updated 04:05 pm EST, Tue December 18, 2007
CR on iPhone vs BlackBerry
The iPhone has managed to outperform long-term competitors in the smartphone market, says a new study in the January 2008 issue of Consumer Reports. The magazine gives the Apple device an overall score of 64 versus 61 for RIM's BlackBerry Curve, pointing primarily to Apple's longer 8.25 hours of call time in testing versus the Curve's 6.25 hours and its improvements in ease of use and synchronization with computers. The BlackBerry's common advantage of its real-time "push" e-mail is beaten by Apple's inclusion of a stronger e-mail client, the publication claims.
Most other features are regarded as equals, though the consumer organization refers to the iPhone as the "best choice" between the two for media playback and criticizes both for limiting cellular Internet access to slow EDGE technology in place of HSPA. RIM has typically sold its handsets to business users and only began late last year to offer mainstream phones through the BlackBerry Pearl and the 2007 release of the Curve.
The Canadian cellphone maker was recommended chiefly among compact cellphones for the Pearl and was accompanied by a recommendation for the small, low-cost Palm Centro in the same category.
The report also sharply criticizes their frequent choices of carriers, noting that CDMA-based providers Verizon and Alltel generally provide higher overall satisfaction for call quality, coverage, and technical support than AT&T and its only major GSM-based rival, T-Mobile. The two tied for third place and are followed by the third chief CDMA carrier, Sprint, in fourth place. Verizon ranked the highest in part through fewer dropped calls and stronger signals.