Australian Department of Treasury swaps Blackberry for iPhone

The Australian Department of Treasury has announced its intentions to ditch its Blackberry devices and take on iPhone 5s. According to CNET, the department’s chief information officer Peter Alexander noted the change:

“We’re going to use Apple devices as our corporate platform — iPhones and iPads for now. Basically because iOS has been evaluated by Defence Signals Directorate.”

The department will adopt 250 devices in total. As RIM just announced the new Blackberry 10, timing is bad for the Canadian company. “With the new one being launched, it’s almost too late,” said Alexander. “Maybe it’ll catch up, maybe it won’t.”


US ATF abandons BlackBerry for iPhone

More bad news for RIM. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Chief Information Officer Rick Holgate has stated that the ATF will replace 3,800 BlackBerry handsets, sixty percent of which will be iPhones. Politico reports that about 2,400 special agents will start receiving their iPhones as early as March 2012.

“We’re going to delete the BlackBerry from the mix,” Holgate said.


[Via AppleInsider]

Alerts make the iPhone “worse” than BlackBerry

Jonathan Geller explains “why the iPhone is worse than a BlackBerry” at BGR:

“I need more control over my alerts…I really wish Apple would…allow users to set custom alert settings for different things. For instance, I’d love it if I could have different profile modes with settings for vibrate, ring, volume and ringtone much like how RIM’s BlackBerry phones have worked for ages.

Apple could totally take this one step further and allow location-based profiles for alerts, system settings, and more. When I get home, I want Bluetooth to turn off automatically, and I want my alert profile to change, for instance.”

That sounds good. Ryan Cash suggested something similar after “Patron X’s” iPhone interrupted a performance of the New York Philharmonic in January. Perhaps Apple will look into it.

But to say that inferior custom alert options alone make the iPhone “worse than BlackBerry” is ridiculous.

On the iPhone’s 4th anniversary

The iPhone’s retail debut was on June 29, 2007 — four years ago today. Its large touch screen isn’t novel anymore, but was revolutionary then. For example, here are three smartphones what were white-hot in 2007:

The HTC Tilt 8925 / TyTN

The Treo 755p

The BlackBerry Curve


Today they look archaic. Especially the HTC Tilt. Goodness, what a beast.

iPhone 4 extinguishes Torch in web browsing [Updated]

Sorry for the cheesy headline. I’m allowed one every now and then.

Here’s a video produced by that compares the web browsing performance of a BlackBerry Torch 9800, an iPhone 4 and a Samsung Captivate. They guys load several sites, both mobile-optimized and not, on all three devices simultaneously. They test performance over Wi-Fi and cell networks. The iPhone wins every time.

As the video progresses, the testers get desperate for their horse to win. At one point, Dieter [2. Update: Rene Ritchie points out that Dieter was more for the iPhone and the Captivate. Thanks, Rene.] notes that enabling Wi-Fi on the iPhone 4 is “…a fiasco.” Granted, he did encounter two unnecessary taps since his Settings app had been left in the Safari settings. But honestly, four taps to turn something on is hardly a “fiasco.” Do you know what is a fiasco? When the entire European Commission and all of Saudi Arabia decide not to use BlackBerries. That’s a fiasco.

Later, when all three devices have loaded the full version of National Geographic, the Torch obviously struggles with pinch-and-zoom and scrolling. Its anemic Qualcomm MSM7600 CPU is almost certainly to blame.

Finally, the testers agree that the Torch would beat the iPhone 3GS. It seems odd to compare RIM’s latest and greatest to Apple’s model from last year, no?

BlackBerry Torch [Updated]

Oh, RIM. Adding a multi-touch display while keeping the slide-out physical keyboard demonstrates that you don’t truly get the iPhone aesthetic. When Steve Jobs introduced the original iPhone in 2007, he noted that the problem with smartphone user interfaces is in the collection of  buttons in the “bottom 40.” Here’s why.

First, they’re always there. They don’t get out of the way when you don’t need them. RIM and others have decided that the solution is to put the lot on a sliding tray that can be hidden behind the touch screen. It’s a logical choice but not the best one. If  your fingers are already on the touchscreen, why move them off to enter text? Plus, you’ve added a moving part that’s going to eventually break.

Also, Steve asked, what happens six months from when you get a great idea that requires a new button? You can’t add it because the devices have already shipped.

RIM’s hesitation is grounded in fear that users will complain loudly if they take the that keyboard away. Apple never had it and can’t keep iPhones on the shelves. It’s time, RIM. Lose the keyboard.

Update: Scott McNulty notes that the physical keyboard makes email much more useable. I haven’t used one for email, but I trust his judgement.