Blackberry, Android or Apple iPhone? Which Will Rule the Telecom Industry in the Future?

With Blackberry’s recent disastrous performance in the UK (the whole system crashed for multiple days, causing all kinds of business mayhem for the freewheeling digital nomad and office bound executive alike), one wonders how future sales will fare. Certainly the tone of cell phone reviews looking at Blackberry at the moment in the UK are less than favourable – indeed some might say rather mocking. The person on the street only seems to have an Android if their parents have failed to buy them an iPhone – which leads us to suspect that Apple’s dominance in the sector is not slowing down.


That said, cell phone reviews in recent years have been less than complimentary about successive versions of the iPhone, which have experienced two main criticisms: to wit, why keep bringing out successors and forcing everyone to ditch their old iPhone, which until recently we were being told was the best thing ever; and why launch new iPhones with Apps that don’t work properly (anyone who has heard what happened when Apple’s latest voice recognition App was taken to Scotland will know exactly what I’m talking about)?

In other words – more haste, less speed. The Apple iPhone and the Blackberry had more or less been going head to head in the cell phone reviews for the last couple of years, with fan bases on both sides of the divide (my fiancée, for example, loves the ABC keyboard on her Blackberry, though she wasn’t so happy when the network stopped working) vociferous in their support of their chosen device. Now maybe the Android, as the only device yet to receive a genuine pummelling in the media, might step up to the mark and make a bit of a name for itself.

At the end of the day, mind, you have to look at the technology that these three phones are being designed to serve. We’re in a period of transition at the moment, between seeing our devices as items that have all sorts of things on them; and seeing them as portals into an internet where anything we want to use can be downloaded and accessed. As our net use becomes more about what the net can do (see the Cloud for more information on this kind of usage), and less about what our individual phones do, the only thing we’ll care about with our smart phones is how good the screen is and how easy it is to type and select stuff.

The iPhone is never going to lose its grip on the market – or is it? Cell phone reviews from only four years ago would show that Nokia and Motorola were royalty. Now where are they? Scratching to catch up or tending to the techno-phobe market by releasing retro themed phones that break after six months’ use.


The point? The future is unpredictable for smart phones. Apple is still riding high on its slightly annoying wave – I ask you, is any product that uses its instant obsolescence as a marketing tool (see recent iPhone 4 ads for more on that) really worthy of such universal love? – but that isn’t going to last forever. And when the wave breaks, the Android could suddenly find itself in pole position. 

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