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Fruit wars! Apple aims guns at BlackBerry

But is iPhone as great as Steve Jobs makes out?

There is a method to BlackBerry's old-fashioned way. BlackBerry's network, which is a cooperative fabric woven by wireless operators in concert with Research In Motion, is geared for guaranteed delivery, so the burden for this is shifted from you. A message from a BlackBerry, or a competing handset equipped with BlackBerry Connect (free to any manufacturer who wants it) only needs to make it to your wireless operator.

Equipment placed there by RIM routes the message straight to the BlackBerry NOC without queuing up behind browsers and music downloads. If a BlackBerry message can't make it to Exchange, it hovers in the NOC until Exchange is ready to grab it. If a message bound for a handset doesn't go through because an EDGE connection can't be made for whatever reason, BlackBerry's NOC waits for a presence notification from an operator. The instant that the NOC has a clear shot at your handset, however fleeting the trees and tunnels make it, RIM makes the most of it.

There are some facts stated by Steve Jobs that were flat wrong. He said that to use BlackBerry, an enterprise needs to have Exchange Server and BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). An enterprise can use BES with either Exchange or Notes. There are numerous providers that sell well-managed, off-site hosting of BES/Exchange. Unlike your iPhone, your BlackBerry can get true push email from OS X Server. Configure the Postfix mail server to copy all inbound messages destined for a given user to that user's BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) email address. Every BlackBerry user gets one, and an email message delivered to a BIS address hits the handset immediately, with no polling delay. Not that I have anything against Microsoft, but I'm not going trade my gorgeous eight-core Xserve for a Windows Server 2003 box just so I can get push email on an iPhone.

Read winks and elbow jabs in here as you choose. I'm not ragging on iPhone. I'm looking forward to iPhone becoming the alternative to BlackBerry that Jobs envisions. But even from the lips of Steve Jobs, saying doesn't make it so.

Tom Yager, Infoworld

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