Monday, March 10, 2008

Apple vs Blackberry in the enterprise? RIM has the edge.

Last week Apple made noise about opening the iPhone up to developers to support more enterprise oriented applications.

UMA’s standard position on applications is “If they work over GSM, they’ll work better/faster/cheaper over Wi-Fi and UMA!” It’s a good (and easy) position to be in.

Given UMA technology is basically agnostic to applications running above it (even SIP), why would UMA Today weigh in on an enterprise applications battle between the Blackberry and Apple?

Frankly, it’s because UMA gives RIM an edge.

Let me explain.

These heavy duty devices are always struggling with power usage. One of the banes of ‘smart phones’ with big screens and lots of features is battery performance, and it’s here, deep inside these enterprise devices, that UMA gives RIM the edge.

Consider how UMA works:

When a UMA-enabled device moves within range of Wi-Fi, the handset establishes a direct IP tunnel to the mobile core network using the Wi-Fi radio. Once in place, all mobile services (voice, SMS, MMS, …) are tunneled to the phone over IP. Because the GSM/3G radio is no longer used, it is put into a hibernation mode. In effect, only one RAN radio is powered on concurrently with UMA. That’s pretty efficient.

Compare this with how an iPhone, or any non-UMA dual-mode phone (think Nokia E and N) works. When the iPhone moves into Wi-Fi coverage, the Wi-Fi radio powers on. But there is no connection from the Wi-Fi radio to the mobile core network. Therefore, for users to receive cellular services (ie 'a phone call'), the GSM radio must remain on, concurrently with the Wi-Fi radio.

That sucking sound you hear is the battery on the iPhone draining…

That’s not fair, it’s not specific to iPhones, it’s the same with any dual-mode E or N series from Nokia that doesn’t have UMA.

This is a fundament advantage over any non-UMA dual-mode handset. Any time you see or hear someone complaining about ‘Wi-Fi battery life’, you can be sure they are talking about a non-UMA device.

1 comment:

Anand Sanwal said...

Great post.

This is a much more technically rigorous reason for Rim's advantage over the iPhone than I can provide, but in my view, the Blackberry is superior from an end-user experience and that is why it will win.

If my business required that I listen to music, watch YouTube videos, or check the weather in Palo Alto, the iPhone would be my choice for sure.

Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t figure into my daily job routine and so I have to do real work and that, for good or bad, means lots of emailing with clients, prospects, magazine editors, my teammates, etc.

And when it comes to email, the Blackberry is the indisputed heavyweight champion of the world. And to me the iPhone is the Ivan Drago of business mobile phones. (Rocky IV reference)

Anand Sanwal

The full post is here.