You’ve Got to be Bold to Say That

Meridith Valiando BlackberryThere is a commercial on TV for the BlackBerry Bold phone where the main subject claims she gets a thousand e-mails a day and then “boldly” proclaims, “try writing a thousand e-mails on a touch screen”. The absurdity of writing a thousand e-mails a day on anything, much less a phone, has been thoroughly dissected already. But I found her statement to be especially ironic, considering that some BlackBerry phones have been released with touch screens in the past – really poorly implemented touch screens!

I’ve been using messaging devices since the original BlackBerry, the 950, back around the year 2000/2001. I’ve used or tested a multitude of PDAs and smartphones since that time. I have a lot of experience with various hard key and touch screen interfaces. I myself was an advocate of hard buttons and was very concerned about the original iPhone interface. But 4 years after the introduction of the iPhone, I find that there is little functional difference between the various BlackBerry hard-button keyboards and the iPhone touch screen keyboard. It really comes down to practice and user experience. I’ve seen people cranking out text messages with one hand on an iPhone. I’ve also seen people rapidly tapping away on a BlackBerry. Bottom line, attempting to downplay the iPhone by attacking their touch screen interface is a pretty desperate play by BlackBerry, not to mention ineffective. And by doing so in such an absurd manner that invites easy criticism, it calls into question their credibility.

Try typing a thousand e-mails on a touch screen? Sure, no problem. Unless it is on a BlackBerry touch screen!