Smartphones

Poll: Will BlackBerry 6 catch up to iPhone and Android?

On August 3, RIM is expected to unveil BlackBerry OS 6.0 and its next generation of smartphone hardware. Can it still counter iPhone and Android? Take our poll.

On August 3, RIM is expected to unveil BlackBerry OS 6.0 (right) and its next generation of smartphone hardware. With all of the momentum in the smartphone race lining up behind iPhone and Android, is there still room for BlackBerry to make a late move? That's what we'd like to ask the TechRepublic audience in today's poll.

BlackBerry is still the smartphone market leader in the U.S. and most enterprises are still dedicated to BlackBerry -- although iPhone is starting to break through in a few big companies. However, when it comes to individual business professionals buying their own smartphones -- which is the larger trend -- BlackBerry is losing to Android and iPhone.

Anecdotally, I know a lot of BlackBerry users who have been dumping their phones in 2010 and trading them in for either an iPhone or an Android device. Interestingly, the ones who use their phones almost exclusively for business and phone calls seem to be gravitating toward Android, while those who want to use their phones for both business and personal activities (listening to audiobooks and music, and reading ebooks, for example) seem to be buying iPhones.

So that brings us back to the question at hand. No matter what BlackBerry releases on August 3, is there still room in the smartphone market for BlackBerry to catch up and compete with iPhone and Android? Answer that question in the poll below. Then jump in the discussion to talk about what BlackBerry could do to leapfrog the other smartphones, and if it can attract developers to write the kinds of apps that are propelling both iPhone and Android forward.

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.

21 comments
drew
drew

Set the phone upright on a desk in landscape orientation using a retractable arm ala HTC Thuderbolt or Evo so user can see input without holding it. A laser mounted on top edge projects a virtual keyboard onto desk surface. A motion sensor mounted near the projector reads finger gestures as the user "types" on the desk surface.

jfuller05
jfuller05

However, I do think that OS 6 will gain some ground for RIM. It will most likely bring in new users and will definitely make Blackberry users happy. If RIM wants to be a leader in the consumer field, the physical part of the Blackberry will have to change. I like the candybar model of my Blackberry Curve, but I'm not everybody else. :0

jameskchau
jameskchau

Not a chance. Rim OS started as a hodgepodge control program for pagers, iOS is a BSD Unix pure bred descendant, and Android is a Linux descendant. Rim OS can't hold candle to either.

coolmark82
coolmark82

I have an iPhone 4 and I put a rubber thing that Apple released to temporarily fix the antenna problem. I have used the Blackberry before, and it is okay, but not nearly as good as the iPhone or droid. I like the iPhone generally because there are more apps out there for it, and because it had an iPod built into it. The android is also good because of it's ever expanding apps and technology. I'm more of a touchscreen person, So i prefer the iPhone over anything. As far as anyone should be concerned, I do truly believe the iPhone should only be targeted for consumers while the blackberry ay businesses. As for the droid, consumers as well.

ehuels
ehuels

I have the Sprint EVO and love it. It support ActiveSync so I can synch easily with my Exchange Server and have the ability as an IT admin to do remote wipe. We have a number of iPhone users which also support ActiveSync for Exchange. As a small IT shop we don't have apps that we are trying to push or control on the phone. We have a few Blackberry's, but without a BES server I don't see the benefit. Little screens and little keyboards are harder to use than the touchscreens. I also don't like the idea of having to manage another application (BES Xpress) with my limited IT resources. Not forcing users into a standard company device fits with our culture. And yes, people do want to do more with their phone than communicate. My preference is the Android, once ActiveSynch to Exchange is a standard app. More device options, more carrier options, better performance and I don't have to connect it to my computer (iTunes).

OhDee1
OhDee1

I'm just not warming up to the touch phones. Lots, lots o' apps, but the phones are a pain for me. I love the trackball and keyboard on my bb. What do I use? text-speech-text apps like search, dial, text. GPS like crazy, messaging apps, email, clock stuff, notes, tasks, lots of camera, music, etc. Friend just got Vibrant. Very rich environment, but the phone is sensitive, hard to scroll, keyboard sensitive. Display is incredible and processor is no kidding killer. However, i don't need hundreds of apps. I'm a rim guy for physics as well ad functions.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

