iPhone vs. BlackBerry Deathmatch


While the iPhone vs. Palm Pre is the current darling of the blogerati (we're not sure anyone in the mainstream is even aware of it...), we can't forget that most iconic of rivalries: iPhone vs. BlackBerry. Not when Infoworld has written up the provocatively titled: "Deathmatch: BlackBerry versus iPhone -- It’s time for us to bury the BlackBerry and move on to modern mobile -- even for e-mail".

In the massive, 8-page-jump article, the author contends that while the BlackBerry still scores points for security, non-Exchange email, hardware keyboard, and lack of good web browsing (for bosses who don't want their employees using WebApps), the summation states:

For everyone else, the BlackBerry is yesterday's mobile messenger, way past its prime and heading toward retirement. The iPhone is light-years ahead of the BlackBerry on almost every count. RIM should be ashamed.

Ouch. We're sure our friends over at CrackBerry.com would beg to differ, but... ouch.

Can RIM fight back with new devices like the BlackBerry Tour and impending Storm 2, or -- like Palm with the Pre and Microsoft with Windows Mobile 7 -- will RIM have to "spend time in the desert" and come out with a rebuilt, revamped, new BlackBerry OS for the next wave of mobile computers?

[Thanks to Matt and everyone who sent this in!]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 30 comments. Add yours.

Blake 2 says:

Does anyone know anything about the storm 2? Specs?

Mike says:

You know, I just cant figure out why anybody would TRULY want to use a Blackberry? Look at the user experience and honestly tell me that it is better than an iPhone. I am not saying that the iPhone is "perfect" but the interface of a Blackberry is so "old" and the text is just plain U G L Y ! ! !
I have reviewed the Blackberry on numerous occasions and as soon as the iPhone arrived, I was sold - in NO TIME! I honestly dont get it.

jeffdc5 says:

Ohh boy you do know what's about to happen? I have an iphone and blackberry. (Bold) I love both but I much prefer my Bold as my day to day device. The iphone is crazy until its time for it to be a phone. My iphone is my media powerhouse/backup.

chris4851 says:

Can the iPhone MMS yet without jailbreaking? Ummm NO! There are things the iPhone can do over the Blackberry and things the Blackberry can do over the iPhone better. It comes down to preference at this point. I’m sure there’s an easy explanation that corporate America uses a Blackberry and not the iPhone. Were not going to sit here and pick at every little detail/option why one is better than the other….. That’s been done numbers of times. But if you honestly think that the iPhone is going to put Blackberry into retirement you are on crack (I know some of you might really be on crack right now). Rim is not ashamed nor do I ever think they will be as they have a very strong OS that is MUCH faster/reliable than the iPhone.

robbiebisme says:

my iphone isnt jailbroken and i can mms and no im not using an app either i had a blackberry storm and the iphone is so much better imo

Mike says:

Believe it or not, my comments were made to get some feedback from Blackberry users. All my friend who have blackberry machines have not been able to convince me otherwise. I am trying to look beyond the fact that iPhone cant do MMS (it will soon) but rather the overall big picture.
Jeff, when you mention the phone issue, what are you referring to? I will agree, my iPhone as a phone is not "perfect" so these comments intrigue me? Also, one thing I would LOVE to hear is that BB battery last longer (not just an hour or so) than the iPhone.
If I have a morning of heavy use, I am done by noon so greater battery life is high on my desire list.

Big Willie says:

Though a longer battery would be ideal on pretty much any mobile device, the lack of it hasn't really bothered me on the iPhone 3G because I have a wall adapter, a car charger in addition to the fact that I'm pretty much always near a computer whether at home or work. I'm always juiced up... and the iPhone is, too! ;P

Mike says:

Yes, I am pretty much in the same boat (it is usually on the charger) but those times when I am away and my battery is dying, it is not so much fun (and my Richard Solo has begun to falter - doesn’t seem to be working correctly)

kingb says:

this review is as dum as saying that a blackberry is a blackberry is a better gaming device than an iphone....
the poor guy doesnt even know the DEDICATED shortcut keys of a blackberry. BB push email is second to none. boooo!

cuzinsteve says:

Blackberry getting ready to retire??? You didn't put much thought into that statement. Did ya?
Curves alone outsold the Iphone last quarter not mentioning other models. It wasn't a fluke, Blackberry's are incredible devices for people for various reasons. To me its all about efficiency and productivity. A tactile keyboard is a much faster input than any touch screen. Any of you guys know how to sure type and do it well? If not look it up or go get someone to show you cause its extremely fast when inputting text. So if I am surfing, emailing, texting or inputting calendar I am about 50% faster than any touch screen user. Not to mention the iphone is not on Verizon, I travel extensively and att's footprint can't touch Verizons. I feel sorry for att if Verizon ever starts selling the I phone. It won't be pretty.
The Iphone is sweet but I enjoy all the extra time I get back in my day using a Blackberry. Time is money as the saying goes.

