Smartphones

Video: See why Verizon's new BlackBerry is stirring up a Storm

The BlackBerry Storm has been one of the most widely anticipated IT products of 2008. In this special episode of Sanity Savers for IT Executives, get a look at the hits and misses of the Storm and see how well it stacks up against the iPhone as a business device.

Research in Motion's BlackBerry Storm has been one of the most widely anticipated IT products of 2008. In this special episode of Sanity Savers for IT Executives, get a look at the hits and misses of the Storm and see how well it stacks up against the iPhone as a business device.

If you prefer text to video, you can go to the video player page for this episode and click "Full Transcipt."

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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).

39 comments
dbecker
dbecker

Hey there boys, Looking at At&T and Verizon ploys, You sure do love your technotoys. It's the tool it's all about, Usefulness is #1 without a doubt, In spite of hype the vendors spout. As for me, I don't need a screen with a view, Emergency calls and at that only a few, A $9.95 paid up TrakFone will do. Boomers seem to have the gift of gab, Considering restrictions on talking really drab, Productivity cut in favor of flab. In this economy, here's where it's at: Unnecessary technotoys are old hat, It's time to get busy and cut the fat. Expenses for such things are quite absurd, When into profligate spending businesses are lured, Time to turn away from the useless lemming herd, Instead of constant validation just to be heard.

.Martin.
.Martin.

no Wifi is a bit disappointing though...

luvwknd
luvwknd

Unless you're a dedicated Mac fan, there would be no reason to utilze an iPhone or iPod when there are better products available to coincide with your computing needs. In addition, why in hell would anybody want to be locked into a service agreement with a second-rate wireless carrier like ATT when a much better and more reliable network like Verizon is available? Regards to deaton (sarcastic SOB) and to larry who was more subtle, thanks gentlemen!

efripp
efripp

The lack of wi-fi is NOT a disadvantage on this device because you don't pay per mb with Verizon smartphone plans. It's unlimited. If you think wi-fi will be faster ON THE PHONE, think again. For some reason pages and streaming media load faster from EVDO than wi-fi on my SCH-i760. I regularly us Skype and Sirius from the road. No problems. Maybe a few second re- buffer when changing towers.

cmsprague
cmsprague

Not a chance I would go with AT&T as a carrier - The storm provides an alternative to the iPhone through my current carrier. Even though I really like the iPhone AT&T has crap coverage in my area.

josephhand
josephhand

It's from Verizon! Verizon has an agenda. It keeps showing itself in almost every new offering they bring to market. First off, you have the lovely lack of WiFi. In a smart phone??? in the year 2008! Why? Because if there was built in WiFi, they would not be able to bill you for access. Very simple. Not everyone take the unlimited plans. Then there's the proprietary USB connector. Was the old one not working effectively? This shows how much influence they have over design. If you use the standard USB, you are cutting a whole profit center out of the loop on after market add-ons like power adapters for the home and car, cables, cradles, and other stuff. Tethered modem access? Sure. Call them and ask how much to use that feature. You'd think you could just plug it in and work it. Not with Verizon. You have to pay to enable that as a service and it is wildly expensive. Even though you pay for unlimited internet access from the phone, that will not count. Separate feature... This is one of my favorite examples of Verizon's proprietary mentality. Not sure if any of you had a want or need to load MP3s on your old Motorola Razrs from Verizon, but if you had one, loaded up Motorola Phone Tools, you would see the Media section of that app is unavailable. On any other carrier's version of the wildly popular phone, it would work. Here's the catch... if you could load an MP3 that YOU own onto your phone, they would not be able to make you shop online for their service offering's version of that song. Pitiful. So... Storm or iPhone? As soon as my contract is up, I'll be headed to the Apple Store.

baskursten
baskursten

Why only match it up against an iphone. If i look at the new HTC touch phones and the Sony Ericsson X1 they are huge competitors aswel. Maybe even better then the storm.

charles.homsy
charles.homsy

If it were any other carrier than Verizon I might think of buying one. For now I'll stick to my T-Mobile Shadow.

JohnOfStony
JohnOfStony

Why bother with a bandwidth-hogging video when the transcript and a few photos (which could be examined in detail at leisure) would do a better job? I read the transcript which was good; it's the delivery method which I find questionable.

LarryD4
LarryD4

Amazing words of wisdom.

icecreman
icecreman

Boy, I was really on the fence about whether to purchase a Storm or an iPhone until I came to your genius reply. With your in depth review of Apple products my decision has been made. Tell me, do you think Blackberry will make one with really cool graphics like a picture of Spongebob on the back? You'd look really cool breaking that puppy out at recess.

