iPhone’s Weaknesses As a Business Phone

Still thinking about iPhone versus BlackBerry. The iPhone is great, but I prefer the BlackBerry for business use. The iPhone’s weakest points:

  • The speakerphone is unusable. Volume is far too low, quality of sound is below par. Unusable.
  • There isn’t a good way to carry the phone and/or stuff it in your pocket without paying attention to it. The surface of the screen responds to your unintentional touches, so as you try to lift up and put it in your pocked, boom, you’re disconnected. This morning I spilled my coffee because I was babying the iPhone so much. The BlackBerry, it gets stuffed in a pocket and forgotten about.
  • Mute button. Twice now I’ve accidentally unmuted myself during conversations and ended up sharing just a little too much. The mute button should not be where it is and shouldn’t be so easily triggered. Funny thing is there’s a physical switch on the side of the iPhone that turns the ringer on and off (I think). Why not have that be the mute button?

What does a business call look like? You put it on speaker (or headset), put it on mute, stuff the phone away while driving / walking / not paying attention, and unmute when you need to chime in. iPhone is weak in all of these areas. The BlackBerry, on the other hand, is strong - good speaker, physical mute button, easy to carry / stuff in a pocket without accidentally hitting buttons.

What’s missing from the BlackBerry really is just a usable browser. I don’t see why you couldn’t have a decent browser on there. It’d be missing the multi-touch zooming ability of the iPhone, which would be a big deal, but I think that can be worked around. For example, with a single-touch capable touchscreen and a physical button on the side of the phone you could pretty easily zoom in to an area of the screen (put your finger where you want to zoom, push the button).

The iPhone could more easily morph to become a good business phone than a BlackBerry could become a decent browsing device, but with a few improvements BlackBerry could significantly reduce the benefit of jumping ship to iPhone.