With the announcement of the $100 million iFund by Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (man, that is a mouthfull) it seems that Apple is going out for a Blackberry killer and the possibility of taking the iPhone to an enterprise level.
Do I, as a hardcore loyal Blackberry user, think that this is possible?
Currently. I think no. My one major fault with the Blackberry over the iphone is the keyboard. Blackberry users are very in tune with the touch of their keyboards. It is the one thing that separates us from the apes. OK, that might be a slight exaggeration… However, everytime I have attempted to use the iphone keyboard I have become angry and frustrated. I realise that every new device has some learning curve to it, but I find that using the keyboard on any real level nearly impossible because I can’t feel the typing and my fingers must be extremely fat (Tim can attest to this fact).
Blackberry users (come on picture them with me now – khaki pants, blue button down shirt, phone holster) are not typically patient people who learn new technologies quickly which is why I imagine getting them to switch will be a tough chore. They also don’t care too much about having all the bells and whistles on their phones. It was only about a year ago that they even bothered getting cameras on their Crackers and I know very few users that actually take advantage of this feature.
There is defo some crossover audience between Blackberry and iPhone users and I have witnessed this in what I like to call the “Cracker/iPhone sandwich”. This is the young exec who is forced by work to have a Blackberry, but still wants to appear cool and have a gadget to play with so also carries an iPhone. Smashed together into a sandwich. But these are few and far between (cough, Taavet). I mean, I don’t even do that and we all know I’m a gadget geek…
I guess time will tell. I think that iPhone will have a far better shot of winning over Enterprise users that aren’t familiar with the Blackberry than us old souls that are loyal and hooked on our Crackers. Maybe this will also push RIM to get a few better interfaces (and maybe some of that cool touchscreen sliding action which is all I really like with the iPhone).