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Battle of the brands

The two biggest competitors in the fight for the best smart phone are the Blackberry and the iPhone

 

BY KAYLA WRIGHT

Look into any classroom at Algonquin College and you’ll find that the majority of students own some type of smartphone, which allow them to connect with friends and family easily, check their emails and take advantage of the multiple features these phones have to offer.

Two of the most popular smartphones in the world are Apple’s iPhone and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry.

The first iPhone was unveiled on Jan. 9, 2007 and went on sale on June 29 of the same year. The newest iPhone, the fifth generation iPhone 4S, was released Oct. 14, 2011 and has been labeled “the most amazing iPhone yet,” by Apple, themselves.

The BlackBerry was developed by RIM in 1999 as a two-way pager before today’s more popular line of smartphone was released in 2003.

In this day and age smartphones are almost essential to a person’s everyday life. There’s almost nothing that can’t be done on a smartphone, whether it’s texting, checking emails, getting directions or listening to music. Business people, students andpeople of all ages and professions have turned to buying smartphones.

But which phone is better?

The answer to that, it seems, depends on the preferences of the consumer. There are iPhone lovers like Kay Mahoney, a graphic design student, and Jake Cooke, a student in the e-supply chain management program at Algonquin College. And there are BlackBerry lovers like student Alex Lefebvre and Algonquin alumni Amy Taylor. Very rarely will you find someone who loves both-but that doesn’t mean they haven’t tried both.

Cooke has owned both the BlackBerry and iPhone. “What I like about the iPhone that I didn’t like or get with the BlackBerry are that it has a larger space for music and a better operating system for the phone,” said Cooke. He said he switched from the BlackBerry to the iPhone because not only does it hold more music, but the navigation on the iPhone web browser is better.

In comparison to that, Lefebvre said that he likes the music space on his BlackBerry.

With that being said, both phones have their own faults, just as they have their own praises. While the iPhone’s battery life might drain quicker than the BlackBerry, the iPhone’s network seems to work better than the BlackBerry’s. And while BlackBerry’s email system is almost perfect compared to a slightly flawed iPhone’s, there are more apps for the iPhone.

“The main appealing features for iPhones are accessibility, touch-screen, hands-free, multiple programs able to run, App Store [and the] ability to organize apps into folders that are able to be personalized,” said Mahoney.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the iPhone and the Blackberry is the network.

In Oct. 2011, RIM’s network crashed, creating an outcry of angry BlackBerry owners who were unable to use the email and BBM features. It lasted for days, which turned many of RIM’s clients against the company and into the iPhone.

While the RIM crash didn’t affect everyone, a lot of people think RIM’s technology is lacking in comparison to the iPhone.

“They’re now behind the curve in their niche market,” said Cooke.

Cooke says his phone is completely essential to his daily life. “I don’t drive so I don’t listen to the radio. I do a lot of walking and bussing and I like to have a sound track with me wherever I go.

“I also need it to keep up to date on my emails, because I always forget to check them on the computer,” said Cooke, who also uses the CIBC app to check his account balance and pay his bills.

Mahoney says her iPhone 4S is also essential to her everyday life, saying: “With having a child, being a student, a free-lance photographer and in-progress graphic designer. The iPhone helps me achieve my goals a lot quicker and efficiently.”

On the other side, Lefebvre, who hasn’t had a problem with his Blackberry, says he uses his phone “Every day, all day.”

With that said, if you’re looking for a new smartphone to make your life easier, the decision is completely up to you and your own preferences.

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