The Key Feature for a Blackberry-Killer

Here is the key feature for a Blackberry-killer. And it’s not a touch screen, nor a better browser, nor even WiFi or faster network speeds. All of those would be nice, but they pale in desirability against eliminating the teeth-grindingly awful cl-cl-cl-cl-cl static-gone-mad Blackberry buzz caused by RF interference with nearby speakers. I’m having one of those days where I can’t take it anymore.


  1. Totally agree, I’ve thrown my blackberry across the room because it wouldn’t stop messing with the speakers.
    I don’t think it’s fixable for the blackberry (all phones do it), but why don’t they make speakers that DONT make that sound when a phone is nearby. If I found a set of speakers that were protected from that somehow, I’d buy them instantly.

  2. I am 99% sure this is a GSM thing…has happened to me with all of the GSM phones I have had and doesn’t ever happen with my CDMA Treo. Of course, I can’t use the Treo anywhere outside of the US, except maybe Korea.
    Since both of the 3G standards are based on CDMA, it seems likely that the RH interference issue will go away once we are all on 3G. Here’s hoping!

  3. This is the simple halo-effect of the signal (you already know this…). Classic shielding of the speaker wiring (near the point of origin is best) may help.
    Shielding can range from very complex to very simple, such as clamping on a ferrite “doughnut” around the cable.
    Virtually all cellphones do this as they periodically check in w/ the nearest tower, and immediately before an incoming call or SMS (as the call is setup).

  4. I was about to say, every phone I’ve ever had does that, Blackberry certainly doesn’t have that patent to itself.
    Barring shielding, the only solution is to keep your phone away from speakers :)
    Stephen, theoretically you could use your CDMA phone in Japan. The issue is not hardware, but software. Japan doesn’t want people from other countries using foreign phones there for some reason. Some nonsense about terrorism.
    I have a CDMA phone (Helio Ocean) that will work just about everywhere except Europe.

  5. Funny, when I worked at RIM, I sat next to the person who’s job it was to remove that buzz.
    You can google for the term “GSM buzz” — that’s one term for the phenomenon. Insiders at RIM would blame the GSM/GPRS standard for the problem, there are times when the the GSM standard calls for pulses in the inaudible 800/900 MHz range, but since they are fixed-size, repeating pulses, they are reduced to audible pulses in the audible frequencies due to standard digital signal concepts related to sampling and aliasing.
    I am not sure, though, why, it happens more on Blackberries than other devices. I do know that there are companies that sell filters or devices to reduce the buzz (from what was explained to me, it can never completely be removed because of the GSM standard)

  6. This is why, despite the temptations of the iPhone, I won’t give up my Motorola.
    There are so many tiny refinements that make a phone built by a company that’s been in personal communicator devices for, what, 60-70 years. The sound’s better. The microphone is better. It’s just a vastly superior phone.