An unintended consequence of switching from BlackBerry to iPhone

Alan Gilbert
By Joseph Holder on 15 Jan 2012 02:33 pm EST

I am fond of saying there is no perfect Smartphone; there is only the Smartphone that is perfect for you. Whether your beloved device runs AndroidBlackBerryiOSwebOS; or Windows Phone, we're all just part of the larger Mobile Nations family (do you like how I worked that in there?).

Still, when a story like this comes along, I can't help but feel a little sympathy for our iPhone brethren. Last Tuesday, Mahler's Symphony No. 9 came to a halt at the New York Philharmonic after a new iPhone user had trouble silencing his phone's alarm. Sitting in the front row, the patron's iPhone Marimba ring was easily heard by the conductor, Alan Gilbert, who actually stopped the performance until the ring was silenced.

The iPhone's owner, a long-time subscriber to the orchestra, made sure to silence his phone before the concert - as we all should do before movies, concerts, shows, and other such events - but an alarm set on his Smartphone sounded anyway. The day before the concert, the man's company had switched from BlackBerry to iPhone, and the poor gentleman had not yet become familiar with his new device. He didn't know his phone's alarm was set; when it sounded, he had trouble figuring out how to make it stop.

On Thursday, he had a chance to apologize by phone to the conductor who graciously accepted the apology. Like the iPhone, selecting the "All Alerts Off" or "Silent" sound profile on a BlackBerry effectively silences any and all alert sounds on the Smartphone - except for the daily alarm. Silencing that alarm seems to be a bit easier on a BlackBerry than on an iPhone, though, as pressing just about any button on the RIM device will cancel that sound. Methinks the unfortunate iPhone user at the symphony found things a bit more complicated when his iDevice stopped the show.

Source: New York Times via iMore Image: WSJ

Reader comments

An unintended consequence of switching from BlackBerry to iPhone


I can't believe I'm saying this as I defend blackberry every day but if things for blackberry don't imporve before the release of BB10 or iOS 6/iPhone 5 I'm moving to iphone :( I love my blackberry but I also love apps and atm blackberry isn't doing that for me.
I would never say blackberry is rubbish as I prefere the ui to ios but blackberry needs to fix up and asap

And you switching from one platform to another has to do with this story how? No one cares. Move along troll.

Lool it does because the guy with the iphone swapped from blackberry to iphone. I love my bb I'm just saying I want more apps you rhino

once of the great things about a BB - in the worst case scenario if you can't figure out how to make the noise stop, you can pull the battery out... the exception may be on the curve series where the battery door is kinda tight.

Keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Tab on the left side of the iPhone switches it to vibrate. Even a BlackBerry addict knows that. :)

haha this is so great. my parents were at this concert and they couldnt believe it! they had to go 80 measures back and do the ending again.

In the surprise panic of the moment, the poor guy probably had a brain freeze. Come'on, the iPhone is idiot proof.

As annoying as this clearly was, I think the conductor overreacted by interrupting the performance for EVERYONE in the audience. But, then, after years as a professional violinist, I'm well aware that most conductors are egocentric jerks.

I have owned Nokia, HTC, Blackberry and now iPhone. IPhone is superior to me. alarm and mute can be confusing but like any phone if you dont know how to operate it you cant blame the device, unless its a inherrent fault. My next phone will be an Iphone if you hadnt guessed!t

I am guessing the Nokia was s40 and htc supports 3 operating systems currently and also had windows mobile phones in the past so it does not really narrow it down when you say you have tried htc. Heck even BlackBerry has come a long way since os 6 so your experience may be out of date. But yeah I love that on an iPhone I need a separate 3rd party app just to use my own music that I purchased legally through itunes as a ring tone or alarm sound.

To each their own but there is a heck of allot more freedom on a BlackBerry then on an iPhone. Symbian is my second choice for a phone os and android is third. For my tastes iOS and Windows Phone are far to limited and restrictive and I have used both extensively. While pretty, both platforms force compromises I am not willing to make

Unfortunate & embarrassing situation. I've recently ditched my BlackBerry (after 4 years of sticking up for RIM & BlackBerry devices & trying to convince myself they are superior to iPhone) & switched to the iPhone & I must say I don't think I'll ever go back to a BlackBerry but if I had to pick one thing I missed it would definitely be Notifications. iPhone rules in most departments but even with the new notification centre it's still lacking in this department.

Be warned, if you've downloaded the free Mullti-Alarm app for BlackBerry, it'll go off EVEN IF THE PHONE IS POWERED DOWN. No joke. (And yes, you've got to wait for the phone to power back up before you can shut it off.)

