BlackBerrius Maximus - part II - The Airport

By Gary Mazo on 1 Sep 2008 09:57 am EDT

BlackBerry Maximus - part two - The Airport

So, another summer has come to a close here is the good ‘ol US of A. Kids are back at school and it is time to get ready for Fall. My kids were jet setters this summer - flying here and there to visit family and friends. One thing I discovered (since I don't do a lot of business travel) is that the airport is a great place for BlackBerry watching. I think that my informal calculations were that almost 7 out of 10 business travelers were carrying BlackBerrys. There were a number of iPhone travelers as well - one in particular may have gone home and cried to his mamma after sitting next to me...

I was just sitting there, minding my own business; checking email, surfing the web, playing games on my BlackBerry. I saw the guy next to me take out his sleek iPhone. He swiped his finger across the bottom to "unlock" it. He held it in his left hand and only used his right index finger to push the "so called buttons" and type. The old hunt and peck method - maybe 3 or 4 words a minute the way he was going.

I saw him check for email, type and send - he saw me watching him....and then he made the fatal mistake. "Ever see one of these before?" He asked. "Yup," I said - hiding my glee cuz I knew this boy was going to be sent home crying in just a few minutes. "I have an iPod touch" I said "...and I really like it." Then I just couldn't hold back: "You know, the iPhone is very cool and very slick - but it just doesn't measure up to what my BlackBerry can do" I said. After all, he did start this, right?

He looked at me incredulously with that "what the heck are you smoking?" kind of look on his face. He tried to be polite, but then he stuck his touch screen right in his mouth as he said: "I think this is the most sophisticated, capable Smartphone on the planet."

Not letting on that I play with these things for a living I took the bait in a controlled manner. "So, when you get an email" I asked him, "how do you know that you have a new message?" He first turned on his iPhone, swiped the unlock button, swiped the screen to get his mail icon and then showed me the little number 2 showing that he had two messages. He then tapped the icon and then opened the message.

"Cool," I said, just waiting for the question to be asked....and he did. "So, how is that different on the BlackBerry" he asked? "Well," I said, "See that little red light blinking?" He looked at the outward, visible message indicator and said: "Yes..." "Well, when I get a new message pushed to my BlackBerry I know right away because this light starts to blink. If I don't see a red light, then I don't have to check and see if I have a message." I then showed him how I just look right under the "messages" line in my today screen and I can see right away who the message is from and decide if I need to open it. "Wow" he said, "That is certainly a little more convenient than what I have to do to check for email." I had him in the palm of my hand. This was too easy, but I was having too much fun.

I continued in my methodical dismantling of this poor soul and his soon to be maligned possession. "So, how long do you get on a battery charge?" I asked. "If I check email a lot and play games and listen to music...about half a day, maybe more he said." "You?" He asked nervously. "Well, if I do all those things I will plug it in at night, just to be safe...but I can usually get a day and a half or two days." "Wow, he said."

Then it started. He began to sweat. I could see him plotting....."You can't do this, though" as he showed me the "coverflow" option of seeing the album covers on the iPod and swiping through the album collection with his finger. "Cool" I said calmly. Then, I opened up the FlipSide MP3 player and scrolled through my albums with my trackball. "I didn't know a BlackBerry could do that?" He said. "Yup," I said calmly. I then fired up the movie Dodgeball so he could see how nice a video looked on the BlackBerry. Now I will say that the media functions on the iPod are far superior to the BlackBerry and more fun to use - and I did tell him that. I knew I wasn't going to win the media battle - but I could educate this guy as to how capable the BlackBerry really way.

Then, I launched into my full attack. "Say, when you need a new battery, what do you do?" I asked - already knowing the answer. "Well, that part kind of stinks" he said, explaining how he doesn't know how he will live without his phone as he sends it away for a few days for a battery change. I slowly popped off my battery cover door and showed him how I could change the battery myself - even carry a spare for longer life. He was getting envious.

