I've been in the wireless industry long before Smartphones. I saw IBM launch their "Watson" about 10 years too soon. Research in Motion developed a new messaging technology and device called the BlackBerry. NOKIA launched their E61 Smartphone which actually supported Blackberry and GOODLink Exchange server technologies. This model also offered SIP dialing, voice-to-text, wifi, wifi dialing and lots of features before their time. It was their confusing operating system amazing features, and confusing layout that doomed them. Cingular Wireless allegedly would not touch this model as it offered features built-in that they wanted to sell as bolt-ons. Palm clearly had the best calendar application. They also smartly grabbed the MLS real estate vertical by developing an application that would unlock the realtor lock boxes at open houses.
BlackBerry had business and government accounts because IT managers wanted devices and OS that were secure and easy for them to manage. RIM's legendary and proprietary 'QWERTY" keyboard made text entry a piece of cake and they licensed it to all the other device makers. For those who don't know how they got the name for that. Look down at your keyboard and read the first row of letters. Nobody did secure messaging like Blackberry.
My speculation is neither saw Apple's original iPhone as a threat. Research in Motion seemed content to keep making Qwerty keypad models as did PALM. Today Palm is out of business. For the most part, Research in Motion no longer makes Blackberry devices either. They still own hundreds of patents and remain relevant in the industry. That leaves Apple against Android. Apple clearly offers the better operating system. It's far more stable, policed, and less likely to allow users to download virus infected applications. Android OS though is often favored by application developers and IT experts as it is open source and easier for developers. The android hardware is certainly more advanced than APPLE's in most cases and a fraction of the cost. It's bad that China has $150 brands you never heard of that do more than a far more expensive iPhone will. After all, for every 1,000 phones sold in China, only 25 are iPhones. It's worse that Apple actually buys the majority of their AMOLED screens not just from China - but their largest rival, Samsung. This likely explains why you cannot buy an Apple iPhone with an AMOLED screen for under $1000. Did you know that Samsung has offered not just AMOLED, but SuperAmoled on their models since the S3, about 6 years ago? They are on the S9 now. For those who are unfamiliar with SmartPhone screen display technology, our friends at Samsung sum it up very well right here.
I had been using a Samsung Galaxy S8+ and an iPhone 6s+. There is no question that the S9 blows the doors of the iPhone 6s+ in processer speed, display quality and features. If only this device had Apple's iOS. I could go on for ever with comparisons but the reality is this for me. While the iPhone had a bad habit of but dialing the last person I taljeds to while in my pocket, the Samsung S8+ would launch applications on it's own. I was worried it was going to buy something on e-bay or Amazon without my knowledge. Therefore, I have decided to pick up a used iPhone X for now.
Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.