Srsly says:

Man this article is so biased its not even funny? Seriously the Bold pounds thru emails like its no ones business and the author couldn't be bothered to even learn the shortcut keys or convenience keys. Ironically he could have set that to lock the phone. Display wise the Bold crushes the iPhone even with its bigger real estate, the Bold is sharper crisper and more vivid.
His email arguments again lay ground to someone not taking the time to learn to use his BB properly, I was reading thru all eight pages and easily could think of ways to remedy his laziness. I will give him his Exchange argument, but BES still destroys what the iPhone has in enterprise functionality.
Was he even serious with his GPS argument? My Storm registers with Google Maps in under ten seconds, and my friends Bold is even quicker. Oh and I can just as well link my contacts address with BB Maps, further killing that argument.
The Browser. Eh. It sucks, not going to lie or sugar coat it. Even on the Storm it blows. Third party offerings such as Bolt or Opera are extremely good. Skyfire has been slapping Safari in its face since it entered the game. Guess the reviewer is too hung up on Apple to realize there is better offerings, ones that have Flash support NOW!
I guess when I can receive an address in my email, copy and paste THAT into my browser which then I can then go and call them from the web browser and copy and paste that address I found into Google maps with directions WHILE listening to Pandora. Guess my Blackberry must really be outclassed eh?

Moises says:

I have two say that some people love to over talk when it comes to the iPhone. I have both the iPhone 3g and the blackberry bold. And I must say that both device are great. But I have to go with the blackberry bold more that the iPhone. I use it every day. My blackberry bold more than what I use my iPhone. I mean I never here no one talking about when you listen to music on the blackberry bold to change the song all you have to do is hold the volume key up and it goes to the next track. How easy is that. I am sorry but blackberry it's not loseing it's edge it's still going strong.

jack says:

except for mulitasking

Cartel says:

I have a Bold too and I'm getting rid of it as soon as the Touch Pro 2 comes out even maybe a Pre. My iPhone is waaaaaaay faster than my Bold and the email client on the Bold is ugly. You can barely add a resonable amount of apps on Blackberries. They need a major revamp of their OS visual wise at least. The Storm is terrible everyone I know with one hates the screen. If the iPhone had better push notifications and a LED indicator there's really nothing else the Blackberry wins in aside from the keyboard and Blackberry connect email. Their phones are overpriced too and they all look the same.

Cartel says:

@ Moises I have a Bold too and if music and multitasking is the only thing you can say the Bold beats the iPhone in then I see the iPhone winning. I have a bigger list of stuff the Bold messes up online constantly rebooting, slow browser, tons of error msgs, etc. Maybe it's just me but I see the Pre being what the Blackberry touch screen should be. All that multitasking on what I've heard about the Pre works much faster than on the Bold. I do like Telenav on the Bold though

chris4851 says:

I also have the Bold. My day to day use resides on the Bold and not the iPhone for lack of functionality. I love the iPhone and the Bold as each have there strong points. Battery life is huge during daily use. The standard Bold battery is great compared to the iPhone. I have to go out and spend an additional $80 for the Mophie Juice Pack Air just to get through a days use on the iPhone. Yes the Mophie is nice but it adds some extra size and serious weight to the iPhones great look.
I agree with most that have left comments, this was a poorly written article that actually serves no point what so ever. RIM (Blackberry) will never go into retirement. There phones and OS will keep on growing.
Oh and I personally like AT&T's network MUCH better than Verizon. CDMA sucks and cannot compare to a worldwide GSM network. Gues VZ will have to wait until there LTE network is built and goes live nationwide sometime many years from now.

OmariJames says:

there are certain things the iPhone can't do that some black berry devices can however. The main reason why I like the iphone is the captive touch screen, iTunes sync, Safari browser and the easy access I have to download apps OTA.
I've had more experiences with the Curve since nearly half the people I know with smart phones have them. I can't say there is anything special about it but I know the BBM is all the rave.
The BBs are popular probably because they have been around for a while. So I think it's more about seniority than feature that made BBs popular.

nyc_rock says:

Only the hardest of hardcore fanboys can take an article like this seriously. It is so filled with errors and omissions it reads as a comedy piece.