LarryD4
LarryD4

My WiFi connection on my 8125 is much much faster then the 3G connection. I even played Quake muitplayer on my wifi connection, with the pocket pc build of quake. The 3G connection couldn't handle it at all..

markinct
markinct

Think of it as a first aid kit: Better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it. There are lots of structures/buildings where wireless coverage is poor to non existant. If I'm a CFO paying for my management team to have BBs on them 24x7, I want the devices networked 24x7.

dcavanaugh
dcavanaugh

Even if it had Wifi, battery life would be awful. In those areas where you truly can't get Verizon coverage, you are unlikely to get Wifi anyway. One exception would be using it around the house if you live in a dead zone. Leaving it out probably saves RIM a few million on stupid tech support calls from users who can't authenticate 802.1x properly on their corporate LANs.

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

Verizon would just disable it. A year ago, I bought a Wifi phone with a Verizon plan. The assistant insisted it was Wifi .. I checked online to verify .. yes it has Wifi capabilities. When I tried to use Wifi, I discovered that it had been physically disabled. I checked online to discover that this is normal practice for Verizon .. even though their products may have Wifi built in, Verizon does not sell Wifi capable products. Les.

jketterer
jketterer

First of all, I agree that wifi would be handy in a phone like this and that it's lack of inclusion is dissapointing. However, the 3g iPhone uses a proprietary cable as well. Just try pluging your old iPod charger into it and see if your battery starts charging. Lastly, I pay 15 bucks a month for modem tethering on Verizon. I don't have a contract for this service, so I can call and have it turned on when I need it, and then call and have it turned off when I don't. I do agree that this should be a free service, but I also have heard that AT&T charges for this service too. So... what I wanna know is... Why are you picking on Verizon?

pchri1
pchri1

1. Apple has an agenda too. Why is it OK for them and not Verizon to have an agenda? 2. The iPhone is the most proprietary telephone ever made. 3. ATT charges you extra for tethering as well. 4. This is not an issue on the Storm. Ever heard of I-Tunes? While I don't disagree that Verizon is trying to push their brand a little too hard (like most companies out there trying to make a buck), why do you give Apple a free pass?

LarryD4
LarryD4

Happen to have a discussion about the Storm on my way in to the AC/DC concert. A buddy of mine is a VW Exec. He's always trying to get me to come from AT&T to VW. I use a Win Mobile Device that can do it all. I can Remote Desktop to my servers, It has built in WiFi and more storage than the Storm. Scuttle butt was, they didn't give the Storm WiFi because they wanted their customers to use their internet access.

markinct
markinct

The lack of wi-fi, and Verizon's business model in general, pushed me over to the T-Mo G1. I was going to wait for the Storm, but once I got wind of the lack of wi-fi, together with Verizon's business model made me decide to leave Big Red after many years. I activated my G1 Tuesday evening... and so far I love it. Just a few more days and I can port my number and write my last check to Verizon. Once the android framework has a couple of years under it's belt, don't be surprised if it gives RIM a run for its money in the SMB market.

techie.brandon
techie.brandon

I've been considering a new phone for the last year but haven't seen a phone worth buying. My current phone is the HTC Mogul which for the most part I am very happy with. The reason for my wanting to change is solely based on the size/weight of the phone. I love all the functions that I have with this phone, wifi, bluetooth file transfer, tethering ability (haven't tried it but I've read a few articles on howto), ability to run java me apps along side the ability to download any app and generally follow some instructions to get it running. Some other drawbacks are that I'm on Windows which is a bit bloated and my phones life is roughly 4 hours with mild to medium use (car charger is a must). The on screen keyboard is a bit small to be useful but the hardware keyboard that slides out is great. It is a bit more mass than the iPhone or the Storm but after reading the reviews on both I am glad to have it. Sprint isn't the best service provider but I am not locked into anything and pay about $100 a month for unlimited everything. Once I get some free time I plan on getting myself a android to play with and I am in hopes of getting off the service providers hardware (we should all be moving this direction!). I agree with another post stating that we should not be building our enterprise infastructure on features of proprietary phones, phones should be enabled to configure to the enterprises needs, the technology is avaliable...just not enough motivation...

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

We have a lot of user who prefer video, and plenty who still like text. That's why we provide both. This is mostly an issue of different people having different learning styles and different ways that they best absorb information. We provide far more text content than video content, but we offer some of our best stuff in both formats in order to appeal to the widest possible audience.

dpagel
dpagel

I've been with Verizon for over eight years and I still feel like I have to watch my every move with them. In oder to use the Storm I would have to move to the Nationwide Network which is just another term for charging me more for what I already have...then I'd also have to buy a Data plan. Currrently I have Web 2.0 on my current phone and I know the Storms interface would be better...but $75-100 more a month better? Verizon has done a horrible job promoting this phone...and in this economy this might be kind of a hard sell.

fjdumagat
fjdumagat

This phone is gonna be the coolest phone if this is given to me for free...cheers!

verrice
verrice

I will stick to the hardware keyboard route for serious devices. I have an iTouch, and a Curve... the Curve is MUCH easier to type on. That alone has sold me on avoiding the iPhone as any sort of serious competition to the BlackBerry corporate market. Now that BlackBerry has made the mistake, IMO, of trying to compete with the consumer market, I just hope their corporate offerings won't suffer.

