UPDATED: BlackBerry vs. iPhone


Update: Please note that this replaces an earlier version in which the 2009 Unit Sales figures presented were incorrect.


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Infographic by Column Five Media


Martin Hill

Another helpful comparison would be total iPhone OS devices vs Blackberry OS devices as that would give a truer indication of the size of each OS platform – a much more useful number for developers and users to gauge the respective size of each platform.

This would include all devices capable of running apps for each respective platform and would include iPod Touch numbers. (the iPad of course would only factor in this year’s sales).

As such we’d be looking at 85 million iPhone OS devices sold in 2.5 years vs 75 million Blackberry devices sold in 9 years. A nice graph plotting this growth would be very nice too – nudge nudge.

In terms of quarterly sales for example, that puts the iPhone OS at approx 14 million iPhone OS devices vs 10 million Blackberry devices sold in their most recent quarters respectively.

It’s funny how analysts always seem to forget about the iPod touch and yet it expands the iPhone OS footprint enormously.


Martin Hill

I should have mentioned that app downloads would also be a useful indicator, though I don’t think RIM has been brave enough to publish such figures for the Blackberry? 4 billion iPhone app downloads tends to completely overshadow all other competitors.

Mobile web marketshare is a useful indicator of actual device usage and puts the iPhone OS at somewhere between 50-70% of the global mobile web market or 5 times the marketshare of Blackberry (median figure averaging values from Net Applications, StatCounter, StatOwl, W3 Counter, WebMasterPro, Wikimedia, AT Internet Institute).



Sanjay Maharaj

Wonder how the comparision will be for 2010 based on the stellar number Apple posted today in their Q1 earnings report. A 12% increase in revenue from analyst estimates in which the iphone played a significant role in this increase. Scary stuff when you factor in global growth for iphone

David Sonnen

Cool graphic. It looks like you’re assuming Twitter engages RIM and APPL users equally. You should test that assumption carefully before you put too much faith in your metrics.

I’d guess that there is a significance between the ways that BB and iPhone users use Twitter and the Internet in general. Just saying…


What’s up with the “Models”? The 3 models of the iPhone would be the Original, The 3G and the 3GS.

There are many more models of the Blackberry. The Curve 83xx series has different models across carriers as well as the new 85xx Curve. Same with the Bold. You have the older 9000 and the newer 9700.


So what? As per Steve Jobs’ own comment about that critic, “I wasn’t alive at the time, but from everything I’ve heard, Babe Ruth had only one home run, he just kept hitting it over and over again.”


Blackeberry is a mobile phone. iPhone, well it is more of a mobile computer.



Well, the PC (in particular the Mac) was called once “more like a toy”… Mocked by people who needed to achieve “serious” tasks (as if reading is not serious enough). Well, it turns out that its dimensions have been reduced by Apple to the size of a phone. It is called: iPhone. Now everybody follows.


If only it could do basic thinks like multi-tasking (or at least task switching)

I agree the iPhone is kinda like a computer in one way… the battery life is so short, it’s best used when connected to a power source

Pedro Ochoa

an interesting chart will be iphone vs Palm Pre, and Android vs. Palm Pre.


Om, great article – like some of the other people here I’d like to see a BB Vs Android Vs iPhone


3 years of Apple iPhone overhype and still more Blackberries sold than iPhone, and even with so many more iFart apps available for the iPhone.


I suppose the iFart can only capture so much of the ‘i don’t care if i can actually make a phone call with this monolith’ demographic :)


Blackberry OS is archaic and RIM shows no prospect of bringing it up to par with the iPhone, or even Android anytime soon.

Neil Mansilla

My BlackBerry 8830 World Edition boasts a 64MB app storage stack. I have an 8GB Micro-SD card installed, mind you. So, increase/distribute app storage, and put in a faster processor, and I think you’ll see a lot less BlackBerry attrition due to performance shortfalls.


Did you just say 64 MB (megabytes, really?) and 8 GB as if that was a convincing argument? Sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you’re a bit out of touch with the latest smartphones!


Fantastic graphic. Fabulous. It’s like what USA Today did for infographics GigaOm is doing for blog charts- or something.

Tom Cheney

There’s something wrong with those numbers. I know RIM sold 10M Blackberrys Q3 2009, and Apple sold 7.4M iPhones Q3 2009. Those numbers don’t seem to add up.


(Though twitter still remains at its relatively early stage here in Japan), the general picture coming from these datas are probably even more reinforced in Japan where BB sold by NTT are having a tough time (and only BOLD available so far). Their image is too business-like and are under the shadow of the “cool” iPhones sold by Softbank. On the other hand, iPhones here have big reception problems, bad audio quality due to the still mediocre Softbank infrastructure.

Constable Odo

How come RIM pulls in that much revenue and the share price is practically in the toilet compared to what it used to be? RIM is selling more BlackBerrys than ever before.


Because their future is dim. Their OS is archaic, the UI is poor, they haven’t had a new idea in a while, and the public is largely moving to touchscreen phones. They still do well in the business area, but I suspect that won’t be the case for long if they don’t make major changes. Android/iPhone/Microsoft are quickly adding or improving on the business requirements and none of them (not sure on MS) require expensive third-party servers to manage. Also, users at those same companies are increasingly asking for something other than BB, a reversal of past trends.


You forgot one very important thing: RIM had sales promotions (twice in 2009) – Buy one BB, get one free. “Great” way to speed up sales…..


BB sales are strong; but the platform will eventually die as it has not evolved and the strong sales of Pearls & Curves ( models with small displays & keyboards) while a good thing in the short term will only hurt the platform in the long term- just look at the app store count 185K apps vs. 5K.

PS: The 150K app count is from like three months ago.


Hardware + App sales = Apple $$ > RIM $$

…by how much, who knows?


The unit sales and revenue numbers don’t seem correct. RIM only outsold Apple by 1.48 million units and yet they have double the revenue? I was under the impression that iPhones were much more expensive that RIM’s products?

It appears according to the chart above that Apple had $6.76 billion in revenue from iPhones in 2009 and RIM 14.95 billion in revenue in 2009 from all their phones and yet they only sold 1.48 million more units.

Am I right or am I reading the charts incorrectly?

Sanjay Maharaj

Om, great graphics and perfect way to display the comparision to get a very good snapshot. I was looking at the revenue growth, while iphone’s revenue rate of growth is on a steep upward incline I find BB’s to be somewhat trending to a much flatter growth this year if the ternd is to continued.
Will be interesting to know the breakdown of “what people are saying about them” question to see how it breaks down into business corporate use vs. social use


Great chart! It says all. Some “experts” would have put it in a 2 pages text. But not Edit Staf. Good job again!


Good chart. Surprised to see iPhone owners tweet more than BBs , which with its keyboard is perfect for tweets. BB might loose to iPhone, Android this year.


The more interesting chart would be Blackberry vs Android (or indeed, Android vs iPhone).

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