Goodbye, Blackberry. Hello, iPhone.

I’ve now had an iPhone 3G for 48 hours, and it’s like I’m seeing in color for the first time.

Seriously, it’s that delightful.  Oh sure, there are small nits here and there.  I’m still getting up-to-speed on typing, and figuring out which apps are useful.

But the first 48 hours of the iPhone 3G has been one user delight after the other.  Love the App Store.  Love the built in applications.  Love the feel of the phone.  Love the simplicity of synching.  Love the Exchange integration (LinkedIn has enabled it as a beta internally).

Delightful.  That’s the word.  Delightful.

As for you, Blackberry, I’m feeling the same way I did about seven years ago when I got rid of my Palm and moved to you.  At the time, there were more apps for the Palm, but the push messaging and calendar integration of the Blackberry were game-changers.  I knew then that the Blackberry would be the platform to beat in the PDA/Smartphone arena, and that was right for at least half a decade.

The fact that at just 1 year old, the iPhone platform is clearly superior to the Blackberry in 80% of its functions is disastrous for Research in Motion (RIMM).  The pace of innovation at RIMM does not seem as fast as Apple’s, and you can’t argue that RIMM has better people, more resources, or better assets to work with than Apple.

At this point, to be a Blackberry believer long term, you have to really bank that their current entrenchment with IT shops in the Global 2000 will dominate indefinitely.  But 1 million iPhones in 3 days?  This doesn’t bode well for RIMM’s growth rate in 2012.

I don’t think people realize how bad the Blackberry has become.  Sure, the messaging is still fantastic, with great features for expert users.  But the web browsing is worse than a 1995 PC.  The address book still doesn’t synch right between corporate & personal accounts.  And has anyone gotten the calendar synching to actually delete duplicate entries correctly with Exchange?  Don’t even get me started on the lack of functional Mac support.  Just last week, my Blackberry torched the 2GB MicroSD card in it.  That’s right, unreadable.  Photos lost.  No recovery.

See this blog post for an example.  18 months later and a post on how to work around terrible Mac support for the Blackberry Pearl is still a top 20 post for me… and people still can’t get it to work!

I think RIMM went after growth and market share in the consumer market, and forgot to delight their active customer base and keep ahead of the industry.

Look, I don’t pretend to be a futurist.  There are still people who swear by the Treo.  That’s fine.  I’m just one customer.

But I got my wife an iPhone 1.0 8 months ago to replace her Blackberry Pearl because I was sick of trying to fix synching problems.  Not a complaint since.

This weekend, I helped my Mom move from a full-size Blackberry to an iPhone 3G.  So far, so good.

I’d say at least 15-20 people at my company have moved to the iPhone, and they all seem extremely happy with it.  They are comparing apps, sharing tips & tricks, resolving issues, and most importantly, they are enjoying their mobile platform.

I now also have an iPhone 3G, and I’m just loving it.  It’s the first mobile device that actually frees me from my laptop almost completely.  The Exchange email integration works better than I expected.  The ability to read attachments like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF is unbelievable.  The photo application replaces a wallet of “kid/family photos”, the web browser is excellent, and the 3rd party apps are impressive.  And I know it’s only going to get better over the next few years.  I’m even thinking about writing an app or two myself.

I’m never going back.  My string of 3 Blackberry models is at an end, just like the 2 Palm Pilots, and the Newton Messagepad 2000 before it.

I’m all about the iPhone now.  The Blackberry is dead to me.

Congratulations to Mike Schroepfer & Facebook

If you missed the 39 articles currently on Google News on the topic, Mike Schroepfer announced today that he has accepted an engineering leadership position at Facebook.   Mike is the current VP of Engineering at Mozilla, and has been there for about three years.

Here are Mike’s comments, direct from his Mozilla blog.

In my opinion, of course, this is a huge win for Facebook, as they get a top-notch engineering leader to join their team.  It’s bittersweet, of course, because I’m also a huge fan of Mozilla and the team over there.  I think Mike summed it up best in his post by expressing confidence in the ability of the Mozilla team to continue to innovate and deliver on their mission and vision.

If you are curious, here is Mike’s LinkedIn profile.  You can be sure I’ll be on his case for him to keep it up-to-date. 🙂

Conéctate Conmigo en LinkedIn

Ahora en español!

I am pleased to announce that, as of tonight, you can now use LinkedIn in Spanish.  We’re extremely excited about the first beta launch of the world’s largest professional network in a language other than English.

More on the LinkedIn company blog.

I cannot get enough of this Youtube video that marketing put together to help welcome our Spanish-speaking members:

Congratulations to our international team for their first launch of many.  We’re excited to start learning, in production, how to better serve our increasingly global customers.

iPhone 3G Shortage Exaggerated

Apple Store is reporting that there are, in fact, iPhone 3G units out there in California tonight.

Not feeling like a drive up to Sacramento just to get the 16GB Black version though.  Emeryville has them too.  Valley Fair apparently only has white.

Just found out from AT&T the convoluted story about qualifying for the upgrade.  Here is the deal:

  • AT&T doesn’t like giving out deep phone discounts too often.  So they count months from the last “discount” you got from them.  For me, that’s April 2007, so I have to wait until December (21 months) to get another discount.
  • Original iPhone users did not get a discount on their phone.  So AT&T is happy to give them one now, in exchange for re-upping into a 2 year contract.

So, ironically, Carolyn, who has an original iPhone, qualifies for the upgrade.  I, however, with the Blackberry, can’t qualify until December 2008.  Not quite the strategy you’d want to take if your goal was displacing competitors.

