Hierarchy of Smartphone Needs revisited - The story of why an Android user returned his Droid X and went back to BlackBerry

By Kevin Michaluk on 11 Nov 2010 11:46 am EST
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CrackBerry Kevin's Hierarchy of Smartphone Needs

We get a lot of news items sent in on the CrackBerry tips line each week, but yesterday we received one that was more of an essay than a tip. Sent it anonymously, it's the story of a BlackBerry user gone Android gone BlackBerry again. We see threads like this popup in the CrackBerry forums too, but this particular story really made me think about my Hierarchy of Smartphone Needs theory so figured it would make for a good blog post and some entertaining comments (bring on the fanboys!). The image above pretty much explains the theory (especially if you're familiar with Maslow's Hierarchy), but if you want the full details behind it then read this post.

Via our Smartphone Round Robin experiences of the past, one thing i've determined is there is no one best smartphone, but rather a best smartphone for an individual given their needs. Yes, a phone can definitely "win" at certain attributes (fastest browser, best battery life, most apps, best gaming experience, biggest screen, fastest processor, etc.) and you could make an argument that the phone with the most "wins" should be the best phone on the market, but that's not actually the case when it comes to the ownership experience as far I'm concerned. If your phone can't take care of the basics -- like make it through the day on a single charge or get through a phone call without dropping it or manage your communications effectively -- what good is all the other smartphone fluff? I'd rather have a phone that did less better, than a phone that did more but did the critical stuff worse. For me, the BlackBerry is still the best communication and productivity tool out there. In other words, it's really strong at the bottom half of the Hierarchy of Needs. While smartphones are continously improving, it's sort of impossible to be the best at everything, which also explains why the tablet category is getting popular. Assuming you can afford it, I'd argue you'll have the least compromise in your mobile existence by going with a formula along the lines of BlackBerry Smartphone + tablet (iPad, PlayBook, etc.) than by going for one of these current generation big touchscreen phones. 

But hey, that's just me and my take on it (and obviously I'm a little bias on loving BlackBerry). So read the story below for some additional food for thought and sound off in the comments!

Why I returned my Android Smartphone? by anonymous

Nope, this isn't a post by a BlackBerry fanatic. It is simply an honest post of why Android is a bit hyped up by the sales rep in the stores, and in my view, not ready for prime time just yet. Why am I writing this post? Well, I want to share my Android experience with you so you do not have to go down same path of frustration and confusion as I did. So, here goes...

Like many of you, when my contract with a large wireless operator ended, a nice sales rep at the wireless store successfully pitched me one of the high-end Android Smartphones, so just like that, I bid goodbye (temporarily) to BlackBerry and opted for the latest and greatest Android Smartphone maker had to offer (the Droid X). At first, I was wowed by the HUGE screen, HD video recording, support for HDMI (though disappointed that no HDMI cable was included!), and of course the newness of the Android OS that I have yet to experience. In short, I went home excited and giddy about playing with a new gadget.
On the drive home (don't drive and text!...yes I was guilty for about 5 mins during the traffic jam), I noticed a microphone key every single time I was prompted to type; unknowingly, I pressed the microphone key and was immediately surprised at the voice-to-text native support on the Android OS and how accurate it was. Sure, I have used software like vLingo on the BlackBerry before, but nothing like this. EVERY text box has voice-to-text support, even in 3rd party applications! At this point, I was pretty happy with my purchase and expected this Android Smartphone to fulfill my everyday communication needs. As soon as I got home, I started to hook up my Droid X with my email accounts (I have about 4 email accounts that I care about). Since Android force a Gmail account upon every Android user, my Gmail account setup was a no brainer.
But then... it got ugly fast.

My 3 other email accounts are all part of Google Apps (meaning my own domains but the emails are hosted by Google), and I assumed the setup for these email accounts were going to be quite simple (because they are Google products). But boy-o, my assumptions were dead wrong.

After fumbling with bunch of advance settings, I still can't connect to get my emails, so I pull out my laptop and looked up the port number that I need to use for each of the account. I then basically had to repeat the same steps couple more times. My first nostalgia for the BlackBerry quickly sets in, as I missed how easy and painless setting up my emails on BlackBerry BIS was (no port number and lookups needed). However, I was committed to my purchase so I shrugged it off as just something that Google does differently. That night, as I went to bed, I setup an alarm for the next morning and turn the phone to airplane mode as there isn't a "Bedtime mode" in the alarm clock, which I always used on my old BlackBerry.

Next day, with a fully charged battery, I was ready to face the day. Within the first hour, I was desperately trying to figure out how to separate out different notification settings for each of the email accounts that I have. Every few minutes I was getting alerts for an email account that I usually like to check regularly but not being notified. So I turn off the email notification for my non-Gmail accounts, but then I was missing emails that I need to respond to right away. Determined not to be discouraged by this little annoyance, I went on my laptop and setup auto-forward from the accounts that I need to respond to immediately to my Gmail account so it can alert me differently. Needless to say, this was not ideal, but it "kinda" got my through the day. Of course, there is the problem that I am now facing with duplicate emails between my Gmail account and my other two accounts. This little annoyance started to become quite a HUGE waste of my time. Despite the great browser experience, huge screen, and other nice to have functions, my new Android Smartphone wasn't doing its job for the thing that mattered to me most.

Already having a little buyer's remorse, it didn't help to see that my Android Smartphone was running low on battery and asked me to charge it (it was only 3PM in the afternoon). To make matter worse, I was out to visit a client. Before the end of the day, the battery died on me and I was pretty much disconnected from my cyber world.

