The reasons small businesses still love their BlackBerrys

For some people, it doesn’t matter how much buzz Apple’s devices get; they’re still die-hard BlackBerry users, thank you very much.

Despite Research in Motion’s eroding market share, bad press, and plummeting stock price, the company still makes a phone that many say is simple to use and better for business tasks like typing emails.

Only last week whilst judging the National Business Awards, our managing director Richard Alvin advises us that all four judges, and the NBA staff running the process, were all BlackBerry users.

Here are why we think that small businesses are sticking with the BlackBerry–no matter what:

Speed of Email Access
BlackBerry users swear by their email access and speed. James Clark, owner of Westland Fisheries, says he uses a BlackBerry because of the push email. He says there is no extra setup involved to make this work–email just arrives on the phone automatically. In a side-by-side comparison, some users say they even get email a few minutes before it arrives on an iPhone or Android device.

Call it a dumbphone if you want, but one clear advantage to the BlackBerry–like a budget car or that one-size-fits-all shirt–is that the phones are not too complicated. Jeff Lewis, a spokesperson for Group M, a marketing company, says he plans to stick with the BlackBerry. He can quickly find the Web browser, email apps, and text-messaging tools. Fewer high-end functions–like one-click access to voice recognition or augmented reality apps–make the BlackBerry phone easier to use.

Better Security
Many BlackBerry phones force you to use a complex password–this is a feature that your IT department probably created to make sure your company is safe from hacking. More consumer-oriented phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III also offer authentication, but some of the features can be easily bypassed. (For example, the facial-recognition security will work if someone has a head that’s a similar size and shape to your own tries to tap into your phone.) Amy Zhang, a managing member of Affinity Fund Services, says her company uses BlackBerry because of the need for better security.

Fast Typing
I have not experienced this problem myself, but some BlackBerry users say the touchscreen keyboards on phones like the iPhone 4S and the Nokia Lumia series do not respond well to finger presses. This is partly based on the size of your fingers and whether you need tactile feedback, although many phones use haptic technology to send a slight buzz when you touch the virtual keys. Richard Alvin, the Group Managing Director of our parent company Capital Business Media, swears by his BlackBerry keyboard: It’s faster than any touch phone.

BlackBerry Messenger
Some users have stayed with the BlackBerry Messenger client, which came to the attention of the wider UK population when it was cited as being used to organise last years riots, Wemett says many of her colleagues and vendors also use this platform, which is like SMS text messaging from the mobile operator but works through the BlackBerry’s Net connection. Familiarity is a common explanation: We trust what we know.

More Privacy
Some BlackBerry users are not big fans of the Google privacy policies. Deb McAlister-Holland, who manages a marketing consulting company, says she won’t use any Google products and has decided to stick with the BlackBerry platform instead. She also says those who prefer iPhone and Android phones may view this as a generational issue–she has no need for the extra apps and services.

Do you swear by your BlackBerry? Do you