Blackberry or iPhone?
I used both BB and iPhone. I think BB is better for “Email/text messaging” (dedicated keypad). It takes a few days to get used to the touch screen keypad on iPhone. It’s still not as easy as the BB keypad in my opinion. BB also has strong push technology which pushes email to your blackberry (sometimes you will get email from BB, before it shows up in your Outlook). Overall BB has very reliable email technology (except a few high profile glitches), as that’s where they got started.
On the other hand, I felt touch screen iPhone is better for personal use, with more than 25,000 iPhone Apps to utilize iPhone amazing hardware and OS. Touch screen makes operating/navigating it fairly easy after you spend some time getting used to it. To be honest, when I first saw ordinary people (not geeks) checked out iPhone during its 2007 launch, I was surprised. Looking back I know I should not: Apple’s goal is to make iPhone the gadget for everybody. The iTune software and iTune store, and MobileMe service also helped making this possible.
How does the battery compare?
Both looks OK to me. But I heard iPhone drains battery fast if you use 3G extensively for web browsing.
How to pick the right Blackberry? (if your IT department does not pick it for you)
Depends on your primary usage.
Bold is good for web browsing (3G and bigger screen), but it’s big (bulky to carry);
The new 8900 is good in terms of size and functionalities (it got camera);
I have 8820 for my work, it got Wifi but no camera. This one is popular among professionals as I saw my wife’s doctor also carries this one.