Looking back, switching to this particular Android Smartphone is a bit like switching to a hot new car with all the luxury upgrades but with "donut" wheels - it doesn't run well nor very far. I held on to the Android Smartphone for as long as I could bear but ultimately returned it well before the 30 day mark. On top of ALL that, I got dinged for a re-stocking fee!!

To be clear, I have nothing against anything Android (the green android is actually pretty cute) or have any interest (do not own RIM stock or work for RIM) in seeing BlackBerry "win" the smartphone war. Maybe when my new contract expires, I will try an Android Smartphone again, who knows. What I do know is that, for now, my new BlackBerry is keeping me happy, productive, with the ability to play!

PS - Why anonymous? That is because I work in the Smartphone Industry and having this article in my name might anger some folks in the Android camp.

79 comments

elvin1983

Well written!

I've played around with a bunch of Android phones, and while they're great for multimedia, I just don't think I would enjoy one like I do my BlackBerry.

Joneser2006

Got the D1 right before it disappeared with an upgrade. Wasn't completely disappointed because it was a great phone, especially if you tweak it here and there. But, I was able to trade it for a 9650 because of MY hierarchy of needs.

Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes

I have a 52 inch 1080p tv if I want to watch movies and I drive to work. I don't need a 4 inch screen to watch movies on the bus on the way to university/LOL.

williamsbh76

This is interesting to say the least. I rock the Storm2 and have looked at the Droid 2 or the Droid X because of the screen size. A close friend of mine recently switched from iPhone to a Droid X just because we living in a rural area and AT&T cell coverage is awful enough but their 3G is non-existent. He is also a former Berry user and now hater. He loves the Droid mainly because of the coverage he gets traveling to rural business locations and likes most of the features but he misses the smoothness of the iPhone interface. With all that said, the Droid entices me with that bigger screen but I have to say after playing around with my friend's Droid and seeing the BB webkit browser, I would stay with the Berry too. I just wish the Torch would go CDMA or get us webkit for the Storm 2 (anyone at RIM listening???)!!! OS 6... I'm not realy dying to get it so much.

thetnaung

Love BB. now with OS6 on 9700 make me really more addicted to BB :) always a BB fan. and Playbook is on the bucket list :)

Phil Nickinson

You know, there are ways of getting help. Don't be afraid to ask. :)

http://www.androidcentral.com/android-101-how-add-second-gmail-account-y...

As for having to charge your phone? Well, when you use it a lot -- like you did trying to set up the e-mail, or by using the wrong e-mail client to pull in gmail -- yeah, you're gonna have to charge it. And it's OK to charge your phone. Not sure why people are so afraid of doing that.

evilhunter101

I went from my S2 to the Fascinate and haven't had one issue, because I wasn't afraid to ask or use the search functions on Android Central or XDA.

gemni73

I went from the S2 to the Samsung Fascinate and I love it. I was a big fan of my S2 and thought that there wasn't a phone that could make me even think about leaving it....til i saw the Fascinate and played with it in the store. From the first touch, I was sold! It does all that I need it to do, i can customize it to my liking, different alerts for different email, text, contacts and so on, games(Angry Birds and WordFeud) and watch videos if i want. So for me the Fascinate is my new love. But the beauty of technology and cell phones today is....We all have choices!

gemni73

And if you have questions about how to do things on your phone this is a great place to start. I couldn't figure out why I couldn't make different alerts for different people like my parents and work....i got the answer from the forums and it works!!! so just like crackberry, android central is GREAT!

robertdusa

Yes, could the OP asked or sought out answers to their questions? Of course they could have. I think the point is why should they have had to? These devices should be setup in such a way that everyone can use them effectively right out of the box. Remember that not everyone who buys a smartphone is a power user, or even someone who's successful finding things on Google. Setting up email accounts on your smartphone, no matter the brand/OS, should be just as simple as doing so with BIS (exception: Exchange 2010; shakes angry fist). The fact that a user would have difficulty setting up ANY Google product on an Android device is just plain painful to read. It makes no sense.

With regards to battery life, I don't think anyone in this room is afraid to plug in their phone. BUT, if you are used to a certain level of battery performance, having to change your habits suddenly with a new phone could illicit a couple WTFs regardless of touch screens, or CPUs. That being said, I think RIM's move to batteries smaller than the 9700 for newer devices is goofy for this same reason. If anything I want more reserve power, not less. What's a couple of millimetres here and there?

_StephenBB81

The OP's issue is with Google Apps, not gmail. they often get lumped together, but I have found gmail to be far easier to deal with than my paid for google apps account when connecting it to devices, though the gmail app on the blackberry does work with it.

I don't know why it acts differently but it does.

as for Being afraid to charge your phone, that I hope isn't the case, some people like myself plug their phone in when ever possible, but it doesn't mean there are not days/times I am 12-36h away from a place to charge, admittingly 36h away I go through Both my BB's and a spare battery, but the 12-18h is at least 1 day a week, but I still have 100+ emails to read and reply to, that is why battery life is something some of us care so much about, some people are lazy and want to not have to remember to plug in I will openly say that.

williamsbh76

You speak the truth about the battery life. I've never had a smartphone before that didn't drain the battery for about the first week because of all the data transfer setting everything up.

BerryDiva

Is it about being afraid to charge your phone or convenience of not having to charge your phone periodically throughout the day? Personally, I'm in meetings all day and lack the time to charge my phone. I could leave my phone charging on my desk but then how will I respond to immediate request, know my schedule and where I'm supposed to be next? It's OK to charge your phone but it shouldn't be necessary multiple times in the day.

lostOzone

The problem was about notifications not about setting up the accounts. BB does give you a per account notification system that can be enhanced with BerryBuzz. I love being notified only with my work email.

