I remember the first day I saw a Blackberry. It was love at first sight. Standing in Roger McNamee’s office at Integral, he blew me a way with a demo of a two-lined screen beta unit. About six months later I got my first and don’t think one has left my side since.
That was until about eight weeks ago. Now, I’ve been carrying 2-3 mobile devices for sometime – all with a keen eye to dumping one or more. I just couldn’t imagine abandoning the utility of the Blackberry keyboard. I needed a personal smart phone so I could leave my MP3 player at home and keep by private business affairs separate. We didn’t have an iPhone equivalent so an iPhone it was. Then I got a Dell Streak. So which one to drop into my tech museum?
The Blackberry it is – and its for a simple reason. The Blackberry has just got progressively worse for the past 2-5 years. Worse performance. More crashes. A spinning black dial that just seems to take longer and longer to stop spinning. A lousy App store. A little screen that just never seemed to get bigger.
It is a great technology that hasn’t progressed. Its not going to die a slow death either. This is an industry in which brand loyalty wanes fast (anyone rushing to buy their next Palm?).
There’s lots I love about the Streak. I can live on it all day long. And carry it in my pocket. The screen is gorgeous and perfect for PowerPoint and .pdf files. The keyboard rocks with SlideIt installed. And it bridges my personal and business needs well.
I’ve found that apps ranging from Evernote through DropBox have made the screen matter more and more to me. I’m just reading more rich and dense docs while on the move. With a Streak I get the benefits of an iPhone, amplified, and none of the downside of a Blackberry.
Now we’ve made it official. As a company we’re rolling out Win 7 devices – the Dell Venue Pro — and Streaks powered by Android. It’s going to save us money.
The switch begins next week and will save the company about 25% in mobile communication costs, primarily by eliminating the need for BlackBerry servers, Mr. Gladden said. Dell will begin marketing a service to its business clients within two weeks aimed at helping them make a similar switch.
The company is also talking with T-Mobile USA about purchasing voice minutes and monthly data in bulk, rather than individual employee plans. Minutes and data that go unused by the company would carryover, Mr. Gladden said.
I’m looking forward to taking the Venue for a longer spin having played with one for a bit in Hong Kong last week. It was fast. Really fast. And the interface beautifully simple.
Either way, its bye bye Blackberry.