For many years, BlackBerry smart phones produced by Canadian manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) were the natural choice for any business user. However, since Google introduced its Android operating system there has been a wider array of choice on the market, leading some to jump ship and leave their BlackBerry behind. The question remains today: is BlackBerry or Android the better choice for the modern businessperson?
On the surface of things, it certainly seems as though RIM’s efforts are geared towards enterprise customers to a greater degree than almost any Android handset. Models such as the Bold 9900 show that RIM is committed to staying competitive with its rivals when it comes to touchscreen displays, multimedia playback and social-networking integration. However, it has not lost sight of what made BlackBerry handsets so great in the first place, namely their messaging and email capabilities and physical QWERTY keypads.
It is still very easy to pick up a BlackBerry handset and synchronise it with an enterprise email system running on Exchange or one of the other popular platforms. In addition, the precision and speed with which you can type out messages using a physical keypad is still superior to the touchscreen typing required by most Android handsets. If social media is your thing, then getting Twitter updates direct to your BlackBerry’s home screen is another useful feature which RIM has integrated into modern iterations of the range.
Of course, Google has not been treading water with Android. It has instead been aggressively expanding into multiple areas of the market previously dominated by RIM and its rival Nokia. You can find plenty of Android handsets specifically designed for business users from a number of different manufactures. In addition, the open-source nature of Android means that it is easier for designers to create unique features that you will not find anywhere else, both in terms of software and hardware.
Android smart phones, such as the HTC Desire Z and Motorola Milestone range, even match up to BlackBerry handsets when it comes to sporting full QWERTY keypads. Rather than using a portrait orientation, these models typically feature slide-out keypads which put the screen in landscape and give you much more display real estate than an equivalent BlackBerry, even when you consider the touchscreen Torch.
A smart-phone platform is only as good as the applications that are available for it and in this respect you might identify Android as taking the lead. With hundreds of thousands of programs available on the Android Market, many of which are geared towards improving productivity and better organising your day, there should be lots for business users to get their teeth into. The BlackBerry App World is a little less well stocked, but over the years it has built up a good selection of applications for enterprise users. So while quantity may not be its strong suit, quality is certainly comparable with Android.
Blackberry or Android, you decide?
The decision between Android and BlackBerry may ultimately come down to the type of package you are being offered by a business provider. Because all Android and BlackBerry handsets share a set of core functions, which includes GPS navigation, Wi-Fi web access and solid messaging integration, price can play an important role in the decision-making process. One thing that is worth considering is the idea that you should try and ensure consistency across all of the business mobiles that you buy. This will make it easier for employees to share information and avoid any compatibility conflicts which could arise if you have a mixture of both Android and BlackBerry handsets being used simultaneously. A mobile upgrade is not something to be taken lightly, but can be critically important to your business.
Daisy Group plc. area one of the UK’s leading provider of business mobile phones and mobile broadband, offering the latest business mobile handsets and tariffs at competitive prices. As an O2 Centre of Excellence and Vodafone Premier Partner you can be confident that we will provide you with a range of services, tailored to meet your business requirements. Our business mobile packages are designed to help keep your business connected whether your a single user, a small- to medium-sized company or a large corporation.