BlackBerry is practically synonymous with business, even as RIM continues to release devices like the Torch in an attempt distance itself from the dull corporate image it has earned over the years.But now the other major players in the smartphone wars — iPhone, Android, and even the new line of Windows Phone 7 devices — are attempting to bite into Blackberry’s enterprise dominance.
That not only speaks well for the phone, but also the Windows Phone platform as a business tool. What makes this phone stand out among other Windows Phone 7 devices is the sliding QWERTY keyboard, a huge asset for business users.
There's a lot of enterprise potential for Windows Phone 7, and maybe Dell will be the manufacturer to solidify that position.
There's no official announcement on cost yet, but Engadget reports they were told by a Microsoft Store employee that the Venue Pros will be available for $199 with contract.
The Droid Pro runs Android 2.2, has a full QWERTY keyboard, and syncs with your company's e-mail and calendars. It makes a great alternative to the tired look of the Blackberry and has access to the extensive Android Market. The Droid Pro has an expected November 18 release, according to Engadget.
Cost: $179.99 with a two-year contract from Verizon.
When the iPhone first came out in 2007, it was regarded more as a toy than a serious business tool.
But now that it has Microsoft Exchange support and thousands of productivity apps, the iPhone is increasingly becoming a viable alternative to the BlackBerry.
Cost: $199 (16GB) or $299 (32 GB) with a two-year contract from AT&T.
The G2's design and open format make it perfect for the business user who needs some versatility in a smartphone.
Engadget calls the G2 one of the purest Android phones available, meaning the OS isn't bogged down with too much proprietary software or modifications. The design is solid too. It's almost a clone of the ill-fated Nexus One, but with a slide out QWERTY keyboard for firing off e-mails.
Cost: $199.99 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile.
The Focus has all the power you'll need: 1 GHz CPU, Super AMOLED display, and 8 GB of internal storage. Plus the Windows Phone 7 OS makes syncing your Microsoft Office documents, presentations, and Outlook e-mails a snap. As with the Dell Venue Pro, the Samsung Focus has great potential to prove Windows Phone 7's worth as an enterprise device.
Cost: $199.99 with a two-year contract from AT&T.
This pricey device looks a lot like the BlackBerry Bold, but is perfect for the world traveller.
Since the Nokia E5 is unlocked, you can avoid being overcharged for an international plan from your U.S. carrier. Slip in a pay-as-you-go SIM card and you're all set.
Cost: $259 from Nokia.
We think the Windows Phone 7 has serious potential to bridge the gap between enterprise device and fun-to-use smartphone. The initial sale numbers don't look good, but hopefully we see some more user adoption and useful apps. With luck, RIM will wise up and ditch their clunky BlackBerry OS for Windows Phone 7.
The Dell Venue Pro gets our vote for business people who want a BlackBerry alternative.