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Blackberry or iPhone: The great debate

The iPhone by Apple has been one of the most popular electronic phenomenons ever. When it was introduced in 2007, consumers hungry for the new touch-screen technology lined up to pay top dollar for the PDA’s (personal digital assistants). In addition to being a telephone, the devices act as a mini-computer, allowing users to send and receive email, surf the web, and much more.

Rochelle Hicks, deputy director of the Ridgeland Tourism Commission, said she’s had her iPhone since July. “I stood in line for three hours in the heat to get it and then when I got in the door, I was the first person who had to order one. They had run out right before my turn. Anyway, I received it a few days later and I love it. It is like having a computer at my fingertips all the time. I can look up weather, set my alarm, make my grocery list, listen to my i-tunes and the list goes on! The apps are absolutely amazing, and I cannot figure how they do all of these things, but it makes life so easy.”

But for many folks, iPhones are not so desired. Kathy Ford, an independent marketing and public relations consultant in Madison, said she prefers the BlackBerry as her PDA of choice. “I have the BlackBerry Curve, and I love it.”

Maggie Clark, owner of Maggie Clark Media Service, said her assistant just got a new BlackBerry. “Most of the folks I know who got the iPhone love all the bells and whistles it offers, but they tell me it’s not a very good phone. I actually know people who use their iPhone for everything but a phone. They went back to their old cell phone for that.”

David Thornton, a producer and director for TransMedia Creative in Gulfport, said he woulsd love to have an iPhone, “but instead I have a Blackberry because t-Mobile doesn’t support iPhone.” Apple has an exclusive contract with AT&T. The iPhone requires a new two-year AT&T rate plan, sold separately to qualified customers.

While iPhones are wildly popular, the craze hasn’t had an adverse affect on Cellular South, according to Jim Richmond, director of corporate communications for the carrier. “The BlackBerry is our most popular PDA, and from a durability standpoint, you can’t beat them,” he stressed. “They’re great even for kids. My 14-year-old son took money out of his savings account to buy a BlackBerry Pearl, because I just wouldn’t buy him another phone!”

Dave Miller, public relations manager for Cellular South, said that with more than 21 million BlackBerry users on over 375 wireless networks in 140 countries, the Blackberry Smartphone has become a kind of body part for its owners. “Most know that the device, developed by the Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM), gives mobile users access to e-mail, phone, games and the Internet. Also, enterprises as well as individual users are using BlackBerry for different applications. The iPhone has been popular because of its touchscreen user interface experience and its growing list of Apple applications.

Jackson photographer Josh Hailey is a big iPhone fan. He uses it to keep in touch with friends and clients both by phone and email, and he uses the camera function frequently to take and store snapshots. Dan Modisett, station manager at WLBT said that while both his sons have iPhones, he chooses to use a BlackBerry. “I think it’s a good choice if using it strictly for business emails, but the iPhone is the one to have if you want to play. Both of my sons have Mac computers, so it’s a natural fit for them. As far as our company goes, our staff has the choice of either a BlackBerry or a Treo. I’ve had them both, and they are both very good.”

Contact MBJ contributing writer Susan Marquez at larssue@aol.com .


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