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6 Reasons Businesses Still Love BlackBerrys

What iPhone 5? Despite the hype around iPhones and Android devices, many business users still swear by their BlackBerrys.
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What iPhone 5?

For some people, it doesn't matter how much buzz Apple's devices get; they're still die-hard BlackBerry users, thank you very much.

Despite Research in Motion's eroding market share, bad press, and plummeting stock price, the company still makes a phone that many say is simple to use and better for business tasks like typing emails.

In fact, in data collected for Inc.com, Visage, a start-up that aggregates and analyzes enterprise mobility purchases, revealed that 63% of workers at more than 200 U.S. companies still use BlackBerry phones.

Here are the Top 10 reasons small businesses are sticking with the BlackBerry--no matter what:

1. Speed of Email Access

BlackBerry users swear by their email access and speed. Bruce Coustillas, owner of Crystal Custom Eyewear, says he uses BlackBerry because of the push email. He says there is no extra setup involved to make this work--email just arrives on the phone automatically. In a side-by-side comparison, some users say they even get email a few minutes before it arrives on an iPhone or Android device.

2. Simplicity

Call it a dumbphone if you want, but one clear advantage to the BlackBerry--like a budget car or that one-size-fits-all shirt--is that the phones are not too complicated. Jeff Lewis, a spokesperson for Group M, a marketing company, says he plans to stick with the BlackBerry. He can quickly find the Web browser, email apps, and text-messaging tools. Fewer high-end functions--like one-click access to voice recognition or augmented reality apps--make the BlackBerry phone easier to use.

3. Better Security

Many BlackBerry phones force you to use a complex password--this is a feature that your IT department probably created to make sure your company is safe from hacking. More consumer-oriented phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III also offer authentication, but some of the features can be easily bypassed. (For example, the facial-recognition security will work if someone who has a head that's a similar size and shape to your own tries to tap into your phone.) Amy Zhang, a managing member of Affinity Fund Services, says her company uses BlackBerry because of the need for better security.

4. Fast Typing

I have not experienced this problem myself, but some BlackBerry users say the touchscreen keyboards on phones like the iPhone 4S and the Nokia Lumia series do not respond well to finger presses. This is partly based on the size of your fingers and whether you need tactile feedback, although many phones use haptic technology to send a slight buzz when you touch the virtual keys. Tracy Wemett, the president of BroadPR, swears by the BlackBerry keyboard: It's faster than any touch phone.

5. BlackBerry Messenger

Some users have stayed with the BlackBerry Messenger client. Wemett says many of her colleagues and vendors also use this platform, which is like SMS text messaging from a carrier but works through the BlackBerry's Net connection. Familiarity is a common explanation: We trust what we know.

6. More Privacy

Some BlackBerry users are not big fans of the Google privacy policies. Deb McAlister-Holland, who manages a marketing consulting company, says she won't use any Google products and has decided to stick with the BlackBerry platform instead. She also says those who prefer iPhone and Android phones may view this as a generational issue--she has no need for the extra apps and services.

Do you swear by your BlackBerry? Let me know why in the comments.

IMAGE: Hugo Londoño/Flickr
Last updated: Sep 24, 2012

JOHN BRANDON | Columnist

John Brandon is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine covering technology. He writes the Tech Report column for Inc.com.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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