'Verizon vs. AT&T' just as important as 'iPhone vs. BlackBerry vs. Android'

Competition in the smartphone market is, well, fierce, and that's just as true in healthcare as in any other industry. And choosing the right phone isn't an easy chore, as we find out in a new post on the iMedicalApps blog. In fact, sometimes the best choice is no smartphone at all.

"If all you plan on doing with your phone is making calls, then getting a smartphone will only complicate your work flow. To make a phone call on an iPhone can take up to three or more gestures--a waste of time for those who don't plan on using all the other features the iPhone affords," advises iMedicalApps editor Iltifat Husain, an MD/MPH student at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. (How he finds time for running a commercial blog is beyond our comprehension.)

If you do think a smartphone is right, know what you'll be using it for. The iPhone is the unquestioned leader in terms of apps. BlackBerry boasts a strong email client, good security on enterprise servers and a real keyboard. Google's open-source Android operating system is a work in progress, but it supports Flash technology and isn't tethered to a single wireless carrier like the iPhone is.

Indeed, the carrier is an important consideration, according to Husain. iPhone, which launched in 2007, has a five-year exclusive deal in the U.S., with AT&T. As Verizon Wireless likes to point out in its advertising, AT&T's 3G network has some holes. "Recently, I undertook a long road trip, and realized the 3G coverage maps of AT&T's service that Verizon so aptly pokes fun at in commercials are true. As soon as you leave a city, AT&T's 3G service drops off and you get the dreaded 'EDGE' connection--a significantly slower Internet experience. My peers with Verizon phones usually did not suffer the same fate," Husain writes.

If you aren't going to be roaming a lot or don't need to get on the Internet from your smartphone that often, then this isn't an issue. Again, it's how you plan on using the phone.

For more:
- check out this iMedicalApps blog post