Smartphones

Poll: What's keeping you tied to your BlackBerry?

While Android and iPhone are hogging most of the smartphones headlines, BlackBerry still has its loyal adherents. If you're a BlackBerry user, what's the number one factor keeping on BlackBerry?

Because our audience is primarily made up of business professionals, we talk to a lot of users who are still very committed to BlackBerry, despite RIM's recent challenges. In fact, a lot of the BlackBerry loyalists were in Orlando this week at BlackBerry World 2011, where I've been covering the latest developments in the BlackBerry ecosystem.

That said, I'm hearing more than ever from the larger community of business professionals who were once BlackBerry loyalists that they are considering other options -- mostly iPhone or Android (and Windows Phone 7, in a few cases). I'm also hearing from more and more companies that were once locked into BlackBerry and now they are opening up to iOS, Android, and WP7 devices as well. In many cases, these are employee devices that are connecting to the corporate network, but I'm also seeing some iPhone and Android deployments in companies that would have previously only handed out BlackBerry phones.

This trend is one of the things that is hurting BlackBerry with its most reliable customers and caused RIM to recently report lower-than-expected BlackBerry sales to Wall Street.

So our question to those of you who are still loyally wielding BlackBerry smartphones, is what is the number one factor that is keeping you tied to a BlackBerry? Answer the poll below and then jump into the discussion to explain.

Take the poll

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    About

    Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).

    38 comments
    ITOdeed
    ITOdeed

    I have a BB Bold 9650 that does everything that I need for it to do, and does it great. Why change... If it works, don't fix it.

    rAllcorn
    rAllcorn

    I moved to an iPhone 2 years ago, to save money $$$ by joining the "Family Plan" at AT&T ... Since then, I often miss my Blackberry. It's "simpler" to operate. It is "text-based", so it's quick, without delays. The "TASKS" hot-button on the side is fantastic with a wonderful TASK TRACKING feature that, for some reason, Apple didn't think we needed? (Maybe they didn't think of the iPhone as a "work" tool) I love the display, the buttons, etc. Sure, the iPhone is sleek, and I can use it as a phone, a datebook, an email client, and all of the many other things you can do with the "apps" available, but it's battery life is the very worst I've ever seen in comparison! I had analog cellular phones that had better battery life!! The Blackberry is clean, lite, and it just "works"! So why haven't I switched? Well, it's like a drug addict on the iPhone ... I've had a taste of being able to quickly and effortlessly decide I needed something, find the app, and install it ... in just a few moments! BUT, if AT&T "ever" decides to take away my "unlimited DATA plan" (now no longer offered, but mine is grandfathered in) then they - are - history!! I'll switch in a heartbeat ... to a 'Droid, or maybe the new Nokia N8 used on TRON! Now there's a nice phone ... GSM "and" CDMA - all-in-one! YOU get to choose who your carrier will be!! And it has 2 SIM slots for memory cards! (Sandisk) Not to mention, external ports for "stuff". It's a computer-geeks toy for sure! One thing I would miss, should I leave the iPhone ... the earphones (fit "in" the ear, not the earbuds that came with it) ... they have the volume UP/DOWN buttons and the CALL ANSWER/VOICE COMMAND/MUSIC operation buttons - all in the one control, right there in the cord! I'll miss that! It makes it easy, to listen to tunes, not miss a call, and control what you do - verbally, if you want. Now Blackberry has the voice dial ... but I've got all of the Apple adapters, charges, etc., a power-tower that plays music, and even a boom box ... all for the Apple! What would I do? I'd get an Apple iPOD Classic! I don't have to deal with the screen flopping sideways when I don't want it to, and the battery would last a LOT longer ... because it just plays music! Did I mention these come in a 160GB unit? (Su-weeeet!)

    acmeman
    acmeman

    I look at it like it's a phone, not a level or newton balls. Syncing with my computer is easy, as it should be. they just work great. I'm with the guy above me, I don't want another email adress. Tool or toy? Blackberry is a tool, the others are a toy

    already_in_use
    already_in_use

    A choice that should have been offered in your poll would concern the ability to manage BlackBerry from your own computer without having to go through some external server. For example, with Android phones you have to have a gmail account and management of the phone is done through Google. There is NO decent software available that can be installed on your own computer for syncing with Outlook calendar and contacts. I, for one, do not feel the need to share my info with Google or with anyone who chooses to hack into Google's servers.