Interestingly, I confirmed with AT&T that Carolyn can upgrade to the iPhone 3G, activate, then give me the iPhone 3G, activate it on my account, and then re-activate her old iPhone.

Worth it?  Not sure.  But probably… 🙂

Let’s hope I get a new iPhone before my vacation in August.

Pssst… Wanna Buy a PowerMac G5?

For sale this week on eBay:

A PowerMac G5 2×2.5Ghz with w/2.5GB RAM

All tricked out, with original packaging materials.  Only one problem…

… it doesn’t boot.

See below for the listing text, and feel free to bid on eBay:

Apple PowerMac G5 Dual-2.5Ghz Liquid Cooled Workstation
2.5GB RAM – No Hard Drive – ATI Radeon 9600XT – Airport Extreme – Bluetooth – 16x SuperDrive

This listing is for a used, Apple PowerMac G5 with dual-2.5Ghz processors, liquid cooling, and top of the line hardware.  You can read the full specs of this machine here on Apple’s website.

Before you go any farther, please note that this machine does not boot, and is being sold for parts.  The story of how this happened is a bit depressing, but read on and I guarantee you are about to be part of the deal of the year.  As they say, my loss is your gain.

I’m a former software engineer for Apple Computer, and a fairly active computer user.  I tend to demand top of the line hardware for performance, but I also strive to take care of my machines.  In fact, you’ll see that this machine is in almost pristine condition, despite regular use for over three years.  I even save the original box, manuals, discs and materials.  I’ve upgraded the hardware over the years, adding more RAM and a faster SuperDrive (16x) over the years.

One day, as I was just finishing an install of the latest Mac OS X Update, I rebooted the machine and… it hung.  It hung hard.  It sounds the boot chime, gets to the grey mac screen with the rotating lines, and then freezes.  Hard.

I’m no stranger to crashes and fixing Macs, I immediately tried booting off DVD, and external drive – you name it.  No luck.  Same symptoms.  I zapped the PRAM, reset the SMU, same problem.

I took it to the local Apple Store, and they kept the machine for a full week diagnosing it.  The good news – the power supply is good.  The bad news, they narrowed the problem to either the motherboard or the CPU unit, two expensive parts.

Now, normally, I would have ordered a new motherboard & CPU unit on eBay, swapped it, fixed the machine, and sold it for over $1000.   I then would have sold the extra good part as well, leaving just one bad part.  The problem is, with a busy day job and two small kids at home, I just don’t have time to do this right now.

So my loss is your gain!  You can buy a top-of-the-line PowerMac G5 that doesn’t boot, and you have the choice of either fixing it yourself, or selling it off for parts.   My guess is that you could likely fix this machine, put in a new hard drive, and sell it for between $1000 and $1500 today on eBay.  You also likely could sell the parts alone for over $1000, as they are extremely expensive.

To get this auction moving, I’m starting the bidding at just $0.99.  I need the money to compensate for buying a new machine.  This auction includes the following (full specs here):

  • Apple PowerMac G5
  • Dual-2.5Ghz processors with liquid cooling
  • 2.5GB of DRAM (4-512MB DIMMs, 2-256MB DIMMs)
  • Original box, manuals & discs (Mac OS 10.3)
  • Airport Extreme Card (802.11b/g) and Bluetooth (with antennae)
  • ATI Radeon 9600 XT w/128MB DRAM
  • DVI & ADC Ports
  • 16x SuperDrive (only 3 months old!)
  • 3 full-length PCI-X Slots, 1 8x AGP slot
  • 10/100/1000BaseT Ethernet
  • 56K Modem (yes, hardware internal)
  • 2 Hard Drive Bays, with SATA cables (empty)
  • Firewire-400 and Firewire-800 (IEEE 1394) and 3 USB Ports
  • Audio ports
  • Original Mouse, extra cables (DVI -> VGA, USB Extension, Phone Cable, Power Cord)
  • Original box & styrofoam!

The only things I have taken out are the hard drive and the keyboard.  Everything else is included.

Please feel free to ask questions. I’ve attached pictures to help show the quality of the machine, case, full SKU label.

Please bid with confidence – I have over 800 positive feedback, and I am a former Apple employee *and* a former eBay employee.  I will take care of you and your purchase.

Shipping. Shipping is a flat $35 through USPS Parcel Post.
Payment. I accept payment through PayPal only.  Please note that I cannot ship the machine until PayPal releases funds, which can take 3-5 days if you pay with eCheck.
Return Policy. If you are unhappy with the purchase for any reason, I will accept returns within 7 days for a full refund.  I will refun 100% of your payment upon receipt of the machine back to me in the original condition sold.

No iPhone For You!

Wow.  So I guess I made a rather serious tactical error.

You see, I refused to wait in line for three hours last weekend for an iPhone 3G.  I figured, I’d let the dust settle for a week or two, then replace my RIMM Blackberry Pearl (and yes, I am so very eager to never own a Blackberry again I can’t tell you.)

Problem.  As of Saturday, there are no more iPhones in California.

In fact, going State by State, it seems like there are no more iPhones in the US.  Some news outlets are reporting that no new iPhone 3G stock will be available stateside for 2-4 more weeks.

Very very sad for me.  But I guess, the punishment for being too good for a three hour wait maybe a three week wait (or more).

Oh well.  This will give me the added time I need to write that virulent post on why I’m ready to say goodbye to the Blackberry forever.  Too much time.

If anyone finds a way to get a 16GB Black iPhone 3G in the Bay Area, let me know.  Thanks.