If you have been paying any attention to the smartphone market over the past five years, then you are aware of the importance of the blackberry. The blackberry, developed by Research in Motion in Canada, was one of the first smartphones. Smart phones such as the BlackBerry were originally based on PDAs such as the Palm Pilot. The BlackBerry was originally developed to do one thing incredibly well: e-mail. In a world in which e-mail is increasing in volume the BlackBerry is still used (particularly in the corporate world).
While the BlackBerry is currently losing out to competitors such as the iPhone and Android in the smartphone market war, it still has a large and very devoted following. This is because of a number of factors, such as the physical keyboard, push e-mail, and BlackBerry messaging. These features, which are only available on other smartphones to varying degrees, make the BlackBerry the only acceptable smart phone for many business people.
Although the software keyboard is the de facto keyboard input method for most smart phones on the market, the BlackBerry primarily utilizes a hardware keyboard. For those who have had years of practice on hardware keyboards, software keyboards are anathema. Therefore, many business people will only use a blackberry simply because of the hardware keyboard. Anything else would be difficult for these users to type on.
Push E-mail and Exchange Server Support
Although most phones now support exchange server support, for many years, this was one of the prime differentiating factors from the BlackBerry to other smartphones on the market (such as iPhone). Now, many BlackBerry users are addicted to push e-mail. Here's how push e-mail works: whenever the user receives an e-mail on his or her server, the e-mail is "pushed" to the Blackberry. The user then receives a notification that he has received an e-mail.
This is in contrast to other phones, in which messages are pushed to the phone in intervals such as 15 min., 5 min., or 30 min. For users who can't wait that long to receive e-mail messages, the BlackBerry is still king.
## BlackBerry Messaging ##
Much business correspondence is short, terse, and to the point. Often, simple yes or no answers suffice. While many people who have smart phones may use text messages for this purpose, BlackBerry users use BlackBerry Messaging. BlackBerry Messaging allows users to send free unlimited messages between BlackBerry users. Therefore, coworkers can message each other back and forth at no additional cost. Yes, Apple is attempting to compete with this feature with its new iMessages feature, but BlackBerry messages are affordable and useful ways of corresponding between team members who also have BlackBerries.
The BlackBerry is becoming less and less popular, and analysts do not believe that Research in Motion is in sound financial shape. Consider this fact before you buy a BlackBerry. Will research in motion be around in three years to support your BlackBerry?
If most of your colleagues use BlackBerries, it might be worth buying one simply for BlackBerry messaging. However, if you can get past the lack of a hardware keyboard and push notifications, the BlackBerry is no longer the finest smart phone on the market.