Then, I started asking the questions: "So, can you adjust the flash on your camera?" I asked. "Well, there is no flash," he said. "Oh. That's too bad. Say, how do picture messages come through?" "Well, the iPhone doesn't support MMS...not yet." "Oh" I responded. I then picked up my BlackBerry to call my wife with Voice command - just to show off. I just had to look at him. "No, we can't do that yet" he said. "Geez, my old Razr could do that" I said. "Can you open a PowerPoint on your iPhone?" "How about searching for a contact without having to scroll to a letter of the alphabet?" "Can you make another iPhone user's vibrate with an instantaneous "Ping" like I can with BlackBerry Messenger?" "How fast can you type?" I asked, touting the "real" keyboard as an advantage.

Lastly, I threw in swappable memory, I showed him YouTube on my 4.5 OS BlackBerry and showed him the thousands of third party applications, Push weather and the ability to edit Microsoft Office Documents using the new Documents to Go program in OS 4.5.

He looked at his iPhone, then he looked back at me and then back to his iPhone. His pride and joy was somehow diminished just a bit. "Don't feel bad" I said. "You are in really good company. 10 Million people made the same mistake as you!" My opponent was speechless. There was nothing left to say, nothing left to do. This round was a clear knockout. BlackBerrius Maximus still least it did that the airport.

Topics: Editorial

Reader comments

BlackBerrius Maximus - part II - The Airport


LOL, Too funny I wish I was there to see :( I would have recorded the whole thing on my new Curve. While cracking up.

Gary, your way of writing is just incredible! What a funny story put into the right words!
It's sooo true! First the iPhone user thinks his phone is better... but after a while the whole thing turns around!

Well written man, keep it up!

Nice writing and agree with your points. I caryr both a BB and an iPhone. You are correct however the iPhone's media capabilities are increadible. Curious. Which BB model were you using?

I love hearing about this kind of stuff, it brings a smile to my face every time. I can just picture you layin it down to this guy in the airport. I hate how iphone users think they are so much better.

Rock on.


i have an ipod touch, only reason i have it is for the media, cause everything else sucks. i would hate to have an iphone.

and then he made the fatal mistake. "Ever see one of these before?"

That was hilarious. But will touchscreen keyboards ever rule? I can't even come to imagine a dreadful bit, if I was typing this comment on a "touchscreen keyboard" on my laptop. There's just no WAY.

Story of the morning, hands down. I also was at a wedding last night, and this guy sitting next to me pulled out his iphone and was showing me what it was capable of. He showed me the screen and was like best in the phone industry. I smiled, nodded and pulled out the bold and showed him a clip of Speed Racer. Silence along with 'omg what phone is this'?. I think the part where his heart sunk the most was when his 1 year old son decided to rip the dance floor and was the main attraction. And he really wished he had a video camera.

After that night. I got 3 people wanting a Bold from me now

I seen to go thru this same convo/battle with iphone users on almost a daily basis..
Good Job on putting another iPHONY user in their place..

I am a frequent business traveller and I have to say that I find the level of blackberry useage on european flights to be at least the 7/10 that you saw, if not more unbalanced in favour of blackberries when you are catching the early flights that business people tend to favour.

When I do see the rare person that is using some other smartphone, I do tend to wonder what they did wrong at work that they weren't allowed to have a blackberry.

Great story!
I have to go thru this scenario everytime a iPhone user, whose chest is puffed up, only to "educate" him on how a Blackberry has superior productivity and dismiss him with his tail between his legs!!!

Very Nice compilation of all the things the blackberrys do that the iphones just can't do. But as a salesman who despises the iphone the thing that really locks people in on the blackberry is when I point out that the iphone the device that is supposedly the "best" media phone in the world can't use bluetooth headphones. I tell people that when I go work out I set my curve down on my treadmill or next to the weight bench and don't have to worry about wires getting in my way. And if somebody calls I just answer it right there with my S9 headset and never even have to pick up my curve. That finishes my sale and their desire for the (I)nferior phone.

My company is approving the iphone for business use and people are lining up around the block. I always ask them well really, why do you want it? The most common response is its cool. So much for functionality.

Nice story

That guy should have punched you in the head, no need to be a prick about things.