    Gis Bun
    Gis Bun

    Have a Bold 9700. Better than my old Motorola Razr. :-) Why I cose? No interested on over-hyped gadgets like the iPhone [do you really want buggy iTunes on your system?] where just about everything is proprietary. If I want to transfer data on or off the phone, I don't need any proprietrary crap to do it.

    pconsite
    pconsite

    I have the Motorola T605 Bluetooth in my car and I have the comfort cradle mounted on a pedestal for my Storm 2's screen to be visible. This is so I can see Caller ID when receiving a call. I have been seriously considering switching to an Android but only if they make a Comfort Cradle (or something very similar) for the model that I choose. I am with Verizon so my next phone will also need to be 4G capable. So it comes down to waiting for either the Storm 3 or iPhone5. I also recently looked at the Thunderbolt but I want a keyboard as well as touch screen.

    potter67
    potter67

    I had smartphones since ... 2004. The great first one, the Sony Ericsson P800 and then 2 windows HTC with keyboard+touch screen. Beginning of this year (2011) I hesitated to buy a BB 9700 because I was not sure I could go for a device without a touch screen, but sure I needed a real keyboard. Anyhow I bought the Blackberry and I am really really pleased with it. Why ? Keyboard is great, the phone is brilliant (good quality, roaming,..), the autonomy is totally impressive and of course it is a killer device for email processing And of course I write this comment knowning the competition (iphone, ...)

    portable
    portable

    It is paid for, and it does everything I need. Why get anything more? Throw away money on stuff I don't need? Also I don't like the location data that iPhone and Android save and "send home". Bid Brother is listening enough.

    davew
    davew

    We had only blackberrys and tried a droid in the past and could not get it connected to exchange. After other employees went out and bought the thunderbolt I was forced to resolve the issue that ended up being settings on exchange. Not an easy problem to solve and I also use an outside tech support company that had trouble solving the issue. The blackberry is easy to setup just like OWA. The keyboard is well known and old timers seem to like the real keys. The thunderbolts virtual keys work well were the blackberrys virtual keyboard sucked. So I only see the tide moving like everyones opinion that there will be a multitude of people with different devices. The manufacturers shoot themselves in the foot by coming out with the next great phone every 3 months it's a bad business model!

    jfuller05
    jfuller05

    because: 1. User friendly interface. 2. Hardware keyboard 3. Secure messaging 4. Menu option makes navigation easy 5. Calls sound great on the phone Basically, my BlackBerry curve 8300 series phone works. I like it. Why change before it breaks?

    cidknee
    cidknee

    cmon really? security? where? since when was AES and Triple DES considered security? Maybe if Rim changed the keys now and then but they haven't changed it in years. I keep my berry for work, and because i LIKE it. I dont want my phone spying on me, i dont like 10 000000000000000 fart apps, and i like being able to hear when i make a call. Reception is a GOOD thing.

    GreenAvitus
    GreenAvitus

    The BIS subscription bypasses the heavy data tariffs in South Africa which makes owning another smartphone cost prohibitive to much of the population. Also the messaging is the bomb, its my messaging devise and I'm looking for an Android to be my primary device or a tablet to round out my media consumption on the Go

    fasiosta
    fasiosta

    What i like most about my Blackberry storm is the email capability, blackberry messenger service and the ability to connect laptops to it and surf the net ..... I have other phones but blackberry is best for email and messaging service. I can't do all this on the iPhone and not really a fan of android phones but still waiting for a viable Win phone 7 mobile phone: either way am keeping my BB service ............its great

    DeeMcGee
    DeeMcGee

    My company gets the BB devices at a much deeper discount than iPhone or Droid. Of course we have the BES infrastructure already in place. We do deploy iphones and Androids and they are gaining speed - so the conversations are happening as to what do we want to keep in place long term. But in the near term, managers are more apt to approve the "free" device for their employees than the $199 iphone. Re security - we can control the entire BB device vs. only the email on Android or iPhone.

    LynnP
    LynnP

    The thing I love most about my BlackBerry is the ability to filter mail and to only download headers. It saves me a bundle, especially when I'm roaming. The data is compressed over the air too, saving even more.

    RockerGeek!
    RockerGeek!

