iPhone not only the BlackBerry of small business, it’s becoming the BlackBerry of business, period

Scaling / July 3, 2009 / Alykhan Jetha

Back in 2007, even before I laid my hands on an actual iPhone, I declared that iPhone was the best business phone period!

I made that proclamation based on two things:

  1. The interaction model or UI
  2. The software stack

And because of these chops, I knew that we had to get Daylite or some incarnation of it on iPhone. Initially we did it via Sync Services where we got contacts and calendar info on iPhone and subsequently we released Daylite Touch (for which we got a Macworld “Best of Show”).

When the iPhone was released the BlackBerry *may* have had an edge, but I knew that edge would not last long. The main reason for that is iPhone’s software stack. RIM’s software stack pales in comparison and my take is the company will simply not be able to keep up. BlackBerry and Windows Mobile are doomed on the software front. There is hope to some degree for Android, but I think it is doomed too. I’m reserving judgement on the Palm Pre for now (too keep the competitive juices flowing, I’m hoping that the Pre is a big success).

Just as Apple is beating the pants off of Windows/Intel in terms of ease of use, stability, security and more, they will do the same thing in the mobile world. The reason: Apple understands that hardware is only part of the solution and that software is king.

Galen Gruman’s Deathmatch rematch: Blackberry versus iPhone makes an even stronger point of this argument. iPhone is now THE smartphone for business, period. In his July 3rd InfoWorld story, he ends with “the BlackBerry is yesterday’s mobile messenger, way past its prime and heading for retirement. The iPhone is light-years ahead of the BlackBerry on almost every count. RIM should be ashamed.”

With advanced apps like Daylite Touch popping up all over the App Store, and Apple’s steady improvements to the iPhone OS (and the capability to distribute it quickly), RIM’s value proposition is getting weaker and weaker.

To be fair, Galen highlights a few places where the BlackBerry beats the iPhone. The saddest one: “The fourth reason to choose a BlackBerry is because you really don’t want employees to use the Web or apps from a mobile device. If that’s your agenda, the BlackBerry will ensure you succeed.”

Being a Canadian company whose founders are doing some great things such as sponsoring the Perimeter Institute and MakeItSeven, I want RIM to succeed, but their long term odds are not looking good right now. Let’s hope they can pull a rabbit out of the proverbial hat.

Until next time…

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