I wrote part one on June 27th. Now it is July 7th and I bought my new iPhone on Jun 29th. Here are additional thoughts based on a week's worth of experience with the iPhone:
This is really no contest if you have a BlackBerry Enterprise Server and email is an important part of your life-work-style.
I was using my BlackBerry with a regular email account and a Mac. I got push to my BBP but whatever I did on my Mac did not filter or otherwise affect what I had on my BlackBerry. Full-on BlackBerry syncing is pretty strong stuff. But I have not had that option.
Keyboard competition. As I guessed, the BBP wins slightly. Not by enough to go back to BBP but I like the little Suretype keyboard on BBP. One thing I like better in the iPhone is that iPhone suggests whole words while BBP always suggests one character at a time. On an iPhone, you can get lucky and get a fairly long word suggested after typing two or three characters and type space to accept the suggested word.
If you have read any of my other iPhone posts, you know I think the user interface and the apps that are there are awesome. The experience on an iPhone is far superior in general. In specific, a lot of features and applications are missing on the iPhone in its initial release.
For example, there is a day view and a month view in the calendar but no week view.
There is no voice dialing. This is obviously something they will add and is something one would expect under normal circumstances. The iPhone is a whole new platform and Apple's first cell phone effort. They have to build all this stuff from scratch and figure out ways to make it work well with multi-touch. That's hard and that's why everything isn't here yet.
The iPhone camera takes better photos than the Pearl under good conditions. The Pearl camera has zoom. iPhone does not. iPhone's bigger screen (about 2.5x as big as the Pearl) comes in handy in framing photos and in reviewing them immediately thereafter. The ease of zooming in and cropping for assigning photos to contacts is spectacular on iPhone. The speed of scrolling through photos is way faster than on the Pearl. You can enjoy your photos more on the big screen and with the speedy navigation.
The iPhone wins here but also suggests it could be even better without too much effort on Apple's part. I would like to be able to zoom, crop and save photos. Duplicate photos. These are basic functions. iPhone doesn't have a user-accessible file system (yet). The iPhone flash memory does not mount on the desktop but does import into iPhoto on a Mac and works with PC photo apps like Photoshop Elements.
Features and options are actually much greater on the Pearl. The full set of long menus on Pearl allow many variations. Apple's simpler, menuless button interface doesn't do well with too many options. A lot of options you would normally expect are missing from the iPhone.
The UI on the iPhone dazzles. It is much more fun and impressive. The touch interface is fun and natural to use. It feels good to use your fingers to control the screen. They call it direct manipulation and it works!
The iPhone screens are stunning. But, remember that Apple has left features out when not absolutely essential. Steve is the ultimate minimalist and it shows to good effect in the iPhone.
In the iPod section, there are four buttons across the bottom and then a more button. The more button gives you six more options. Apple put the extras out of the way. They actually can get away with that if they let us decide which of the functions are most important to us.
In this case, you can click an Edit button on the More screen and drag other options to the button bar to replace any of the standard four buttons. Many other places in iPhone are not currently user-modifiable or features are just plain not available.
The biggest missing next to lack of voice dialing is lack of instant messaging. A huge number of people want to be able to IM with multiple people at once. SMS texting doesn't allow that.
Notes can be taken and that's it. You can't sync them. For now, I will have to settle for emailing my notes to myself. That will do for a few weeks, but I hope Apple adds a little more soon.
As anticipated, web surfing on an iPhone is worlds better than the Pearl. If 24/7 web access is important to you, this may be the reason to get an iPhone (see my previous comments on the net access with the Pearl here).
For me, the move to the groundbreaking and fun multi-touch interface, the web surfing, decent email (not rules, though), big screen and visual voicemail win the contest. I want to believe that Apple will fairly quickly fill the most glaring omissions. It is in their interest to do so.
I almost forgot the price differential. I mentioned this the first time, but it is worth repeating. The iPhone is a much more expensive device. It will cost you a lot more money. I was willing to empty my device savings fund because I couldn't resist, but that doesn't mean you should. [photo compliments of Engadget]