John Cygnus says:

Blackberry = Verizon iPhone = AT&T What good is a phone that you can't use or drops calls constantly? Every single person I know who owns an iPhone loves the device, but hates AT&T's coverage and I don't blame them. If you want a cool toy that does neato things, get an iPhone. If you want an emailing, texting, multi-tasking, phone calling dynamo, get a Blackberry. I will consider the iPhone if/when it's ever released on Verizon....but never will I switch to AT&T's garbage network. NEVER.

chris4851 says:

@ John Cygnus. Nice to meet you, I am the first person you have met that loves AT&T coverage. Verizon will ruin the iPhone with so much branded crap it will be slower and almost unusable in its current VZ state. I agree with you on the Blackberry statement, they are far more superior than the iPhone when it comes to multitasking, email/text, phone calls, etc...
I have had VZ service before and I personally hated it. Might have been there garbage branded phones or crappy customer service or "I'm Verizon, who are you" attitude. I will consider VZ once LTE comes into the picture many years from now if there is a noticeable difference from other carriers.

Cartel says:

AT&T has the best blackberries the Bold and new curve that storm is a piece of crap. You can however import a GSM version of the storm.

Cartel says:

The bigger picture is the iPhone changed the industry. App stores, touchscreens, button-less phones look at how many iclones there are in this short period of time. Still in my opinion the iPhone appeals to a broader spectrum with iTunes better priced apps-there's a $200+ app in the Blackberry app store. Blackberry needs to improve their HTML email and browser and more memory for apps.

Cartel says:

@ Chris I've heard ppl talk about EVERY network it just depends on where you live. At&t data service here in NC at least on my iPhone kills both Sprint and Verizon. There's a ton of free wifi spots too for At&t

John Cygnus says:

Hello Chris, nice to meet you. Imagine yourself driving across the country, with three phones in your hand. One AT&T iPhone, a junker flip phone from T-mobile and a Verizon Blackberry. Guess which phone works everywhere? The Verizon blackberry. You may ask, why would someone have 3 phones? Well, I do, oddly enough (for work); and it's been my experience that AT&T ranks dead last as it regards coverage.
I agree, Verizon tends to cripple their phones and force you to use services like VZ navigator, but I'd rather have a phone that I can use nearly 100% of the time, versus a phone that sorta works, some of the time. Often times, I'll call a fellow AT&T customer (on my work-provided iPhone) and cant get through, "I'm sorry, but the customer you have called, is unavailable." Terrible. Can't do it. AT&T wont get one red cent from my pocketbook.

McKenzie says:

Help Me Someone!
I am getting a new phone,I have the old iPhone and I kind of want to try something different.
I seen the BB Bold and LOVED IT.
Im not sure if I can do without the touch screen though.
And what are the differences between the BB Curve and the Bold?

Jason says:

Firstly, this is all coming from someone who has had nothing but good experiences with AT&T and iPhone alike:
iPhone is quite simply the best hardware (the immaculate screen) and the best software (as much as I hate to proclaim affinity for Apple software).
you cannot tell me that you can type faster on your blackberry than I can on my iPhone, mostly because it's not a logical conclusion: iPhone's virtual keyboard requires less force (only enough to push an electron from your fingertip through the grid). Blackberrys use buttons, Non-dedicated ones at that. It's not much better than predictive texting.
also, I do not know the details of AT&T's reach, but I personally have never been anywhere I did not have GOOD signal (with the exception of the bloody wilderness and inside certain buildings). it's AT&T, they are the largest telecomm company. use logic, even if they don't have as many towers as another company in a certain area, you can bet that AT&T is leasing their towers.

Jordan says:

Every few decades a truly revolutionary product is introduced to man kind.
It does things differently, changes the game, and sets a new standard to which all alternatives are forced to react, adapt, or die.
The iPhone is one of those revolutions,
so to those whom prefer to use a slide ruler to a calculator than that is your choice, and I wish you all good luck,
as far as I can tell, the iPhone has already cemented it's place in history as a truely revolutionary device.
If you don't have one, you should try to get one, but more importantly don't be one of those people who prefered the horse and bugy to the first automobiles because you will be considered obsolete quicker than necessary.
God Bless

Claudia says:

hmmm, it's funny...a lot of my friends have iphones and I have a blackberry Tour. Well, if we go somewhere to hang out or even someone's house..it's "oh, Claud, can I use your phone?" Sorry, I seem like a horse and buggy type, but I'd prefer reliability rather than a *toy that sometimes can make a phonecall.

Matie says:

hmmm I don't think so. I think it's an even match for now. At the end it's mostly comparing apples and oranges. Apple has their way of doing things and RIM is entirely another thing.