Round Robin: Crackberry Kevin Goes Public Frenemy #1 on the iPhone 3G!

[This is an official Smartphone Experts Round Robin post! Every day you reply here, you're automatically entered for a chance to win an iPhone 3G, Case-Mate Naked Case, and Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset! Full contest rules here!]

The iPhone 3G drives Crackberry Kevin nuts, no doubt about it. Sure, he likes a few aspects of it, including the inimitable App Store, but the push buzz when he's talking, the lack of a back (button, that is), and a million other things add up to make him officially re-dub the device the Ah-[Redacted] phone.

While WMExpert Dieter kept hammering away about the openess of the platform, Crackberry Kevin focuses more on BlackBerry-type productivity. But that's the beauty of the Round Robin -- we get so many looks at so many different devices/platforms from so many different points of view.

Coming from a turbo tactile typing, push email addiction like the BlackBerry Bold, does Kevin have some legitimate gripes? Or is this just a case of post-Storm-FAIL sour grapes?

Confession: many of the things he picks on, we've complained about numerous times on TiPb already. But we're allowed to offer constructive criticism about our beloved device. Can CrackBerry get away with it?

NOT. Head on over to and let him know what you think before El Jobso himself decides to call Public Frenemy #1 up and give him a little Apple-powered "Skidoosh!" You could even win a BlackBerry Bold for your trouble!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Round Robin: Questions About the HTC FUZE?

Next up →

Hockenberry: An Open Letter to Steve Jobs on App Store Pricing

Reader comments

Round Robin: Crackberry Kevin Goes Public Frenemy #1 on the iPhone 3G!


These anti-iPhone people are desperate people... so they do desperate things – like these spiteful videos. :lol:

"Push buzz while talking"? Uh oh - please tell me that's an isolated incident. I just ordered an iPhone two days ago and coming from a BlackBerry curve, an annoying buzz during my phone conversations is unacceptable. This device IS a PHONE first and foremost afterall.

lol at the "ahhh beeeep..."
btw who needs a backspace, better yet a calculator, with that zippo HAHAHA


I see the future iPhone overcoming it's quirks before anyone else catches up to today's iPhone. It's still the best, unless you're obsessed with counting taps. Try keeping track of the smile-to-frown (sp?) ratio and see who wins.

All the comments about the iPhone owning are let's see TRUE!!! Back button r u serious get outa here I would never ever ever ever ever want a back button ewww r u serious?!?! The people at crackberry are ridiculous if they had it there way like burger king they would put as many ugly dumb in the way pointless buttons on this phone and in the end just turn it into a better blackberry lol. This is the best phone ever so much better then anything rim has and it will stay that way

As a long time Blackberry user I have to agree with him in one sense, the messaging service, notification, and interface are much, much better on the blackberry than my iphone. No contest. On my BB if i got a new email I could take it out of hits holster, peek at it to see if it was worthy of attention and put it back in my holster in one second. I can't even get to the iphone unlocked in one second. the mulitmedia, apps, and browsing are much better on the iphone. I've had the iphone since it first came out, and bought the 3g on day one (through a second account), so I am no rookie like Kevin either. In a perfect world I'd have both and use my BB for messaging and iphone for everything else. Because I can't do that I think I'm going to go back to the blackberry soon and get an iPod touch to use with wi-fi.
And I'd be really interested to see if anyone claims that it is the best ever has really tried any other smartphones. I actually think the Nokia's are better at email and texting than the iphone too. But they have their own issues. Even the Centro is great at some of this stuff. I've tested alot of different devices and I think they all have strengths and weaknesses and some are better than others for certain niches.

PS. When I said interface was better above I meant email interface. Not the whole thing. The BB's context menus give you lots of options when working on an email that just aren't available on the iphone.

Jimmy - I found the Curve to be a much better phone. My iphone drops calls ALL THE TIME (this has been blogged about by many folks), and the speaker phone on my curve worked alot better.
The iphone is probably an average cell phone as far as calls go. The Curve and the 8800 are top of the line. I don't know about the Bold or (crappy) Storm.
Oh... and battery life. Forget about not charging your BB for 3 days. I have to charge my iphone multiple times through the day if I use it as much as I used to use my BB.

after using the blackberry for a long time, I moved to the iphone. I still think the iPhone is a much more versatile phone

that just proves kevin's point on iphone being an entertainment phone and blackberry being a messaging phone

Pre-iPhone I used both WM and Blackberry phones, and my wife is an eternal Nokia user so I'm pretty familiar with different phone OS's. While I have many issues with the iPhone it really is the most enjoyable and technologically progressed platform out there. It does lack features on paper but in terms of usability it's years ahead of it's time. It really is a special phone. But I could easily turn on it if WM7 can function without a stylus, or if the storm wasn't the worst phone ever made. Hahaha clickable screen.