Filtering email is not doing the trick. It's not effective to filter every mails from one account! Anyway the key problem here is that that person meant to work in the smartphone didn't plan nothing at all. So he/she better stay anonymous because this is a real shame to say the least. When you depend on your smarphone daily because of work (or lifestyle). You have to plan and check that what you do will be doable. Or that you can change the way you do it. Not every apps are available on everything. And this is true even when you switch form BB5 to BB6! Needless to say that not everyone depends on his smartphone hence the number of Android sales growing fast.

About battery life IMHO any phone should at least last one busy day. I've tried many devices and have been wowed by the 9700. The battery thing has always been a problem. Some solutions like extended batteries or spare batteries can do the trick. Now stock Android battery life sucks. And I don't get how people live with it. Those first time smartphone buyers must go nuts. From an old phone that can last a week to something that last barely one day!

BB OS is sad but very efficient. So I get more time to do anything else. In the end this is not about who's got the best OS. It's about me getting things done.

twelvezero8

Ice had all the major players phones and nothing beats BB. For me battery life is key my most important feature of a phone. I can do everything on my blackbert throughout the day and don't have to worry about the phone going dead on me. BB user for LIFE here!

allatoms

.... except type. haha

WillieLee

I see a potential market in bootleg Calvin stickers of him pissing on various smartphone manufacturers for the rabid fans.

gemni73

surprised no one has done this already. lol i would totally get one doing that to the *cough* iphone. he he

blue200316

Nice writeup. To me the best mobile phone is a BlackBerry it will the basic and most needed functionality are always there. and i feel others like Android and iOS are more concerned with "Multimedia" than "Communication". it may b that BB6 offers gr8 multimedia experience i havent use it so cant tell. my old Curve 8320 does everything i wanted my smartphone to do...but it fails sometimes with multimedia thats why i use a iPod Touch to make it up...but if i get the offer to use iPhone in exchange of my Berry then i will surely refuse.

Sirhill

This was a great read and why I tell most of my customers on a daily basics. The hierchary of needs was the best example for why a phone works and does not work for many people and I wish that I could post it in my store just so when people ask me the age old question "what blackberry compares to the ________(fill in the blank)"I could show them and let them know this is what is most important instead of having stuff on their phone that they will never use. But to each his own and what makes you happy is fine, but you should know what it is that you need before you buy something like a smartphone. But this was by far the best read on this site in a last few weeks.

nikesu

I like the hierarchy. Many ppl take bb as an outdated old man's phone but in fact this is the most reliable phone I've ever used. I've owned various phones from iphone3g to htc hd2. currently I own two phones ….i.e bold9700 & htc hd2. The reason I've 2 phones is simple……I live in china and there's no BIS service here. Without BIS bb is useless but still I use bb more than hd2. The reason is simple again……..non-touch screen, full qwerty keyboard, voice quality, signal, durability, emails(not for me at this moment) & not to mention great battery life. These features sound basic but that’s what all big high end phone lacks.
Here is something I do not want to do on my phone eventhough it is capable of.
Watch movie on phone
Surf on phone for long period of time. I use it only if necessary. I never enjoy browsing on tiny screen(htc hd2 has 4.3" screen). Most of time I'm always near computer…whether its home or office.
I'm not into games …..i do not even play on my computer. For me simple solitary & puzzle games do for me and that’s what I enjoy playing.
As for apps, I only need few quality apps that enhance my job & entertain me. Actually its pain in neck to choose apps from 200K useless apps.

longshot

Kevin's "Hierarchy" parallels mine so I will relate some real-world experiences:

-- switched from ATT/Curve to VZN/Tour for my corporate-provided service - could not be happier w/ VZN

-- My Fortune 500 company supports BB & iPhone & iPad but does not allow Droid on the network. But IT departments are notoriously conservative and want to manage (control) most everything. Droid phones that cannot be rooted but can be managed remotely may change that attitude - I'm guessing Motorola wants to get in on the corporate action w/ their new "world" Droid phone.

-- Oddly, our IT department allows iPhone users to downloads apps but us BB users cannot.. (?)

-- I may consider iPhone when it comes to VZN next year or the Moto Global phone if available...

-- I'm a newbie to Droid so no flames, please.....

-- just got wife the DInc on VZN so she could check email remotely but huge problems setting up RoadRunner email - STILL NOT WORKING; this may be a deal-breaker so I may return it for a Storm 2.

-- the touch-screen is VERY sensitive & takes some getting used-to so you don't inadvertently make calls

-- no small, simple charging cradle available

-- widgets are great - period.

-- browser is great - period.

-- Google navigation apps are great - period.

evilhunter101

The stock email clients seem to be horrible for most android phones. I would suggest trying K-9 mail. It is free in the market and fairly easy to set up. I haven't tried to set up a roadrunner email on it but I would guess that if K9 can't do it nothing can since I haven't found an email K9 can't handle. (yet)

Good luck.

E_Brown

While I myself am a recent Blackberry to Android convert I can say I understand the frustration of no bedside mode, email isn't as good, no bbm and no physical keyboard. I do miss my berry and am still thinking about carrying both phones, but my Droid X is a great phone, and I don't regret getting it at all. If/when RIM comes out with a touchscreen berry that can compete with the X I will buy it. But Kevin is right, there is no one GREAT phone. I don't care what any fanboys say. They all have their strong points and they all have their weaknesses.

jbates14760

I just dumped my droidx today. Gave it to the wife and took back my 9650. I missed all the things that my berry does well. Sure the nav on android was nice for trips I don't need it. A ton of apps I never use. I missed BB and regreted the switch daily. I will try new stuff but I am pretty sure that I will be carrying a BB for good. Just nothing like it.

experiment 626

Even a lot of Android users don't like the Droid X.Waiting to see the HTC Droid Incredible HD. But,in the end, this always boils down to a Communication vs Multi-Media device choice.

experiment 626

Even a lot of Android users don't like the Droid X.Waiting to see the HTC Droid Incredible HD. But,in the end, this always boils down to a Communication vs Multi-Media device choice.

mullrat

To me this is just an experience of a user who didn't dive in and figure out the phone. I filter my emails using gmail
label notifier. Only important messages get through and repeat alert. That's just an example though of the things you can find if you actually look for solutions. But still this is understandable a certain paradigm does not fit every user. What got me about this post was the setup rant. Listen no other smartphone has a "special" plan. No other os requires a call to IT to set up. (BES) Ora call to the cellphone provider to make sure that it is a BIS plan versus the Enterprise plan. Otherwise it wont work. Blackberries are nightmares to set up comparerd to their competitors. No other smartfphone platform requires re registration of the host routing table whenever you do a reset.

