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 rules....at least it did that day...in the airport.
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