...what I get from this story is...if you leave BB for iPhone you'll eventually end-up looking like a dork...wishing you still had your BB

that's weird, because what I'm getting from this is that the guy had a new device for 1 day and wasn't familiar with it yet. I get this from this sentence in the article: "The day before the concert, the man's company had switched from BlackBerry to iPhone, and the poor gentleman had not yet become familiar with his new device."

gawd....can't we all just get along? I'm a long-time BB user. I have a Storm 2, yep, it still does it all for me. And a 32GB Blackberry Playbook, which I LOVE! I can be anywhere, and as long as my phone is with me, I can get to anywhere on the internet. I don't see others able to do that without some kind of Wi-Fi connection where they are.

That said, iPhone has a lot of good, cool things. Not nearly enough to make me change. I still don't like the difficulty I have with syncing songs on my iTouch unit. Trying to get rid of the songs for Christmas after the Holiday ended was a nightmare on the iTouch. All these "on-the-go" things getting added over and over to my iTunes and also now on my iTouch without my doing has gotten real old. Let me sync what I want and not what some Apple yuppie thinks would be great on there.

All that said, again I just simply say, stop all this infighting "mobile nations" (like how I worked that in there?). Whatever works for you, great. But don't diss others' choices. They don't need or want the same thing you would want. There are plenty of people without SmartPhones who think we are all completely insane for having one. To each their own! --Buckken

All good points, and the ITouch does have a way to remove songs from being synced through the ITunes Application when the device is connected.

Crackberry used to be a very informative about everything blackberry related... but I'm kind of disappointed by this post.... I own 2 bbs and 2 idevices and 1 android phone.... so I'm not biased... This post doesn't provide any real value to the community just to show how desperate are blackberry fans to show anything that would give rim credit of some type.... Blackberries are nice phones... but the market evolved... and if RIM doesn't get their act together, well, we all know what happened to dinosaurs....

So I guess we should censor websites from posting articles that are not just full of technical jargon? Alrighty then...

And yes, I know the market evolved, but that doesn't mean their devices have magically gone from good to bad. That just means the current fad doesn't apply to most BB devices. BB's best device is the Bold, but right now, the "cool" thing is to have a full touch screen phone. So obviously BB's sales will reflect that. It's just not "cool" to today's trends. But is the phone actually bad? Hell no, I love my Bold and in almost every situation where we need to find something and we all bring out our phones, between iPhones, multiple Android devices including the current fastest, the Galaxy S2, I *ALWAYS* find the info first, even if I don't bother taking my phone out of its holster until everyone else have already started tapping away on their phones. I'm not exagerrating either, I literally cannot remember a single time where someone else on one of these other devices have found the information before I do.

So I'm not a blind fanboy either, I didn't really like Blackberry years ago because I never tried them. I didn't switch to BB until after I realized how superior they are in terms of practical use. Sure it's not "cool" with a big screen so in those few moments someone asks me about my phone I can show off how cool youtube movies look on it, but in the 99% of the other time where it's just me using my phone needing to get info, it's fast, reliable, never runs out of batter unexpectedly, basically always there to back me up. Can't say the same about any other platform. Have seen everyone's phone let them down at least once...

I agree and you said it very well.
Over 25 years of technology experience.
Background in Avionics, self-taught on computers since the days of MS-DOS 2.0.
Experience with Windows, Mac OS, IOS, Palm OS, Android, BlackBerry OS, QNX, Window

What kind of stupid company would move their employees from BB to iPhone?? CEO must be some wannabe hipster or something. The BB is so much more flexible and has so many more capabilities that play right into a company's benefit...

Shoot, when I played in a country band in the 80s, we NEVER stopped while the power was on no matter what happened. We accompanied many a battle between tipsy folks and even kept going when a speaker was knocked down. Why stop playing for an iPhone?

Pride. I agree with them. I know in this instance it wasn't the guy's fault, but you are supposed to turn off all phones. You can't compare playing in a country band in a casual setting where people are drinking and talking to a concert hall symphony... I agree with the conductor. He was under the impression that this guy was too rude to turn off his phone, I would make a scene and stop the show too. Kind of like back in school when someone talks, the professor will stop and be like "oh, don't worry, finish your conversation, I won't interrupt you with my lesson..."

I have less sympathy than most here for the guy. Nothing irritates me more than people who use their cellphone (whether answering a call, texting, or having an alarm go off) during a movie, concert, play or whatever performance. At the very least, he should have left his seat and walked out of the auditorium until he could figure out how to shut the damn thing off.

These things wouldnt happen if he went to something decent, like a Slayer gig.

Although an iPhone wouldnt survive such a thing.

If you read the source article, you'll find that the gentleman describes himself as being between 60 and 70 years old. Not sure that Slayer would be his cup of tea. ha! 

Maybe he was using his iPhone to harmonize with the orchestra because......iPhone has an app for that :)

RIM is about to have a fire sale and have a amazon or google logo above its device because its over lol

RIP RIM....thats the "consequence" for not keeping up with the times :)

Love my 9900, but when I leave it on silent the alarm still rings... Maybe it was a setting I changed 2 Blackberries ago and have been using the device switch to carry over my settings

Maybe I'm BB biased but during an interview what type of toyish touchy smartphone an applicant carries makes a notable impression. It gets worse when the applicant cannot silence it immediately.

