iPhone vs Blackberry Storm

It’s pretty strange to me, that with 2 years development time or so that RIM had to develop an “iPhone killer”, the best they could do was to come up with the Storm.   From a physical perspective, the iPhone is slimmer and tapered at the ends, and narrower as well,  making it fit into the palm of your hand much easier.  Also, the large touch screen display, with one singular hardware button takes simplicity to new heights.  Apple’s big philosophy seems to be to keep things as sleek and simple as possible, something they ignored on the storm with it’s 4 hardware keys.  While both phones have large high resolution displays, the Blackberry Storm only displays 65536 colors against the iPhone’s 262,144.   This might not seem like a big issue, but the you’ll notice the difference in colors when browsing the web or viewing photos.

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As far as web browsing is concerned, Safari far outpaces the Storm’s in-house developed web browser, while Apple decided to go with (their own creation) Webkit.  Webkit is an open source framework of functions for creating web browsers, and renders web sites with far greater speed and smooth precision.   RIM decided to go with their own in-house developed web browser which while it works, it’s much slower and obviously more clunky.  Aside from that, RIM’s browser waters down images while the iPhone downloads and displays full graphics without downsampling to improve rendering speeds.  So a double whammy when the iPhone is displaying full images faster, smoother, and at a higher resolution.  The iPhone also has font smoothing, something quite desirable on a mobile device, where the Storm has none.

The iPhone’s email also far out paces the Storm with it’s full rich HTML email where the Storm over processes received emails, and they don’t look quite as well, and, you have to manually click through the menu to bring up images in emails.

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Speaking of which, there are no menus, and sub menus, and sub-sub menus on the iPhone.  This seems to be one of the main things that they seem to have missed at RIM.  Ever since the first smart phones hit the market, the idea has been to try to recreate a computer on a hand held device.  However, a desktop is a different animal with it’s large display, full querty keyboard, and a mouse, and windowed GUI.  Apple thought long and hard about the iPhone before they built it, and came to the conclusion that what’s good for the desktop/laptop PC, is NOT good for a hand held.  Then, they sat down, and designed an interface, along with a completely new software system, devoid of windows and menus, and created an interface that works based on how the device is being used.  Held in one hand, and operated by the other, ususally with a pointed finger.  Something completely natural.  RIM seems to have missed the point with the Storm.

Also, the lack of wi-fi on the Storm makes bad sense since there’s wi-fi hot spots all over now, many of which are free, so your choices are limited when it comes to data connections.

The Storm also does not have graphics acceleration, which makes the graphics slow and clunky overall.  The iPhone isn’t perfect in this area either, but it’s far better than the Storm when the graphics capabilities are pressed.  Overall, the storm has a sleeker more iPhone like interface, but it’s still not as good as the iPhone’s, and, it appears to be nothing more than a shell over the previous Blackberry operating system.  In other words, once you get past the “see it looks like an iPhone” on the outside, and click past the home screen, you’re essentially into the same menu system that’s been around since Xerox invented with windowed environment back in 1972.  That, in my opinion, is where RIM completely missed the boat.  Even with all of the hardware drawbacks, they could have done better on the software side than coating the same Blackberry OS with an iPhone-like icing on the outside.  With a price point that’s the same as the iPhone, there’s no contest.  The iPhone wins hands down in virtually every catagory.  In RIM’s defense, I can say that the removable battery is one thing that it has up on the iPhone, and, as far as inovation is concerned, the clickable touchscreen can be considered something new, although, I have no trouble without a force feedback keyboard, but I guess you could consider it something original if not inovative.

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