The one thing I miss from my bb and it's just one thing is the speed. Speed of emails. Speed of texts. And speed of making a phone call. Nothing beats that. With android you have to unlock find poke swipe etc. The gooey if you will. Pretty and elegant but when you need to send a critical text quickly and accurately noting beats a bb. This is why it is superior in business and communication.

gemni73

with my fascinate, my text, phone and all is one click...i click phone to call, i click the chomp sms to send a text. if the screen is locked, i slide the puzzle piece to unlock, press what i want whether it be text, call or email. but that's my phone i can not speak for the other phones and their setup. But this phone and the way i have it set up reminds me of my S2 but faster.

_StephenBB81

This is a consumer vs a worker thing, as a Worker I am not going to go chasing down 1000 ways to make the phone do what I need, I want it out of the box, ( one of my reasons for not caring about apps) I have NEVER had an issue with BIS set up on my personal phone, and checking to see if a Plan is a Blackberry plan? really that is a regular issue? your carrier sucks if that is an issue, I can't NOT get a Blackberry plan for a blackberry. and costs are the same as other smartphones or within a few dollars here in Canada.
As for Competitors being easier to set up, I buy a new BB and can have all of my emails set up in minutes on it, I try that on iOS and each one takes a lengthy process to setup, and being a Paid for google apps user, the way BB does integration with my domain name is perfect, as is custom notifications, and having a combined email box, + divided email boxes. (Mind you NO ONE does email right on the smartphone yet, if I could mix RIM and Androids gmail integration with NON gmail accounts that would be close to perfect.

JREwing

I came to Blackberry from an Iphone 3GS. I am a proud owner of a 9650 Bold on Sprint. I could not be happier.
I don't have a smartphone to watch movies or play with fart apps. I have a smartphone to get work done. Yes, Facebook and Twitter, along with some other nice apps I play with. Blackberry Messenger is great to use. I could go on and on. I had a chance to get the EVO when I purchased my Bold, and now I'm happy I chose BB. Nothing wrong with Android phones, but if it's productivity you want, I would go with Blackberry.

ugahairydawgs

FWIW....I have an iPhone 4 and 0 fart apps.

The only fart app I have ever had on any of my phones was on my old Bold 9000.

Just sayin...

Shanicenicolle

I had a droid 1 and the only reason I went back to blackberry was the keyboard now I've gone to an iPhone 4 and cant see myself going back. But each person has to pick the phone that works for them

vashti777

I too jump ship for 3 months. The Droid drove me crazy! Form factor a little to sensitve or my taste; and sometimes took longer to complete task. I am a BB for life. I too wish the Torch would come to CDMA

shimojunk

truth be told: Yes there are lots of people going back to BB, but the number of people moving to Android/iOS and staying with Android/iOS is probably about 20:1 (20 Android/iOS converts to 1 BB convert)

I would venture to say that Kevin's pyramid is pretty well though out for the present time, however as technology progresses we'll see a shift in the pyramid levels where Apps will become so advance and useful they might eventually become the third tier in Kevin's pyramid of needs.

robertdusa

Can you please quote the source of your BlackBerry/Android adoption/defection rates?

TekWarren

This story is the same one anyone who works in an environment where change happens regularly has seen a thousand times. Working in IT part of my job is deal with people like this. Hold their hand, teach them how to use new things, and make them comfortable with it. The story here has no real meat as to why the person switched back...other than it was different and they where having to learn how to use something different...duh? I mean really, its easy to throw something back when you have been using some other device for last x number of years and you don't put forth the effort or utilize the resources to learn the new device. It would be interesting to know what the time frame was of this experience.

gemni73

thank you! it takes a lil time to get to know a different format/device. I guess that's why Verizon gives you 30 days. Sometimes you just know what's gonna work for you and what's not. But sometimes we have to take a lil time to get to know the phone and see that change wasn't so bad after all....but to each his own.

Bob G

When I reluctantly switched from Palm to BlackBerry, I was surprised at how easy it was to get everything set up. "Throwing it back" was never a consideration.

Even my wife's iPhone wasn't that bad to set up.

But when I switched from BB to Android (Samsung Captivate), I had the same experience as the person in this article. It's not that I *couldn't* get Android working; I just got sick of wasting so much time on it. So, I threw it back.

I am happily back to BlackBerry for now. I may try Android again someday (Moto T2?, OS 3.0?) or give WP7 a try, but if the tool wastes more time than it saves, then I don't see the point.

Joneser2006

You can't expect everyone to fit in your phone box. Get over it. Android is not all things to everyone. I tried it for 2 months, risking my 30 day guarantee and just couldn't take the issues anymore. My issues. Android issues. Droid 1 issues. Not failures, but issues.

curvemyberry

I am happy that someone have the guts to write something about Android or smartphones in general. I am a blackberry fanatic and I hate how other people react to new technology which hasn't had proven anything yet in terms of reliability and usefulness. anyho, i love this post and congratulations for having the courage to write this.

joe_rottman

I changed over to the dark side when my 9650 crapped out on me for no reason. In my weakness I bought the Epic. What a fool I was. BlackBerry's may lack some of the flash of an android, but their far superior in many many ways. Thankfully I still a BlackBerry for work else I'd truely be lost.

