I just had my Verizon FiOS installed today and normally the technician activated the modem using a blackberry. But today he had to call-in and wait about an hour on hold for them to activate the modem remotely. People are comparing Blackberries to iPhones, but Apple iPhones aren't relying on a dedicated network and I don't think there are many businesses that rely on them.
Not quite sure why you bring up the need of a dedicated network as a plus. Since it's just layered on top of the existing cellular/WiFi connection, you just added an extra point of failure as these last 3 days of outage are reminding lot of people. What does this "dedicated" network give you? the impression of improved security because your confidential, corporate email is now going through RIM's servers? The belief that other smartphones can't offer equivalent security? 2005 called, it wants its status quo back.
Besides - the UI on BB phones (I admittedly haven't seen BB7 in person yet - speaking only up to 6 here) is mind boggingly crude and awkward. The browser is disgustingly broken and unusable. Even the damn email client, this pony's one and only trick, sucks big time. Synchronizing additional folders requires a ridiculous amount of submenus, hidden options and absolutely unintuitive labeled functions on my Curve 9300. When on WiFi, it somehow "loses" the connection to my company BES every other day and can't reestablish it. It only resumes working if I delete and recreate the WiFi profile. The amount of crap cluttering the menus is unbelievable. Until a recent software upgrade it couldn't vibrate and ring at the same time. Even configuring a simple sound is an exercise in frustration, wading through a sea of confusing options (I have sound options for "Email", "Level 1", PIN", "Text Messages", BBM Alerts, BBM Groups, BBM New Messages. I challenge any new Blackberry user to figure out what the hell PIN does there and why you can assign a sound to it). The almighty and much boasted physical keyboard is not only wasting half the front of the phone, causing the screen to be stupidly small, but it's also dinky and cramped, and the damn number keys are a bloody hassle to operate. But who the hell needs number keys on a telephone, right?
The whole damn thing seems to have been design by a committee chaired by Ming the Merciless, it's a textbook COUNTERexample of usability principles. They can't die soon enough. Die. Die. Die. DIE. DIE. DIE. DIE.
My company didn't allow me to use a different phone even if I paid for by myself - but they acknowledged that a LOT of employees are unhappy with these relics and recently announced they are going to change this policy at the beginning of next year. Can't wait. RIM, you lose 5000 more customers.