It's people like you I'd never want to work for, no matter what phone I use.

However, during an interview, if an applicant calls a smartphone "toyish and touchy", it makes me seriously question their judgement and attitude. So yes, you are BB biased.

Wow. This is news? I guess no one else in this world has never had a ringer they couldn't silence, or an alarm go off at a bad time. Guess crackberry is really reaching for a story these days.

If this happened with a BB all the BBfanbois would be shouting USER ERROR. This article is really reaching just to bash the market leader. The behavior usually manifests itself when one realizes that one does not have anything to brag about.

Idiots. At least with BB or any smart phone that HAS a battery door, you can just pull the battery out and shut the dam thing for good.
I'm sure that guy hadn't read the user manuals for his Iphone lol

From PalmOS to Windows Phone to Storm2 to Android to iPhone, I am proud to have tried them all and finally choose the best phone; the 9930!
I had my alarm go off in church, in the middle of the sermon and the pastor stopped til I turned it off and no smiting occured so I'm sure this guy will get over it.

The original story is so poorly written it's hard to believe it was published. It makes no sense at all.

First it talking about how this guy runs his two companies, but he blames the incident on his company switching his Blackberry to an iPhone the day before. Doesn't that mean he went out and got a new phone for himself? What does his company have to do with anything?

Then he claims he "turned off" the iPhone, not knowing that the alarm goes off even in "silent mode." Does this author have any reasoning skills?

Here is an idea for RIM - The new BB should switched to silence mode during the time of appoinment or meeting. Theere should be option to enable/disable the option to slience the phone as soon as user adds the entry into calendar.

Such an embarassing situation. This clearly shows how people need time to learn functions on the smartphones. The saddest thing is that the company which provided the phone has shifted from BB to iPhone.

IF he thinks an iPhone is complicated I would love to see him swipe his way through the Android systems.

I feel bad for the man. Nothing is more mortifying than to have a brain freeze and have everyone staring at you. It's happened to me, it's happened to everyone.
Switching from one device to another would mean these things are bound to happen, it has nothing to do with the capabilities of each phone. Human error, plain and simple. As has been noted, there is a switch on the iPhone right on the left side, which would have silenced it immediately. I made sure I knew where that switch was.
And I agree with the person who said that some conductors are arrogant twits. He was an over the top arrogant buffoon to stop the whole performance. Drama queen. Ever hear of "the show must go on"?

Ha, ha. I feel for the poor guy. Things happen.

I know several iPhone users and they love their iPhones. The iPhone has quite a few things that are nice. Especially with the iOS5 upgrade. However, there are quite a few things that you can do easier or "smarter" on a BlackBerry IF you get to know it.
That is really the BB problem. It is more customizable and therefore more powerful but the user needs to have the knowledge (and interest) to set it up that way.

Here is the bottom line for me. The iPhone is an easier and more pleasant phone to use out of the box (with the obvious exception of the keyboard) but the BlackBerry is more powerful after setting it up.

Both phones are quite nice. However, ease of use is an iPhone advantage. I believe this along with some superb marketing are the reason the iPhone is doing so well.

I love my BB and will probably never switch to android or iPhone but I like to tinker with them just to see what is out there. Since I like to tweak my devices, the BlackBerry is hands down the best for me. I have twelve preset buttons on my BB. Flashlight? no problem, just click twice. BBM Music (I love this thing)? no problem, I just lauch SCM and B and it not only opens it but automatically goes to my mellow music playlist and starts playing., I love to listen to the economist, which I download weekly as an MP3. Again, no problem. SCM and E for economist and it takes me directly to the Economist auto playlist.

I could go on and on about how awesome the Bold 9930 is but so could someone that has an iPhone. They are just different devices for different people. I just happen to love the physical keyboard, battery swap capability, security and customization. For me, it is always going to be a BB. And yeah, if you hold down the Q key for a second, it automatically enters silent mode so you won't have to go through what the poor fellow in the story did.

I will probably get flamed for saying this, but why are we talking so much about iPhones on CrackBerry? I love my BlackBerrys and HATE reading about iToys on this site.

I feel sorry for this guy at the concert but really don't want to read about it on CrackBerry. I would prefer more info about the upcoming BB10 phones!


- CB

What a desperate comment! Are you serious?

"An unintended consequence of switching from BlackBerry to iPhone"

I'm sorry Blackberry lover, but that is a consequence of switching to anything your not familiar of!

Front row at this concert I would have smashed the phone's screen on the armrest edge after pushing the physical buttons didn't work. Sorry boss, I dropped the phone on the subway stairs, then stepped on it by mistake...