I’m a long-time Blackberry user, but I’m considering moving to an iPhone. I have an iPad and love it, but I’m still not sure which direction to take. Help!

Joanne, Realtor

There are a lot of small business owners in your exact shoes, so thanks for the question, Joanne. The Blackberry vs. iPhone debate rages on … and now we have Android (or droid) users also making a case.

The bottom line is this: all three are great devices to help you stay connected to your customers and your business. What sets them apart is you and your business needs. We all have our own working styles and what one person loves about their smartphone drives another person crazy.

Here are four things to consider when making your choice:

  1. The Keypad – The top two reasons why Blackberry users remain faithful are the keypad and BBM (Blackberry Messenger). Moving to the iPhone and using its touchscreen keypad is an adjustment, and not for the faint of heart. It does take practice and patience, but you can conquer it. The question is … do you want to?
  2. Apps – Many feel iPhone wins in terms of cool apps. But, if you remove the cool factor, Blackberry likely has just as many useful business apps (I know, boring). Consider the Blackberry apps you rely on and use regularly and ensure there are similar apps available for the iPhone.
  3. Usability – You shouldn’t have to spend your time and patience trying to figure out all the nuances of your smartphone. Granted, making a change always requires a period of adjustment. Make sure you like the iPhone’s operating system and how it works. It’s different from the Blackberry experience.You just need to make sure it works for you.
  4. Your Gut – It never lies, ever. Go into an Apple store and play with an iPhone. Use the keypad, check out some apps, get an idea of how it works. Before you leave the store, write down how you felt about it. Did you love it, or did you have some hesitations? Now go and check out the various Blackberrys and do the same. In the end, your gut will lead you in the right direction.

Joanne, good luck in making your decision. Write back and let us all know which device you chose.