    As a college student, I can't pay ALL of my bills- so I'm still on my family's plan. This wouldn't be a problem if we had any other company BUT Cincinnati Bell. However, signal for verizon is crap where I live (it's in the white areas of the map) and since CinciBell is cheaper... well... They also provide our DSL and home phone. So unless I make more money or lose bills, I'm limited in my choices. (Cinci bell very lately jumped on the Droid bandwagon and have limited choicies) I have a Verizon Moto Droid 2 (yay twitter contests) but have yet had the money to activate it and use it as a phone XD

    Wave_Sailor
    Wave_Sailor

    Free browsing / free internet - okay for a monthly fee but it works out a whole lot cheaper on the blackberry option. Especially in Europe, Asia and Africa

    ralltir
    ralltir

    I can sync memos and tasks and have superior messaging capabilities over the iPHONE

    nameless1
    nameless1

    I've just joined Blackberry. I should have done years ago, my previous phones were dogs compared to this. I will only leave BB when they go out of business and I will mourn the loss.

    jalka
    jalka

    I recently was given a Samsung Galaxy S for a few days while I was being sent a replacement Blackberry Torch and I found the difference in formats exhausting. I have become very used to the Blackberry format for email and messaging and I really enjoy it. I am currently out of contract with AT&T and waiting on Blackberry to release the Torch 2 and see what the reviews of it are before I commit again to another phone.

    Tiger_Cane
    Tiger_Cane

    I believe that another feature factor for many is the ability to run encrypter email. Yes i know this can be encapsulated under security but I believe that this is an important point that should get more emphasis when asking these types of questions.

    T3CHN0M4NC3R
    T3CHN0M4NC3R

    In some of my company's clients, Lotus Notes is the key factor. iPhone and Android just don work with older version of Domino servers.

    smclean9
    smclean9

    SurePress on the Storm. I love the technology and have never used a pure touch device besides it. I still have the original Storm and am NOT looking forward to getting a different device when my two years is up in September.

    Fredz
    Fredz

    I've never liked my Storm. The functionality for the menus just wasn't there for me. But, the thing I hate, and I do hate it, is that one the buttons will make a beeping noise even when the keyboard is turned off. If the keyboard is left on, it will make even more beepings and the screen will switch too. To me, this is a show stopper and only leaves me cussing up a storm!

    ronda
    ronda

    I would have made the switch to something sexier a long time ago, EXCEPT that I teach in the field a lot and sometimes can't find wi-fi, so I tether my slackberry to my laptop for free internet access. Every other device I've looked at has additional charges for that! My latest BB (torch) is so much improved in its own internet surfing capabilities that I'm pretty happy. Just wish I could watch those flash youtube vids. Oh well, it IS a work phone, probably better this way. :-)

    cbader
    cbader

    Ill be ditching my BB as soon as Im eligible.

    snixon
    snixon

    In my cases I have a Black Berry because my Boss wants one. When he changes to something else so will I.

    CharlieSpencer
    CharlieSpencer

    I don't carry a Blackberry, or any other brand of app-capable smart phone either. I've been offered / threatened with a company-provided BB several times but have declined / avoided it. I don't see it as a worthwhile expenditure. If I was carrying such a device, what would keep me using the brand provided would be that the company was paying the bill, not me. That's the limit of my brand loyalty in this market. I wouldn't care what I toted as long as it wasn't coming out of my pocket. I wouldn't have one of any breed on my dime.

    AZ_IT
    AZ_IT

    Today the problem is that development can't keep up with demands. I truly wish we could upgrade OS's, software, computers, phones once every five years instead of every year, every other year, or every three years. Many companies just don't take the time to make one great version every five years. It's far more profitable to push buggy or poorly developed versions every year instead. It's sad but this seems to be the trend.

    seaneff
    seaneff

    i have an 8330, its perfect. it runs all the apps i actually need (i dont have a single game on it) i love the keyboard, im used to the menus and i like the feel of them. and ive noticed i can hear better on my bb than my old android zio, plus when people call me from an android i cant ever understand them! if i had the money to get a better phone, id get a better blackberry, nuff said...

    seaneff
    seaneff

    wow, yeah, i had cinci bell for a no contract plan for a while, i will never ever deal with them again. i have a cheap bb curve 8330 with boost mobile (shrinkage means im paying $40 a month for unlimited everything :D) and i have had no problems at all. plus with all the travelling i do, not being originally from ohio, i cant afford to pay extra for leaving the state.

    CharlieSpencer
    CharlieSpencer

    Why not keep the one you have? It's not going to become automatically incompatible with your provider's network when the contract expires. Just renew the contract.

    Jaqui
    Jaqui

    just in case ;) I agree with you. my dime don't go towards something I have no use for.

    smclean9
    smclean9

    I'm also running out of memory with all the apps I use on it. I have to pull the battery every couple of days to get the performance up to par.

    CharlieSpencer
    CharlieSpencer

    Based on the voting (okay, maybe this feature can be useful), it appears there are still plenty of people who don't care what brand when someone else is paying.

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