Saturday, April 09, 2005

Blackberries AKA Crackberries

I was in the process of obtaining a Blackberry until the funny question popped up that asked:

What is so special about a Blackberry and the Blackberry service?

When I asked several people on various mailing lists, their answers were centering around the issue of whether I was working within a corporate setting or an internal e-mail server.

Since most of my mails sent and received are either entrepreneurial focused (ABBC is entrepreneurial Christianity at its finest) with senders and recipients external to our operations, a Blackberry would not be fully used by myself.

I have been using Handspring (now PalmOne) since shortly after my mother's homegoing in 2000 with the Visor Prism, Treo 270 (which I lost on MARTA of all places), and now the Treo 180 (I miss the color screens from the Treo 270).

I already had access to any e-mails sent through the various Treos owned by using the SMS text message notice provided by T-Mobile.

When I receive an e-mail to my main account, a short text message is sent to my Treo. If an immediate full reading and response are needed, I will go online with the Treo and respond. Otherwise, things wait until I am near a desktop again.

However since I am satisfied T-Mobile customer, I was looking at the Blackberry 7100t very closely. It was then determined that the Bluetooth technology is and was going to be very hot and more products would be using and adding Bluetooth capabilities.

So I took a step back and looked at the Treo 600 and Treo 650. The 650 has Bluetooth and the 600 does not.

The prices on the 600 have been dropping like flies on eBay lately and the same was happening for the 650 until PalmOne increased their prices on the 650 (almost exactly when I was entering the buying market).

One theory on the price increase is that foreign customers have discovered that there is a greater discount to buy items from the US directly versus buying the same item locally due to the foreign currency exchange rates.

I already knew this to be true and saw the negative impact affect my own buying decisions.

So as the Treo 650 was skyrocketing, the thought occurred to me that they are almost as much as a laptop. So I did the research and got in line to buy a laptop instead. This is how I arrived at the doorstep of another lesson shared earlier.

Blackberries are cool, but determine how many messages are sent within your office first. If you receive more messages from people outside your office (with different e-mail domains--everything after the @ in the e-mail address) than internally, then a Treo will suit your needs much better.

Regardless, make sure that Bluetooth is a part of the technology purchase as much as possible.

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