There are lots of people standing in iLines this morning so they can get their new, shiny, black-only iPhones 4. I did the iLine thing a couple years ago at the opening of the Charleston Apple Store. It was fun — there’s undoubtedly an energy around the Apple experience. It’s downright fascinating to watch just how easily Apple can whip the masses up into a frenzy for their products, and it seems from various things I’m reading around the Web that iPhone 4 is no exception.
iPhone release time always brings about questions on what my next device will be. I genuinely enjoy my iPod touch and would like to add a 3G dongle to it (which I guess would defeat the purpose), but then when I get frustrated by limitations in the mail client (which, admittedly, I have not tested yet in iOS4) such as not being able to send an attachment without leaving the Mail app, it’s a turnoff. Android has gained so much steam, and I like what I see from devices like the Nexus One and the Incredible, but there are also some stability issues that I’ve seen on some of the devices and it concerns me (stock devices, too — not rooted ones).
And what about the BlackBerry? It’s been a mostly reliable platform for me since early 2008 (save for a few outages on RIM’s part). Nobody still can touch it as a messaging device, and as crazy and antiquated as this may sound, I spend a majority of my day in e-mail, and at the risk of inadvertently earning a complimentary membership to Luddites Monthly, I still have a very hard time getting away from the mechanical keyboard. It’s not that the touch keyboards on the iPhone and Android phones are necessarily bad, but I can touch-type very quickly on the BlackBerry’s physical keyboard, and that means a lot to me when I’m trying to punch out messages in a hurry.
The app ecosystem, though, still leaves a lot to be desired. And it kills me that I can only get Skype — a mission-critical application at ReadWriteWeb — with a Verizon BlackBerry. The browser is going to get better, but that means it will be time for another device (which, frankly, probably needs to happen given the beating my Bold has taken).
Eventually, though, I’ll need to make a decision. What are you using? What do you like? What do you dislike? I’m not looking for the flavor of the month; I’m looking for the best phone for what has proven to be a very tough job.