Stonedicator

I think once I get my LTE BB and the Playbook I will have the perfect setup. I will have the BB for everyday uses (bottom 3 rungs of the pyramid) and the Playbook for internet and games (top 2 rungs of the pyramid).

marlin29311

Am I the only one laughing about the Maslow's hierarchy? Haha brings be back to college....love it

Cinnamongirl

I made my own chart. I've been thinking about making the switch to android because I use a lot of apps, but then I realized I use a lot of apps on my blackberry. I have everything I need. I think everyone who is looking to purchase a new phone should make their own chart. I'm an actress who runs marathons, not a businessman, but blackberry works for me. As for the media issue I just watched the latest episode of Desperate Housewives while waiting for my husband at a restaurant last night, I have no problems there. To each his own. I was thinking of dropping the berry because everyone says it's "old" and "dying" and maybe it's not as popular anymore but for each person who it does work for we need to support it. I wouldn't drop a trusted friend just because she wasn't with the in crowd. So come Dec 1st I'm getting a Bold...or a Style, but I'm getting a berry.

stuaw11

Im sorry but this is clearly a BB fan bias pyramid. This pyramid of needs changes for EVERY individual user, it cannot be applied to everyone as everyone has different needs.

And no one needs to prove there are ore defectors to iOS/Android, RIM's declining marketshare with Android and iOS gaining shows it quite clearly. Fact is for every 1 BB user who comes back, many many leave.

And while one user may not care about apps, they really do expand the phone. you dont need to open a web browser and try to see some dumbed down mobile webpage the BB shows to get rich content. And there are just some things the native OS and web can't do; GPS navigation as only one example. Apps are becoming an essential part of a smartphone, or else RIM would have never released AppWorld to compete with Itunes.

Towards battery life, of course its less when youre tinkering with a new toy. Once you really start using it, and youre usage turns more regular, then you see battery life go up. Anything that gets you through 1 day is what is to be expected from a smartphone which most an do these days.

The whole "connectivity" step at the bottom is total BS. If it didnt have coverage with your carrier then why would you own ANY phone? Its a stupid point and doesnt even belong on this pyramid. Coverage has little to do with Android vs iOS vs BB. Multiple carriers have multiple OSs, so chose the carrier that works obviously. This bottom rung need not even be in this pyramid if we're making fair comparisons.

Again everyone's needs vary. Saying GPS goes 3rd up vs #1 is arbitrary and varies by user. There is NO one pyramid of needs that fits everyone, so the premise of this article is clearly jaded to the BB user perspective and nothing even close to being neutral valuable information.

_StephenBB81

"Im sorry but this is clearly a BB fan bias pyramid. This pyramid of needs changes for EVERY individual user, it cannot be applied to everyone as everyone has different needs."

Ummm ya! it is Kevins Pyramid

I agree everyone needs to make their own Pyramid before buying a new phone.

"And no one needs to prove there are ore defectors to iOS/Android, RIM's declining marketshare with Android and iOS gaining shows it quite clearly. Fact is for every 1 BB user who comes back, many many leave."

Actually this defectors this isn't really the case, in 2009 Q3 there were 40million smartphones sold world wide, in 2010 Q3 there were 80million smartphones sold world wide ( numbers rounded slightly) RIM has continued to grow, just apple and Android are growing faster, more so Android than anyone else. it isn't a case of mass defection it is a case of mass growth, and NO single manufacturer can reasonably expect to grow their hardware business safely by double each year, Android wins since it has more manufacturers needing to go less out on a limb to fill slightly more of the growth

Shinrar

Wow. The number of things wrong with your post.

My first question to you, is, do you even know what Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is - and understand it? That is a key factor in understanding why this chart is set up the way it is.

Comment to Paragraph 3: This says nothing about NOT caring about apps at all. You need to fill basic functionality before the higher tiers become relevant. For example, you need food before you need love. You need to breath before you can start caring about friends.

Comment to Paragraph 4: I know lots of Android and iPhone users that need to charge their battery to get through the one full day of use, and they've used their phones for a good deal of time. Does that apply to EVERYONE? No. Some are heavier users than others. How heavy of a user you are factors in how good of a battery life you need.

Comment to Paragraph 5: It is not total BS, it is directly in line to Maslow's Pyramid. Do you think it is total BS that he put "Breathing, Sleeping, Food, Water" on his pyramid? Connectivity is a BASIC need. One that, unless satisfied, makes ALL OTHER TIERS completely pointless. Without Food and Water (and air), I have no need for Self-Actualization.

alby4ever

Too much logic here. Pretty much everyone outside the Crackberry world agrees (along with the 40% of BB users who are planning or have already defected to Android). I truly doubt there any significant stories like the one being posted by Kevin.

For every supposed BB-to-Android-back-to-BB user, there's probably about 100 BB-to-Android converts who aren't going back (see CB's own Android forum). The most common themes I'm hearing from former BB users:
"It's like night and day"
"I can't believe I wasted my time with BB"
etc.

I understand the need for CB's editors and BB fanboys to try to stop the bleeding, but when you cheer and party for the Bold 9780, you deserve to see a mass migration away from BB and to superior platforms (yes Android actually does email better than BB's in a lot of ways).

belfastdispatcher

If 40% bb owners are leaving how come rim grew by 45%?

wabyrd

I've got a Droid X also and I have both GMail and Google Accounts mail set to work with no problems. You set up GA mail JUST LIKE Gmail. I also have 2 exchange accounts that sync with the X. So, by "work in smartphone industry", do you mean kiosk salesman?

