

rtrujillo
rtrujillo

I had the worst experience with the BlackBerry Storm. I'm switching to Android when the contract comes up. The BlackBerry Pearl was okay though. However, I'm now ready for a Touch Screen. The only drawback is the battery life.

JH_Chicago_Suburbs
JH_Chicago_Suburbs

When I use something smaller than a full size PC keyboard, I still prefer a keyboard because I grew up without fine motor skills so the touch interface is offputting to say the least. Also, I am enthusiastic about the thoughtfulness put into BlackBerry's menus. Finally, at least for the 8330 Curve, it fits into my pocket just fine and works perfectly with my Voyager Pro headset.

patrick
patrick

I'll stay with my Curve until Bell has 4G and upgrade to OS6 and a Torch. So far email and music is my primary use with news and sports a second concern all of which I get from my Curve 8330. Prefer a physical keyboard.

alan.kirchoff
alan.kirchoff

I will probably stick with Sprint service. If they don't get the new BB Torch I will probably go with the EVO.

HBCASurfer
HBCASurfer

I love BB and yes you could safely call me a crackberry! A few months ago I left BB and got an eris then an incredible! DROID!! I don't like them! sleek fast etc with alot of bells & whistles BUT...I've had my email hacked into and then while on business had all my contacts deleted on my phone then when plugged into my laptop to sync, the phone deleted ALL my contact info from my laptop. Thank goodness for a file in reserve just incase. But I still had to add them ALL back in one by one! BB never has done that! i TOOK A BB survey & told them to get me back they needed to catch up and riding the wave of status quo would only keep me away as well as lose others! They aren't right now unless they have something ready to "pop" and make BB lovers' day! A better camera, faster processor, better touch screen, etc...!!! The security is there which I love but what about the rest! I've had the curve 8330 then the storm 2! After some trouble with the storm 2 I was convinced to go to droid! I DON'T trust the security and privacy with google! It's just plain weird the way they are! BB is consistant! AND SAFE! You can rely on them! BUT they ARE capable of producing better phones! So why don't they? Why are they playing? Why did ATT get a torch but VZW nothing when it's VZW that helped them build to what they are/were! I am getting ticked solely on the fact that they are NOT releasing new phone! And I mean phones with the latest technology! It is aggrevating that they aren't and I want a better BB to get me back there! I own my own consulting firm and want a great business phone! My incredible is great but shiny objects are NOT everything in the world to me! I want performance! BB gets it but needs to be better I believe to get new customers and keep the current ones! I DISLIKE droid immensely but and will go back to BB immediately if they produce something better! And make it so I don't have to take out the battery every day either! BB!!.....Get it going! stop with the games! and let us have some good phones! not just updated ones with a few more features! PLEASE!!! Thanks!! If not...you might be playing to lose alot more than a few users! Even us crackberry's need what we need! Are you going to sit back and watch it all slide away and lose or will you step up to the plate and produce!!!??? I hope you produce!!!!

Throb Goblin
Throb Goblin

I used to have BB for corporate use but I had an iPhone as my personal handset. I left the iPhone to go to BB for my own phone. The security, flexibility, design, and ease of use make the BB a better platform. I know that some of my colleagues viewed the iPhone as a neat toy but admittedly its true. I am glad that I went back to BB and I see no reason ever to change

HBCASurfer
HBCASurfer

I had the old curve for years! then went to the storm 2 and had some troubles but it IS still a great phone! most problem is the need to do a soft reset by removing the battery almost daily! So verizon decided to try to help me & set me into an HTC droid eris then the htc incredible! the incredible is awesome with all the bells & whistles...BUT...after having my same yahoo account for years ...it has been hacked into through my phone! DROID!!!! other privacy issues have been violated & this is NOT acceptable!!! THIS is NEVER a problem with RIM/Blackberry! I have read & heard some early things on the new BB's like the storm 3! and I AM waiting to get mine is all holds true about them! NOTHING can replace good security & privacy!!! BB is FAR from out of the game!!! and after all it IS still the #1 selling phone worldwide! i don't care of it's for business or not....it is #1! and after all the issues and all going on with droid & google...i know MORE & MORE people who are staying or going back to BB!!! maybe I am a crackberry after all....BUT you can always count on BB to do what it does and be the best at it!!!

rfsuper
rfsuper

My choice in a smartphone hinges on the look and feel of the phone, not the brand. My favorite would still be the Palm Treo if it was still available.

davecoffin
davecoffin

As part of a renewal contract for mutliple users we were able to negotiate for BES Enterprise and multiple device licenses. Some of our users like the inherent security of the BB phones, but not necessarily the features. We have come to the point where our IT department doesn't care which phone you use, but it's up to the individual departments to determine the phone that suits their needs the most. We are a private company so are not bound so much by the Sarbanes/Oxley rules.

portable
portable

I use the BB Bold. Does almost everything I need, but is LIMITED in memory (the largest AT&T would give me is 2 Gig! My Wife's iPhone has 64G, tons of apps, and with that memory room for lots of songs. As it is, I carry an iPod touch for my music. I would switch, except for the antenna disaster that Apple won't own up to. If (not when) that gets fixed reliably (no duct tape garbage) I will jump.

