8 Reasons to Pick iPhone Over BlackBerry Storm

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4) Full QWERTY (Virtual) Keyboard

The iPhone may not have a physical QWERTY keyboard -- read: buttons -- but the virtual keyboard that appears on screen is always a full QWERTY keyboard, meaning each and every letter/numeral/symbol has its own on-screen key.

That's not the case with the virtual keyboard found on the BlackBerry Storm -- unless it's in landscape mode. When held upright, the Storm's touch screen keyboard is a SureType keyboard like the ones found all of RIM's BlackBerry Pearl devices. SureType keyboards have multiple characters on keys, and though RIM's predictive text system can be helpful after you get used to it, it doesn't lend itself particularly well to rapid typing and can be a nightmare for new users.

When the BlackBerry Storm is tilted 90 degree on its side -- landscape mode -- the virtual keyboard extends itself and becomes a full QWERTY, but changing the orientation in this way greatly reduces screen real estate and makes view certain pages more difficult. Though the iPhone cannot be used to type in landscape mode unless you purchase a third-party app like TouchType, we much prefer the iPhone's existing full QWERTY to the Storm's SureType keyboard.

3) Wi-Fi Support

The iPhone currently has Wi-Fi, but the BlackBerry Storm doesn't. That could be a deal breaker for some folks, especially those who don't have great wireless coverage in their homes but want to utilize a personal wireless network.

iPhone users also get free Wi-Fi hot spot access at more than 17,000 AT&T Hot Spot locations, including various Starbucks, Barnes & Noble and McDonald's restaurants. AT&T already offers free Wi-Fi to BlackBerry Bold users with unlimited data plans -- though whether or not it's actually available is another story -- and the carrier says it will soon extend the offer to more of its RIM smartphone users. But Storm owners are out of luck, as the Verizon 9530 doesn't support Wi-Fi -- just like all the other BlackBerrys Verizon sells.

2) iPod Media Player

Apple's iPod is the number one digital media player in the world, and that's for good reason: The iPod is remarkably simple to employ, its user interface is beautiful and intuitive, and thanks to Apple's impressive marketing blitz, the device is perceived as "cool" by teenagers and baby boomers alike.

The iPhone is both a mobile phone and iPod -- hence the creative name -- and, though RIM has drastically improved the media player found in BlackBerry handheld OS versions 4.5, 4.6 and with the Storm release, v4.7, the BlackBerry still has nothing on the iPhone's media player. (To be fair, I haven't spent any time with the Storm's media player and it could be vastly improved over both the BlackBerry OS v4.5 and 4.6 media players, with which I'm very familiar. However, I feel comfortable in saying that the iPhone will still have a leg up over the Storm when it comes to media.)

1) iPhone's Safari Browser

My favorite thing about the iPhone is its Safari Web browser. In fact, I have trouble calling the iPhone's Safari a mobile browser at all, since it comes so close to a real desktop browsing experience. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for any current BlackBerry device. (Again, I've only had a few minutes with the Storm's BlackBerry browser, but the currently available versions are light-years behind the iPhone, so I'm not hesitant to predict that the Storm will still be lacking in this regard.)

One of the best things about the iPhone browser is how it integrates with the iPhone's touch screen to allow for easy, touch-gesture based, scrolling, zooming and other basic navigation. The Storm has a variety of touch-based navigational gestures, as well, so it will no doubt improve upon earlier versions of the BlackBerry browser. But if I had to base my purchasing decision on mobile Web browsing, I'd pick the iPhone every time.

Now that you've read my argument for choosing the iPhone, check out "BlackBerry Storm v iPhone 3G: 8 Reasons to Pick the Storm."

This story, "8 Reasons to Pick iPhone Over BlackBerry Storm" was originally published by CIO.

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