This is a pretty basic thing to figure out on the Android OS...

ja2bk

It's always interesting to read comments to posts such as this. You have those who love to say someone hasn't taken the time to learn the device. I'm sorry, but a cell phone's primary purpose is communication. Everything else is secondary. If a person feels it isn't doing the basics of what they expect, then who is anyone to say they need to take more time with the device. Then, there are the others stating the person should search forums. Truth be told, most mobile phone users don't even know these forums exist. Some of you would be even more amazed to know that they never update their phone either. So, it needs to do what is expected right out of the box. The thing I don't understand is why people find it acceptable that a phone's battery dies so fast. An iPhone does not die nearly as fast as an Android in my experience. And before you go there, I have a blackberry also. Depending on how much I do in a day, the blackberry may need a charge when I get home. The same can be said for the iPhone. But, boy did that Android need a charge before I even left work. So, let's say I charge and hit full charge at 9PM on Monday. The iPhone will go a day or so (with playing music, checking work e-mail, switching between 3G and WiFi for data, and using game apps) and I may be able to not charge until I am at work on Wednesday depending on my tolerance for waiting til I arrive at work (but I may charge Tuesday night). The Blackberry, depending on model, with BBM messages coming in, checking e-mails, and general pre-loaded app usage will perform similar if not better. The Android, in my experience, could sit still and need a charge Tuesday evening (before I leave work). Clearly I'm not using it for music playing. SO, all it has done is maybe e-mail and surely texts. Why is this okay with some?

E_Brown

Really battery life isn't as bad as people think. The main reason that I didn't want to go Android, was because of the battery life. I have the X with an extended battery. I took it off the charger at 9am, and it is 630pm now and i still have 60% battery left. Also I had today off, so I used the phone quite a bit. 9 1/2 hours with 60% left was about the same I was getting with my Berry, so really it's not too bad.

ja2bk

To be quite honest, it seems the Motorola devices have better battery life than the HTCs, Samsungs, etc. I tried both an HTC and a Samsung. Have not been able to try a Motorola as yet.

calyth

I'm amused by various people who'd like to claim that the next android release, or next qwerty android would kill blackberry.

My case, I have a Samsung galaxy S that's more like a plaything. Sexy screen, great for reading, but damn, setting that non gmail email addy... The BIS picked that up just fine (even when the smtp server isn't smtp.yourdomain.com), the android? Not so much.

Swype isn't a replacement for the keyboard. It's a stop gap.

Funnier yet, I bought the galaxy in Hong Kong, and there's no built in pinyin support. Had to get it from the android market.

And the multimedia... Holding vol up and down let's me go to the next track without fishing my BlackBerry out of my pocket, but I still haven't found a good way to do that on the galaxy. The widget to control music hidden in the status disappears when you pause the music, and hide the status bar.

To top that off, it's not compatible with the iPhone compatible wired headset that I got from ultimate ears. Strangely, this headset works fine with my BlackBerry.

:S

CharlotteJacket

Just adding one more story to BB-to-Android-but-came-back-to-BB list.

I switched briefly to a Storm 2 from a Tour, thinking that I wanted more screen real estate for TV shows converted from my TiVo (which is terrific for someone who spends a lot of time on the road) and for the Kindle app. I missed the convenience of a physical keyboard, but I thought I could adapt to the on-screen keyboard because the media player uses the volume rocker to skip tunes and such. I got used to the SurePress pretty quickly.

Then I tried a MotoDroid because it looked like a big step forward. The best parts of the Droid (on Froyo):
- Nav: I haven't used anything that matched the Google Maps integration, address book integration, and voice-guided directions, including VZ Nav.
- Browser: I was most interested in the Flash upgrade in 2.2 because I thought I'd use Rosetta Stone to learn Spanish on the road (I overestimated my ambition to learn another language here), but the browser absolutely rocks.
- Google integration: this is very well-done, especially since my integration experience before was running a sync in BB Desktop with Yahoo.

What prompted me to switch back:
- I think the straw-that-broke-the-robot's-back dealbreaker was the find-the-little-power-button-on-top-then-swipe-across-the-screen process required *every* time I wanted to see what was going on with the phone. It doesn't seem like much, but because I was used to the lock/unlock button on the BB getting me right where I wanted to be, it ate at me every time I did it.
- The keyboard just didn't work for me. The landscape width and offset from center (since fixed on the Droid2) just drove me to use the onscreen keyboard, which just wasn't fast enough for me. Swype was cool, but I don't think it's a substitute for a keyboard.
- At the time I was using it, there was no wmv file support except for one third-party app that just looked sketchy. I have a set of exercise videos ripped into that format, so I either needed to re-rip them or run them on my PC on the road. Maybe this is fixed now or better apps are available.
- No international roaming capability. I know that this is fixed now, but I need a quad-band phone, and the Droid couldn't do that at the time.
- Battery life: I've seen the comments that say that it takes some time to get to a stable battery usage pattern, but I gave it three months. The browser does drive you to use the phone more (searching the full espn.com for scores and news vs relying on ScoreMobile for just the updates), but I still rarely got through a day without a boost. I do find that with BB6 and the new browser, I can't go -more- than a day without charging like I could with the Tour.
- Notifications: with BerryBuzz, I rarely need to even unlock the screen to know what messages are waiting. It seems like a small deal (except for the first point in this section), but I like the stoplight mentality of the BB OS ("What can I get done at a stoplight or waiting for an elevator?" I waste half of the stoplight getting the Droid to the homescreen.)