Matt: "that just proves Kevin’s point on iphone being an entertainment phone and blackberry being a messaging phone"
I think the iPhone is much more then the entertainment phone. But you have to put the whole thing in perspective:

  1. iPhone has been on the market only 1.5 years and there is definitely room for improvement.
  2. iPhone is built from the ground up with a human being using it in mind, hence the #1 mission statement for the iPhone (surprise, surprise): THE EASE of USE (and near-zero learning curve).
  3. The lack of more advanced features (i.e. mind-boggling messaging or email power-user stuff) is practically entirely due to the point 2 above, not because Apple cannot do it.
  4. iPhone is not a product of function. To rephrase the famous words: "Dorothy, we are not in the 20th century anymore". These days users need more then just a function. Many tech reviewers fail to realize this and endlessly compare iPhone with various models function to function.

I would define the iPhone as the "engineering work of art for the mobile connoisseur", if you will :-)

I think if the iPhone improved the the ability to access contacts, shorten the steps involved in making a phone call, and development concentrated a little more on business productivity thee would be nothing to discuss here. The iPhone is intuitive and fun. It has a lot more coming it's way. I have no doubt Apple is going to form it into a more serious device. It certainly has that potential.

Well said, Mav.
And let me just add to it that the whole "power user's" motivation to using these "power functions" isn't that they even NEED to, but rather simply that they CAN.
There's no MS Office doc in the world that MUST be edited and emailed within seconds to save an entire project from total collapse. Gimme a freakin break. These people are just pretentious nerds who want to "play" with their "work" from their gadgets. End of story.

Sounds like someone is still a little upset that his favorite company's new touch phone can't come close to touching the iphone...

Personally, this seems like it's beating a dead horse. Like Kevin said, either device works, it just depends on your preference of what experience you want.

To me the biggest difference edge for the Bold over the iPhone when it comes to usability is sending e-mails, messages, etc...anything having to do with typing, b/c there's a learning curve with a software keyboard...actually with any keyboard. And when it comes to software, the iPhone beats the BB Bold, hands down.
Another thing...just like with Mac OS X not focusing on business users and concentrating on user experience, Apple is doing the same thing with iPhones and it is helping them market to consumers and get them interested in smartphones.

@Jimmy I have to disagree. I rarely use my phone to actually make calls. SMS, browsing and email are my main apps. Voice calls are soooooo 2005 :P
I don't love the navigation of the address book, but i hear people complaining about it while at the same time NOT using favorites... Ummm, use the favorites. I also don't really understand the issues people have when trying to SMS someone and having to use the address book. I text maybe 10-15 people regularly, thats probably around 90% of my texting. I assume that's pretty normal, but who knows. I don't need to go to my address book to get a text to those people, I have threaded texts so I can just pick up the conversations from the SMS app. At most you're scrolling one finger flick's worth.

talljason: "just like with Mac OS X not focusing on business users and concentrating on user experience, Apple is doing the same thing with iPhones and it is helping them market to consumers and get them interested in smartphones."
Yes, you nailed it. This is a very good analogy. To look at it from another angle, our discussion is similar to arguing which computer platform or OS is better Windows or Mac. If I'm not mistaken, the debate is still open for as long as they exist.
The only difference here is that, historically, there are more "windows"-like devices in a mobile world, so there is a better choice ;-).
In the reference to the ease of use and intuitive UI, using the iPhone is like entering the house through the doors instead of the (many) windows. Not that there aren't plenty of devoted window-lovers and power-window-climbers, he-he.

I think this is a different type of phone with a different purpose than anything else out there. Obviously some one likes it. I know I sure do. :)

@ mav
i agree with you, because i have a macbook and i absolutely love the ease of use on it, and i think that iphone is a great phone, but just not for me and what i need in a smartphone,but im sure apple will do a great job in making it a "24/7" smartphone within the next couple years :)

For anyone complaining about the release of the storm....must I remind you about the iPhone 3G release? The storm is being worked on and fixed.
It all goes down to this. It's personal preference. Some people like the iPhone (rather the iGadget). Some people like the blackberry. And some people like treos and some people like windows mobile. It's all about personal preference and what you want/need the phone for. Personally, I own a blackberry because it's the only smartphone out there that will natively sync to novell groupwise. If the iPhone or WM would sync to groupwise without the ridiculous amount of work I have to do to get my appointments on my iCal calendar, then I would consider the iPhone.

Kevin see's the iPhone as a toy he can pick up and play with, when it comes to getting work done, he knows where his BB is ;)

The iPhone is the coolest toy around. Since I'm not doing much work on my blackberry nowadays, I think I'll get an iPhone.

i really don't understand how there is still "competition" between iPhone and blackberry... the latter are basically just phones with email, not the real internet or great applications like the iPhone.