techrepublic
techrepublic

I loved my Blackberry (own the 8900) but it has fallen so far behind Android that I'm just waiting for my contract to expire before switching. I use my GPS constantly and there are a number of apps that I use on BB that are just lackluster in comparison to their Android counterparts. Plus, once you start using these apps in multiple ways, the great battery life on the 8900 becomes dismal. On top of that, there are multiple times that I'm just sitting there staring at the little clock even though there's nothing obvious going on. I am a media consumer and the new screen res of the Torch is abysmal in comparison to the other smartphones on the market. The physical keyboard is great and RIM has mastered the physical keyboard, for sure, but they've fallen behind in almost every other area. Switching has become a no-brainer for me.

johnmckay
johnmckay

I've got my blackberry for corporate use and as I don't use the multimedial much it does most of what I want. I want the BB format and security with a decent sized screen that can do some internet stuff. I'm in a 9700 Bold 2 and internet experience is totally unacceptable. That said, I've just gone onto Android for personal use and totally love what it offers bar one thing. Security level. As I've been getting some passwords reset lately, and emailed to me, I've become increasinngly aware that misplacing my android could be very bad news. I could look more into securing my mail but it's not something I've had to consdier with the Blackberry and it's excellent security model. Tried the iphone but it didn't seem any better than the Android. At present I'm on the basic screen swipe mode as entering an 8 digit password on the small qwerty layout isn't easy. So.. love them both. But RIM need to get a grip and deliver something with a decent screen, decent browser OR it's going to get tough.

ThirdWorldPatriot
ThirdWorldPatriot

My 8900, now coming up to 3 years old and just starting on its 3rd roller ball, is the best device I've ever owned or played with. Particularly impressive is its battery life which is still easily 3 or 4 days (with daily or twice-daily news surfing in bed). Barely mentioned in any review is that in late 2007 it came, as standard, with an immensely useful and perfectly useable (if primitive) Sat-Nav.

rms
rms

I use an 8350i, model for nextel users (IDEN, radio + phone) and it has good battery life and excelent for e-mail. The browser is very poor. I have to wait that BB makes an advanced model with the radio feature. Compared with other tops i don?t need the super camera nor the touchscreen but i would like a better browser. So...i am all the time watching what is in the market.

wolfshades
wolfshades

I used to always get the latest Blackberry, and really have no complaints about any of them. They served me well. The battery life was almost always just as you say: you could go two or three days without having to recharge them. Whereas the 3G and 3Gs iPhone required a re-charge once a day. Now that I have an iPad - I'm using it a lot more and, wouldn't you know it - my iPhone requires a recharge once every two or three days. My thinking is that the amount of use I'm getting from the iPhone now is equivalent to the amount of use I got out of my Blackberry before. The Blackberry was used primarily for email and phone. Rarely was it used for web browsing and there were very few apps that were of any appeal. Certainly it was never used for listening to music, as my iPhone now is. Ultimately, I'd say the battery life is comparable between the two.

ThirdWorldPatriot
ThirdWorldPatriot

Fairy nuff .... using hours of satnav on the handle-bars of my cycle, I can get my 8900 to run down in one day. Maybe I could do the same with web-surfing too, except I mostly do that in bed near a charger. But I've never felt it necessary to carry one or two spare batteries as I've seen others carry round.

krist
krist

My thoughts: I find my Blackberry 9000 with its soldered in place and not replaceable roller ball the worst mechanical device I have ever owned. I say that in the context of having owned for ten years in the 80s & 90s a 1968 Dodge pickup, which needed a fuel or electrical system repair every few months! I also helped a colleague configure the first BB "touch" screen and thought it was the clunkiest excuse for a touch screen I could have imagined and am incredulous a company would try passing that off as sufficient. I won't even comment on the software, which I could live with, but that obviously is trying not very well to play catch up with Apple and Google. Basically I think Blackberry is clueless about the revolution that started with the iPhone and is fast becoming an also-ran.

brandi_u
brandi_u

I'm sticking with Blackberry (and getting the new Torch) because I've always wanted a good slider with touchscreen abilities. I don't like virtual keyboards, no matter which ones I try. Blackberry has the physical keyboard perfected. Now that OS6 has done what I need, like get a real browser, I can enjoy the best email on a smartphone plus web browsing.

tracy.walters
tracy.walters

My Blackberry Storm is a solid performer, it always just works...my Verizon vendor works almost all over (and even around the world, as it has both GSM and CDMA) and has all the apps I need. It's easy to use, reliable, and based on the recent stories from the Middle East, so secure third world governments don't like it to be in the hands of their people. I'm sticking with Blackberry...I've had them for 10 years now, and I see no reason to change.

dminder
dminder

Both myself and my wife have had Storms for over 2 years and honestly, I am very frustrated with them. We have had a boatload of screen and network issues that at times has made me wish that I had not chosen this phone. Not to mention the "premium" for using the blackberry name. Verizon IMO has been less than friendly and thankfully I can move elsewhere.

scott.damery
scott.damery

I am looking for an Android on my Sprint plan that will replace my BlackBerry Curve. I cannot afford to just go out and buy the latest and greatest so waiting for my upgrade time table will mean plenty of android goodness available and hopefully a 4G network to make things easier.