I never read comments that are this long myself. If you've held on this long, thanks for your patience. Here is the bottom line:
- Good: nav, browser, Google integration
- Not as good, at least at the time: keyboard, notifications, file support, international capabilities, battery life, waking the thing up to use it

Final point: I have two BB's (work and personal), my wife has a DInc, one kid uses a feature phone, and another kid uses an iPod with TextFree. The other kid is, mercifully, too young for anything yet. Everyone has different needs. I only share this experience in hopes that someone with similar expectations (likes a physical keyboard and a quick way to receive, filter, and reply to communications like email and sms) can benefit.

After six months of changing phones and trying to find a good fit, I'm now several months into the right phone for me. Now, bring on the Playbook so I can drop my Kindle.

_X_

I really loved my BB and when the contract was finally over I decided to try the Galaxy S model and see if it was all that great.

After the first day I was ready to give up on the Android platform as there was no Copy & Paste, spell checker , and the default email client was nowhere near as nice as the BB. Compound that with the lack of notes and tasks I was really ready to give up.
However instead of trying to force the Android in the BB paradigm, I decided to look for answers instead of just giving up because the Android did not act like a BB.

I came across K9 email client. Not only did it have the features the stock Android an BB email, but it had much more features than both the clients combined.

The contacts are extremely sophisticated allowing one to synchronized and link contacts like Facebook, tweeter, gmail, yahoo, phone, google talk, skype, etc..

I downloaded a few apps like gtask and gdocs and now I have an even better notes and task taking solution than I did on my blackberry.

It did take a few tweeks and customization to get my perfect setup, but what I have now is much better than the black berry. With the Android widget concept I can have the homepage setup just the way I want. I’m not limited to what the theme manager limits me to.

At this point with a little bet of research I’ve got a solution that is far more productive than my BB ever was, and the OS is far more stable than the BB, or better yet to paraphrase Kevin “RIM it’s pretty sad that the most downloaded app is a battery pull/reboot app.”

STR8WESTCOAST

This is funny. Guess nobody read Dell dropped 25,000 bb so guess this one makes up for that loss. I played with the droid phones and the iPhone and both are betterr than the bb. I'm waiting on my upgrade and I'm trashing my S2. It's sad when the best selling app is the disco light. The apps are terrible. Who need an app to make your phone fart or talk like a gangster. We all have our choices but bb are a thing of the past. Sales and stocks has dropped and they have become followers. Look at the playbook for example. If not for the Ipad there would be no playbook

sf49ers

if not for the blackberry there wouldn't have been an iphone or an android.

belfastdispatcher

They're only dropping bb to make way for Dell wp7 phones, not android or iphone. It makes sense really, how would they convince people to buy their phones if they still used bbs.

STR8WESTCOAST

U two are right but regardless of what phone they are using that's 25000 less customers. BB started the smartphone game and iphone ran with it and droid decorated it. Look at the sales and stocks. I had the palm centro and it was better than bb except for the crappy battery life. Funny because when I paid my bill the employees laughed and said u still have a bb. Shame on me. Where I work they are getting rid of the bb because everybody complain about them. 10 mins to reboot after a battery pull. Damn. Internet is crappy. But we all have our choices and the fanboys will stick up for bb even if they made a phone with shit on it. The 15000 post was a joke. I saw that picture and they all look like a bunch of faggots holding their phones up. Glad I have a life outside of BB.

belfastdispatcher

Lol, people using blackberrys supplied by their employer will always complain about them. I never seen a blackberry to take 10 minutes to reboot. Sounds to me like an excuse for not getting something done on time.

longhairbilly

I'm not a Blackberry hater, I loved my berry, but I jumped ship last month to the Droid X. I have to say I don't have any regrets. Sure there are days when I miss BBM and a real keyboard. And being that I work outside, there are days when I want to throw my Droid down the sewer, the X's touch screen don't like damp hands.

All that being said I could never go back to my Tour. For what I use my phone for Android meets all my needs and then some.

rapproduca

I currently use the BlackBerry Bold 9700 and the HTC HD2(running Android 2.2.1 because i loathe Windows mobile) and i use the berry for emails, bbm, and talking. Then when its time to have some fun i jump on my htc for social networking, texting, downloading, browsing, and media. The htc's selling point is for media and blackberry's is for communication. So i just keep each one true to the functions that make them both great phones. but in all honesty i will always be a BlackBerry fanboy. There's no way around it. i LOVE BlackBerry and i love BlackBerry 6! even more!!! If it came between the two id throw the hd2 away without thinking twice...

Daviddlt126

I've had a similar experience, went back to good ole blackberry after purchasing an iphone 4. The 4 is nice but I found myself wasting time on it and it became a psp more than a smartphone, since I went berry my phone is back :) (using OS 6 on 9700 is sweeeetttt)

tnewton3

Good read, I was recently forced into Android (Samsung Fascinate) through the company I work for and I can't stand the device. I've got it pretty dialed in and am getting used to it. I am no dummy when it comes to phones but the Blackberry is far beyond what android can provide when it comes to business.

On the other hand the android is far beyond what Blackberry can provide when it comes to cool apps and having fun.

Unfortunately I don't need a "fun" phone I need a "business" phone.

There is my two cents.

zensen

interesting take from another perspective.

I think a lot of people who use Blackberries feel the same way when it comes to messaging though a lot of us would love to have the features that android, nokia may push into their smartphones especially hardware wise. Generally, Blackberries aren't known for their apps but here's hoping that will all change. The most important smartphone features on a BB are there - communication and OS6 bettered that.

kiddkasper

Not that long ago, I opted to try the Samsung Captivate. I loved just about everything about the phone. In the beginning, I had only one real issue being that there was no flash for the camera (though the software tries to adjust as long as there is some light). Soon after having it though, it started having a serious problem. If unplugged and after the screen would go to sleep, the phone would randomly turn itself off. To make a long story short, I tried removing all apps, the CKA app, factory reset, all except exchanging it. Even after replacing a phone several times hoping to get one from a "good batch", that might not fix the issue. So, in the end, I opted for the Blackberry Torch.

