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Interview: James Dyson loves and hates on the iPhone, BlackBerry

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While at Dyson HQ, I had the pleasure, once again, of interviewing the man himself. I had to ask what his thoughts were on the iPhone, and James’ answers were both entertaining and interesting.

I have an iPhone and a BlackBerry. And I have to confess that I use the BlackBerry more. But I really wanted to like the iPhone because it’s thin—one of the clever things about it—thinner than any other phone, and fits easily in your pocket. I find that a nuisance if you’re going to a function or whatever it is. I really like that about it.

I hate the touchscreen. That’s my biggest complaint. I love the weather, really good. Maps are brilliant. The way you are supposed to use it, I really like. I’m not sure about having to slide that thing across every time you answer a phone call. As a way of locking the screen, I accept that because it’s important.

I find the phone contacts list very frustrating because I stroke down and my finger hits one and selects it, so I then have to deselect it and start stroking again. So they need to sort out the difference between stroking it (scrolling) and selecting one. And then I find for some reason it doesn’t select the one I want to select. And I get that on occasion with numbers when I’m dialing. I want to press the 4 and it selects the one below or above.

How about the typing?

It’s awful, but I think the predictive texting is very good, so that makes up for a lot of the bad. Also, you can’t turn it sideways, except when you’re on the Internet. But when you’re doing an SMS or email you have to do it upright.

I think the Internet is good even at these speeds. I like being able to expand what I’m looking at. The Internet is surprisingly good, whereas on the BlackBerry it’s very bad.

Which BB do you have? (An 8700 series)

It’s horrid looking, but I like it. It’s quite interesting because it illustrates my two points about design. This [the iPhone] looks beautiful and some of the things are good, but some are very frustrating, so you fall out of love with it. This [the BlackBerry] looks horrid, awful. It’s not been designed by anyone with any design sense, but emailing on it is fantastic and the software is very good and the cut and paste. Everything about it is incredibly good. I like using it. I hate the symbols on it, they’re meaningless. I use that all the time and use it for phone calls because it’s easier than using the iPhone for looking up contacts. So if they just correct the things one doesn’t like about this.

Then I see my son and son-in-law with a rubber case around it and I thought what’s that all about. Defeats the purpose of it. I’ve dropped it five times onto a concrete floor accidentally and it hasn’t broken. It’s not marked or scratched.

Downloading photos is very good. I use the camera a lot. i think it’s very good. It’s the easiest phone camera I’ve come across. It’s the easiest to use camera. I’ve taken 83 photos and they’re brilliant.
They came out quite well.

I asked James if he had the latest MBP with the multitouch trackpad and he responded with:

“Oh, that business. I haven’t got that.”

Are you getting the new iPhone?

Yes. I’ll get the new BlackBerry as well.

I ramble on about how cool the Bold will be and James asked:

“Is the Internet better?”

Umm. No.

And that was that. To recap, James loves and hates both the BlackBerry and iPhone.

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