Last Updated Dec 7, 2009 3:52 AM EST
The quote from pharma company Roche's CIO said it all: "iPhone is not a business tool, but a nice to have. The backbone is BlackBerry [for heavy email users]."
Eleven months later, though, have attitudes changed? It was a brave CNETUK that took issue with the iPhone's call quality, battery life, overheating touchscreen and its strangely passive way with a ring tone.
But what does the finicky, not-easily-sold-to business user make of it now?
Well, put it this way: Stuart Cross, our strategy blogger and a frequent transatlantic traveller, is totally sold:
- It is truly revolutionary: The iPhone was the first real mini-computer. It combines hardware, software and web access brilliantly. Why would I want to be with a follower when I can be with the leader?
- It is beautiful: It is just looks so simple and elegant. Perfect! The BlackBerry on the other hand looks, well, clunky.
- It's so easy to use: My youngest son is now 4 years old, but even when he was 2 he could find photos and play games on the phone. The touch-screen is wonderful and it never ceases to amaze me how (1) I can increase the size of pictures on the screen with my fingers and flick from one photo to another; and (2) when I turn the screen from portrait to landscape the picture changes with me!
- I am happy to use it as a phone: Unlike Raspberry users I am delighted to use the iPhone as a phone, rather than hiding it in a little pouch on my belt.
- It has created a whole new industry: It has generated an entirely new market sector of applications development, bringing work and revenue to software developers and new levels of happiness to apps users.
- It reminds me that I'm not an email slave: To me Blueberry's are a sign that you're a slave to corporate emails. The iPhone, on the other hand, puts me in charge, allowing me to download emails when I'm ready to read them, not when the machine dictates.
- It fits into my whole life, not just my work life: We shouldn't think of ourselves as having a work life, a home life and a social life: we just have a life. The iPhone works for my whole life, combining web access, phone, text, emails, games, music and TV and film entertainment (I watched 'Sideways' on it on the train a few evenings ago). The apps have helped my life even more. One of them, for example, helps me tune my guitar and another tells me everything I need to know about Preston North End.
- It has helped me avoid marital strife: One of the apps I've downloaded is Sky Sports. My wife doesn't want us to subscribe to Sky TV; for some strange reason she thinks I'll want to watch sport all the time! Having Sky Sports on my iPhone helps me sneak away to watch the odd match without any arguments.
- The lead designer is British: Apple's design chief is Jonathan Ive, from the UK. Even better, Jonathan went to Newcastle Polytechnic and I spent 10 really happy years living in Newcastle. He should demand the unquestioning loyalty and appreciation of the entire British nation!
- It works perfectly with my Mac: It's almost as if they were made to go together...
- It's my office away from the office - if I want it to be: Everyone says that BlackBerry users are 'email slaves' well, I love having my emails come through immediately, being able to read powerpoints and excel docs at the touch of a button, and if I don't want it, I don't look at it -- we're not slaves, we just realise our phone is better than yours.
- Push Email from the start: getting emails on your iPhone is anything but easy, you have to actively go and get them (who has the time for that!?) and it eats into your battery life - BlackBerry has always had push email from the very beginning, letting you sit back whilst your phone does all the hard work.
- It synchronises my whole life- brilliantly: When I add or change an event or a contact on my computer in Exchange, the changes automatically appear on the BlackBerry wirelessly - and yes that even includes my meetings down the pub after work...
- There are so many available: if you prefer qwerty keyboard, there's a BlackBerry for that, if you want a touchscreen, theres a blackberry for that. If you want a white one, purple one, black one, leather one... there's a BlackBerry for that too.
- Keyboard shortcuts: my BlackBerry plays music, and from the touch of a button can take me from my emails to my favourite song
- I dont need a phone to look 'cool': I need a phone that can call someone, get me to my destination (via GPS) show me my emails and take me to the internet - without running out of battery or slipping out of my hands.
- Qwerty keyboard: Have you tried typing an important email on an iPhone with your fingers? I'ts anything but relaxing...or attractive.
- It works perfectly with my mac... or my PC...and most importantly any of my emails, attachments and contacts.
- I need my phone to work: the iPhone may look 'pretty' against your ear, but its me and my blackberry that's calling someone whilst your stressed your call won't get through and when it does, the quality isnt great so you end up having to text anyway...oh damn, your iphone battery just died.
- I don't need an app! Im perfectly capable of finding a taxi/wiping my own *** without the need to pay someone Â£2.99 for the priviledge.