The Android platform is great and has a lot of potential. But, it's obvious that they need to make refinements to both software and hardware.

Joneser2006

All of the Android fadboys that cannot let Crackberry go and cannot understand that Android is not everyone's darling.

Get over it, there is a forum for you all. Or, is it run by 14 year olds?

sbalchand

i call BS on this one.

its more of a user issue than android issue.

not taking anything away from BB, but as somebody said earlier. people don't like change. it can be tough but its never a new system problem.

user probably never heard of K-9. I installed it on my Nexus this morning and within a minute set up my hotmail and comcast accounts. I didn't have to go through specifying the smtp servers et al. it was done by the app for me.

as for battery life and notifications, seriously???

try making any system settings on BB. Its a headache, unless you've been doing it for 2 years.

DougFNJ

I had to laugh at someone who questions having to ask questions on how to use a new computing product that they never used before.

Pop up a Laptop for the first time and tell me you have zero questions? Know how to navigate around, open programs, create and organize files and folders and you don't have to ask another soul how to do anything?

When new to Blackberry, one should know there way around the second their account is activated?

I also have nothing against any device, manufacturer, OS, or platform. The more competition, the better for everyone. I will go to the platform that suits me good for today. Unfortunately I had too many lockups, shutdowns, battery pulls, and freeze ups with the Storm 2 that when Droid X released, I RAN to it. The screen IS brilliant, the OS zips fine, having just use it on my Gmail and a small secondary account, it meets my messaging needs just fine, and believe it or not, after phonecalls, at least 50 emails, texting all day, daily use by the end of the night I still have minimum 60% battery life with normal use, maybe 40% with especially heavy use. And that Web, you need to look something up real quick, thats where these devices rock!

That chart is different for everybody.

snickdog

I have my own business, and so does my kid. I used to have an original Storm1 -- and yes, the problems I had were insane, but mostly due to the physical architecture of that specific device. It was swapped out and got a bit better, but was never perfect. My kid had one at the same time, and the problems she had were even worse than mine; after two swaps she went first to a PalmPre Plus, then to the Droid Incredible. During the time she was swapping, I upgraded to a Storm2 (with which I'm VERY happy).

Anyway -- my point: my kid has had nearly as many issues with the Incredible, but different ones, ones that affect her ability to run her business correctly. For example, the email. She doesn't have multiple Gmail accounts, only the one. She does, however, have a couple of POP accounts that we've had to set up -- and redo -- multiple times. Even then, they only work correctly for a short time before we have to delete and set up again. She can't use the calendar to schedule clients, because it randomly erases and/or doubles her appointments.

I'm no neophyte to forums - forums are the first place I go to find out if issues are common, or need a patch, or need a work-around (in my other life, I've been a tech for more than 15 years). I've no problem searching for and finding solutions, but all I'm finding for the Incredible are temporary work-arounds. I'd expect the kind of issues she's having to be rampant among new apps, but the CORE applications on a smartphone? That's a bit much... and she'll probably switch back to a BB when her contract is up because of it.

red72

I love my BB Tour. I can't wait to upgrade to the 9650. I bought my wife a HTC Incredible, She loves it. I have used it on occasion, and can say without a doubt iot is not a phone for me. Don't get me wrong it's an awsome phone and it really works for her, but not for me. Blackberry's UI is better for me.Just the way it is. For every phone there is a person.

warriorwoman

I think Kevin hit it on the head when he said the best bet would be to have a BB and a tablet. I have to say, I had been longing for something new (read ip4) but was trying to hold out for the "new" bb (which would be a touch screen with an operating system on the lines of the playbook). I was tempted when the Torch came out, but instead of upgrading my phone, I got an ipad. So, now, with the 9700 and the ipad I have the perfect combo. I have the bb with me at all times so I can surf the internet if I am bored or want to look things up, have great messaging capabilities (including work email w BES), great battery life - I can go days without charging if I have to, a pretty good camera, a pretty good video camera, a pretty good music player. I have a lot of apps that I like such as Pandora, weatherbug, other music apps, etc... The only game I like is wordmole which I think you can only get on the bb. I like that the bb is small and will fit into my coat pocket or even the smallest purse when I go out at night - I don't think the android or iphone would fit into some of my purses which would be really really annoying. Oh, I forgot to mention - the bb is a GREAT phone - I am on ATT and i NEVER drop calls and the call quality is great too.
When I want to play on the internet, watch movies on the go (I loooooove netflix), access my office on the go, type memos or other short documents, review documents, my ipad is perfect - also - setting up the ipad was ridiculously simple. It maybe takes 5 minutes. The only difficulty I had was setting up my work email - but my office manager and I figured this out and now my work email comes to my ipad, too. Other than the flash thing, the ipad is amazing.
So, for now, this is my solution. I will still want a new phone next February when my year is up, but if bb does not yet have the perfect phone, I will probably still stay with bb.

loumacuser

The Droid X is certainly a great device and wish a handful of the Android OS functions would make it into BB OS6 on a CDMA carrier asap.

The apps are great yet not polished. The Android Market is much faster than AppWorld. The device is very fast.

On the other hand, I am finding it un reliable for pictures and making calls is a pain if you are on Google Voice and Skype. It asks too many questions before the call is even made.

I am still within my 30 days and contemplating returning to the BB Storm in the hope a new CDMA touch Screen BB comes to market soon.