This story is a great example of how numbers can be misleading, even when they come from respectable sources. J.D. Power has published a study stating that the iPhone far surpasses BlackBerrys among business users. Before we go dismantling this article, let’s give you some more information first.
The study was based on responses from 1,388 business wireless customers who currently own a smartphone. It was fielded between August and September 2008. Overall satisfaction was measured across five factors: ease of operation (27%); operating system (24%); physical design (21%); handset features (18%); and battery aspects (10%).
On a scale of 1,000, the iPhone reached 778 points, while the BlackBerry came in second with 703 points.
So what’s wrong with this article? Firstly, while we can assume that the iPhone 3G was used in the study, the BlackBerry used (or if it was one or many) is not mentioned. Was it a BlackBerry Curve? If so, I can see how many people would prefer the much newer iPhone 3G. However, the iPhone should have been placed against the BlackBerry Bold or Storm for a fair comparison, devices which had not been released at the time of the study.
Secondly, the initial premise that the iPhone can be used as a serious business phone is essentially false. While corporate VPs that need only email and a pretty device could use the iPhone 3G, that’s the only segment of the enterprise space to which it would apply. Serious enterprises simply won’t role out the iPhone 3G on a large scale. It is not as secure as the BlackBerry (read: no BES), no serious enterprise software is provided (read: no Rove Mobile Admin, no momentem… etc.) and it’s basic functionality as a serious communication device is limited (read: no copy and paste). J.D. Powers simply wasn’t asking the right people.
You can see more results from the J.D. Powers study after the jump. Please take all numbers with a grain of salt.
J.D Powers Smartphone Business Study:
* Smartphones are buggy. 44% of respondents reported having to reboot their device at least once a week during the past 12 months, while 34% experienced either an application malfunction or application freeze one or more times per week.
* Prices are falling. The average purchase price of a smartphone device was $216, compared with $261 in 2007. Apple owners report the highest average purchase price at $337, while Motorola owners report the lowest at $169.
* Games are popular. 34% of business smartphone owners say they download third-party software, including games (49%), business applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel (43%) and travel-related programs (36%).