Monday, January 11, 2010

Android is to Google Apps and GMail as BlackBerry is to Microsoft Exchange

Forget the whole question of whether Android and BlackBerry can compete with the iPhone around apps. For the business user who primarily uses their smartphone for Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, the question is how easy it is to sync between phone and laptop. Unless RIM (BlackBerry) extricates itself from near monogamy with Microsoft and Microsoft Exchange servers, there's going to be a clear divide: if you have made the switch to Google Apps for Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, you're eventually going to make the switch to Android as well. IF you have a corporate IT department of some sort or use a hosted BlackBerry Enterprise Server, connecting your BlackBerry with your Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks is quite easy. But if you're using Google for these applications, there is no easy and complete solution. Instead, you have to cobble together various components, including Google's sync tool and the special GMail application for BlackBerry. But if you switch to Android, setup and sync with your main business productivity applications couldn't be simpler. Hopefully BlackBerrys will soon be able to sync better with GMail. But if not, any ascendancy of Google Apps is going to eat away at BlackBerry sales. (Same point made by Fred Wilson, AVC.)

I can get a new phone through Verizon in a few months . . . about the same time Google's Nexus One will launch with Verizon . . .