Most of the stuff you showed him was from an OS that did has not really seen the light of day yet. Since there is not any 4.5 or 4.6 from Rogers or Tmoblie yet, you should have bragged how your phone:

-can't shoot video
-useless without BIS/BES (Good luck with push e-mail abroad)
-has 64mb storage that can be used for application (what is this 1998?)
-the wifi is useless unless you have a data plan
-you have hunt around the internet for apps
-trackball is on the verge of failing
-media program is useless
-BB browers belongs in 1998 (with the 64mb of storage)
-the curve keypad is of the quality of a low priced universal TV remote control
-bluetooth send/receive is brutal. I use to use my old school nokia as a bluetooth harddrive to transport my files to and from work, can't do that with the curve.

I own a 8320 curve and it suits my needs ok, but it has countless short coming. You really have judge things as they are. The iphone has some serious short falls too.

It seems to me you are hating on the iphone to justify to yourself why you bought a blackberry.

need to justify buying a blackberry, I have had my bb for a while and work with them every day. I haven't had any returned for trackball or keyboard issues. Am I saying they don't exist no, I just happen to not see any in my store. The browser is bing updated along with video capabilities, have you ever heard of an sd card, I don't really have to hunt for any applications for my device. The media program works just fine for me and bluetooth isn't that bad must be user error. I've transfered files and much more via bluetooth.

Maybe you just need to go and buy the iphone... if you think of the blackberry in such a negative light.

that was too funny, even though i own a iphone too. i'm waiting for the Bold to come out for ATT so i can get rid of this crappy iphone.

Sorry to double post, but I'm willing to bet money that you don't own an iPhone.

I've never met anyone who genuinely thinks their iPhone is "crappy". Sure, it has some missing features and the current software can be a bit buggy, but it is NOT "crappy".

I have, on the other hand, met quite a few people who have pretended to have iPhones.

But I wouldn't be shocked to hear someone else use that word to described the iphone. I was sitting at a bar at LAX and I noticed the gentleman next to me shuffling three phones around, one of which was an iphone. Noticing the busted screen, I commented on it.

His response? "I'm glad I busted this f-ing thing, it's a piece of crap!"

The other two phones? Blackberries.

oh, btw, there is an iphone sitting on my desk right now which hasn't been used or powered on in weeks. The lack of any actual improvements in v2.0, plus the "crappy" App store prompted me to return to my Pearl. Good riddance.

Sorry to double post, but I'm willing to bet money that you don't own an iPhone.

If you did you wouldn't be calling it "crappy". I have never met someone who genuinely thought that their iPhone was "crappy". Sure, it has some missing features, and the current software can be buggy, but it's definitely not "crappy".

Nothin else to say, but Gary you should've played "Take a Bow" before you departed from the young man lmbo.

So funny that I have tears in rolling down my cheeks. Thankfully they are tears of joy, as I have a blackberry.

I was a crackberry addict, up until rogers threw out a 400 bold on 3 years, guess i wasn't a true addict. But when i was, i recall a real prick touting how great the iphone was in comparison to bold. I think my social experience, and calm order prevented me from calling him a techno dick er prick, and POLITELY, out of looking like two techno dicks, acknowledged the superiority of his multi-touch phone. in the end, each to their own. And i think you're weird now kevin. no offense.

true. my appologies kevin. You write a lot, and i assumed it was you. good point. to whoever wrote it, all the same. no offence.

So he was proud of his iPhone, and you're proud of your Blackberry. He didn't insult you, and you still piss in his face? Because what, his chunk of plastic and silicon isn't the same as yours?

Crackberry, please ditch this writer.

@TimmyD: +1

One thing that does annoy me is all the people buying iPhones just because they're "cool" and "trendy", and not because of what they do.

Hell, it's proven right here in this post and many of the comments. A lot of iPhone owners clearly did very little research before buying one, or else they would have knows full well about the BlackBerry and it's features, as well as the multiple other smartphones out there. It's ignorance that bugs me with this kind of stuff.

I'm an iPhone owner. had the first one, own the second one, but I really do know about the other options there are, and the Bold is a great looking phone, just not quite for me.

I'll admit that I probably won't ever switch to BlackBerry, but I'm still interested in it, as well as a multitude of others, like HTC, WinMo, Android, Symbian, etc.