gen
gen

Well, I love my Blackberry, but now that we do Apple Apps for iPhone etc, I have an iPhone. I've had it for months now, and still don't like it. It feels like a toy, not a work tool... Great to keep the kids occupied with video in the car though, but even my Blackberry Pearl did that.

devesh
devesh

After using a Curve, I would prefer a combination of both as in the Treo. I am disappointed that the Storm did not push the limit. I refuse to believe that RIM lacks the creativity of Apple. I also do not understand North American manufacturers' penchant for locking their phones to a particular carrier. While North America is a big market, the rest of the world is far bigger, and Apple, Palm, and RIM, only hurt themselves by delaying introduction, giving Nokia, Sony, HTC, and Samsung a free hand to catch up. All said and done, ultimately, all smart phones make a user compromise somewhere. I guess all smart phone manufacturers can add a tag line .... "No smarter than the other guy" :)

alexisgarcia72
alexisgarcia72

I agree. EVDO transfer rates are not constant... I see transfers from 20 to 100 kbps but now you can have a high speed dsl 4mb for example at very cheap prices everywhere...

alexisgarcia72
alexisgarcia72

Is really important to have Wi-Fi because if you travel for example out of the country and you are in Europe for example you can avoid roaming service using the local wifi connection. Blackberry Enteprise server allow to transfer emails via internet instead of using GPRS; EVDO, EDGE networks, this can save about 300usd a month for roadwarriors.

josephhand
josephhand

because they are the ones with the storm, which is what started this discussion... as well as the carrier I am currently bound to. They all suck! There... happy? ;-) j

josephhand
josephhand

I have to admit, I do not have an iPhone, nor have i ever used one... so I can not give them a free pass. My guess is you are 100% correct. That said, I have used other carriers and some offer better services (outside of the actual service). Most do not nickle and dime you to death like the boys over at Verizon. iPhone may not be the end all be all of phones. My guess is no phone or carrier will ever be perfect. My complaint is more against the practice of forcing users to need the extras. All vendors in this space should come up with a service plan that you can get all features a phone has to offer so the differentiator is the device, not the service. That way, they will win business based on quality of the service itself and the features the device offers. sorry... just down on Verizon these days... :-( joe

greg.hruby
greg.hruby

every user is different. the underlying connectivity and data passing are what matters in a business environment. Manfucturers need to decouple from service providers andlet you pair the input form (button/touch) with the connectivity engines (phone system,blue-tooth, ir, wifi,etc) that you need. the whole - "build your business communication" model around what the phone can do is ridiculous. the tool should customize to your needs, not the other way around.

alexisgarcia72
alexisgarcia72

Even with an unlimited plan, if you have a Verizon BB and you travel to other countries you will be charged for roaming. I see NY users comming to Mexico and charged latter for 500USD a week for data because roaming data is not cheap at all. WIFI save this feature, but cell companies don't want that!!!

jimdr
jimdr

Tom, thanks for mentioning earlier that your wife works for Verizon. I think the point being made is that Vodafone is very expensive overseas on a per-minute basis, wifi access would save that. I was going to use my Verizon phone in New Zealand, found out that Verizon prevents you from using anyone else's SIM cards, costs about $1 a minute incoming and outgoing!. If that's not true, please correct me.

tom.x.spencer
tom.x.spencer

With the Storm being a global blackberry/phone and with verizons partnerships and the vodaphone connection wi-fi is still not important when you are over seas. So nice try.

pchri1
pchri1

I can agree with you on those points. I switched from T-Mobile to ATT because of coverage issues in my area and I can tell you T-Mobile offered the better plans for the buck. We are currently evaluating the Storm for our workplace and Verizon will nickel and dime us as much as ATT. Currently Sprint is giving us the best deal by far here at work. Petros

verrice
verrice

While I agree, that's a great model for "should", reality doesn't present us with such flexible options. Mobile phones are getting closer to a modular design, but there is still growth in that area to be done. As for building your business communication model around what a phone can do... that seems a bit broad of a term. A business communication model goes far beyond mobile phones; they are but one piece. I'm not sure, however, where you got this out of my response... My note is on the concern that RIM is seeing the success of the iPhone in a more consumer mode, and is going to head that route. Focusing on what is important to consumers very often leaves corporate usage with a bad taste in its mouth as it now has to deal with 'features' that are counter-productive, or sometimes flat out against existing policies. iPhones are media devices, not corporate communications mechanisms; not the model to pattern yourself after if you're the top of the mobile corporate communcations food-chain IMO.

tom.x.spencer
tom.x.spencer

Ok I have had the pleasure of playing with one of these for a week. My wife works for Verizon. This new blackberry is really cool. I thought not having a real keyboard would be issues since I suffer from fat finger disease when typing. I was pleasantly surprised that I had very little mistypes. No more than normal. The one thing that it will certainly help me with is it is too hard to try and type one handed so I do not think I will be doing my texting while driving anymore. I like the response much better than the Iphone. The camera is good. Overall most IT folk and corporations will adopt this over the Iphone.

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