updated 02:30 pm EDT, Mon April 28, 2008
iPhone and BBerry Split
In spite of attempts to blur distinctions, BlackBerry and iPhone owners are still fundamentally opposed when it comes to what they like about their phones, according to new research from ChangeWave. Research in Motion's attempts to focus on media functions with the Curve and Pearl have still resulted in most customers preferring the phones for e-mail, with 56 percent of users citing BlackBerry line's signature "push" mail as their primary desire. Nearly all other features were distant concerns, with ease of use, the keyboard, and size all cited by less than 10 percent of the responding group.
Owners of Apple's phone are more balanced but focus on very different aspects of their device. About 36 percent prefer the iPhone for the integration of its Internet, media, and phone functions, while 27 percent like the device for its touch interface and 16 percent cite overall ease of use. E-mail support doesn't register as a significant desire, ChangeWave says.
Conversely, BlackBerry users are much more likely to complain about technical limitations of their phones than iPhone users. The largest complaints stem from the web browser and see 13 percent complaining about either its feature set or its relatively limited speed, particularly on the EDGE networks used by owners of GSM versions. About 11 percent complain about the keyboard; Pearl owners in particular dislike the SureType technique that allows fuller typing on the narrow phone but which introduces slowdowns and typing errors.
iPhone users are most likely to criticize the requirement to use AT&T and its slow EDGE network in the US.
ChangeWave also notes that most of the desired features for a next-generation iPhone are likely to be satisfied by June's Worldwide Developer Conference. The largest portion asks for 3G (19 percent), which is widely believed to be making its debut at the Apple event; third-party native software (18 percent) and GPS (15 percent) are also highly ranked. Apple has already confirmed third-party support with its upcoming iPhone 2.0 software and is rumored to be integrating GPS with a new hardware refresh.
E-mail integration and voice recognition are also considered significant concerns at 10 and 8 percent respectively, though the former will be at least partly resolved with full Exchange support in the coming iPhone software update.