And I'm really looking forward to the Storm. I really want to see what RIM does with it.

thats a really funny story. i laughed so hard. lol
but i have a curve and i honesly feel the iphone is an overall better device. of cousre there are things the iphone lacks but the things that the iphone does do is so incredible that it makes up for the things it dont do. you almost forget what te iphone cant do. but i will say the blackberry bold is dope! nothing can touch the bold. im selling my iphone as soon as the bold comes out cus i wont need the iphone once i get the bold. sorry apple......but the bold will kill the iphone!

Since I have owned BlackBerrys since the early days and currently own both an 8310 and an 8700 along with a 3G iPhone I think I can give a more balanced view.

The blackberry has a few advantages in email but also many disadvantages such as true HTML email where the iPhone just creams the BB. In the web browser department it isn't even a close contest and even the Bold can't compete. I gave up using the web browser on the BBs a long time ago as it was just too frustrating waiting forever for a page to render that was unreadable and unusable when it finally did render. As for the photo capabilities of either phone, I would just as soon they did away with the FEATURE as it makes it such that I can't take it into work with me.

I find that I prefer email on the iPhone and I prefer web browsing on the iPhone. Games are generally much better too though I don't buy a phone to play games. The same is true for music but again I use it for business more than for pleasure. There is no comparison in the screen between the iPhone and the BB with the iPhone winning hands down.

The BB wins in battery life, a replaceable battery, and signal reception but the sound quality is much worse on the BB. The BB picks up so much background noise that in busy locations like an airport people have to ask you to repeat yourself constantly.

The Bluetooth implementation on the BB is better but not by much. WiFi on the iPhone is better.

The BB keyboard is better than the touch keyboard though I am quickly learning to use it like a BB with two thumbs and can get surprising speed. In landscape mode it is nearly as good but landscape is only supported on Safari.

Form factor and hand feel goes to the iPhone and the UI is just unbeatable (an Apple forte.)

Applications on the iPhone far exceed what is available on the BB and they are mostly very reasonable and easy to install.

The BB beats the iPhone in voice dialing and the iPhone seriously needs this. Cut and Paste if it becomes available should beat the BBs as it is anything but user friendly.

GPS is better on the iPhnoe but it still lacks the turn by turn navigation capability. I hope that when the iPhone offers it it will download maps so that it does not need connectivity to navigate. With the BB that is a major shortcoming rendering it unusable in any major city where you need it. As good as TeleNav could be it just flat fails you when you need it and due to buildings you lose connection with their server. Suddenly you are left with no map and no idea what to do next.

That's a quick summary and even with the iPhone's short comings I think it beats the BBs.

That is awesome. I like your style of writing. I love picking apart peoples phones. Especially Iphones. Nice job


but can you pinch and zoom????

HA!!! unlucky!

Seriously though for most non business users the functionality and media capabilities of the iphone make it a compelling choice. For me the best thing about the iphone is the internet, which I can access 24/7 pretty much anywhere with no problems. However I'm sure others would prefer the brilliant way the BB handles email (bear in mind I send maybe 2 emails a week).

No point arguing though, this is a BB forum after all :P

I tend to make iPhone users feel like they need to make an immediate switch to BB after I compare my BB with their iPhone.

This article was just too funny...

But I have been noticing for the last 4 or 5 years that Atlanta airport is not only busy for flights, but also busy for thumb use, mainly BB users...

I just read this story and was laughing my @$$ off. I definitely wished I was there to see that iPhone dummy get knocked out. Great job and keep em coming.

Well done!!

Nothing better than reminding those who " think " the stand on the top rung of the ladder that they still have a few steps to go ;)

I had a very similar experience, my iphone fanboy friend was goofing around with his silly applications and spouting off all the pointless novel apps he had when i'd had enough so i decided to settle the score with two big fat points. first i challenged him to a text off. the challenge: txt the messege "i can text you faster" before the opposing smartphone fanboy, i own a bold he's got the iphone (2nd edition one) by the time he opened his ccontacts list and clicked m to get near my name bing! his iphone recieved my msg! he hadnt even had a cchance to start typing by the time i'd searched typed and sent all on my REAL keyboard, then i challenged him to do something an ipone user truly envys of us blackberry users, standing in my shed on a concrete floor i dropped by bold from a height of 5 feet. My friend then pointed to the large crack on his iphone screen and told me he dropped it on his desk at work. :) long live berrys