Blackberry Users Consume One Fifth the Data of iPhone Users

As mentioned before, Blackberries should not be thought of as smartphones.

Consumer Reports announced this week the results of a study it commissioned assessing the monthly data usage for customers of Apple’s iPhone and other smartphones. The data reveals:

On average, iPhone users consume 273 MBs of data per month. That compares with 54 MBs for consumer users of Blackberrys and 150 MBs for consumers who use other brands of smart phones, the Validas study found.

The disparity in data usage is particularly evident at low levels, where 80% of BlackBerry and 54% of “other” smartphone users consume less than 50 MB of data per month while only less than 20% of iPhone users maintain such low usage.

As I argued in the past, Blackberries should be considered feature phones. Doing so helps to understand both their limitations and their potential.

This categorization helps put into perspective the phenomenal growth RIM is able to maintain while not being at all competitive with other platforms by any measure of performance that defines the basis of competition in smartphones.

Being a feature phone means the Blackberry just needs to be better than a dumb phone, something it’s more than able to demonstrate to a prospective buyer.

  • In response to the comment:
    I think it is dangerous to become an Apple "partisan". One needs to stay objective to see the truth.

    I don't know much about Blackberries, though many people do use them. I think this market for "smart phones" will explode, and one should stay objective. There may be many players in it. The game is not over just because Apple is ahead.

    It may end up like the original cell phone business, with 5-6 internationals splitting the market share.
    Apple is not ahead in terms of market performance. It is in third place as a smartphone vendor by units sold in the last quarter, and a far more distant 4th or 5th place in terms of installed base.

    Apple has 2% market share in terms of all phones (2009) and less than 4% market share in terms of PCs.

    In terms of specs and "performance" of products, there are many who would argue that Apple's products are nowhere near the top.

    The only place where Apple seems to be ahead are in measures of customer satisfaction.

    But more to the point, the argument I'm making for the Blackberry not being a comparable product is not meant to dismiss it. In fact, its position as a less-than-smart-phone allows it to grow more rapidly than the iPhone. RIM has out-grown the iPhone in most of the periods after the iPhone was launched.

    Understanding the nuanced positioning of the Blackberry should prevent the sort of "RIM will be killed by iPhone" nonsense that has been put forward.