Thursday, July 15, 2010

Quoth the Dudas, "Nevermore" (Blackberry) -- GO iPHONE!

So, in walks VP Product Development and resident self-actualized guru David Dudas into my office today, after having read my earlier post about my own personal "Sophie's Choice" -- i.e., Blackberry, Droid, or iPhone 4.

With not an ounce or scintilla of hesitation, as if he were a paid Apple employee himself, the Dudas issues are resounding proclamation -- "GO iPHONE young man!"

And, so I must. Barring any announcement of recalls tomorrow, I have no choice -- all signs around me are pointing toward one path and one path only -- I-5, Palomar Airport Road Exit, right on El Camino Real, and into the Forum Shops where the fruit of the poisonous (dare I say, "cultish"?) tree awaits.

I then may actually be able to clutch the coveted device in my own mere mortal hands -- blessed to be joining the Apple iPhone 4 faithful (who sneer at Consumer Reports and all other doubters ....).

Amen Dudas, amen!

To Switch (to the iPhone) or Not to Switch, THAT is the Question

Okay -- back to non Sorenson Media-related promotional posts (forgive me, the last two days have been busy ones).

Here's my dilemma. I have been a loyal Blackberry user since the early adopter days 10 years ago. I find the device to effectively serve my basic business needs (primarily mobile email), and I like the keyboard.

But, everyone around me -- literally almost everyone -- is cajoling me to finally make the switch, cross the chasm, into the wonderful world of Apple and its iPhone. (My wife already has surrounded me with Apple products throughout our home for years -- and was an iPhone and iPad user from day 1). Let's face it -- the Blackberry (at least my model, which is about 2 years old now) looks like a device from a bygone Soviet era when compared to the iPhone. Blackberry is all function -- whereas the iPhone sports a nice form.

Now, I may have found the iPhone feature that finally puts me over the edge and into the land of the Apple faithful -- that feature is Apple's new FaceTime live mobile video chat. As some of you know, prior to Sorenson Media, I served as CEO of SightSpeed, widely regarded to offer the highest quality consumer-focused video chat service (the company was acquired by Logitech in 2008 and now operates the SightSpeed consumer service under the brand name "Vid"). While at SightSpeed, I wrote several times about the promise -- and inevitable rise -- of mobile live video chat (together with its 1-way companion, "See What I'm Seeing"). Obviously, I am a believer -- the power of live mobile video will be overwhelming. And, I want that power in my hands right now. Hence, the iPhone 4 ...

BUT, hold the phone for a second! Not so fast! Two big problems weigh on me and have held me back for the time being: (1) AT&T -- I am a long-time Verizon subscriber and I have heard many horror stories about AT&T's service (particularly in areas near where I live here in North County San Diego); and (2) Apple itself -- the new iPhone 4, of course, is under tremendous scrutiny -- and rare backlash -- for its antenna problems (here is the Consumer Reports story that confirms that these hardware problems are, in fact, real -- notwithstanding Apple's assertions to the contrary). Is a recall coming? Will Apple finally get bitten itself for rushing its product out the door? Stay tuned -- Apple just scheduled an unprecedented press briefing about the iPhone 4 for tomorrow, Friday, at 10 am Pacific.

So, "To Switch, or Not to Switch, THAT is the question!"

I am on the fence right now -- with my current thinking being to hold off on switching to the iPhone 4 until the next version comes out (which undoubtedly won't be too long given the recent negative press). BUT, in any event, I likely will ditch my BlackBerry after 10 years. If I do that, my interim solution will be to stick with Verizon and buy a Droid phone (but this will be painful for me without a native seamless live mobile video chat application).

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