I've had my Bold 9700 for 3 months nowrched an iPhone. Probably never will. side foe current ss [antenna, Blutooth, ...] I've seen other issues about the iPhone I don't like. Can't change the battery. So you are forced [right word] to get the next generation iPhone if you like it. The white iPhone 4 has been delayed. Why? Micro cracks are visible on the case. The same issue they had with previous models. Everything the iPhone uses requires iTunes. A really bulky and buggy piece of software. I can't comment on an Android - although at least the OS is "open". Blackberry OS 5 does have some minor faults of its own. Need to get a proper "control panel" as things are all over the place. Decided to use Opera Mini over the built in browser but can't seem to find out where to change the default web browser. Where I thought I could didn't list opera. Of course OS 5 lacks a decent web browser. Regarding BES and BES-X, I think it is up to the company to standardize on what smartphones will be used by the business. Having to support too many smartphone OSs/makes gets a bit rediculous. Last I heard, the iPhone is still not ready for the enterprise. Personally, I don't care if there are 200,000 iPhone apps and 50,000 Droid apps. If 75% of theme are useless or barely work, they would be worth nothing to me. What I added to my Bold 9700? Yellow Pages and a language translator. Both free. Both use text/SMS messaging as I don't have a data plan. And they work nicely.

leeburt
leeburt

Hoping so. Loyal RIM long time BB user, and have been waiting for new RIM entry. Prefer it to be a Verizon offering.

CharlesMllr
CharlesMllr

Probably not, in these days of tightening belts. Having to purchase a server beyond Exchange server for providing mobile access does not make sense. We use WinMo, iPhone and Android devices in our environment all connecting to a lone Exchange server. We used RIM in the past and they were decent, but the extra overhead just isn't worth it.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

Not only do you have another server to deal with, but to upgrade that server is a huge pain. Blackberry needs to think about how they function in the enterprise and where they want to go. WinMo still sucks, BB is ok, but stuck in the stone age, but you have iPhones and Androids that do a ton of functions that road warriors need and want....So what am I going to pick?

it_junkie
it_junkie

I agree that needing a server for mobile device access to corporate e-mail is a burden, however, with the release of BES Xpress this is no longer an major issue. You can install BESx right on the exchange server supporting up to 75 mobile devices, after that it requires it's on server but if you have any sort of virtualization in place, it's easy to fire up a small VM to look after this task. The other benefit of BESx is that you do not need a BES plan with your carrier. The Blackberry is still superior on many fronts in comparison to the iPhone and Android: - superior e-mail client - superior contact management - superior calendaring - superior battery life I could add a few more items to the list but from a a business/enterprise perspective, these are the things I care about. To note, I am a current iPhone user but will switch back to Blackberry once OS 6 is released. I've had a iPhone for a year now and have never experienced this much frustration with a mobile device, simply put, I miss my Blackberry.

CGSJohnson
CGSJohnson

Doesn't BB offer an Express server now? I thought that I read somewhere that you can kind of daisychain several of the Express versions together to accommodate larger business. Of course, some of the features are not present, as with the Enterprise edition.

CharlesMllr
CharlesMllr

I believe they do. But we have migrated all but one of our users from Blackberry to WinMo and iPhones. And that user will be migrated as soon as his contract expires with Verizon. Too little too late on RIMs part.

doug.montgomery
doug.montgomery

I have always prefered a physical keyboard, and would give up screen size to get the physical keys. Swype changed all that. I can have a big screen, and type fast. The compromise I make now is having to endure the lack of maturity of the android os.

JonGauntt
JonGauntt

I think the only way RIM can regain lost ground is to reverse the trend that so many Enterprises have gone to. When employees buy the phone instead of the company, Blackberry loses. There has to be so much gain for the Enterprise environment that they are willing to buy phones for their employees again. At one time Blackberries were the only ones that could do many of the functions that were needed in a smart phone. Those days are gone, so RIM needs to incentivize the Enterprise to the level of taking back control of the devices.

saqfrd
saqfrd

What could BlackBerry do to leapfrog iPhone and Android?

saqfrd
saqfrd

blackberry to other devices strange. My experience both in corporate and the general population is that blackberries are becoming more popular. The QWERTY on bb's helps people to connect using type quicker and deeper. Morel options are available in blackberry just like Text-speech-text apps like search, dial, text. GPS like, messaging apps, email, clock stuff, notes, tasks, lots of camera, music, etc.

dharminderm
dharminderm

I find the news of ppl moving from blackberrys to other devices strange. My experience both in corporates and the general population is that blackberrys are becoming more popular. The qwerty on bb's helps people to connect using type quicker and deeper. When the novelty of apps is gotten past people still use phones mainly for communicating, voice and text. For example I know loads of teens dropping their iphones for bb's because of bbmessenger (something taken up by bb in their latest ads). If u want to read ebooks etc a larger form factor is needed than a smartphone to be a used seriously. Its a question of how u define markets, in the pure touch arena android and iphone are ahead, but in the physical key stakes bb leads.

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